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Old 03-22-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
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City: Brownsville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Makin Do
Vessel Model: PT38 Sedan #60
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 67
Xantrex refurb - Buyer beware

A few months ago I started the exercise of replacing the existing Xantrex MS 2000 that was aboard Makin' Do.* That unit was less than 3 years old based on the print date of the operations manual.* (We've had the boat less than a year and did not receive any purchase receipts for the onboard equipage.)*
Contact with the manufacturer indicated the unit had a power supply problem.* The options were; purchase a new unit or they could sell me a refurbished unit at about 1/2 price of a new one.* Other than cost, the net difference to the buyer is the new unit comes with a 2 year warranty and the refurb has a 1 year warranty.* The refurb is also tested after having been repaired.
No credit was offered for the old unit, neither was repair.
After opting for the refurb and installing it I observed some questionable operation of the unit and called tech support again. *They said the symptoms indicated I needed a firmware update.* Xantrex offered 2 solutions.* Remove the inverter/charger (I/C) and take it to a repair facility or take the boat to a repair facility. *Since I live on the West side of the Puget Sound and all the facilities are on the East (Seattle) side it was cost effective to take the boat to Seattle and avoid the hassle of removing a 70 pound box from an awkward mount (2 person job) and then taking the ferry to Seattle so I could enjoy playing in the big city workday traffic. *Besides, taking the boat meant I could visit a new marina and have lunch in a new restaurant. **(Had to get some lemonade out of this fiasco.)

The replacement MS-2000 was shipped with firmware Ver. 1.02 and was updated to 1.04. *The work was done by Emerald Harbor Marine in less than an hour. *They are very professional and easy to work with.

The tech said Ver. 1.02 is so dumb that it doesnt accept configuration input from the remote control unit and the operator has no indication that the configuration was not accepted! *Before the firmware update the I/C was stuck on the default settings of 400 AH wet cell battery bank. *Fortunately I have a lead acid house bank but it is 800 AH so it wasnt getting anywhere near the charge it needed.

The bottom line is, if youre going to get a refurbished I/C, ask the selling agent if it will have the latest soft/firmware installed when you receive it. *I suspect this advice applies to other electronics too.

Poulsbo, WA
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