Uploading Routes from CE to Garmin 942XS

I use CE 4.0 in a Win10 NAV computer which is currently connected to the NMEA 2000 Bus using an ActiSense NGT-1 USB Gateway.

While I long to switch to using NEMO, the NGT-1 gateway has a built-in firewall which keeps my Garmin Nav System from being compromised (if my Win 10 computer gets hacked via internet access from the Wirie Pro - or from a cellular hot-spot).

While the gateway permits PGM data to flow freely FROM the NMEA 2k Bus, it blocks me from uploading CE Routes TO the Garmin GPS (which actually drives the Jeffa LD100 liner drive unit).

This has forced me to export CE .GPX routes to a tiny MicroSD card, then remove my Active Captain card to attempt import of the route data to the GPS. While that works (sometimes) it exposes the MicroSD slots to damage from water, and introduces the “numb thumbs” factor when one needs to concentrate being at the helm…

My research found a (2) possible solutions that might let me upload the .GPX data from CE 4 over NMEA 0183 to the chart plotter.

The first is this Garmin NMEA0183 USB Breakout Cable: USB Breakout Cable

The 2nd is the ActiSense USG-2 USB to Serial Gateway unit; Actisense USG-2 Isolated USB to Serial Gateway

While I have concerns to introducing a 2nd GPS connection to the CE 4.0 computer… can you please

  1. tell me if either of above would indeed allow me to send (upload) my .GPX Route information directly to the GPS (via 0183), and spare me being distracted from being on helm watch (fumbling with MicroSD cards).

  2. Will introducing an auxiliary 0183 connection confuse CE4 as to using the 0183 bus only for GPX file upload (to bypass the NGT-1 firewall safety)?

  3. Can CE be configured to prioritize the (faster) N2K network for PGM data (input), and only use the (slower) 0183 serial connectivity for upload (output) of .GPX routes to the chart plotter?

  4. Will using either solution compromise the integrity of my Garmin Autopilot/GPS system if the CE 4.0 computer is hacked - as the 0183 cable solution now bypasses the NGT-1 firewall safety?

  5. Does the NEMO allow direct upload of .GPX Route files to the Garmin network (over 2000 or 0183)?

  6. Can the NEMO prioritize N2K for download (input) and only use NMEA 0183 connection for upload (output)?

  7. Does the NEMO have any firewall functionality built in the gateway - to safeguard the NAV system from the internet connected CE4.0 computer?

Your thoughtful consideration and reply is most appreciated…

Skipper (with numb thumbs)

I move CE routes to my Garmin chart plotter all the time. You can do this by exporting them in GPX format to an SD card. I usually will export between five and ten routes at a time or whatever is needed for the summer cruise. The SD card gets put into the slot where the ActiveCaptain SD card was and the routes are loaded into the Garmin. Once the GPX routes are transferred I pull the SD card out and put the ActiveCaptain card back in and all is well. Now I can select the GPX route I need from the list saved in the Garmin chart plotter. I suggest you do this before getting underway so you can take your time.

In my case, my primary navigator is Coastal Explorer on the PC not the Garmin Chart plotter. However, in order to see the route and be sure the autopilot is following route instructions properly I activate the cockpit mounted Garmin which displays the route line. Because the autopilot is set with the computer gateway as the Nav source it will not listen to the Garmin. In the event the computer crashes you can quickly select the Gamin as the navigation source in the autopilot settings menu - on the fly!

I have used both the NGT-1 and NEMO. At this time NEMO has taken over full-time as my gateway and the NGT-1 is a distant backup.

Sorry, I can’t help with the firewall question, but support certainly can. My small form factor brick has only boat software on it so there is nothing a hacker would find valuable there - no banking or personal stuff just weather, navigation and nautical reference articles - pretty boring stuff and all backup to a flash drive.

One word of caution: This summer I loaded my GPX route into the Garmin chart plotter but was navigating from the computer. While underway I noticed the soundings at one point on the route had changed from years earlier so altered the computer route to keep us in deeper water, however ,I forgot to update the GPX version in the Garmin. After a change of watch we reached that section of the route and I was quickly awakened by the crew and notified we were off course. In fact all was well.