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Fish finder, water inside, drill holes or not?

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  • #16
    Here are the inside shots of the last unit. The two boards sit right on the floor of the unit so any water inside and right away the boars are sitting in water.



    Andy

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    • #17
      It looks like there's enough room along the side to put a couple fittings for a desiccant tube if you drill carefully. If you could find a 1/8" npt to compression elbow, you could install a couple on the side with a clear tube between full of desiccant. Give it a bit of a steampunk look.

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      • #18
        When I drained the water out of this one there was at least 3 table spoons worth of water in it. I am worried a small tube or container of desiccant won't be enough at times. If you look at the pics, to the right side is the bottom of the unit, you can see where I drill two holes in the bottom of this one not long ago to get the water out but obviously it was to late. Those holes were about .500". In the first pic you can see I misjudged (been awhile since the last one) and hit a small blue capacitor when I drilled into the unit.

        I am still thinking the holes should be out the bottom and then hose used to plumb from the holes down under the dash of the boat into a much bigger container of desiccant or what have you. That way if the water starts pouring in it can drain out the bottom and not have to rely on wicking/condensation/humidity? and the desiccant to pull the water out of the air.
        Andy

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        • #19
          I would suggest you install the third ($15) unit, cover it when it's not in use and save your time and energy.
          You will probably get several more years of service and then can buy a better unit or another $15 one on eBay.
          The unit may be failing because some component is failing (electrolitic capacitor?) and not moisture although water is certainly suspicious.
          I have an Eagle depth sounder similar to that one that is 12 years old and still works. I remove it when it's not in use.
          BTW, I suspect the water is getting in through an inadequate seal around the screen.
          That might explained the failure mode you are seeing - corrosion of the display connections.
          Bill
          Last edited by Seastar; 08-07-2014, 09:43 AM.
          I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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          • #20
            3 tablespoons is a lot of water to have found its way in via condensation. Was there a similar amount from the first one? Maybe a bead of silicone around the edges of the screen and the 2 power plugs? If you warmed the unit before applying silicone, it should draw it in when the air inside cools.

            With that much water, bagging the unit sounds better.

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            • #21
              I am wondering if this is used in fresh or salt water environment. Salt spray gets into everything and is very destructive to circuitry.

              Also, those LCD displays usually have a number of connections and have a habit for some of them going bad. Sometimes they use rubber with alternating strips that insulate and conduct for the connection. Funny things happen to them and usually they are not repairable but you can try cleaning up the connector surfaces if you can get to them - probably behind the screen.

              If that is a flip up display that pivots, I would consider locking it in one position and sealing around the hinges with silicon caulk - two coats.

              But,all in all, you may just have to put up with a limited lifetime on these things. Perhaps there are better brands.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

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              • #22
                One of my brothers, who is a fisherman, and who is also not wrapped too tight (He made his living for 30+years running into burning buildings) says the real problem here is that you keep draining the water out, so the microfish inside that swim around and show you where the macro fish are in the lake or river or ocean, well, the microfish are dying........so no display.

                Sorry guys, he made me post this. And since he's got plenty of dirt on me from our childhood , I couldn't say no!
                Steve
                NRA Life Member

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by RetiredFAE View Post
                  One of my brothers, who is a fisherman, and who is also not wrapped too tight (He made his living for 30+years running into burning buildings) says the real problem here is that you keep draining the water out, so the microfish inside that swim around and show you where the macro fish are in the lake or river or ocean, well, the microfish are dying........so no display.

                  Sorry guys, he made me post this. And since he's got plenty of dirt on me from our childhood , I couldn't say no!

                  Thanks for the laugh!



                  As for the three tablespoons I believe the first one had less in it but still more than just condensation. I like you Paul think that the water gets in around the screen. Even though I have cut two units open now I have never drilled out the melted plastic tabs that hold the screen into the housing to see what kind of gasket or sealant is used. I do leave mine out in the rain and elements during summer and then store inside for winter. I never take the fish finder off the boat. I keep getting the same one so I don't have to rewire the boat, I just receive the new unit and plug it in

                  This is also where the other option of wrapping or covering the unit with something comes into play like mentioned. The plugs have a good seal on them so I am not to worried about them but some sort of seal or cover for the screen and unit. I was thinking of something like a clear heat shrink over the entire unit or clear wrap, bag, spray acrylic like clear coat on a car? I also asked and wonder about that pour on acrylic that you see some wood tables covered in. I have seen some tables with over 1/2" of acrylic poured on and they were perfectly clear yet.

                  Is it a bad idea to let the water in and then drain it out threw tubes like I mentioned earlier? This way the unit could breathe and "air out". But if I could completely seal it tight there would be no need to "air it out".
                  Andy

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                  • #24
                    If your boat doesn't have a cabin you can stash it in when you are not their, place a large Ziplock bag over it and secure with a small bungee when you
                    leave the boat. Remove it the next time you go out.
                    Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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