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bobelon 04-02-2009 08:06

raymarine r10x radar problem
The display will not "sweep". Unit turns on and after warm up when we switch it on the sweep line just stays verticle and does not sweep. The antenna rotates and everything else seems normal. Where do we start to toubleshoot?

S/V Illusion 04-02-2009 08:58

There units are getting a bit old and maybe beyond their normal life expectancy which is to say it may not be worth repairing. Having said that, start with the easy stuff. When that malady happened to me, the cause was a corroded connection in the mast step wiring block. Simply cleaning the connections rectified the problem. Hope you are that lucky.

RBEmerson 04-02-2009 13:09

Not a good sign...

First, if the scanner is rotating, please understand there's a fair chance the transmitter is running, too. Standing in the beam is not a healthy thing to do, particularly up close and personal. Second, even with everything switched off, there are still capacitors in the radome housing that will give you a thorough jolt (bad enough on the ground, really bad thing if you're up in the air!). Finally, there's a whacking great magnet in the radome (for the magnetron - surprise) that might do bad things to mechanical watches. That said...

Looking at the display, does the single line on the screen appear to "jiggle" or change width or otherwise look different as you change ranges or adjust the tuning? If so, the problem is the display doesn't know that the antenna is rotating. If the line is just a solid line with no obvious changes as you change range, odds are there's no data coming down, either.

Start with the small wires on the main board inside the radome. Do the usual checks for bad, dirty, or loose connections. Do the wires one at a time so you don't swap wiring by mistake. The power wires (red and black and heavier than the rest of the wires) seem to be OK, but look at them anyway. There's a shielded video wire (looks like a shielded audio cable) in the bundle, too. Check it, and the ground strap, too.

Too bad you're not closer, I have an R20X for sale. :)

svHyLyte 04-02-2009 18:23

Given the model, the odds are that the magnetron on your transmitter has given up. The good news is that they only cost about $400 USD. The bad news is that, given your location, I don't know where you'd be able to get one or have it installed. We had a similar problem with our R20X, but stateside, and were able to get it replaced for about $600 USD all up. As the tech said after he finished, "There you go! Good for another 15 years Mate".

The R10x and 20x units are very good pieces of gear but as someone else pointed out, they are getting long in the tooth. OTOH, repairing the unit is far less costly than buying a replacement.


s/v HyLyte

Jentine 04-02-2009 18:35

I had the same problem last year. It turned out to be the tuner. Replacement of the tuner was $300 less than a new unit. That was a no-brainer. The new digital unit is significantly more powerful and hence readable.

fairbank56 05-02-2009 06:57

Neither the magnetron nor mic front-end (tuner) have anything to do with sweep rotation. Sweep rotation is initiated by the bearing pulse signal from the scanner to the display. This is generated by the antenna motor/encoder assembly and circuitry on the scanner power supply board and syncronization is done by the heading reference switch and circuitry in the scanner. You need to check continuity of the cable between scanner and display. If this is ok, then most likely it's a problem with the bearing pulse from the scanner although there is circuitry in the display that can also cause this symptom. If the cable and connections are ok, your going to need a technician to troubleshoot this problem.


RBEmerson 05-02-2009 07:42


bobelon 06-02-2009 05:55

Faribanks et al, I am going to do the obvious first and clean all the connections then i will try to digest the rest of your suggestions. This will take a few days as going up the mast requires me to do some serious TM first.

Hampus 06-02-2009 07:17

Apart from the bearing pulse sensor, which is usually megnetic, there should be an optical fork that reads the rotation from a wheel with holes in it. There's probably a bunch of good english words for all of these gadgets but I don't know them :( Anyway, the optical fork and/or the wheel get dirty with carbon powder from the beushes in the motor and it stops reading = no rotation on the display. that's the simple solution if you are so lucky. Next would be to check the cables. As previously stated, the magnteron, modulator, receiver (mic. frontend) have nothing to do with what you're experiencing. The fork, megnet and wheel are on the shaft, close to the motor, you can't miss them. Don't stick your face in the radome while it's transmitting for any great lenght of time. A few minutes are not dangerous, the avarage transmitted effect is very low, much less than what you're exposed to standing 2 feet from you microwave oven.

RBEmerson 06-02-2009 07:53

A few things to keep in mind... be sure the power is off! There is, at least on the R20X, a safety switch on the outside of the radome - it won't hurt to turn it off, too. But remember to turn it back on before coming back down. :D If you want to watch the antenna spin, hoist yourself (all of you, feet and all!) above the open radome and use the shortest range (that uses the least transmitter power).

The parts that have a dangerous charge on them are inside the shielded housing - "there's nothing to see here, people - move along". Resist the urge to take a peek inside. Remember, too, the magnet - leave your watch on deck. Ditto for rings, etc. The watch will be at risk from the magnet, but the rest might just short something that could ruin your day.

The screws holding the wiring in place are small enough to want to run and hide as soon as they're removed. Double up a hunk of wide painter's tape. Stick one side onto the inside of the radome, down low to avoid the worst of whatever breeze is blowing. Stick the screws onto the tape and you may find all the screws when you need them.

There's a condensation drain sticking down from the bottom of the radome. This is a good time to ream it out with a piece of small wire. Also, check the gasket for the joint between the top and bottom halves of the radome. Wipe it down and put a thin coat of silicon grease on it. Check with Ocean Explorers or Dive Safari - they should have it. Do not use a petroleum jelly (Vaseline, etc.) as it'll attack the gasket.

DUH!!! - I should have thought of this sooner. The R10X manual is on-line at Raymarine's site. LINK

They point to two possible causes: the position encoder and the main display board.

IIRC, there's a magnet on the underside of the antenna, that syncs up the rotation of the antenna and the display. It's possible that or the sensor has failed. Also, look for a white wire in the interconnection cable - this should be the bearing pulse line. If there's enough slack, it might not hurt to replace the terminal.

If the main display board is gone, you're pretty much stuck. Were you having any other problems before the radar packed it in? When was the memory keeper battery replaced? Although it shouldn't affect scanning, once the battery wears out, things get a little odd. The battery is a soldered-in unit but a little inspection and ingenuity will show the keeper battery holder from most PC motherboards can be used instead (the soldering tabs even match up!).

I have a spare R20X display (with a fresh battery) which probably works with the R10X scanner (JRC was the OEM vendor for all of the RnnX series radars) but I can't be sure of that. If you want to give it a try, PM me to sort out the details.

Hampus 06-02-2009 08:18

If you descide to give the R20x a try, let us know and I'll check if it's compatible, or not.

fairbank56 06-02-2009 11:30

The optical encoder is enclosed in a section of the motor assembly. There is a brass end cap on the motor that has to be removed (2 tiny screws) to expose the encoder. Iv'e taken these motor assemblies completely apart and while I have found carbon dust inside the motor, Iv'e never seen any in the encoder housing. The brushes and the encoder are in two different compartments of the motor assembly. Some dust could get in the encoder area as they are not completely sealed from each other but it is unlikely that there would be enough to prevent the encoder from working.

However, I think we may be barking up the wrong tree here. I'm way more experienced with the 20x than the 10x. The 20x will sound an alarm and display "bearing pulse error" on the screen if there is no bearing pulse. Does the 10x do the same? Also, you will not see screen rotation unless there is some video. Either target returns or snow (noise from receiver) when the gain is turned all the way up. The line on the screen that points straight up is just the ships heading marker. So, the problem may very well be video related and have nothing to do with bearing pulse. Try unplugging the scanner plug from the display, turn the display on and after the time-out period, hit the transmit button. Do you get the alarm and "bearing pulse error"? If so, you've ruled out that problem.

Added: This is why HyLyte and Jentine thought their rotation problem was fixed by a magnetron/tuner replacement. Their rotation was fine, they just couldn't see it as they had no target video and didn't try maxing out the gain. The snow you see on the screen when the gain is near max is receiver noise. So if bobelon's radar does indeed have a good bearing pulse, the problem could be a number of things from still having bad connections to a bad receiver board or power supply.


RBEmerson 06-02-2009 14:24

Um, fairbank56, check out the R10X manual. The troubleshooting section addresses, at least in some measure, the problem initially reported (p.5-8).

I'll fire up my spare R20X display without the scanner and see what happens. I don't recall seeing a bearing pulse gripe, though.

fairbank56 06-02-2009 15:35


Originally Posted by RBEmerson (Post 252138)
I'll fire up my spare R20X display without the scanner and see what happens. I don't recall seeing a bearing pulse gripe, though.

Well, you will now. Like I said, no target video/noise video, no sweep. With your scanner disconnected, you can take a clip-lead jumper and clip one end to pin 13 of the displays scanner receptacle and just tap the other end to ground and you'll simulate the bearing pulse (albeit random) and the alarm will go away but you won't see any sweep without video.


bobelon 09-02-2009 06:15

Report from the mast
A bunch of great advise. Went up the mast yesterday and spent BIG time "tuning up" the connections and then sealing them with dielectric compound. Connections were sketchy. Also followed drain and seal advise. Managed not to loose any parts and nothing left over. Down the mast. Turn unit on. Wait 90 sec. - it works perfectly! Thanks to all.

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