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Old 04-16-2012
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how long does radar equipment last?

What is the average life expectancy of a Ray Marine radar? Mine is 11 years old and giving me some problems. I'm wondering if I should try to fix it or replace it. Thanks.
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Re: how long does radar equipment last?

What kind of problems?
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Re: how long does radar equipment last?

Don't know exactly what's wrong. Short answer is nothing is displayed on the viewer. I know the cable will have to be replaced ($300). I trashed it getting it off the mast. Maybe that will solve the problem, or maybe the problem goes deeper than that. I'm just concerned about throwing too much money at an 11 year old radar.
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Re: how long does radar equipment last?

No hard and fast rules, but technology (even in the marine space) is rapidly evolving right now. The new integrated plotters and 3g/4g radars from Navico/Simrad/Lowrance/B&G are amazing...simply game changing in my opinion. I *wish* Raymarine had a similar product since I prefer their plotters.

In any case, my rule of thumb is that if it costs more than 50% or even close to 50% to repair an old piece of equipment...then its time to upgrade/replace.

Right now, I see Raymarine's last generation analog radome at Defender for $900. You'd have to add a head unit/plotter to that plus an extension cable to the mix for another $1700 or so. Plus installation labor which will go for 2 days @ $100 an hour, but you can do it yourself and save that. Sometimes there are radar value packages that bundle plotter+dome for a lot less...haven't seen one in a while though from Raymarine though.

If I were you, I'd be scouring eBay looking for a radar + plotter package in good shape that was taken off a vessel by an owner with lots of cash that just wanted the latest/greatest.
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Re: how long does radar equipment last?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seattleboatguy View Post
Don't know exactly what's wrong. Short answer is nothing is displayed on the viewer. I know the cable will have to be replaced ($300). I trashed it getting it off the mast. Maybe that will solve the problem, or maybe the problem goes deeper than that. I'm just concerned about throwing too much money at an 11 year old radar.
Depending upon the unit you have there are several adjustments that can be made that should be looked into before removing the equipment. The "no return" issue could be a failed magnatron in the Radome or could simply mean that the gross gain needs be adjusted. We have a 16 year old R-20x that I thought we were having problems with as I was unable to tune the unit with the fine tune knob on the front panel. I spoke with our local electronics tech about the matter over the phone who advised me to pull the front cover off the display and, very gingerly, make a few minute adjustments to the gross tune, gross gain and alignment dials which solved the problems entirely. Frankly some of the older equipment is more robust than the newer devices and if the unit satisfies your needs--mine does for me--there is no need to replace the equipment. Unfortunately, that you (may) have scotched up the cable may limit your options at this point. Good luck...
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Re: how long does radar equipment last?

It could be as simple as the connections in the radome. I had a Furuno that stopped displaying anything and I cleaned all the multi-connectors and it worked fine for years. About your cable, everyone says they can't be spliced but it's not true. If you damaged it you could try splicing all the connections and sealing with heat shrink. I've had our cable spliced for years and it works great. Magnetrons usually last about 3000 hrs I think.
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Re: how long does radar equipment last?

depends on hours of use. The magnetron should be replaced after about 3000 hours.

Here is a good link on radar Test of Furuno Radar on a Voyaging Sailboat
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