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Raymarine E7D plotter issue

Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
So, I’ve been having this little plotter issue this last two yrs. When the boat icon moves on the chart, sometimes the icon gets “stuck”. It does not change position. It’s dangerous if you’re not keeping track via DR. Plotter is in a navpod on the binnacle so good gps reception. This is in the mode where the boat moves and not the chart keeping the boat in the middle. And If I touch the boat symbol in the upper left corner, which is supposed to center the boat icon, it turns gray and locks up the plotter. So, I call up Raymarine service in NH and the first thing they ask is for the software version number. Didn’t know it. They wouldn’t talk to me without it. Went to the boat and got the number and called RM back. They said I have to update the software version. I say why? The issues are basic plotter operations and should work with ANY software version. They say not necessarily so. I say so you release s/w versions that are not tested? After a little conversation, it was apparent the person was at the edge of knowledge. So,
- anybody see a flaw with my reasoning? Why should s/w version affect BASIC plotter operation?
- also the touch screen ops in wet weather never did work well. I started thinking its time to get rid of the E7D as if my problems are hardware related, it may not be cost effective to fix it and I don’t believe the S/W BS. I then went to West Marine armed with an empty spray bottle and asked to talk to the electronics guy. I said I wanted to test the axiom and we went to the display case. I held up the bottle and asked if he would fill with water. Eyes wide open and he asked why and I said I want to test with water. A little hhhmm...and then gave a big smile and said he would be back. I soaked the whole screen on the axiom and my fingers. I have to say the touch screen operations worked extremely well.
I sorta have to stay with RM as I also have a RM HD radar which won’t interface with other Mfgrs. I was impressed with the axiom but I could make do with the E7D without spending $2800 if the basic functions worked. I could update but it would be another season to test.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,849
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
- anybody see a flaw with my reasoning? Why should s/w version affect BASIC plotter operation?
These are not flaws in the s/w, they are undocumented features. :)

Seriously, s/w is released all the time with bugs. Sometimes it takes really unique circumstances or combinations of hardware for the bugs to show up. Adding new hardware can also cause issues.
 

Ward H

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Nov 7, 2011
3,129
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
I like your approach to testing the Axiom under wet conditions. The few times I've been caught out in wet weather I've found the Axiom touch screen to be easy to use when wet.
Much easier than my iPhone.
 
Jul 1, 2010
871
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
We have an E7 (not the D version). We have not had the problems you are experiencing but I use ours in the mode where the boat stays centered and the chart moves (north up).

Since I did a lot of tech support in my previous working life, I can understand why they would want you to update to most recent version of the software before spending time troubleshooting, as it could easily be a software glitch that could have already been fixed. Time is money to a for-profit corporation like theirs.

That said, I recently updated ours to the most recent version of the Lightfield software to try to fix another issue I was having. It was a pretty straight forward process, and I've had no issues with the update. I did end up calling Raymarine tech support, and found they were very helpful and got back to me a couple of times. My particular issue was with the unit not being able to seamlessly switch from 1 Navionics card to another due to chart overlap. It was a case of "sorry, but that issue can't be resolved on your E7". However, it was the Raymarine guy who asked me "Why didn't you just buy the Navionics USA and Canada version on one card instead of buying Eastern US and Canada cards separately". Duh...didn't know you could get it that way, I guess. So I got it resolved with Navionics by returning the 2 cards and got a single, all inclusive one. Problem solved, and some money saved. Thanks Raymarine.
 
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Blitz

.
Jul 10, 2007
610
Seidelmann 34 Atlantic Highlands, NJ
I have the E7 (not D) and have always been diligent on updating software. As others say, not too difficult but I find the description of the update includes things not in my system so sometimes don't know what was gained. Other times small changes made things better, so there must be changes they don't describe.

My issues are intermittent. seems to turn off and turn back on whenever it feels like it. At first thought it was a power issue but don't think it is. It also restarts exactly where it left off if I'm recording a track. I don't have to hit anything for it to restart or go back into chart view. Strange.

Also at times zooming in or out is very slow. other times it is not. Sometimes I will turn Autopilot off and the chart takes over 30 seconds to refresh, but again not all the time.

I'm worried on service in the middle of the season or sending it in and their response is that there is nothing wrong with it.

Good luck, but my vote would be to update.
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
I also have an SPX5 wheel pilot. A yr ago there was an update that I did on it and the P70 controller. The compass will now not calibrate and I had to put in 18deg of manual compensation. Still not right but better. So, maybe if I update the E7, it would calibrate??? That says they both should be updated and updated concurrently assuming the E7 update solves this. This is BS. If I could, I would reinstall the previous version for the pilot. It worked. I guess I just don’t get all this s/w update stuff. It should be tested in all scenarios and configs before releases occur. I think I'm going to go the axiom route with the latest s/w and see if the pilot calibrates and then, no more updates assuming things are working correctly. And the touch screen would work in all environments. I don’t have the time for sea trials.
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,432
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
I'm not sure why you seem to be dead set against updating the software version of your E7D. Cost would be minimal unless you have to travel a great distance to the boat to do the update or some other unknown factor that I can't discern from your previous posts. If it works, you saved $2800 or so. If it doesn't you then can spend the money. I once had a problem with the screen going "white" after some operations. I could simply push a couple buttons and got the screen back working properly. Called Raymarine tech support and they had identified that bug and the next version would fix that. It came out a few weeks later and fixed everything and I'm very pleased with the operation (its an e series Raymarine).

Now, if you'e looking for a reason to justify the upgrade to the admiral then I'm all on board for that!
 
Jul 1, 2010
871
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
The software update for the E7 is free from Raymarine. Just download it and put it on a new micro sd card. Put the card in the unit and turn it on. Updates automatically on startup. They recommend you save your data first onto another card just in case it disappears, but ours didn't. Follow their instructions and you should be fine. Worst case is you manage to brick the unit somehow, but then, you're looking at new ones anyhow :)
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,849
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Software is always a work in progress, so there are always updates. It is just simply impossible to identify all the possible combinations of equipment and circumstances that an MFD might encounter to prevent problems from occurring. Besides, programmers are human and it is not unusual for a typo to get buried in thousands or millions of lines of code to go unnoticed until something happens.

It also happens that programmers find a better, faster, or more accurate ways of writing a section of code or new features are added to accommodate new devices on the network. Updating the s/w is easy enough, it makes sense to do it.

Of course, there are some people who are still using Windows XP.
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
“Updating the s/w is easy enough, it makes sense to do it.”
Ya thats why my ipad and phone slow down with every software update...I don’t agree with you that every combination and circumstances can’t be identified. The aviation industry does it. Software doesn't hit a plane until it’s fully vetted. Pilots are not finding out weird stuff with their displays etc. we won’t discuss the Max..Cars don’t have weird issues. My point is these consumer companies are not testing their software adequately. Some of the issues I have, have been around since day one six yrs ago and with the unit sent in at one time and all updates done. I know how to update but I have little hope it will solve the issues. I know it won’t with the touchscreen. That’s a hardware issue. The admiral says buy a new one! And I also have a go ahead for a new genny!
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
we won’t discuss the Max
Apparently because it completely refutes your point that:
I don’t agree with you that every combination and circumstances can’t be identified. The aviation industry does it.
The Max (and the 346 deaths) are proof they don't.

My car, too has some weird issues. Lately it started locking the doors on its own. Still don't know why, and can't find any setting to stop it. But it didn't do that for the first three years of its life.

It's just good that Raymarine and other manufacturers have a way of patching their systems.
 

Blitz

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Jul 10, 2007
610
Seidelmann 34 Atlantic Highlands, NJ
many of the E7 units were recalled years ago, please be sure yours wasnt one of the units.
 
May 17, 2004
3,483
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I don’t agree with you that every combination and circumstances can’t be identified.
You're right, every code path and possible state could be identified and tested, if you had a nearly unlimited amount of time. There is a whole branch of software engineering called formal methods that applies ways to rigorously and mathematically prove that functionality is correct. But applying those methods to any reasonably complex system quickly becomes impractical. Not just a little expensive or time consuming, but really not feasible.

Also, RM might be suggesting the update not just because of the chance for it to fix the problem, but also to enable them to provide more effective tech support as they continue to troubleshoot. The latest version is the only one that's supported, which means literally they won't support the old ones. When they ask you to take a step to troubleshoot the issue, they don't want to cause confusion if that step moved to a different menu or a different place on the screen from an old version. Their techs probably aren't trained in all the differences between versions and it would invite more issues to deal with the differences.
 
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Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Not talking about testing at the code level. I understand all that. Test at the user level. That’s where we see issues. Develop a system rig that includes all interfaces etc that different equipments plug into. Develop a matrix type procedure that tests new equipments and/or s/w updates with other equipments in their different operating modes. I have to believe this occurs in some form. It’s just not very inclusive. I don’t believe that a company should use it’s customer base to gain feedback to tweak. Naturally, there has to be parametric bounds. But one s/w version back should be within such. Then there’s the safety aspect. Consumer and professional mariners depend on this equipment even with all the disclaimers..