Actisense PRO-BUF-2 NMEA 0183 Inteligent Buffer

In the world of modern boating, staying connected and informed is essential for safety, navigation, and overall enjoyment. NMEA 0183 data streaming over Ethernet has emerged as a powerful tool to achieve this. This technology allows boaters to seamlessly transfer crucial data between various onboard devices and systems, enhancing navigation, communication, and convenience. In this article, we will delve into the world of NMEA 0183 data streaming over Ethernet, exploring its benefits and providing examples of scenarios where boaters may find it beneficial. 

Before delving into the specifics of NMEA 0183 data streaming over Ethernet, let’s briefly understand the key components involved: 

NMEA 0183  

The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) established the NMEA 0183 standard as a means for marine electronics and navigation devices to communicate with each other. It primarily uses serial communication through RS-232 and RS-422, which has been a reliable method for years. However, the rise of Ethernet connectivity has introduced new possibilities. 


Ethernet technology, widely used in computer networks, has found its way into the maritime world. Ethernet offers several advantages over traditional serial connections, including faster data transfer rates, improved reliability, and the ability to connect multiple devices simultaneously. 

Benefits of NMEA 0183 Data Streaming Over Ethernet 

Faster Data Transfer  

One of the most significant advantages of using Ethernet for NMEA 0183 data streaming is its speed. Ethernet can handle data transfer at much higher rates compared to traditional serial connections. This means that real-time data, such as GPS coordinates, depth readings, and weather information, can be exchanged quickly between devices, resulting in more responsive and accurate navigation. 


Ethernet connections are known for their robustness and stability. They are less susceptible to interference and signal degradation compared to serial connections. In a maritime environment where conditions can change rapidly, having a reliable data connection is crucial for safety and navigation. 


Ethernet networks are highly scalable, allowing boaters to connect multiple devices easily. Whether it’s integrating a new radar system, chartplotter, or an advanced sonar, Ethernet makes it straightforward to expand your onboard network without the need for complex rewiring. 


NMEA 0183 data streaming over Ethernet facilitates seamless integration of various onboard systems. For instance, you can connect your GPS, radar, fishfinder, and autopilot systems to share critical information. This integration enhances situational awareness, making navigation more efficient and safe. 

Examples of Scenarios 

Fishermen’s Paradise  

For avid anglers, Ethernet-enabled NMEA 0183 data streaming can revolutionize fishing expeditions. By connecting your fishfinder, sonar, and navigation systems, you can identify promising fishing spots with greater accuracy, monitor underwater conditions, and even share your findings with fellow anglers nearby. 

Weather Monitoring  

Weather conditions can change rapidly at sea. Having access to real-time weather data through NMEA 0183 data streaming over Ethernet allows boaters to make informed decisions. This includes tracking storms, monitoring wind speed and direction, receiving weather alerts, ensuring safer navigation and minimizing the risk of being caught in adverse conditions. 

Crew Communication 

Ethernet-connected NMEA 0183 data streaming can enhance communication on board. For example, you can integrate your VHF radio and chartplotter, enabling the automatic sharing of GPS coordinates when a distress call is made. This can be a lifesaving feature in emergencies, allowing rescuers to locate your vessel quickly. 

Actisense PRO-MUX-2 Network Diagram

How can I stream NMEA 0183 data over Ethernet?

The Actisense PRO Range of buffers and multiplexers have long been able to be configured via ethernet. From many requests over the years, the ability to stream NMEA 0183 data over Ethernet has been applied to the PRO-BUF-2, PRO-NDC-1E and the PRO-MUX-2.

For more on NMEA 0183 networks and how they work, download your free guide here.