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Which transom mount 'ducer is "better"- ?

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Which transom mount 'ducer is "better"- ?

Old 07-29-2013, 01:23 PM
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Default Which transom mount 'ducer is "better"- ?

By "better" I mean which of the these two transducers will yield better sonar images on my Lowrance HDS-Gen 2-?

Lowrance HST-DFSBL (50/200)
or
Airmar P66 (50/200)

The HST-DFSBL came with the unit but I could potentially sell that since it is still new in the box and buy the P66 if it is a better transducer...


Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:49 PM
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Overall...the P66 is the better transducer when fishing in more difficult conditions...will give longer service and as it is of a higher build quality.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:17 PM
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You should consider installing a B60 instead. Same transducer element as P66, but in a trough hull tilted element bronze housing. I've had B60 for 6 or 7 years, I now have B60 on two boats, could not have been more happy. Will never loose the bottom and I can locate fish while cruising.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by semperfifishing View Post
Overall...the P66 is the better transducer when fishing in more difficult conditions...will give longer service and as it is of a higher build quality.
I wanted to jump in this thread and ask what makes the P66 better? I have a Gen 2 HDS 7 that is in it's 2nd season and recently I started having problems holding the bottom. Sometimes while running and sometimes not. There are times I'm in 30' of wide open water moving slow and suddenly I'm reading 1.8' and it just stays there. A restart will fix it but sometimes it takes 2 or 3 before the correct reading comes back. It's a tailered boat so the transducer is clean. I haven't made any adjustments to it and it worked great last season. In short I have been considering a different transducer but just not sure.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:54 AM
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Firstly, make sure your software version is the latest. I think they have had issue in certain versions. Did you update the software since last season? Also, try setting the range from auto to something deeper than the depth, in the 30' example, set it to 100' or something and see if it comes back to its senses.

The P66 is a much larger transducer. Has a lower Q due to more robust design and higher quality transducer element.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 68bucks View Post
I wanted to jump in this thread and ask what makes the P66 better? .
The Lowrance HST-DFSBL is a good enough transducer for what it was designed for.
And that is an economical transducer used mainly for general fishing conditions such as fresh water etc.
Its construction is a simple segment of piezoelectric element encased in plastic .

As in any transducer the main problem is the"bell ringing" effect when the ducer fires...
Ringing is not a positive because the element should have the ringing dampened out for best results in target separation and bottom imaging.

The general purpose transducers such as the HST-DFBL have no engineering to have eliminate this ringing issue mainly because they are designed for shallow water use and they also need to be economical in cost.

The P66 / B60/ P319 style of single element transducers have a much higher quality piezoelectric to start with.
And to help combat bell ringing these units have the piezoeletic element incase in cork and copper to assist in dampening the vibration caused by the firing of the transducer.
These units also have redundant wiring as back up for the sonar signal .
All in all ..an increase in quality of sonar capability and also increased working life of the ducer due these higher build qualities.


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Old 09-07-2013, 02:00 PM
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How is the P66 for a 740s?
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dpcarson View Post
How is the P66 for a 740s?
The 740s is 600/1000 watts.
For targets under 300' a P66 will do a reasonable job..and for water under 100' it has very good coverage...the 45 degree cone is very helpful.

A B60 has the same element but running in cleaner water mauy do a bit better job.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:28 PM
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Thanks. Rarely do I get in more than 100 ft.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dpcarson View Post
Thanks. Rarely do I get in more than 100 ft.
Either would be good for that depth...I just like the extra quality of the P66.

Last edited by semperfifishing; 09-07-2013 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:03 PM
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I have personal experience with all of the Lowrance transom mount transducers and the Airmar P66, B60 and P79. The Airmar P66 works far better than any Lowrance transom model. I also used a P79 for less than 300' and it worked as well as the P66. The B60 was prone to placement issues and the elements are the same as those found in a P79.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:21 AM
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Well I am another one that is having issues with my P66. I have it mounted beside a HST-WSBL and the Lowrance ducer never loses bottom but the Airmar will not hold bottom while up on plane. I have adjusted it twice with no better results and it comes unlatched often. Here is my install:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...r-install.html

I may try reversing these postions or just try the Airmar alone to see if it is water interference from the other transducer. It is a step hull so not available to adjust in the water. Fish returns aren't good either by comparision, all in lake water up to 40'.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
Firstly, make sure your software version is the latest. I think they have had issue in certain versions. Did you update the software since last season? Also, try setting the range from auto to something deeper than the depth, in the 30' example, set it to 100' or something and see if it comes back to its senses.

The P66 is a much larger transducer. Has a lower Q due to more robust design and higher quality transducer element.
I have the latest software release loaded. I'll try playing with the range and see how that works I usually run in auto. I didn't have any problem with the original software that I can recall. Seems like it started with the first update I did this spring. The latest software update helped on some other problems like sluggishness but this issue seems like it's worsening which is why I was suspecting transducer problems.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by semperfifishing View Post
The Lowrance HST-DFSBL is a good enough transducer for what it was designed for.
And that is an economical transducer used mainly for general fishing conditions such as fresh water etc.
Its construction is a simple segment of piezoelectric element encased in plastic .

As in any transducer the main problem is the"bell ringing" effect when the ducer fires...
Ringing is not a positive because the element should have the ringing dampened out for best results in target separation and bottom imaging.

The general purpose transducers such as the HST-DFBL have no engineering to have eliminate this ringing issue mainly because they are designed for shallow water use and they also need to be economical in cost.

The P66 / B60/ P319 style of single element transducers have a much higher quality piezoelectric to start with.
And to help combat bell ringing these units have the piezoeletic element incase in cork and copper to assist in dampening the vibration caused by the firing of the transducer.
These units also have redundant wiring as back up for the sonar signal .
All in all ..an increase in quality of sonar capability and also increased working life of the ducer due these higher build qualities.


Great explanation. I'm on the Great Lakes and inland lakes so I'm in <60' 99% of the time. Another thing I notice is anything over about 4-5 mph and I get a lot of noise on my screen unless I lower the sensitivity down to 50% or less. I have been blaming the row or rivets running along the transom but I'm not sure. Would a P66 be any more likely to help that problem? Thanks to everyone for the comments.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:18 PM
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Do you have a photo on your transom and how the ducer is mounted?
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:48 PM
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Here are a couple shots. If you need something different let me know it's right out in the garage.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:54 PM
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PM sent..
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:21 PM
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68 bucks, you may need to lower the ducer. I mount mine 1/8-1/4 inch below the bottom ob the boat. It never loses signal.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Parthery View Post
68 bucks, you may need to lower the ducer. I mount mine 1/8-1/4 inch below the bottom ob the boat. It never loses signal.
I never had an issue last year with this set up. Sometimes I lose the echo while I'm just sitting there or moving slow. The transducer is probably a foot in the water then. This isn't just a on plane issue.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:32 AM
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The terminology for non-transom units confuses me...some will apparently shoot through a (non-cored) hull ...is that call "in hull", as opposed to "thru-hull" which needs a hole drilled to the outside of the hull?

Assuming a non-cored bottom, is there any difference in performance between those two types?

I have also heard of people removing coring (from inside the bilge with a hole saw) in order to use a bilge-mounted unit, replacing that portion of coring with solid glass...is that a viable choice? With that method, how do you pick a location?

My preference is to avoid another hole below the waterline, and the need for periodic cleaning as well.

What say you all?
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