New Depth Sounder - No Reading?
This past summer I tried to install a Hawkeye Depth Sounder in my 1971 Ericson 29. Wiring and everything is fine, the unit is getting power and I know works as I hear the clicks when I hold it to my ear. I am trying to test install it by bedding in petroleum jelly against the forward hull very near the centerline under the V-berth.
I can't get a reading?!? I have tried a couple locations there and no difference. Whenever I turn it on all I get is zeros which means no signal returned. Any ideas on what I can try? I don't want to install it on the transom if I can avoid it. Is Fiberglass too thick?
I'm not familiar with the Ericson 29, so some of this may not apply.
If your boat hull is cored in that location, then you'd not be able to place the depthfinder there.
There might be an air bubble between the fiberglass and petro jelly, or within the fiberglass itself. That would prevent the transducer from working as expected.
Also, I've not heard of the petro jelly being used as a test bed. I'm not sure how effective it would be. Have you tried the plastic bag of water approach?
I suspect you're getting interference from the transducer/hull contact area. The E29 will not be cored, but may excessively thick on the centerline.
Another test would be to remove the tranducer, reconnect it to the sounder and simply hold it on the water surface over the side. If you get a reading then, you'll know that it's your installation that's messing it up.
If you really want to avoid a proper through-hull installation, (and this tranducer may not be meant for that) then your options are a liquid well - epoxy a trimmed piece of plastic pipe vertically inside the hull, fill with a light oil or perhaps even water, and mount the transducer in that, or fabricate a bracket that hangs from the transom and keeps the transducer in the water.
This last is not an ideal solution, but you'll get the reading you need. For long term reliability and uncompromised performance, though, a standard through hull style of installation will work out best.
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