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Old 21-10-2006, 15:01   #1
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What would you do?

OK I got the Horizon CP170C about 5 yrs ago when it was hot off the press. I think I paid something like $1,200-1,400 (ICK) back then and a few C-map charts I think from NY to Maine or so... can't quite remember.

After like 2 1/2 yrs the back lighting dies and I can't see the thing... So I send it off and back it comes with a new back light and a bill for something like $125... again don't remember the exact amount.

Then I add a Raymarine C80 MFD, charts, GPS, Radar AIS and it becomes the main "info/position fixer nav device and the CP170C plays back up... They got along fine too!

Then I decide to do a major joinery project and build a lovely console in the nav station and of course mount these two puppies flush so they look pretty... last spring.

POOF the back light on the CP170C quites again. What to do?

Pay another $120 and hope for more than 2 yrs?

Replace it with the NEWER CP175 which sells for about $700-800 and supports new chart chips too?

Look for another brand plotter to fit into the hole in the console (or slightly larger... don't have all that much room for growth there)?

Do nothing?

Make a big stink with Stand Horizon and probably get no joy but lots of frustration?

What would you do?

Take a look:

Jef
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Old 21-10-2006, 15:32   #2
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If it was me I would pay the $120 (again) - unless you really really want an excuse to buy some new kit (nothing wrong with that!).

Why?

a) You've made the hole in the console.

b) If it lasts another 2 years (it may last longer!), then by that time the "newer "CP175 willl have dropped in price (in fact probably be several models down the line by then!) - you may end up breaking even.

c) You know where all the buttons are and what they do.

d) it's just easier.
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Old 21-10-2006, 15:35   #3
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Nice job.
2 1/2yrs for any electronics is a long time, as far as superseding goes. So going to a new unit would probably be best. I also think the units have the same foot print, so fitting in may not be a major issue.
You may also find that the backlighting is done very differently these days and making the units much more reliable. The older backlights behind LCD screens were a problem in any gear and were expensive. Today a lot of the lighting is done with LED.
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Old 21-10-2006, 15:41   #4
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I don't know that the new 175 has different technology for the lighting or if it mostly a software firmware upgrade. The footprint is the same... so the swap is really no biggie. But spend that cash for a back up system... dunno.
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Old 21-10-2006, 16:01   #5
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Am I the only one who would rebuild the face of the cabinet to fit another unit.
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Old 21-10-2006, 19:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by never monday
Am I the only one who would rebuild the face of the cabinet to fit another unit.
I would as well.

If the unit is smaller, why not make a plate using which covers the existing holes, and mount the unit to it? Follow the same lines of what is already present...
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Old 21-10-2006, 20:57   #7
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Jef, first I'd try dipomacy with S/H and explain that you've never had the lighting in any other device fail TWICE in such a short time. Perhaps raise the question of whether there might be a design flaw, try to encourage them to replace the lamps as a courtesy.

If that didn't work...frankly for $120 I'd get out the screwdrivers and just replace the bulbs myself with LEDs or another option that fit the space. Or, just put a red or amber LED spotlight where it shone on the instrument. If you're not handy with a soldering iron, any marine electronics repair shop or tv repair shop might be willing to do the job for half of S/H's price. (Unless this is a nitrogen-filled seamless plastic housing and they're charging so much because they replace and re-pressurize the whole thing to do the repair?)
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Old 22-10-2006, 05:56   #8
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Hellosailor,

I might do the shame thing, but it is hard to get to someone that shame works on when you call a tech help line... They just do repairs and don't care about the big picture.. like reputation or brand loyalty.

I don't know the spec for the bulb and whether it is gas sealed etc. I certainly am sure that any tech shop would charge MORE to mess with it.

Having said that I might be able to get them to send me the replacement bulb and attempt it myself. If it doesn't work... I am in the same boat as I am now and can then consider upgrade or replacement options.

As far as footprint goes... most likely I would want something with a larger screen (if possible) than smaller, but for my panel..there are size limitations.

Of course, lately electronic things are getting "flatter" with bigger displays. I do like the idea of having two chart technologies... and their slightly different capabilities.

I will think on this as I gather opinions from you salts and make a decision in the spring and take action.

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Old 22-10-2006, 08:26   #9
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"it is hard to get to someone that shame works on when you call a tech help line... "
Last time I tried, I got a humna being, very much NOT located in Hyderabad, at S/H. And while he had limits, he was outright helpful, putting them on the short list of prime vendors for me.
Then again, my old S/H HT was built when they built 'em strong enough to drive tacks. A little different from the way instruments are usually built, probably a whole different division there.

It's a shame that in the 21st century, the new definition of common courtesy has to build on the old Monty Python routine about the Holy Hand Grenade. ("Thou shalt count to three, neither to one nor two shall thou count.." <G>)

The new standard for common courtesy is simply whether or not you choose to shout "GRENADE!" before you meet someone and throw one. But, it's an effective way to get rid of the outsourced help and get a real manager on the phone and putting away his script books.<G>

With S/H, only had to say "I have a problem and need some help with" and didn't have to waste the grenade. And, it felt like they were used to treating their customers the same way. I'd make the phone call and see if that's still their policy.
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Old 22-10-2006, 09:22   #10
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Jef:

Great job on the console. First, I would decide whether I needed a backup plotter (I do). Then whether I really need it beside the primary. If both are placed exactly where you need them, it makes sense. Then cost/benefit a) only replace bulb (might get a quote from mfg), b) replace with newer unit of same size (get upgraded s/w & chart capabiulity) or c) go for broke & get new unit completely (larger size, etc). When all is said & done, even the newest one is already out of date. Maybe you want to go all out on nmea 2000 down the road so why not start now?

After that, I would replace ulb now and wait for a couple of years, but only if it costs substantially less the merely upgradeing to new same unit with new warranty.

Good Luck

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Old 22-10-2006, 11:30   #11
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"Maybe you want to go all out on nmea 2000 down the road"
I thought there were major problems with NMEA2000, caused by different vendors using incompatible implementations of it? Last I heard it was more of a death knell for standards, than a replacement for the older ones.
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Old 23-10-2006, 07:30   #12
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nmea 2000 is alive and well..

but not all vendors have picked up on it. The big problem is they still want to implement their own "version" of a standard spec. What I meant was Jeff might want to wait until this is sorted out before he plunked down the cash for another plotter.

Jeff: in addition to my last post, you might want to contact Horizon Tech Spt and tell them your problem. They just might offer you a new replacement for less than you can get it elsewhere (kinda like getting a trade-in on your old unit). I had a problem with a Raymarine wind unit and when I sent it in for repair, they called me and said they could repair it for x$, but they would give me a deal on a new one. I chose the repair route because I didn't want to pay that much at that time. Just a thought.

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Old 26-10-2006, 13:31   #13
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Good news! I wrote to Horizon using their online form last week and this appeared in my email this afternoon:

Dear Mr. XXX,

We certainly apologize for the problem that you are having with the backlight on your GPS and will be happy to repair this for you at no cost. Since this is not a reoccuring problem with other CP170C chart plotters we will also take extra steps to see what is causing this trouble with your unit. Please send it to:
Standard Horizon Attn:Tim Johnson
10900 Walker St.
Cypress, CA. 90630
Please ship it to us via UPS and use our account number 99999999 so that you do not have pay for the shipping to us. As soon as the package is on the way please provide the UPS tracking number so that we can keep a lookout for your plotter and make sure that it gets taken care of properly and promptly.


Best regards
Tim Johnson
Product Support

Looks like I will be staying with the 170 for the near future.

Jef
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Old 26-10-2006, 16:44   #14
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Attaboy to S/H!

Jef, let them know that some of us have been (and will be<G>) talking about them behind their backs. And that some of us are not at all surprised that they did right by you!
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Old 27-10-2006, 11:25   #15
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Good Stuff!
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