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Old 06-22-2009
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Connector for Helm Mic

We recently installed a Ray55 VHF and the RayMic remote microphone at the helm. The RayMic wire includes a socket for mounting on a bulkhead in the cockpit with the corresponding plug on the end of the RayMic's cord. Unfortunately, it's a plasticy POS. The socket has 10 pins (I believe) in a square recess. The plug on the cord has the corresponding females receptacles. There is a tab on the plug that is supposed to line up with a groove on one side of the square socket to assure proper alignment. The problem is that the plug makes contact with the pins before the tab/groove has confirmed proper alignment. My third attempt to plug the unit in resulted in three bent pins which then broke off when I attempted to straighten them. To make matters worse, the socket is plastic and is held in place by a plastic nut that fits over the whole assembly. Simply pushing the plug into the socket strips the nut and the socket falls back into locker whose sidewall is where I've installed the thing.

By contrast, my old Standard Horizon remote mic connector was made of metal, the plug and receptacle were round, but the alignment tab had to be correctly aligned before anything could touch the pins. It would have been very difficult to cause damage, as evidenced by how many years (and owners) it lasted.

I use the cockpit-based remote mic much more often than the base unit. I purchased the Raymarine gear because Practical Sailor rated the remote mic highly, apparently not paying attention to the connectors.

I'm anticipating a lack of response from Raymarine and expect to have to replace the plug and socket myself. My usual sources for such things, McMaster-Carr and Grainger, don't seem to have anything suitable. Any suggestions as to a source? Thoughts in general?

TIA
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