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cliffy

Vexilar blues, please help.

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On December 25th, I received a new Vexilar FL-18 propack from my girlfriend. I have used it several times but noticed a problem with it yesterday while fishing alone on Lake Lida in Ottertail County. I was fishing in 22 feet of water and had the unit in the normal power auto zoom mode. I noticed lights all over the screen making it impossible to see my lure or anything else….and trust me; there were no fish to be seen. I tried all the IR/gain settings and it did not improve. I also checked the depth of the transducer and everything checked out normal. I did notice that if I shut it off and waited a few minutes, it would work properly for a while and then it started showing lights everywhere again. I then went outside my shelter and noticed the nearest neighbors were about 500 yards away, so I do not think I was getting any interference from them. (Also, I had no other electronic devices operating in my shelter) I have never dropped or damaged the unit/transducer; I treat it like a baby! Has anyone else ever had this problem? Any suggestion would be appreciated. Cliffy

PS: this problem would occur in both the LP and Normal settings..........

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It doesn't sound good,..it should still be under a return policy from the store, I know Gander has 30 days. I would return it and get a new one. If that isn't an option I would call Vexilar, it has a 2 year warranty from them.

Good Luck

P.S. Mine sometimes gets really loud,...sounds like something is grinding or something. Happens just outta no where, does this happen to anyone else?

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Thanks Grabs.

I have not had the grinding noise problem. I planned on sending mine back to the factory but I wanted to see if others have had the same problem. I thought maybe this was a common thing with this particular unit........

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I have a Zercom that does the same thing when the battery get low. I would make sure the battery was not low. Hope this helps.

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I didn't care for that loud noise and the target seperation much for the day I had mine so I brought it back the next day and got a LX-3, I love it.

By the way, hows the fishen been on Lida anyway?

thanks

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grabs, mine makes that loud noise sometimes too. And my battery is fully charged, so that's not the problem like someone suggested.
cliffy, was this happening at night? Because I am told that this happens sometimes when some sort of plankton comes out? Is this true? Has happened to me before after dark on some lakes.

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Charge your battery and see what happens. I had the same problem one day when I thought I charged it up the day before.
The screen was either solid green or solid orange. I brought it in the house and dried it all up, charged the battery and tested the transducer on the wood floor.

Make sure the charger is working. I've had faulty chargers. Now I use a 1 amp motorcycle battery charger on the dry cell and has been great for years.

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My FL-8 makes the grinding noise some times... but it's more of a metal on metal sound... I've only noticing it happen when the unit is cold... and I attribute it to a cold bearing....

marine_man

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Grabs, I just dropped one of my Vex's off at Vexilar today for that grinding sound. It's louder when it's cold and if I tap the unit it goes away for awhile. The Vexilar technician said it's the motor brushes going out.

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Dave, thanks for the response...I will just take mine back to Gander as it is still under store return policy until the 28th or. I didn't think it sounded right.

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Thank you all for your answers to my dilemma.

I had charged the battery the night before and I did follow the proper charging instructions, utilizing the charger that came with the unit. The charge indicator states it is at 100%. I was also fishing during the daylight hours and the water appeared very clear. I could see my lure as it dropped to about 14 feet on its way to 22.

CD, what test are you talking about? (Wood floor test?).

I have been doing a lot of fishing on North Lida, near Kansas Point. Some days it is good and other (yesterday) it is not so good. The bite for eyes seems to happen around 4pm until 630pm. I have had no luck finding a good morning bite time. Has anyone been fishing near Clay Point?

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Cliffy, Get the FL18 back where it was bought for a warranty replacement and then take care of your more urgent problem. You have a girlfriend who bought you an FL18 as a gift? That means she's generous, caring and understands what's important in life. MARRY HER NOW. Girls like that are too rare to ever let one go.

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To all FL-18 Owners,

This is straight from the vexilar HSOforum.
http://www.vexilar.com/help/update/update010.txt

There is a software update available for the FL-18 color flasher. This update is free of charge. It will help the unit maintain a solid lock on the bottom when using the Auto Zoom feature in certain ice fishing
conditions. The update applies only to FL-18 units with a serial number of 192500 or less. The serial number can be found on the back of the unit under the power and transducer connections. Some units have already been updated. If the back of the unit is marked "Version 2" or "V2" it
already contains the update.

The only problem is you have to send it back to vexilar for a couple days so they can update it. I'll be sending mine in Spring.
Good luck to all.

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Cliffy-
I did this after my unit went capooey one day. It's on the Vexilar HSOforum. Here goes:

"Set your Pro Pack, or whatever ice kit you have, onto a kitchen counter
top or workbench in the garage. There must be a flat solid floor below,
no carpet. Place a hard cover book on the carpet if you need to. Hang
the Ice-Ducer over the edge so that the bottom is about 24" from the
floor. Make sure that it is hanging by itself in mid-air and not resting
against anything. This is to insure that the transducer will hang
straight. If you have a Puck transducer mounted on an arm, level it off
so it is pointing straight at the floor. Now, turn the flasher on to the
first range. With the Gain set to zero, you should see a mark at the
12:00 position indicating the top, or your transducer, and another mark
at the 9 foot line indicating the bottom, or floor.

Notice how the depth is completely inaccurate. The reason is that the
speed of the burst of sound coming out of your transducer is traveling
much slower in the air than it would be in the water. So the unit thinks
it's deeper. Also the strength of your system is much weaker in air than
water. The top line should be mostly red in color. The bottom line may
be green, orange, or red (depending on the strength of your system, how
straight your transducer is, and the type of floor). If you cannot see
the floor mark without having to turn your gain up, try a harder or
smoother type of floor. If there is no change, the system has a
sensitivity problem. You must see at least a green mark, on a hard
floor, with the gain at minimum to pass the test.

You can judge the overall sensitivity of the system by doing this "air
demo" test, but you can't tell if a weakness is due to the unit or
transducer (which is much more common) without replacing one or the
other with a known good component. Borrow a friend's transducer or bring
your setup into your local Vexilar dealer and ask if you can use one
they have in stock for your test.

If your transducer doesn't pass the test, it will have to be replaced.
Weak transducers cannot be repaired. I'm sure the dealer will be happy
to help you out. If the flasher itself proves to be the culprit, it may
be your opportunity to justify that shiny new FL-18 you've been waiting
for. If that's not in your budget, our service department should be able
to save the day."


About those grinding noises. My Hondex has grinded once in awhile for it's entire life of 13+ years. It only does it when the unit is REALLY cold and after a minute or so the sound goes away. If it continues, something is obviously wrong!

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try cleaning off the face of the transducer,my fl-18 does this quite often when I first put in the water.I just give it a quick brush on my pants and return it to the water problem solved

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Cliffy, if she hogs the Vex, she's a KEEPER. grin.gif Guess that means you get her one of her own next Xmas. Gotta love that IR.

Don't mean to be simple, but did your ducer have ice/slush/snow built up on the bottom/sides? If it ain't clean, it ain't reading good. Or is it all scratched up or scarred? Not that you necessarily would have handled it rough, but wierd things happen, and ducer skimmed over with snow/slush/icie or all scratched up won't read well.

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Icehousebob:

its funny what your wrote. I got a fl-18 propack and she got the engagement ring. Oct 10th is the date..I agree with you, she is one in a million. The only problem is, she hogs the vexilar when we go fishing......

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