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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 0:56 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 0:28
Posts: 3
I've tried searching this forum - lots of good info here, and I'm hoping you can help me out.

I have a Lowrance AirMap 500 GPS that was working great... until I dropped it. Now every 8th row of pixels is blank.

I took the unit apart and found that by pressing on the flex cable to the display (JT1 in the picture below), I could get all the missing rows to work again. Thinking it was a loose connection I tried resoldering all 33 points. No improvement - the blank rows are still there, and now no amount of flexing or pressure will fix it.

So now I'm wondering if there's a way to fix this problem, or a source for a replacement. I tried contacting Lowrance but they no longer sell this GPS or stock parts for it. The LCD display itself seems to be a Wintek, with the following part number written on the flex cable: WD-G24181-6WNNb. The resolution is 180x240 (it's oriented vertically in the GPS).

Can this be fixed? Or is there somewhere I can buy a replacement LCD? Any and all help is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:04 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 0:28
Posts: 3
Well, I seem to have found a solution: buy a replacement screen. But it's not readily available. So I did a little more detective work on the part number and found out the following:

p/n: WD-G24181-6WNNb, where...
W- Wintek
D- Custom Design
G- Graphic (not Segment or Char.)
2418- resolution (240x180)
1- Chip-On-Tab
6- hi-temp, 6:00 viewing direction
W- FSTN B&W
N- no integral backlight
N- backlight color (none)
b- unknown

The most important clue was the "D" for 'custom design'. This meant I wasn't going to find this as an off-the-shelf item; it was designed specifically for Lowrance.

In short, I'd have to find a donor GPS. But in digging around I found other Lowrance products that shared the same form-factor as the Airmap 500. It only made sense that Lowrance would minimize costs by using the same design across several products, changing only the programming to make it a marine, hiker, aviation or automotive GPS. I checked their web-site's list of discontinued products and came up with the following products that had the same screen resolution (and appearance) as the Airmap 500:

iFinder Explorer
iFinder Hunt
iFinder Map+Music
iFinder Pro
iFinder H2O
iWay 100M

I then searched eBay, found, bid on and won an "iWay 100M" for $42. It arrived today. It was in beautiful shape, practically brand-new (as advertised). I turned it on and it works perfectly.

And with no further fanfare I took it apart.

I finally separated the LCD panel from the mainboard, checked the part numbers... eureka! A perfect match! I'll bring my Airmap 500 home from the plane this weekend and swap the screens out.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:11 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 0:28
Posts: 3
...and it works. The donor LCD is installed and my Airmap 500 is running normally again. Now the 4's look like 4's and not 1's (quite surprising to find myself only 10 miles from the airport when I'm actually 40 miles away...).

I put the old screen back in the Lowrance iWay. I may put it back on eBay and see if anybody wants it for the cables and accessories that come with it.


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