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Old 01-19-2019, 07:46 PM   #1
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Need a new depth finder...

Hello all. My depth finder is becoming more and more unreliable. Itíll read 3.4í then jump to 350í then 9 (which is correct). I think the transducer must be failing. I have two simple (old) read outs. One is at the upper help, one is at the lower helm.

I am on a budget. I am considering going wireless using an iPad. Anyone have a wireless depth finder?

Iím just looking for general recommendations of what people have and what they do or donít like.

Thank you

Steve
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:28 PM   #2
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There are many wireless units for ice fishing but usually have their own readout display and not meant to be mounted or used while moving. You would need a new transducer anyway so why not just use a new thru hull readout transducer for your current system. Easy to install and relatively cheap IMHO. Good luck, not fun not knowing how much water is under you. We had to do this for 9 days this past summer and it is a little unnerving.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:31 PM   #3
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What is your current depth finder ? What kind of transducer?
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:14 AM   #4
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If you already have a NMEA 2000 network on board you can buy a Airmar P79 which is a shoot-through-the-hull installation (no haul out needed). A little pricey but relatively easy to install. They also have a NMEA 0183 version.

Almost any depth finder can be used STTH by putting the transducer in a ziplock bag of water and placed face down on the hull interior. Problem is bags of water fall over and drain out at the worst time. Transducers with paddlewheels can wear small holes and drain too. No water-no echo.



My question would be do you know the transducer face is clean of barnacles and other growth?
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:13 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I’m not sure what kind I have but I believe it’s a through hull transducer. I believe I saw the puck on the inside of the hull.

I don’t believe to have any Barnacles, maybe some slime. But we just ran the boat for 12 hours so I believe most of that should have been cleaned off.

Is there a way to troubleshoot to see what exactly is going on?

Another question, are there depth finders that actually have an actual image of what’s under the boat instead of just a number? Are they worth having in a trawler or are those just used for fishing?

Thanks guys. Probably going to the boat at the end of the week to get some work done.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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Steve- what brand and model of depth finder? Ie Garmin, Raymarine etc. you say there is a puck on the inside of the boat- can you get up close to it? If itís airmar and a shoot thru the hull it may just need fluid in the puck. Just unscrew it, fill with pink antifreeze and screw the top back on.

Before you unscrew, make sure itís airmar- so you donít get a surpriseClick image for larger version

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Old 01-20-2019, 10:42 AM   #7
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T-BOX WiFi transmitter

From vexilar , external mount or internal shot thru the hull.





NAVIONICS NOW OFFERS FISH FINDER OPTION IN APP


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Old 01-20-2019, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve91T View Post
Hello all. My depth finder is becoming more and more unreliable. Itíll read 3.4í then jump to 350í then 9 (which is correct). I think the transducer must be failing. I have two simple (old) read outs. One is at the upper help, one is at the lower helm.

I am on a budget. I am considering going wireless using an iPad. Anyone have a wireless depth finder?

Might be the least expensive solution is simply replacing the existing transducer plug. Could be as simple as pulling the old plug, inserting the new...

Would maybe help folks advise if you can report exact components for your system: upper display, lower display, actual transducer brand/model. Might be much of that still works well...

For example, we have two depth systems, one a simple DST sounder, the other a DST fishfinder. The NMEA0183 transducer plug is easy, and even relatively dry, to pull/replace while in the water... but then it would need wiring pulled to bridge. Not all that difficult, in our case.

The other is a NMEA2000 plug -- which recently did in fact need replacing -- and which is equally easy but not quite as dry to pull/replace while in the water.. but then the wiring run is only about 4' to the nearest hub.

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Old 01-20-2019, 12:46 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Steve91T;733155]Thanks guys, I’m not sure what kind I have but I believe it’s a through hull transducer. I believe I saw the puck on the inside of the hull.



Post a well lit picture of what is inside.


I don’t believe to have any Barnacles, maybe some slime. But we just ran the boat for 12 hours so I believe most of that should have been cleaned off.


Barnacles will not wash off. You really should put on a mask and take a look.



Is there a way to troubleshoot to see what exactly is going on?


Not without knowing make and model of DF AND Transducer.


Another question, are there depth finders that actually have an actual image of what’s under the boat instead of just a number? Yes. Just look at Garmin, Simrad, Raymarine, Furuno websites for fishfinders. Are they worth having in a trawler or are those just used for fishing? What they give you is an easy to interpret depth trend. They can tell you the bottom makeup ie sand, rocks, mud, grass IF you know what you are looking at. Takes a LOT of interpretation to be right all the time. I have not found the need on a trawler yet. Fishing, yes!

Thanks guys. Probably going to the boat at the end of the week to get some work done.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:07 PM   #10
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1. +1 on the fishfinder. I can watch my anchor deploy and when it lifts off the bottom. And this is on a 1983 Furuno FF!

2. +1 on the photos and system specifics. Help us to help you by providing the specifics.

3. I recently had an old unit from the 80s fail. Tried in vain to replace but couldn't find one. Bought a Hawkeye DS unit that fit an unused 2' hole in my overhead panel from an old ammeter. They sell new for $99, I bought a refurbished for $69 with transducer. Since I have a non-cored hull, I was able to epoxy the XDR to the inside of the hull and 'shoot-thru' the hull. It works like a champ but is one meter and XDR per station.

I spoke to them recently and asked about a 2-station and/or wireless setup. They said one was in the works and they'd begin Beta testing it soon. I'm on the list to be a Beta tester but I don't know when or if that actually happens. Could be an interesting concept for dual helm boats.

I have an operating but underutilized wifi network on my boat that I'd like to use more for accessories such as this and security cameras like Arlo. But then again, it's all good and fine as long as the network operates. But then your wifi can become a single point of failure. Maybe not a big deal with cameras or video links but depth soundings are very important to me.

4. That another reason for the fishfinder....redundancy.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Steve- what brand and model of depth finder? Ie Garmin, Raymarine etc. you say there is a puck on the inside of the boat- can you get up close to it? If itís airmar and a shoot thru the hull it may just need fluid in the puck. Just unscrew it, fill with pink antifreeze and screw the top back on.

Before you unscrew, make sure itís airmar- so you donít get a surpriseAttachment 84460
So when I was cleaning out an engine strainer I saw the puck and it had a screw on lid similar to what you posted. Iíve never heard of a puck needing to have fluid in it. Maybe thatís my problem.

Again Iím 500 miles away from the boat so Iíll have to check it out later this week. But I will hold off ordering a new one until I get to the boat and see exactly what I have and what it might need.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:27 AM   #12
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If it's an Airmar there will likely be a tag w model # on it.
It should be a couple ft from the puck. Dig around... mine was hidden. Those are available on eBay relatively cheap quite often but there are many models that look similar but arent.
The pucks don't need fluid but the " container" that is adhered to the hull has to have fluid in it to couple the puck and the hull to get the signal through... water, glycerin, anti freeze, will work. Water not the best as it will evaporate.
Also when you remove the lid be sure to note the angle setting to get it reinstalled the same.
Also worth checking the plug end into the display and/or network junction.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:56 AM   #13
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Need a new depth finder...

Yup I said puck, I meant container. If boat is in water, pink is best if in a freezing area. Some purists say mineral oil- not needed. And Bacchusí other point of keeping track of the position is spot on-
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve91T View Post
Hello all. My depth finder is becoming more and more unreliable. Itíll read 3.4í then jump to 350í then 9 (which is correct). I think the transducer must be failing. I have two simple (old) read outs. One is at the upper help, one is at the lower helm.

I am on a budget. I am considering going wireless using an iPad. Anyone have a wireless depth finder?

Iím just looking for general recommendations of what people have and what they do or donít like.

Thank you

Steve
Intermittent problems are the most difficult to solve.

Try unplugging the connectors and squirting them with WD40 first, before spending $.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:39 AM   #15
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Just got to the boat. Hereís my transducer. I started to unscrew it and antifreeze came out, so I tightened it back up. Think I should just top it off?
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:35 PM   #16
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Well maybe just jiggling is all it needed. So far it’s been rock solid.
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:43 PM   #17
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:08 PM   #18
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That sure looks like a thru-hull to me. Notice the white plug to the right to stick in the hole to hold the ocean back? I'm thinking that wasn't antifreeze coming out!!! The ones that use antifreeze are P79 as in post #6.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:13 PM   #19
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That sure looks like a thru-hull to me. Notice the white plug to the right to stick in the hole to hold the ocean back? I'm thinking that wasn't antifreeze coming out!!! The ones that use antifreeze are P79 as in post #6.
Oh no way. I was going to figure out what the hell that white plug was for another day.

Iíve never seen a transducer mounted like that. Glad I didnít try to take the whole thing out!

So now that we know what kind of transducer I have, anything that I need to know about this one? Other than potentially letting the ocean in.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:16 PM   #20
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Buy a fish finder. Cheap ($99.00) and a lot more info than straight depth sounders.
Great for amusing the kids and great for picking anchoring spots.
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