Originally Posted by willk
I'm undecided, £75 seems like a lot for a battery. Better sunk in a new unit? Can't decide!
Lets call it ~£100 if you are getting it done for you to provide some assurance it actually still works... (I'm assume you don't fancy the MustRib method of testing!)
So half the price of a new unit.
Question is what would the new unit do the old wouldn't?
Some of the new ones have 7 year life. Some may have faster GPS acquisition but I'd want to see a head to head test in the water with waves for any assurance.
In 5 years time your unit will be 10 years old. I'd expect the modern kit by then to be smaller, lighter, more robust, cheaper, easier to self test, integrated to AIS / DSC or in some other way generally better... ...if I was sat at McMurdo I'd be adding a waterproof Micro USB connector that would let me run some diagnostics via a USB connection to a PC, powered by the USB so that testing used no battery, but able to read the battery state. If I was part of COPAS I'd be suggesting a digital test message that could actually ping the sat and then show up on a web-server but as it would be flagged as test wouldn't result in all the bells and whistles being sounded in an MRCC... Perhaps there is a risk of talking over a live signal but it seems odd there is no good way to test without building a faraday cage and then piping a GPS signal into the cage which seems a bit false!
If you replace your battery (or get someone to) then in 5 years time you will probably want to replace the unit. But in theory you are £100 up to do it with
If you replace the unit you might get one thats slightly smaller, slightly lighter and has 66 GPS Channels instead of 50. But I'd guess if better kit is available in 5 years time you'll want to replace again...
Final option? Is there a market for short life units? Thinking in the Yachtie Race World or even the Round Britain PB World - if you have till Jan 2015 would someone take it for ?£100 (Can they be re-registered?) rather than spend £200+ on one if they only want it for one event. You then spend the £100 you were going to on service plus the sale value of the old unit and get a brand new bit of kit...