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Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

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Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby pcbayou » September 10th, 2019, 9:44 pm

The pins on the back of my Lowrance Elite 5 appparently have gotten bent and won't mate with the plug from the transducer and battery. I've tried straightening them with no luck. I called Lowrance and was told the unit can't be opened for repairs because it would no longer be water-tight. Does that sound right to y'all? One fix, of course, would be to buy a new unit, along with a new transducer and cable. But I'd like to make do with this one for a little longer. Any ideas/suggestions?
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby fishinfool » September 11th, 2019, 6:35 am

Most anything can be repaired with enough time and money. You would need replacement pins, and or the male connector. Also a way to reseal the unit. I am told, most units are sealed with either a vacuum or positive pressure of nitrogen to help keep water out. I am not sure how they accomplish that with removable SD cards and such.
I imagine once the repair has been made you could reseal it with some kind of RTV gasket material or silicone sealant. The biggest problem as I see it would be finding the pins/connector.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby Juan » September 11th, 2019, 6:52 am

If the pins are still intact and just bent, you might try to straighten them one at a time with a tiny screwdriver. Worked when I bent a few pins.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby tabb » September 11th, 2019, 7:50 am

Just the power pin went bad on mine. I got one of my students that’s a good tech to go into depth finder pull the power wire drill a small hole and splice it into cord outside the unit. He sealed everything back up with silicone and it worked so far.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby pcbayou » September 11th, 2019, 9:48 am

Thanks to all. It sounds like this won't be a quick fix. I may have to reallocate funds and consider buying a new unit. I see that Lowrance has a new line called Hook2 that is lower in price than the Elites. Maybe it has the features I would use most.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby procraftwes » September 11th, 2019, 10:34 am

Ive fixed them and even fixed some broken solder joints inside the units themselves. I'm no expert so when I took mine apart it was 50/50.

It most certainly can be fixed by anyone who's decent with a soldering iron.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinnoughder be repaired?

Postby pcbayou » September 11th, 2019, 11:00 am

Thank you, procraftwes. 50-50 could be just close enough.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby silverking » September 11th, 2019, 2:10 pm

I've straightened pins using a small pair of needle nose pliers and a metal tube slid over the end. You have to be slow and incremental or you run the risk of breaking them off.

If a repair isn't possible and you are forced to buy a replacement, you might want to read the reviews on the Hook series. It's an entry level vs. the Elite like you have. Not as fast a processor which affects mapping, refresh, etc.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby pcbayou » September 16th, 2019, 7:31 pm

Thanks, Silverking. I've tried straightening the pins with no luck. I took the back off of the unit to see if I could straighten them from the other side. But they're part of a printed circuit board, and there's no way to get to them. I have seen the Lowrance Hook series online, but I haven't been able to put my hands on one. It sounds like it has the features I use most. By the way, thanks for your earlier guidance on the Tsunami Shield surf reel. I found a good deal on one at Half Hitch, and I really like it so far.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby Juan » September 17th, 2019, 6:31 am

pcbayou wrote:Thanks, Silverking. I've tried straightening the pins with no luck. I took the back off of the unit to see if I could straighten them from the other side. But they're part of a printed circuit board, and there's no way to get to them. I have seen the Lowrance Hook series online, but I haven't been able to put my hands on one. It sounds like it has the features I use most. By the way, thanks for your earlier guidance on the Tsunami Shield surf reel. I found a good deal on one at Half Hitch, and I really like it so far.


I'm a big Lowrance fan too but if you use the gps mapping much, beware of the Hook series. The processor speed is slower than other models which means it takes too long to update the screen and your boat might out run the graphics.
BTW: Is the Calloway ramp back to normal yet?
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby pcbayou » September 17th, 2019, 7:40 am

Thanks, Juan. That’s a good caution about the Hook series. I’ve moved from Callaway, so I’m not sure about the ramp. I’ll swing by and check it out.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby Old Dog » September 19th, 2019, 10:41 pm

I am very disappointed in the Hook unit I bought. so much so I went on ebay this week and bought another Lowrance hdi elite 7. (I had moved my old one to the bow). I really like that unit compared to the Hook 7 i bought.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby pcbayou » September 20th, 2019, 8:20 am

Thanks, Old Dog. You’ve also given me good advice before. Do you mind sharing what you didn’t like about the Hook 7? Was it a lack of features you need? Poor performance? From what I’ve read, it’s more an entry level unit. That’s the same level where I am despite all these years.
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby Old Dog » September 21st, 2019, 9:40 pm

Reply to PCB. . .
The unit is slow.
And the numbers on the screen are small even at what they term 'normal' size making them hard to see when standing away from the console while underway.
While stationary my screen won't stay still. It flips around and I haven't yet found a button to push to make it stop. When getting underway though, the screen movement stops.
I received the used Lowrance HDI elite 7 yesterday from an ebay purchase, and it's in perfect shape. I ordered another today as a backup. The screen is easy to see, the numbers/letters are large for my old eyes, and since I have several years experience with this unit I know my way around it. Now I have one at the bow that I use as a depth finder and the 7" screen makes the underwater scene easy to see, and I have one on the console that I can use as a chartplotter/GPS.
I really do think Lowarnce dropped the ball when they stopped making the HDI Elites and started marketing the Hooks. In my opinion they are a step backward. I love Lowrance products but just didn't love the Hook enough to stay with it. Juan tried to tell me I'd like the next model up, the one he has, and I didn't listen. :(
OD
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Re: Can power pins on fishfinder be repaired?

Postby pcbayou » September 22nd, 2019, 7:42 am

That’s good information, Old Dog. Thank you. From what you and others have said, the Hook series just doesn’t measure up to the old Elites. The new Elites are a little out of my price range. But I looked yesterday at a Simrad Cruise 7 that I really liked. It’s user-friendly and maybe more importantly, wife-friendly. :smt007 It seems to have the features I use most, and I understand that Simrad and Lowrance are now first cousins. Maybe I’ll research it some more and do a new post to see what others think. By the way, if you used the Callaway boat ramp, it’s back in action after Michael. Juan had asked about it, and it seems I remember you also had used it before. Thanks again!
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