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Why metal trumps plastic for NMEA 2000 connectors

The Actisense range of NMEA 2000 cables and connectors (“A2K”) were designed through intensive consultation with technical marine installers around the world. These installers had worked for years with lower quality plastic connectors which were often prone to damage from over-tightening, warping or snapping, meaning installations often needed to be revisited for cables and connectors to be replaced.

Presenting a more reliable solution, our team of engineers created strong, durable cables with metal connections that are much stronger and hard-wearing than their plastic equivalents. These cables and connectors have been built to surpass the NMEA 2000© specification and are incredibly easy to use thanks to their ‘plug and play’ design.

TDC cable (various lengths) with metal end caps

 

In terms of water resistance, the connectors enjoy an IP67 rating when mated and the cable range is fully UL Certified. We chose to create our range using the Micro cable size which allows for maximum flexibility without compromising on performance. Additionally, our T-pieces have been designed thicker to allow for flush mounting to bulkheads using screws, which ensures a strong, reliable fixing. Our chose of Nickel-plated Brass is extremely resistant to corrosion and rust, and won’t turn brittle.

The A2K range has been continually expanded over the past 10 years to bring some fantastic new innovations to the collection. Not only do we have cable lengths available from 0.25m to 10m, we also offer 100m bulk cable reels for installers who prefer to create their own bespoke lengths of backbone and drop cables.

Our Tee pieces also come available as a 4-way tee, as well as a 4WD, which is a 4-way tee connected to a drop cable. For networks that don’t require expansion, we brought our SBN-1 and SBN-2 “Self-contained boat network” to the market, which includes built-in terminators and 4/8 tee connections, depending on which version is selected. Simply connect to power and your network is ready to go, right out the box!

Actisense SBN-2 Self-contained boat network NMEA 2000
SBN-2 Self-contained boat network

For networks that may require future expansion, we have a range of NMEA 2000 Starter Kits, which include drop cabling, tee pieces and terminators – everything you need to create your boat’s network with ease.

And to terminate this article (sorry!), we have both male and female terminators available. Our most recent innovation in the A2K range is our TER-U: a smart universal terminator which can connect as either male or female, and includes a helpful diagnostic LED which illuminates red if the voltage drios below 9V and green if the voltage is above. They can be used as an in-line terminator, which is incredibly helpful especially for networks with tricky-to-reach backbone ends, such as the top of a mast.

The cables and connectors you choose have to be reliable to allow all your onboard electronics to communicate. If you need help choosing the right products to get you started, or in expanding your network, our sales and support teams are here at your service.

Download our free NMEA 2000 eBook