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Old 12-05-2010, 16:09   #1
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Testing Depth Transducers when Not in the Water

Is it possible?

Finally determined that the mystery cable I have near my instruments is for a second Garmin transducer. I figure if it's working, I'll keep it as a backup, if not. May as well yank it, patch it, and have yet one less hole in the hull.
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Old 12-05-2010, 16:12   #2
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I thought they still worked, but the readings would be way off...higher I suppose because the signal would be slower going through air.
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Old 12-05-2010, 16:25   #3
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I don't think you will get any reading out of water, but you might be able to feel the "ticks" on the face of the transducer.
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Old 12-05-2010, 16:57   #4
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If you put ear next to it you should hear a clicking or put a steel plate close as you can and you should get a reading, not correct but a reading
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Old 12-05-2010, 20:55   #5
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You can put a tall bucket of water up against the hull such that the transducer is immersed in the water and get some sort of reading - probably zero unless you have a really tall bucket. Or you can listen carefully to the instrument display and sometimes hear the ticking which is the discharge pulse. Or you can turn on a SSB radio and you will hear the Depth Sounder "ticking/firing" in the background noise of the SSB.
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Old 12-05-2010, 21:19   #6
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I vaguely remember reading …many many years ago…. that you could damage the piezo type crystals in a transducer if you ran it out of the water….

Probably the larger earlier commercial units would overheat if left on when in drydock and then warp and compromise the accuracy.

Doubt if that is the case with modern units but to be safe….you could put it in a bucket of water to test that it still pulses or if you have time, remove it and bench test at a repair place
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Old 17-08-2010, 06:13   #7
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I'm getting readings of 800ft in 30ft of water. At the dock in 10ft it reads accurately. Anyone have a suggestion as to what's going on??

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 17-08-2010, 06:27   #8
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When I installed a new depth gauge and transducer last season I tested it by powering up the unit and placing a bucket of water as close to the transducer as possible. The gauge gave a reading, giving me a reasonable assurance that the equipment was working.
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Old 17-08-2010, 07:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyprdrv View Post
I'm getting readings of 800ft in 30ft of water. At the dock in 10ft it reads accurately. Anyone have a suggestion as to what's going on?? Thanks, Steve
It all depends upon the make/model of your depthmeter. Many transducers in the Raymarine brand sometimes fail or never work correctly after installation. You need to get a friend who has the same make/model to lend you their instrument head and connect that to your transducer and see if the same thing happens. If it does then most likely the transducer has or is failing. You can also hook up your instrument head to your friend's transducer to see if the problem might be in your instrument head.
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Old 17-08-2010, 08:38   #10
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You could test it for a reading in a bucket of water but obviously not for accuracy.
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