Working chart plotters. Check!

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The one thing I have done with my Raymarine E80 is keep the software updated.  I'm not aware that the software is changing fast on these devices like it does on the oh-so-smart phones.  Sure I go to the Raymarine website once in a while to see what the latest information is, but the problem revolves around the disc that contains the updates.  It's one of those compact flash cards - yeah, rocking the 90s technology!  I do not have a handy little universal card reader that I can USB into my lappy and then convert over to the compact flash - not that that would be hard to do, but I just haven't done it.  Those little devices you can buy at the drug store for not even $20.  I'm thinking I can probably swing that, but in this case, I needed a little more help than a card reader.  My units, one topsides and one at the nav station, were showing me funny stuff and not helpful funny stuff like the boat graphic going sideways as we move in any particular direction.  Changing the view to heads up or north didn't work and trying to reset the whole thing didn't work either.  Thankfully, we met a very help guy, Ken, at the Raymarine display during the sailboat show.

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Brad got in touch with Ken to come to the boat and take a look at the set up and figure out what was wrong and get us on the latest software version.  First thing to mention was that Ken was on time and that means a lot to me at least when I have to take care of something first thing in the morning and then get to the office right away after.  Star number one.  Ken was friendly, helpful and wanted to get to the bottom of the issue.  Star number two.  We went through everything I'd done to work it out myself, he did all of the hard resets and whatever else the service folks do that mere owners never quite have all the skills to do, and we tested different scenarios.  Nothing was fixing the problem.  He got on the phone and called up to Raymarine's head offices in New Hampshire and talked with the gurus up there too.  Last thing, and I joked about this from the beginning, was that the problem would be a loose wire somewhere.  Well, guess what, it was a friggin' loose wire right at the Seatalk Network box.  Ken said I was lucky it didn't start a fire - my one greatest fear.  Star number three.  I suppose I could have found the problem, but I still needed the software update and that went smoothly at this point.  Then Ken walked me through all the points of the update.  It appeared as though my boat graphic now pointed the way the boat actually points (easier to confirm away from the dock actually moving), the overlays were syncing, etc., and voila, working chart plotters!  Star number four (out of four for this exercise).  The only thing left is to get a new chart card.  My current one is 2006 and that's OK since I haven't been venturing anywhere but the Bay, but it's time for updated charts so come spring I'll deal with that investment.