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NCLaker

Marcum Flasher Improvement Thoughts

35 posts in this topic

I am a Vexilar FL-18 guy and picked up a used Marcum LX3tc so I had and extra unit and to see if I prefered it over the Vex. Some observations/wish list on the Marcum:

(1) Why don't they offer other transducer cone options for the LX3. I really like the 12 degreee mid-range transducer on my FL18. Has anyone heard if Marcum has considered this as an option, and if it would be backward compatible to their current units? This is a nice option with the vexilars. I find the 20 degree less precise and when I am in a portable I end up seeing my buddy's and my lures on my screen at the same time(very annoying). If I would have know this before I purchased the LX3, I would have spent the extra money for an LX5 or maybe gone to an FL-20.

(2) Instead of the marcum defaulting the zoom window to the top of the water column - they should have had it automatically lock on the bottom. 9x out of 10 this is what most people are zooming in on anyways. Would be a nice convinience.

(3) I think they have a somewhat prevelant problem with their LX3 quality. Had to have mine fixed due to issues with the gain (need to turn up too high to see lure). I have read many posts of people having similar issues. You should not have to turn it up past 1-2. Cudos to their customer service - they stand behind their product and repaired quickly.

(4) Would be nice to have a master shutoff on the LX3/5 so that there is now battery draw when not using for long periods.

(5) Back lighting or small light attachment would be a nice convinience when using the unit at night so I can see the buttons/setting when making adjustments.

I am still undecided on whether I like the Vexilar or Marcum better. I find the Vexilar easier to read (seem to get a lot of clutter on the bottom so it is hard to read whats what on the Marcum - blame this on the wide cone angle). But I love the Marcum's charging system and access (great design), softpack, and quieter then the Vex. If the FL20s had the adjustable zoom, I would have probably gone that route and just bought Marcum' digital charger as an add-on.

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Nice Post NCLaker.

I can't say I disagree with any of your points.

It mostly comes down to each individuals wants and needs. I'm happy with my LX5, and I know quite a few who are just as happy with the LX3 and even the LX1.

Like any other products on the market. You could always build a "super" one if you used the good points of all competitors and built your own ;\)

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 Quote:
(1) Why don't they offer other transducer cone options for the LX3.

Keeps a selling point for the LX5, which rather I'd pay for the upgrade and have 1 transducer than swap between 2 different ones.

 Quote:
(2) Instead of the MarCum defaulting the zoom window to the top of the water column - they should have had it automatically lock on the bottom. 9x out of 10 this is what most people are zooming in on anyways. Would be a nice convinience.

I do like the idea of it snapping to the bottom, but I'd rather have the movable zoom than a strict 6' from its perceived bottom.

 Quote:
(3) I think they have a somewhat prevelant problem with their LX3 quality... Cudos to their customer service - they stand behind their product and repaired quickly.

No disagreement there, as a matter of fact I will be sending them an email next week as I'm having the transducer/gain issue myself for the 3rd time. The second time they sent me a couple of rods, which was cool, and their turnaround is phenomenal. But, the only thing that beats good customer service is not having to call them in the first place.

 Quote:
(4) Would be nice to have a master shutoff on the LX3/5 so that there is now battery draw when not using for long periods.

I've thought about wiring in a switch myself, and usually just disconnect the wires when not in use.

 Quote:
(5) Back lighting or small light attachment would be a nice convinience when using the unit at night so I can see the buttons/setting when making adjustments.

Never thought about it until you said it, and now I would like that.

Well, here's to the LX-4 and LX-6 if and when they come out! The more input they get from us in the field, the better the end products will be!

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Zoom snapping to the bottom would be nice, but it needs to still be movable for sure.

The LED back lit buttons wouldn't be bad, as they already have the lights for SFL and NBT.

I like the vibrant and clear lights, part of what is good about the Marcum. But possibly having the ability to dim them somehow, as they are quite bright when looking at them for hours.

Maybe they have this - but a 12v charger that plugs into a truck lighter plug. Maybe this can't work, not sure, but I would think it can.

A nice little place in the case where you can insert a business card or name tag, like on luggage. It has the net, which works, but it sure would be a good way to help honest people find you if it falls from truck or sled on the way in.

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How about?

a little winding spool for the transducer cable

Adjustable brightness/dimmer

Zip storage pocket for the charger plug, maybe some more pockets

Id luggage tag

Underwater light on transducer

Raised peg legs on bottom - keep it off the ice

Spare rod holder, plier holder, lure/hook tying dish,

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This is good stuff. You know we're a bunch of fishin' nerds when we're trying to improve upon the best avaialable technology out there \:\)

I personally would like to see

  • Large digital bottom depth display in center of dial
  • Spring loaded self winding spool for transducer cable inside of the case
  • Multi-directional side-imaging (probably not possible, but you can always dream?)

The funny thing is that they're constantly trying these new suggestions, some of which aren't feasible for a multitude or reasons, and some of which may be incorporated in future products. The future of ice fishing electronics will be interesting to say the least!

Joel

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Lots of great stuff - sounds like there may be a viable "after market" for these types of upgrades. Kinda suprised no one has done this, or partnered with vendors like Marcum or Vexilar to provides some of these nice to have upgrades.

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I'd settle for a re-design of the transducer arm: 1) change that plug to make adjusting transducer depth a bit smoother, 2) change case to allow 180+ degree swing of the ducer arm for more flexible viewing in different hole configurations, and 3) allow for folding it all up for storage without binding the cable. None of those are a big problem, just could be better.

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Give me the LX9. 3D rendered of fish in a virtual 3D cone. All real time processed.

Wait a minute that's just a Rapala Ice Fishing video game! LOL's

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I think the soft case makes it hard to view when standing so they could cut it back farther. I like the cord reel idea. If you side image have it be 360 degrees so you know which way to head. I suppose you might as well have GPS too. A cheap camera on the transducer could help you see enough to be helpful.

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Good stuff guys!

Many good ideas!

I am sure that Marcum sees many of these posts and considers all of your suggestions!

Cliff

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A small foot operated zoom control so you can move the zoom area up and down without getting up or leaning over.

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I think a kevlar sheath or something similar to protect the transducer cable would be something I'd like for my flasher. My LCF-40 from Zercom had one and it helps to free the cable from the side of the ice hole once in a while. I don't like to have a float in the hole though so I hope Marcum never goes to that idea. Just my .02

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 Originally Posted By: Flip37
A small foot operated zoom control so you can move the zoom area up and down without getting up or leaning over.

Foot button, give me a knob on the unit for the zoom. I have to keep taking off my gloves when hole hopping adjust the zoom to the bottom. The whole "button" setup for zooming is just plain stupid.

I have both an VX-1 and LX-3. The VX-1 locks to the bottom automatically which I like, but I like the movable zoom on the LX-3.

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 Originally Posted By: BoxMN
Maybe they have this - but a 12v charger that plugs into a truck lighter plug. Maybe this can't work, not sure, but I would think it can.

This is pretty straightforward - go to fleet farm and buy a cigarette power adapter (up front by the flashlights if I remember right), cut whatever lead outs are on it and put some aligator clips on it and away you go...

marine_man

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Make one that goes to 250 feet. 160 is probably not enough, when fishing for lakers on Superior.

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 Originally Posted By: marine_man
 Originally Posted By: BoxMN
Maybe they have this - but a 12v charger that plugs into a truck lighter plug. Maybe this can't work, not sure, but I would think it can.

This is pretty straightforward - go to fleet farm and buy a cigarette power adapter (up front by the flashlights if I remember right), cut whatever lead outs are on it and put some aligator clips on it and away you go...

marine_man

I would be very carefull doing this, it can over charge a battery and cause it to charge to fast and wreck your battery, or cause it to leak or crack. I have heard of this happening. The small 7-9 amp gel batteries are only recommended to charge at a max of 1 amp. With just staight battery leads, a dead battery will cause at minimum some very hot wires!

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What you would need to be safe is a regulated adjustable charger, you could get one from Strike Master, they make one for their 12 volt augers. Just cut the ends off and install clips, just make sure you dont hook them up backwards!

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 Originally Posted By: NCLaker

(3) I think they have a somewhat prevelant problem with their LX3 quality. Had to have mine fixed due to issues with the gain (need to turn up too high to see lure). I have read many posts of people having similar issues. You should not have to turn it up past 1-2. Cudos to their customer service - they stand behind their product and repaired quickly.

Sorry to get off the subject but I was wondering if you could be more specific with the gain problem.

I have an LX-3 that I bought in October and unfortunatly I have not been able to get on the ice as much as I had hoped this year. I did notice that the last time I was out, my gain had to be set around 4 to see my jig and I was only in 9 feet of water. My situation sounds similar to what you have described but being that my unit is so new, I never knew it was not working correctly.

I have a trip to Devils lake comming up the 3rd weekend in February and I'd rather not send it in just incase it would not be repaired in time. Is the gain issue something that will give me problems in deeper water or is it more of an annoying thing that can be delt with?

Thanks in advance,

Adam

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Adam, you can always do Fedex Ground to Anoka, and it will be back to you in about 3-4 days tops. That's what I did when I need service. From White Bear to Anoka was about $6 Fedex Ground. I sent it on a Tuesday and it arrived back to me on Thursday, no kidding. Call then up to make sure, Jon will help you out.

oh yeah, be sure to take battery out to keep weight down.

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Calli - BoxMN advice is what I would suggest. You may want to get out one more time to confirm how it is working (test all functions). In 9 FOW you should only need to put your gain between 0-2. I think before the fix I was turning it up to as high as 8. Also had problems with knocking out interference.

Since I needed it before the weekend, I actually dropped it off at Marcum (located in Anoka). They had it fixed up in a couple days - no questions asked. Very happy with the service.

Definitely get it checked out before your trip. Almost nothing worse than fishing with a flasher that isn't working properly.

Good Luck!

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I would love to see a spring loaded reel for the cable, and get rid of the foam on the bottom of the hole where you set the transducer for storage. The foam holds water, and almost everytime I go fishing, the transducer is frozen in the hole. I charge my unit in my garage and it stays in the back of my topper covered truck bed along with all my other gear. There's got to be some fancy material that will not freeze down the ducer. Other than that, no other suggestions, I like everything else about it.

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The hassles and inconvenience with my LX5. A definite improvement that I would like to see is:

adjust the display scale to actually read up to 20 ft when set at 20 ft. It only reads up to about 18 ft. I could do without the first two or three feet of the water column but I rather prefer to see the actual whole bottom of the scale of water column or maybe more of it.

The hood/sunlight shield on the flasher scale doesn't need a water holding bottom. When was the last time sunlight came directly from the bottom. At first I thought why not make it just flat but then I did find that useful for wrapping part of the transducer cord around it. It's still very difficult to wipe water out of the face when you get a fish that splashes water into it.

It's very cumbersome trying to put that transducer back into it's holding placement. It's small and tight. It's very secure once it's in there, but it accummulates water. I would personally like to see it as a raise holding cup so that it minimizes a freeze in. Possible some rubber/foam on perimeter sides like cup holders in car to secure the transducer snug.

A possilbe shoulder strap for the unit. When I hole hop, sometimes I've got rod and (minnow)bucket, now I have to juggle flasher too. My hole hopping is sometimes 20-30 yards between each hole.

(Did I mentioned pocket to put charger adapter in? LOL's more pockets).

Minor wish list of suggestion:

Depth scale on outside of flasher. It'll be easier to be able to pick out which scale to use with bigger to read numbers and tick marks. If there was a digital number scale change, I could do without multiple scales, especially when using zoom mode. Then also I'll know where I'm zoomed in on the water column.

Get rid of the beeping while zoom adjusting. I already know I'm adjusting the zoom. Do my buddies need to hear me do that?

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Actually, Slipperybob, those are very good ideas. I second each one of them.

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I wouldn't mind if they designed a set up where I can directly place my flasher unit over the hole on an open floor setup. I typically have the flasher in it's own hole. At the moment, I may have to use a plain plastic lid, with a little cut in it for the transducer to fit through.

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