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Old 26-03-2015, 09:54   #1
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Use old depth sensor?

Hi electronics gurus

I have a depth sensor that came my boat but the cable is cut off after about 5 meters and no instruments. Could I use that sensor and (maybe new) cable to connect like a Nasa instrument? And how could I check if the senor is working before I go and buy an instrument?

You may realizes that I am not really an electronic guy. So thanks for all info I can get here

Nic26
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:41   #2
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

Don't know about checking to see if it works other than hooking up to a receiver but I had a similar situation where my Airmar(?) transducer was connected to TackTick junction box. But my wireless TackTick receiver unit was not functioning, it turns on but does not read any info from the junction box. I had an older free standing Eagle 128 fishfinder (same as Lowrance) and decided to use this for the time being as I plan to do major electronics overhaul at some point but not now. I asked my marine pro buddy for guidance and he said that I should be able to splice both units just to make sure I match the wire colors and crimp and insulate them well. Works like a charm showing depth but does not show correct water temp, even though both Airmar transducer and Eagle receiver have water temp capabilities and corresponding wires. When the Eagle was used with it's native transducer (external kind) it was showing water temp OK.
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:53   #3
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

There are many many different types of transducers with different incompatible specifications. Chances are remote that it is compatible. The most common thing that is done is to remove the old transducer and to replace it with the new one that goes with the new sounding unit.

I don't think I would even test the new with the old and risk damaging the new unless you are absolutely certain that they are compatible ahead of time.
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Old 26-03-2015, 11:06   #4
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/n...ansducer_ducer

Here's a handy article about just this thing.


If you were able to identify the transducer that would help greatly. There may be markings or number on the cable that could help. Depth transducers are fairly simple just have to match frequencies up for the most part.


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Old 26-03-2015, 11:09   #5
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
There are many many different types of transducers with different incompatible specifications. Chances are remote that it is compatible. The most common thing that is done is to remove the old transducer and to replace it with the new one that goes with the new sounding unit.

I don't think I would even test the new with the old and risk damaging the new unless you are absolutely certain that they are compatible ahead of time.
I was told complete opposite by a marine pro with 40+ years of experience. Basically there are only 2 or 3 transducer manufacturers and they just slap different name tags (same as with TVs for the past 20 years). So chances are very high that two seemingly unrelated brands will be compatible. Worse come to worse the old transducer will not work anymore but not the other way around as long as you match the wire colors which are the industry standard regardless of the manufacturer.

For example Lowrance produces for 4 or 5 brands - Lowrance, Eagle, Barracuda, and several others I can't recall off the top of my head but among the more famous names. My Airmar worked with TackTick initially and now with Eagle (Lowrance). So there are three compatible brands already.
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Old 26-03-2015, 11:25   #6
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

Sure, as long as it is an old style analog transducer that only returns depth. Many transducers now are not old style analog. They also can send depth and temperature data digitally.
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Old 26-03-2015, 11:30   #7
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

The depressing fact is that your piezoelectric transducer probably uses an element that cost less than fifty cents to the manufacturer. Same thing with the temperature sensor. I know from experience that they use confusing and incompatible cabling, and hide the specs more securely than the crown jewels, because that's how they make money: by selling fifty cent items for several hundred dollars.

But it's still usually cheaper, less frustrating, and better looking than trying to do it on your own.
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Old 27-03-2015, 00:48   #8
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

thank you for all the info guys. Here is another discussion about the subject:

Mixing old transducer with modern chart plotter? - Panbo Forum

I looked up the mentioned Actisense product. But it is about 180 euros

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Old 27-03-2015, 11:07   #9
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

I just went through this.....and had several long discussions with airmar. They are the main maker for most of the brands. The issue is wire identification. Some are 2 wire, 3 as many as 8 on the more sophisticated head units. There will be two that are a single frequency pair and then capabilities go up from there. The techs told me almost any can be made to work if you can get the correct connectors.
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Old 27-03-2015, 11:41   #10
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Re: Use old depth sensor?

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I just went through this.....and had several long discussions with airmar. They are the main maker for most of the brands. The issue is wire identification. Some are 2 wire, 3 as many as 8 on the more sophisticated head units. There will be two that are a single frequency pair and then capabilities go up from there. The techs told me almost any can be made to work if you can get the correct connectors.
Bingo! That's exactly what my marine pro guy told me. My Airmar cable had 7 wires and my Eagle display had 5. So I connected them by color and have saved a few hundred bucks on new unit. BTW both cables were a few feet too short for a full run. Although I realize that it's better to have one wire without splices I had no choice but to get an extension. So I visited my local boat junk yard and for a few bucks got a compatible cable with 7 wires. Depth meter works fine but the temp is not showing so I'll work on it may be I did a poor crimp of that particular wire because the yard cable looked decent. I did find online a schematic of what each color wire is for. Easy peasy from there.
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