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C-Zone Quick Tip – Programming Interface

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I have been experimenting with BEP / MasterVolt C-Zone for a while. It is a great system for managing power on your boat.

But the programming side is a bit of a bugger. Most C-Zone systems needs a special NMEA 2000 programming interface to set all the correct data in your C-Zone setup.

MasterVolt dealers sell the interface (Part No: 80-911-0044-00 ) for the amazing price of between $400 and $800.

Simrad ST-10 – fully compatible with MasterVolt C-Zone software for updates

But looking at the interface it was clear to me it had Simrad NMEA connectors (the yellow rings are a dead giveaway)

So I thought – this is just a Simrad ST-10 USB to NMEA 2000 interface with a different name? So I pulled out my ST-10 and loaded the MasterVolt C-Zone configuration software and voila – I can program my C-Zone devices via a Simrad ST-10.

Simrad ST-10 have a retail price of $148,- Click here for ST-10. So that is a massive saving over the MasterVolt cable. As the Simrad ST-10 internals are made by Kvaser (A well known CAN bus interface developer) – other Kvaser CAN bus adapters might work as well.

The new MasterVolt C-Zone combination Output Interface (COI) does have a built in USB interface – so I do not think the ST-10 is needed there.

MasterBus USB Interface

[2022 Update] There are now other options available for editing and programming C-Zone networks and devices. I recently found out that C-Zone can be programmed using Mastervolt MasterBus USB adaptor with NMEA 2000 drop cable – and it can be programmed with select CAN-bus adaptors from Kvaser. Kvaser is huge and supplies a lot of “other brands” for their CANBus devices. So I think with the right adaptor cable – even the Mercury Engine diagnostics cable could be used if you are creative. I have a MasterBus USB interface so once I find a drop cable I’ll report on the workings.

Older C-Zone displays / screens with old software can’t update via NMEA 2000. They need to update via a special Ethernet cable. If you want to know how to make your own – let me know and I’ll post a “How To” guide for that as well. C-Zone DI Display Ethernet Update cable instructions are here. MasterVolt again wants excessive $$$ for the cable – a cable you only need once or twice.

So I hope this tip can help you – as C-Zone is great if you can program it yourself.

Warning for people with limited, lacking or completely missing common sense:

Please notice that playing around with C-Zone and high ampere 12/24v power can be dangerous and deadly so do NOT attempt it if you do not know what you are doing.

You can also mess up your boats electrical installation so bilge pumps etc do not work – which could cause your boat to sink. So use caution when programming C-Zone! It is your responsibility!

Marine-Review is not responsible for your misdeeds or any related issues arising from your misdeeds.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Marine-Review team. The Display Interface Programming Cable is now discontinued by BEP. If you could please confirm the pinout that would be amazing! Unfortunately with 8 pins at either end this would save me (and others) trying to find the right mix of the 40,320 possible combinations!

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