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Did I fry the tansducer?

Old 10-28-2006, 09:43 AM
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Default Did I fry the tansducer?

I did my winter haulout last week an inadvertantly left on my furuno 582L fishfinder on set at a depth of 10 feet. The boat was in the slings for about 15 minutes before I turned it off. Does anyone know if this would have damaged the transducer?

I've been told by some the crystals inside the transducer, in this case a thru hull airmar transducer-I think model B256, will be damaged, but we are not sure if this is old technology or an old wive's tale.

I emailed furuno earlier this week. They normally answer very quickly but in this case I haven't gotten an answer. Instead, I got a vocie mail last night asking me to give them a call because, as the technician said, "It will be more personable." Since it's Sat. I can't get in touch with them, but now the situation has me worried.
Thanks
Old 10-28-2006, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

In manual range at 10 feet for only 15 minutes?, no, you shouldn't have fried the ducer. Could you have damaged the ducer, yes, but by having the sounder in manual, it should have scaled its power output down a bit, and you said you caught it in 15 minutes, even if left in auto, it shouldn't have damaged the ducer. If it had been left pinging for 15 days, then we might be having a different conversation and I'd say pre-emptively replace the ducer while the boat is out, but you should be ok. Turn the sounder back on, and stick your ear next to the ducer, if you hear it clicking, rest easy.
Old 10-28-2006, 10:08 AM
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tg
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

Why would turning on a transducer damage it?
Old 10-28-2006, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

it's been said, that leaving the finder on with the ducer out of water will cause damage. I was told this by a very respected marine electronnics dealer in my area. on another note, I left a si-tex 106 on all night, on the trailer once. didn't seem to cause any damage. I wouldn't recommend this though.

I also am running the 582L now ,awesome unit.
Old 10-28-2006, 10:25 AM
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Default RE: Did I fry the tansducer?

Got me-don't know if its a wive's tale and I don't know how to test it without removing it from the boat. Thought about trying to immerse it by holding a 5 gallon pail of water up to the hull but felt that would be silly and inconclusive. I think I'm being somewhat paranoid, but if I did damage it, I'd like to replace it while it's blocked versus relauching it in the spring only to have to rehaul it then. The voice message from furuno got me a little worried. I was hoping for a simple "No, it will be ok." I'll post thier unofficial comment when I talk to the rep.

Thanks for the responses.
Old 10-28-2006, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

Call Airmar (603) 673-9570. They design and manufacture the transducers - They'll know.
Old 10-28-2006, 08:47 PM
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Default RE: Did I fry the tansducer?

i have heard of that but i have done it several times and never has hurt it yet.i use a c 80 with 300 dsm box and a sitex cv106 mkII.i have left both on at the same time while the boat was lifted out set on the trailer and went to the house maybe 1 hour or so.
Old 10-28-2006, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

Airmar says not to leave the transducer on out of the water for more than a minute.
Old 10-28-2006, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

If I fried a ducer every time I forgot to turn it off before lifting the boat up, I'd be replacing them a couple of times a month!!!
Old 10-29-2006, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

I'm not convinced that you can fry a transducer by leaving it on out of the water. In simple terms a transducer in a Transmit/Receive circuit built upon a crystal. It basically sends a ping out and awaits a response. I can not think of how sending the ping out and not getting a response would cause the transducer to be damaged. Back when I used a transom mount transducer, I would regularly lose bottom for long periods of time while on plane. I never damaged a transducer. It's not like the water has a cooling effect or anything - what about in-hull mounted transducers.

Now... how I could see it being damaged is as follows. You leave your FF on auto mode. Your FF is not matched to your transducer and it capable of sending more power out to the transducer then the transducer is capable of. In auto mode your FF will increase the power (ie sensitivity) to the transducer. It's possible that as the FF hunts from bottom that it could send more power to the 'ducer then it is capable of handling - poof you blow the crystal. Having said all this, I doubt it could happen either because I've never seen a 'ducer that is mismatched to its FF.
Old 10-29-2006, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

dowop - 10/30/2006 5:46 AM

I can not think of how sending the ping out and not getting a response would cause the transducer to be damaged. ... what about in-hull mounted transducers.
It’s the sending of the ping that does it. The area of exit for the audio is called the acoustic window on the transducer. The acoustic window needs physical resistance on it to prevent the discharging audio from backslapping the ceramic element behind it. Water provides that resistance. In-hull transducers are either coupled to the hull or sit in a fluid (oil) that provides the resistance on the acoustic window.

When I called Airmar their engineering dept told me 60-secs max then damage may result. Simrad says ZERO seconds of out-of-water operation for their transducers.

There might be something to having the ff in manual mode with a low power setting. May be just what is needed to avoid damage to the ceramic rings from running the transducer out of the water. Obviously, if you get funky reading issues you should suspect the transducer you were dry pinging. Also, a transducer damaged this way may make a clicking sound but still provide readings in what appears to be a “working” setup. I suspect some folks have damaged there transducers from dry pinging but continued to use them without problems for years afterward while ignoring the clicking sound.
Old 10-29-2006, 09:05 AM
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Default RE: Did I fry the tansducer?

I know it's not good to switch on the sounder when the ducer is not plugged in! This is like unplugging the speakers from the stereo and removing the load. I'm sure this will danage the transmitter. Although not advisable to purposely leave the sounder running whist the ducer is out of the water I doubt that a 600W sounder will blow the ducer.
Old 10-29-2006, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

Wildfish - You know that ‘clicking’ I mention in the post above yours?!? Well, that can be cause by an arc thru a crack in a ceramic ring inside of the transducer. If it is, the arc can provide the path with reduced resistance, enough reduced resistance to take out the ff head.

My gut feeling is that if he was dry pinging on a low setting he is probably ok.
Old 10-29-2006, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

Eyeball - 10/29/2006 9:05 AM

It’s the sending of the ping that does it. The area of exit for the audio is called the acoustic window on the transducer. The acoustic window needs physical resistance on it to prevent the discharging audio from backslapping the ceramic element behind it. Water provides that resistance. In-hull transducers are either coupled to the hull or sit in a fluid (oil) that provides the resistance on the acoustic window.
The plastic that surrounds the element is providing some coefficient of resistance. So you're saying it is not enough?

There might be something to having the ff in manual mode with a low power setting. May be just what is needed to avoid damage to the ceramic rings from running the transducer out of the water. Obviously, if you get funky reading issues you should suspect the transducer you were dry pinging. Also, a transducer damaged this way may make a clicking sound but still provide readings in what appears to be a “working” setup. I suspect some folks have damaged there transducers from dry pinging but continued to use them without problems for years afterward while ignoring the clicking sound.
I've NEVER seen/heard a transducer that did not click - out of the box. It might be soft, but they all do it and that includes the many Airmar 'ducers that I've installed.

This whole theory doesn't pass my smell test. Who knows... this discussion might just rank up there with the TWC-3 oil debate.
Old 10-29-2006, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

How come the installation instructions say nothing about "dry pinging" (almost sounds dirty.) I turned mine on, and imagine many others do, after installing the unit to see if there was a signal. Most install the units out of the water. If it were that important, wouldn't there be some sort of warning?
Old 10-31-2006, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

Acctually, there was a warning in the instalation instructions that came with my Furuno, saying NOT to test it out of the water.

Cheers... Tyee.
Old 10-31-2006, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

Tyee 2 - 11/1/2006 11:22 AM

Acctually, there was a warning in the instalation instructions that came with my Furuno, saying NOT to test it out of the water.

Cheers... Tyee.
Yup. And Simrad says the same thing, do not operate/turn on/test their transducer out of the water. Garmin used to say ok to turn on for 30-sec max out of the water. Personally, I wouldn’t do it at all, ever, for the reason I posted above.
Old 11-03-2006, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Did I fry the tansducer?

On a unit like a Lowrance 111, isn't the transducer on whenever the unit is powered up? It shows depth regardless of which screen you are on (map or sonar). If that's the case, am I damaging the transducer whenever I am downloading software upgrades, adding routes, etc on the trailer? And on initial installation, it can take 10 minutes for the GPS antenna to get a fix. It seems there would be alot of damaged transducers.

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