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Thread: Airmar 270W transducer

  1. #1
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default Airmar 270W transducer

    Anyone running one of the wide beam airmars? I'm planning to finally plunk down and do a sonar upgrade, Furuno FCV-585 but am stumped on what the best transducer is. The 260 has a solid track record and is probably the better choice for bottom fishing, but the wider beam of the 270 is appealing for salmon. As I try not to fish deeper than 300', 450 tops I'm wondering if the 260 is the better choice, though the 270W is rated for over 1000'
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Anyone running one of the wide beam airmars? I'm planning to finally plunk down and do a sonar upgrade, Furuno FCV-585 but am stumped on what the best transducer is. The 260 has a solid track record and is probably the better choice for bottom fishing, but the wider beam of the 270 is appealing for salmon. As I try not to fish deeper than 300', 450 tops I'm wondering if the 260 is the better choice, though the 270W is rated for over 1000'
    If you're not fishing in anything over anywhere up to 500 ft. of water the 260 isn't going to be any better for you than the 270. They both are 1kW transducers and the only real difference between the two is the 270 gives you a much better beam width. For salmon fishing the 270 is going to be a much better choice.

    I'm considering purchasing the Si-Tex SVS-650 to possibly run with a 270. The Si-Tex is about half the cost of the Furuno and has a better screen resolution which is extremely important in identifying exactly what you're seeing on your screen. Yeah, the screen is smaller than on the Furuno, but I'd rather have better definition on a smaller screen. The Si-Tex only outputs 600W, but the only real reason you need 1kW is for extreme depths. If you don't fish at 1000 ft. who cares if you can get target acquisition at that depth?
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  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The thing is it's not just depth rating, it's how much of the ocean floor you are painting and hence how much effective resolution you get. I guess I just need to figure out what species I target the most and base my decision on that.

    I see the 270 as the winner for kings and silvers, though silvers run so abundantly all you really need is something that will give you an idea of what depth they are running vs. targeting a single fish

    I see the 260 the winner for rock fish, halibut, lings and shrimp.

    As far as 600W vs. 1kw, I'd rather have more than enough power than be at the ragged edge of where the 600W will perform especially running in waters with lots of glacial silt. You can use a 270W with a 600W sonar but you'll be giving up on how far down you can see, though for salmon it would be more than enough.

    Some guys run both transducers with a switch and go from one to the other depending on what they are targetting. That would be the ideal setup, but kinda spendy.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  4. #4
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    Default transducer

    Paul, not sure on the model, i think it is the 270, definitly 1kw, that i put on mine last year. WOW is all i can say, still learning all the ins and outs of it, but i swear i can tell you when i am over a bed of razor clams! wink wink.
    great fish identity, and though i did not have it much over 400 feet, it will hold bottom at 40 MPH.
    other than the size of it, no complaints.. i did have a couple of times when your could hear it pinging, just a constant tick tick that was audable, a quick power down and back up seemed to stop it.
    content___media_external_images_media_139 (3).jpg

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The thing is it's not just depth rating, it's how much of the ocean floor you are painting and hence how much effective resolution you get. I guess I just need to figure out what species I target the most and base my decision on that.

    I see the 270 as the winner for kings and silvers, though silvers run so abundantly all you really need is something that will give you an idea of what depth they are running vs. targeting a single fish

    I see the 260 the winner for rock fish, halibut, lings and shrimp.

    As far as 600W vs. 1kw, I'd rather have more than enough power than be at the ragged edge of where the 600W will perform especially running in waters with lots of glacial silt. You can use a 270W with a 600W sonar but you'll be giving up on how far down you can see, though for salmon it would be more than enough.

    Some guys run both transducers with a switch and go from one to the other depending on what they are targetting. That would be the ideal setup, but kinda spendy.
    Power output---600W vs. 1kW doesn't change at all how much of the ocean floor "you are painting" or the effective resolution. Essentially power equals depth. Yeah, that's a crude way of looking at it, but that's basically what the difference boils down to. So if you want a fishfinder that will see targets at 300' a 1kW fishfinder/transducer combo isn't going to be any better than a 600W one. I NEVER fish at anything deeper than 300' so why pay for power I don't need? That's the way I look at it.

    When it comes to resolution and the particular fishfinder you choose, if it only has a resolution of 320 x 240 and it has a screen that's 12 inches in diameter then you aren't going to get any resolution even if you have a transducer AND fishfinder that will output 3kW. If you only have 10 pixels per inch and you're looking at bait and fish that are 100' down on a screen that's 10" high that means each pixel represents one foot, so you're not going to see anything smaller than 1' that's swimming around down there and everything is basically going to look like one big mass even if it's fish or baitfish and you won't see anything smaller than 1'. If you compare a fishfinder with a 6" diagonal screen and one with a 10" diagonal screen and they both have, say, 640 x 320 resolution, you'll get much better target resolution on the smaller screen and thus have a much better idea of exactly what it is you're seeing down there even though it's a smaller screen. That's what makes the Si-Tex better than the Furuno---better screen resolution. I'd prefer to have better screen resolution and only 600W of output power than 1kW of output power and not as good screen resolution. Especially at the 200' to 20' of water that I typically fish in. If you fish in 1000' of water then you'd probably be better off with 1kW of power, though even a 600W transducer is rated to 900' so it's only "on the ragged edge" if you're fishing at 900' or more. Personally I don't know ANYONE other than commercial fishermen that are trying to see what's going on at those depths.

    But, if you want the best, why not get a CHIRP fishfinder and a CHIRP transducer? There you get the best of both worlds and the absolute best target identification you possibly can---certainly better than either the Airmar 260 OR 270. An Airmar 265 transducer has about 4 times the sensitivity of their 260 according to their website. Why not get the best you possibly can if you want the best? Garmin is coming out with CHIRP compatible fishfinders this year. They are "broadband" and you can "tune" them to the particular frequency to match the fish you are targeting. And I believe Si-Tex and Furuno are coming out with CHIRP fishfinders very soon, too. And if you don't feel like waiting you can buy a Garmin fishfinder (just about any of their GPS Map ones) along with a Garmin GDS26 module and you'll get the absolute best performance, target acquisition and fishfinding capabilities anywhere. (And, no, I'm not a Garmin rep)
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Power equals depth for a given beam width. If you go to a wider beam, you need more energy, or can't "see" as deep. The point I was trying to make is that I think the 270W with a 600W unit might be marginal in some conditions. A wider beam requires more power to resolve images at greater depth than a shallower beam as the energy is difused over more water for the same depth.

    While I don't like fishing deeper than 300', most of PWS is very deep, and hence getting good feedback down to 600' for fish or shrimp is worth it.

    While I can appreciate the benefit of a screen with greater resolution, a fishfinder is much more than it's power output and screen size/resolution. What I care about is how well the manufacturer can process the signal and display the information. I haven't read of anybody with an FCV-585 saying they wish the screen was smaller with higher resolution and that it had less power.

    I like Garmin GPS, but their sonar has left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't really want to be a beta tester for their latest technology.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  7. #7

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    To see kings/cohos at 150-300ft on the screen, you better have a powerful transducer. A $200 sportfish fish finder can read the bottom in 300ft.. so if that's all you are going to use it for, then go cheap. Marking individual fish at depths is where the high dollar/power transducers come in.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Power equals depth for a given beam width. If you go to a wider beam, you need more energy, or can't "see" as deep. The point I was trying to make is that I think the 270W with a 600W unit might be marginal in some conditions. A wider beam requires more power to resolve images at greater depth than a shallower beam as the energy is difused over more water for the same depth.

    While I don't like fishing deeper than 300', most of PWS is very deep, and hence getting good feedback down to 600' for fish or shrimp is worth it.

    While I can appreciate the benefit of a screen with greater resolution, a fishfinder is much more than it's power output and screen size/resolution. What I care about is how well the manufacturer can process the signal and display the information. I haven't read of anybody with an FCV-585 saying they wish the screen was smaller with higher resolution and that it had less power.

    I like Garmin GPS, but their sonar has left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't really want to be a beta tester for their latest technology.
    Have you read of anyone that uses the Si-Tex SVS650 that says they wish they had a bigger screen with less resolution? I know I haven't. And I doubt that a Furuno will "process the signal and display information" any better than the Si-Tex. That being said I'd rather have better screen resolution over a larger screen.

    So if you want the best why not go to a Si-Tex or Furuno finder that has CHIRP capabilities like I said? You seem to want the best possible target acquisition at depth and that's exactly what CHIRP will give you. I know I'd rather have 4 times the capabilities of a lesser unit if I wanted the best.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I'm considering purchasing the Si-Tex SVS-650 to possibly run with a 270. The Si-Tex is about half the cost of the Furuno and has a better screen resolution which is extremely important in identifying exactly what you're seeing on your screen. Yeah, the screen is smaller than on the Furuno, but I'd rather have better definition on a smaller screen. The Si-Tex only outputs 600W, but the only real reason you need 1kW is for extreme depths. If you don't fish at 1000 ft. who cares if you can get target acquisition at that depth?
    I've been looking at those Si-Tex to go on a big boat I'm buying... You know anybody using one? I like the price.. but am a bit reluctant to go with one, as I just don't know anybody who uses them. Seems the very serious fisherman around here all go with Furuno.

  10. #10

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    While not transducer related, it is important to know what 'target seperation' capability the finder has...1/2, 3/4, 1", and so on. A machine that has sloppy target seperation will not be helped by a strong returning signal...it can only show what the finder is capable of seperating. An example would be going through a bait ball and seperating salmon as targets from the bait. If you have 1.5" of seperation and the two fish are crossing paths during the ping then they will appear as 1 big target and give you a false reading of fish size (ping speed can help). Anyway, just another bit of info to process in your discussion.


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  11. #11

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    While on the subject of target separation, does anyone have any experience with the new CHIRP technology sounders?

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    270ti, I had all Si-tex on my boat it was great. PM me if you need any other info.
    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I've been looking at those Si-Tex to go on a big boat I'm buying... You know anybody using one? I like the price.. but am a bit reluctant to go with one, as I just don't know anybody who uses them. Seems the very serious fisherman around here all go with Furuno.

  13. #13
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    you guys need to talk with Gil,

    Airmar News Release: CHIRP Transducer for non CHIP units.






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    AIRMAR TRANSDUCER SALES & Information.

    Sales and information: Gil @ 1(800) 925-0341
    email: semperfifishing@ymail.com
    Or PM me here on THT



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  14. #14
    Member cormit's Avatar
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    I went with the Furuno 585 and TM260 by Airmar. The extra power shows up in lots of places. In the sound ..... I almost never loose the bottom ...... even at 30 miles an hour and sometimes depths to 2000 feet. But even in shallower water the power brings much better clarity and definition.






    This what we're all looking for.

  15. #15

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    Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Seeing that on the screen can make all the difference in the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Seeing that on the screen can make all the difference in the world.

    What are we seeing in the screen shots? Is it bait down below and individual fish above?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Not much of an expert at knowing what's on the screen ..... but my guess was bait and kings feeding on the bait.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Anyone running one of the wide beam airmars? I'm planning to finally plunk down and do a sonar upgrade, Furuno FCV-585 but am stumped on what the best transducer is. The 260 has a solid track record and is probably the better choice for bottom fishing, but the wider beam of the 270 is appealing for salmon. As I try not to fish deeper than 300', 450 tops I'm wondering if the 260 is the better choice, though the 270W is rated for over 1000'
    Well, it still comes back to this: If you are primarily interested in finding fish at 300' and less then the 270 is going to give you a much better picture of what's going on down there. The 260 has a better "Q" rating at 200mHz (8 vs. 15) so you'll get better target acquisition at 200mHz, but the "Q" rating of the 270 is a 4 at 50mHz and an 8 for the 260. The Q rating simplistically refers to how much extra "ringing" you'll get---the smaller the Q rating the less "ringing" and therefore less extra information that you don't need to see.

    The 270 has a 25 degree cone angle on both the 50 and 200mHz frequencies which means at 100' down you're seeing an area 45' wide on both frequencies. On the 260 the cone angle at 200mHz is just 6 degrees so at 100' you're only seeing an area 10' wide. Though the 260 has a 19 degree cone angle at 50mHz so you get some back there. But obviously not as much as 25 degrees.

    Check out the link that potbuilder posted. There is a LOT of great info there and I've learned a lot about what I know of transducers from reading posts there. Join and ask some questions and you'll also be able to take advantage of the deals the guy posts there. Some great deals on both transducers and transducer/sounder combos, though I've found deals online that are pretty close.

    In case you missed it: http://www.thehulltruth.com/parts-fo...ml#post5162566
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  19. #19
    Member cormit's Avatar
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    Seems like the TM260 was as big as you could go with a transom mount ..... If I remember right.

  20. #20
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    The word from Furuno is they'll be introducing their chirp sonar at the Miami Boat show and it will hit the market in the spring. But like everyone elses offererings it's a black box so you need to get their navnet system to view it. While I'm sure chirp sonar is the best, for $4-5k that's just more than I'm willing to drop into my little boat.

    After a bit more researching I found furuno's digital sonars offer a bit of upgrade and higher resolution in the displays. So I'm leaning towards the FCV-587 and airmar tm-260.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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