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Old 09-03-2019, 08:46 PM   #1
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Depth Sounder

Okay I saw a couple posts about this... My depth sounder goes in and out frequently. Like we were in several areas of 150-200ft water and the sounder was consistenly reading 30ft. I used the chart to know it was wrong, but severly annoying especially since some of the bays we rolling into were only about 6-7ft at zero tide. I saw a couple people said chuck Raymarine (not willing to spend $15-20k to do that), but has anyone else had a better solution? I am due to haul out for bottom pain next month and need to know if I need to pull the sounder and if so what did you all use?
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:24 PM   #2
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I have a Raymarine system and the depth sounder works very well. Have had Raymarine on my last 4 boats. Great customer support. Have you talked to them? Is the transducer a through hull or shoot through the hull transducer? Have you checked the connections on the transducer?
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:32 PM   #3
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I have a Raymarine system and the depth sounder works very well. Have had Raymarine on my last 4 boats. Great customer support. Have you talked to them? Is the transducer a through hull or shoot through the hull transducer? Have you checked the connections on the transducer?
Raymarine has been so-so support wise so far. I have a 2014 ST44, and it has the thru hull style that looks like a boat shape kinda. Connections all seem fine, firmware is all updated just really super inconsistent.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilanderson View Post
Okay I saw a couple posts about this... My depth sounder goes in and out frequently. Like we were in several areas of 150-200ft water and the sounder was consistenly reading 30ft. I used the chart to know it was wrong, but severly annoying especially since some of the bays we rolling into were only about 6-7ft at zero tide. I saw a couple people said chuck Raymarine (not willing to spend $15-20k to do that), but has anyone else had a better solution? I am due to haul out for bottom pain next month and need to know if I need to pull the sounder and if so what did you all use?

I have the same problem. For a long time I kept getting the DSM error message but for the last several months it has been behaving as you describe. I have checked all the connections and they seem to be solid. I donít need a depth sound often, but when I do, I REALLY need it.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:24 PM   #5
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What DSM do you have? We had a DSM300 that we bought in 2003. Had itfor almost 10 years and it started to lock up. Called Raymarine and long story short, they replaced it with current module for no charge. Was talking to them the next year and they replaced the new unit with a newer one. I think that is pretty great support. They have always been very responsive when I call them.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:28 PM   #6
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What transducer do you have?

Some transducers have liquid inside - often distilled water or alcohol. If some leaked it creates an air bubble which will distort the reading.

Check you transducer as the simple answer first, before looking at more expensive solutions.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:42 PM   #7
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What DSM do you have? We had a DSM300 that we bought in 2003. Had itfor almost 10 years and it started to lock up. Called Raymarine and long story short, they replaced it with current module for no charge. Was talking to them the next year and they replaced the new unit with a newer one. I think that is pretty great support. They have always been very responsive when I call them.

I am not sure, I think it is the DSM300 but I would have to check.

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What transducer do you have?

Some transducers have liquid inside - often distilled water or alcohol. If some leaked it creates an air bubble which will distort the reading.

Check you transducer as the simple answer first, before looking at more expensive solutions.

I did that a couple months ago. It isnít a liquid filled transducer.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:26 AM   #8
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If it is a DSM300 there was a known problem with them but it was a long time ago that they were replacing them. They replaced mine around 2013. If it is a DSM300 I would call and see if they will still replace it. They are really way out of date but why not ask?
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:36 AM   #9
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Please share the exact model #. You can look through Raymarine's or Airmar's website if you need help figuring out and can't see a model # on the unit. If there was a known issue or recall as a poster above stated, you can try contacting Raymarine for help but good luck since the FLIR acquisition. I have the style that sits in the hull and it wasn't working and I figured out it needed coolant. Works pretty well now, at least for what I need it for. Might consider that as a temporary fix so you at least have something.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:56 AM   #10
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Experience speaking here. Shooting through the hull for depth does not work! I even got elaborate using transducer gel (ultrasound gel borrowed from the hospital) I built wells to hold water or gel, erratic at best.No Good. A knowledgable tech recently told me that transom mounted transducers have come a long way, but I am still concerned about the turbulence.

For reliable depth readings get a drill and bore a hole in your hull !! (painful, I know). Buy a brass transducer and mount it properly (or have it done). Believe me, the extra cost and bother is the best investment you will make on your boat!!

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Old 09-04-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
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I believe Airmar makes most of the sensors for everyone. It's entirely possible yours is failing. But are the readings dependent on speed? Has it always had problems losing or mis-stating depth? Especially if you're moving? Because that could also indicate poor placement of the sensor, letting turbulence cause trouble.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:05 AM   #12
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And as for checking... I find it VERY HELPFUL to use my cell phone to take pictures of all of the hardware, especially any model/serial number labeling. That way I've got the info handy when I'm not on the boat. Helps a lot later when asking online, at a store looking for something compatible, etc.

There's not too much that's proprietary for depth/speed/temp sensors. Most can be adapted to work with anything these days. Raymarine still holds out trying to make their stuff proprietary, but other DST sensors will work fine with an existing setup.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:05 AM   #13
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If you have a cored hull forget using shoot-through-the-hull TDs. Solid glass laminate hulls will work if you scout out a good location first.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:49 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone, I have realized I was woefully unprepared. I will get more info check some of these things and report back. Thank you!
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
Experience speaking here. Shooting through the hull for depth does not work! I even got elaborate using transducer gel (ultrasound gel borrowed from the hospital) I built wells to hold water or gel, erratic at best.No Good. A knowledgable tech recently told me that transom mounted transducers have come a long way, but I am still concerned about the turbulence.

For reliable depth readings get a drill and bore a hole in your hull !! (painful, I know). Buy a brass transducer and mount it properly (or have it done). Believe me, the extra cost and bother is the best investment you will make on your boat!!

pete
Sorry Pete but if they didn't work they wouldn't sell them. However it does depend on your hull construction and installation. I installed a new shoot thru on my boat last fall since the boat was in the water. Our boat hull is solid glass and I used antifreeze as a fill. It works incredibly well.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
Experience speaking here. Shooting through the hull for depth does not work! I even got elaborate using transducer gel (ultrasound gel borrowed from the hospital) I built wells to hold water or gel, erratic at best.No Good. A knowledgable tech recently told me that transom mounted transducers have come a long way, but I am still concerned about the turbulence.

For reliable depth readings get a drill and bore a hole in your hull !! (painful, I know). Buy a brass transducer and mount it properly (or have it done). Believe me, the extra cost and bother is the best investment you will make on your boat!!

pete
Works pretty darn good on my ST44!
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
Experience speaking here. Shooting through the hull for depth does not work! I even got elaborate using transducer gel (ultrasound gel borrowed from the hospital) I built wells to hold water or gel, erratic at best.No Good. A knowledgable tech recently told me that transom mounted transducers have come a long way, but I am still concerned about the turbulence.

For reliable depth readings get a drill and bore a hole in your hull !! (painful, I know). Buy a brass transducer and mount it properly (or have it done). Believe me, the extra cost and bother is the best investment you will make on your boat!!

pete
I recently installed Airmars P79 shoot through the hull 600 watt transducer in Sandpiper. The mount is siliconed to the hull, filled with antifreeze and the transducer installed on the mount.

With a Lowrance DS, I can get depth readings over 1,000 feet in 50 khz and 700 to 900 feet on 200 khz while cruising at 8 knots.

With the old through the hull transducer, I lost bottom at around 300 feet when underway.

My bottom is solid fiberglass, 3/4" thick.

Your hull must be cored or the fiberglass laminates have air bubbles in it for the transducer not to work properly. Or there is air bubbles in the gel or water.

I would never install another through the hull transducer. Drilling the hole, painting the transducer and losing bottom under way is a PITA.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:29 PM   #18
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Works pretty darn good on my ST44!

with Raytheon?

this one?






or this one


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Old 09-06-2019, 09:41 AM   #19
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with Raytheon?

this one?






or this one


the one sysjos posted. it came factory installed. it was not working initially. i found it had no coolant in it. sealed the leak, added coolant, and it works pretty good for the waters that we boat in.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:00 PM   #20
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One of the possible causes of depth finder erratic behavior and random loss of correct depth is electronic noise interference with the return signal. In my case it was the battery charger system. Only caused interference at certain charge amps. Manifested as radio frequency spikes at the finder frequencies. Shut off the charger when you are experiencing the problem with your depth finder and see if it all of a sudden it works again. Also those 12 volt florescent light fixtures are known to cause depth finder interference.
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