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depth finder acting up


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04 23 lsv - my depth finder is also giving me trouble - its never worked great but always gave me a reading - now it just blinks some ocrazy depth like 400+ feet. Once in a while it will work for a bit then wack out again. I lost my alternator over the weekend and I am seeing other electical gremlins (never had before) like perfect pass acting up - so ill replace and see if these all go away. Any other thoughts?

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I have the same problem with my finder on my 06, but haven't taken it to the dealer yet. Probably needs a new sensor(s). I will see my friend that is a service tech at the Malibu store this week probably. I will ask him about it.

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Mine works about 50% of the time. The rest of the time it reads 2 ft, even when I know the water is 30+ feet deep. the annoying part is the sounder goes off when it displays incorrectly.

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I have the same problem with my finder on my 06, but haven't taken it to the dealer yet. Probably needs a new sensor(s). I will see my friend that is a service tech at the Malibu store this week probably. I will ask him about it.

Thanks stroker - let me know what he says... My boat got totally soaked (first time that wet) it shoukdnt be that but ever since then both my perfect pass and my depth find are on the fritz... The alternator popped at the same time - I think somehow its all related - I'm going to put a new alt in and let the boat really dryout in my shop, cross my fingers and see...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks stroker - let me know what he says... My boat got totally soaked (first time that wet) it shoukdnt be that but ever since then both my perfect pass and my depth find are on the fritz... The alternator popped at the same time - I think somehow its all related - I'm going to put a new alt in and let the boat really dryout in my shop, cross my fingers and see...

Update - Alternator fix all weird electrical gremlins gone (thank goodness). However, depth finder still wacky.... It reads 400 feet of water (while flashing) most of the time. Once in a great while with the engine off or at idle in neutral I might get a reading (no idea of accuracy but it appears reasonable). Most have told me the transducers is wasted. I think I will probably replace it - Who knows where it is on the 23 lsv 2004? I do think this winter I will invest in a much better sonar system as i am tired of wasting props - I mostly go in the Mississippi river so the conditions change all the time - where it is supposed to be clear it's not...

Anyway, any help on where the factory transducer is would be great.

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  • 1 month later...

Update - Alternator fix all weird electrical gremlins gone (thank goodness). However, depth finder still wacky.... It reads 400 feet of water (while flashing) most of the time. Once in a great while with the engine off or at idle in neutral I might get a reading (no idea of accuracy but it appears reasonable). Most have told me the transducers is wasted. I think I will probably replace it - Who knows where it is on the 23 lsv 2004? I do think this winter I will invest in a much better sonar system as i am tired of wasting props - I mostly go in the Mississippi river so the conditions change all the time - where it is supposed to be clear it's not...

Anyway, any help on where the factory transducer is would be great.

The transducer is mounted on the driver's side of the boat, inline with the seat line on that side. The transducer itself is around $100, the module is $359 from the dealership AND from bakesmarine.com. Anyone know where I can get the module cheaper???

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Mine reads 0.5 feet all the time. I Lorance 3500 model. I assume the transducer puck is shot. Never really looked at the thing anyway as I know most of the lakes we go to. However, there is always the chance that we will need it some day in uncharted territories.

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04 23 lsv - my depth finder is also giving me trouble - its never worked great but always gave me a reading - now it just blinks some ocrazy depth like 400+ feet. Once in a while it will work for a bit then wack out again. I lost my alternator over the weekend and I am seeing other electical gremlins (never had before) like perfect pass acting up - so ill replace and see if these all go away. Any other thoughts?

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Having similar issues in '05 Wakesetter. I've only owned it three weeks. First time out no reading and not an option on the display. Dealer thought it did not have depth finder. Out this weekend, all of the sudden offers the depth finder on the display, worked for about an hour. On a restart I got a "bad signal" or something showing on the depth display. Next restart, no depth option on the display. Is this a bad transducer or a bad connection somewhere? Thanks, Chris

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Mine works about 50% of the time. The rest of the time it reads 2 ft, even when I know the water is 30+ feet deep. the annoying part is the sounder goes off when it displays incorrectly.

have you determined how to turn the alarm off in later model models?

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I too am having problems with my depth finder on an 04 wakesetter. The strange readings i can deal with but can anyone tell me how to turn off the alarm, it's killing me!!

I just purchased a low-hour 2004 Wakesetter VLX. My depth finder is a mess. Original owner warned me he had it replaced twice under warranty (transducer and/or brains). It will show 4000' then nothing then an accurate depth...??? He told me the dealer finally threw their hands up and chalked it up to a poor design. Go figure. I guess I'll live with it, but I would have demanded a refund on the option (perhaps he did??)

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I spoke to the service manager at my dealership today and he said the same thing. They are junk and they never order them on new boats. Suggests adding a $99 Hummingbird unit and find a way to mount the gauge. I'm working on a solution to that. I just wish I did not have a hole in my hull with the OEM unit.

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Fixed my depth gauge this week due to a trip planned to Flathead lake. Turns out that the cable had been completely worn trough by rubbing up against the prop shaft. Evidently the electrical tape holding it away from the shaft and onto the wiring conduit nearby had come off . The issue I ran into was that the cable is permanently mounted to the transducer and that is in turn epoxied to the hull. So no new cable could be easily installed. To patch the cable is a bit tricky. It has a braided wire core, a plastic sheath over that, then a braided wire outer sheath and then the outer cover. Sort of like a coax cable but harder to splice. Radio shack has a splice part that worked great if you are very careful. Model: 278-269 | Catalog #: 278-269. If you carefully cut away the outer insulation, pull back the outer wires to one side, carefully cut away the inner insulation and then use this it works great. Use a very sharp exacto. Nice to have a depth gauge again.

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Hokey answer.

I installed a Humminbird 200 DX Fishfinder with temperature probe. It has a little 3 x3 screen that is actually very visible from a distance. I and my passengers enjoy this little toy a lot. It's fun to see the fish swim underneath the boat and also in shallow water it shows what kind of bottom you have such as grassy, vegetation and so forth. Further if you install their paddle wheel it will display the boat speed as well, more accurate than a pitot tube type.

I mounted it on the passenger side dash and aim it directly at the driver's seat and can read it from the driver seat.

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04 23 lsv - my depth finder is also giving me trouble - its never worked great but always gave me a reading - now it just blinks some ocrazy depth like 400+ feet. Once in a while it will work for a bit then wack out again. I lost my alternator over the weekend and I am seeing other electical gremlins (never had before) like perfect pass acting up - so ill replace and see if these all go away. Any other thoughts?

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04 23 lsv - my depth finder is also giving me trouble - its never worked great but always gave me a reading - now it just blinks some ocrazy depth like 400+ feet. Once in a while it will work for a bit then wack out again. I lost my alternator over the weekend and I am seeing other electical gremlins (never had before) like perfect pass acting up - so ill replace and see if these all go away. Any other thoughts?

My VTX had a similar problem, it read either .5 or 400 ft. fairly consistently. Every once in a while it would register correctly. After switching out the module and relocating the transducer we still had the same issues. The guys at Active Watersports in Portland found the problem on its first trip to them. They found the main wire from the module to the transducer had been twisted around another clump of wires back to the engine compartment and the signal was getting scrambled. So check out the routing of your wires before doing anything else, this was an easy one but it haunted me for 2 years. Thanks Active Watersports!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the same problem. Depth Guge reading 0.5' or 400' on a long weekend trip to Greers Ferry. I read the post from "true" and thought. It won't hurt to seperate the transducer wiring from all the other wiring. Went out last weekend and it funtioned properly. Thanks "true". Nice to have my depth finder back.

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Hokey answer.

I installed a Humminbird 200 DX Fishfinder with temperature probe. It has a little 3 x3 screen that is actually very visible from a distance. I and my passengers enjoy this little toy a lot. It's fun to see the fish swim underneath the boat and also in shallow water it shows what kind of bottom you have such as grassy, vegetation and so forth. Further if you install their paddle wheel it will display the boat speed as well, more accurate than a pitot tube type.

I mounted it on the passenger side dash and aim it directly at the driver's seat and can read it from the driver seat.

I started that way and didn't want a fish finder display on my ski boat. I found a sweet Lowrance with a transom mount tranducer. It has the standard 2 inch display. I mounted the transducer a few inches to the side of the starboard speedo pickup and I have never had another depth gauge issue on the Skier. A bonus was getting water temp on the old boat! Rockon.gif The depth on the Lowrance is super super accurate and works at slalom speed. With the eastern lakes or rivers a depth finder is a must IMHO.

Now I have to do it all again on the Sunsetter. :Doh:

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  • 1 year later...

So, not to bring to life an old topic but my depth gauge on my 2006 Response LXi reads correctly half the time and the other half it just sits at 400'. I have no issues with water temp. The only way I can get it to go back to working again is if I shut off the engine and restart it. I don't want to go through buying both pieces as that will get expensive. Is it difficult to track down the wiring and separate it from everything else to see if that might be the problem?

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  • 4 years later...

Talk about not wanting to bring life to a really old threat, but I am having the same problem with the '08 Response LXi we just bought.  When we took it out yesterday, the depth gauge kept reading 0.3 and the alarm kept sounding.  It freaked my son who is 13.  He was like, "dad is everything okay with the boat? what is that beeping?"   The water and air temp was spot on, but the depth gauge never moved from 0.3.  I wish there was a way to shut off the alarm as it doesn't sound like a fix for this is really easy or cheap. 

Now I'm wondering about the purchase of this boat...:mad:

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14 minutes ago, dragon174 said:

Talk about not wanting to bring life to a really old threat, but I am having the same problem with the '08 Response LXi we just bought.  When we took it out yesterday, the depth gauge kept reading 0.3 and the alarm kept sounding.  It freaked my son who is 13.  He was like, "dad is everything okay with the boat? what is that beeping?"   The water and air temp was spot on, but the depth gauge never moved from 0.3.  I wish there was a way to shut off the alarm as it doesn't sound like a fix for this is really easy or cheap. 

Now I'm wondering about the purchase of this boat...:mad:

I had a similar issue after buying my 08 LSV and it was a quick and fairly inexpensive fix for the dealer to change out the sensor puck by the engine. No problems since.

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Page 2-8 of the 2008 manual describes how to set the depth alarm.  Ours depth sensor works great but I have the alarm shut off as it always goes off just as I am lining up on the lift or trailer, freaking me out.

Long story short select the depth screen on the "Malibu Graphical In Dash Display" - press the E (enter) button.  Once the display is flashing use the up down arrow to adjust the depth of the alarm trip point.  Set it to zero, press enter and no more troublesome alarm.

I would fix the transducer.  I don't think I would survive with out a depth sensor.

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