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  1. #1

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    Depth Sounder Install Virage TXi

    I decided to purchase and install a depth sounder on my Virage TXi instead of trying to convert to the factory setup.

    I purchased a Faria Beede 2" Depth Sounder with Air and Water Temperature Sensors which comes with the Transom Mounted Transducer in Chesapeake White and a stainless trim ring.

    https://fariabeede.com/2-pages/prod_...ge=2_depthsndr

    I also purchased a P79 In Hull Transducer since I didn't want the transom mounted. It was cheaper to buy the kit and a seperate P79 than it was to buy the individual pieces.

    Now the instructions for the P79 indicate that the TOP of the transducer must be level installed. I did not have a incline meter, but through messing around with the transducer and it's multiple angle mount rings, I couldn't get it level in the mounting location no matter what I did. So I created a wedge. The following is how I did it. YMMV

    First I prepared the area:



    Then I created a 10 degree wedge. I used a piece of 3" PVS pipe and a coupler. I cemented the pipe inside the coupler then using a sliding miter saw cut a square end and then set the saw to 10 degrees and cut the wedge off. I used 220 grit so sand flat.






    Then I mounted the wedge thick side towards the keel. I used DP100 because I didn't want to have to let it setup over night. Airmar (who makes the sensor) says not to use epoxy or even Fast Cure 4200. This has to be a waterproof seal. They recommend GE Silicone/GE Silicone 2. The DP100 is slightly flexible and if I have issues I will probably go back and reattach with G/FLex 650.

    After the ring set up, I positioned the base and found level WITH the transducer on top BEFORE I permanently attached the base. Please ensure your ski is level left to right and front to rear as much as possible. Left to right is more important that front to rear.



    Once your all set record the angle and mount the bottom ring.



    In my application I used 18 degrees on the bottom hull ring, and the top ring I was at 10 degrees to maintain level. I called Airmar and they said that contrary to the directions, most boat installs end up using different angles. It is only important to have level side to side so you get the depth under you and not to the left or right of you.



    I found a mounting cup to mount the gauge in by the right side mirror. I tapped into the orange and black wires (switched bilge/electric reverse and ground) on the main harness about two inches from the LR503 Start Stop Module. I removed a small section of insulation and wrapped the new wire around it and soldered it up. I removed the pin from the metri-pack connector and slid some adhesive lined heat shrink to the connection. I used 18 ga TXL wire. The two wires were encased in TechFlex F6 braided covering for abrasion resistance. All wires were run through the factory grommet that the MFI lines run through.

    The gauge itself uses something closer to 22/24 gauge so I think the amp draw will be minimal and have no impact on the LR503 module. The gauge is only powered on when the bilge is on because the ski is running or by pressing the bilge pump switch.

    I mounted the air temp sensor under the top cowl. The water temp sensor was mounted externally to the transom just to the right of the right side drain plug. A 3/16 hole was drilled straight up. This location was chosen because you have good access from inside the hull. The sensor was attached with SS screws. I used Fast Cure 4200 to seal from both the outside and inside where the wire passes through the hull. This is below the water line, so I wanted to be able to monitor it and see if it leaks.

    More Pics coming!
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    Last edited by bfarnam; 08-29-2020 at 09:44 AM.


  2. #2

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    Depth Sounder Install Part 2

    Here are pics of the water temp sensor mounting.





    I used a cheapo Amazon 2" gauge pod.



    I mounted the pod to the side of the top cowl where I could see it while running the ski. The wires were bundled and ran out through the steering opening. I didn't want to drill a large hole and place a grommet in there until I was fairly certain I wanted it to remain there.





    All connections from the gauge to the various wires were done using Molex PermaSeal crimp connectors. I will probably change this to direct solder and adhesive lined heat shrink. I didn't have anyone helping me to hold the gauge, so I was being lazy . . . LOL I think the project took something like 4 hours to complete including changing the spark plugs.
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  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfarnam View Post
    Here are pics of the water temp sensor mounting.


    ...
    Hmmm, I would not have made a hole below or near the waterline for the temp sensor.

  4. #4

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    I know a lot of people are scared of that. But the exhaust is at the same level.

    As my friend says . . . always say three "Hail Mary's" before you drill through the hull . . . LOL

    The wire is actually a very tight fit in the hole. The worst would be a slow weep that the 500 gph bilge pump should handle. And I sealed both top and bottom. If the FC4200 does not handle it, a little G/Flex on the top side will . . LOL

    And if you think about it, most I/O combos have a very large hole below the water line where the driveshaft passes through to the gimbal. The only thing stopping your boat from sinking is the belows. I have no problems with making holes as long as 1. they are sealed, and 2. your bilge can keep up if the seal gives.

    On a technical side note, a 3/16 hole (as if no wire) under 60 PSI will flow 4.9 gpm . . or 294 gph. At 100 psi, flow is 6.4 gpm or 384 gph. Considering the hole is mostly plugged by the wire, I think I am ok even if I have a bilge pump failure.

  5. #5
    MSX 150 guy lives on Mr. GP1800's Avatar
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    You didn’t need to make that wedge. I have installed several of those transducers. All you had to do was set the angle on the mount base

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfarnam View Post
    ... the exhaust is at the same level.

    ...
    I get what you are saying about leak risk and flow rates.

    The factory exhaust opening inside the pump tunnel is somewhat higher than your new hole. Why so many PWC designs have the exhaust exit below the waterline escapes me. Seadoo for years had the exit and one of the plastic resonators below the water line. They were infamous for sinking if the exhaust overheated and melted the resonator.

    With my own watercraft the primary hull flooding concern was not while riding but sitting at anchor or moored dockside, especially overnight.

    Bilge pump failure was more likely to be battery exhaustion, with the auto water sensing running the bilge pump as needed, until the battery runs flat. With that said, I would rather have a flat battery in the morning and some water inside than a still charged battery and an engine full of water.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. GP1800 View Post
    You didn’t need to make that wedge. I have installed several of those transducers. All you had to do was set the angle on the mount base
    Thats what I thought but I never seemed to be able to get it level in both directions...

    I should've just bought an incline meter and measured it TBH... lol. If it pops off I will do that cause the wedge just complicates it IMO.

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