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Understanding How the Fish Finder Finds Depth, Fish, debris, Bottom Contour/composition, etc.
Greatly simplified, this fish finder is a combination of a speaker, microphone and stopwatch. It transmits a sound pulse from the sonar sensor, and then measures the time it takes for the “echoes” to return to the sonar sensor (the fish finder "knows" that the speed of sound through water is about 4800 feet per second).
Fish, rocks, logs, weed, debris, the bottom, etc all “echo” the pulse at a different intensity. A built-in computer then organizes all of this information and shows it on a display screen in a manner that is easy for the user to understand.
The depth readout on the upper left corner will appear after the power is turned ON and the sonar sensor is placed in water between 2 feet and 240 feet (.5 to 75 meters). If the depth exceeds these parameters, the depth meter will indicate “---”. This reading may also occur in water that is extremely dirty, or where there are heavy silt or mud bottoms. Sonar is a sound signal that travels through water. Sonar will not travel through air. Keep this in mind when using the fish finder, as the smallest air bubble between the sonar sensor and the water will cause the Fish Finder to not operate correctly.
Talk If you experience incorrect depth readings on your Digital Depth Sounder display, but nothing on another fish finder screen on the same boat (or vice versa) then you are experiencing sonar cross-talk interference. The only real solution is to move the transducers further away from each other. This can help keep the transducer cones from intersecting, but because cones get wider as the depth increases, the problem cannot usually be completely solved by position only. Changing one of the sounders to another model that runs on a different frequency will solve the problem.
Nothing Happens When I Turn the Power On
Make sure that you have installed a good set of batteries and aligned them as per the diagram within the battery compartment. You may also need to test the batteries in another device to ensure they are charged. If in doubt, replace the batteries with a set from a newly opened package.
The Depth Reading Is “---”
First verify that the sonar sensor is plugged into the display housing properly by turning the display on and listening for a ticking sound from the sonar sensor. Make sure that you are operating the Fish Finder in depths between 2 and 240 ft (.5 to 75 m). Be aware that the depth is measured from the sonar sensor, not the float.
Also make sure that the water is not overly choppy, causing the sonar sensor to move around significantly. The sonar sensor must remain relatively stable to achieve optimal readings. When necessary, lower the sonar sensor to hang further from the surface of the water, providing more stability in rougher water.
I See Fish Under the Sonar sensor, but Nothing Appears on the Display
As with the depth reading, the fish finder will not detect any objects that are closer than 2 ft from the sonar sensor. If you’re fishing in water that is less than 3 feet deep, it is recommended to discontinue use of the fish finder.
The Depth Reading is Incorrect
Make sure that you are pointing the sonar sensor perpendicular to the water when trying to obtain depth readings. Extremely heavy vegetation may confuse the sonar of the fish finder causing it to misinterpret the depth. If you are certain that the readings are incorrect under these conditions, discontinue use.
I’m Not Getting a Reading While Trying to Shoot Through My Boat Hull or Ice
Shooting through the hull of a boat/canoe or ice can be difficult, as hidden air pockets will prevent you from obtaining a reading. Make certain that the hull or ice is solid from the surface to the water with no air bubbles and/or gaps. Shooting through composite hulls (plastic) or cloudy ice is not possible as tiny air bubbles are usually present in these situations.
I’m Getting False Fish Indications
The most common cause of false fish indications is extremely tall weed growth. If weeds grow taller than 50% of the total water depth in a particular area, the sonar will mistake it for fish. Trash & debris may also give false readings. Adjusting the sensitivity setting to the lowest level may reduce these false readings, but if they do not go away, it is suggested that you discontinue use of the fish finder under these conditions.
I’m Using the Fish Finder in a Swimming Pool and it’s Not Working
Because of interference caused by “sonar bouncing”, the fish finder will NOT function properly in a swimming pool, bath tub, bucket, barrel, garbage can, or any body of water that has hard sides. It must be used in an open body of water to function properly.