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FL-18 problems?

103 posts in this topic

I just bought the FL-18 and found some ice tonight to try it out. I was very excited to give it a whirl beings I have have the old fl-8 for over 8 years. Well I think that I got a lemon. It works great but the only problem that I am having is that the AZ mode doesn't seem to be working right? It would be working great and than out of the blue it would decide to move the bottom to the 2 foot mark if you know what I mean by that. I could still see my jig normally but the bottom was at the 2 foot line instead of 0 like it should be. If I turned off the vex. and than turned it back on it would work good again sometimes. What is the deal with this I fished in all diff. depths and had the same thing happen. Any ideas or comments would be appreciated I hope that you understand what I mean. I think that I am going to return it and get a diff. one tomorrow.

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I used mine for the first time today and didn't notice this problem. However, I fished in shallow water and perhaps this was a deep water phenomenon?

Brad

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I try not to buy anything the first or evan second year it is out, especially high tech stuff. Unfortunatly companies are putting products out without enough testing so the first year or two is like they are testing in the field.

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Did you have the unit on AZ or BL? I think on one of these modes if a large fish moves through the cone, bottom will shift. The unit will think its shallower than it really is. Check the owners manual.
ffm

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That makes a lot of sense. You might have been on BL, instead of AZ.

Just E-mail Vexilar: info@vexilar.com. See what they have to say. I've always found them quick to help.

Brad

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I had the same thing happen. It isn't a problem. Just put your sensetivity to zero, make sure your on the normal setting to start with and put your ducer to the same depth as the ice. Then switch to the AZ mode. Finally put your sens. to the desired level and the bottom will read at zero. I can't believe how great the AZ works.
Zimm

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Sounds like too much mumbo jumbo monkey business gobbley gook to me.....I have been using the fl-8 for the last 10 years and will stick with the fl-8slt. I will admit, I am not one to take change very well though.
good fishing.
pcg

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I have been using my FL18 for a couple days now and it is an awesome unit especially if you are fishing the bottom 6 feet. The detail you just have to see to believe. It is almost like using a microscope. They do take a little getting use to but I am sure if you are sharp enough to post on this forum you should be able to figure one out. wink.gif

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Well I am still having some problems with my FL-18. I returned the last one and got another, this one works great but the bottom is still kind of screwed up. When I turn the unit on and put it on AZ it works most of the time but every now and than it will show the bottom at the 1 foot mark or it will be at the 0 and than decide to move to the 1 foot mark after awhile. Well I thought that I had it figured out this morning but it still does it sometimes. When I switch to the AZ I have to make sure that my gain is set at 2 or higher otherwise it shows the bottom at the 1 or 2 foot mark. Once I get on the AZ than I can turn my gain back down to 0 and it seems to work good.

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I used my FL-18 for the first time last weekend and noticed the same thing. On the zoom side, the bottom appeared at the 3' mark, with yellow/red flashes below. That's fine since I was fishing on a silt bottom and there may be 3' of muck there.

But the bottom would shift to the 0' mark for a few seconds, then back to the 3' mark for the majority of time. Could this be because the zoom feature is having problems istinguishing between the the actual bottom, and 3' of silt? Anyone have this problem on a hard bottom.

I didn't have this problem on all areas I was fishing.

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Wall-i,ukalum,
What depth of water were you fishing and what power setting did you have the unit set on? I fish mostly 15 feet of water or less and I have found that my unit works better if I use the normal setting and less gain. In the low power mode you have to use too much gain and I think somehow that affects the way the unit works. I have two FL-18's that I rent out and never have a problem.
smile.gif

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Wall-I,

Maybe you need to get someone with a camera so you can see what your FL-18 is seeing. I seen that same thing but there was a fish down there...Unfortunately he wouldn't bite.
good luck with it.

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MMMM ok well to start off I have had a vex. many many years and am confident that I know how to work it. I bought the new fl-18 and had the bottom problem so I took it back and got a new one. Well this one is OK but it still does it! I have fished anywhere from 10 to 30 feet of water with it and it still does it so it isn't the depth. I have fished over rocks and over mud with same results on both so it isn't that either. I use mine every night and have tested many ideas and have found that if I have the gain set high it won't do it but than my jig and the fish have huge lines which isn't cool. If I can see my pimple with a gain of 0 I will leave it there. When I do the bottom jumps up. I can say that some nights it will work like charm but others it has a mind of its own. Trust me there are no fish down there if you can turn the gain to ten and drop your pimple and pull it 1 foot off the bottom and all is working good until you turn the gain down than the bottom decides to move. This hasn't been happening lately though in the last 5 or so nights that I have been out I have had no problems with it but sometimes it decides to be a pain!

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At the end of last year I bought a Clearwater Classic from a friend for $100 and then for Christmas I got a FL-18 from my girlfriend.(guess I'll have to keep her around) In the four times that I have been out this year I haven't had any problems with either of them. The FL-18 is awesome in the AZ mode. I have picked up fish that are right on the bottom and the Classic doesn't see it until it is off the bottom about 6". I can't imagine anything better for ice fishing. If you are having troubles with yours contact vexilar and I'm sure they will help you out.

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I had a conversation this morning with Vexilar. I too was having problems with the Auto-Zoom feature jumping up on me. They are taking names and phone numbers for those of us with FL-18’s that are having this problem. Once they solve the problem, they will call the owners on what to do. It may involve an upgrade or replacing the unit.

I will say that other than the zoom jumping, I love this unit.

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Hi,
I also have the FL-18 and for the most part have been pretty stisfied but do experiance the same problem you others mention. Do you have the contact info for Vexilar? Who did you speak with? Thanks

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I just called the number at the bottom of the Vexilar HSOforum and asked to speak with someone about a product problem.

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I am new to Vex and I am not sure what you guys are talking about.My unit shows a wide red band when I am in AZ,but I can watch my jig disapear at the leading edge of the band and it will still drop another foot or two.I was fishing some soft bottom with weeds but even when I adjust the gain there is no improvement.Is this what you guys are talking about when you say that the bottom is jumping up?.I have also noticed that green lights will revolve around the unit at times(even when no one else is fishing near me).I can push the gain button all I want and nothing happens,then it just goes away.

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I thought I had this problem when fishing about 13ft of water in LP. When I was in 30ft later I had it on AZ in normal mode and thought it was awesome. 29ft the gain at 2. The bottom would come up to 1 ft off, but that always indicated a fish for me, I'd just jig it up and I was able to pull the fish off the bottom to clarify things. There could be a bug, but I'm not sure. I just set it to normal for a few seconds, lower it even with the bottom of the ice and then turn it to AZ. It seems to work great. Any time the bottom fluctuates it is a fish.

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Fishhead,
That is exactly what we are talking about….Vexilar is working on a solution as we speak…..just call and get on their waiting list.

Seabass

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I just bought one!!!! I'm going to be [PoorWordUsage]ed if this is what I get. Definitely why I went with vex though. Customer service.

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I guess I have had this problem happened to me one time. I guess what this means to me is that I have a zoom window of five feet from the bottom instead of six. I can still see the bottom separation when I bring my bait up and anything above five feet from the bottom can be seen on the other side of the screen. If Vexilar had a five foot zoom window instead of six I would still have bought one.

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Fishhead and Seabass77 this is NOT what I am talking about. What I am talking about is that when the bottom jumps up and reads the bottom at the 2 foot mark that everything works great still but instead of the bottom showing at the 0 foot mark it shows at the 1-2 or 3 foot mark. As far as the jig goes it moves with it and is still visible when you are jigging a few inches off the bottom, but the depth isn't right. Put it this way if you are fishing and the bottom suddenly jumps and you had your jig one foot off the bottom it will stay one foot off the bottom but the bottom will read at like 2 feet and your jig will than show at 3 feet. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one having this problem though, cause than I will see a resolution and not be left with this problem alone. I will call vex. in the morning and tell them that I have this problem so they know.

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Fishhead,
I just posted the last message and started to think atbout what you said. What you are probably seeing is thick weeds and you just cant see you jig till a foot or two off cause the Vex. is showing the weeds and therefore blocking out you jig. Or you are on a steep dropoff and the cone on you transducer is hitting the top edge of the dropoff so you have a dead zone that you jig is sitting in that you cant see.

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