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Do It Yourself Here's where you get your hands dirty, so to speak. So if you like to build or customize things for the yak, this is your forum


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Old 11-01-2013, 12:18 PM
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Default Lowrance Elite 7 HDI into a Hobie Outback (Part 2)

If the outer locking nut of the electrical plug was removed, it appeared that the lead would pass through the scupper hole. The problem was that the locking nut was not removable, the lead would need fully dismantling to remove it intact. On closer inspection I decided that the locking nut could be carefully cut off, a narrow slit along its length would permit it to be opened and slipped over the connector. It would of course require repairing once re-assembled. I decided to risk it, carefully cutting the locking nut and removing it from the lead. Sure enough, the cable was then able to pass through the scupper hole, but only just!. The locking nut was repaired later with a little plastic welding.



That still left the problem of mounting the transducer below the scupper hole. The DSI transducer had been much smaller and sat directly below the scupper hole. Some cutting and gluing of the mount had allowed the transducer to be mounted without too much difficulty, though this HDI transducer was going to need something very different!.

After a lot of head scratching Iíd hatch a plan. The transducer was to be mounted directly to a custom stainless bracket with an offset mounting stud. The original plastic mount was to be ditched. The basic material was 3mm stainless steel plate, the mount itself being constructed from two pieces.



The smaller piece was required to slide into the slot where the original plastic mount had been located. Two raised plastic guides had to be filed out first. The lower mounting plate needed to fit into the grooved slot and this profile was carefully milled into the plate.





The upper mounting plate was drilled to allow it to be welded to the lower grooved section. An 8mm stainless stud would then be welded into the upper mounting plate. There was some tweaking required during construction and the upper mounting plate was contoured to fit snugly within the opening of the scupper hole.







The result was extremely pleasing, probably better than Iíd hoped for!. The transducer sat hard up against the scupper hole, sitting well within the profile of the Outbackís bulbous hull. It tightened up easily and I used a small section of foam to ensure that it sat horizontal to the deck. The contoured plate had fitted so well that there was absolutely no gap to pass the transducer cable through. Out came the angle grinder and a minute later a nicely shaped slot existed to pass the cable through, job done!



Iíd previously fitted a side-exit cable gland in the seat area to permit the DSI transducer cable to re-enter the hull. I re-used this gland in exactly the same manner. The cable re-appears on the starboard side next to a length of 8Ē GearTrac where it emerges and connects to the head unit.





The power lead to the head unit also uses this exit point and is connected to the main wiring loom within the hull.

Iíd originally used a 12aH battery on my big Game kayak, though Iíd downgraded to a 7aH battery on my Outback. As the current draw of the Elite 7 HDI would no doubt be considerably higher than the Elite 4 DSI Iíve swapped the battery back to the 12aH unit.



So thatís the installation completed. The loom is protected with heat shrink and fully sealed with Raychem S1125 adhesive. This creates a fully watertight, yet flexible loom. The main battery supplies power to a bilge pump and navigation light, hence the additional amperage of the battery. The finished result is clean and tidy, the head unit is mounted solidly to the kayak, with the transducer is mounted externally and well protected up against the hull of the kayak.







As I clock up some time using this unit Iíll provide some feedback as to its performance on the water. Itíll be nice to have the GPS and fish finder fully integrated as well as being able to compare broadband and DI sounder readings side by side. Iíll be purchasing a Navionics Gold card to cover the UK to make the most of the chart plotter facility.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:33 PM
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Thanks for this! Im going to use some of your ideas for my HD setup. Just a cheaper version of what you have though.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:44 PM
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yes, that was a very nice install
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