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I have a combination GPS/Plotter/FishFinder/DepthFinder... one of those All-in-One units. It is interfaced with my compass, radar, and autopilot. I have owned, and enjoyed it, for 2 years now. When I bought my boat, it was already on the boat. It is a SIMRAD CE 32. Very good unit, very user friendly. I have really enjoyed using it.... UNTIL YESTERDAY....

Yesterday, I got onto the boat, and turned the machine on. It loaded up, with a screen that I have never seen before... "TESTING C-MAP CARTRIDGE." This took about 2 minutes. Then a screen popped up that asked me "WHAT LANGUAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE." Again, I have never seen this before. Next up, a map of EUROPE... yep, London, Paris, and even Rome appeared on my chart. Unbelieveable as I have the standard west coast C-map in my machine.

So, I turned the thing off, let it sit, turned it back on, and hoped for the best. But not to be. This time, after we went through the same process, we got to a map of FLORIDA, CUBA, and the BAHAMAS. I guess this was better than Europe, but my intended destination was Catalina.

MOST TROUBLING WAS THE FACT THAT WHEN I WENT TO MY WAYPOINTS, I WAS TOLD THAT THERE WERE NO VALID WAYPOINTS STORED. This really concerned me as I had stored over 80 of my favorite spots on that machine... lobster spots, bass spots, wsb spots, and places where I had done great with yellowtail and halibut. EVERYTHING was stored on there. Two years worth of research.

After a few more frustrating minutes, I gave up. I shut the thing off, and headed to Catalina with the compass and LoranC. NO DEPTHFINDER.

At the end of the day, I called my electronics tech. He instantly diagnosed the problem... over the phone. This is the reason for my post.... he told me that my unit, like MOST EVERY UNIT on the market has an internal battery, which is used to store memory. When that battery dies (usually after about 3-4 years), you lose everything. Not only on my unit, but on most. More disturbing is the fact that there is NO WARNING to tell you that the battery is low, and get ready to lose your stuff. Even more distrubing is the fact that this battery is not even mentioned in the manual. Even MORE disturbing is the fact that this battery is installed (permanently) into the unit, at the factory. It cannot be replaced by the consumer. It MUST be replaced by someone who knows how to take the thing apart and actually work on the guts of the thing. My tech told me that he hears about my pain on a regular basis, from lots of people, with lots of different units. His theory is that the companies want you to buy a new unit every 3-4 years... that's why they dont tell you about this problem...

I recommend that you take out a piece of paper, and write down all of your waypoints, and favorite spots... dont trust your machine to keep that stuff for you.

My plan is to send a very stern letter to Simrad. Although I suspect that they wont care, it will make me feel better to vent a little bit.

My tech tells me that FORUNO makes a unit that allows you to store your WAYPOINTS on a computer. So, after your unit's battery fails, and you lose everything, it is very easy to load it back onto the machine once you get a new battery. He says that no other manufacturer offers this option.

I hope that none of you have to experience my pain... good luck to you all.
 

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Same thing happend to me a year ago.Lost 5 years of waypoints:-(
I have a simrad cp32 I had the batt changed where i bought it but I watched them install it all you need to do is solder it in place
 

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I have a Raytheon that has a chip that backups the waypoints and I can also down load the chip to my computer. I had the same thing happen on my old Garmin though.
 

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Oh man that would suck.

I backup my Lowrance hand held to the computer and the Furuno GP7000F NT to a SD card.

I remember reading (about the hand held at least) that if you store it with batteries inside, the internal battery won't be drained as fast.

Good luck.

Kurt


PS Thanks for reminding me. I haven't backed up waypoints & tracks for a few trips now.
 

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I back up all my material (tracks, Routes, Waypoints) from the Garmin to my computer. Garmin even allows you to offload an overlay to Google Earth which is pretty cool. This allows you to email a view to friends where they can see your tracks from some adventure or to show them where you fished.

I also upload locations to the GPS based on books, research and tips from others. In any event there is always a duplicate on my local computer.
 
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