Aardvarking

DIY Transducer Arm Mount

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I recently decided to invest in a new fishfinder for my Hobie Sport, as well as installing a couple extra rod holders and an anchor trolley. So now it is well and truly good to go for any estuary and bay fishing I may throw at it. I went with the Garmin Striker Plus 5cv, which seemed to have all the features I need for a very reasonable price.

The one thing I wasn't sure about was how I was going to mount the transducer. I know that most people install it in hull, which I'm sure works fine, but from what I've seen has roughly a 20% loss in accuracy than it would be in water. Another issue I had with the in hull is that I carry my kayak on the car upside down, meaning it will be easy for it to fall off when I go over any bumps, so I want it to be really easy to uninstall and reinstall the transducer when I get to the water. I was considering one of the Railblaza arm mounts, but to me $60 is a lot to spend on something which just submerges a piece of plastic, so I elected to build my own. I haven't given it a test in the water yet (I will do an update when I have) but so far it looks pretty slick. I'm sure others have thought of doing this same thing before, but I was just really happy with how mine turned out and wanted to share it.

I went to bunnings and bought a 1m length of 15mm pvc piping, two 20mm pvc elbows and two 20mm pvc tee joins, totalling at $9. The first thing I did was cut a length of pipe long enough to sit snuggly in the cavity on the right side of me. I wrapped a piece of double sided velcro to it and filed out a grove for the velcro tape to sit in to avoid slippage. I then put some velcro tape into the cavity for the double sided velcro to attach to, and it holds it very firmly. Don't mind the wires, I took the photos after everything was finished.

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Next I cut some small sections of pvc piping just to attach the various elbow and tee junctions pictured. I elected to use a tee junction at the top instead of an elbow, just in case I ever want to install anything extra onto the top of it.

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After that I cut a length of pvc piping which attaches to an elbow joint that sits right at the bottom of the kayak. Luckily for me the edges aren't the bottom most point of the hull, so I was able to line it up perfectly without worrying about the transducer hitting the bottom, as the middle of the hull will hit before the transducer. I used some velcro on this section too, same deal as the velcro before.

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Next I cut a piece of pipe long enough for the transducer to attach to. I attached the trolling motor mount to the transducer, and then drilled a total six holes in the pvc pipe, two above each grove in the trolling motor mount so I could attach the transducer to the pipe firmly with 3 zip ties.

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After that was all set I ran the transducer wire through the pvc contraption I had built. My wire was very long, so I looped it around one of my lengths of pipes a series of times to shorten it, as shown in my first attachment. The beauty of this mount is that it is incredibly easy to remove and reinstall. Just rip it off the velcro, and stick it back on after with no worries. This is how it looks in action, pretty good for under ten dollars (in my humble opinion at least...).

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The only thing I would like to do is find a non-drying adhesive putty that I can use to hold the mount more securely, without making it a permanent attachment. I have heard that duct seal is great for that sort of thing, but I can't seem to find it for sale anywhere in Australia. I could always use bluetac, but I don't think it's strong enough for what I need. Does anyone have any suggestions for a heavier duty sort of bluetac that is easy to find down under?

 

Edited by Aardvarking

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nice homemade setup you have got there mate

good to see you have got a sounder now too

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Nice one! Thanks for photos. How did you plan  a battery setup for sounder? 

 

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23 minutes ago, savit said:

Nice one! Thanks for photos. How did you plan  a battery setup for sounder? 

 

I got a 12v 7.2Ah SLA battery. Stuck it in the hull through the front hatch in a waterproof bag with velcro. Drilled an 8mm hole just behind the fishfinder for the cable, and got a pack of rubber grommets designed for an 8mm hole and 6mm cable, which were perfect.

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Nice setup.

Im thinking that you could slide your bracket towards the stern of the yak and use the existing paddle bungee to secure it. Or just tether it to the paddle leash.

Have you used the garmin yet? What are your impressions of it?  Its exactly the same one im after for my outback so Im curious as to what you think of it.

Cheers

Evets

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8 minutes ago, Evets said:

Nice setup.

Im thinking that you could slide your bracket towards the stern of the yak and use the existing paddle bungee to secure it. Or just tether it to the paddle leash.

Have you used the garmin yet? What are your impressions of it?  Its exactly the same one im after for my outback so Im curious as to what you think of it.

Cheers

Evets

Unfortunately I only have one groove to put the bracket in in the Mirage Sport, so I can't slide it back. I used some big globs of blue tac wedged behind it at various points, seems to be doing the job quite well.

I haven't had a chance to give it a test in the water, but from the 11th to the 15th we have rented a cabin right on wagonga inlet in Narooma where I will be doing a ton of fishing, so I will be able to let you know how it goes. So far from the simulation it seems great, the resolution is amazing. I am thinking I'll usually run the triple split screen, with the downvu, traditional sonar and contour maps all on one screen. In that mode the displays are a little bit small, but I have mounted the screen quite close to me and I have good eyesight, so it's not a big problem. If you are only using 1 or 2 modes at a time there would no problems with size, especially in a kayak.

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Thanks.  How many hours on the water do you expect from that battery for 5 inch sounder, and what battery charger did you choose?

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45 minutes ago, savit said:

Thanks.  How many hours on the water do you expect from that battery for 5 inch sounder, and what battery charger did you choose?

The striker plus 5 has 0.4A power draw, the battery has 7.2Ah, which means to drain the battery fully I would get about 18 hours. The thing is, with an SLA battery you never want to discharge it to far, i.e. less than around 50%, so functionally it will have about 9 hours of use.

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I just had a chance to test the fishfinder for the first time. I am pleased, but have a couple of issues. The thing I really like is that the screen resolution is great, very easy to read the finder. The traditional sonar mode is fantastic. It was the mode I was using most of the time, and it definitely helped me find spots to fish.

The quickdraw contours in good, but my one problem is that it's a bit hard to read, especially when in split screen or when you don't have a complete map. Once you have mapped a whole area it becomes a lot more helpful, but until basically the whole screen is filled with contours it's a bit superfluous. It is able to map in the background, so I got it to start mapping right from the start of the session and switched to the traditional sonar while the quickdraw did it's thing. Maybe when I start having regular spots I fish it will be more useful. I did really like being able to add waypoints and customise them, my favourite part of the quickdraw maps.

The thing I wasn't all that impressed with was the clearvü. To me it just looked like traditional sonar but with far less detail. I know it's meant to be better for shallow water, but I was fishing in around 10m, which seems far too shallow for it to bottom out. Maybe there just wasn't a lot of structure in the place I was fishing, I'll keep trying it in other spots to see how it goes. Does anyone have any tips for getting more from the clearvü?

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