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Ybone

FL18 problem

Question

Ybone

I'm not getting the good solid bottom signal like I was, more like a bunch of lines. I also have to turn the gain up to get a bottom reading at all. At first I thought it was because of a low battery but after charging it up there was no change. I'm thinking maybe the transducer is bad. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Grabs

I think your on the right track with the transducer being bad. If your close enough to Bloomington I would just drop in and see the guys at Vex. Otherwise drop them a call. The have a simple counter top test with the gain turned all the way down and the can "tell" how strong the signal should be with that given conditions. I had the same thing and they replaced my ducer and it works great now.

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Vexilar "Air Demo Test"

Set your Pro Pack, or whatever ice kit you have, onto a kitchen countertop or workbench in the garage. There must be a flat solid floor below, no carpet. Place a hard cover book on the carpet if you need to.

Hang the Ice-Ducer over the edge so that the bottom is about 24" from the floor. Make sure that it is hanging by itself in mid-air and not resting against anything. This is to insure that the transducer will hang straight. If you have a Puck transducer mounted on an arm, level it off so it is pointing straight at the floor. Now, turn the flasher on to the first range. With the Gain set to zero, you should see a mark at the 12:00 position indicating the top, or your transducer, and another mark at the 9 foot line indicating the bottom, or floor.

Notice how the depth is completely inaccurate. The reason is that the speed of the burst of sound coming out of your transducer is traveling much slower in the air than it would be in the water. So the unit thinks it's deeper. Also the strength of your system is much weaker in air than water. The top line should be mostly red in color. The bottom line may be green, orange, or red (depending on the strength of your system, how straight your transducer is, and the type of floor). If you cannot see the floor mark without having to turn your gain up, try a harder or smoother type of floor. If there is no change, the system has a sensitivity problem. You must see at least a green mark, on a hard floor, with the gain at minimum to pass the test.

You can judge the overall sensitivity of the system by doing this "Air Demo" test, but you can't tell if a weakness is due to the unit or transducer (which is much more common) without replacing one or the other with a known good component. To solve this, borrow a friend's transducer or bring your setup into your local Vexilar dealer and ask if you can use one they have in stock for your test.

If your transducer doesn't pass the test, it will have to be replaced. Weak transducers cannot be repaired. I'm sure the dealer will be happy to help you out. If the flasher itself proves to be the culprit, it may be your opportunity to justify that shiny new FL-18 you've been waiting for. If that's not in your budget, our service department should be able to save the day.

Vexilar Flasher Transducers www.vexilar.com/products/fl-xdcr.html

Contact Vexilar www.vexilar.com/help/contact.html


------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
backwtr1@msn.com

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MJR

If you have an early model there was a recall for something similar. The bottom kept rising up. Not sure if this sounds like the same problem you are having.

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FL-18 Software Update
---------------------

There is a software update available for the FL-18 color flasher. This update is free of charge. It will help the unit maintain a solid lock on the bottom when using the Auto Zoom feature in certain ice fishing conditions.

The update applies only to FL-18 units with a serial number of 192500 or less. The serial number can be found on the back of the
unit under the power and transducer connections. Some units have already been updated. If the back of the unit is marked "Version 2" or "V2" it already contains the update.

When you send the unit in, please include a short note inside the box including your name, return address, and telephone or email. You will only need to send the main "head" portion of the system. We will attempt to keep turn-around time to a minimum. A day or two is our goal.

The update is installed by connecting the FL-18 to a special "flash" programmer. Some units will need to have the main processor chip replaced before it can be updated. Again, the update and the return shipping are free of charge.

To get the FL-18 Update, send the unit to:

Vexilar, Inc. Attn. FL-18 UPDATE
200 W 88th St. #10
Minneapolis, MN 55420-2752


------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
backwtr1@msn.com

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Ybone

Thanks for the help. Did the air test and could not get a reading with my high speed transducer but got a good reading with my ice ducer. Bought a new high speed transducer, still can't get an air reading unless I turn the gain up about half way. Hope there's not something wrong with the new transducer. Haven't had a chance to try it on the water yet.

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Guest

Dangling the Hi-Speed ducer may be a bit tough to get centered just right while attempting the Air Test? The beam will shine off to the side without a rigid Gimbel arm.

You may be having issues with where the hi-speed Ducer is mounted and at what angle it is situated while on the boat? For an exterior mount on the transom kick the Ducer angle ahead about 17 deg and make sure it is 1/4" below the hull. Check to see it is not in line with rivets or a chine rise.

Vexilars work extremal well with through the hull transducer mounts. They shoot through tin or glass very well. Mount it in the center sump area where it is in constant contact with water from bellow.

There are some excellent trouble shooting tips on the www.Vexilar.com web site and details on through the hull mounting systems. If your still stumped drop them a e-mail or a call. They are more then happy to help where they can.

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
backwtr1@msn.com

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Fish On! Guide Service

It sure is nice to see a company stand behind their product. This is just one of the reasons why Vexilar has great customer loyalty and why Vexilar is my go to sonar for summer and especially winter fishing. Life just wouldn't be the same without one.

Stephen

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