Hummingbird Fish Finders – Troubleshooting

Whether you own a Hummingbird fish finder or you’re planning to purchase one, you ought to know that various problems may occur with it. Therefore, you’d better be aware of those problems and a few alternatives to fix them before you take your fish finder out on the water on your next fishing trip.

So, what can go wrong with your Hummingbird fish finder?

Connection and Power Problems

The electronic display may not get enough power or may not get power at all. In that case, make sure the wiring is done properly, all the plugs are in place and make sure the power cable is inserted correctly in the display unit.

Batteries may not always work properly and in this case you either get a new battery or make sure you charge them properly.

  • Tip: A fish finder can be connected to a car battery, if you have a bit of engineering skills. You can use 20- or 18-gauge wire and add alligator clips or small clamps on the end, put an inline fuse holder on the positive lead within 6 inches of the battery post and use a one-amp fuse.If the fishfinder is the only thing on the circuit, the fuse will still protect you from a fire if, for example, insulation gets rubbed off the wires and creates a direct short, the wires will heat up and melt the insulation.

    If that’s all you need power for, you could get away with a lighter battery, just make sure it’s 12 volts. Most fish finders will work with voltages between 10 and 15.

However, it’s not recommended to replace or splice any wires unless the display unit isn’t completely disconnected from the power source. It’s also not recommended to use any other power source than the one specially designed for the Humminbird model that you’re using.

Display Problems

The bottom may not be displayed properly or not at all. This problem occurs usually if the transducer isn’t properly mounted. If the transducer is mounted correctly and it’s submerged at all times, you can try adjusting the sensitivity setting on the electronic unit of the Hummingbird fish finder. Also, make sure the batteries of the display unit are charged.

If you’re sailing in shallow water, sometimes gaps can appear on the display. Correct this by moving in water that’s over 3 feet deep. Of course, this can be a bit inconvenient in case you want to fish in that particular area with shallow water.

You may face a blank screen problem if you are sailing at a very high speed. If that occurs try lower the speed of your boat or try a trolling speed. To get a more accurate detail in a certain area, you may even consider stopping your boat in several places.

High temperature may also have a detrimental effect specially on the display unit of Hummingbird Fish Finders. So, do not leave the depth finder in the trunk of a car or a closed car, or out in direct sunlight for a long time. High temperatures may damage the electronic components of the system.

Depending on the water you’re fishing in, black dots may be displayed on the screen of your Hummingbird fish finder. This is usually a result of interference, so shut off any other electronic or electric device that’s running near the fish finder’s display unit or transducer. This also may occur if the transducer is mounted too close to the propeller of the boat.

Transducer Problems

If the boat remains in water for a long time, or if you leave the transducer mounted while your boat remains in the water for a long time, chances are algae or other marine life forms may develop on its surface. This can prevent your transducer to send correct data to the display unit. Therefore you should clean up the transducer periodically with liquid detergents.

If you’re sailing in shallow waters with plenty of stumps and sunken trees, be extra careful so that the under water obstacles won’t hit your transducer. You may lose it or break it. Also, it’s indicated not to rely on your fish finder, even if it’s a really capable one, like the 1198c SI Combo, as a navigational tool when your boat is running at high speed. The information about the underwater environment may not be processed so quickly, thus you may hit something and damage either your transducer or your boat.