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Old 08-12-2017, 08:25   #1
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electronics school?

Is there an electronics school or course which has courses to help cruisers get confidence in fixing or diagnosing their onboard instruments, I know they have for engine maintenance and other fields.
Thanks in advance
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:55   #2
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Re: electronics school?

There are electronics repair classes & books available which are not boat specific, but will give you the basic skills to troubleshoot and repair. Note however that newer electronics are typically less field repairable than older stuff. An online search should turn those up.

There are more generalized, but boat specific, books available such as Nigel Calder's "Boat Owners Mechanical & Electrical Manual". Exeptionally well done. Clear, concise, and very broad coverage of boat systems.

https://www.amazon.com/Boatowners-Me...and+electrical
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:37   #3
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Re: electronics school?

The ARRL offers a HAM Radio Course online. It has a lot of electronic theory in it. It is related to SSB type radios, but electronics is electronics, sailboat, houseboat or showboat!

The good thing about this course is you learn electronics and get a Ham radio operators license as well.

As an electronic engineer, the basic problem I have, is where do all those electrical lines go? On my boat some are marked, most are not. They go through the bilge, under the fuel tanks, behind the water tanks, past the holding tanks etc. I am still contemplating how to route wires from the circuit panel up to the top of the mast.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:56   #4
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Re: electronics school?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panama Red View Post
...

As an electronic engineer, the basic problem I have, is where do all those electrical lines go? On my boat some are marked, most are not. They go through the bilge, under the fuel tanks, behind the water tanks, past the holding tanks etc. I am still contemplating how to route wires from the circuit panel up to the top of the mast.
There are wire tracer tone generators that can be used to sort out the mess. Some are inexpensive and sort of work. The good ones of course are spendy.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:44   #5
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Re: electronics school?

Thanks all, I have Nigel Carters book and it is invaluable, use it all the time, but I need to go past that, my Furuno are giving me a headache and I want to fix it myself not call a dealer, what will happen if I'm away from civilization?
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:08   #6
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Re: electronics school?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Panama Red.
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:25   #7
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Re: electronics school?

As was sort of mentioned earlier, it's less about learning or knowing electronics than knowing how to troubleshoot a system. (any system)

1. What's the problem (and is this the only problem)

2. What could cause the problem

3. Begin troubleshooting by splitting the circuit/wiring in half or by process of elimination if say a fuse is blowing, your power is being pulled down, or your display is incorrect etc

For radar: It could be the scope or monitor, transmitter or receiver, antenna rotation, connections, (do you have a sweep?) does the radar have power?

If it's the transmitter, receiver, or monitor, you'd probably have to send it off anyway for repair even if you were a tech and had a radar background unless you had a schematic, meter, o'scope, soldering station, etc (and spare parts)
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:31   #8
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Re: electronics school?

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Originally Posted by MIRELOS View Post
Thanks all, I have Nigel Carters book and it is invaluable, use it all the time, but I need to go past that, my Furuno are giving me a headache and I want to fix it myself not call a dealer, what will happen if I'm away from civilization?
Suggestions:

First, as mentioned, is to get a handle on basic boat electrical (eg Calder or other books); this will always be useful; it instills the electrical basics which you'll need in any event. You are at this point, I'm guessing.

Next is to gain better understanding of the marine networks - NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000, This is how your instruments talk to each other. Besides the many online resources, read your instrument manuals cover to cover. Some manufacturers also put out system primers which describe the networking.

At this point, you would know enough to understand and troubleshoot your system. The better instrument manuals often contain troubleshooting charts or tables; I'd be surprised if the Furuno manuals didn't have troubleshooting info.

If a problem is traced to a specific unit, and it's more complex than something like a fuse or a bad connection... then it's most likely a job for a repair center. Modern electronics are harder to repair in the field these days. In many cases, service options are limited to swapping out whole boards or assemblies... or even the whole device, if the effort to locate and fix the fault is significant.

So, your main recourse, when you're away from civilization, is to have redundancy (eg a second GPS, a spare VHF radio, a hand compass, etc). Often, a phone or tablet can be your backup nav instrument.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:26   #9
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Re: electronics school?

... and finally get comfortable without. I'm guessing 1/2 of the people on this forum learned to sail pre-GPS and would be fine if everything went south, which I have experienced. Just keep a running position, and when everything dies, switch to coastal piloting, sextant, and dead reconing as applicable. The world was discovered that way.

As others have said, solid electrical skills will solve the connection and power problems. The manuals are on-line, and the rest is not field repairable.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:19   #10
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Re: electronics school?

NMEA offers some courses thou I'm not sure you can get in as a regular consumer.
https://www.nmea.org/content/Traince...a_training.asp
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:21   #11
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Re: electronics school?

Also not sure if Annapolis school of seamanship does anything. Bob who teaches the electrical classes knows quite a bit about electronics as well.
Marine Electrical Systems Classes at Annapolis School of Seamanship
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Old 13-12-2017, 15:32   #12
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electronics school?

As others have said, even a thorough understanding of solid state electronics isn’t going to get you very far when modern gear fails. If manufacturers provided schematic and block diagrams, and you had a basic suite of test gear and a proper rework gear, you might have a shot. Almost no one provides schematics anymore, so you are pretty much screwed. There are those that can look at a circuit board and have an excellent idea about how the electrons are managed and where problems might be, but that takes a lot of experience.

If you still want to learn, download the US Navy NEETS course texts and read those. And/or get the “Learning The Art of Electronics Laboratory Manual”, buy the breadboard and necessary parts, and get to work. Or take the actual LTAOE course at Harvard.
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Old 13-12-2017, 16:18   #13
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Re: electronics school?

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...There are those that can look at a circuit board and have an excellent idea about how the electrons are managed and where problems might be, but that takes a lot of experience.

...
Reminds me of a few guys Ive used in Central America to do electronics repair...usually in a back alley somewhere...Im sure they have no formal training at all, but damn they have fixed some stuff I had given up on!
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Old 13-12-2017, 16:35   #14
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Re: electronics school?

Same in Bangkok, Baan Mo market near Yaowarat, hundreds of little street stalls around a dozen city blocks plus the rabbit warrens of proper shops inside.

Can get absolutely anything built or fixed , stuff even a homeless guy would trash here, there gets repaired and sold.
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Old 13-12-2017, 17:07   #15
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Re: electronics school?

A couple of the above suggestions are totally ridiculous!

This isn't the 70's and 80's.

That is so old school.

Even if they could troubleshoot the problem down to a component, they couldn't replace it because it's too small for your average backstreet guy to replace and solder in without very sophisticated equipment and ESD protection

On top of all the above, just where will the replacement parts come from?

https://www.google.com/search?biw=12...=1513210134880
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