Tee pieces are common connectors in the building of NMEA 2000 networks. When installed correctly and connected together using lengths of NMEA 2000 cable, these will serve their connectivity purpose well and be a valuable part of the network. However, it is not usually accepted a good idea to daisy-chain these Tee connectors together.
In the context of NMEA 2000, tee piece chains, or simply using tee connectors to create a branching connection in the network, are discouraged for several reasons…
1. Signal Integrity:
Tee connectors can potentially degrade the signal quality in the network. When a tee connector is used, it creates a point of impedance mismatch, which can result in signal reflections and loss of data integrity.
2. Network Reliability:
The use of tee connectors can introduce points of failure in the network. If one part of the tee chain fails, it can disrupt communication for the entire network segment downstream of that point.
3. Voltage Drop:
Tee connectors may cause voltage drop issues, especially in larger or more complex networks. This can lead to unreliable communication between devices on the network.
4. Termination Issues:
NMEA 2000 networks require proper termination to prevent signal reflections. Tee connectors can complicate the proper termination of the network, leading to suboptimal performance.
5. Strain relief:
Mounting multiple T-pieces in daisy chain on a surface which is not 100% flat could cause strain on the interconnecting connecters, which could lead to failure over time.
Solution for multi Tee piece requirement
Actisense created our robust 4-way Tee piece (A2K-4WT) to assist in installation cases where more than one tee piece is required. As well as costing less than 4 individual tee pieces, using a 4-way tee helps to solve the aforementioned problems. Additionally, if you’re creating a network that won’t require more than 8 connected devices, take a look at our SBN-1 and SBN-2 Self-contained Boat Networks.
To ensure a reliable and well-functioning NMEA 2000 network, it is recommended to follow the standard guidelines for network installation. This typically involves using properly terminated backbone cables, avoiding tee connectors, and ensuring that the network adheres to the specified electrical characteristics. Always refer to the NMEA 2000 installation guidelines and documentation for the specific recommendations and requirements.