Through-hull transducer for aluminum boats-NEW! Through-hull transducer for aluminum boats-NEW!
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    Through-hull transducer for aluminum boats-NEW!
from Jack G. (68.106.202.148)  
7/28/2005 7:56:00 PM

Rated:

 Has anyone used one of those "Vexilar Alumducers" advertised by Cabelas? It claims to make transducers work through aluminum hulls.


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   Jack from Jeff Hahn  7/29/2005 7:57:00 AM
 Jack: A regular transducer will shoot through an aluminum hull, no problem. The problem with doing so, however, it that an aluminum hull is not smooth on the bottom, like a glass hull is. As a reult, if the transducer was positioned behind a rivet or other "irregularity" on the bottom of an aluminum hull, the air pocket created when the boat is on plane caused the transudcer not to read the bottom. It took lots of trial and error to get the tranducer positioned just right so that it would not be shooting through an air pocket. Maybe Vexilar has solved this problem, but I haven;t heard of the "alumiducer" that you mentioned.

Jeff Hahn


   Location of transducer from Jack G. (68.106.202.148)  7/29/2005 9:53:00 AM
 Jeff: Sounds like you might have succeeded (with trial and error) to get a transducer into an aluminum boat. Is the secret to position the transducer as far away from any rivets AHEAD OF the transducer location?


   Aluminum problems... from Allan Tarvid (4.227.172.5)  7/31/2005 2:17:00 AM
 There are a string of problems associated with shooting through an aluminum hull, that's why no sonar manufacturer recommends doing it with their standard transducers.

Aluminum is flexible and transducers are not so it can be a challenge to keep the two stuck together. Using soft adhesive compensates somewhat for aluminum's flexibility but it absorbs sound and reduces performance.

And, performance is already being reduced because aluminum is not a good sound conductor where sonar is concerned. The sound tends to spread over the metal surface a bit instead of just passing through the hull in a shape similar to the face of the transducer. Then there is the ringing problem, sound pulses must be very short to give good target separation. That is, the hull must start to vibrate at the transducer's operating frequency the instant that the transducer starts vibrating - then they must both stop at the same time. Aluminum tends to keep vibrating for a short time, sound pulses are measured in millionths of a second and you don't want that.

In short, even if you mount a standard transducer in an ideal spot to shoot through aluminum you don't get the detail and target separation that you would get from a transducer mounted outside on the transom. Fishermen who are happy with the performance of their units shooting through aluminum are often not aware of how much better their unit would perform with an outside transducer or they run the unit on full automatic where it can't show them maximum detail anyway and if they are happy with that, the performance difference is a moot point.

Alumaducers from Vexilar are built by Radarsonics, a California company that has made transducers for other fish finder manufacturers in the past. They are supposed to cancel out the problems just mentioned and they come with a special adhesive designed to stick them to aluminum.

I haven't tried one so I have no idea how well they work.


   Jack from Jeff Hahn  8/1/2005 9:00:00 AM
 Jack: Allan is aboviously more knowledgeable about this than I am. The additional problems that he mentioned make perfect sense. I have had two aluminum rigs...a 1985 Fisher Marine Marsh Hawk...my first bass rig. And, I currently have a 14 foot jon boat for fun fishing a couple small, local lakes. On both I mounted a bracket to the outside of the transom to position the transducer for my depthfinders. If you play around with it, you can position the bracket just right so that the transuder will stay beneath the water when on plane. But, it takes a lot of trial and error playing around to get it just right. Mounted this way, the tranducer will through just a little "rooster tail."

Jeff Hahn


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