Garmin HD Radar

Eloise

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Well managed companies track part defects and implement immediate corrective action so they don't build defects into their products. They trace the cause of the failure and raise hell with the maker of the part.
When defective parts get into the field it is very expensive to make the repair. The failures can also put the user in danger.

When you manufacture products such as radar for boats and aircraft there is a real need for recall and repair. However, the boater is not in as much danger as an aircraft so the manufacturer can be more careless with his quality management

Sometimes a company has defects in their products and they see the repeated failures of a part almost immediately. But they do not react and as the parts fail, they charge the customer for repairs. When this happens the quality management system starts to fail systemically. So if you hear about problems with products in the field that are not recalled and corrected immediately then you have to conclude that there are systemic quality management problems.
 

El Mar

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Wharf Rat

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I believe this original post is a result of frustration due to the ubiquitous GMR error codes that have plagued a disproportionate amount Garmin radars, which we have decided to no longer support. I have plenty of horror stories, but I will not go into them at this time, simply google 'GMR Error' and read what is out there already. The other more concerning problem with having so many premature failures is compounded by Garmin's requirement to ship the radar back to Kansas and wait for them to send out a 'remanufactured' unit. We have seen this problem predominately with the radomes, and the fact that even as a Garmin NMEA Dealer, NO ONE is allowed to open the dome to diagnose the issue and replace the failed component, otherwise the warranty is voided.

Some people have had no issues at all, but the failure rate is way too high to feel comfortable as an installing dealership such as ourselves to provide a product as essential as a radar knowing that it can fail at an alarming rate. It is unfortunate that Garmin has not taken the steps to rectify this problem, as their 'solution' has put certain customers out of a radar for months at a time.
 

Eloise

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Garmin RGMR18HD Radar Problems

I also had an inflated opinion about Garmin quality which was based on "hope" and the poor quality of Raytheon auto pilots I experienced.
I bought the Garmin Radar after I replaced my Raytheon chart plotter with a new Garmin. I installed the radar during the following season because the difficulty of getting experienced people to do it. I then used it once on one day of fog and it worked. The following season I turned it on during my vacation and the error message came up. I then had to pay $ 225 to get it off the mast and I paid to ship it to KS. Garmin charged me $ 500 and I paid to ship it back. I expect it will cost another $ 225 to install it.

They reported: "Unit meets operational performance specification.Tweaked magnetron current and installed ECO 76896. Unit passed all tests."
This may mean 1. There was no problem found and 2. An ECO (electronic change order) was installed. This may be an upgrade to the software that indicated the failure, a defective part, an adjustment (tweaking)or a loose connection.
Whatever it was a failure that was allowed to get into the field because of incomplete final testing and burn in.
Maybe Wharf Rat can comment.
Whatever, it cost me about $ 1000.00 and put me in danger underway with my family.
Can someone find out what the ECO 76896.
Now reread my comment about the policies of poorly run companies when it comes to quality and the almighty $$.


Wharf Rat wrote: "The other more concerning problem with having so many premature failures is compounded by Garmin's requirement to ship the radar back to Kansas and wait for them to send out a 'remanufactured' unit. We have seen this problem predominately with the radomes, and the fact that even as a Garmin NMEA Dealer, NO ONE is allowed to open the dome to diagnose the issue and replace the failed component, otherwise the warranty is voided."
 

greg

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I think this is relatively unfair given my experience with Garmin. Now I'm not a cheerleader as anyone who has read my posts over on tht will attest to, BUT...

I had a defective HD24 dome. It wasn't the dreaded gmr error codes, it was a more subtle error where you would lose service and then it would come back. Over and over and over again. It was fairly frustrating for a while.

I changed cables, and eliminated the port expander, and updated firmware. Nothing seemed to help.

Finally Garmin offered to replace the unit at no cost. All I had to do pay return shipping, which was only about $30. At the time, my unit was a year OUT of warranty, but they still replaced it free of charge.

I got a brand new unit. Not a refurb.

No issues since.

The unit works very well. The only issue I have with it is sea state control. In heavy wind and chop I tend to lose visibility close tot he boat (about one ring worth). I've figured out this is spray coming off my bow and being blown up and across the path of the radar. I doubt any radar would do well in those conditions. I seem to be in them a lot though. :(

Anyway, Garmin does a very good job at customer support. Being stuck in Olathe, KS, their engineers don't really know much about salt water fishing, but they are learning.

A good alternative to RM and Furuno though. And even price competitive with Simrad, though I'd give Simrad the nod for a better design "right now". Next product refresh, who knows.

The thing that really frosts me about marine electronics though is that they become obsolete so damn fast. You get "maybe" 3-5 years out of it and it has absolutely no compatibility with new equipment and no resale value. And when you are talking about items that can cost up to $5k each, when you need three or four of them to for a "system", that is painful math.
 
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