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Old 07-01-2015, 12:16 AM   #1
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Anyone using Maretron Ultrasonic tanks sensor?

Is anyone using one of the Maretron ultrasonic tank level sensors? They are models TLM-100 and TLM-200. I'm curious if anyone has gotten them to work reliably. I have two TLM-200s used for my gray water and black water tanks. They have never worked very well, and have only gotten worse over time. At this point they are pretty much useless. I've checked and double checked the installation, followed all of Maretron's guidelines to the letter, but no joy.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:38 AM   #2
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Sorry I can not help with the troubleshooting TT but I am glad that you posted your troubles with them. I was going to buy 4 for my diesel tanks. The thing that attracted me was the very low profile versus traditional senders. The idiot engineers who designed my boat only left a few inches between the top of the tanks and the salon floor. My plan was to saw the old float assemblies off & let them fall into the tank then simply slide the Maretrons in and bolt them down. I'll have to rethink my plan now. Hopefully others will chime in here that have experience with them.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:57 AM   #3
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I wonder if they are the same sensors as those made by SSI. In what way are they unreliable? How are you displaying the information from the sender.

I would like to add a sender to my freshwater tanks and tie it into my engine display. The SSI senders seemed to be the solution for me. If the maretron sensors are the same as the SSI ones, I may need to look for other options.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Is anyone using one of the Maretron ultrasonic tank level sensors? They are models TLM-100 and TLM-200. I'm curious if anyone has gotten them to work reliably. I have two TLM-200s used for my gray water and black water tanks. They have never worked very well, and have only gotten worse over time. At this point they are pretty much useless. I've checked and double checked the installation, followed all of Maretron's guidelines to the letter, but no joy.
Did you also get thier waveguides, Al tubes for $50 each??

It needs those. Maretron is annoying in that they are selling stuff peice meal.

Meaning, oh you also need this for that to work, but it's an OPTION
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:26 PM   #5
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The feed back I've collected here and elsewhere is as follows:

- The seem to work OK for fuel and water - basically clean, clear liquids.

- The focus tubes seem to help with the TLM100 (the model that ranges up to 40").

- You cannot use the focus tubes with the TLM200 (the model that ranges up to 105", and the ones I'm using). I don't know why.

- They are very sensitive to installation. The hole needs to be at least 1.25". There can be no contact between the hole edges and the sounder, You can't use sealant. I don't know why.

- They seem marginal at best for black water. As surface scum develops, they lose their ability to get a reading. So far that appears to be why mine have stopped working. I'm going to flush my holding tank and see if that improves things.

- Gray water is marginal too. Suds from soap will cause it to lose it's reading.

- Condensation on the face of the sounder will cause it to lose it's reading. Hot shower and laundry water going into a gray water tank seems to cause exactly this. Coating the face of the sender with petroleum jelly helps.

- It needs to have an unobstructed view straight down to the bottom of the tank with nothing coming closer that about 6". No pickup pipes, baffles, etc.

- If when the tank is empty, there is no longer a remaining fluid surface to reflect back the signal, it will lose it.

My summary take so far is:

1) Don't use them fro black or gray water, only for fuel or fresh water.

2) Carefully check all the installation requirements before buying them. If you can't 100% comply, don't buy them.

3) They are finicky at best.

Oh, and last but most important. Holding tanks REALLY smell bad.
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:37 PM   #6
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Oh, and last but most important. Holding tanks REALLY smell bad.
They shouldn't if properly vented. The Hatteras has a 210 gallon tank and was not particularly odorous with the hoses and access plates removed, and we don't use any chemical additives.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:48 PM   #7
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TT - thank you for your post.
I have 4 TLM100s and have not been able to get them working. I have tried all of the recommendations. I was recently told, the focus tubes need to have rubber caps on the bottom.


I am still annoyed with Maretron from their N2Kview pricing change - when I bought my N2KView it was $999 per module - Base, Video, Alerts and Fuel. Then they came out with the new pricing model - $999 for all of the modules. BUT if you had bought the original product, they did not and will not grandfather the licensing to now include all of the modules. When I asked them this year at the Miami Boat Show, they simply recommended I purchase a new N2KView and I will have all of the modules. In my opinion - POOR Customer Service and POOR Marketing. I like NMEA2000 but the Maretron products are too expensive.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:21 PM   #8
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I'm not as down on Maretron as you, but I'm also not as thrilled as I once was. They are not cheap, but are much less than the alternatives like Boning and Simon. What I find annoying are the number of bugs in N2KView. I seem to report a few new ones every month or two. And these ultrasonic sounders are really problematic. I'm glad I used traditional float sensors in my fuel and water tanks.

And then there is Maretron's insistence on using Device Instance Numbers as the only way to distinguish between devices sending the same data like two GPSs or two heading sensors. Even though it's required, lots of products don't support programmable Instance Numbers, so can't be used with Maretron. And because nobody except Maretron depends on Instance Numbers, vendors don't seem too motivated to fix their non-compliant devices.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:05 AM   #9
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This information just saved me a pile of cash and aggravation.

A carefully thought out product review section on the forum where all similar info could be found in one place would be a very useful and valuable addition. I realize there are many other product review sites but I don't trust any of them, at least here on TT they would be based on real world experiences by real people we know.
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