Knowledge Base

Sharing NMEA 0183 Data with a PC

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Connecting NMEA 0183 devices directly to a PC without isolation is not recommended as this can cause ground loops which will damage your PC and your NMEA 0183 devices.  The Actisense USG-2 is a great device to overcome the issue of isolation with PC connections. The USG-2 has isolation on the input and output, keeping your devices safe from ground loops.  The USG-2 also has a USB lead, making connections to a PC quick and simple.

A slightly lower cost alternative that we recommend as an absolute minimum means of electrical protection when interfacing NMEA 0183 devices to a PC is the Actisense OPTO-4.  This will provide isolation to the PC’s input but not the output.  If your PC does not have a serial port you will also require a USB to serial adapter.

Alternatively, the  USBKIT-REG / USBKIT-PRO can be used to connect an Actisense device to the PC using the serial port connection.