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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:59 am 
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Hey guys,

I had a little bit of an issue the last time my friend and I went out in our Oasis. It was our 2nd time using our Garmin FF, first time it worked flawlessly. The second time we went out, it initially kept giving an error that the transducer was not connected. We tried disconnecting and reconnecting the plug on the back several times, it did not help so we beached the kayak and I wiggled the wire connection inside the kayak, where the wire from the transducer connects to the wire that plugs directly into the FF. We got an image and thought "great, good to go!" went out on the water, and while it could tell the depth, there was static all over the screen. We proceeded fishing minus the ability to see fish for the day.

Then today I went to check the wires, I had connected them using the little "press to burst" crimps in the Hobie FF kit and added some electrical tape to attempt to help and secure the wires together further. It looked OK to me, but obviously it wasn't connected well enough. I went ahead and cut the wires and just tied them together manually by hand for a second and checked the FF, but obviously out of the water I can't tell if the image is good. I still see some static, but I'm unsure if it's because it's out of the water. Also I have the transducer in a "bed" of duct seal. If I didn't seal the duct seal around the transducer well and water got under the transducer between it and the kayak would that matter? Does the transducer need to be making contact directly to the bottom of the kayak or is it OK for there to be duct seal UNDER the transducer between it and the kayak?

Basically what I'm asking is, has anyone run in to this? Does anyone have any tips/tricks on better ways to connect the two wires, or anything it sounds like I might be doing wrong? Not sure how to attache images on here yet or I'd post photos of my probably terrible work (first time installing a FF lol).

Thanks in advance for any input


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:23 pm 
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Posts: 355
Solder all connections unless they have to be demountable any that do need to disconnected need water proof plugs with the connections inside soldered. Crimping will give you endless issues with poor contacts.

As long as you dont get air pockets under transducer it is fine. Water is fine they are meant to work in water. If you have any concerns re transducer installation being cause of problem pull it out and hang over the side that will show if it is the an issue with the install itself.

You could have air pockets in the duct seal if under transducer. when using goop or a silicone type attachment it is normal to warm it first before application so it flows smoother with less risk of air pockets.

If it gives you message transducer is not connected then probably poor contact in plug at back, spray this check clean and regularly if you normally disconnect when not in use. The live pin and socket will get a green corrosive build up.

A point commonly overlooked is to clean any fuse contacts and cap ends occasionally or they they can oxidize causing a voltage drop eventually sufficient enough to drain the battery quicker and shut down sounder. This is only noticeable under load. A multimeter without load applied wont pick it up. (resistance increases with current draw)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:33 am
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Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely look into all of them and see what I can do.

Do you have any specific waterproof connectors you recommend? I was looking at these?
https://www.amazon.com/MUYI-Waterproof-Electrical-Connector-Terminals/dp/B01FP1HXTE/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1512385317&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=waterproof%2Bwiring%2Bconnector&th=1

Also when you solder the wire (probably a noob question) do you use anything to seal back over the exposed wire, if so what? Sorry, totally new to this and not experienced with wiring at all unless you count my car stereo.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:48 pm
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Location: Missoula, Montana
Off the Yak wrote:
Also when you solder the wire (probably a noob question) do you use anything to seal back over the exposed wire, if so what? Sorry, totally new to this and not experienced with wiring at all unless you count my car stereo.

You definitely don't want to leave soldered connections exposed, or at risk of getting exposed as the wire gets shoved around inside your kayak, because if the wires touch you will get a short circuit which can set wires on fire or damage your fish finder if your system isn't properly fused. Don't rely on tape wrapped around the solder joints. Before you solder the wires, buy some heat shrink tubing which is a little bit bigger than the individual wires you will be soldering. Cut pieces of heat shrink tubing long enough to cover the solder joint and overlap onto the wire insulation. Slide the heat shrink tubing onto the wires and push it far enough back from the end of the wires so it won't get shrunk when you solder the wires. Solder the wires. Then slide the heat shrink tubing over the solder joint and heat it with a hair dryer or heat gun to shrink it. If you really want good protection, slather the solder joint with Goop or Aquaseal before you slide the heat shrink tubing over the solder joint.

To provide further mechanical protection for the solder joints, buy some heat shrink tubing which is big enough to fit over the combined wires. Slide a piece of the big tubing over one end of the combined wires before you solder and heat shrink the separate wires. Then slide the piece of big tubing over the soldered and heat shrink protected joints and shrink it with a hair dryer or heat gun. For additional protection, slather the heat-shrink protected joints with Goop or Aquaseal before you slide the piece of big tubing over it.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:03 am 
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Did you cut the actual transducer wire and then splice it back together? Most manufactures do not suggest this. Some set their units up to compensate for the loss (or resistance) for a given wire length. While I have done several and did not see anything, there was a few that were really picky about a good solid connection. Proper soldering and protection is a must when messing with the transducer cable. Any imperfections in the joint will cause signal loss of some degree. I never did find that a twist of the wires or crimping them together provided a suitable connection. Maybe read back through the owners manual and see what the suggestions are or call the manufacture and ask them for proper splicing procedures. They may be able to help clean up the picture.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:36 am 
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Thanks very much again for the additional info, I am still looking into this and trying to gather intel and tools in what little time I have to get this set up properly. If I recall correctly, the transducer wire did not come out of the box ready to be plugged into the depth finder, the cable that plugs into the depth finder had an end of bare wire that I then connected to an end of bare wire (I believe I had to strip it first) that came from the actual transducer.

For now I have ghetto-rigged it together just twisting the wires and electrical taping it as a temporary solution until I can get a more permanent job done. The image on the screen has been working especially in deeper depths, but sometimes especially in shallower water the image doesn't seem quite right and has a fair bit of static or random vertical lines going all the way thru the image - assuming thanks to the less than perfect connection.

There's also a TON of extra wire floating around loose inside my kayak. I zip tied a bunch of it together, but this still leaves a huge wad of wire just flopping around inside. You mentioned that most companies do not recommend cutting and splicing the wires. Any tips on securing all this crap-ton of extra wire? I was thinking of rigging some velcro to the side of the kayak inside somewhere to strap the wires up to, to also hopefully help keep them out of any water that may build up inside the kayak while out on the water. Though I was hoping to possibly cut out a lot of the extra wiring to just clean it up.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:48 pm
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Location: Missoula, Montana
Off the Yak wrote:
For now I have ghetto-rigged it together just twisting the wires and electrical taping it as a temporary solution until I can get a more permanent job done. The image on the screen has been working especially in deeper depths, but sometimes especially in shallower water the image doesn't seem quite right and has a fair bit of static or random vertical lines going all the way thru the image - assuming thanks to the less than perfect connection.

There's also a TON of extra wire floating around loose inside my kayak. I zip tied a bunch of it together, but this still leaves a huge wad of wire just flopping around inside. You mentioned that most companies do not recommend cutting and splicing the wires. Any tips on securing all this crap-ton of extra wire? I was thinking of rigging some velcro to the side of the kayak inside somewhere to strap the wires up to, to also hopefully help keep them out of any water that may build up inside the kayak while out on the water. Though I was hoping to possibly cut out a lot of the extra wiring to just clean it up.

just twisting wires together will cause you problems. Don't do it. If you're lucky, all that will happen is that you bump a wire and lose a connection, your fish finder quits working, and you have to return to shore and waste some fishing time trying to locate the problem and twist wires back together. If you aren't lucky, you'll get a short, and if your fish finder isn't fused correctly you could catch wires on fire or fry your fish finder.

You can keep extra cable under control by coiling it up, positioning it inside your kayak between two scupper holes (which look like pillars inside a sit-on-top kayak), and attaching the coil to the both scupper holes with cable ties. If you just attach the coil of wire to one scupper hole, the coil can move around a lot inside your kayak.


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