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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-11-2007
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Garmin Transducer

We just got our new Garmin 545s and the in hull transducer. I have done some reading on this site and others and I am wondering how to mount the transducer. It came with epoxy, but have read about people unsing a pvc cap and epoxying that to the hull then filling that with mineral oil. What is the best way to do this I only want to do this once. I have a signet depth guage now so I plan to put the new transducer next to where the old signet one was. Any Help?

Scott
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Old 04-11-2007
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One of our prior boats didn't have a though-hull transducer and I installed an above hull unit, similarly to what you described. The transducer transmits/receives signals best through a liquid; mineral oil is commonly recommended, since it will not evaporate and is what I used.

If using an inverted PVC cap, select a slow-cure epoxy to avoid air bubbles, which could affect the sensitivity. Instead of a PVC cap, which will increase density of the hull, I cut a 4" high section off the end of a 4" dia PVC pipe (adjust to your transducer dimensions).

I then epoxied the pipe's bottom edge to the hull and filled with 3" of oil and secured a removable cap over the pipe - sealing the tube. A hole was drilled into this cap for the wire which I sealed with caulking. The 4" pipe height compensated for heeling angles. Worked without any problems.
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Old 04-11-2007
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TB's described the process pretty well. I would use a one of these instead, though and then cut the screw in fitting to mount the transducer onto it.

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Old 04-11-2007
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"I would use a one of these instead, though and then cut the screw in fitting to mount the transducer onto it."

you mean so I can screw the transducer out if needed, say if it broke or i needed to add more fluid?

Do I need to get the tranducer as close to the hull as possible? and this may sound stupid but where can you get mineral oil at, I have never been in the market for any...

Scott
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Yup... makes maintenance a bit easier.

BTW, Mineral Oil is available at most pharmacies... it's used as a laxative... And you don't need the transducer as close to the hull as possible, as long as there is fluid covering it.

BTW, Johnson's Baby Oil is mineral oil plus fragrance... But I wouldn't use it, as the fragrance might affect the plastic... doubtful, but why risk it.
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So here is what I have gathered, cut the bottom female part of the pvc at whatever angle gets the theads level, glue to the hull. Modify the cap so the transducer fits in it, fill with mineral oil, screw transduer and and your up and running. Thanks for all your help.

Scott
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Yup...got it in one... and have fun. It's a pretty simple and fast project to do.

You should clean the PVC and then sand it lightly, so the epoxy will have a good surface to stick to. Don't forget to use a thickened epoxy and build up a good fillet to support the PVC pipe on the inside and outside of the piece. That will give the fitting strength enough so that if you step on it...it won't break free. Since this is going to be mounted on the bottom of the bilge, making it so that it can survive being stepped on is never a bad idea.
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Old 04-11-2007
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why bother with mineral oil?

Hello,

Why not just epoxy the transducer right to the hull?
If you want to make sure the transducer will work, just put the transducer in a bag of water and place it where you want it. If it works in the bag of water it will work against the hull. Just use some epoxy and you are done.

I have HEARD of using a toilet bowl wax ring, and I plan on trying that later this month when I install my new chart plotter / sounder.

Barry
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BarryL-

If you epoxy the transducer to the hull and have a problem with it...removing it is going to be an exercise in frustration. If it is mounted the way TB and I are recommending, it is far easier to remove or replace.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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True, but if you test it to a known depth, and it works accurately, a ring of silicon will do the trick. I have an Eagle fishfinder with a 200 KHz "puck" forward of the fin keel that agrees with both a measuring tape and my ancient Seamaster III cathode fathometer (aka "Plan B")
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