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  #1  
Old 11-11-2009
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Datamarine

Have 1980's Datamarine S200DL depth sounder. Works sometimes and sometimes displays "MSD 18.8". Sent it to Datamarine for repair just before they closed. It did come back, my check was cashed, but it appears no repairs were made. Same problem. Understand the guy who supervised that operation at Datamarine is now doing repairs on behalf of another company. Anyone have experience with this new repair entity?
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Old 11-12-2009
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Datamarine vs. DMI

There were two companies in Massachusetts doing Datamarine repairs: Datamarine Instruments, and DMI Marine. Both had roots in the company which made your depth sounder, Datamarine International, later Sea-Datamarine, which is now inactive.

I have had several experiences with each repair facility. I would highly recommend DMI Marine; they are a real company, know what they are doing, and also manufacture a limited range of instruments, including a depth indicator and a knotmeter which are updated replacements for the old Datamarine instruments. I have used them for repairs several times in my business, and also have one of their new knotmeters on my boat. DMI's website is DMI Marine, Inc.. They are not quick to respond by either email or telephone, but they do good work.

Datamarine Instruments, on the other hand, appears to be out of business now, and it sounds like that is where you sent your depthsounder. Their website is down & they had a garage sale of their inventory and test equipment. I also have had experience with them, and let's just say it wasn't as good as with DMI.

More on this confusing subject here: Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: Old instruments #1, Datamarine doubled
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Old 11-12-2009
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I just got my 1978 S200DL back from DMI, it had been fried by the PO and also needed a new LCD display. Cost $250, but I figure I would have paid twice as much for a replacement of the same quality. Works fine now. They have replied to many e-mails from me, always within 24 hours.

They charge $75 minimum for diagnosis. Most repairs cost up to $150 but they won't go above without your OK. Mine was extensively damaged.

If you want to keep your unit I'd recommend them-- since you are at least getting a readout most of the electronics must be working. You might describe the problem to them so they can help you decide whether it might be the transducer.

Mark
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Old 05-02-2010
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''MSD'' usually shows when the water is to deep for the unit to read. It will then show the last recorded depth. 18.8 might be a fish which crossed under your hull!!
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Old 08-17-2011
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I know its old....

Im having the same thing happen to my S200DL. MSD and 18.8 Did you ever find out what that meens?
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Old 11-28-2011
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From the DMI web site

The S200DL will show MSD when the transducer is not in the water, in water under 2.5 feet or in water over 190 feet, this is normal since the instrument can not read in these situations. If it happens at normal depths this could be a fault in the instrument or the transducer.

The MSD18.8 reading is definitely in the instrument. This reading means that all the segments of the LCD are displayed at once. Just replacing the LCD may not be enough since the circuit that drives the LCD may have failed causing the LCD to fail. Replacing the LCD without testing the drivers could result in the same failure next season. By sending in your instrument for service we can check the LCD drivers, plus align and calibrate the transmit and receiver gain also replace any corroded hardware making your depth sounder as good as it was when it left the factory.

Your better off trowing it in the trash and updating.
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