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View Poll Results: How old are your electronics
1 year or less 9 10.98%
1-5 years 16 19.51%
5-10 20 24.39%
10-15 21 25.61%
15-20 12 14.63%
20+ 7 8.54%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15-05-2019, 16:34   #31
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

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Originally Posted by billgewater View Post
When longevity becomes really short, it translates into poor reliability and then safety concerns.
When warranties are really so mired in small print that they become near valueless then we have a problem.

You would think that there would be a lot of background consumer knowledge about reliability versus cost, but I guess advertising budgets swamp all that. We indirectly pay for that advertising as well.
Maybe we are expecting too much from modern electronics, particularly in such a harsh environment. Also nearly all the devices are coupled to transducers which may be mechanical or not - another source of problems.
Being a full time pessimist, I have stuck with OPEN CPN with CM93 charts and I run them on a couple of laptops in case one fails. I use a very old Coursemaster 250 Autopilot (ancient Australian model) and I have discovered it's only apparent failing (the motor drive power transistors which died when the 12 VDC regulator failed and fed it 17 VDC). I now carry a spare set of drive transistors. The marine Gods dictate that if you carry a spare then you will never have any further problems.
My depth sounder screen died but I still have the original (1978) 200 khz transducer. 0ver 40 years afloat I have run aground twice, but in both cases it was simply because I ignored clearly available data. Fortunately only with a damaged ego.
So I guess that being conservative regarding changes is probably the best way to go. However, if it's More Shiny Toys the Better, then the playing field is yours.
I was also somewhat perplexed to discover that no one seems to understand semaphore flag signals anymore. Had to buy one of those new fangled radio things.
I also take directions from the wife, irrespective of what any instruments imply. It is my best fallback safety procedure.
Many depth units run with a 200khz transducer, I replaced my old sigma one with a recent Simrad Head unit, works fine.

Also replaced the screen recently on a 7002 Raymarine Pilot, not that hard a job and works fine.

A lot of this stuff is repairable, have had no luck with Raymarine autopilot computer units though. The local Ray guys will look at them, but they write them off too rather than repair them.

Thinking of trying a Ray wheelpilot unit on a Type 1 linear drive using a Simple H Bridge, just for fun.

I like to run all my electronics as stand alone units, seems most of the upgrading comes from connectivity issues, and I like the redundancy factor as well.
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Old 16-05-2019, 06:04   #32
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

For deliveries, and my own personal backup, I still use a garmin etrex (yellow) about 20 years old. I actually have 2 of them, to back each other up. They still work, reliable, long battery life, waterproof. Good to have when everything else goes south. These got me across the atlantic ocean, a few laps of Lake Ontario, and 500 geocaches.

I also have a pair of uniden atlantis handheld VHF radios. The feature of these 10 year old radios is that they have a AA battery pack in addition to the rechargeable battery. So again, when everything else fails, I can pop in the AAs and have a working radio.

Its not electronic, but I also use a Plastimo Iris handheld compass. Possibly the best handheld compass ever made, by a huge margin. Great for taking actual bearings and real fixes while sailing. No batteries required.
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Old 16-05-2019, 11:08   #33
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

I’m in Italy and just removed a working Furuno 24 inch RSB 0071 analog radar. If anyone wants it, let me know asap. It’s yours free, just pay shipping and handling/packaging or pick it up. It’s complete with wiring included.
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Old 16-05-2019, 14:17   #34
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

I went through a couple of upgrade and downgrade cycles, often exchanging units on eBay.

Chartotter: Garmin DV44 (super reliable), Ray SL70 (no charts), Ray RL70, Ray C80 (no nmea2000), Ray E80 (power consumption too high), Ray a65 (display too small), back to RL70 (best unit overall, low power, great layout, easy to use). I use the a65 as a glorified instrument display / 3D chart).

For me, the key problem with electronics today is the high cost of a decent display. For example, to get the equivalent vertical orientation of an RL70, one needs to get a horizontal 12Ē display which costs $3,000 and it is too big to install in a small cockpit. Otherwise, I think people should upgrade more often.
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Old 16-05-2019, 15:38   #35
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

Just replaced our IMI Combi system last yr! 35+ yrs old ! If the mast head unit was still repairable it, the system would still be on the boat ! I will say the new i70 uses a lot less power, but !
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Old 16-05-2019, 15:38   #36
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

I voted for our big boat.

2006 she had new electronics installed C80 with radar and ST 60 instruments.

The C80 has failed 3 times. Last summer RM advised me they were going to cease supporting the C80. I found a couple of C70 units that I think I can cannibalize to keep the C80 going or just live with a smaller display.

Frankly I find an iPhone a better nav device than the C80. But I need a radar display. I have a spare radome so I think I’m going to be stuck with the C70/80 for a long time.
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Old 16-05-2019, 17:55   #37
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
It occurs to me that the poll isnít going to provide real useful answers because it doesn't have a way to tell if they are only X years old because the boat is that age.
Or a way to break it down by category for upgrades that people
do as needed / as affordable.

Nav lights
Nav equip (gps, maybe chart plotter, etc.)
Safety (radar, depth sounder, fwd looking sonar, etc.)
Communications (VHF, HF, Sat links, etc)
Recharging systems (motor/solar/wind/troll. etc.).

Heck, I've probably missed some but you get the point.
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Old 16-05-2019, 20:03   #38
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Re: How Old Are Your Electronics

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
old heathkit depth sounder, 47 years old. Still my primary

Is that the old one with Nixie tube readout? I built one for my Dadís ski boat back then.

As for my boat instruments, the Simrad CR44 and associated IS-15 instruments and radar are 16 years old now. Doubt I will be able to hold out upgrades too much longer.
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Old 16-05-2019, 20:04   #39
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How Old Are Your Electronics

I fully equipped my Hunter 356 in the spring of 2003 with RL70C Pathfinder Chart-plotter radar, sonar, belowdecks Raymarine 6000 AutoPilot and the standard Raymarine ST 60 instruments. All are still working. I installed a handheld wireless autopilot control in 2007 and in 2013 I installed a Digital Yacht IAIS unit receive only. I use my IPhone and IPad in conjunction with the radar/chartplotter using the WiFi function of the IAIS unit to display on INavX. In 2014 I thought my RL70 C had died on the last day of a 6 month cruise from KY Lake to Florida and return in 2014 and bought a used unit from a Fellow 356 Owner on Hunter Owners.com forum. I got ready to install it, just for fun decided to turn on the old unit and check one more time and the screen came back up! Itís still running and I have a backup. Iíve priced replacement electronics several times thinking this will be the last season, but they continue to live. I would like to emulate my chartplotter on my IPad with both AIS and radar. At this point, I wonít change them out until it dies. This is year 17 and going strong. I donít trust the latest electronics to last as long as the original,unitsI have. Of course, the $25,000 in 2003 is now about $6500. Costs have come way down, but I think the imported electronics may not last as long. Since Iím 72, it might not make too much difference.
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