Multicasting is a term used to explain the capability of an Ethernet system to pass information from one unit or device to more than one other unit/accessory efficiently.

Originally the Humminbird Ethernet systems were designed to work between two units in a point-to-point network called AD-HOC via a direct link Ethernet cable. 

The next advancement in Humminbird Ethernet technology was the introduction of the Humminbird 5 Port Ethernet Switch accessory.  This device allows information to be sent from one unit to multiple units/accessories around the Ethernet network.  In order for the Humminbird 5 Port Ethernet Switch to effectively handle the requirements of sending Humminbird Sonar, Radar, NMEA 2000, Side Imaging, Down Imaging, and 360 Imaging data across the network to multiple units it had to support Multicasting.   

This makes the Humminbird 5 Port Ethernet Switch vital to a multiple control head or multiple accessory Humminbird Ethernet network. 

As a result of this, all units connected to the Humminbird 5 Port Ethernet Switch MUST have Multicasting software support.  In addition, units connected directly to each other without a switch will also benefit greatly from Multicasting software. 

Multicasting updates for all Ethernet capable Humminbird control heads were made available to customers in March of 2012.  The software version number is 6.180 and later. 

For units to work together on the Ethernet network properly ALL  the units on the network need to either have: 

Older non-multicasting software (Pre v6.180) 

or 

Newer multicasting software (v6.180 and later)  

In order to get everything working correctly on the Ethernet system it is important to make sure that all units on the Ethernet system have the latest available software. Not just software that is compatible with Ethernet but the latest available version.   

For example, if a network is connected with an 1198 that has the latest released code (multicasting code) and a 798ci HD SI that has older Ethernet code (non multicasting code) they will not work properly together. 

As a note: Multicasting is a generic term used and you can buy Multicasting Ethernet switches from places like Best Buy but our version of multicasting is proprietary to us so if someone buys another Ethernet switch from a retailer like Best Buy that isn’t ours it will not work with our system.