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Thread: CHIRP transducer problem?

  1. #1
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    Default CHIRP transducer problem?

    Just wondering if anyone is having problems with a Airmar SS 175 transducer and a Garmin 26 black box combination.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    Just wondering if anyone is having problems with a Airmar SS 175 transducer and a Garmin 26 black box combination.

    Yes. Tons of problems.

    Installed all new Garmin 7212, GSD26, and SS175(M) a couple years ago. Worked well for a handful of outings, then nothing. Burned out board on GSD26. Garmin replaced GSD26 3 times. Each time it worked for a little while, then would lose bottom and quit. Got no help from Garmin or Airmar, other than that they have never seen this issue before... Replaced most of the Garmin wiring, checked transducer wiring, all good. Finally this spring I replaced the SS175 with new and it has worked well for a while, however I think we might be having issues again. Was not on the boat last time it was used, but was told it wasn't tracking bottom well. Checked board on GSD26 and it's not burnt, so I'll have to put the boat in the water and test it. For what this stuff costs the product representation and support is terrible. Wishing I would have went with a Garmin-branded (still made by Airmar) transducer so I could send the whole package back to Garmin, but since I bought an Airmar transducer separately, Garmin blames the transducer, and Airmar blames Garmin.

    I will say that Garmin did me a solid by replacing the GSD26 several times free of charge and out of warranty, but that hardly makes up for the lack of product knowledge on the part of their product reps, and their unwillingness to let me speak to anyone in the know. I sent the GSD26's back, and they were supposed to tell me what was wrong with them but I never heard back. My theory was that the transducer was either bad to begin with, or got left on out of the water and overheated, causing internal damage that would short out and take out the GSD26 boxes.

    What issues are you having? Ours would start to lose bottom in deeper water, and then finally pick it up when we went in shallow. That lasted for a bit, then it would not even track bottom in the harbor. The transducer would click like it was searching for bottom, but never lock.

    Also, we only have 1 transducer, and the GSD26 has two Chirp outputs. Garmin claims that it will run just fine on 1, however I learned that other manufacturers with similar products do not allow you to only connect one transducer to dual chirp units because it causes issues. I refuse to install another $1,200 transducer and drill another 4" hole in the boat to find out if that is the issue...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    What issues are you having? ...
    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Thursday I will be going to Whittier to look at the Sounder and let you know what I find.

    BTW your information was extremely helpful.
    Thank you

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Thursday I will be going to Whittier to look at the Sounder and let you know what I find.

    BTW your information was extremely helpful.
    Thank you
    No problem. Am very interested to know what you find out. The SS175 is considerably more rare than the B175, but I've been assured that they are exactly the same inside. Have also been told that there are a lot of B175's in use with the GSD26 with very few issues.

    Don't be afraid to pop the back plate off the GSD26 and look for burnt up resistors/etc. TX10 torx takes the back off and mine reeked like electronic death. Pretty apparent that they were smoked. Careful not to discharge the capacitors.

    The SS175 cannot be left on out of water as it can overheat causing internal damage, but both Garmin and Airmar told me they have never seen a bad transducer burn up a sounder module. That was my only explanation after I rewired everything including batteries, fuse panels, and both battery and chassis grounds, then had 2 boards burn out shortly after leaving the harbor and entering deeper water after working flawlessly at the dock upon install.

    Our 7212 chartplotter was set to "auto-on" for the first few trips - it came on with the battery switch - and I suspect it may have been left on and the SS175 damaged. I have since installed separate toggle power switches for the chartplotter and GSD sounder to prevent that from happening again.

    Here's a screenshot of what our plotter showed when it was fubed, as well as a pic of one of the burnt boards on the GSD26 (2 resistors or whatever in lower let corner). Am crossing my fingers that the new setup I installed in March still works but need to splash the boat and see. When it is working it shows incredible detail and tracks deep bottoms at speed, but dependability is key...

    Good luck. I'm told that they are coming out with a Chirp transducer tester for the field. I kept my old transducer and would love to get it tested so if someone knows a shop that has one please share.


    IMG_3142.jpgIMG_5163.jpg

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    It does not matter if the chart plotter is on. The GSC26 is what need to be turn off when the boat is out of the water. Garmin told me it's OK to have the transducer out of the water for 15 min for testing. More than 1 hour will burn it out.

    Looking inside the GSD25 is all ready on the list of things to do.

    Airmar does not have a tester at this time but will have one soon, maybe!!
    I may be able to use it and will let you know. I'm going to be taking a scope with me and see what it will tell me. I don't have a lot of hope it will help.

    Also taking 6 boxes full of tools and test equipment if nothing else I will be prepared. LOL

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    This is the first time we seen a CHIRP sounder. With no manual and no support we did a lot of stumbling around.

    I'm going to have a long talk with Garmin and Airmar before posting what we found. I also need to talk to you, so if it OK with you I will send you a email.

  7. #7

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    Absolutely. I will PM you my contact info.

  8. #8
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    Your email box is full

  9. #9

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    Oops. Should be good now.

  10. #10

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    So Garmin called me and told me that they've now tested it and, yup, the GSD26 and SS175 Transducer are incompatible. I'm not crazy. Weird, because they said the B175 (same transducer in brass) works fine. They offered to upgrade me to a new XSV Chartplotter that is supposed to be compatible with the SS175. New Chartplotter and don't have to change the transducer... hopefully...

    Thanks to MacGyver for helping me sort this out.

    Sounds like I have an extra gently used SS175 that likely works fine, just not with a GSD 26.

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