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[CA11] Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
09-27-16, 09:28 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-18 02:12 PM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #1
[CA11] Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
We previously had a different finder, which used a tri-sponder perfectly.

That is, it did depth, temperature and speed reliably.

When we installed the new unit (DS500X), we bought two adapter cables which let that transponder 'talk' to our unit.

It didn't do well, and the advice here at the time was to install the proper transponder - an Airmar B744. Enough internet time spent, and we had the proper unit with the right cable termination.

Except that:

The depth is very intermittent. Sometimes it's there, but mostly we get a flashing line dot line (feet and decimal). The good news is that when it DOES display, we've found it to be accurate, and with the available +/- adjustments, exactly right for water depth (as opposed to under the keel, the only choice I have on my other two depth sounders).

The temperature was previously fairly close, after the adjustments available in the setup menu. Now they routinely read in the high 100s - 160-180F - which isn't in the range of adjustment, never mind that this is new to this trip.

And, the speed is intermittent, as well. Despite being newly cleaned and installed just before our trip, mostly we get no speed (0.0), and when we DO register, it's under by perhaps half. That MAY be adjustable in the range available in the menu for adjustments. Our previous sounder had a wired impeller; this one is inductive, I presume, as there's no wire to the impeller, and a slot up the flap module to allow the transponder cable to come out.

The transponder is on the stem and about 3' deep. It should always see 'clean' water, with no turbulence or other flow issues. It was painted with transponder antifouling at installation, but likely even that is gone after repetitive cleanings.

This all sounds like an issue with the transponder, which would be a huge issue, as, of course, you can't replace it unless you're hauled, and we anticipate that won't be for at least a couple of years. Just by happenstance, I have a replacement (somehow different, as the length of the speed impeller plug is longer than the current one based on a different through-hull termination for securing the impeller).

Or, is there a series of checks and/or adjustments I can do to prove the transponder?

Thanks.

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09-27-16, 01:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
Skip,

As has been advised within Raymarine's old Forum as well as within this Forum, in the absence of an EDI transducer tester (relatively few marine electronics installers are so equipped), fault isolation of problems associated with a depth sounding product are typically performed by testing the depth sounding product with another compatible transducer which was known to be operational. Please click here to view a FAQ providing further detail subject.

Raymarine products support +/- 9.9 degrees of temperature offset to adjust for thermistor error. Should the temperature reported by a fishfinder differ by more than 9.9 degrees from the actual temperature, then it would most often be indicate a failure of the transducer's thermistor requiring replacement of the transducer or its speed / temperature insert (B744V / B744VL transducers only). Please click here to view a FAQ addressing how a transducer's thermistor may be tested. If requested, a pin-out diagram may be supplied for a Raymarine transducer's plug. Raymarine does not stock transducer parts for transducers produced by Airmar, Inc.. Customers seeking transducer parts or transducers for retired products are referred to Gemeco ( http://www.gemeco.com ; 843.210.7000) for such requests. Generally, Gemeco (a division of Airmar, Inc..( the transducer manufacturer) can provide information and/or supply the required transducer or transducer parts when supplied with the the fishfinder model and/or identification information that is printed on the tag that is attached to the plug end of the transducer's cable.

Speed sensing products supporting speed through water will have a speed offset configuration setting to adjust specified speed to match the actual speed through water. Please click here to view a FAQ addressing how to test a transducer's speed sensor. If requested, a pin-out diagram may be supplied for a Raymarine transducer's plug.

Raymarine branded transducers carry a 2-year manufacturer's warranty, while Raymarine branded transducers which have been registered via Raymarine's web site within thirty days of purchase carry a 3-year manufacturer's warranty.
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10-14-16, 06:56 AM (This post was last modified: 10-14-16 08:44 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #3
RE: Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
Hi, Chuck, and thanks for the detailed response. The temperature bit is particularly confusing, as, in our last trip, it started at least close to what we'd expect, but then climbed again to a very high number. As well, initially the speed indication (needing adjustment) worked, then had nothing.

We'll let the sleeping dogs lie until we're next where we can send stuff off for repair if needed, some weeks and likely months from now.

Thanks again.

L8R

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10-14-16, 07:01 AM
Post: #4
RE: Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
PS What would cause an intermittent depth reading? The scroll and fish icons are consistent with what I'd expect for depth, and are continuous, whereas the actual digital readout is missing more than it's present.

The scroll suggests that the sounder is working, but somehow the MFD/FF isn't displaying that information most of the time.

Thanks.

L8R

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10-14-16, 07:21 AM
Post: #5
RE: Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
PPS re temperature...

You may recall our discussion in the past regarding the appropriate NMEA out/in stuff to include on both our C120C and DS500X.

I see in the ST50+ manual cited in another thread that it can display temperature. If there's something wonky about the display, but the info is correct, can I send the NMEA from the FF to either this unit or the C120C via seatalk or directly, as may be appropriate?
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10-14-16, 09:00 AM (This post was last modified: 10-14-16 09:04 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #6
RE: Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
Skip,

Regarding the temperature issue and per the prior response, the DS500X will display the temperature value which corresponds to the sensed resistance of the transducer's thermistor. This same temperature value will be transmitted by the NMEA 0183 output port of the DS500X ... i.e. one should expect no difference between the temperature displayed by the DS500X and the value included within the NMEA 0183 sentences transmitted by the DS500X. Per the prior response, fault isolation would be performed by checking the resistance of the transducer's thermistor and comparing it to the expected temperature. Should no fault be found with the transducer's thermistor, then the fault would be deemed to be rooted in the DS500X. Correction of this problem would then require replacement of the DS500X, as Raymarine can not longer supply parts and service for DS500X fishfinders.

Per the prior response, the speed problem may be fault isolated using the instructions provided within the previously referenced FAQ. Should no fault be found with the transducer's speed sensor, then the fault would be deemed to be rooted in the DS500X. Likewise, correction of this problem would then require replacement of the DS500X.

Finally, the prior response in the absence of an EDI transducer tester, fault isolation of problems associated with a depth sounding product is typically performed by testing the depth sounding product with another compatible transducer which was known to be operational. Should no fault be found with the transducer's depth sensor, then the fault would be deemed to be rooted in the DS500X. Likewise, correction of this problem would then require replacement of the DS500X.
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09-12-18, 07:42 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-18 02:12 PM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #7
RE: [CA11] Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
Hi, Chuck,

A followup question:

Our unit is of questionable use, these days, as the temperature is entirely impossible, the speed very intermittent, and the depth non-digital, most of the time (graphics usually represent the essence of where we are, though).

Our failure to get accurate reports from our previous fishfinder's tri-ducer apparently weren't a problem with the sender, as replacing it with the B744 was only marginally better.

I have seen a ds400x for sale, NOS from its appearance. Will this effectively replace my unit, and if so, what significant differences are there between the two?

I use ours for depth, speed, and, if it ever actually would report accurately, water temp, isolated (we abandoned sending NMEA to the plotter) to the unit, as well as the fish images.

Thanks.

L8R

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09-12-18, 08:36 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-18 02:13 PM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #8
RE: [CA11] Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
Skip,

From a functionality and operational standpoint, the DS400X and DS500X fishfinders differed only in their respective screen sizes. Like the DS500X, parts and service are no longer available for the DS400X. Similarly, support for this product is limited. As such it would be recommended that prospective purchasers of these fishfinders weigh these factors when considering whether to purchase one of these long retired fishfinders instead of a more current product which may be used with the currently installed fishfinder transducer (ex. a67 MFD, Axiom 7 DV, etc.).
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09-12-18, 08:52 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-18 02:13 PM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #9
RE: [CA11] Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
Thanks, Chuck,

I hadn't noticed the size on the ad I saw; is it the same footprint (will it go in the same [censored]) and connections (no wiring change needed) as my current 500?
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09-12-18, 09:17 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-18 02:13 PM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #10
RE: [CA11] Wonky reports on DS500X Fish Finder
Skip,

While similar in appearance, the physical size of the DS400X and DS500X differ. These fishfinders used a common power/NMEA 0183 cable and are designed to support the same models of transducers. The manual for these fishfinders (which included dimensional data) may be found here.
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