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Airmar & Furuno support

Old 07-19-2013, 05:06 PM
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Default Airmar & Furuno support

Howdy,
as the title suggests, I am interested in the support you get from these companies when things go wrong?

I live in Australia, I have a Cruisecraft Explorer 570 boat with a 2002 Johnson (Suzuki) 140 4 stroke. Excellent combination.

I mainly fish freshwater lakes in water up to 50ft for trout, saltwater bays for whiting, snapper and gummy sharks, again no deeper that 50ft, 2-3 times a year I get over to real blue water chasing Marlin and Tuna with lures, fishing the top 25 ft and watching down to 100ft for bait balls and marking fish.

I have a Furuno 585 fish finder and when I got this boat at Easter 2012, I contacted the Furuno dealer in Melbourne, the closest dealer which is 250 odd miles from my home for advice on the best transducer with the most power for my style of fishing.

They recommended the SS264W 200khz Airmar transducer fitted for $1800.

A date to fit was agreed upon, I took two days of work and got the job done.

It did not work, broken picture, wouldn't hold the bottom, absolute rubbish.

Many phone calls and discussion and finally I had to drive the 250 miles back for them to test it. They could not get it to work either. They hung a new transducer over the side and this worked, accepting the transducer was faulty. And then it turned to poo.

Skipping all the crap that went on, 3 weeks later after consumer affairs got involved, the transducer was replaced, I paid $250 and after being told it was ready to be picked up and that it had been tested I again did the 250 one way trip to pick it up.

The first chance I got to take it out it looked okay for a while and then it just deteriorated to the same rubbish as the first one.

I took pictures and forwarded them to the Furuno dealer and also to the Airmar support people In America.

The Furuno dealer after discussion with I do not know who , decided that maybe they were a dud bunch of transducers and sourced one with a serial number quite different form the first 2.

Airmar looked at the pics, agreed they were not good and would talk to their techs and get back to me. They did indeed get back with some suggestions and were quite helpful up to a point.

Meanwhile the Furuno dealer has sourced another transducer and arranged for his tech to come to my boat, 250 mile from Melbourne and fit the third transducer, most helpful.

Airmar decided it was not their transducer at fault and I should get the head unit checked. They stated in their email, if it was a transducer issue they would certainly accept that but as it did work partly it was more likely to be the head unit.

Got the boat out with the 3rd transducer and again more rubbish, more pictures to Furuno dealer who gave up, passed all the information to Furuno Australia and suggested I contact them direct.

Made contact with Furuno Australia, sent my heads unit to Queensland at my expensive to be tested, came back a ok, no issues at all. Should work fine. Furuno Australia were going to chase it up, by know it is late December 2012.

I purchase a 600wt transom mount transducer and install it my self. Works fine. Not the head unit, not my boat, not the wiring!

Late January 2013 Furuno Australia contact me with news that the Furuno 585 is not compatible with the SS264W200khz on its own but will work if both of the SS264W transducers are installed.

Has to do with the ohms the head unit pumps out and that frys the transducer apparently.

Through the dealer they suggested the best solution to the faulty transducer issue was for me to purchase the SS264W50khz at the reduced price of $1000 and the dealer would install it at the reduced price of $200 because of the issues I had been through.

I would have to do another 500mile round trip, take another day of work for this to happen.

I declined their offer and more crap went on. There last offer was for me to take my boat to Melbourne and they would swap the transducer for a B164 transducer with no charge for installation.

My last offer to them was, I bring my Boat to Melbourne, they replace the faulty transducer under warranty and I pay $500 to have the sister transducer installed.

They did not reply to this and no further emails were exchanged.

I have had to lodge a claim with our civil tribunal to try and sort this mess out which could take up to 12 months.

27th April 2012 I paid for a transducer to be installed in my boat on the recommendation of the Furuno dealer, it is now July 2013 with no end in site!

Do you guys get that sort of support in America?

Here is a link to our Forum where a bit more detail is posted if you are curious.
http://www.fishnet.com.au/forums/vie...?t=110555&f=17

Furuno 585, great head unit, the SS264W transducers also get great raps, just not on their own with the Furuno 585

very disappointed

Doug
Old 07-20-2013, 07:52 AM
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hey Doug

Sorry to hear about all your troubles!

Over on this side in the USA, Furuno provides exceptional customer service. Equipment warranties---second to none if you're willing to jump through the proper hoops. I had a faulty GP330B GPS antenna which I KNEW was faulty. It took some time to convince Furuno (several bench-tests) but they finally replaced it

Airmar-- their tech guys are helpful, though I've never had any warranty issues with their transducers so I can't comment.

I do have a bit of experience with the SS264, however.

Last December I had the intent of ordering an SS264W 200-- I placed an order with an East Coast Airmar distributor who was having an "internet sale" so I thought I could save a bit of money---I provided credit card info, then three weeks elapsed. No transducer in the post. No word. Nothing. I called and said what's up.

Their response---sorry we can't get the SS264W 200 (despite showing it on their website as being available) So presuming incompetence I cancelled the order, got my money back, and approached a West Coast Airmar distributor.

I provided credit card info then two days later received a phone call---I was told by one of their reps that Airmar had recently done a recall of the SS260W 200 series due to "faulty wiring" . I am quoting a distributor here---that is all I can say. I never got any more details then that---zero availability. Sorry.

Whatever the case, that was not good news--- I had a narrow window to do the install, my order had just crapped out with two distributors and I had to do something. So I ended up purchasing the SS264W 50 because at the time, that was the only transducer available in the series.

It felt like a very expensive compromise to me (though in retrospect, it turned out to be a good move ---very happy with that transducer so far)

You mentioned you were told by Furuno Melbourne that the 585 will not work with just one of the pair of SS264W's---I really hope that information is incorrect because I am running just the SS264W 50!

So far, so good, though I should add that I have a 587 head unit, not a 585. Have you heard any more about this issue? There seems to be differences of opinion about what you were told by the Furuno rep. I'm almost out the door on a two week trip to a remote fishing area --- my 587/SS264W will be getting a HUGE amount of run-time --- I hope this incompatibility issue you mentioned turns out to be a non-issue!

Good luck and I hope you get things sorted out from your side

Last edited by marketic; 07-20-2013 at 08:56 AM.
Old 07-20-2013, 05:48 PM
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Hi marketic

I have heard by unofficial whisper that they have fixed the issue with the transducers running on their own. So I guess it will depend on when you got yours.

Have a read of the link, it covers another person in Aus asking a question about the same transducer with a 587 head unit.

Please excuse the pictures of goats, some people have different ideas of humor.

Page 2 relates to your question about compatibility but it is all worth a read.

What I find really disturbing is that "if the issue has been fixed, why has no one from Furuno Australia or the Furuno dealer/supplier in Melbourne contacted me to resolve the issue"

http://www.fishnet.com.au/forums/vie...c&start=0&f=17

Hope you have the later version of their transducer.

enjoy

Doug
anyfin
Old 07-21-2013, 05:55 AM
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I share the extremely positive experience over the years with Furuno customer service in the US. They will spend whatever time is needed, duplicate your system on their bench, and have never made me pay for repairs even past the warranty on the very few occasions over 12 years that I have had a problem.

For what it's worth, my old boat had a pair of SS264W 200Hz and the 50Hz units driven by a Furuno black box DFF1, which is quite similar internally to the 585/587. I thought the SS264W in 200Hz was quite a disappointment. It worked as it was intended unlike yours, but the resolution was crap compared to the conventional narrow beam B260 I had had previously. After extensive efforts back and forth between Furuno and Airmar, it was clear that the transducer was performing as it was supposed to do. The problem was that the design changes necessary for the wide beam appear to have a negative effect on performance.

Every company produces some poor products and I am afraid the SS264W does not live up to the promise of the concept.

If your problem has not been resolved as yet, I honestly think you would be better off to see if you can extract a refund for the SS264W and just have a SS164 installed in the hole. It is exactly the same size and should fit perfectly.
Old 07-21-2013, 10:23 AM
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Hey ClassicGuy

Your comments about the SS264W 200 are interesting---they generally contradict the rave reviews I heard on the THT Site about this transducer prior to stepping up for my own SS264W

I ended up with the 50 instead of the 200 ---it does what I figured it would do (track my gear at depth) but after 20 hours or so of run time, I'm definitely starting to see some "issues"---I'm curious if you ever heard any comments from Airmar about using just a single SS264W instead of a pair??

The "issues" I'm seeing are now starting to repeat---after an hour or so of run time, I will lose first the depth read-out on the screen, then I'll lose bottom, then the range numbers go nuts, then the depth reading comes back. At first I thought this was operator error (not changing the range in "manual" to reflect proper depth) but since then, I have seen this same erratic behavior repeat both in Auto Range, Manual Range, as well as in "Fishing" mode, "Cruising" mode, and "Off" ( both in Manual Range and in Auto Range as mentioned)

I own a DFF wired to a thru-hull M260 which has functioned flawlessly since the day I installed it so I know how these systems are supposed to perform.

The fact that this starts happening after an hour or so of run time makes me think there's a heat issue (??) I also noticed that there sometimes is a sensitivity to changes in Gain---if I spin the knob (aggressively increase Gain) that also made the depth numerals disappear and I lost bottom ...

My SS264W 50 is wired to a 587. With the hole chopped in the bottom of my boat for the install, I have a sizable investment in this system --- if it turns out those comments from Furuno Melbourne are correct (refer to the link of that Australian website anyfin posted) -------that the SS264W series should only be operated as a pair (200 + 50) I'm going to be a really unhappy camper.

Curious if you've heard any talk about having issues from other people running the SS264 series (either as a single frequency unit or as a tandem pair)?

Gemco will be the first call I make Monday morning!

Last edited by marketic; 07-21-2013 at 11:03 AM.
Old 07-21-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by marketic View Post
Hey ClassicGuy

Your comments about the SS264W 200 are interesting---they generally contradict the rave reviews I heard on the THT Site about this transducer prior to stepping up for my own SS264W

I ended up with the 50 instead of the 200 ---it does what I figured it would do (track my gear at depth) but after 20 hours or so of run time, I'm definitely starting to see some "issues"---I'm curious if you ever heard any comments from Airmar about using just a single SS264W instead of a pair??

The "issues" I'm seeing are now starting to repeat---after an hour or so of run time, I will lose first the depth read-out on the screen, then I'll lose bottom, then the range numbers go nuts, then the depth reading comes back. At first I thought this was operator error (not changing the range in "manual" to reflect proper depth) but since then, I have seen this same erratic behavior repeat both in Auto Range, Manual Range, as well as in "Fishing" mode, "Cruising" mode, and "Off" ( both in Manual Range and in Auto Range as mentioned)

I own a DFF wired to a thru-hull M260 which has functioned flawlessly since the day I installed it so I know how these systems are supposed to perform.

The fact that this starts happening after an hour or so of run time makes me think there's a heat issue (??) I also noticed that there sometimes is a sensitivity to changes in Gain---if I spin the knob (aggressively increase Gain) that also made the depth numerals disappear and I lost bottom ...

My SS264W 50 is wired to a 587. With the hole chopped in the bottom of my boat for the install, I have a sizable investment in this system --- if it turns out those comments from Furuno Melbourne are correct (refer to the link of that Australian website anyfin posted) -------that the SS264W series should only be operated as a pair (200 + 50) I'm going to be a really unhappy camper.

Curious if you've heard any talk about having issues from other people running the SS264 series (either as a single frequency unit or as a tandem pair)?

Gemco will be the first call I make Monday morning!
I have not come across any discussion about a single SS264W configuration leading to problems so I can't help with that aspect of the installation. It is slightly puzzling since the sounder is meant to drive two elements connected via a single cable or in the case of the SS264 pair, a single cable that has a pigtail to join the cable from the second transducer. Thus the 200Hz side of the sounder should be driving the 200Hz element just as with a paired transducer or a dual-frequency unit such as a B164. Same would happen with just a 50Hz side.

Your degrading performance does sound a lot like the consequence of the unit heating up. That should not really happen with a through hull, however, since the transducer face is constantly cooled by the water flowing by it. I have only heard of overheat issues with in-hull installations.

Do you have access to another sounder display that you can try with the transducer? How about setting the 587 transducer setup to 600W? Maybe you could try that if you haven't already and see what happens.
Old 07-21-2013, 01:10 PM
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I could hook the SS264W up to my DFF1/Navnet head unit but I'm not sure I want to mess that pump because it ain't broke.

Switching the 587 to 600W might be an interesting test---I'm going out on the water this afternoon and I'll try it.

Yesterday I got so frustrated losing the depth readout and losing the bottom (intermittent as mentioned) I just switched the thing off. Today I fished the cable for my 600W P-66 out of storage ---if the SS264W keeps acting up I'll hook the 587 back to the P-66 which I KNOW works the way it's supposed to...

A bit disconcerting after dropping $ 3000 on the 587+ SS264W + through-hull install!.
Old 07-21-2013, 10:38 PM
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Good luck. It does seem to be a hardware problem, though it will be interestingto see if changing the transducer setting on the 587 makes a difference. You might go through some of the other options -- the TID function is not perfect and the 587 may be making a mismatch.
Old 07-22-2013, 03:45 PM
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marketic, I feel your frustration, i traveled 3 hours to a mountain lake for 3 days fishing. I got so p****d off after 1.5 days, I packed up and went home

your description of the gradual failure of the picture is the same failure that I experienced after a very short time.

What I have heard is that this problem of running the SS264W in either 50/200 as a single unit is restricted to the Furuno 585 and 587 only.

Running it as a single cooks the internals of the transducer.

Old 08-24-2013, 03:37 PM
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Hers an update on my sounder/transducer issue.

I was contacted by a gentleman from Airmar who is not in sales or customer service. He asked for a run down and then spent a lot of time with me going through the process of elimination as to what the problem might be.

I can not speak highly enough of this gentleman, he did not reply on this link but sent me a private PM, he knows who he is.

Through his intervention and patience, the Australian importers came back on board with information that they had had for some time but had not passed on to me as I had taken legal action to get compensation.

So, bottom line is, Airmar had a batch of SS264W200khz transducers get passed their quality control with a manufacturing defect.

It has nothing to do with ohms or anything else apparently.

As my supplier in Melbourne had sourced a number of these transducers it is not surprising that I would end up with 2 from them. What is surprising that the third transducer that was installed was sourced from the Australian importer and it also must of come from that batch as it also was faulty.

Moving on, Airmar through the Australian importer authorized the installation of a 4th transducer to be installed in my boat. My supplier in Melbourne was paid to come to my house and do the installation. This transducer seems to work.

At this stage I am out of pocket just over $3000au as a direct result of purchasing a SS264W 200khz transducer. This does not include the purchase and installation cost of $1800. That makes it a total of $4800.

I could of purchased a pair as a member of THT for $1400 plus postage!

Airmar recognized my out of pocket expenses and as a goodwill gesture offered to supply at no cost to me through the Australian importer a VHF marine radio and aerial valued at $400au. They also offered to supply at cost 2 items that I might like for my boat. I selected 2 items that would cost me $1200 after a saving of $200 by being purchased through the importer.

After giving this some thought, the idea of spending another $1200 to save $200 when I am out of pocket $just over $3000 didn't make sense.

I declined the offer and Furuno Australia, the importers of Airmar products withdrew the offer.

The supplier of the transducers in Melbourne then came back to me and offered to supply one of the items and to rectify some work that was not up to their standard, he was also going to contact Furuno Australia and ask if they would supply the radio and aerial as offered previously.

If Furuno provide the radio and aerial and the retailer in Melbourne would fix the workmanship issue and supply the item as requested, I would of settled the claim with out having to go to the claims tribunal.

Unfortunately, Furuno Australia acting for AIRMAR have declined the request to supply a radio and aerial and bring closure to this issue.

The cost of this settlement would be around the $2000 dollar mark, now we are back to the claims tribunal for $4689 on Tuesday.

Airmar supply 3 faulty transducers to me through their distributors over a 16 month period which has made using my boat more of a stressful experience than a relaxing one!

things go wrong, it's what happens after that matters.

Customer support, you decide.

anyfin
Doug
Old 08-24-2013, 04:59 PM
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hey Anyfin

Wow, sounds like you've been through the wringer! At least your story corroborates the SS264W 200 Khz wiring issues story I got from a West Coast Airmar distributor. I'm doing laps around the rosary beads as thanks to the Dude above for not receiving and installing a bum transducer---drilling that huge hole was bad enough--- sticking a chunk of compromised electronics in the hole would have had me gargling with razor blades .

Regarding the issues I mentioned in an earlier thread ((disappearing depth read-out numerals, breaks in the picture, loss of picture completely)- since writing about those issuesI logged 700 nm on my boat on a 2 week fishing expedition. Just for the record, I now realize that the issues I was having with the SS264W 50 Khz and the Furuno 587 do not seem to be a case of a faulty transducer or an incompatibility issue ( using a single 50 Khz with the Furuno 587)

I am fairly confident that it is actually a result of poor transducer placement. I have a boat with alot of beam for its length (2.6 M beam, 7 M length) Thus, it is extremely shallow draft with almost zero chine. It also has a port and starboard sponson. I opted to mount the SS264W in the port sponson---that was a big mistake---it should have been mounted centerline---in ANY kind of choppy water (like when a boat passes by and produces a wake) I lose the numerals. At worst (especially when I'm in the trough of waves) I get a break in the picture and occasionally lose the entire picture.

So I thought I should include this in this thread--- the issues seem to be a result of the disrupted smooth laminar flow of water across the face of the transducer

I'm sorry you didn't get the treatment it sounds to me that you deserve. I do not believe that Furuno USA would have behaved the way you are describing the behavior you are receiving in Australia, especially after that significant cash out-lay.

Good luck with your plea to the tribunal, and tight lines.

Last edited by marketic; 08-24-2013 at 06:56 PM.
Old 08-24-2013, 06:03 PM
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Furuno USA is top notch....they have always had a positive approach to solving equipment issues / repairs that goes the extra mile.

Last edited by semperfifishing; 08-24-2013 at 06:41 PM.
Old 08-24-2013, 06:45 PM
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I am sure Furuno are.

This is an Airmar transducer and customer support issue.

I will say that the 4th transducer that is fitted to my boat works very well. The placement is fine and I hold bottom at 35knts, I look forward to working out how to get the best out of it for fishing.

Pity there wasn't a dvd or something.

Time on the water I guess.

cheers
Doug
anyfin

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