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Old 02-07-2014, 02:18   #1
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Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

On 2 recent summer passages, during which we sailed several days and nights in a row, a strange thing has happened to my Raymarine cockpit repeater (E Series “Classic”), at more or less the same time, between 8 and 9 pm. ( sometimes later)

Inexplicably, at around that time, the data cable stops transmitting to the repeater, and its screen goes “blank” (the same screen you get when you turn on the plotter without a Navionics card inserted, ie rough contours of the map area, with no other details- neither GPS nor instruments appearing on the screen).

Then , just as inexplicably, the data comes back on in the morning, sometimes around 8am , sometimes around 9 am. This off/on action has happened every day and night, for over a 12 day period, with uncanny regularity, but never at exactly the same time, ruling out a possible software clock glitch.

The Raymarine dealer here is of the opinion that the data cables need changing (indeed, they seem to have been worked on by previous owner). His assumption is that humid air somehow finds its way to the data connectors, and at night time, it condensates, creating a poor connection. With the morning sun, the condensate evaporates, and voila, everything is back on line again…

Prior to going through the time and expense of changing the data cable, has anyone here experienced anything like it? Does the dealer explanation seem reasonable to you? Could anything else be at play here?

Thanks for your help
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Old 02-07-2014, 15:12   #2
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

Not sure if it's related, or might be related. Raymarine systems are notoriously voltage sensitive. Cleaning and reinstalling all cable connections might help. A bit of moisture could cause this problem.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:38   #3
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
Not sure if it's related, or might be related. Raymarine systems are notoriously voltage sensitive.
bstreep: thanks for your input, it possibly supports another theory offered by a friend of mine who is an electronics engineer, (he does not believe in the "humidity" factor). His view is that at night, there must be some other change affecting the circuitry resulting in a component overheating in the repeater or its connectors. Possibly, this could be related to the navigation lights power lines, as the wiring leading to the cockpit repeater and the nav lights had been tinkered with by previous owner, and some of the wiring is shared between the cockpit lights, the navigation systems and the navigation lights

I guess this can be tested easily enough by turning on the nav lights during the day, and checking to see if the repeater's data turns off as it does during the night. I will try that next.

Any other information on the 'voltage sensitivity' of Raymarine systems, and are there ways to mitigate this issue?
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Old 03-07-2014, 14:38   #4
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

You may be getting a condensation problem or a heat expansion contraction issue

Is it hot In the daytime

Dave
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Old 03-07-2014, 15:17   #5
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

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Originally Posted by Phoenician View Post
Possibly, this could be related to the navigation lights power lines, as the wiring leading to the cockpit repeater and the nav lights had been tinkered with by previous owner, and some of the wiring is shared between the cockpit lights, the navigation systems and the navigation lights ?
EEK !
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Old 03-07-2014, 16:00   #6
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

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EEK !
Pete, that was pretty much my reaction as well.

OP, all of those items should be on separate circuits.
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Old 04-07-2014, 00:16   #7
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

It looks like I'm going to have to do some serious wire back tracking to clarify the situation!

To further describe the setup in the cockpit:

1) The wires coming through the bottom of the cockpit table include the Raymarine MFD ST cables and other connectors, and a separate 12V junction leading to the cockpit table light switch and the 12 V "cigarette lighter" socket under the table.

As far as I can tell, the Raymarine MFD cables go directly to the main DC panel and are controlled by the "plotter" switch on the main panel. They do not seem to have interference with other devices - to the best of my knowledge

However, the DC socket's wiring has evidently been tinkered with by PO, because it only gets powered up when the "Instrument" (NOT the "Plotter" switch) switch is on, so there must clearly be an as yet unidentified connection there that needs to be verified, I will do so when I'm next on the boat.

As regards the NAV lights, there is no connection, as far as I can see, between the cockpit table wires and the Nav lights wire, these obviously are in a different location. However, the reason I had mentioned them in the first place was that I had found a section of loose cabling underneath the cockpit table, with a partial identification as belonging to the the NAV circuit, but this is not definite.

On the other hand, since the only thing that is different between the day and the night are the NAV lights, my electronic engineer friend seized on that confusing wiring situation as the main culprit...

To Dave's point, yes, it does get pretty hot during the day, and at night the humidity is often bad enough that the deck and cockpit are wet from the condensate.

I guess I really have no choice but to backtrack all the cables - and replace the Raymarine ones which are fragile anyway-.


If the cause was humidity, then replacing the cables with hermetically sealed ones should hopefully fix the problem.

If the cause was due to incorrect wiring (ie, the same DC cable possibly shared by more than one device) as a learning opportunity, can someone offer a theory as to why this might cause the day/night cycling? ie, why would it work OK during the day and why not at night?

Thanks!

Jean
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Old 04-07-2014, 16:02   #8
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

Jean, you have clarified the wiring. If I am not mistaken then the wiring is separate but not ideal.

Keeping the wiring nice, clean and simple is the way to go so that you aren't running into problems of interference from one to the other. I had thought that maybe the Nav Lights were causing some kind of interference, but it seems not.

You say the wires to the plotter are fragile...I'm not sure what that means but it sounds like replacing them with a direct run from the breaker panel to the plotter is the way to go. Using "marine" wiring (ie: tinned thin strand wiring) with strong crimps and sealed with adhesive lined heat shrink will remove any doubt about the wiring.
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Old 04-07-2014, 19:15   #9
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Re: Problem with Raymarine cockpit repeater

I suspect, once the wiring is not compromised, some form of condensation issue inside. Open the e series would confirm moisture issues.

Dave


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