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Full Version: [DG11] ST60+ Masthead Wind - Reasons for failure
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I purchased a new masthead sensor June 2015. Had it fail and subsequently repaired Nov. 2016. Now 2 years later it failed again. It was working before the winter.
Taken off the top of the mast and stored in the boat. When reinstalled this spring it was not working. I ran the multi-meter tests determined it was the sensor and because I was in the middle of a week long regatta purchased a replacement sensor. The sensor worked when connected to the existing wiring.
The question I have is what will cause a sensor to fail. Since I believe these units are not longer serviceable and $400 ea. I would like to keep this one working as long as possible. So what should I be checking to remove a source of failure? Will a short damage the board? Anything else?

Hi dprice@plugnpay.com

Thankyou for your enquiry,

Masthead units can fail for a variety of reason, the most common is damaged connections or high resistance connections in the masthead transducer or external damage, lightning, storm damage etc.

It is always recommended that when the mast is removed, remove the masthead unit before it is unstepped, then make sure the socket that te transducer plugs in to is carefully checked for signs of corrosion, if any - it should be cleaned with electrical cleaner and carefully protected over the winter.

The removed transducer should be stored in a dry place and not subjected to excessive fluctuating heat or excessive humidity or subject to fluctuating magnetic fields, static discharge etc.


Is the masthead unit still serviceable? How long is the warranty for a previously repaired unit?
Hi dprice@plugnpay.com

Thankyou for your feedback.

The current version of the masthead Transducer - with hemispherical cups and an egg shaped body is repairable and the normal warranty applied to a repair is 6 months.

The older style masthead transducer with a vertical tube shaped body is no longer repairable.

I finally did a biopsy on the failed WindVane to see why it died 2 years after it was repaired by Raymarine, which to me seems a very short period of time. From the picture it is apparent that it died from moisture intrusion. The ORing appeared to be dried out w/several cracks. Why this critical part is not covered in 5 cents of
waterproof coating is beyond me. The unit I replaced this one with has now also stopped working and this is only after 3 months. I don't know yet if it is wiring or a unit failure. Extremely frustrating.
Hi dprice@plugnpay.com,

Thankyou for your feedback, reviewing the returns of masthead unit we (fortunately) see very few failures of the type you describe, it is unusual for the O ring to dry out and crack, for sure the environment is very hostile at the top of the mast, but even so, I have not previously had similar reports.

What is the mounting of this transducer, what size mast and where is the boat moored/ sailed?

Boat is a J105, sailed in Long Island Sound from April - Sept. Then hauled/covered and the transducer stored inside the boat. Mast is 50'. Not counting the original unit which was on the boat when purchased, I had 4 failures in 4 years. To be fair the last failure maybe wiring and I won't know that until the mast is unstepped in a few weeks. I see the PCB's for sale and replacement videos on youtube (with 20,000 views), so I find it hard to believe it is that rare.
Hi dprice@plugnpay.com

masthead units fail for a variety of reasons, many are static related, either a direct lightning strike or nearby static discharge - this is the most common failure, without knowing the other issues you had we cannot comment further, but water ingress to the body of the windvane pod is not a common cause.

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