Lowrance Elite 4 problems....

Discuss anything electronic or electrical, lights, sounders, GPS etc..
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Spikey Dog
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:39 pm
Kayak Make: Prowler
Kayak Model: 4.3
Location: Taranaki

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:09 pm

Hi Guys, I installed a Lowrance Elite 4 combo unit over winter to be primed and ready for the summer season. The install went well, as did the first trip out with the new unit, a first trip for me with chart plotting function and Navionics charts and a massive upgrade on the basic sounder I had been using. The unit got its second trip out on Saturday which wasn't so great, charts didn't load and then battery went flat (caught a few snaps though!). I was curious when I got home as to why the maps hadn't loaded, so got a fresh battery out and powered up the unit - still no charts. Opened up the card reader and it's full of corrosion, moisture has got in through the 'waterproof' rubber cap, which I had taped up as well for extra protection. Instantly regretted not getting a cover for it. I guess just a word of warning for other users of these units and if anyone has any suggestions to get it running again please let me know. Pretty pi**ed off given the unit had only been out once. Wondering if it would be worth a warranty claim?
Last edited by Spikey Dog on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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blair
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Kayak Model: Profish 400
Location: north shore

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:49 pm

Thanks for update i got the same unit. Just pulled tape off to check and it's still perfect. A good warning to keep an eye on it

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itsallablur
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Location: Taranaki

Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:41 am

Have heard of this happening. Tape mine while fishing then take out card when home leave door open and put in snap lock container with little dehumidifier.

Depends where you bought it they may cover it. Worth a shot.
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Hainesy
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Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:14 am

Yeap definitely !!...They're supposed to be waterproof !!... I tape the door shut as well, and also keep it in a dry box (along with my vhf and camera) with a dehumidifer when not in use
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

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Limitless
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Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:06 am

I recommend storing sounders with the card reader door open so any moisture around the seal has a chance to evaporate before it can cause issues. This means taping the door if there's a risk of knocking it open, but then removing the tape and opening the door after cleaning at the end of the day and letting the area properly dry.

For at least 10 years I've been promoting the use of a dry box, e.g.:
Sistema container - http://sistemaplastics.com/products/kli ... ectangular" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mini-dehumidifier - http://www.mitre10.co.nz/shop/heating_c ... te_224303/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Total cost something like $55 (cheaper if you chase the specials)

Into this goes my camera, handheld VHF, and sounder. To my mind $55 is an insignificant cost, and I struggle with why so few paddlers do this. Murphy will probably get me for writing this, but since using this system I have not had a single fogged or drowned sounder, and I probably put them through more than most.

Re how the water gets past the seal: I've now come to the conclusion that it might be pressure and temperature related. These instruments get quite warm in use meaning the air in the card reader module warms and expands, pressurising the card reader module. Later, when the instrument cools and the air inside shrinks it creates a suction. This in turn could draw small amounts of water sitting around the seal in through any disruption (this might simply be a piece of lint that went unnoticed when the door was closed). If water is getting inside the effect is cumulative unless the area is properly maintained. When/if the instrument finally fails the amount of water gives the appearance of a seal failure - IMHO more often than not a "problem" that could have been simply and easily avoided with a little basic maintenance.
ZMS8574 LIMA INDIA MIKE INDIA TANGO LIMA ECHO SIERRA SIERRA - practised your phonetic alphabet yet?
The current fleet: Profish Reload, Profish GT, Profish 400 Lite
The historic fleet: too many to mention... the adventures since 1974 have seen lots of kayak carnage
Find me at Viking Kayaks in Matamata... you gotta love our sport!

MadMike
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Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:32 am

That theory of shrinkage is good but also bad... That would mean in a wetting situation (read dunking/ turtle) that the unit would be acting like a set of wheel bearings were they get hot on a long trip and then when a trailer is backed into the water the retraction rate is so fast it sucks water in past the seals and there ca put? Obviously this is an overly extreme version of the scenario but if it can suck the water in slowly through normal expand and contract scenarios in a fast cooling it would be far worse?
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Limitless
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Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:09 am

Yep, you're on to it Mike :y: . That's the reason I've always closely inspected my sounders after a dunking or any heavy weather sessions sessions like the big seas we had wide of Cape Egmont during this years Classic.

In a nut shell here's my routine maintenance:
I give the unit a sponge bath, then let it sit for 5 minutes so salt can redissolve. I then give it another sponge bath before gently drying with an absorbent towel. Once satisfied it's dry (I may leave it for up to a couple of hours in the hot water cupboard) I open the card door and carefully dry clean and dry the area with the corner of a soft handkerchief or a couple of the lint-free cleaning patches I use for my rifles. Once dry I very lightly grease the seal with o'ring grease (just the thinnest smear) then the unit goes into the dry box with the door open till the next trip.
ZMS8574 LIMA INDIA MIKE INDIA TANGO LIMA ECHO SIERRA SIERRA - practised your phonetic alphabet yet?
The current fleet: Profish Reload, Profish GT, Profish 400 Lite
The historic fleet: too many to mention... the adventures since 1974 have seen lots of kayak carnage
Find me at Viking Kayaks in Matamata... you gotta love our sport!

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Spikey Dog
Posts: 66
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Kayak Make: Prowler
Kayak Model: 4.3
Location: Taranaki

Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:25 am

Thanks guys, some great advice there, wish I had looked into the preventive maintenance side of things BEFORE I hit the water with the new unit. Hopefully though this might help avoid others having the same problem..

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Kerry
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Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:36 pm

I used to have to wash my sounder down after every use, however since getting one of Rob Forts sounder covers my sounder has stayed dry and Salt free despite some pretty bad conditions, and taking waves over the deck, it's great and well worth the money...
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Spikey Dog
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Location: Taranaki

Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:43 pm

I'm not the first one to have this problem anyway. Found this on the aussie kayak fishing forum:

"Whack a bit of electrical tape over the micro SD card slot once the chart is in place.
The seal on the cover door is not 100% water tight, i found my card corroded into the slot after two trips and the card and the port of it are both rooted now. Sounder works fine still just the marine chart isn't there anymore, GPS still works without the chart."

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Spikey Dog
Posts: 66
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Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:26 pm

Just a quick update, contacted Smart Marine who I purchased the unit off. We discussed the problem and they asked me to send it up to them and they would sort it out. Arrived home today to find a brand new replacement unit and SD card waiting for me! Stoked its now sorted and can't recommend Smart Marine enough for their service...

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Hainesy
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Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:47 pm

Great stuff !!..Ive always found their service to be brilliant !
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

Viking ReLoad
Ocean Kayak Trident 4.3
Phoenix Hornet - "Retired"
Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.3 - "Retired"
Viking Profish 440 - "Retired"
Scrambler XT - "Retired"

ZMW 2196

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SnapperStalker
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Location: Half Moon bay

Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:23 pm

hi fellaz I apologise in advance for hijacking this topic but I have an issue with my elite 4x HDI. Every so often when I power up the screen is virtually blank. there is nothing on the screen apart from the depth. etc the screen background remains white but no other image. my quickfix is to reset the unit.. What am I doing wrong?

the 2nd question is what are your favourite settings from startup for less than 15m of water.? do you choose brackish wate,ffresh etc.
SnapperStalker

It's not the size of your rod that counts....
It's how you use it

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RJ
Posts: 783
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Kayak Model: ultra 4.7
Location: Napier

Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:09 pm

SnapperStalker wrote:hi fellaz I apologise in advance for hijacking this topic but I have an issue with my elite 4x HDI. Every so often when I power up the screen is virtually blank. there is nothing on the screen apart from the depth. etc the screen background remains white but no other image. my quickfix is to reset the unit.. What am I doing wrong?

the 2nd question is what are your favourite settings from startup for less than 15m of water.? do you choose brackish wate,ffresh etc.
My screen has done the same thing a couple of times as well and like you the only way I could fix it was to reset the unit

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SnapperStalker
Posts: 253
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Location: Half Moon bay

Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:50 pm

I'm glad it's not only me that's experiencing this issue. I'm pretty sure it's some sort of bug with this model. It's one of the few times that I have been stumped byelectronics.

With regards to the settings I have been told by some to use the default settings. I have researched this on the net and according to the US users the units default settings are meant for lakes and not salt water. I wonder whether this is true for the nz market too?
Last edited by SnapperStalker on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
SnapperStalker

It's not the size of your rod that counts....
It's how you use it

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Limitless
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Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:07 am

SnapperStalker wrote:... I have researched this on the net and according to the US users the units default settings are meant for lakes and not salt water. I wonder whether this is true for the nz market too?
With the latest software versions on international units (I can't comment on the US units, their software may be different), during initialization and/or by selecting from the advanced setup settings you can choose instrument use:

With the instrument in advanced mode (selectable from the "System" menu):
- press the menu button twice and select the "Sonar" option
- scroll down and select "Fishing Mode"
- options are "General Use", "Shallow Water", "Fresh Water", "Deep Water", "Slow Trolling"

I find for the salt water fishing I do when wanting to leave the instrument on automatic mode (so I don't have to fiddle with sensitivity settings etc.) that the "Deep Water" option works well.
ZMS8574 LIMA INDIA MIKE INDIA TANGO LIMA ECHO SIERRA SIERRA - practised your phonetic alphabet yet?
The current fleet: Profish Reload, Profish GT, Profish 400 Lite
The historic fleet: too many to mention... the adventures since 1974 have seen lots of kayak carnage
Find me at Viking Kayaks in Matamata... you gotta love our sport!

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