I wrote this for my Yacht Club newsletter, but sounds like the same problem...
Solder and a Hammer
By Gary Matthesen
It all started with the Raymarine chartplotter
and radar unit functioning on an intermittent nature. This could be expected of course, as the chartplotter unit was on my boat
that sank in hurricane
Sandy. While the boat
went down against a bulkhead on the beach, it was possible the unit had remained above water
level. Shop testing of the radar antenna
and the unit showed it as still working, only needing a new wiring
harness as the old one could not be removed from the tangle of debris in the sunken hull
So a logical place to inspect the radar dysfunction would be in the wiring harness, as it was purchased from the rebuild
shop and spliced together. The antenna
was lowered while still attached to the backstay, the cover then removed to expose the 12 conductor female plug
inside the antenna housing. Continuity could then be checked to the male end on the steering pedestal
(yes, a wide spread to handle alone).
Naturally, all wires showed continuity, so what’s next, reassemble and test, where of course, everything worked fine… for awhile.
It failed again, same symptoms, no radar antenna signal…
Bring the antenna down again (PITA) and recheck all 12 wires. Guess what, everything is fine again, what’s next…
Put the antenna back up, turn it on and did not work
, but it fired up again after a shut down. I hate when things work and you have done no clear corrective action!
By now the computer savvy people in the group have figured it out. Computers
have infiltrated our lives. Be it your car, your home security
system or your boat, things that used to be easy to fix, now are controlled by circuit boards and diodes. First check these days seems to be to reboot.
Gone are the nostalgic days of the past, when if your car didn't start, you smack the battery
terminal with a hammer, slap the side of a T.V. or for a radio
light on the boat that didn’t work, check for a loose wire and resolder it.
I miss those simpler times, were you could fix anything with a hammer and a soldering iron.