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Old 12-12-2007, 05:40   #1
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Horizon CP170c Antenna

I finally got my CP170c plotter to work again. Last summer it began losing fixes and then stopped getting them at all. Packed it off to Standard Horizon and they said they did a sys upgrade and cleaned up some wiring and it worked fine.

Not on my boat it didn't. I was told to do ram clears, run it without the chart cards since they can corrupt the unit's software. No fix. CMap never heard of such a thing either - bad chart cards.

I asked for a new antenna. It arrived after two weeks and in 30 seconds it got a WAAS fix. hmmmm.

So that's the good news. There's a bit more. Standard Horizon was absolutely 100% first class in service. Hat tip to Tim Johnson.

Now the bad news. I purchased the unit in 2001 and use the boat in the spring, summer and fall. Right away I believe there was a recall of the original antenna. The new one worked flawlessly until this past summer. So this is antenna #3. Antenna install is not fun (getting the wire to the unit from the rail. ICK)

But there was also the LCD. The backlight went south once, and it had to be replaced at their facility and then I think it actually died and had to be replaced, again at their facility. This baby has been to the West Coast more than this NE sailor.

Now think about how many hours this unit has been switched "on". Not many. Think of your TV. Mine runs all the time for years on end and cost a lot less than 1/2!

Good service and customer support on a product of questionable reliability and value.

I suspect they are moving so fast with product development that these things are not properly tested before they are released.

What do you think?
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:36   #2
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Can't comment on the CP170c.

We have a CP1000c and it's worked flawlessly since Summer 2004.

I've upgraded the software 3 times with new releases and it now supports AIS - so I'm very happy.

Each release added some snazzy new function, (like C-MAP MAX, AIS, etc.) so needing to upgrade didn't bother me.

Having to email a C-Map chip with the software upgrade back and forth was a tad annoying (as opposed to downloading off the net and using the "not activated" usb port on the unit to do it), but the process was tolerable.

Regards,
Bill
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:54   #3
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EVERY "memory card" design that I have heard of, is suceptible to failure. Ask a major vendor with a top reputation and lifetime warranty (like Kingston) and they will tell you they routinely replace SD cards, CF cards, all kinds of cards because sometimes a bit on the card goes flaky and then whatever you put the card into, has fits.
Sometimes the cards wear out--all flash memory has a limited number of "read" and "write" cycles, mainly write cycles, sometimes a circuit trace or connection fails. Sometimes--literally--a cosmic ray creates physical damage and failure. (It is ionizing radiation, it is rare but real.)
Heck, anything that can be "made" can get broken and the CMap people should damn well know that. They might just not want to admit they might have to replace a faulty card with a new version.

Some years ago I dealt with SH for my aging VHF--and I agree with you, SH is a first-class customer service operation!
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:14   #4
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I third the motion. Standard Horizon does give great service.

Since 1999 they've been owned by Vertex Standard - the parent company that grew up from Yaesu - a highly respected maker of Amateur Radio gear - also known for great service.

Regards,
Bill
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