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my Garmin 198c problems

Old 07-23-2005, 08:00 AM
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swo
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Default my Garmin 198c problems

After reading about the sonar cutting out when keying the VHF in the other threads, I tested the same thing this morning. Lo and behold, the sonar cuts out and the unit starts looking for satellites again--not good. As the morning went on, I noticed about a 1/2 dollar-sized patch of condensation in the middle of the screen as well. Not happy at all with either of these conditions!

Looks like I'll be calling Garmin customer service on Monday. They better not tell me to move the unit or VHF, as I'm not drilling any more holes in the console. The condensation issue should warrant a full replacement anyway, as far as I'm concerned.

Does anyone know if Garmin has any sort of advance replacement policy? i.e. They take your credit card number and ship you a replacement immediately, and only charge your card if you don't send the defective unit right back to them? I'm now the victim of the achilles heal of combo units--I can't be without my FF capabilities while I wait for a new unit. I bought it from a THT vendor, so maybe they'll help me out if Garmin won't, even though I know this is a Garmin issue to fix. We'll see what happens.
Old 07-23-2005, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

See my thread from last week about the condensation issue in the 192's. Garmin's tech service insists that this is normal and it goes away in "30-40 minutes". They have been very unresponsive and deny there's any problem, they tell me to send it back to them. I want to know if there is a flaw in the design.

My take is what if the 30-40 min. it takes to clear up is in the middle of some sudden bad weather, when you need it most? I sent mine back and got another. Used it yesterday and it a slight issue of condensation for 5 min. The West Marine I bought it from said to use it for a month and if it happens again they will take it back and deal with Garmin. They said they sell a lot of these and if there's a problem they want answers.

Looks like Garmin doesn't know the first rule of product defects, when there's a known problem be the first to admit it, bring it to the publics attention and deal with it. They just keep denying there's a problem.

Rob
Old 07-24-2005, 11:58 AM
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Default RE: my Garmin 198c problems

Is the Garmin dropping out from being whacked by EMI from the VHF, or from voltage drop when the VHF pulls ~7A? My guess is it's the latter. I see this kind of thing all the time as the average boat’s helm is wired to provide just enough juice to run the boat as it was configured at the factory. As you add goodies, the voltage begins to drop. I use a 70A CB at the battery and feed the helm's power distribution fuse block with either 6 or 4 ga wire, returning the negative in the same size. That usually fixes your voltage drop problems.

You could also run the VHF off the Motor battery and the fish finder off the House battery. That should solve the problem if voltage drop is the culprit. I usually put two fuse blocks in a helm, one for House power; the other for Motor power. Each of these blocks are fed by 70A CBs and big wire.

As for fogging, well, my vented Furuno does it too. Frankly, I don’t see how vented units WON’T fog when the conditions are right. I now store it in a mylar ziplock bag with desiccant, and no more fogging.

Good luck,

Kurt
Old 07-24-2005, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Thanks Kurt, but I'm not sure it would be a voltage drop issue; this winter I installed a new fuse panel and ran separate leads (I honestly don't remember the size off the top of my head, but I did the math for my 18' boat and the planned loads and got the appropriate size from the calculations) to the battery switch. Yes, both the GPS and VHF are on that panel, as are the Navman fuel guage (2100) and trim tabs. So, as I see it, the only juice being drawn constantly is the fuel guage (<1A), and the GPS (5A), and I'd like to think the VHF couldn't trip the GPS off the line from a voltage drop when keyed. I could be wrong though. I guess I'll have to test with a lower transmit power to confirm. I could put them on separate panels to test too, I suppose, before calling Garmin. I still don't understand how condensation would be an issue for a waterproof unit, however.
Old 07-24-2005, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Can't help you on the fogging issue. How Garmin gets a rating of IPX7 (submersible 1 meter for 30 minutes) AND breathes (per their response) is beyond me. Maybe a valve that lets air in/out, but not water? If it turns out you're just gonna have to live with fogging (as some of us may), suggest you look at keeping your unit in a bag with desiccant like I've posted in a couple other threads. Cost me $25 for vapor proof bags and desiccant that can be "recycled" in a microwave.

http://www.sorbentsystems.com/desicc...-box_appl.html

IMO, having the VHF on the motor battery and not the house battery is good design. Your VHF is a life-saving device, and it's a good idea to have it on a separate battery than other incidental (non life-saving) electrical loads. That's just me, and I've been called anal retentive more than once LOL!

Good luck,

Kurt
Old 07-24-2005, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Guys, I have been dealing with this problem for two weeks now. I have posted on a few other fourms and there are others that are having the same problem.

My dealer did the initial install of the 198c so I took it back to them to see if they could fix the problem. They worked on it for three days (even talked to Garmin) and they can't solve the "Sonar Disconnected" problem. I got my boat back and decided to try a few things myself and no luck. I even exchanged the unit at West Marine.

The new unit did NOT fix the problem.

I sopke with the Garmin rep at my local West Marine store and he wanted to try and solve the problem. So I took my boat to the store and we spent 2 hours trying diferent units, diferent transducers, different VHF radios, handheld vhf radios, double and triple checked the wiring, nothing solved the problem.

We finally tried another model (178c) and it worked properly.

As of now it looks like there is a defect in the Garmin 198c model.

Garmin will not admit to a problem yet but there going to have to do something soon.

I will be calling Garmin tomorrow as well as the local rep. to try and get to the bottom of this.
Old 07-24-2005, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Hey Trophy:

Like I said on the other post, if a hand held VHF is causing the sonar to drop out, you can forget voltage drop.

Kurt
Old 07-24-2005, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Kman, you are correct. When I first talked to Garmin support, they thought it was a voltage issue. But after the 3rd and 4th call to them and trying something different each time, nothing is working.

I can't wait to call Garmin tomorrow!!
Old 07-24-2005, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Kman, you are correct. When I first talked to Garmin support, they thought it was a voltage issue. But after the 3rd and 4th call to them and trying something different each time, nothing is working.

I can't wait to call Garmin tomorrow!!
Old 07-25-2005, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Trophy--
I tested with a handheld this morning as well. I was able to trip the 198C by keying the handheld (under its own power, on its own antenna) in the vicinity of the 198C. Looks like its not a voltage drop issue; thanks to you and everyone else for bringing this up and pointing me in the direction of troubleshooting.

Garmin's going to be hearing from me today as well.
Old 07-25-2005, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

edit: double post
Old 07-25-2005, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

I too have the 198C with the same problem. I just noticed that Garmin has a software update on their website for the 198C. The update is dated June 14th and is supposed to address NIMEA and DSE "stuff". Has anyone tried the update? I have the DSC hooked up on mine...Does anyone else have a problem who does not have DSC hooked up?
Old 07-25-2005, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

I have the update, and I have DSC hooked up.
Old 07-25-2005, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

It has the problem with or without the NIMA / DCS connected.
Old 07-25-2005, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

I finally got through to Garmin after a day of busy signals. Got one of the more arrogant 'customer service' reps. He gave me every reason why it must be a wiring fault, the VHF putting out 500 W and overpowering the GPS (WTF??), etc. etc. Kinda stopped him in his tracks when I told him about how a one-watt handheld transmission knocked the unit out. We went in circles as he tried every excuse under the sun, and I had to repeatedly tell him about the handheld repeating the issue. And he let me know that the condensation issue must have been caused by me in some manner, but they'd 'repair' whatever it was I did to it. I was put on hold a few times and got nowhere other than a commitment to get my repaired unit back to me in 'about two weeks'.

Knowing that other companies do it (and yes, I know it's not Garmin's stated policy), I demanded an advance replacement, with my credit card number as collateral. He told me I was being defensive and unreasonable, and to go with the vendor for that kind of help. That's plan B, since I really don't want to be without GPS/depth capability for a couple of weeks, but I tried to drive home the fact that it's Garmin's job to make good on this, and not the vendor's.

I'm going to escalate my dissatisfaction with their 'customer service' if I can figure out how, but in the meantime, I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth regarding Garmin. I had thought long and hard before making this purchase, and I'm not so sure I'll put so much effort into considering Garmin in the future. They need to acknowledge the issue with this unit, and step up to the plate. Replacing the jerk I spoke with needs to happen as well.
Old 07-25-2005, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Well, I detect that classic conflict between Engineering and Sales. I guarantee you
that the teck side wants to be honest about these problems,but due to pressure
from sales, cannot. Sales believes that an admitted problem will bring publicity and
affect sales. They may be right, who knows.

JP
Old 07-25-2005, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

Let me know if you get a name and extensionof someone that will listen. I have sent them 3 more emails about my condensation issue and they have yet to respond. They ahve smply said "they will fix it". But on the other hand they insist that the condensation is normal so why should they have to fix it. This keeps up and I'll short the stock.

Old 07-26-2005, 10:23 AM
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Default RE: my Garmin 198c problems

I purchased a 192c a week ago and actually went to my boat
slip the day it arrived to check it out. Without the boat even moving the unit
showed the condensation issue.

last weekend I programed some of the routes in my garage and there was no condensation at all. lol.

I havn't checked out the "vhf" issue yet or for any other interference issues.

I actually bought the stock after the unit arrived and then sold it yesterday after i kept reading these posts.

sturg
Old 07-26-2005, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

After reading all of this I am glad that I decided on the 178c....been using it for two weeks now, never fogged and the sonar and GPS works great. I did however have an issue with my Icom handheld....it kept putting out white noise when on the console with the GPS. At first I didnt put 2 and 2 together....and thought I had adjusted the squelch wrong....but then I moved the handheld away from the GPS, and wow...it worked fine....DUHH!!!!

Are you guys having the fogging problem right after you install the unit, or after you use it for awhile? I have my GPS out in the open on my 19"cc...its just behind the windshield...I take it off of the boat when i am not using it, and store it with my handheld at home.

Oniram
Old 07-26-2005, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: my Garmin 198c problems

The condensation I see occurs maybe 1/2 hour after getting underway. It stays about the same size while I'm out and about and then goes away when the unit is shut down. I had it powered up at home once and never saw the condensation then. I store the unit off of the boat.

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