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Front Sonar Question

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Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Finally getting around to getting a sonar for the bow. Getting a helix 5 or 7. BTW, anyone with one of those on the front? Anyone with a 5 that kills them self they didn’t get the 7? All I want is the sonar...

My first question was this though, we have the minn Kota terrova with the 2D sonar transducer built in, when the front sonar unit is running, is it being powered by the sonar unit power or the trolling motor batteries?

Thanks
 

Littlesaltwash

Well-Known Member
I have a 7 and love the screen size. I am thinking of getting a 5 at the console for sonar and the lakemaster chip and put the 7 on the front. I now have a dedicated battery just for my finders. This last spring amperage got low enough I couldn’t power up. Do all the terrova’s have the transducer built in?
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
I looked at the terrova owners manual online this am. On the bottom of page 14 it advises to have separate batteries for the finder and trolling motor. Also, wiring to achieve that is provided.

Awesome, I would take that advice as the transducer in the trolling motor could draw from the trolling motor batteries, but only if the sonar unit connects to the trolling motor batteries. I tested it out a little last night, only after turning the sonar unit on does the transducer run. So I think that would sound right. Thanks!

BTW we already do have the 5 on our console and love it!
 

Littlesaltwash

Well-Known Member
You are doing what i hope to have accomplished by next spring. Consider, having a 5 at the console means it is usually only about 3 feet away from your eyes. If you have ram mount in the bow and are standing and fishing your eyes are twice that distance at least and maybe not on the optimum angle. Don’t know about your eyes, but i don’t want to have to adjust my position to see the screen clearly.
 

Dorado

Escalante-Class Member
Awesome, I would take that advice as the transducer in the trolling motor could draw from the trolling motor batteries, but only if the sonar unit connects to the trolling motor batteries. I tested it out a little last night, only after turning the sonar unit on does the transducer run. So I think that would sound right. Thanks!

BTW we already do have the 5 on our console and love it!

The reason they advise not using the trolling motor batteries for the sounder is the potential for interference. You may find that the sonar works fine when the trolling motor is not active, but when it kicks on you will get a muddled reading on your sounder.....Oh and I went from a 5" to a 7" and it is much nicer to use...I wish I had bought the 9" ;)
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
You may find that the sonar works fine when the trolling motor is not active, but when it kicks on you will get a muddled reading on your sounder

Really? If that's the case I might bag the idea, that would bug the crap out of me!
 

BarzArz

Well-Known Member
Preston,
I agree with Dorado and the others. I have had smaller units, but have come to a personal opinion that a 7" unit is the smallest I want to run. I have a 7" on both bow and console, but am saving for a Helix 10 at the console. Kinda depends on how you use them. I like running the GPS and sonar at the same time on a split screen and in shallows run side imaging too, so the larger display accommodates the multiple views with enough size and resolution to be useful. Also, when trolling or drifting and spooning the rear admiral (my wife :)) can see the display from the stern, where she likes to fish, well enough to see fish, depth and temp....but better yet, and really important in my opinion, can see her spoon falling and stop it and control her spoon depth when spooning for Stripers. She is about 8'+ from the display but can see it from the stern well enough to reference.

I am usually on the bow when electric motor trolling and can see the 7" (Helix 7 of Lowrance Chirp 7) pretty well whether standing or sitting on the butt seat up front. So the 7 works pretty well for me up front. I had a couple of smaller displays up front on the bass boat and it was tougher to see what I wanted to see. I generally only run the Sonar on the bow, no mapping usually, so the 7" is good because it is full screen display Sonar.

As you know, our Terrova's with the US2 transducer, will only Sonar, so no down or side imaging with out adding a transducer to the motor on the Terrova. I think one of the benefits of the US2 transducer is that it is protected by being installed in the motor housing. I like that. I have torn up the transducers mounted on an ancillary bracket to the motor housing. But that was generally shallow lake fishing.

Last comment, Dorado is right. The major reason to run the fishfinder from a house or starting battery (and not the trolling motor battery) is to separate the power sources. The Trolling motor, when running, typically creates a bit of " RF noise" that can be propagated on the DC cable, often resulting in various issues with the fishfinder electronics, i.e. power shutdown, loss of depth reading, display distortion, erratic readings, etc. The transducer is only powered by the display head unit. The US2 does not receive power from the trolling motor, only the cable from the head unit, so as long as the power to the fishfinder is not from the trolling motor battery(s) you are generally isolated, at least from a hard wire connection. However, the interference can still be an issue due to just being in proximity to the source, usually the electric motor, or even your big motor or kicker, so rerouting the wires to get separation or adding the little snap on ferrite bead "chokes" can be helpful.

I don't get any interference to the fishfinders from my Terrova when running at any speed, but the trolling motor runs from its own battery bank and the fishfinders run from my house battery, which is isolated from the starting battery by an automatic relay for charge control. There still was no interference when the starting battery and house battery are configured parallel either, just for the record.

Sorry, I get into the weeds pretty easily, lol

Hope that is helpful. We plan to put it into practice over labor day weekend, wish us luck!
 
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Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Thanks Barz! The unit will be away from the trolling motor batteries. Still only have a cranking battery aside from the trollers though. Sounds like I’ll be okay.
 

Doug Elworthy

Active Member
Thanks Barz! The unit will be away from the trolling motor batteries. Still only have a cranking battery aside from the trollers though. Sounds like I’ll be okay.
Preston
When I installed a Helix 7 on the console, I wired it to the starting battery. But, every time I started the big motor, the Helix went blank. I had to power it down and restart it. Solved the problem by adding a second, isolated battery for the Helix exclusively. Thinking about adding a Perko 3 position switch tying the 2 batteries to it. Possibly with an isolator to preserve the power on the starting battery.
Thoughts?
Doug
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Preston
When I installed a Helix 7 on the console, I wired it to the starting battery. But, every time I started the big motor, the Helix went blank. I had to power it down and restart it. Solved the problem by adding a second, isolated battery for the Helix exclusively. Thinking about adding a Perko 3 position switch tying the 2 batteries to it. Possibly with an isolator to preserve the power on the starting battery.
Thoughts?
Doug

Our unit on the console gets power from the cranking battery, but it first goes through the fuse box and it will only turn on if the master power switch is on. Not sure what this necessarily means other than the console unit wires don’t directly connect to the cranking battery itself. No issues with the console unit cranking the motor up, hoping for the same with the bow. Our 14’ crestliner already even has ground and positive wiring running to the bow from the fuse box waiting for a unit. Install should only take five minutes.
 

Squirrel

Escalante-Class Member
My Humminbird 859 will give me a “low voltage” message, only sometimes when cranking the engine. The front HB 596 gets interference from the trolling motor and it is connected to different batteries. Go figure. Sq
 

BarzArz

Well-Known Member
Our Helix 7 on the Bassboat also often gets the low voltage warning upon startup of the big motor. It is directly wired to the cranking battery which it runs off of, no house battery in this boat. I think its partially because I have the "low voltage warning" voltage set fairly high. I believe this issue has been addressed or at least improved with the latest Humminbird software updates.

Squirrel, that's a bummer you get interference, have you tried relocating the power cable a bit or adding filters of a ferrite near the head unit?

Good luck
 

BarzArz

Well-Known Member
Preston
When I installed a Helix 7 on the console, I wired it to the starting battery. But, every time I started the big motor, the Helix went blank. I had to power it down and restart it. Solved the problem by adding a second, isolated battery for the Helix exclusively. Thinking about adding a Perko 3 position switch tying the 2 batteries to it. Possibly with an isolator to preserve the power on the starting battery.
Thoughts?
Doug

Doug, that's what I ended up doing with our new/old boat. Blue Sea Systems has a nice set up with the switch and automatic isolator relay for about $100. Easy to install and "so far" working great. Makes me feel a bit better knowing I (hopefully) can't drain my cranking battery and the added bonus that I can directly wire the auto bilge pump from the house battery, so it can always pump if needed without drawing down the cranking battery.
 

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Ron McKinney

Well-Known Member
Our unit on the console gets power from the cranking battery, but it first goes through the fuse box and it will only turn on if the master power switch is on. Not sure what this necessarily means other than the console unit wires don’t directly connect to the cranking battery itself. No issues with the console unit cranking the motor up, hoping for the same with the bow. Our 14’ crestliner already even has ground and positive wiring running to the bow from the fuse box waiting for a unit. Install should only take five minutes.
Preston
I have a helix 7 2g di at the console hooked to the starting battery. If I run it for a couple of hours it pulls the battery down farther than I'm comfortable with. Ron
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Thanks Ron. Will definitely keep an eye for that. We are the same way you are with our console unit now. We try to not let it run too long without starting the motor up.
 

BarzArz

Well-Known Member
We run the Helix 7 with SI on the console and right now a Lowrance Chirp 7 at the bow. The console is on all day and the bow finder is on most of the day. The Lowrance is a 1.1 amp draw and the Hummingbird Helix 7 SI G1 is 800 ma. so together less than 2 amps draw. If your battery is decent it should not be a factor. with only one finder, less than an amp, running 10 hours straight in the bass boat with only a cranking battery running everything, we have never seen pull our battery below 80% capacity. If your battery is in good shape and you charge it each night, or from your big motor alternator if you have some good runs during the day, you should not need to worry about your Fishfinder impact to battery capacity on a daily basis. I generally have a digital volt meter installed on anything with a battery and watch it, so I can monitor its condition, an OCD thing...
 

Meatwagon

Escalante-Class Member
On my stratus I ran the power for the bow unit to the accessory switch in the console, and on my Triton I tied into a buss block under my console. In both cases they ran off the starting battery. I have room for a second battery that I carry as a spare incase the starting battery ever fails me, and to power the inverter for the electric fillet knife. If you have a cigarette lighter plug in or tilt and trim switch on the front bow you might be able to power from there. The transducer just needs a hummingbird adapter to hook up to trolling motor.
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Update, sitting here at Jordanelle as we speak waiting to load up, there is 50 million people here so I have time... I bought the Humminbird adaptor for the front sonar, I ran the transducer cable with the adaptor to the unit at the console and ran it just to see what would happen. Seems it’s confused... when plugged into the front it would read the depth way deeper than it actually was but the water temp was accurate. Also hard to tell about interference with the depth being so off. It was constantly reading about 80’ when it was only like 15’.

If that made sense to anyone does anyone have any input for that? It made me come to conclusion to have it professionally installed at the very least, and maybe to just bag the idea?

BTW, fishing was good.
C17B3972-7020-48A6-94AE-D28901020107.jpeg
 
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