Author Topic: Helix 5 issues  (Read 4080 times)

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Offline Boschy

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Helix 5 issues
« on: December 30, 2015, 05:42:35 PM »
Hi all,

This is my first post on these forums so I'd like to say hello to you all. I'm a keen fisherman living in Canberra, Australia. Canberra is perfectly positioned to have ocean, estuary, trout, Australian bass and freshwater native fishing all with about a two hour drive of the place, so I do a diverse range of fishing.

I have owned a Helix 5 for the last couple of months and I'm struggling with what may be an issue with the unit itself. I'd like to get some advice on whether I'm doing something wrong or there is a possible problem that I need to talk to the supplier about. In advance, I apologize for the image quality. I was only armed with my phone and it was a seriously bright summer day. I haven't worked out if there's a way to screenshot from the unit itself.

This first image shows the problem most clearly. On the left side of the side imaging and on the down imaging there is a permanent haze (circled in red). As you can see it is quite lined, which doesn't look natural (more like an regular electronics frequency issue). Circled in blue is the shadow I get from the transom mount electric motor I had in the water while I took the shots. That goes away if I lift the motor from the water.

While on possible interferences, I removed the transducer from its mount and rotated it 180 degrees while holding it near its normal position, just in case it was something to do with the hull of the boat. The noisy haze stays exactly where it is on the left hand SI image (which is now looking out the ride side of the boat).

ila_rendered

The other thing I noticed is that the definition of the bottom is lacking on the left side of the SI picture (circled in red again).

ila_rendered

ila_rendered

Lastly, a deep water shot really shows up the noisy haze.

ila_rendered

Does anybody have any advice?


Offline Ohio Archer

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  • Unit(s): Helix 7 SI GPS, 999ci HD SI
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Re: Helix 5 issues
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 07:57:01 PM »
What other electronics are you running at the same time?  Does this only occur when the trolling motor is running or all the time regardless of tm operation?

Offline Boschy

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Re: Helix 5 issues
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 08:20:08 PM »
Whoops ... I meant to mention that. The noise is there regardless of whether either of the two electric motors (front and back) are running. Regardless, the two electrics are on different circuits to the sounder. The sounder is powered by a small 7ah battery that has it and the LED navigation lights on it. The lights weren't on either.

Offline Boschy

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Re: Helix 5 issues
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 07:01:11 PM »
Here's a couple more photos while I was sitting in the shed with the transducer out of the water. As you can see, the left side of the side scan shows lots of noise that seems to bleed in to the down scan, while the right side is clear as can be. I removed the transducer from its mount and moved it about and the picture didn't change. I don't think it's noise from the boat.

ila_rendered

Interestingly, and I have no idea if it's relevant, but when I played with the depth settings of the down scan the noise appears to be at the 18 metre region

ila_rendered

Offline Ohio Archer

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  • Unit(s): Helix 7 SI GPS, 999ci HD SI
  • Software: current
  • Accessories: i-pilot Link
Re: Helix 5 issues
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 10:36:28 PM »
I haven't seen anyone else posting pictures like yours. Is there someone else that has a transducer you can hook your Helix up to? Or can you hook their unit to your transducer?  From what I've read, checking for noise and RFI with the transducer out of the water is not an accurate way to test the system.

But you may have a defective transducer. Just a guess on my part. Have you contacted HB about this yet?

Offline Boschy

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Re: Helix 5 issues
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2016, 12:10:14 AM »
I don't know of anybody else around here with a Helix, but I do know others with Humminbirds. I'd have to look in to transducer compatibility. I haven't contacted Humminbird direct as yet but I have contacted the people I bought the unit from and asked for their advice. But given that it's new years day I don't expect an answer until Monday. I'll post here once I hear from them.

Testing the unit out of the water wasn't intentional. I was actually looking at my past tracks with the intention of pulling a few off to the PC when I noticed that the noise was there even when the unit was out of the water. Given that the right hand side was perfectly blank, I thought it suspicious.

EDIT: In further developments, changing the battery made no difference what so ever. More interestingly though, unplugging the transducer cable from the back of the head unit also made absolutely no difference while the unit was sitting out of the water. Does this point the finger more firmly at the electronics inside the head unit?

« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 12:47:12 AM by Boschy »

Offline Ohio Archer

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  • Joined: Nov 2015
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  • Unit(s): Helix 7 SI GPS, 999ci HD SI
  • Software: current
  • Accessories: i-pilot Link
Re: Helix 5 issues
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2016, 09:46:36 AM »
I would be definitely be contacting HB directly to see what can be done.  It sounds like it is under warranty if you've only had it a few months.  Let them help you get it repaired or replaced.

Offline Boschy

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Re: Helix 5 issues
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2016, 04:14:26 PM »
Well, the good news (of sorts) is that the unit is faulty and a new one is winging its way to me. The people at Northside Marine in Brisbane, and the people at Humminbird, were awesome. I posted the sounder off to Northside on a Monday and by Thursday Humminbird had found the problem and sent me a new one. Great work by all.



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