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Old 10-01-2009, 09:48   #1
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Non-Marine Electronics on board

OK. Non- Marine rated, i.e. radios, pc's, clocks, microwave, etc.
On board, out of the weather, out of chances of spray, good ventilation, staying out of 95+ weather, out of 50 - weather. I.E. good 60 - 90 degree weather.
My Nav station and Galley is well below in a very well ventilated and dry area.

What is the general concensus of the electronic / circuit board survivability? 50% more? Less?
I.E. If a system is suppsoed to last 10 years, shouls I get 5 years from it? Should I figure it is disposable anyway and just say to heck with it? Should a, Could a, Would a, you know...
I am talking about going with a Kenwood TS-2000 instead of a IC-802. 1/3 the price, when getting the same capabilities per say.

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Old 10-01-2009, 10:13   #2
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I think a lot depends on these variables: build quality, internal temperature range between running and cold, cabin humidity, and critical need. Murphy has rules about all of those.
A boom box lasted 18 months with only occasional use. A microwave lasted 4 years with daily use. A "marinized" car stereo lasted three years with once a month use, and a plastic box of Dollar-bin cast iron tools turned red in 3 months. My precious stainless steel tools have stayed shiny more than a dozen years, and a can on a shelf will leave a rust ring (in what seems like) overnight.

So: if you use it daily in a humid cabin and absolutely rely on it, but its made in a back alley in Bombay or Mainland China, its toast too soon.

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Old 10-01-2009, 10:18   #3
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I had an HP Pavillion laptop that survived being on a very wet boat for 5 years. Still worked when I took it off and updated with a new one.

"Marine Electronics" is an oxymoron.

As a general rule, if electronics say "marine" it means, "twice the price, and half the warranty."
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:41   #4
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A friend of mine hit by lightning. The only piece of electronics that survived on his boat was a radio that was from an auto parts store.

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Old 10-01-2009, 15:27   #5
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I buy mainly marine gear. But if it's something I can do without in a pinch and something that I think replacing is cheaper than buying marine gear, then I buy home products. Somethings I may buy two so I have a backup, especially if two costs less than a single marinized item.

A TV for $150 vs a 12v TV for $350. Seems a no brainer to me. I can replace the TV with a newer better one with the latest features. Stereo? Same thing. Auto stereo for me.

GPS, VHF? Waterproof and marinized, please.

Marinized products from reputable companies are different. Sometimes it's just the conformal coating. But they may use a different pot, or use different metals. I don't have the expertise to know which ones do and don't, so I rely on other peoples' evaluations or recommendations from people in this forum as to reliability, etc.

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Old 10-01-2009, 19:06   #6
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In the conditions you describe (which precludes salt water actually getting into them) in my experience the things should do as well as if they were on shore.

Actually with a couple of things I've been wishing for years that they would die so I'd have an iron clad excuse to replace them but they won't - TV and automobile type radio/player/speakers have been on board for heading towards 13 years with no sign of any damage or problem (so TV is old CRT and player won't play MP3's ).

Don't recall anything failing and that includes electronic clocks, amateur transceiver and linear amplifier which spent maybe 6 years on board and are still like new inside and out, inverter. Has been a cellular terminal on board for many years and just an el cheapo phone plugged into that and no problems, vacuum cleaner, kitchen mixer, electric heaters, power tools, etc all come to mind but no particular problem.

We make a habit of not buying stuff that is plainly junk or of non proven brand though and also run everything frequently.

On bigger boats we put domestic stereo equipment, front opening ss case refrigerators and freezers, TV's, etc, etc operating in the tropics with no problems - although boat is bigger, is same sea air but maybe less chance of direct contact with seawater (well except for one that took some front windows out diving into a big steep sea ). People sometimes seem concerned about notebooks and bumpy rides but they go fine on fast power boats slamming along at 40 knots with no problems either.

I see plain mild steel baked enamel (or whatever is used for coating them) chest freezers, refrigerators and washing machines on old fishing boats which seem to keep operating electrically even though they are in wet salty environments and the mild steel is corroding away. Even see domestic chest type freezers on the decks of fishing boats operating seemingly happily, but that obviously not a recommendation .

But emphasise all bets are off for those that have salty wet boats .
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Old 10-01-2009, 20:06   #7
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I know most lap tops are pretty well sealed up. It's the unexpected that gets you though. I had a friend who crossed the pond from Mexico to Marquesas and upon arriving opened a cupboard keeping the TV safe had 3"s of water in it due to a 3" lip and a leaky chain-plate under load.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 10-01-2009, 20:52   #8
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This brings me back to one of my older original posts about how "marine" devices are blatantly waaay over priced. I'd rather take the gamble on a generic one at a fraction of the cost and replace it as needed, if needed.
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Old 11-01-2009, 20:00   #9
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I have had good luck with my house hold washer and dryer tv stove coffee maker oven but she is a fishing trawler.My pc is a desktop.I have lost a laptop from it flying around but that was my fault should have kept it tied down.
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Old 11-01-2009, 21:02   #10
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I have non-marine electronics on board. I worried about getting a "marinized" "ruggedized" "mil spec" LCD flat screen for a while. Then realized I could buy a 19inch Samsung open box item at Circuit City along with an extended warranty for three years for about 250$. So I stopped worrying about the "marinized" crap. maybe if I was in Afghanisgtan. But not here. And I bought a PlayStation. And a warranty. I called the warranty people -- said the stuff would be on a boat and exposed to salt air. And that saltwater corrodes. They said not a problem. One replacement. And yada yada. Seems to me the way to go is to buy cheap and replace if necessary in a couple of years. or invest in a warranty if the stuff is bit more expensive. Like my MacBook.
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Old 11-01-2009, 21:16   #11
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I have had computers on my research boat since 1991. They have been replaced over the years not because of the marine environment, but because they became obsolete. On the other hand, I have two relatively new marine engines that in a year and a half are already showing surface rust.

I think electronics that were never specifically designed for the marine environment can vary dramatically in their ability to hold up to the marine environment.

If a piece of electronics is something that you are absolutely going to need to depend on, then definitely get a version specifically designed for the marine environment. If this piece of non-marine grade electronics does not serve a critical role, then don't worry about it.


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