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post #1 of 9 Old 05-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

So here is the problem. My Datamarine Corinthian II depth sounder died, in that it was giving eratic and inaccurate readings. I sent it to DMI who said the unit was OK and that the problem was likely in the transducer. As the unit is no longer made (company out of business), I was able to find a new transducer from a company that had a lot of Datamarine parts for sale. I installed it but ran the wire along the cabin sole directly to the display unit in the cockpit to be sure it worked before taking on the horrible job of routing the new wire. Then I had the bright idea of splicing the old wire into the new one to avoid dismantling the whole boat to install the new wire. But when I cut the wires I found the following: The old wire is a shielded wire with a single wire in it, a coaxial type. But the wire in the new transducer is a shielded wire with two wires in it. The old transducer, with one wire, worked for 20 years. The new transducer, with two wires, works great now. Both were connected to the same display unit, the old one for years and the new on just now.

What gives? HELP! How do I splice these two wires together?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

Well, you probably can't splice them. I suspect the transducer is a bit different than the old one, probably has a send and receive line, both of which are shielded to eliminate electrical interference from various sources. If possible, just use the old wire as a pull wire to pull the new cable through the various passages. If that won't work, well, you know the drill.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

Old wire; shield is "ground", center is load.
New wire; usually marked or color coded as per mfgr.
Since the new unit does not need a shielded cable; you can use the braided shield as ground. Just make a good, solid connection and have it somewhere handy to get to.

Easy-peasey
HTH,
Paul

S/V Chrysalis
'80 Watkins 27
North East, MD
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

Sounds like the old wire used the shield as a ground and the conductor as the pos/data lead. New wire likely uses one ( probably the lighter or brighter color) as pos/data, the other as ground with shield not connected or run along with the ground wire.
You can figure it out or as Travlineasy suggests use the old wire to pull the new one thru the boat innards.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-23-2013
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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

Airmar makes almost all of the marine transducers for all of the major brands. They also publish wiring diagrams for all of them, which makes it pretty easy to mix and match. The wiring diagrams are found here:
Marine Technology | Blue Heron Marine expertadvice

You do need to make sure that the transducer frequency is the same between the old and new ones.

If you are using a new transducer with new electronics then I would suggest just using the new wire the whole way in between as well.

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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

I spliced the new cable of my Lowrance HDS-7 transducer, but before I cut the wire I went online and looked up the procedure. Everything I found online was WRONG! Instead of a piece of coax cable, when I cut the cable it contained 5, individually shielded wires, all of which were very tiny and required soldering with a PC Board soldering iron. It took about a half-hour to do the splice, but it works like a charm. My transducer is multiple range, thus explaining the additional wires. Many of the newer systems have more than a single depth range, some going to more than 1,000 feet with a great degree of accuracy, and the ability to read everything between the top and bottom. So, if you're cruising the coast and looking to catch dinner, this can be a very beneficial tool.

Good Luck,

Gary
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

Looking more closely at the wire on the new transducer, there is a white wire, a black wire, a bare wire and a foil sheathing. Yuck! So I am going to just deal with the dreadful job of installing a new transducer (I bought two) without a splice and routing the wire through the boat. I'll take the one a I bought where I cut the wire and splice the wire back together and save it as a spare.

Thank for all of you for your input. As an old friend says, "If it were easy, you couldn't call it life."
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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

You could just splice the piece you cut ( white to white, black to black, bare to bare) and pull it through with the old coax cable. Or use the old coax by splicing white to white, black to shield). Or use the old wire to pilot the new or newly spliced wire through the boat.
Transducers are not really expendables like impellers or oil filters. They should not wear out, not a usual "keep a spare on board" item.
I soldered my splices, then coated them with dialectric grease and used heat shrink tube on the connection. Kinda zen stuff, like learning to splice line.
Bernz 0 Matic sells a nice little butane soldering iron/tiny torch that works nicely on a boat.
Also good for flambe'ing a creme brule or putting burn marks on a custard.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Splicing Depth Sounder Cable - Help!

Job done!!

After much valuable counsel, I decided to take on the job of installing the new depth sounder transducer and forget splicing the wire. And all went smoothly. It was much less difficult than anticipated. A key reason was some advise I received regarding the tube that carries the instrument wires to their housings above the companionway. This tube is about 1 1/4 inches in diameter and has a number of 90* bends. I squeezed 1/3 of a bottle of Dawn dish washing liquid into the tube at the highest point. The Dawn ran down the tube. I then used the old wire to pull through the new one. The Dawn acted as a great lubricant to make every thing go smoothly.

Thank again for all your input.
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