Posts Tagged ‘Tacktick’

Juggling in Paradise

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021
Cruising isn’t all Sunsets and Mojitos. Cruisers often refer to life on the boat as “Projects in Paradise”.  And while a good part of both views are true; there are frustrations. Today is one of the many holidays in Oz. A month or so ago we discovered our depth sounder doesn’t work. As we’re not leaving immediately we added that to the project list and began to address the issue.
 
I had the same thing happen in Fiji. The TackTick read “Reset data”. There I replaced the battery and bingo. We were back in business. Not that easy but not bad. Thus, I ordered a new battery pack. That was after I discovered Battery World couldn’t make / replace the batteries. The cost went form 50 bucks or so to 100. Ok, life isn’t easy or cheap when traveling thus I bought the new pack. Installed it. Now I have a good battery but I still get the notice “reset data”. I did some web research and found my old post on the same issue. But; I discovered a Raymarine response on their website that when the unit does this it needs repair.
 
I called Raymarine and after a bit of discussion they would repair / replace the unit for $450 bucks. Fill out the web form and send it in. Well… my cruising brother Dirk told me years ago, in industry the rule of thumb is when the cost to repair exceeds about 40% , industry replaces with new. A new TackTick display would be $800. I bought a new display.
 
Received it 10 days later, all looks good and fire it up. Good charge and yet it does not connect to the base unit. I try everything. I try to be inventive with the 4 buttons. Still it will not connect to the master unit. I check the master unit; there is power there, I get a program to check radio signals and I have wifi from the unit. It still will not connect. I get out my old wired Display and try it. It will not connect.
 
I dig out the replacement mn-30 we bought while in Fiji. (See my way earlier post on this issue). I tried to connect it to the unit. Still no data. I search around, check the wiring on the transmitter. All good, voltage to it, good, transducer wiring solid. Check the transducer. It is a shoot through the hull and has worked flawlessly for 15 years. The fluid that transmits the sonar to the hull has slowly leaked out / evaporated. I replace it and try. Still no connection. I reset the mn-30, still no connection. I try the new unit I purchased, still unable to connect.
 
More research and I discover that the hull transmitter too has a battery. Maybe that is why the display has no signal. I leave the hull transmitter connected to power for 24 hours to charge and still no connection. I call Raymarine Australia. Guess what. They’ve shut down for the holidays.
 
Ok, I remove the hull transmitter and sure enough there is a battery opening on the back. Nothing in the literature indicates a battery there. Luckily I have a new battery. I put it in the older unit. The older unit doesn’t work so I figure to swap it out. I do. Reattach everything and still no signal to the display.
 
Now I think to my self. Dangerous; I know. When I was considering sending in the older unit for repair I believe I replaced the old battery. That means that I have now put an old battery in the hull transmitter. My head is spinning! I check the voltage on the three battery packs I have out, 1.2 v; 1.8 v, and the one I removed from the hull transmitter; 2.2 v. The pack when full ought to read 3.0 v.
 
I left the hull unit connected to power all night.
 
Again I am thinking.. more research. I check my blog entry in Fiji. I mentioned I had not installed the new hull transmitter yet I wanted to get the older one working. Damn, where is the new one we bought in Fiji. I check our inventory. The inventory has saved us many hours of hunting for things. But! Not today. We do not have anything listed under TackTick or Raymarine. Ok… the hunt is on. I can’t believe it; I find a newer mn-100 that we must have been using since NZ.  I had forgotten about it. I bring the display out and try to connect. It doesn’t connect either. Now I have 3 displays that do not connect to one hull transmitter; mn 30, mn 100, and an mn 100-2.
 
There is only one thing to do. Replace it all and make sure everything works. I return the display and order a new TackTick system.
 
All the while the wx here is … sorry… crappy! Rain and wind, wind and rain. The end result is that we are getting nothing done on the outside wood work. Patience Grasshopper, Patience. (Sorry about the reference to the old Kung Fu TV show).
Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long
Share

Deliveries in Paradise

Friday, August 5th, 2016

It started back in July. We figured since we were on this side of Fiji and it was said that June and July were the best months to sail the Yasawa’s then why not? Let’s go.  We left our comfortable anchorage at Musket Cove and headed N.
Within the first hour our Tacktick depth sounder chose to take a vacation. The display read <reset data>. What the hell is that about?  I pressed  some buttons to work my way through the menus and never found one that indicated, <reset data>. While working the buttons and trying everything I knew about electronics with just a few buttons, various combinations, etc. I came to the conclusion that the display has taken more then a vacation but has passed on.  I noticed too the battery was low. I left the display  in the Sun for a few hours and the battery was still low (it has a solar charger built in). I checked the manual and found I can actually power it up and charge it with 12 v. I tried that and at the end of the day the batteries were still low; not accepting a charge. Ok… time to move on.
Fortunately the water has quite good clarity so we didn’t need to abort our trip. Also fortunately, Fiji is one of the places in the Pacific that every island, every harbor, every passage has internet. I begin to research.
I first discover that no one has reported the same issue. I contact Raymarine, a company owned by FLIR, and ask them what to do?  Surprised, I actually receive an answer.  I turn the display on, see the error message, and the display powers off – all by itself. OK, time to move on. I’ve spent enough time messing with a dead display. The unit will not even stay on long enough to do what Raymarine suggested so I move to stage 2 of my plan. I look for an exact replacement. Unfortunately Raymarine has purchased Tacktick so the new wireless products are Raymarine. I don’t know if they have changed anything with the units and definitely don’t want to change the transducer.
I discover the Raymarine Store in Europe that sells the system with what appears to be a slightly different model and at a very reasonable price. I contact the store and inquire about shipping to Fiji. At  first they quoted me approximately 24 Euros; which is acceptable to me so I ask how to proceed. Next they inform me they are not setup to ship outside of the EU and can’t fulfill my request.  What ever happened to the global economy?   Damn!  Fortunately we have some well traveled friends so we begin asking them for help. Our nephew was at a trade show in England then so we email him. By the time we make the back and forth he is already on his way back to the US. I ask my shore support team and they come through. Dirk and Silvie’s from Germany and still have relatives there (half of me is from Germany too but I have no more relatives there).  They volunteer Silvie’s mother to be a package drop and she will then send the package on to us in Fiji via DHL.  Bingo.
I order the product and have it shipped to her. Three days later she has it and I send the address. To avoid duty on boat gear in Fiji all packages need a Fiji Rotation Number provided each boat upon entry.  I include that in the address. A bit later we get an email from Silvie, her mom has sent the package, with a tracking number. Wunderbar! So far approximately one week has passed.  We have not stopped our

Tackticks side by side

Tackticks side by side

cruise but W/ is anxious about the depth. She loves the data!
A few days later I check the tracking number and miraculously the item is already in Fiji . Yeah! We we will have it soon! …. Not!  It hits the shores of Fiji on July 23 and we expect it any day now. The Tacktick system was sent to the Musket Cove Yacht club which is all of 10 nm from Nadi and a short car / ferry ride.  So we wait. And wait.
After a week’s wait we begin checking at the office most every day for the package. We begin to worry…. just a bit.  Anther week goes by.  Still no package. We are planning on hitting the big city of Denarau  in the middle of August and figure we may well need to head to the Post at the Airport where the Tacktick is rumored to be.  But luck was with us.
On Aug 3rd Bale (the prima facia yacht club personelle) approaches us and indicates our package is ready to be sent over on the Mololo ferry. We pay $5 F for customs and expect to have our coveted new / refurbished Tacktick the next day.  Bingo. Almost a month after it was ordered we find it at the Yacht Club office and pay another $5 F for what I don’t really know, and I don’t really care. We have it. To celebrate I stop at the small cafe here and order another chocolate milkshake. W/ decides we need to have lunch 🙂 , so we did.
Back on the boat I open it up. Good news and bad news. Obviously I didn’t look close enough, this one while having the same wireless capabilities does not have the solar charger and needs to be wired in. Ok, so I need to run some temporary wires giving us the depth display where we need it. I can do that.  I read the instructions (yes I really did) looking for any other “gotchas”. Finding none I begin the task of setting it up.
As this is a new display on our older transmitter I need to “sync” them together. I follow the instructions and they don’t sync. I follow them again and they still don’t sync. I try our older not working mn100 display and ironically for a couple of minutes it works fine and then returns to the “reset data” screen. That tells me that the transmitter and the transducer are both working. Great! However I still could not get the new mn30  to sync to the mn100 transmitter – Horrible.
Fortunately Fiji has good (I didn’t say great) internet so I contacted my FLIR – Raymarine guy in Europe for help. An automated reply said he was on his annual vacation and wouldn’t be back for (?) . Damn!  In the email there is another address for help so I sent a new request off to them asking if the mn 30 which is my new refurbished unit will talk to the mn100 which is my older unit. The FLIR – Raymarine help guy said indeed they do and sent me a pdf of the exact same instructions that came in the box. OK, I read the instructions again and tried to follow them letter by letter.  Finally, I figure out when they say press button (1)/(Z) that does not mean two buttons simultaneously but either button only  for the requested 2 seconds. I had wondered why one of the buttons had a different symbol on it and now it made sense. Whoopie! I try syncing again.  No Luck. The worst case scenerio would be that I will need to wire in the new transmitter that I received with the unit and transfer the transducer (it is the depth sounding part) to that system.  The job is not horrible but if I don’t need to make those changes I would prefer not to make those changes.
Each time I attempt to sync making a little change I email the FLIR – Raymarine help desk what I have tried and my changes.  As we are about 12 hours difference in time I didn’t expect any answers immediately but had hoped that the following a.m. my time I would hear from them. Upon my early morning rise I hadn’t heard from them so I went about doing more research.  I first checked my original email from the FLIR – Raymarine guy on how to fix my <reset data> issue. He had a good description but it was not applicable to this situation.  Next I tried some more search terms on the internet.
I hit upon a Raymarine web page (they removed the page- damn them) talking about the mn30 units.  More instructions, more reading and maybe I will be lucky.  In one small paragraph they talk about the two different frequencies the units use a US frequency and a different frequency for the  EU. What? Two different frequencies?  This could well be the issue. Now how do  I check. There is No information in the manual. Zero, Zip, Nada!  There was a factory reset option discussed  but not wanting to mess up the potential connection to the new transmitter I held off on using that option.  Reading further down the page I discovered they actually had a setting change deep in the menu’s that allowed me to switch the frequency response of the display. Ah ha!
I scamper to the table (my work bench) and run through the menus. Sure enough I find it and switch it to the US frequencies.  Ready, Set, Go…. I attempt to sync again. After I select the network option and the display  begins the count down. In the <join> part of the countdown I receive a new message… <add node>?  and I say …. yes….YES.  But, is it working? The process finishes and I see data. I see depth. I am connected. Yeah! YEAH!
I am elated and appalled.  Why the FLIR – Raymarine does not include this information in any of their paper documentation provided with the units I will not know. Luckily they had it on their website. When I asked the FLIR – Raymarine tech  they talked to each other even he didn’t say there are two different frequencies US  and Europe. Fortunately we are able to  again expand our horizons and move out beyond the sailing triangle of Vuda, Musket, and Denarau.

So slow
Sail far
Stay Long

Share