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View Full Version : Depth Gauge issue.


Bongo
05-21-2005, 03:32 AM
Hey folks, I need a little help on this one.

I took the MasterCraft out for a spin this afternoon. Turned on my previously trusty depth gauge (Teleflex HDR600, I think). Initially, it read the expected depth -- then would quickly jump to "1.0" ft. I tried this about a dozen times in varying depths (60' down to 6'), and each time when I initially gave it power, I'd get an accurate reading. Then a couple seconds later, it would jump from that down to "1.0". I left it on while reading "1.0", and occasionally, it would jump back up to the expected depth before retracting back to "1.0".

Any suggestions where to look?

- I checked the "puck" and it seems firm where I epoxied it a couple years ago.
- The depth was in known waters, and ranged from 60' to 15' to 6'. In all cases, the behavior appeared the same -- where it'd eventually deadline on 1.0.
- I suspect some electrical feed issue. I did change the switch panel (though kept the original switches and connections) and fixed my automatic float switch. Neither should have interferred with the depth gauge, but...

Anyone seen this before? Any suggestions to resolve?

Bongo

MarkP
05-21-2005, 08:51 AM
Is your boat kept in the water?? If so maybe some of that green slimy stuff has built up on the hull. Otherwise I would call the manufacture..

ski_king
05-21-2005, 09:11 AM
Sounds like the signal to or from the puck is getting lost. Did you check the connection and cable?

Maybe a BIG fish is swimming 1 foot under your boat.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-21-2005, 07:26 PM
Maybe a BIG fish is swimming 1 foot under your boat.
:headbang: :toast: :purplaugh

Bongo
05-22-2005, 11:13 PM
The boat isn't kept in water regularly and the hull is clean.

If a BIG fish, that things keeps showing up.

Today, I didn't think it was as bad as Saturday but still there. I'll check the connection at the gauge first and see if that might be the issue.

Man, and after I took a lot of advice on the board and thought I had the boat in top notch condition...

--Leon--

jayocheskey
05-23-2005, 01:21 AM
Was it a constant feed of 1ft or was it flashing? My depth finder has been acting up as well. It will flash "0.5' -- Anybody ever had that problem?

erkoehler
05-23-2005, 02:02 AM
How much do you guys rely on the depth finder? My boat doesn't have one, and I am debating purchasing one in the near future...how much $$$ are we talking?

Bongo
05-23-2005, 12:41 PM
Mine is a constant 1.0 feet; it doesn't flash. Nor does the audible alarm sound.

Erk, I got my depth finder two years ago. Before then, I had always been on my home lake, and the water was deep except in 2 or 3 well-known locations. Now, I live on Old Hickory Lake in Tennesse -- which has a lot of shallow spots, some in places I wouldn't expect from looking at the shoreline. I think I paid around $120 for mine; a Teleflex HDR 600. Easy installation -- which has been listed in numerous other threads.

Bongo

AirJunky
05-23-2005, 01:23 PM
How much do you guys rely on the depth finder? My boat doesn't have one, and I am debating purchasing one in the near future...how much $$$ are we talking?
Their usually around $100 or $200, sometimes less. As I recall the popular brands are Humingbird & Teleflex. The "puck" referred to in this thread is the send/recieve unit that you have to epoxy down to the hull. I was told that MC has an aluminum foil liner in the bilge & you have to peel it up where you glue your puck down. I used a holesaw that was a bit bigger than the puck, removed the center bit, then just scored the surface a hair. The foil liner peeled right up & I glued the puck down. The guage worked for about 2 years, then last year I started getting all kinds of false readings. Still haven't figured out what the deal is with it.
I guess the only time you rely on a depth guage is when you don't know how deep the water is. If you don't know & don't have a depth guage that works, don't run a stainless prop. The brass will save your running gear if you ever hit bottom.
We have a number of rivers here that can get really shallow way out in the middle. So you have to know the area & be cautious. Sammamish has 2 sunken forests in it......after a couple of friends hit trees over the years, I just stayed away.

rick s.
05-23-2005, 01:42 PM
One thing you might try is buying/borrowing a second transducer and hang it over the side when you are out in the lake. Go ahead and hold it with your fingers and point it at the bottom of the lake. If the head work ok, then you know the transducer is bad. If it still reads faulty, then the head may be bad.

It could be that your epoxy job has not aged too well and there is an air void between the transducer and the boat bottom. I suspect that could cause your faulty readings. Understand that installing the transducer inside the boat reduces the sensitivity of the sounder by about half.

Bongo
07-05-2005, 09:52 PM
Got it solved, I guess.

The epoxy under the puck must have developed a bubble over the winter or something similar. I swapped the gauges between my MasterCraft and pontoon, and the problem stayed with the MasterCraft; i.e. it was with the transducer and not the gauge.

So I heated the epoxy and popped the puck. Cleaned it up. Put it back down, only this time back near the shaft opposite the lake water pickup. I've had it on the lake a few times since then and it seems to be squared away.

Thanks for the help.

Bongo

jrbrown
07-05-2005, 10:30 PM
Bongo,

Please describe your heat application technique, the type of epoxy that you used and application technique.

I too am having issues with my transducer. I get the flashing "0.5" for the longest time and then it works for a while. Last season it worked GREAT!

THANKS!!!

captkidd
07-06-2005, 11:33 AM
Glad to hear that you found and fixed the problem.

I ordered mine with a depth finder, and it has worked flawlessly for the past 11 years. I'm not bragging, just commenting that you shouldn't be having problems after a couple of years. It's a Humminbird, and it was either installed at the factory or by the dealer. It has saved my bacon more than once, especially at lakes that I'm not too familiar with. Of course, if you're busting along at 30+ mph, then the depth finder may not respond in time if there's something under the water.

Bongo
07-06-2005, 03:23 PM
Bongo,

Please describe your heat application technique, the type of epoxy that you used and application technique.

I too am having issues with my transducer. I get the flashing "0.5" for the longest time and then it works for a while. Last season it worked GREAT!

THANKS!!!

When I installed the transducer the first time, I used the two-part epoxy that came with the in-hull kit.

To remove it, I used a heat gun (similar to a hot, hot blow dryer for hair) and started heating one side / edge of the epoxy. Once it became a little pliable, I stuck a paint scraper under that edge, taped lightly with a hammer and it popped off. The epoxy stayed in basically one piece on the transducer. Note that I initially installed it near my bilge pump and the surface there is smooth.

To re-install it, I moved it toward the back near the propeller shaft. Here, the finish inside the hull is more course; i.e. no gel coat over the fiberglass. I used Locktite's "Aquamarine Epoxy" which is a 10-minute two-part epoxy that I picked up at Wally-World. Spread a solid glob slightly bigger than the puck onto the inside hull, spread it out to make sure there were no bubbles, and then gently mushed down the puck. Taped it down with masking tape so it wouldn't slide down and let it set.

I think the two keys are:
1. Get a 5 or 10 minute two-part epoxy. The 60-second version doesn't give you enough time to work slowly and generates much more heat.
2. Work out any bubbles in the epoxy.

Good luck.

Bongo

jrbrown
07-06-2005, 08:14 PM
Bongo, Thanks!!!