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Thread: Lowrance VHF

  1. #1

    Lowrance VHF


    I have a Lowrance VHF (LVR-250) and the handpiece isn't working as the cord has been damaged beyond repair over time. At first I thought I would just buy a new handpiece but according to Lowrance this is not an option. Despite my radio being quite old, the handpiece looks very similar to the latest model unit and I'd be surprised if even a new mic didn't fit. Problem is, they don't seem to make them easy to replace like the GME units I have seen which simply clip on and off.

    Has anyone had experience replacing a handset on a Lowrance unit?
    Does anyone happen to have an old Lowrance VHF sitting in the shed that they don't want that I could try to swap mics with?

    I know I could just throw away my whole radio and replace with a new one but I'd like to explore my options first!


  2. #2

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    did all the plastic coating flake off the mic cords,,,,,, happened to two of mine , later models had a different type of coating, early ones were not UV resistant


  3. #3

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    That's exactly what's happened Big E. I have tried to fix it with coating of brush on electrical tape but the mic doesn't seem to be working and it now looks like a dogs breakfast.

    Due to the lack of support from Lowrance, I think I'll change brands if I have to buy a new radio. It just annoys me that there is nothing wrong with the radio itself but it will be a throwaway as its useless without a working handset. The cord breaking down is just poor material choice on Lowrances part.

  4. #4

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    Has anyone owned/used GME marine radios? I've used them in my 4wd drives for years and they have never let me down.

  5. #5
    Ausfish Silver Member 552Evo's Avatar
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    Jul 2016

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    Iíve had a GME GX600 for a couple years now. Pretty basic unit but have had no issues.
    If you can afford the upgrade look into getting a VHF that integrates your GPS, that way if youíre in distress your lat/long co ordinates are displayed independently.

    Saltwater fishing, boat mad but has a job that gets in the way.

  6. #6

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    Thanks for the feedback Evo. My current lowrance is hooked to the GPS and I see that some radios even have a built-in GPS antenna. Not sure if I'll head down that path again or not just yet.
    I'm liking the look of the GME GX700. As you said - basic but hopefully fault free!

  7. #7

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    I also had an issue with a Lowrance VHF radio in that the coating of the cable perished due to it having a crappy plastic coating covering over the wire. Radio worked fine but Lowrance couldn't care less and just wanted to sell me another radio. The unit was also designed not to be repaired either, rendering a fairly expensive radio irreparable because Lowrance cheaped out on using a decent cable which probably would have cost an extra $0.30 cents or something.

    Soldering a new cable and mic is pretty much out of the question (but not impossible if you have the skills) as the wires in those cable are extremely thin. As my unit was still functioning perfectly but would have had an issue with salt water penetration into the cable because the protective covering was broken in multiple places. Lowrance said that the reason it happened was because the cable wasn't stretched out regularly which caused it to fall apart. I disagreed with that assessment and I stand by my reasoning of it being a cheap quality cable as I have old coiled telephone cables that are close to 40 years old that haven't been stretched out regularly and still work as if they were new without the outer covering cracking and falling off, radio was about 5 years old and boat was under cover for most of its life.

    Lowrance would like to sell me another radio costing $400-500 because they designed that unit to not be repairable, like that was going to happen!!
    I ended up removing all the exterior cable coating and then wrapping a layer of self fusing plastic tape over the whole cable to make it water proof, where the cable entered the radio I had to use silastic adhesive to seal it up. It is ugly as hell but works fine.

    If I needed to buy another radio I would get a radio unit that had replaceable microphones and cable (they do exist) but I would not look at another Lowrance because of their attitude. That also includes Simrad, B&G etc., as they are all owned by the same company. Unfortunately a lot of manufacturers have the same attitude, they don't fix their products and hope you will buy another unit!

  8. #8

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    Like all Lowrance products, their radios have zero support in the way of spare parts apart from power leads and brackets. It may have changed but they were always a third party supplied product from China. The curly cords are not usually easily changed as they are moulded into the front case - so the whole lot needs to be changed. GME radios can be a hit and miss affair - their main issue being waterproofing but keep it dry and it will most likely be ok - I have 2 that are 12 years old - one has a crook speaker which was bypassed by using a remote unit but they both function. They did move their manufacturing overseas - at which time there was a noticeable increase in warranty issues ( a lot of which were water intrusion related). If you want the pick of the cheaper sets, my money is on Icom. Regardless of brand these days though, due to waterproofing trends, mics are less easily changed.

  9. #9

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    Thanks Edberg - I feel your pain. Lowrance will not be getting my money for another radio.

    Thanks Scottar for your experience with GME and Icom. Water isn't a big issue for me unless I go crazy with the hose after a day offshore but I'll definitely look into the icom aswell. In my prelim googling yesterday it seemds most units are rated at IPX7 for waterproofing but I do remember one had an IPX8 rating. If I was in an open boat I'd be pretty focussed on that one!

  10. #10

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    I was considering the Standard Horizon models to replace mine at the time. The lowest spec one, the GX1300 has a IP8 rating but no replaceable Mic., the others GX1300, GX1600, GX1700, and the GX2150 have facilities to plug in an external remote microphone. All have a 3 year water guarantee and a lifetime flat fee charge after the guarantee period. Having a waterproof unit makes it easy to wash away the salt at the end of a fishing day, this is assuming that all your other instruments and switches on your dash panel are also waterproof!

  11. #11

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    A 20 year career in marine electronics proved one thing fellas. There is no such thing as a "waterproof" electronic item unless it costs a ridiculous amount. If you want them to last - keep them dry.

  12. #12

    Re: Lowrance VHF

    Quote Originally Posted by joffo81 View Post
    Has anyone owned/used GME marine radios? I've used them in my 4wd drives for years and they have never let me down.
    Was a GME advocate in the past, with a number of their products in my old boat. As a result, I had no issue fitting GME branded items in the new one.
    I WONT be doing that again. The CD/ Music player gave up the ghost a little more than a year into its fitting & now the VHF too is dead. I was looking at the Lowrance product as my electronics are also Lowrance, but after reading here reckon I'll look at ICOM!

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