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Old 02-07-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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Lowrance GPS/Sonar combo problem - help?

Guys, putting this up in desperation in the hope someone on this forum might have encountered this issue and fixed it without having to rip everything out and attempt an expensive solution/replacement of parts etc.
Just towards the end of our open ocean trip outside Moreton Bay, after Xmas, where we traveled non-stop for 11 hrs, our trusty F120 never missed a beat, but suddenly, nearing anchorage at last, the depth reading on the Lowrance beastie started winking and was clearly not reading right. It is a circa 2005(new) LMS 335 C DF, GPS/Sonar combination unit.
I have struck this winking before, but it usually just meant the transducer had got air under it where I have it mounted in the part of the bilge where it is clear of the keel, and never pumped dry, but in a seaway sometimes would break contact briefly, and wink until it settled down. It has always worked so well in the 7 odd years I've had it I never felt the need to make a hole in the bottom or stick it in a cement of any kind. This time nothing fixes it. Cable, contacts, surface of transducer, water depth, etc all fine. I contacted Lowrance and was impressed with their speedy response, and they advised me how to do a hard reset, which they thought would fix it. This seemed likely, as it was the longest it had been in continuous use ever, and they are basically damn computers, aren't they, so a reboot in effect sounded hopeful. However, it hasn't worked, even after several attempts. Any ideas I've not thought of..? I guess I'm not holding my breath here when even Lowrance had no other suggestions, but.....folks sometimes discover stuff....
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
Guys, putting this up in desperation in the hope someone on this forum might have encountered this issue and fixed it without having to rip everything out and attempt an expensive solution/replacement of parts etc.
Just towards the end of our open ocean trip outside Moreton Bay, after Xmas, where we traveled non-stop for 11 hrs, our trusty F120 never missed a beat, but suddenly, nearing anchorage at last, the depth reading on the Lowrance beastie started winking and was clearly not reading right. It is a circa 2005(new) LMS 335 C DF, GPS/Sonar combination unit.
I have struck this winking before, but it usually just meant the transducer had got air under it where I have it mounted in the part of the bilge where it is clear of the keel, and never pumped dry, but in a seaway sometimes would break contact briefly, and wink until it settled down. It has always worked so well in the 7 odd years I've had it I never felt the need to make a hole in the bottom or stick it in a cement of any kind. This time nothing fixes it. Cable, contacts, surface of transducer, water depth, etc all fine. I contacted Lowrance and was impressed with their speedy response, and they advised me how to do a hard reset, which they thought would fix it. This seemed likely, as it was the longest it had been in continuous use ever, and they are basically damn computers, aren't they, so a reboot in effect sounded hopeful. However, it hasn't worked, even after several attempts. Any ideas I've not thought of..? I guess I'm not holding my breath here when even Lowrance had no other suggestions, but.....folks sometimes discover stuff....
Can you pull it and just toss it over the side to see if totally clear water solves the problem?

Could be the ducer is just on it's last legs...they do go bad.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:46 AM   #3
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Sadly, resetting soft or hard, did not help, so now I am looking at the transducer as the likely culprit. What tees me off is the fact that it is quite likely it will no longer be in production. I suppose I shouldn't moan, its has served well for 8 yrs, but all the same, it would be nice if makers of this stuf would at least make the various hardware bits interchangeable, and compatible with other models they make. I mean! How many wires does a transducer lead need..? Anyway, it gives me a chance once removed to do what psneeld suggested, but I am pretty sure the purity of the water is not the issue. Actually, even if the transducer can be replaced, it will probably cost more than just buying two simpler standalone sonar units, as I ned one upstairs as well as down. The GPS function is still working fine in it.
Ironic isn't it. The one depth sounder still working is an old Seafarer which is the original sounder, succeeded by the Lowrance x70a, which I put upstairs when I got the combo unit in 2004, both of which are now defunct. This old seafarer even has a strobe readout. Fortunately also a digital as well, as it is much easier to read. It's only failing even now is it is no good once the water is over about 12 metres for some reason.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:25 AM   #4
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I doubt you will have a problem unless the Lowrance is some funny frequency.

Ducers only need 2 or three wires unless you have seped/temp also...some even just use coax cable. I know some techs that never even run new ducer wire if it's going to cost too much to pull it...they will just splice in a new ducer in the bilge.

I just ordered (last December) a brand new ducer off ebay for $99 for a 10+ year old Furuno...but before all the Furuno fanatics say SEE, Furuno has great support (which of course they do!!!!...) it was just a stock Airmar ducer. Almost all have adapter plugs for just about every fishfinder out there.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:45 PM   #5
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Inerchanging transducers is not an issue. I have sourced on the n the vrious wiring diagrams and matched different unit with different sounders and never had an issue.

You can easily just buy the lowrance sounder on ebay USA and just replace. No need to change heada unit unless that is the issue. My Lowrance LCX 11HD shut down on a long trip once, and i think it was an overheat issue. It has not done it again and at the time i had two back ups so just shut it down and next day it was fine, no drama.

Hope you can sort it out, but it does not sound like a big dollar problem. If that is the only issue after a long trip, then you are in good shape.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:27 AM   #6
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Ok, thanks for those thoughts guys. I was down at the boat today again, and the sonar still no go. So it was not just a heat issue unfortunately - if only.
However, if what you say is true, then it is still possible the thru hull of the old x70a, the only one that is a true thruhull, if I get a good techy, might be able to at least be able to be made use of as the tranny for any new sonar I get. Lowrance have some really quite cheap monochrome sonar only units, which would be all I need, as the GPS part of the combo unit, with the now apparently defunct sonar, still works fine, and I have the Navionics in my iPad as GPS back-up. Ok, I won't hold my breath, but maybe...just maybe....
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