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  1. #1
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    DIY - ride plate with integrated transducer

    DIY - ride plate with integrated transducer

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Name:	rp_id01_zpsyknopg85.JPG 
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ID:	419798
    ( finished integrated transducer ride-plate )

    Ok, so I'm using an old '05 FX HO to augment my offshore fishing. I'd like to use the same Garmin EchoMap 44dv which is usually attached to my in-shore fishing Yak. So mounting another 44dv cradle/holder & routing wiring power was fairly trivial. However, I quickly arrive at the cross-roads : where to mount the new transducer?? Skis offer such limited space/options. I know what I did NOT want . . . a transom mount. I hate the idea of something protruding off the rear, that could break, and I surely don't want yet another obstacle to get my fishing lines caught on. It's worth mentioning that my 44dv does not support side-scan, just down-scan, so shoot thru-hull you say, yeah that's what I'm thinking too, but not being familiar with FX HO hull construction (worried about double-hull layers), I don't see an ideal location. So this got me thinking about the ride-plate. Man, I would love to shoot-thru that ride-plate! But it's solid aluminum – aaargggg!

    If we go a few years newer than this HO of mine, seems the SHO models have direct-swap ride-plate, plus it's considered a decent 'upgrade'. So I used this opportunity to “experiment” with a used SHO plate I found on fleabay. While a transducer can't shoot-thru metal, it has no problems with plastic/glass. The so-called 'plan' is to integrate a plastic “window” into this SHO ride-plate, then mount the transducer behind this window.

    So like surgeon markering-up a patient, I trace-out the general shape of the 44dv transducer on the SHO plate.

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Name:	rp_id02_zps1xvhs2fq.JPG 
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ID:	419799
    ( transducer outline )

    Now time to butcher the plate ! There's no turning back now . . .
    I not only put a hole in the plate, I also made sure to bevel the leading edges on both top & bottom profiles in order to allow resin (next step) to form a 'lock' on the plate.

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Name:	rp_id03_zpsgnlhadee.JPG 
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ID:	419800
    (hole cut in plate )

    Now time for the first application of resin. But first, I needed to insure I don't alter the shape of the plate. A strategy I came up with was to clamp an actual piece of glass to the flat surface of this ride-plate. I waxed & mold-released this glass of-course. For the resin, I used Total-Boat epoxy. There's is zero shrinkage, unlike typical fiberglass polyester resins (don't use polyester). I poured a shallow layer of resin to re-build the aluminum “hole” I had put into the plate. Sprinkled some glass-strains for extra strength.

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Name:	rp_id04_zpssmuya2w1.JPG 
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ID:	419801
    (resin fill window)

    I let this cure over-night, then popped the glass support off. What I was left with, was a perfect 'repair' filling of the aluminum I had taken away. The difference now, is that this section of my plate in now plastic !!

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Name:	rp_id06_zps9qjdkxof.JPG 
Views:	72 
Size:	55.0 KB 
ID:	419802
    (peering-down the ride-plate reveals perfectly flat profile)

    Alright, now that I have a ride-plate with a plastic window, it's time to mount the transducer. I could, at this point, just glue the unit in-place. However, concerned with strength issues, I decided to build yet another layer of epoxy/glass resin & embed the xducer in this process.

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Name:	rp_id05_zpsykwnbnwd.JPG 
Views:	126 
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ID:	419803
    (embedded xducer & clay reservoir )

    Here, I use modeling clay to create a reservoir, positioning the xducer & pouring the epoxy. Added more glass strains, and allowed this to setup/cure. Once cured, this “patch” containing the xducer seemed really substantial. The ride-plate is probably not as resilient as before, but I'm not yahoo'ing up & down the beach with this craft. That said, I do feel it is plenty strong for open ocean transiting at FX HO speeds.

    Next is field-testing ......
    Last edited by TimeBandit; 08-23-2017 at 07:47 PM. Reason: fixed broken images


  2. #2
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Field-Testing

    I honestly did not know if it would actually work. It was literally a gamble – an expensive one be-it. I was worried the surrounding aluminum plate might resonate, absorb the energy ….. or some other scientific phenomenon. But low-and-behold - IT WORKS !


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Name:	rp_id07_zpsxgxjglx4.JPG 
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ID:	419805
    (EchoMap44dv – indicating 18.6ft depth)

    I also tried-out the down-scan and fish-finder modes without issues. In-fact, I'd say it's working better than expected. It also appears to retain dept while cruising too. But anything over 35mph in choppy waters, and it may loose soundings.

    Side Scan transducers seems to be all the rage these days. I guess if I had a SS xducer, I'd just stick with mounting it to my trolling motor. So until I get around to upgrading to one of them, this "integrated" solution will do fine for me right now.

    I can't say this is an easy mod. So, if my little experiment here lends to any ideas, let me say measure 5-times, and creating a wooden model of the sounder might not be a waste of time either. It's a very tight fit in the jetpump area !

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Name:	rp_id09_zps1bxlibig.JPG 
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ID:	419806
    ( tight-fit up next to nozzle. Extra length on the SHO plate offer the room needed for this large xducer)
    Last edited by TimeBandit; 08-23-2017 at 07:53 PM. Reason: fixed broken images

  3. #3
    fx160's Avatar
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    Great work
    Always good to see someone trying something different

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  5. #4
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Okay, so I know pretty much of nothing. So I'm looking for help/information although it may sound like I'm criticizing. I don't mean to criticize at all!!!

    When I was looking at going with an in-hull transducer, it seemed like the consensus was that the transducer worked best when mounted to the hull just beside the front edge of the ride plate. That way you avoid the turbulence and get good depth readings while cruising at speed.

    That brings me to my question: Is there room/space to mount it to the leading edge of the ride plate? It might avoid some of the turbulence.

  6. #5
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    FWIW, I didn’t see anything critical at all. I think experimentation is likely the best. Your point is yet another reason why a chose the location I did, as I figure that section of the plate is always in-contact with the water column. Hoping that any hull cavitation would have been sucked-up by the pump intake, leaving clean smooth water for that section of the plate.

    As far as the leading-edge space/location - I'd say likely not on my FX HO, way too tight (not sure if this reigns true for Sea Doo's and Kawi's). That said, there's plenty of room off to the sides (the rise portions of the plate). Initially, I thought about making the 'window' there. Yet behind the window, keeping the xducer perpendicular to the seafloor. Technically, this 'should' equally work, as this would be similar to the in-hull mounting spot you mentioned (being that it shoots through the rise portion of the hull). I guess as long as the xducer is facing downward - the rise of the hull won’t matter as much. But I think it does to a degree - thus I chose the flat section of the plate.

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  8. #6
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeBandit View Post
    FWIW, I didn’t see anything critical at all. I think experimentation is likely the best. Your point is yet another reason why a chose the location I did, as I figure that section of the plate is always in-contact with the water column. Hoping that any hull cavitation would have been sucked-up by the pump intake, leaving clean smooth water for that section of the plate.

    As far as the leading-edge space/location - I'd say likely not on my FX HO, way too tight (not sure if this reigns true for Sea Doo's and Kawi's). That said, there's plenty of room off to the sides (the rise portions of the plate). Initially, I thought about making the 'window' there. Yet behind the window, keeping the xducer perpendicular to the seafloor. Technically, this 'should' equally work, as this would be similar to the in-hull mounting spot you mentioned (being that it shoots through the rise portion of the hull). I guess as long as the xducer is facing downward - the rise of the hull won’t matter as much. But I think it does to a degree - thus I chose the flat section of the plate.
    Thanks! Exactly the information I was looking for.

  9. #7
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Update:
    Thread fixed - Images are back !! ( thanks K447 )

    Looks like a little past 10 months now . . . BTW, I'm still using this setup without issues.

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