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airmar b260, any complaints

Old 07-24-2005, 05:13 PM
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Default airmar b260, any complaints

Airmar B260 owners -- any complaints about this transducer for use in shallow water?

I am weighing several options: I currently have a Furuno 582L, but I am buying a Furuno 1943 for the radar and chart plotter. The 1943 also has the capability of including a 1-3Kw Fish Finder. I can keep the 582L for my fish finder, I can sell it, add a 1Kw BBFF1 to the Furuno 1943 -- or -- I can keep the 582L, add the BBFF1 and use both!

I am also debating between a B256 and B260 because I have been told the B260 is better in deeper water while the B256 is better in shallow water -- though I do not know for sure that this is accurate.

If it is true, I may keep the 582L and use it with the B256 and add the BBFF1 and use it with the B260.

But, this brings up other issues. Will the two transducers interfere with one another? Will two fairings on the bottom of the boat -- a 30' Grady White Marlin -- make the boat more difficult to maneuver? Will two fairings descrease speed/increase fuel costs significantly more than one?

If the B260 is superior to the B256 at all depths, my decision is easy -- sell the 582L and go with the BBFF1 plus B260.

Any and all info would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Rob
Old 07-24-2005, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

What about using the inhull m260 for the bbff1? They will not interfere if you turn one on 200khz and the other on 50. I installed a m260 in a 33' Grady not too long ago and they are very happy with the performance. They fish inshore for trout and offshore for snapper and tuna. They said it works great in both areas.
Old 07-24-2005, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

If it is true that the B256 is better is shallow water while the B260 is better in deep, then I could keep the B256 at 200khz and the 260 at 50khz. But, if it isn't true and the B260 is superior at all depths, I could simplify and just go with the BBFF1 and the B260 -- or -- as you suggest -- the M260.
Old 07-24-2005, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

If you already have the 582l coupled to a 256, leave it. Then when you get the Navnet with the sounder you will have the 582 as a backup. Or run the 582L in 200khz (full screen) and the Navnet in 50khz half screen or full. I would honestly leave the 582l as it is a great machine and easy to tune as the knobs are right there. Just throw the m260 in the hull for the Navnet and you are ready to throw some fish on the deck!
Old 07-24-2005, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

Will two fairings descrease speed/increase fuel costs significantly more than one?
Have you ever seen the High speed fairing for a B-260?



Old 07-24-2005, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

Right now I have the 582L, but with the standard 600watt transducer. If I keep the 582L, I would want to upgrade the transducer.

Warthog -- I am not clear -- are you confirming my trepidation about having two fairings of that size on the bottom of my boat?

Old 07-24-2005, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

rsbeck,

Will putting a more powerful transducer on the 582l make any difference? Isn't the power determined by the fishfinder, the upgraded transducer will handle 1000 watts but if the 582 is only feeding 600 watts then the ducer wouldn't do any better, right?

Chuck
Old 07-24-2005, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

I have the 582L with the 600 watt transducer and I can read 1100 feet with no problem, how deep are you looking for?
Old 07-24-2005, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

Posters here and anglers in my area who have upgraded and paired the 582L with B256 and B260 (1Kw transducers) have reported significant improvements in performance. My understanding is that the B256 and B260 do not differ significantly with regard to the depth they will go, but that the B260 will yield signifcantly higher resolution at 50khz because a standard 600 watt transducer uses one element, the B256 uses four and the B260 uses 7 elements for 50khz. But, the B260 uses only one (albeit larger) element for 200Khz, which makes me wonder if it suffers in comparison to the B256 in shallow water. Also, I am definitely adding the Furuno 1944 Navnet for its Radar/Chart plotter, so I can sell the 582L, and add the BBFFI, which is a 1Kw Fish Finder -- or I can keep the 582L and use both -- or I could even stick with the 582L (with an upgraded transducer) and skip the BBFF1. I have the money to add all of these and use them together, but of course I don't want to spend it needlessly -- only if there is an advantage in performance.
Old 07-24-2005, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

Warthog -- I am not clear -- are you confirming my trepidation about having two fairings of that size on the bottom of my boat?
Both really. Most people have never seen the fairing block or a B-260 in person, until you've bought one.

I just wanted you to see how BIG it is. I sold that fairing block to a guy in Ca. I flush mounted mine.
Old 07-25-2005, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

I've seen the B260 and high speed fairing block in person and that's why I am wondering about putting two fairing blocks of that size on the bottom of my boat. I hadn't considered the possibility of flush mounting. There is an issue when switching the 600Watt for the 1Kw transducer: Apparently, the 600Watt required a hole two inches in diameter while the 1Kw requires a smaller hole. My installer hasn't mentioned the possibility of flush mounting a B256 or B260 and Airmar doesn't mention it, either -- is that a custom job? How do you feel about the B260's performance in shallow water? Any complaints?
Old 07-25-2005, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

skypoke - 7/24/2005 7:33 PM

rsbeck,

Will putting a more powerful transducer on the 582l make any difference? Isn't the power determined by the fishfinder, the upgraded transducer will handle 1000 watts but if the 582 is only feeding 600 watts then the ducer wouldn't do any better, right?

Chuck
The 260 is about 16 times MORE sensitive than the standard P66 600w ducer. Think of it like your stereo, if you have a 25w stereo and you put 40w speakers on it, that's fine but you may not be as loud as some with the same speakers with 40w, however you will have better sound clarity.

Man I used too many comma's
Old 07-25-2005, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

To answer your original question, I have a B260 with diplexer driving a Simrad finder and it works extremely well in 20-50 feet depths where I often fish, much better than the B744 I had on my old boat. My firiends joke that you can count scales on the fish with it because of the detail.It does have a pretty small beam at 200Hz in shallow water, but I have not found that to be an issue. By the way, in less than 50 feet, my 1000W Simrad steps its power output down to 10W. It is not power than is an issue, but sensitivity.
Old 07-25-2005, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

Please define shallow water???


John
Old 07-25-2005, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

is that a custom job?
Yep.
Old 07-25-2005, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

I emailed this question to Airmar -- here is their response:


The B260 will work better than the B256 at all depths. The B260 has a higher quality ceramic design resulting in better receive sensitivity. This sensitivity is specified as the "Q" factor of the transducer. The lower the "Q", the better the receive sensitivity.

The "Q" rating for a B256 is 27 at 50kHz and 30 at 200kHz.

The "Q" rating for a B260 is 8 at 50kHz and 10 at 200kHz.

For a better understanding, here is an explanation of "Q".

What is “Q”?

“Q” stands for quality and is a measure of the sharpness of the response of the piezoceramic element to the frequency that is supplied to it. In other words, “Q” describes how precisely the frequency must be output to achieve the best performance from the transducer. It answers the questions: “What is the piezoceramic element’s best or resonant frequency?”, “How well does the piezoceramic element work on either side of its resonant frequency?”, and “How long will the transducer continue to ring after a transmit pulse?”

Engineers have a standard method for determining “Q”. It is the operating frequency divided by the bandwidth. For non-engineers, it is helpful to think of frequency and bandwidth in terms of volume and tuning-in your favorite radio station. The operating frequency is that spot on the radio dial where your favorite station comes in the loudest and clearest.

The bandwidth includes the frequencies slightly above and below the best spot, but where the station can still be heard. Engineers use the standard of three decibels below the peak Transmitting Voltage Response, shown as –3 dB. If we could hear the transducer sound waves, the –3 dB point is where the sound would be half as loud. As we turn the dial above and below our station, the signal begins to fade, so we can’t hear it as well. The points above and below the radio station on the dial at which our radio is half the volume of the correct
radio station frequency determines our bandwidth.

The “Q” of a transducer model can be determined by analyzing its Transmitting Voltage Response graph. The resonant frequency and peak TVR is at 50 kHz. At 3 dB below TVR, the frequencies are 47.6 kHz and 52.8 kHz, giving us a bandwidth of 5.2 kHz (52.8 kHz – 47.6 kHz = 5.2 kHz). To determine “Q”, the resonant frequency is divided by the bandwidth giving us a “Q” factor of 9.6. (50 kHz ÷ 5.2 kHz = 9.6).

“Q” factors range between 1 and 40. At 9.6 this model’s “Q” factor is relatively low. The OEM need not be as precise in setting the echosounder’s drive frequency when a transducer has a lower “Q”.

What is Ringing?

Ringing is the continued vibration of the piezoceramic element after each transmit pulse. Imagine the ringing of a large church bell. After the church bell is struck by the clapper, it continues to ring for a time if the vibrations are not dampened.

This phenomenon also occurs in piezoceramic elements. The vibrations of the element continue after the transmit pulse. These vibrations decrease in amplitude (or “loudness” if we could hear them) just as the ring of the church bell gets softer over time. The tapering off of the vibrations is called the ring down. In effect, ringing causes a “stretching” of the transmit pulse, because it generates unnecessary sound waves. These additional sound waves add additional microseconds to the dead band, interfering with the reception of echoes.

If a desired echo arrives during the ring down it will appear on the echosounder screen as a smear or it may even be hidden by the ring down and not appear on the echosounder screen at all. Ringing, therefore, reduces the clarity of the display on the echosounder screen.

Ringdown also keeps the transducer from “seeing” in very shallow water. Ringing can never be totally eliminated. With the proper engineering, however, it can be greatly reduced. A transducer with a high “Q” factor is one which will ring for a long time after being struck with a transmit pulse. Conversely, a low “Q” transducer exhibits less ringing and therefore performs better.
Old 07-25-2005, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

I hope they're right.
Old 07-25-2005, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

Based on this, I am going to sell the 582L and go with the Furuno 1944C/NT+, BBFF1, and Airmar B260. I only need readings down to five feet. I don't feel comfortable having my boat in much less water than that. If anyone would like, I can come back and let you know how this system performs.
Old 01-05-2006, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

hi guys, need to bump this one up. im thinking of pairing this b260 with a sitex cvs 106mk II. is that overkill? im fishing inshore to 120' on a mako 238 with outboard power and moving up from a 10yr old transom mount. thanking you.


Old 01-05-2006, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: airmar b260, any complaints

I have several Sitex unit's. [loran XJ-1& FF pro II] However a buddy of mine has a sitex cvs 106mk II and I dislike it very much. This is due to the way the scale is on the unit. You can't adjust it to fill the screen.
Your talking about a 300 watt FF. This would be a waste in my mind. The B-60 Tilted element would be better suited. It's a 600 watt X-ducer.

By the way a Furuno 600L is a 350 watt unit. The 600L and B-60 have been a very good match together.

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