Depthfinder / transducer problems

jaywoodz

Member
Nov 12, 2012
522
Richmond, Virginia
Boat Info
1999 Sea Ray 310 Sundancer
Engines
Twin 350 MAG MPI Horizon w/V-Drives
I have a 310 DA, through-hull depth finder / transducer. Lately, I've been having issues and it's going in and out. Up until a month ago, it was doing that. After that time, it completely stopped worked. Around that time, I had a small leak in my bilge from the seawater pump, and lasted only two days until I fixed that. During that time, it would leak water into the bilge while the engines were on. I emptied the bilge of water and the depth finder hasn't really worked since except for here and there. Typically at high speeds, it would come back.

Today, I went out to the boat and vacuumed around the large box looking thing? And the the 2 circular pieces that are screwed into the hole with wires coming out. I moved the cables around and did what I could to clean up.. Then it came back.. but for only seconds, then went away again. There was a very small amount of water around the large box, but not the circular black plastic pieces. What should I troubleshoot now? And which piece does what? Also, I have an extra set of these ( ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440542191.122397.jpg) that I found. I assume these are for when you remove the other set and switch out before your bilge fills with water.

Just trying to find clarify on what is what, and where I should start. Thanks guys.
 
These transducers don't last forever. Most likely you just need to replace them. If you have two transducers, one is for depth and the other is for speed and water temp. Those plugs you have are used to plug the hole if you take out the transducer. Removing the transducer and replacing it is easy. Getting the wires up to the bridge is usually a pain.

Good luck,

Pete
 
These transducers don't last forever. Most likely you just need to replace them. If you have two transducers, one is for depth and the other is for speed and water temp. Those plugs you have are used to plug the hole if you take out the transducer. Removing the transducer and replacing it is easy. Getting the wires up to the bridge is usually a pain.

Good luck,

Pete

Thanks Pete. Is there a way to tell if the transducer(s) are bad just by looking at them? I have no idea how old they are, where to get new ones, or how much they may cost. I'll have to take them out and see I guess. Are there any other troubleshooting steps I may try before removing these?
 
I don't know of a way to test them per se. Sometimes wiggling the wires where they enter the transducer will make it work for a while. So I suspect that the wires sometimes break. Most transducers are made by airmar. You should be able to get the part number from the manuals. Last I looked I seem to remember the depth transducer was about $60. But I may be all wrong. It's been a while.

Good luck,

Pete
 
I don't know of a way to test them per se. Sometimes wiggling the wires where they enter the transducer will make it work for a while. So I suspect that the wires sometimes break. Most transducers are made by airmar. You should be able to get the part number from the manuals. Last I looked I seem to remember the depth transducer was about $60. But I may be all wrong. It's been a while.

Good luck,

Pete

Pete,

Thanks for the info. Turns out, I have an M260, from airmar. I've researched a lot, and I read you have to put antifreeze in it? I've noticed a fluid in the bilge. Clear mostly, and feels oily/watery. I wonder if the transducer is empty? Either way, I don't know for sure, 100% if it's an M260, but I found a receipt from the previous owner that it's a M260 for about $810.99 from west marine. Here's 2 pictures of it:

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440968675.077082.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1440968688.511770.jpg

I really don't know what to try or where to put the antifreeze? I may call airmar tomorrow and see what they can tell me.

Here's a related post from another site that explains my situation: http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-electronics-forum/498741-raymarine-airmar-m260-issues.html#b

Here's the receipt from West Marine from the prior owner (deceased):

transducer.jpg
 
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I don't know of a way to test them per se. Sometimes wiggling the wires where they enter the transducer will make it work for a while. So I suspect that the wires sometimes break. Most transducers are made by airmar. You should be able to get the part number from the manuals. Last I looked I seem to remember the depth transducer was about $60. But I may be all wrong. It's been a while.

Good luck,

Pete

$60? better look again. More like $260.00 now
 
Thru hull don't use antifreeze. In hull the P79 uses antifreeze.

Mike, mine is an in hull. The original depth finder, speed transducers are no longer being used, and are simply there taking up space through the hull. The in-hull transducer connects directly to my M300, Raymarine, then connects to my E120 MFD.
 
On my buddy's Cobalt he fills his in hull with mineral oil. Quite possibly the clear oily/watery substance you have. I think he pulls it and fills the void between the transducer and the hull. Not sure about the process only because I cherish not having to pay attention to other folks mundane day to day digging around the bilge activities. I have my own for him not to pay attention to.:grin:
 
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On my buddy's Cobalt he fills his in hull with mineral oil. Quite possibly the clear oily/watery substance you have. I think he pulls it and fills the void between the transducer and the hull. Not sure about the process only because I cherish not having to pay attention to other folks mundane day to day digging around the bilge activities. I have my own for him not to pay attention to.:grin:

Mineral water makes sense. Not sure if I should unbolt the whole thing or just the hex screws.
 
I've seen different versions of that M260 - possibly from different years. On the ones I've seen, there was a, more obvious, vent and fill plug on the top plate. I would imagine that you might the same thing, it's just not as obvious as to which bolts are the fill/vent. Short of quickly finding the manual for that particular model, calling Airmar is probably the easiest thing to do (have the picture ready to go in an email, if needed for clarification to Airmar).
 
Success: Called airmar, they explained in detail how and where to fill the transducer up with *antifreeze*, yes antifreeze. He said NOT to use mineral oil anymore, as it slowly over time eats away at the silicone and causes leaking. After pouring a decent amount in the transducer, it took about 4-5 minutes to get it working again, but it's reading accurately and there's no more issue! Always something new to learn about boating.
 
Out of curiosity, which holes did you use for the fill/vent?

Did you use propylene-glycol AF? I don't know if there's any truth to this, but I have always used P-G, instead of ethyl-alcohol0based AF for the same fear of eating away at the sealant. Did Airmar recommend one over the other?
 

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