Simrad Shipmate RS8400 DSC Controller Keypad problem

CharlieShaw1955

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18 Sep 2015
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On my Sigma 38, Incitatus, I have a Simrad Shipmate RS8400 VHF Radiotelephone and DSC Controller. These were probably installed around 2000. The DSC Controller is flush mounted in a panel above the chart table in the nav station.

The radio and handset work fine, but the DSC Controller has a minor fault, in that several keys on the key pad are unresponsive, especially the ESC key, which is vital to return selections to the main menu after programming, e.g. the type of distress call.

Simrad have been singularly unhelpful, no longer providing even spares support for this model, simply recommending I buy a new radio, which I'm reluctant to do on cost grounds, especially as the radio works fine (and I can send a voice Mayday if necessary) and it would mean messing with the panel the DSC Controller is flush mounted in. eBay hasn't anything either.

So does anyone have a Simrad Shipmate RS8400 DSC Controller they don't need? or any spares for one, especially a keypad or front panel? or alternatively any advice pertinent, such as is this a corrosion issue, which might be restorable?
 

AntonyBlackwell

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11 Jun 2014
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Hi Charlie,

Sounds like you need to clean the circuit board behind the keys. I have had to do it before on my remote control for the sky box as coffee was spilled on it. I also have a 8400 DSC on my boat and have had it open to reset the MMSI. The front panel comes off easily with the four black screws on the back of the front panel near the edges. I would use some electrical cleaner in a green spray from Halfords and use a lint free cloth to wipe each part clean. The contacts are either a carbon contact in the back of the button pressing on a circuit board or two circuits separated by a plastic spacer with holes. Either way you should be able to see the problem and if the problem is the contact material has come off just put some more on (tinfoil or such).
 
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