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Old 10-05-2015, 10:43   #1
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e7D depth transducer problem

e7D owners, what depth transducer are you using and do you chronically get false shallow water readings in deep water? We've been plagued by this using an e7D with the recommended B60. Thanks for any input!
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Old 13-05-2015, 23:16   #2
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

Mine did that last trip... I knew I was in deep water and didn't try to troubleshoot.

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Old 13-05-2015, 23:21   #3
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

I had the one that came with the E7d. Same problem, over about 100m we got all sorts of readings down to 1m which freaked us out the first time it came up lol it always sorted itself after a short time in shallower depths.


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Old 14-05-2015, 17:58   #4
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

Autumn & Manny,

Thanks for the confirming input.

Which transducers do you have? I know it might be a pain to look it up, but it will be from a short list of RM recommended ones. Like the 744V or B60?

REALLY appreciate your input! We're cruising constantly in unfamiliar waters in tropical Mexico, and an unreliable depth gauge is scary.

We have a completely new comprehensive top dollar RM certified install, and the damn depth gauge is simply unreliable.

All SW updates current, e7D sent back to factory twice, confirmed dead rise, crawling around the boat measuring micro Teslas of RFI for god's sake!

At our wit's end. Does a B60 work with an e7D or not!?
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Old 14-05-2015, 19:13   #5
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

I do not have an e7d but I do have an older RayMarine depth gauge. When the water is deeper than the transducer can detect I get many spurious readings. Most often it lasts for only a short time then of course the depth gauge continues to read whatever it was as "last". Once the transducer does not have a solid return from the bottom I think it latches on to any return it gets. I've noticed it most at night when far off shore. This of course is when the biological phenomenon known as the deep scattering layer rises to near the surface. It got its name from the fact that early military sonars painted it as a false bottom as it scattered sonar signals. I've been 100 miles off shore in 15,000 feet of water and seen a depth reading of 20 feet for hours on end. In the day time I often get very shallow readings like one foot when in a heavy chop. I think it's reading air bubbles. Those usually do not stay steady and quickly get labeled as last. I once also noted this as I passed through a school of tuna working a bait ball. I think I was getting a return from the fish.

I'm not sure that this is terribly unusual in deep water. The more sensitive the transducer the more likely it is to pick up weak signals. Mine is only rated to 600 feet. A transducer rated to 3000 feet has to send out 25 times as much energy or be 25 times more sensitive or a combination of both energy and sensitivity that equal that. That said I would expect more "false" readings from a newer model in the absence of a true bottom return.
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Old 15-05-2015, 12:53   #6
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

Are you running v14 of Lighthouse 2?
LightHouse II Software | Raymarine Software

Looks like they just released it, I'm updating now (and I just updated everything about 2 weeks ago!) You should update and re-test. I will look up my transducer for you in a bit.

New Digital Surface Filter

Digitally filters out water column noise above and beyond automatic settings
Excellent reduction of top-water aeration
Efficiently minimizes the presence of dense thermoclines to reveal targets throughout
Default Auto Setting configured to filter approximately upper 20% of Water Column
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Old 15-05-2015, 13:33   #7
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

Sorry I can't look it up as it was in my previous boat.


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Old 15-05-2015, 22:41   #8
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

My transducer is a B60, 20 degree tilt model.
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Old 16-05-2015, 05:35   #9
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
Are you running v14 of Lighthouse 2?
LightHouse II Software | Raymarine Software
...
From the Raymarine Tech Support Forum:
e7D depth sounder problems - Raymarine Technical Forum

the LightHouse II a/c/e/gS-Series MFD software update (v9.40) < a/c/e/gS Series Software > featured improvements and corrections to the operation of the internal ClearPulse sounder. Among the problems addressed was the reporting of shallow depth when operating in deep water. This symptom may also occur when a thermocline containing large concentrations of organics is present, as the transducer energy is reflected off the thermocline producing a false bottom. As indicated previously, recommended that the MFD's software be updated, that a Factory Reset operation be performed, and that the system then be tested again afterwards.

You can determine the currently installed version of software via the command sequence HOME->SET-UP->MAINTENANCE->DIAGNOSTICS->SELECT DEVICE.
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Old 20-05-2015, 12:34   #10
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

Captain Bill:

I am curious why you would expect more recent MFDs to have more problems.

Gordmay

That version 9 update you reference was 5 updates ago. It did not fix my problem obviously.

Autumm

Thank you for pointing out that while I was at sea yet another update is out that purports to address depth sounder issues. It has been 60 days since I last updated to V13. Sounds like I am woefully delinquent.

I will dutifully download the update (V14) and install it when I fly to Mexico at the end of the month.

In the mean time since we both have a B60 I am keen to know how the update works for you.

I am about to give up hope for this e7D/B60 problem. The "fix" is perpetually in the future with the next software update it seems.

The problem actually seems to have gotten worst since the V13 update. In moderately deep water like 400 feet the display will start decrementing down to 1 feet over say one minute, then return to a bogus 30 feet for 5-20 minutes. Recently coming out of deep water the bottom was picked up believably at 300-400 feet and tracked all the way down to the 20 feet we anchored in. But then the next day following the same track out of the anchorage, the depth stuck at 30-60 feet well out into 200+ depth (as noted on the charts) and then did its decrementing down to 1-10 feet again, before later in the day settling in at believable depths in the 100s of feet range. Nerve racking.

Having exhausted debug strategies, I am beginning to think that Raymarine has added so many features to the e7D that they have basically lost control of its ability to function reliably as a depth sounder.

They have suggested hooking up a B744V to test if its better. I looked at doing this but its wildly impractical to rig it up and then sail around trying to dynamically confirm performance underway.

I find it strange that they would not suggest another B60 instead.

Why are they making apparent corrections to the depth sounder code in the 14th release of their operating system?
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Old 20-05-2015, 16:46   #11
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

I have had the identical problem with an e127, which has a fish finder in it. It is connected to a B60 'ducer. Fish finder is absolutely useless as in any water over say 150', we get readings of 18' or so. As you say, it does correct itself when in shallower water, but there are areas in the eastern caribbean where it is plausible to go from several hundred feet to shallow in a short distance. Very disconcerting to not know if it is the error or if you've approached a shelf or submerged reef. We have replaced the b60, as I am told that the newer model which interfaces directly with the MFD without an adapter should solve the problem and we will update to Lighthouse 14. If that doesn't fix it, then I will give up and chalk it up to yet another Raymarine failure.
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Old 20-05-2015, 17:27   #12
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
I have had the identical problem with an e127, which has a fish finder in it. It is connected to a B60 'ducer. Fish finder is absolutely useless as in any water over say 150', we get readings of 18' or so. As you say, it does correct itself when in shallower water, but there are areas in the eastern caribbean where it is plausible to go from several hundred feet to shallow in a short distance. Very disconcerting to not know if it is the error or if you've approached a shelf or submerged reef. We have replaced the b60, as I am told that the newer model which interfaces directly with the MFD without an adapter should solve the problem and we will update to Lighthouse 14. If that doesn't fix it, then I will give up and chalk it up to yet another Raymarine failure.
I haven't tested it yet, but if this fixes it hopefully you can sell your old b60 because there was probably nothing wrong with it.
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Old 20-05-2015, 18:42   #13
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Re: e7D depth transducer problem

SVneko,

Our B60 was purchased about 20 months ago along with the rest of the all new Raymarine electronics suite. It does not need an adapter to interface to the e7D MFD. So I am doubtful that is the source of your problem.

I wish these forums had bigger audiences as I would love to hear a couple people with lots of miles under their keels chime in and say they have Raymarine e7Ds with B60s with no issues. It would give me hope.

What's really strange to me is that RM seems to push the B744V as a possible solution. I have been around a lot of boat yards and do not recall ever seeing the big fairing block it requires mounted on the bottom of sailboats. Has anyone else? I am also told that the guts of all the Airmar 600W transducers are basically the same design, so the B744V shouldn't make a difference anyway.

Thanks
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