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Author Topic:   I-Command Gauge Temperature Ranges
tomrollman posted 05-14-2009 02:04 AM ET (US)   Profile for tomrollman   Send Email to tomrollman  
I am in the process of repowering my commercial salmon fishing skiff with a new 2006 225 E-TEC. I decided to replace my old gauges with two 3-1/2-inch I-Command digital gauges. My dealer told me today that there may be [a concern] with the gauges being left out in temperatures lower than -4 degrees-F. Our summer fishing temperatures are typically in the 60's in Dilllingham, Alaska, but over the winter it can easily get colder than 4-below. He said they might be ruined by the cold. Has anyone heard of this or had any experience with it? Thanks.
jimh posted 05-14-2009 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The temperature range of most liquid crystal displays is limited by the potential for the liquid to freeze. This is not particularly a problem unique to the Evinrude I-Command gauge series. In an environment like Alaska, there may be more risk than in most boating environments for damage to occur with extreme low temperatures.

Over this winter in Michigan we had one or two cold days when the overnight low temperature was below 0-degrees. I haven't check my gauges yet, and I have my fingers crossed.

tomrollman posted 05-14-2009 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for tomrollman  Send Email to tomrollman     
Thanks Jim. Your wealth of knowledge is amazing! I have learned a great deal from your forums. Would you suggest calling BRP to get clarification on this? It sounds like I might need to remove the gauges each winter and take them with me. Do you happen to have a contact # for a tech at Evinrude I might be able to call? Thanks a million. BTW, I have 6 of the Optima Blue tops and love them! :-)
jimh posted 05-14-2009 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A temperature of -4°F corresponds to -20°C. This sounds like a rating for the I-Command display of -20°C, which is not quite as good as some other LCD devices which can be rated to -30°C, or -22°F. I imagine the temperature range is probably a function of cost, with devices with a wider range of ambient temperature being more expensive. It might also be that the I-Command is rated for higher temperatures, as it could easily get very warm in the cockpit of an open boat in summer in tropical regions.

I don't see much way around this, other than perhaps insulating the dashboard and keeping a small lamp, say a 15-Watt lamp, burning all winter.

I think the I-Command gauges are fitted with nice connectors, so it should not be too troublesome to pull them out when decommissioning the boat in the Fall, or to put them back in place in the Spring.

tomrollman posted 05-14-2009 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for tomrollman  Send Email to tomrollman     
Looks like I will be pulling them each season..... :-) I am still going to try to contact Evinrude. If I find out anything I will let you know. Thanks again.
jimh posted 05-14-2009 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is a manufacturer's page with specification on ambient operating and ambient storage temperatures:

http://www.altadox.com/lcd/knowledge/lcd_temperature_ranges.htm

Based on this it appears to be possible to make an LCD-type display that can tolerate -40°C.

SJUAE posted 05-15-2009 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    
From the Lowrance owners manual:

The storage and operation temperature range for your unit is from -4 degrees to +167 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees to +75 degrees Celsius).

Extended storage or operation in temperatures higher or
lower than specified will damage the liquid crystal display in your unit.

This type of damage is not covered by the warranty. For more information, contact the factory's Customer Service Department; phone numbers are inside the manual's back cover.

800-324-1356
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time, M-F

Regards
Steve

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