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Discussion Starter #1
In the fall of 2011 I purchased a Garmin 4212 chart plotter expecting to get a good number of years of service from it.
Last summer the network plug failed leaving me without radar or sounder until a new cable was found. Then the unit stopped working all together because of a corroded power plug. When I took the plotter of the mount I noticed corrosion on the aluminum housing and the plastic cracking where the screws attach.
Is that the normal life expectancy of modern electronics?

Neal
Sad in Nanaimo
 

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Looks like the expansion of the corroding aluminum cased the plastic to crack. My Garmin chart plotter is about 8 years old and still works great. It lives in a harsh environment but is just inside the hatchway and does not have salt water dripping on it.

Does your unit have water dripping on it?
 

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my Garmin lasted only 5 years. The water proof or replant seals around display failed. It is always covered. But of course it does Rain every once in awhile here in Washington. So it is expected to get damp while out sailing.

Call Garmin customer service. They were excellent in giving me a credit towards a new replacement.
Other than water intrusion, excellent unit.
 

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Our 3010 is 5 years old, with no problems, so far (knock on wood), but it has an all plastic case I believe. I'd just send it back to Garmin for refurbishing. Unless you are like us and use it almost every day, it shouldn't be much of an inconvenience.
 

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In the fall of 2011 I purchased a Garmin 4212 chart plotter expecting to get a good number of years of service from it.
Last summer the network plug failed leaving me without radar or sounder until a new cable was found. Then the unit stopped working all together because of a corroded power plug. When I took the plotter of the mount I noticed corrosion on the aluminum housing and the plastic cracking where the screws attach.
Is that the normal life expectancy of modern electronics?

Neal
Sad in Nanaimo
Sorry about your loss.

"Modern Electronics" is usually designed with a clear life expectancy expressed in MTBF (which is not the the same). Some electronics, as mobile phones are made to be used for about 2-3 years, then they are usually obsolete anyhow. Some other electronics, as semi-prof marine is made for last about 10 years - then it is obsolete.
Garmin has a good reputation, one of the largest brands on the market. Many Garmin users report using their equipment far longer then 10 years.

Now I do not know the model you have, if it is has NMEA 2000, then those are known to have problems with contacts and corrosion. Most manufacturers recommend to disconnect all power when not in use.

Radar connected to plotters also induce a lot of undesired currents, with similar results. As will echo sounders.

Installation of such complex units must be performed with utmost care, in particular regarding earthing - some of the connected equipment is earthed in themselves, if so the connection should be without connecting earth to the plotter in order not to create the so called earth loops.

Maintenance is important as well. Cover, or removing the plotter to put it inside the boat when not in use will increase life span.

And so on. There are many aspects to consider. Cannot blame "modern electronics" for everything.

/J
 

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I have an old black and white 188 (?) Garmin chartplotter/sounder, that has been sitting out in the weather 24/7 on my center console open fisherman for over ten years that still works great (I don't even know how old it is, it came with the boat that I bought used).
 
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In the fall of 2011 I purchased a Garmin 4212 chart plotter expecting to get a good number of years of service from it.
Last summer the network plug failed leaving me without radar or sounder until a new cable was found. Then the unit stopped working all together because of a corroded power plug. When I took the plotter of the mount I noticed corrosion on the aluminum housing and the plastic cracking where the screws attach.
Is that the normal life expectancy of modern electronics?

Neal
Sad in Nanaimo
*Are your instruments covered when not in use?

*If on a pedestal do you have a pedestal cover?

*If on a pedestal do you have a NavPod type enclosure?

*Do they get a fresh water rinse after being sprayed with salt water?

*Did you use a terminal grease on any of the plugs/connections?

Well cared for these plotters can easily last 15+ years. I have many pieces of electronic gear out there well past 20 years. I have one customer still using a Garmin GPS MAP 175 which is a black and white hand held that was discontinued in the late 90's.. Last summer I replaced a GPSMAP 215 black & white unit that was still working perfectly. I have another customer with a Garmin 210 that is still going strong. These are OLD units....

Let them get salty, don't rinse them off and don't treat the terminals or lose the o-rings etc. and they can die pretty quickly. The ocean and salt water know no bounds. It is mostly up to us, the electronics baby sitters, to keep them in good working order.

I even have Garmin products on commercial fishing boats, who douse them with salt and fish guts, and they are still going strong. They key is they also rinse them with fresh water on occasion and they are in a wheel house when not in use. The terminals were also treated to prevent corrosion...

Keep in mind that any instrument with an aluminum housing is eventually going to be prone to corrosion in the marine environment especially if you were to ever chip the coating....

 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Plotter is well protected. Dodger and bimini keep rain out.
I have an old 182 that still looks as good as new.
I did contact Garmin and they referred me to Raytec as their repair/warranty facillity.
Emai to Raytec tech support bounced.
Follow up email to Garmin was not answered.
I could send the unit to Raytec. The web site repair calculator states repair cost @ $ 630.
Thanks casey 1999, looks like I am not alone.
Six months out of the year, the unit is stored inside, six monthe it is used every day.
No magic about installing such a unit. Plug and play.
 

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Mine is 1997, obsolete as heck, but still good (I use a tablet for fine detail, when I care, which is seldom). Under a hard top, of course; I had an exposed plotter that lasted less than 3 years before sucking water.
 

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I must say it seems the newer electronics are just not as well made. Of course they have "come down" in price so it has to come from somewhere. Seems to be that the quality of materials is one of those places they scrimp on. I doubt we will be seeing much of the "new" electronics still in use when close to20 years old as reported above. Same thing with VHF radios, you see 35 year old radios still working in lots of old boats, but seems the "new" ones just don't last anywhere as long. I could go into the whole "made in China" thing, but I do think it is related. Once you put a premium on low cost manufacturing you have to reduce quality. There is just not that much labor involved.
 

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dont ever say that miatapaul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ever!


and dont ever say that old stuff including elctronics are better made or youll get the wrath man

cause I know for sure I can get a better longer lasting camera or tv today(good grief just saying that I die a bit) or hell even a better version of my dads old technics turntable

I mean todays stuff is MADE TO LAST

like bose 503 speakers right?

or like a well made car or or or or or or a boat I mean today everything is made better

quality work, people and salesman today are waaaaaaaay better than before

right?

God no...

some things are better TECHNOLOGICALLY but better made is one of those things where my whole body contorts and cringes when I hear it

people DONT GET SUCKED INTO THIS STUPID GAME OF BELEIVING THE HYPE

if your boat has electronics that work well, this may be a gps, or a radar or even an old autopilot or vhf

DONT FREAKIN TOUCH IT! it will keep working

heck some of the stuff has maintenance manuals

whooda thunk that?

geeze

ps. there are people out there today that go as far as saying that electronics are extinct as soon as you install them or after a year etc

yeah thats right they are extinct cause they cant last that long!

sheesh

rant over jajajaja

but im only kidding
 

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my Raymarine plotter is 13 years old
 

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nc-
The sad fact is that many things are not engineered or built carefully. The bulk of your chartplotter, the electronics, should literally have a working lifetime of 1000 years for integrated circuitry, 100 years for discrete circuitry, according to some old USAF tests for "properly' designed and engineered circuits. They didn't have LED screens back then but I'm guessing the screen would burn out before anything else.
The plastic and metal case...Garmin might say the crack is proof your dropped it. I'd say the corrosion indicates the metal and coating were improperly primed and painted or sealed, and I'd call that a latent (hidden) manufacturing defect.
You could try discussing that point with Garmin. Depending on what the written warranty was, you can argue that should be covered under federal warranty laws including the Magnusson-Moss Act and the Uniform Commercial Code. Sometimes it is covered, sometimes not, depends mainly on what the written warranty was. (And don't forget, if it came with a long warranty and you used a credit card to buy it? You might have an extra year of coverage through the credit card.)

Corroded wire connections? I was tickled pink the first time I went to install a gauge and found the maker had included a packet of silicon grease for the connections. Some folks think that IS the standard, others think it should be, many say clean bright metal is all you need. But connections can be cleaned, while bubbling metal would indicate a latent defect.

When that is gently but firmly pointed out, the really reputable manufacturers will step up and make you some kind of offer. A repair, or replacement, or hefty discount off a new model. But if helps if you remind them that this is a LATENT DEFECT and if so, it may be their problem--under federal warranty laws. (Which few of us or them really understand, and few of them really want to argue about.)
 

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I would be interested to know when they shifted production to China(or off shore). So we could have a reference point as to if that is when quality seemed to drop. Where were they made before that? nd finally will people ever demand quality products again?
 

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I have an old Garmin color plotter, over 10 years old. I sent it to Garmin for repairs. For a hundred bucks, they replaced the color screen, fixed a crack here and there. It is as good as new.

Meets my needs, but Im a simple man.

Skywalker
 
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