Marine Electronics Forum - fish finder

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03-28-2012, 04:25 PM
shuts off if its on when I start the motor how can I prevent this? Also how can I increase range on vhf radio?

03-28-2012, 04:29 PM
Sounds like a low voltage situation on your sonar.
Are you using a single battery?..and is it or they good condition?

03-28-2012, 04:31 PM
shuts off if its on when I start the motor how can I prevent this? Also how can I increase range on vhf radio?

Use two batteries, and keep the electronics load separated from the engine wiring.

Range = height, and ensure that you are in the powerful setting, rather than the low range, which is only 1 watt output.

03-28-2012, 09:34 PM
ok I'll look to seperate. Height I'm stuck on as my boat is a 21 and I've already added an extension on my vhf antenna. I have two batts on board that are about 3 maybe 4 months old

03-29-2012, 07:58 AM
CAREFULLY check ALL heavy connections ON THE BATTERY POSTS.
At night. Turn on ALL the instrument lights, radio, VHF, electronics. If the instrument lights start dimming as soon as the starter cranks.
You will need a 2 nd person with a voltmeter holding it on the + & - LEAD POSTS OF THE BATTERIES ONLY !..............NOT the cable clamps ! BIG difference. The POSTS ARE THE TRUE voltage of the battery during cranking. MIGHT BE VERY GOOD BATTERIES & charging system.

Then put the voltmeter leads between A BATTERY LEAD POST & the cable clamp around it, WHILE CRANKING. There should be 0 vdc between the 2 . If you get even .25 volts across the the post & clamp............Take the clamp off & check for black areas that ...ARE DROPPING voltage........Do that check on all the battery posts.
If you find bad clamps & posts with blackened areas or pitted out spots.........You will need someone that can do a simple cleaning of both to get the voltage drop to 0 volts.

Yes I do have a 0 volt drop on all connections of the 5.0 L V8 cables in my boat. Even the Buss Bars.

Post back on results.

03-29-2012, 08:03 AM
Do you know the range of your type of radio over openwater on a clear sky day to a USCG station near you ?

You need to know that first. Have you contacted the radio company & asked for a typical range for your radio ?

You may be at maximum & not know it.

03-29-2012, 08:37 AM
As to your FF turning off, as stated add a House battery that's the best solution or you just wait to turn your FF on until you start your motor unless of course it's already on drift fishing.

Buy the best antenna you can afford ... you can take an OK VHF and make it good one by installing a great antenna. If you buy one that needs to be soldered make sure it's done correctly if not that can cause a substantial drop in recepetion and transmit ranges. I recommend two the Shakespear Galaxy 5225 series or the Digital 529VW.

If your not good at soldering purchase a Digital 529VW it comes with a pre-soldered connector.

As to expected ranges LOS is the advertised norm but that's dependent on both heights of the receiveing/transmitting antennas. Here's an example of my reception.

Here's a short video of the Sea Tow automated radio check system in action. Thanks to Sea Tow for providing this service. :thumbsup:

Video ..... radio was an ICOM 504 connected to an 8' Shakespeare 5225XP Galaxy antenna

I was located 25 miles south of Sea Tow's VHF antenna (not sure of the height) located in Morehead City, NC when I conducted the radio check.

03-29-2012, 08:14 PM
just buy one of these:

or these:

Mid Shore Electronics
03-30-2012, 12:58 PM
SIMPLIFIED ,every 3 dB doubles power of VHF. for example a 6 dB antenna makes a 25 watt radio 100 watts.
The 1st dB doubles 25 watts to 50. The second 3dB doubles that again making it in essence 100 watts.

Every pl-259 connector (if done correctly) drops 1/2 dB. if you have perfect connections.

The guy savage is correct, check to see if you are in HI power (25 watts) versus LOW which is 1 watt.

Replace your batteries if you are killing your electronics while starting.

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