Coincidently I received a query today from a reader asking about why his E-80 Raymarine display keeps blinking on and off every five minutes. This sort of coincides with the post I have up this week at the www.boats.com site entitled: “Maintain Voltage To Keep Your Marine Electronics Sane”. In that post, I’m talking about another reader who can’t understand why his fish finder screen goes crazy while he’s starting his engines. In his case low voltage is probably the cause.
The E-80 query from Boaz has a different symptom set. In Boaz’s case he’s wondering why the E-80 simply turns off every five minutes…..
Well, as with anything that operates with electricity, I have no choice but to answer with the same standard answer, always confirm the integrity of the power source before you go chasing ghosts all over your boat. In Boaz’s case, the E-80 has an operating voltage range between 10.7 VDC and 32 VDC, so low voltage supply to the screen display could quite possibly be an issue. In fact, the troubleshooting guide from Raymarine agrees. Their troubleshooting guide for the E-80 reads in part like this:
My display switches off
- Check power input connection is secure at the rear of the display(s)
- Check power cable for damage or corrosion
- Check your boat’s power supply for faulty connections or insufficient cable diameter
Since Boaz’s boat is a sailing catamaran, the likelihood of this being a problem is quite real as the wire runs from the battery bank(s) to the electronic display could be fairly long, increasing the odds for excessive voltage drop or a lousy electrical connection.
I’ve heard back from Boaz today and he says no, the voltage supply is OK, but there is also another telling symptom in the mix here. He says the thing cuts out every five minutes…. generally low voltage issues due to loose connections or undersized wiring are either a constant go-no go sort of problem or totally random depending upon what’s turned on in the electrical system or the state of charge on the battery(s). In this case it sounds like Boaz needs to find the nearest Raymarine dealer as the problem does indeed sound internal to his E-80 display. Let’s all wish him good luck in getting this resolved as its a big problem on new boats….. All of your navigation functions get routed to one display.
I think I’ve just said that it might pay off big to have at least two displays on board in case one starts blinking at you like Boaz’s. There you have it, a prime case where high-tech feeds the need for more high-tech….