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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 09-08-2013
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What to upgrade on these older electronics

Most of the boat has been updated minus the electronics
The datamarine depth does not work and I would like to replace it with something round maybe so it still looks well. The other combined gauge the depth does not work either. Both wind instruments work and the speed works.
I'm not wanting to spend a lot and the boat will be used on Lake michigan for coastal cruising. Anything I should get (gps ect??)


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Old 09-08-2013
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What to upgrade on these older electronics

Unless you're absolutely committed to new instruments, the Datamarine units can be rebuilt by DMI. They're reasonably priced and once rebuilt, virtually indestructible.
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Re: What to upgrade on these older electronics

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Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
Unless you're absolutely committed to new instruments, the Datamarine units can be rebuilt by DMI. They're reasonably priced and once rebuilt, virtually indestructible.
don't really want new, I prefer not to spend too much. I heard DMI charges around $250 to fix them. For 1980 era stuff that is pretty pricy when I can get new stuff for not much more. I've been looking on ebay trying to find just a new dmi depth gauge though.
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Old 09-09-2013
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Re: What to upgrade on these older electronics

I second Sabreman's suggestion.

DMI rebuilt the Datamarine depth gage on my Cat25, and I was very happy with the outcome.
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Old 09-09-2013
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Re: What to upgrade on these older electronics

So if both displays are not displaying depth, that sounds like an issue with the transducer. If you can get it repaired for a reasonable price, that sounds like the best approach, given that you are cost-conscious. You will have a full set of working instruments for $250 (guess)

I don't understand your statement that you can get new for not much more. Have you seriously priced up instrumentation? A good wind instrument will set you back maybe $700 with display, and that's before you start taking down the mast to install the cabling.
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Re: What to upgrade on these older electronics

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So if both displays are not displaying depth, that sounds like an issue with the transducer. If you can get it repaired for a reasonable price, that sounds like the best approach, given that you are cost-conscious. You will have a full set of working instruments for $250 (guess)

I don't understand your statement that you can get new for not much more. Have you seriously priced up instrumentation? A good wind instrument will set you back maybe $700 with display, and that's before you start taking down the mast to install the cabling.
The PO replaced both Transducers. He said the big combo display one had to be sent in per a phone call with the company. The DMI round one is displaying random depths. I was told I could get another brand and use the transducers if the frequency is the same. I prices some ST60 depth gauges on ebay for not to much money, and I think the frequency is the same.

The wind displays both work so I'm not changing those if I don't have to. I may just call DMI and find out what it will really cost to get the depth gauge fixed.
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What to upgrade on these older electronics

You can get random depth readings if there is crud on the transducer. In very shallow or very soft mud we sometimes get random readings. It doesn't last long and I use the most reasonable number for the circumstances until it clears up in a few seconds.
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Re: What to upgrade on these older electronics

If you need to go with new instrumentation, the best deal I know of is the sail pack from West Marine :

SIMRAD IS20 Sail Pack at West Marine

Wind instrument, display, depth/speed/temp transducer, and combi display. Plus it is Simnet/NMEA2000 based so expansion is very easy.

I have this setup myself, although I used a Garmin GMI 10 display instead of the Simrad one. That's the beauty of NMEA 2000.

Of course installation would be an issue. You'd need a new through-hull installed in the place of an existing one, and the cable running up the mast. Non-trivial.
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Old 09-11-2013
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Re: What to upgrade on these older electronics

What no Loran? Every boat needs a good Loran. All the boats I am looking at tout that they have a Loran!

My point is all electronics will become obsolete soon. If you don't have need for more than simple depth meter than perhaps a fish finder would work? I will say though that these old instruments seems to last for a very long time, if you get them rebuilt then you should be good to go for a long time. You say "not wanting to spend a lot" then I would say just get what you have fixed. By the time you buy a used unknown condition head off eBay and then spend $300 on cables and what not you will not have saved much.

Most of the time trying to patch in a used unit is not much of a saving after you get all the necessary stuff to get it working. Look at the cost of patch cables and even after all that you really don't know if it will work. Kind of like buying an old laptop that needs a new screen, you might get lucky and put in a replacement screen, or it could still not work after all the effort. $250 is going to be as cheap as you can get, and it will likely last another 20 or more years. At least you know you have all the parts for the ones you have, they just need to be serviced. You can sail the boat for a few years and decide what you really want, and by then the new and better units will be out.
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