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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not here to talk bad about people. The salespeople, the Lowrance people, and the Koden America (radar) people have tried very hard to help me with my problem. Things just aren't working out though.

I bought a new boat last year and I bought a new Lowrance chartplotter/radar/gps and installed it. The radar has NEVER worked right. It would work fine for 20-30 min at a time and then shut itself off. I would turn it back on and it would work fine again for EXACTLY the same amount of time and then shut itself off again. Now the radar won't even communicate with with the chartplotter.

I have re-wired (and even soldered) it several times at the manufacturer's advice. They sent me new software updates and even sent me a replacement "RIM 200" wiring harness (Oh God, the infamous "RIM 200" wiring harness. It was the "RIM 100", now it's the "RIM 300", if that tells you anything). Then, I shipped ($$) the radar to the maker, Koden America, and they said the radar works just fine.

I have concluded that the problem lies in the interface (ie, software or, more likely, the "RIM 200" wiring harness) between the radar and the chartplotter. I've spent alot of hours installing/reinstalling this system and I'm sick of it.

If anybody wants to buy it from me, drop me a PM. The chartplotter (LCX-28HD) works great. The GPS (LGS-3000) works great with the chartplotter. Finally, the radar (4kw LRA-2000 radome) works great according to Koden. The problem is that I can't get the chartplotter and radar to work together (and I have followed the installation/operation instructions ver batim). Again, if anybody wants to buy this system, or even parts of it, for a reasonable price, let me know.

NOW, I have a question. What is a good chartplotter/radome system I could get that actually WILL work? I want something in the same price range with a 4kw radome. I know alot of them are good. I just want something that will actually work without all the heartache. I don't want to spend another whole year trying to tease a new system into working.
 

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Garmin 42xx / 52xx with a HD dome. Plug it in and it works.
The glass screens on the units sure beat the heck out of the screen "coatings"
 

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Don't want to sound rude but maybe next time pay a certified installer & if you have any problems he will deal with 'em. I think the few hundred extra would have been money well spent. I know I certainly don't want to have problems with my gear after spending a few grand for a new system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Captain Steve. In hindsight, I think you're right. The Lowrance and Koden guys are still trying to help me work this thing out over the phone. I've installed everything else on the boat and I've never had big problems. The installation instructions were straightforward and I thought I did a good job. The one last thing I'm trying to do is directly wire the whole system DIRECTLY to the batteries, to bypass any problems with the "bus/panel" where I could be losing voltage.

Funny thing is, when I installed this thing it DID work and it worked well. It would just spontaneously shut off after the exact same amount of time (roughly 30 minutes), whether I am idling, trolling, planing/cruising, and with all other gear turned off. I could alway turn it right back on and it would work fine until it shut itself off again. Now it will occasionally turn on for a few seconds, then shut off.

It's hard for me to believe the Lowrance guys think the problem is that the radar system is sensitive to voltage dips on my boat, when I'm not observing these problems with a multimeter. They even had me fully charge the batteries and leave the charger running. I'm sure I was getting enough voltage, but the chartplotter would not even detect the presence of the radar antenna.

If I do get another radar, I'm definitely gone get someone else to do it. Do you guys know anyone good who I could get to come work on mine (basically check the installation)?
 

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In all honesty, sounds like your problem lies with the display unit. A component (transistor, ic chip, or diode) was probably overheating for some reason or other & as time went on it started to fail sooner. Now it fails almost imediately. Pain in the arse to find. Radar units do like a constant minimum voltage but the fact that yours fails during cruising speeds indicates that isn't the problem. Since everything else appears to work it is probably in the interface circuitry for the radar & is probably due to a cracked or cold solder joint that slipped through inspection during the manufacturing process. Lowrance makes good stuff but everubody gets a lemon now & then. Bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cap't Steve:

I emailed Lowrance back today and told 'em what I thought (same thing you said); something has slowly, progressively worn out. We'll see what they say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So.......I mailed out my chartplotter/radar unit to it's maker and, one month later, they sent me a letter saying that my unit DID have a defect AND they will be giving me a warranty replacement (I bet it won't be a new one) as soon as they find one. Would you believe they don't have one in stock? Heck, I can go pick the same one up at Bass Pro right now; I wonder if they'd reimburse me? (doubt it).

In summary, I bought a new radar setup in Oct 2007 and it never worked. They kept telling me it was either that I installed it wrong or that there was a problem with the [new] boat wiring. Fifteen months later, they finally discover/admitted my unit was a "lemon".

Ahh, it feels good waving that letter around to my boat friends and, especially, to my wife who all thought it was my screw-up.

At this point I'm over it. I'm not even mad at anybody. They can send me whatever they want and if it works, great! If it doesn't, I don't give a rat's a$$. I'll go buy a different kind (at Bass Pro, even with their markup).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One more thing......

All kidding around and smartaleck comments I've made aside, I'm not trying to talk **** about this particular name brand. I may even get a different model of the same brand, who knows?

This particular company has the best doggone customer service reps I've ever dealt with. They really did try to work things every time I called them.
 

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I'm hoping you will post a good review of this thing once you get it back & re-installed. I had their 7" fishfinder/gps on my last boat & loved it. I was looking at the clearance GPS/radar combo they were selling a few months ago for my new boat but the better half lost her job due to the economy & it never happened. I really like Lowrance products but it is hard to justify swapping out perfectly good stuff just because you like another brand better. My current boat has Garmin on it & while the gps is the bomb & easy to use, I'm not impressed at all with the Fishfinder.

I hope your setup works well when you get it back (I'm sure it will) & I'm glad they are making it right for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Over five weeks after Lowrance sent me a letter saying they're sending a warranty replacement for my LCX-28HD, I have heard a word from them. I've called twice, but they didn't call back.
 

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It would just spontaneously shut off after the exact same amount of time (roughly 30 minutes), whether I am idling, trolling, planing/cruising, and with all other gear turned off. I could alway turn it right back on and it would work fine until it shut itself off again. Now it will occasionally turn on for a few seconds, then shut off.
I had the exact same problem with a GPS unit. I went round and round trying to figure out what was wrong. Turned out to be a loose fuse connection:rolleyes:
 

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Sorry but this seems to be the norm for them. go to VBSF.net ,member reviews and read of DFurman's problems with Lowrance/navico.
I thought you got something new??
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I caved in and got a cheaper Lowrance (5200c). I know, I'm an idiot. I figured I've got 30 days to return it, no questions asked. I can use it for thirty days and hopefully my warranty replacement will be sent to me. It just sucks I've gotta stick with a Lowrance at this point, but I don't feel like re-mounting another radar antenna. The Lowrance radar (actually Koden) works fine.

Right now, my system works ok.

I did email that contact you gave i the above post. I sent her a detailed 2-page letter (the same one I'm sending to the BBB in Tulsa, OK) a few days ago. I haven't heard anything from them. God, I hope they send me something within 30 days.
 

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With a little manipulation, you can use the entire
screen for radar, instead of the circular pattern
which is a little small for radar on the 5" and
7" models.


This was done in simulation mode, but works the same in the real world.
Standard mode, on the left, and spread out on the right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
:)):yes::thumbup::clap::clapping2:Ok, it now looks like Lowrance (Navico) is going to do me right. They actually told me they fe-ex'd my LCX-28 to my doorstep (without a signature) over a month ago. I never received it; we were here when they said they dropped it off. Anyway, Lowrance (Navico) is investigating it. Good for them. Also, they are sending me an upgraded replacement, an LCX-112c with a 10" screen. I told them, "That's great, but you don't have to upgrade it". I don't think they have anymore 28's. They're shipping it today. That Linda Colt lady was very nice.

Now, even though the LCX-112 mounts on the same gimbal as the LCX-28HD, I hope (HOPE, HOPE, HOPE) the whole thing fits in the same spot in my overhead electronics box; I'm tired of drilling holes in this new boat.
 

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:)):They're shipping it today. That Linda Colt lady was very nice.

the whole thing fits in the same spot in my overhead electronics box; I'm tired of drilling holes in this new boat.
Linda Colt is the problem solver at Lowrance. I have never had any problems like
you have with there service but it is sure worth holding on to her numbers as a
bit of an insurance policy.
I have never had any problem with Fed X or UPS or USPS leaving packages at
the door but it's always been a concern. But you can't be home all the time.

The 112 is lots bigger than lcx28. Good luck fitting that one in an electronics box.
You will really like the big screen for radar and charting.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
:yes::yes::yes:
Well, I installed the LCX-112c in my electronics box. It barely fits, but it fits. That 10" screen looks freakin' sweet. I hooked it up and turned it on...nothing. It said "Radar Not Detected". I tried altering the setup.....nothing. I was ticked off. So, I did a hard reset, downloaded/installed the latest software revision and tried again. Viola!

It came on. It actually works.
 

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I bought the 26C HD w/ my boat a couple years ago and was told by my salesman at the dealership that the Lowrance sounders are great, but the radar sux....... I'm so happy he told me not to buy the radar !!!!! I ended up buying a used stand alone Raymarine unit off of EBay and very happy w/ it.
 
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