Marine News from the Great Lakes

The Only Plug-and-Play Bi-Directional USB to NMEA 0183 Converter

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017

How much would it cost to replace a laptop, or the NMEA 0183 instrument that has worked dutifully for years and is still humming along? If a boater connects these devices together without knowing the risks involved, this could be a cost that s/he ends up facing sooner than expected or desired.

Here are some useful facts about the Actisense USB to NMEA 0183 Gateway (USG-2) to protect expensive devices and cost-effectively transfer NMEA 0183 data to a PC.

  • OPTO-Isolation – A unique and an important built-in feature of USG-2: It is easy to create ground loops in an NMEA 0183 network and they can exist for months at a time without being detected. Then, suddenly, instruments stop working. The resultant damage from ground loop is often irreparable and costly. The USG-2 has built-in electrical OPTO-isolation that will protect not only the PC from ground loop damage, but also the NMEA 0183 devices plugged into it.
  • No Firmware: Absence of any firmware inside the USG-2 means no need to set a specific baud rate or enable/disable sentences and never being out of date. The only thing to do before using USG-2 is installing the USB drivers.
  • Pluggable Connectors: Once mounted, the USG-2 can be left where it is. To change the device connected to USG-2, simply remove the pluggable connector, change the wires over and plug it back in o the USG-2 electrically isolated input/output sockets.
  • IP 67 Rating: USG-2 is rated to IP67 and even the USB socket comes with a rubber ‘O’ ring to provide watertight integrity against dust and effects of immersion in water up to a depth of 3 feet (1m) - an important feature in the inclement marine environment.
  • Diagnostic LEDs: Helpful diagnostic LED indicators provide a quick visual check to ensure that USG-2 is operating as expected. USG-2 is such a solid product that Actisense has not received any units (or its predecessor USG-1) back for repair over the last 3 years.
  • Size Matters: The USG-2 measures only 4.5” x 1.5” x 1.2” (115mm x 36mm x 30mm) and weighs less than 5 Oz. (140g), taking up little space on board.
  • USB Lead Included: A USB lead is included to make the USG-2 truly plug-and-play.

The USG-2 with a 3-year warranty is listed at USD $119/ CAD $125.

For more information, visit

tags: Electronics

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