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post #1 of 9 Old 11-11-2016 Thread Starter
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Troubleshooting electronics

The boat I race on is having some problems with some electronics on board. At the end of the summer the speedometer stopped working and soon after GPS stopped receiving satellites. I am meeting the owner tomorrow to try and troubleshoot these issues.

This from the boat's owner.

The transducer for the knotmeter is Raymarine (old version Autohelm) ST50. The speed control head is the new version i50. The combination worked for a couple of years and suddenly stopped.

The GPS is a Garmin 225 color chartplotter. It seems to have lost the ability to bring in satellites.


The only thing we have done so far is pull out the transducer wheel and spun it to look for a blip on the knotmeter. I have tools for basic wiring but not electronics. I would appreciate suggestion on troubleshooting these issues.

Jordan
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-11-2016
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

Got a digital multimeter? You are going to need one. First a visual inspection of the wiring looking for corrosion on junctions, such as terminal boards, breaker connections, cable connections, ect. Next, well maybe first, measure the battery voltage while the devices are on. Measure at the battery and at the device if you can. When I wired my boat I ran all the negative wires back to copper buss bars. Check that also. Sometimes corrosion and vibrations will break the wires inside the terminal lugs. If the Garmin fires up (display shows normal) and it has an external antenna, check the antenna connections. Has the Garmin moved from where it was working? It could be something is blocking the satellite signal, there isn't much RF signal margin in the GPS signal. Digital multimeters are not that expensive any longer. You don't need a $3,000 dollar bench top Fluke, a $30.00 one will do just fine.

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post #3 of 9 Old 11-11-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

Thanks Jer,
I had mentioned but edited it out. I will be bringing my digital multimeter and a long jumper to run some tests.

I will check continuity in the wires. I suspect the GPS antenna and have looked at it briefly. Nothing has been changed or moved, it just stopped working.

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post #4 of 9 Old 11-11-2016
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

SkipperJer gives good advice, low voltage will cause problems in almost all electronics.

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-13-2016
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

Presumably you've gone through the troubleshooting procedures in the Garmin manual, but if there is a "factory reset" procedure, you might try that if all else fails. That worked for a relatively new Raymarine chartplotter that locked up on me once. Be aware that you may lose waypoints and have to reset your clock (which may default to GMT).
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

I was unable to get on the boat early enough to troubleshoot on Saturday. The owner's car has been in the shop for over a month and we was not able to meet early on the boat to troubleshoot. I did have time to run a systems test with the boat at the dock and voltage tested to ensure it was not a voltage issue causing the problems.

In my research I have come up with the following conclusions: The GPS is so old you can buy them used off of ebay for parts only. It is so old Garmin has already re-used the model #. The Garmin 225 is currently a watch. I did find the manual online and now have a schematic of the wiring. Pins #3 & 4 output the NMEA info. Does the antenna need 12V to work, so the GPS need to be powered up and connected to the antenna to test?



I talked to the owner about the transducer configuration and got some more details. He kept the old transducer when he bought a new display panel for a knotmeter. The transducer cable goes to a central computer and then to the knotmeter display in the cockpit. The new knotmeter came with a new transducer but he felt it was too much work to run the cable back to where it needs to be wired. So next week, if he can get to the boat early enough i will wire the new transducer to either the computer or the knotmeter, spin the wheel and see if we get some boat speed. The owner wanted to avoid having to re-run wires but I think if the new transducer works re-running the wires will be the easiest solution.

Thanks for all the help so far. I'll keep you updated.

Jordan
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-14-2016
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

If the speed log AND the GPS stopped working at different times, my guess is whatever Raymarine uses to connect all the systems together is where you'll find the fault. I can't see the speed log and GPS antenna being involved with one another anywhere else.

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-14-2016
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

ray marine has a good forum on their site - it give detailed instructions on checking out the speed log
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-14-2016
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Re: Troubleshooting electronics

On the GPS, I would check the connections to and from the antenna first, check for fraying, loose connections, corrosion, excessive bending to where the cable no longer lays straight but now has a pronounced bend. These checks can be done without power to the system, make sure to check both ends. Often times it the interconnects between system components that go bad, or become loose or damaged.


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