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  • Depth Finder transducer installation

    I know it's not rocket science... but I installed a new HumminBird 596c HD depthfinder this week, with the transducer. I followed the directions, measurements and all that. Guess what...I was depthfinderless on a 3 day shrimping trip this week. It was not reading at cruise - and it was. It was not reading at drift - and it was. It didn't read deep- and it did. It didn't read shallow - and it did. I could not find one thing that made sense between all this. I have to assume a bad transducer installation (since I did it). But it would read at time, then not. In areas of 600' depth it would read 1200', and alot of the time it was reading shallow - like single digits. The only time it seemed to work right was in really shallow water - when we were running in 20' or less.

    What shop in Anchortown is reputable, and will re-install or trouble shoot a customer installation? I tried monkeying with it on the water but that was pretty hard - and **** cold. Tried rocking of forward and back, and even a little side to side rotation.

    Or if someone is a whiz at them... PM and we'll work something out.

    Boat is my 24' Hewes and a brand new Humminbird 596c HD with included transducer.

    Thanks!
    '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
    200hp Honda 4stroke
    + multiple other 'toys'...

  • #2
    Can you post a picture?
    sigpic
    07 Ocean Pro 220 ET HT
    115 Yamaha
    Garmin 740S, GMR 18 HD
    Airmar TM 260-MM

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    • #3
      Sure! but my ugly mug will scare people...

      :-) I'll see about getting it soon. Altho it's been moved a few times trying to get it to work
      '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
      200hp Honda 4stroke
      + multiple other 'toys'...

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      • #4
        Any chance that your battery bank is toast? Certain units can be voltage sensitive.
        sigpicSpending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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        • #5
          It's always possible, but I put brand new Optima batteries in last fall and so far everything has performed flawlessly in regards to electricity. 3 days on the water and we used fans, heaters, and stressed them a bit more than usual. I'll throw a volt meter on and see since it's parked out front.
          '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
          200hp Honda 4stroke
          + multiple other 'toys'...

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          • #6
            Interesting issue. I had problems with my Ray Marine depth finder until I replaced the batteries as I was told these newer units are very voltage specific.
            First thing I would do is to put your battery switch to both batteries and not run anything else in your boat and see if that indicates it might be voltage related. Optima batteries are known to have hit and miss quality isses.

            If that doesnt help then look at your transducer. If it works at lower speeds but not higher it could be the location where it is mounted. If it only works at shallow depths then I am lost to offer advice

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            • #7
              Have you contacted Hummingbird?
              That would be my first step, if the battery voltage is sufficent to start the motor I doubt the unit would be affected, these things are designed to operate in a range, probaly says what that is in your manual.

              Theortically a fully charged battery is ~12.7 and full discharged is ~11.7, now doesnt mean that your boat wont start on 11.7, cause you could still have enough amps to turn it over, just means low voltage at the battery. Typical alternator out put is 14.4 volts.

              Personally I doubt its the batteries, most likely a connection or a setting on the unit, I know my Garmin has several settings, maybe your setting is not matched to the ducer.............? A long shot but worth checking.
              My Garmin has a voltage indicator (& alarm) that can be displayed on the screen, maybe the bird has that function also........?
              I find it handy as to let me know when to fire up the boat and charge the battery.................conctat Hummingbird.............!
              "FREEDOM" Only those that are denied truly know what it means.

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              • #8
                AkGramps,
                Everything in my Sea Sport would work (Garmin GPS, ICOM VHF, motor would start, etc) but the Ray Marine depth finder. It would shut down or give totally false readings while running (and charging the batteries). The guys over at the Hull truth told me to change out the 3 year batteries with better ones. Bingo, immediate and so far, permanent fix to the Ray Marine issues. Not saying better batteries will help every time, but in some cases it does.
                Personally I have had more issues with depth finders working correctly than any other piece of electronics on a boat. Very aggravating

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                • #9
                  I guess have been lucky, and my experience is with my riverboat that I take to Homer once a year.

                  It sure sounds like Swissy is having the same issues you had, so hopefully that will do the trick.

                  I have heard that the optimas like to see higher voltage than other batteries............? Dont know if thats true or not? But the shop I talked to claimed they would demand more from the charging system.......?

                  Electrical issues can be diffucult to sort out, even for the best of them, I know just enough to get in trouble.........!
                  But rely on the basics to bail me out, clean terminals, good connections and good grounds, poor grounds can cause all kinds of aggravation............ I just ordered two Odyssey batteries for my outfit, best deal was from ABS battery here in Fairbanks, still dang spendy, but hoping they last for a while. Had the boat out last wekend. And there were a couple of occasions where it cranked slow and I got some comments..........................No start on the river is inconvenient as hell, but a no start in CI is tempting fate..........IMO
                  "FREEDOM" Only those that are denied truly know what it means.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys... good info to check. I just got back last night, and of course Humminbird is closed today for Good Friday. Means Monday I'll call them. i already have an email waiting for them to return.

                    While we were on the water, I tried every setting on each screen multiple ways... and nothing seemed to make it better. It SOMETIMES would give you a bottom reading at speed... at drift... in deep... in shallow... straight line... hard bank... but never for long. The weirdest part was in an area of say 600ft by chartplotter, it would read first 5ft, then 1000ft, then 250, 100, 1, 25, 500 - I mean it was all over the place. And it didn't matter if it was deep, shallow, cruise or drift. I about went nuts trying to figure it out.

                    Thanks for the help - I'll test the batteries for volts and see what else I can dig up. I did talk to one service dept locally that made it sound like it should work at drift even if the mounting job is not perfect, since it'll be in the water and not having and cavitation or turbulence. Unless it was kicked back or otherwise totally shooting in the wrong direction. So I'm thinking it's more an electrical issue or something with the transducer or cabling...?
                    '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
                    200hp Honda 4stroke
                    + multiple other 'toys'...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Swissy View Post
                      Thanks guys... good info to check. I just got back last night, and of course Humminbird is closed today for Good Friday. Means Monday I'll call them. i already have an email waiting for them to return.

                      While we were on the water, I tried every setting on each screen multiple ways... and nothing seemed to make it better. It SOMETIMES would give you a bottom reading at speed... at drift... in deep... in shallow... straight line... hard bank... but never for long. The weirdest part was in an area of say 600ft by chartplotter, it would read first 5ft, then 1000ft, then 250, 100, 1, 25, 500 - I mean it was all over the place. And it didn't matter if it was deep, shallow, cruise or drift. I about went nuts trying to figure it out.

                      Thanks for the help - I'll test the batteries for volts and see what else I can dig up.
                      Do you have a thru-hull or a skimmer type transducer? If its a skimmer, is it possible that the transducer is loose and isn't necessarily shooting straight down all the time?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Frostbitten View Post
                        Do you have a thru-hull or a skimmer type transducer? If its a skimmer, is it possible that the transducer is loose and isn't necessarily shooting straight down all the time?
                        Transducer mounted skimmer type... and altho I cannot verify 100% level, it is not loose nor kicked back. We checked while out on the water even, and it was in the correct position. The service shop I talked to said that at drift, even if it was off a few degrees,it should still get SOME reading, of which most of the time it does not.
                        '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
                        200hp Honda 4stroke
                        + multiple other 'toys'...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Couple things to check...

                          Check menus for proper transducer setting...some units have choices.

                          Are you letting it auto-range? If not, it will freak out when it gets too deep for the setting. Heck, I thought mine (Lowrance) was toast last weekend but had it set for 200` and it started acting up as soon as we left the harbor.

                          How close it it to your drive? Too close and it can scramble or bubble-up on the surface and get a bad ping for a while.

                          I had your problems with all 4 of my Humminbird units so I switched to Lowrance for the last 2 boats and don`t have any of those issues anymore. The Lowrance seems to fix itself very quickly if it loses bottom where as the Hums would just flash and flash and flash...very irritating to keep shutting it down and crossing your fingers.

                          Anyway, best of luck.
                          sigpic

                          Heavy Hitter Fishing
                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heavy...54441957966186

                          Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro-Staff

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AK2AZ View Post
                            Couple things to check...

                            Check menus for proper transducer setting...some units have choices.
                            Oh my God I played with so many settings my head started to hurt! nothing we did helped - either 83hz, or 200hz, or both, sensitivity, surface noise, etc...

                            Originally posted by AK2AZ View Post
                            Are you letting it auto-range? If not, it will freak out when it gets too deep for the setting. Heck, I thought mine (Lowrance) was toast last weekend but had it set for 200` and it started acting up as soon as we left the harbor.
                            Auto bottom, set to 1200, 400... nothing made a difference.

                            Originally posted by AK2AZ View Post
                            How close it it to your drive? Too close and it can scramble or bubble-up on the surface and get a bad ping for a while.
                            It's on the extreme edge of the hull, on the same bracket the old Garmin was on. Not sure of the distance from the prop, but should be plenty far enough. Plus, it has this problem even at drift with no turbulence or cavitation possibilities.

                            Originally posted by AK2AZ View Post
                            I had your problems with all 4 of my Humminbird units so I switched to Lowrance for the last 2 boats and don`t have any of those issues anymore. The Lowrance seems to fix itself very quickly if it loses bottom where as the Hums would just flash and flash and flash...very irritating to keep shutting it down and crossing your fingers.

                            Anyway, best of luck.
                            So what Lowrance unit(s) did you go with? If Humminbird is of no help, this thing is going back so fast it'll leave burn marks on the pavement. I already ordered a new transducer for my old unit and will have it back on if it does go back, but it'll have to be replaced again. I was going to wait for the Garmin 550c which will be available mid-May, which now in retrospect I should have done in the first place. But I'm always open to suggestions! I'm wanting a minimum of 500w and color...

                            Thanks again for all the help!
                            '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
                            200hp Honda 4stroke
                            + multiple other 'toys'...

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                            • #15
                              here are 2 pics - one close up of the mount, and another showing a full back view, with motor

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Bear in mind I was monkeying with the placement of the transducer... it was originally a tad higher up on the bracket, then I slide it down as far as it is now - nothing made a difference. Plus the boat is not level on the road right now...
                              '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
                              200hp Honda 4stroke
                              + multiple other 'toys'...

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