Author Topic: Did my elite 5 transducer quit  (Read 2799 times)

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Offline rusty scuppers

Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« on: September 23, 2013, 08:09:33 AM »
Out fish with my sons looking for silvers off West point and when we got to 700' the unit went to 1.5 feet, now I had this happen before so the fix was to shut it down for a few minutes and then turn it back on and things would be fine. Well the fix wouldn't work, nothing I did would work, so we tried to fish with just using the gps map but that made me nervous and I was fishing blind which frustrated me. I thought that by buying a Lowrance I would have trouble free operation for more that three years. I can't be buying one every couple of years and I looked at buying a Airmar transducer but it costs as much as my my whole unit, and I don't want to drill new holes for a different trans. Is there anything I might have overlooked before trying to get a original type of replacement trans?

Offline amazing grace

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 08:13:28 AM »
I was thinking that your unit was only good to 600' or so. I am thinking your depth was beyond the capabilities of your unit.
I have a Elite5xdsi that I need to sell to a bass or shallow water fisherman.  :whistle: Rick, you out there?
1989 22' C-Dory Angler

Offline fishorcrab

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 08:28:26 AM »
I'd check to see if somehow the transducer was knocked it off plumb. If it points too far off vertical in deep water, the reflections may be too weak for reliable operation.  Other than that, check the maximum depth spec for your unit as amazing grace suggests.

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Wyrguy

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Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 10:22:03 AM »
:whistle:  Rick, you out there?

Yup, I'm here... but I'm a Raymarine fanatic (or Furuno for when I win the lottery :whistle:) so my knowledge of Lowrance units is through osmosis ("friends" that have one and swear at them!  :bigshock:   :1zhelp:   :berry: )

From a quick online check it seems there are several issues with the loss of bottom with these units. Lack of power for the deeper depths encountered and also transducer type/model. More power of course = deeper depths for a returning signal and also a clearer signal (all other factors being equal) The transducer type and frequency that will affect the depth is more complicated. Fresh water sends back a stronger signal than salt, cone angle (beamwidth) changes the amount of signal returned (wider cone angle = less depth) and lower frequency signal 'pings' (penetrates) deeper. My Airmar P66 is a 6-pin 600 W 'triducer' and has a depth of 800 to 1,200 ft; an operating frequency of 50 to 200 kHz; a beamwidth of 45 to 11 degrees.   :twocents:

Also, there was some good discussion here a year ago:
http://www.arimaowners.com/index.php?topic=2946.25

And like Fishorcrab said, check the mounting of the transducer too...
http://faq.airmar.com/index.php?sid=649454&lang=en&action=artikel&cat=1&id=215&artlang=en

Rick

ps: Have you tried to reset the factory settings and see if that helps and it seems that there was a software upgrade a few months ago you might want to check on...
'Arima Therapy' - Life begins where the land ends!
2012 Sea Legend HT, blue hull, S/S 6 rod rocket launcher/radar arch
F250 O/S & T9.9 Yamahas c/w iTroll
Aluminum I-beam EZ Loader trailer c/w stainless disc brakes
Raymarine E120W, Digital HD Colour radar, Scotty HP 2106 DR's c/w 15 lb glow ballzzzz!

Offline rusty scuppers

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 10:25:15 AM »
My max depth is 1000' feet, I did check to see there was some seaweed on it but it was clear and its was still in the proper position. As I mentioned before it would do the above when I was in 700 to 750' deep, or I was running at speed, but would return to normal when I got back to a  more shallow depth or slow down and yes I did do the factory reset. Wyrguy, you said you would like to have a Raymarine or a Furuno but they are expensive but you got a Airmar transducer!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 10:32:30 AM by rusty scuppers »

Offline Wyrguy

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Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 10:34:55 AM »
Rusty, Instead of just powering the unit down and back up again, next time try the factory setting reset and see if that helps... (it says that you won't loose any of your waypoints etc.  :shrug9:)

http://www.gpscity.ca/videos/play/9djg_0ptsi4

Rick
'Arima Therapy' - Life begins where the land ends!
2012 Sea Legend HT, blue hull, S/S 6 rod rocket launcher/radar arch
F250 O/S & T9.9 Yamahas c/w iTroll
Aluminum I-beam EZ Loader trailer c/w stainless disc brakes
Raymarine E120W, Digital HD Colour radar, Scotty HP 2106 DR's c/w 15 lb glow ballzzzz!

Offline amazing grace

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 10:41:13 AM »
Rusty, where did you get the info on 1000'? Also is that fresh or salt. I would be really surprised it it would operate well and consistently at 700' in salt. Just my  :twocents:
1989 22' C-Dory Angler

Offline Threeweight

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 11:14:50 AM »
Rusty,

What you describe about it losing signal on plane can be related to the transducer not getting "clean" water, meaning some turbulence from the hull is interfering with the signal.  You may need to adjust the position/angle.  Instructions here:

http://www.eaglenav.com/upload/Eagle/Documents/Manuals/Skimmer_xdcr_0147-582_041703.pdf

I don't think your transducer is malfunctioning if it is still producing a good image in shallower depths when off plane.

However, I agree that you may be asking a lot of this unit.  The Elite models are good units, but they are Lowrance's entry level.  I think that unit only puts out 500 watts of power... it may be good to 1000' in freshwater, but in saltwater (which is denser) it is hard to find any sonar that can reliably hold bottom at 1000', at speed.  My Raymarine, w/ more wattage and a basic Airmar transducer, will do it on drift but loses bottom at those depths at speed.  Heck, my friends top of the line Garmin with giant 1 killowatt Airmar will lose the bottom at about 1000' when we drop off the continental shelf on the way out for Tuna!

What you can do is adjust the unit to read the top of the water column in those depths (say the top 200' or 400').  On most units, this will keep it from freaking out when it can't get decent echo returns at really, really deep depths.  This is what we do when fishing for Tuna!, where the fish are typically within 200' of the surface, but in water that can be up to 3000' deep.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 11:19:35 AM by Threeweight »
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 11:23:58 AM »

I have that problem when my unit is set on automatic depth. If I select a specified depth it doesn't do that.

Mine is a Humminbird, so this info may not help.  :shrug9:
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline rusty scuppers

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 12:40:19 PM »
I got the info on depth from the specs. in the back of the manual.  I think you guys misunderstood, it won't give me signals even if I return to a more shallow depth. Threeweight, your right it is only 500 watts. I  only fish in 400 and less feet of water, I only see 750' when I'm crossing the sound heading to a fishing spot or something, I don't expect much after that.

Offline rusty scuppers

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2013, 05:59:01 PM »
I would still like to know if theres a way to tell if my transducer is still good, will a p66 transducer fit my 3 yr old Elite 5 with gps.

Offline Threeweight

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 06:34:45 PM »
You may be able to find one to fit, but the head unit is unlikely to put out enough watts to make a big difference.  The Airmar may give you a cleaner image with more accurate detail, but since it relies on the head unit for power I don't think it is going to help with overall depth. 
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Wyrguy

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Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2013, 09:13:37 PM »
I would still like to know if theres a way to tell if my transducer is still good, will a p66 transducer fit my 3 yr old Elite 5 with gps.

Rusty, a relatively easy (:shrug9:) way to tell if your exiting transducer is still good. Beg, borrow, steal (:nono:) the same head unit from someone, hook it up and try it... or, remove (disconnect) your transducer and hook up the Airmar P66, if it works, you're good to go...

http://www.marine-deals.co.nz/which-transducer

From what I've been able to dig up, you're far more likely to have a head unit 'gone bad' than the transducer (unless you've 'cooked it' by running it out of the water :1zhelp:)

Rick  :twocents:

...and as for your previous query "Wyrguy, you said you would like to have a Raymarine or a Furuno but they are expensive but you got a Airmar transducer!" I have the Raymarine E120W MFD head unit, the DSM30 (600 watt depth sounder module), and the Airmar P66 'tri-ducer' (temp, depth, speed)... Something makes me think that you're comparing apples to oranges. Both are fruit that grow on a tree, both fairly spherical in shape, but both completely different.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 09:19:45 PM by Wyrguy »
'Arima Therapy' - Life begins where the land ends!
2012 Sea Legend HT, blue hull, S/S 6 rod rocket launcher/radar arch
F250 O/S & T9.9 Yamahas c/w iTroll
Aluminum I-beam EZ Loader trailer c/w stainless disc brakes
Raymarine E120W, Digital HD Colour radar, Scotty HP 2106 DR's c/w 15 lb glow ballzzzz!

Offline rusty scuppers

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2013, 02:42:30 PM »
Went fishing off Alki Friday oct. 4 for awhile to see if my depthsounder was working, and it was for about two hours then quit again. Today oct. 7th I finally called Lowrance and they basically told me I have the wrong unit. I should have the Elite hds, it was designed for salt water use! That kind of pissed me off, why couldn't they tell me that in the first place on the packaging or the salesperson. Its wasn't very practical for me to exchange with someone else to see which part is failing, the transducer or head unit. So I guess I will be shopping for a new unit. Since my fishing is basically over I have alot of time to get the best deal.

Offline Hydro-Therapy

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2013, 03:19:31 PM »

 Rusty I see you have had another nightmare with Lowrance . Join the club. You have just stated a couple of reason I will never own another one of there products. I can highly recomend Raymarine. By far a much better product and customer service and not that much more money to make the upgrade.

  H-T
Fish forever Work whenever !!!!!
"89" 19SR Keith 115 Merc. 15 4s kicker W/trollmaster Raymarine A70D

Offline Threeweight

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2013, 04:17:12 PM »
I don't think this is really a problem with any one manufacturer.  They give you the specs on the box, but they don't tell you want the specs mean.  The manufacturers and sales folks just want to sell you a unit, any unit.  I've seen cheap Garmin Echo's pitched by sales guys as the greatest saltwater units ever, when they clearly don't have the transducers or the power for that application.

For deep saltwater, you want a unit with at least 600 watts of power, and a 50/200 mhz transducer.  The entry level units from any of the manufacturers won't match those specs.  Lowrance Elites, Garmin Echos, etc...  The stock transducer that comes in most manufacturers packages will be marginal (the higher end makers like Raymarine and Furuno are exceptions, they come with good basic Airmars).

For what you want to do with it in a 5" screen, a Lowrance HDS or the new Garmin 547 are better bets.  The Garmin has the option of an upgraded "chirp" transducer which makes it a good bit better at giving sharp pictures of what is under you.  Raymarine's Dragonfly is similar, but may be a little underpowered for saltwater.  The Raymarine A67 is fantastic, but a good bit more $$ (with a bigger screen, though)
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Kimbrey

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2013, 04:20:33 PM »
While it isn't advisable to run the transducer for long periods when the boat is out of the water (I always unplug mine from the depth module) you can check to see if the ducer is pinging.  Wet you fingers and hold them against the ducer.  You should be able to feel the tick, tick, tick.  Or if that doesn't work crawl it under and place your forehead against the ducer.  If the ducer is working you will be able to hear the ping inside your head.  Not the most pleasant experience but it usually works.  Maybe that's why I'm so dingy.  I'm not sure if I'd do it with a 1000w ducer.
2005 Sea Legend --Sold--replaced with 26' Duckworth

Offline Threeweight

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2013, 04:46:34 PM »
Here is a 600 watt Airmar (left) beside a big 1000 watt (1 kilowatt) Airmar transom mount.  I would definitely not want to stick my forehead against the big boy while it is running!  I've been on aluminum boats that run the big Airmar when out halibut fishing... the motors are turned off, you can hear it "ticking".

Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Threeweight

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2013, 04:54:10 PM »
Here's a good overview of some of the units that are out there on the semi-affordable end of the scale.  Note that in deep water the Furuno w/ a traditional Airmar 50/200 transducer shined... a similar transducer could be used with Garmin and Lowrance HDS units as well.

http://features.boats.com/boat-content/2013/09/sonar-smack-down-traditional-fishfinder-vs-down-looking-scanner-imager-vs-chirp/
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline fishorcrab

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2013, 05:21:29 PM »
I'd be real careful of pinging my headbone.  I've heard that after more than a half dozen pings, some volunteer to work on one of those big fishing boats in the Bering Sea. Some even fall for winter tours after a couple dozen pings. :nono:

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Kimbrey

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2013, 06:11:38 PM »
Here is a 600 watt Airmar (left) beside a big 1000 watt (1 kilowatt) Airmar transom mount.  I would definitely not want to stick my forehead against the big boy while it is running!  I've been on aluminum boats that run the big Airmar when out halibut fishing... the motors are turned off, you can hear it "ticking".


Yup I can hear the big one ticking on my boat but it's Airmar's CHIRP going into Raymarine.
We have units (catch indicators) that mount on the back of our nets or what we call codends (bags).  They measure the expansion of the web as the bag fills with fish.  It gets to a certain point (full bag) it will send a ping up to the vessel. Now days the catch indicators have LED's stating battery life.  In the past once in a while the deck crew would check to see if it was still pinging by placing their head on the unit.  I've done it but didn't find it all that pleasant. 
2005 Sea Legend --Sold--replaced with 26' Duckworth

Offline amazing grace

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2013, 09:58:33 AM »
Threeweight, thanks for the link on the guy doing some comparison's. I agree with his findings. The imaging units vs the sonar units mimicks my experience. They both have their nitche's. Albeit distinctly different. The Elite5x dsi on my 17SR right now needs to go to a shallow warm water fisherman. Would be great for that. Not for my needs though. The detail these units show is amazing for sure. Any one interested in my unit?     
1989 22' C-Dory Angler

Offline fishorcrab

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2013, 11:12:35 AM »
When the Dragonfly first became available, it looked like a great choice.  From Steve's linked comparison report, I still think it would be a good second unit.  Because it does not have NMEA-0183 or NMEA2000 support, I don't think it makes a good primary unit because it won't support a DCS radio. 

I bought a Lowrance 4x DSI sonar only unit a year ago as a second fishfinder for the stern and to get my feet wet with a structure scan unit less painfully.  I hoped it would help me avoid losing so much jigging gear when drifting over rocky bottoms. There can be 10ft or more depth difference when drifting over reefs. I have found it less useful than I had hoped.   

The good points are:
- In water shallower than 200 feet, there is a lot of detail visible assuming that the sun is not directly shining on the display. 
- With my Garmin at 50kHz and 200kHz, the Lowrance DSI does not interfere at all as it operates at 455kHz and 800kHz.  The transducers are mounted on opposite sides of the transom just inside the sponsons.   

The bad points are:
- The display is not easily visible in bright sunlight unlike like my Garmin 440s. 
- It is not easy marking fish on the display but easier to see where they might want to be among the bottom structure. 
- The relatively small display size with relatively high resolution with low brightness means I need to be very close to understand the detail on the screen. Not easy to do when moving.
- The connector is fussy to make reliable connection and the unit alerts for shallow water at odd times requiring power cycling the unit. 

With a sunshade, this unit would likely be great on a kayak, canoe, or high lakes boat.

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Threeweight

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2013, 11:24:16 AM »
The screen thing Paul mentions is one of the downsides of some of the more affordable units.  To get the price down, they have to skimp somewhere... low power screens seems to be the one a lot of manufacturers go for.  From Lowrance, the HDS units are much better in terms of visibility, but more $$.

I think Raymarine designed the Dragonfly to try and break into the freshwater/bass fishing market.  Would explain why the left off the DSC networking.   Ray is well known among saltwater anglers, and guys who fish the Great Lakes, but when I go home to South Carolina everything is Humminbird and Lowrance. 
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline amazing grace

Re: Did my elite 5 transducer quit
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2013, 05:10:48 PM »
I am not sure about TW's assertion that a 600watt unit is necessary for deeper salt water. Certainly more power is better but there are many fisherman using 300 and 500 watt units in deep water salt applications with good results.

1989 22' C-Dory Angler