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Thread: Transducer Help

  1. #1

    Question Transducer Help

    Hi fellow Ausfishers,

    I have a gen 1 Lowrance HDS10 (yes I know its old tech now!) paired with an Airmar TM260.

    I find that I'm fishing (and wanting to fish) wider than I used to and I'm having trouble with my setup. My setup loses bottom at about 120m. I don't believe that the HDS is the cause (the software is up to date and I have tried lots of different settings) nor the placement of the transducer (it gives a good picture and reads well at speed to any depth up to about 100m).

    My question is regarding the function of transducer itself. Is there anyway to electrically bench test it myself? Or, does anyone know of anywhere to send it to have it tested?

    I'm on the east coast around Coffs Harbour but travel to the Gold Coast regularly. My preference would be to drop it off somewhere but postage is not out of the question.

    Any assistance is appreciated as its becoming really frustrating. Its a needle in a haystack fishing depth without being able to see the bottom.

    Joffo

  2. #2

    Re: Transducer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by joffo81 View Post
    Hi fellow Ausfishers,

    I have a gen 1 Lowrance HDS10 (yes I know its old tech now!) paired with an Airmar TM260.

    I find that I'm fishing (and wanting to fish) wider than I used to and I'm having trouble with my setup. My setup loses bottom at about 120m. I don't believe that the HDS is the cause (the software is up to date and I have tried lots of different settings) nor the placement of the transducer (it gives a good picture and reads well at speed to any depth up to about 100m).

    My question is regarding the function of transducer itself. Is there anyway to electrically bench test it myself? Or, does anyone know of anywhere to send it to have it tested?

    I'm on the east coast around Coffs Harbour but travel to the Gold Coast regularly. My preference would be to drop it off somewhere but postage is not out of the question.

    Any assistance is appreciated as its becoming really frustrating. Its a needle in a haystack fishing depth without being able to see the bottom.

    Joffo
    Joffo mate I think you need to look at your settings. That sounder and transducer combo is more than enough to be reading good bottom at 120 to 250m. The fact that you can hold bottom at speed up to 100m tells me he tranny is probably set up properly. There are some sounder gurus on here that may be able to give some technical help but.

    Next time you’re out that wide, try putting the range and gain to auto and the zoom to off. Then have a play with the settings from there. Once you have bottom, switch between 50hz and 200hz once you have some structure to highlight the differences and working on your zoom/bottom lock and gain settings from there.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

  3. #3

    Re: Transducer Help

    Thanks mate - I hope you're right and there's something simple in the settings I'm doing wrong. As

    As with many rec fishers who work full time and perhaps have a family, fishing trips aren't that common so getting out there just to diagnose can take some time. And then to get out there and fiddle with settings and still not have it work is really frustrating.

    I have tried switching to 50Khz, selecting manual depth range (going off the contour depths on the chart) and increasing the sensitivity but once it loses the bottom, it just doesn't seem to recover, even stopping on the spot doesn't return a reading.

    Someone on here might be able to give me advice on ping speed and page scrolling speed for depths and any other relevant settings!

  4. #4

    Re: Transducer Help

    If you are on Facebook have a look & join Lowrance university, a lot of very good tips on it

  5. #5
    Ausfish Gold Member 552Evo's Avatar
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    Jul 2016
    Location
    Melbourne

    Re: Transducer Help

    Just throwing it out there, but have you had a good look at the wiring ?
    If it’s an intermittent issue maybe the transducer cable has a bad kink or crush damage somewhere ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6

    Re: Transducer Help

    First things first....clean power supply...if it is not clean you will get bad signals and results.

    Best practice is to run the power cable directly to the battery terminals, not a bus bar, that way you know you have clean power supply.
    Dash board switches and bus bars are the worst offenders for supplying the required dirty volts....everything connected to them can feed back electrical chatter. Switches start to fail and do not deliver clean power.

    Just use the power button on the sounder to turn it on and off.
    Jack.

  7. #7

    Re: Transducer Help

    I will have a good look at the transducer cable today but my problem is not really intermittent - it's consistent at depth,

    I've been asking questions all over the place regarding my issue and someone suggested that I need to add a Broadband Sounder Module (BSM-1) to my setup. This particular person is running this setup and is very happy with the results at all depths. I have done some reading and now I'm confused as to whether this is necessary or not. The BSM-1 is a discontinued unit (old tech now) so getting my hands on one may not be simple. I'm also hesitant to spend more money on a system that is not currently working as it should be. The money could be better spent having the transducer tested?? and or fixing or purchasing a new one if needed.

    Noone has really answered my original question regarding this. Does anyone know if my TM260 be tested somewhere to ensure that it is working properly?

    Joffo

  8. #8

    Re: Transducer Help

    Hi Joffo I run a TM 260 on a garmin head unit, the 260 can be tricky to set up, mine is a very narrow cone angle (which is what i want) the down side is it needs to be aimed very accurately for mid to deep water , i pasted some info below but it didnt format correctly , but basicly it has a 6deg beam so in 102m of water the base of the cone is 32m (if it is set up absolutely perfectly which it wont be in an offshore environment) so i think when you are getting deep the return pulse is missing your transducer alltogether hence no image. play with trandsure position until you get it correct, why would you go to that much effort??? well here is why! when you get it right it will be the best tool in your boat period. it took me ages to get mine right but now i know if it's on the screen then my bait is basicly dropping on it's head and they will be on ..or it's time to move. 6degs means if i see it I'm over it , unlike my second unit which is a wide beam and if i see it i could still be 50 to 100 meters away in deep water which isn't really "on it" the wide beam does paint a lot of pertty pictures though but it is hit or miss if your in the spot.

    Top-of-the-line narrow-beam transom-mount• Designed for bottom fishing•Wide 19° beam at 50 kHz•Narrow 6° beam at 200 kHz• Interfaces to any 600 W or 1 kW sounder• Depth and fast-response water-temperature sensor• Kick-up assembly locks in the “up” position and willnot damage the transom•Accommodates transom angles between 3° and 21°• Urethane housing• Boat Size: Up to 12 m (40’)
    BEAM DIAMETER VS DEPTHDepth 50 kHz 200 kHz9 m (30’) 3 m (10’) 0.9 m (3’)30 m (100’) 10 m (34’) 3.3 m (11’)122 m (400’) 41 m (134’) 13 m (42’)305 m (1,000’) 102 m (335’) 32 m (105’)

  9. #9

    Re: Transducer Help

    Joffo
    just a follow up when your in swallower water (60-80) study the returns your getting ( specifically fish returns ) to see if you can determine which angle your beam is shooting the leading and trailing edge of the returns will have a strong and a weak return and that will give you a starting point on which direction to move your transducer, or you can just move in one direction and test if the imgage improves or gets worse. generally the horzontial is ok (unless your boat leans alot to either side) but the trim angle takes a bit to get spot on.

    one of the resasons i like my Yalta Craft is they run flat so trim on the move and at anchor is pretty close .... if your boat needs a lot of trim you made need to choose between a good image when running or a good return at rest with a narrow beam transducer.

    Hope i have helped and not been to confusing.

    BigE

  10. #10

    Re: Transducer Help


  11. #11

    Re: Transducer Help

    As an added extra I have picked up on the internet over many years is that Lowrance seem to lose their brain if they lose the bottom for a moment then don't seem to be able to 'lock back on' if you get my meaning.
    I had this problem many years ago with one of the old Eagle finders and in fact running in very shallow water would also cause the problem.

    As an aside my antique Ratheon runs around 200Hz @ 19 Degrees and 50Hz @ 50 Degrees.
    Makes me wonder if such skinny 260 beam angles are really suitable for offshore use without a lot of setting up like BigE has done, probably work great in a deep lake or on a finder that can unscramble it's brain after a signal loss.

  12. #12

    Re: Transducer Help

    Thanks alot Big E! I was aware of the narrow cone angle but you have described it in laymans terms and in real world settings. Everything you have said makes sense. I hope you're right and my problem is solved by changing the angle of trim.

  13. #13

    Re: Transducer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Fed View Post
    As an added extra I have picked up on the internet over many years is that Lowrance seem to lose their brain if they lose the bottom for a moment then don't seem to be able to 'lock back on' if you get my meaning.
    I had this problem many years ago with one of the old Eagle finders and in fact running in very shallow water would also cause the problem.

    As an aside my antique Ratheon runs around 200Hz @ 19 Degrees and 50Hz @ 50 Degrees.
    Makes me wonder if such skinny 260 beam angles are really suitable for offshore use without a lot of setting up like BigE has done, probably work great in a deep lake or on a finder that can unscramble it's brain after a signal loss.
    Thanks Fed - I definitely agree with this. Once it loses bottom, the show is all over. It didn't pick it up again until we hit about 30m deep!

  14. #14

    Re: Transducer Help

    Best way to wrap your head around it is to use a torch with an adjustable beam. put some objects on the floor (there your fish) and shine the torch in a wide beam and count how many objects you light up then adjust to a narrow beam and see how many objects are now not in the beam.,,,, the other exercise is shine the torch onto a mirror and see how the beam reflects straight back at the torch (the perfect return) now tilt the torch and see what happen to the reflected light it shoots off to the side away from the torch ( this is probably what is happening with your sounder) and the higher you hold the torch (think the deeper the water) the greater the angle the return light travels.

    just remeber in a 100 metres your return cone is only 30 metres so the set up needs to be spot on to see the return signal.

    clear as mud (sorry make perfect sence in my head)

    BigE

  15. #15

    Re: Transducer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by joffo81 View Post
    Thanks Fed - I definitely agree with this. Once it loses bottom, the show is all over. It didn't pick it up again until we hit about 30m deep!
    I used to have the same problem with the older Lowrance. The colour Sounders before the HDS came out. I’d turn the head unit off for a few seconds and turn it back on. It would take a bit but it would find bottom again at trolling speeds.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

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