Tip #18 Don't Get Your Signals Crossed!
It's fishing season again in Alaska which means thousands of anglers will soon be hauling their boats to their favorite lake, river or saltwater fishery. And many of them will encounter a variety of problems that range from rusty contacts on wiring to a gas tank full of condensate from wintertime weather.
But a common problem frequently encountered which many boaters aren't aware of is the effects of dirty film and oil on the surface of a fish finder transducer. The sensitive nature of this delicate instrument is obvious when a boater notices the quality of the signal on the display is erratic or nonexistent when air bubbles in the water interfere with signal reception.
The slightest oily film on the surface of the transducer unit will also affect the quality of the signal display on your unit. Things are happening literally at the molecular level where sound waves are reflected rather than penentrate through the oil to the receiving crystal.
All those boaters who launch in protected saltwater harbors (Seward is the worst I've encountered) have probably noticed the significant amount of oily contamination on the water which is produced by two-cycle outboards. As you back your boat down the ramp, your fish finder transducer frequently becomes coated with that oil residue as it enters the water. And the poor fish finder signal you may end up with is due to this contamination.
I've found the easiest method of prevention is to rub a drop or two of liquid dish soap on the face of the transducer before launching. This prevents oil from adhering to the unit as you launch and washes off quickly once you are under way.
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