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Old 13-06-2013, 18:33   #16
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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Sounds like Raymarine, though they have other negative issues besides not supporting product.

Just to amplify the OP's point, we are not talking about inexpensive consumer electronics, cell phones, or game boxes.
We are talking about SAFETY equipment. It doesn't matter if the manufacturer wants to sell new models with new features, they need to support the product for a full length life cycle. We aren't talking about one or two hundred dollar items, these things go well into the thousands.

I'm wondering if the customer abandonment by Simrad is a reflection on all of the Navico family brands? Should concerned customers also avoid Lowrance and B&G?

I wonder if Navico recently acquired on of the affected brands.
Thank you for putting your finger on the issue. This was a professional grade radar that I chose rather than a less expensive unit that I assumed would be less reliable. The problem here is that Simrad effed every customer who purchased their product from them because they didn't want to go the expense of providing either an upgrade path or a repair. No product company I have ever done business with has done something similar. Companies go broke, companies provide bad service, but I have never seen a company tell all those people who spent $10k plus for their product that they can go pound sand if it breaks.

If one were looking for a reason not to buy from this company ever again I doubt you could find a better reason.
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Old 13-06-2013, 19:04   #17
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

Next hope is to find a repair shop that either has new parts inventory, or some 'parts' units that can be raided.

What exactly is wrong with your unit Delfin? Standard service is often limited to board or assembly exchanges period. If you can find an old-timer who truly understands the radar, maybe a component-level repair is still possible.
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Old 13-06-2013, 19:11   #18
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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Next hope is to find a repair shop that either has new parts inventory, or some 'parts' units that can be raided.

What exactly is wrong with your unit Delfin? Standard service is often limited to board or assembly exchanges period. If you can find an old-timer who truly understands the radar, maybe a component-level repair is still possible.
I've trolled the Interweb and can't really find anything other than people expressing their dismay that they can't get the units fixed, but I need to check on whether I can find Gyro Gearloose and get him to patch it up. The problem is out of the blue it is clearly getting power (all fuses fine, power is to the unit), but the screen doesn't light up. It changes a bit, so you can tell it is doing something, but the screen never lights up to the extent that you can see anything. I haven't looked at it in the dark, but I suspect you would see a bit of a glow, but nothing else.
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Old 13-06-2013, 19:38   #19
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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...they need to support the product for a full length life cycle.
And there lies the rub - who decides the "life cycle"? In this case Simrad decided the life cycle was only few years.
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Old 13-06-2013, 22:15   #20
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

Uhhhhh, is there the slightest chance that you have the screen configured for night time illumination? It would cause that exact same symptom.
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Old 14-06-2013, 08:11   #21
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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The problem is out of the blue it is clearly getting power (all fuses fine, power is to the unit), but the screen doesn't light up. It changes a bit, so you can tell it is doing something, but the screen never lights up to the extent that you can see anything. I haven't looked at it in the dark, but I suspect you would see a bit of a glow, but nothing else.
This may be solved by a simple check. It is a common enough problem that happens to lots of folks. On page 9-23, section 9.6 of the manual is Palette setup. Go to the menu button and follow process to reset the Palette from 4 (night display) to 2 (normal daylight). The first time it happened to me I was absolutely sure the radar had failed. It's worth a try before you trash the unit.
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Old 14-06-2013, 08:32   #22
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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This may be solved by a simple check. It is a common enough problem that happens to lots of folks. On page 9-23, section 9.6 of the manual is Palette setup. Go to the menu button and follow process to reset the Palette from 4 (night display) to 2 (normal daylight). The first time it happened to me I was absolutely sure the radar had failed. It's worth a try before you trash the unit.
Night display is perfectly visible during the day. It ain't that, but I'll check, thank you.
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Old 14-06-2013, 09:39   #23
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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The problem is out of the blue it is clearly getting power (all fuses fine, power is to the unit), but the screen doesn't light up. It changes a bit, so you can tell it is doing something, but the screen never lights up to the extent that you can see anything. I haven't looked at it in the dark, but I suspect you would see a bit of a glow, but nothing else.
Your symptoms indicate something basic is wrong. Are there other indicators (eg LEDs or lights) that indicate that the radar is sort of normal except blank screen, or is it like the radar is dead? Can you get the scanner rotating?

If schematics are available, a senior tech with good electronic theory and troubleshooting skills should be able to check all the basics, like power supplies, even if they've never worked on that unit before.

Can you find a repair shop on the Wet Coast that actually repairs radars? The fishing boats must have a go-to guy or shop...

[edit - if it's a LCD screen, the backlight might have quit...]
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Old 14-06-2013, 09:45   #24
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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Your symptoms indicate something basic is wrong. Are there other indicators (eg LEDs or lights) that indicate that the radar is sort of normal except blank screen, or is it like the radar is dead? Can you get the scanner rotating?

If schematics are available, a senior tech with good electronic theory and troubleshooting skills should be able to check all the basics, like power supplies, even if they've never worked on that unit before.

What part of the world are you in?
That's what I thought as well. Since the screen is blank, I can't see what's going on to get the array moving, but I'm going to check all of that today. You may be right that the power supply is suspect, or something that could be identified and repaired without Simrad's help, which is not forthcoming. My dealer is Anacortes Marine Electronics, and I'm quite sure they will do all they can. They have contacted Simrad multiple times and Simrad's story is always the same - can't help you. I'd like to find out from them if the other units that failed displayed similar symptoms and if so, was any effort made to find a work around.

I appreciate everyone's input, and will explore whether this unit can be resuscitated. My main point in posting this was not so much to bitch as to warn others that some companies should be avoided since they can't be trusted to adhere to the most minimal standards of customer support and frankly business ethics.
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Old 14-06-2013, 10:12   #25
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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My dealer is Anacortes Marine Electronics, and I'm quite sure they will do all they can. They have contacted Simrad multiple times and Simrad's story is always the same - can't help you.
Hmmm. Sounds like your dealer either can't or won't troubleshoot your unit themselves, or are unwilling to even attempt if Simrad isn't holding their hand.

For some dealers, they will only do boardswaps, or don't have anyone who can get right in there with a voltmeter and an oscilloscope. I understand... component-level service can get time-intensive, and the modern surface-mount is very hard to work on, but still...

As long as there's a schematic or service manual available, a good tech should be able to at least diagnose it even if Simrad doesn't help.

(I've been electronics for most of my life, including several years of bench service, and still do it when the mood strikes... but I make my serious money doing programming, cos service wages aren't so great anymore)
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Old 14-06-2013, 19:35   #26
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I appreciate everyone's input, and will explore whether this unit can be resuscitated. My main point in posting this was not so much to bitch as to warn others that some companies should be avoided since they can't be trusted to adhere to the most minimal standards of customer support and frankly business ethics.
Well I have two boats which need to be fitted out with electronics over next 12 months. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:35   #27
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

Funny, I just got called out today to solve the very same issue on a Simrad NSE12. The owner, while trying to turn off the multifunction display, just kept punching the power button until the screen went dark, then shut off the circuit breaker. When he repowered, the display screen was black, until I started pressing the power button to change the lighting level to a brighter daylight level. This is a very common issue, apparently.

Later, sitting in the yacht club bar, several other folks, with different brands of equipment, admitted doing the same. Funniest thing is that there is no warning in any of the manuals that this can happen.

Remember, with the Simrad, and others, HOLD the power button down for several seconds, don't just press it.
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Old 17-06-2013, 20:04   #28
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

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Funny, I just got called out today to solve the very same issue on a Simrad NSE12. The owner, while trying to turn off the multifunction display, just kept punching the power button until the screen went dark, then shut off the circuit breaker. When he repowered, the display screen was black, until I started pressing the power button to change the lighting level to a brighter daylight level. This is a very common issue, apparently.

Later, sitting in the yacht club bar, several other folks, with different brands of equipment, admitted doing the same. Funniest thing is that there is no warning in any of the manuals that this can happen.

Remember, with the Simrad, and others, HOLD the power button down for several seconds, don't just press it.
Give it up Roy. It isn't the bleeding display illumination.
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Old 17-06-2013, 21:40   #29
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

One of the saddest days of my life was when I threw my 15" Simrad CR 50 and Simrad DS 50 radar/chart plotters in the dumpster at my marina because they could not be serviced. I thought about giving them a proper burial at sea but figured that would be littering.
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Old 18-06-2013, 08:49   #30
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Re: Simrad CR44 Radar - Worst customer service ever?

Delfin, I am most happy to "give it up". You deserve what you receive.
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