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Thread: Sonar troubleshooting question

  1. #1
    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    Default Sonar troubleshooting question

    Today my depth reading on my Lowrance HDS 5 started flaking out while on step. I've had this unit for 3 years and it has never had this issue. Other than checking connections is there anything else that could be an issue?

    Thanks for any input
    Kevin
    Experience is a hard teacher because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Anything on the bottom [dent, barnacles]that might cause cavitation bubbles in the beam?
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    Anything on the bottom [dent, barnacles]that might cause cavitation bubbles in the beam?

    Yep, or the tranducer angle has changed.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    I'll give things a good look over today. Thanks for the tips!
    Experience is a hard teacher because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    If your transducer is a transom mount ...... it is always possible to hit something in the water that is unseen. Even a slight change in transducer angle can spoil a clean signal.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Yep, or the tranducer angle has changed.
    I have a problem similar to kodiakbound's with my Lowrance LMS 527-CDF transom mount transducer. I lose sonar at only 10 mph but have to drop down under 5 mph to reacquire. The 'ducer is undamaged and clean as is the hull which has a flat bottom...I've adjusted the angle both up and down and find the sweet spot..which isn't sweet at all.. to be where it was initially installed. ???

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    In upgrading my electronics this year I was informed that transducers do go bad. A bit disappointing given you can spend thousands of dollars on them, but then again, not much out there that works for ever. Might want to call lowrance to see how you might test it. That is as long as nothing has changed on your hull to give you turbulence.
    Tony

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    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I didn't find anything that jumped out at me. It didn't look like the angle had changed or the transducer had been struck or moved any. Nothing on the bottom that should cause any turbulance. I did make a small angle change but have not had a chance to test on the water yet, kids have been keeping me busy!!!
    Experience is a hard teacher because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Transducer angle doesn't have to change very much at all to lose signal. The fact u have signal and then lose it as u speed up leads one to believe that u are either getting cavitation bubbles under it or when on step your hull angle ( and thus your transducer angle) has changed enough to lose signal. Generally when accelerating your hull angle will become steeper. When on step it will flatten a bit. It may be the 'flattening' of the angle that is causing signal lose. Try adjusting just enough to compensate for it.
    Since u do get signal, I would have to believe nothing's wrong w the sonar.
    Let us know what u find.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  10. #10

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    I agree, cod...when participating, the sonar seems to work fine. I went ahead and adjusted it up a notch. As I recall that really messed things up while at rest but I'll give it a shot. I also have a paddle wheel down there. It is 3 1/4 inches from the edge of the 'ducer to the edge of the paddle wheel. Do you think that could be close enough to cause a problem?

  11. #11
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Absolutely. Is that a 'new' addition? If so, almost guarantee that's your prob.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Absolutely. Is that a 'new' addition? If so, almost guarantee that's your prob.
    I installed it at the same time as the 'ducer so I've had the issue from day 1. I have exactly 2 inches I could move it outboard before the hull begins to upsweep...and even further if mounting it on the upsweep wouldn't hurt anything...but it would likely be out of the water during turns.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Mine is closer than yours and I get readings at full speed so the paddle wheel is not your issue.



    If you've had the issue from day one it is most likely one of two things. A defective/weak transducer or the location of the transducer on the back of the boat.
    Check under the boat for any strakes or chines anywhere close to the path the water takes passing under the hull.
    Most likely culprit is air travelling along the bottom of the hull. Moving the transducer further inboard may very likely rectify the issue.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakbound View Post
    ...started flaking....
    Something just wiggled my memory gland, Kevin....

    Maybe too basic, but did you use dieiectric silicone grease on the plug between the unit and the transducer wire? I wasn't doing that a few years back and developed symptoms similar to yours- complete blackout on step. Cleaned the terminals and added the dielectric goop, and no problems since.

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    I installed it at the same time as the 'ducer so I've had the issue from day 1. I have exactly 2 inches I could move it outboard before the hull begins to upsweep...and even further if mounting it on the upsweep wouldn't hurt anything...but it would likely be out of the water during turns.


    In looking at your pics.... Probably NOT the problem. I thought the wheel would be bigger than what your pic shows. Don't think that little thing could cause enough turbulence.


    looking at your pics.... Probably NOT the problem. I thought the wheel would be bigger than what your pic shows. Don't think that little thing could cause enough turbulence.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Mine is closer than yours and I get readings at full speed so the paddle wheel is not your issue.





    Check under the boat for any strakes or chines anywhere close to the path the water takes passing under the hull.
    Most likely culprit is air travelling along the bottom of the hull. Moving the transducer further inboard may very likely rectify the issue.
    The boat has a flat clean bottom..no strakes or anything else down there. The inboard edge of the transducer is 14 1/8 inches from the center line of the lower unit. I was concerned that mounting it too far inboard might have an effect on the prop function...but I don't know if that is even a concern. How much further inboard do you think I could/should move it? It was installed per instructions guidelines but I suppose there can always be variables to consider. I'm appreciating everyone's input!

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Is it possible that the transducer cable has been damaged somewhere due to vibration, chafing etc?

  18. #18

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    I guess it is possible, but I doubt it. Everything is secured and protected throughout the cable run...certainly nothing flopping around.

  19. #19
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    I installed it at the same time as the 'ducer so I've had the issue from day 1. I have exactly 2 inches I could move it outboard before the hull begins to upsweep...and even further if mounting it on the upsweep wouldn't hurt anything...but it would likely be out of the water during turns.
    From looking at this picture your transducer looks like itís too far below the bottom of the hull, this could be a problem also. Normally it should be like ľ inch below the plain of the bottom at the leading edge than angle slightly down, check the instalation specs.
    Like I said, perhaps itís just the orientation of the picture.

    The paddle wheel looks too low also.

    I would have someone look over the stern when youíre underway and see if wake radiates out from the paddle wheel to intersect with the transducer.

    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
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  20. #20

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    [QUOTE=breausaw;1391957]From looking at this picture your transducer looks like itís too far below the bottom of the hull, this could be a problem also. Normally it should be like ľ inch below the plain of the bottom at the leading edge than angle slightly down, check the installation specs.
    Like I said, perhaps itís just the orientation of the picture.

    The paddle wheel looks too low also.

    I would have someone look over the stern when youíre underway and see if wake radiates out from the paddle wheel to intersect with the transduer

    It is picture orientation. There is an index line down the side of the transducer...I used a bottle jack to hold a straight edge in place defining the hull bottom plane and from that, installed the 'ducer and paddle wheel per instruction manual. Good idea to have someone look over the stern while under way. So far, I'm the only person who's been on board the thing. Spread a little too thin, I guess.

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