Boats Trucks & Maintenance

Fix No Source Issues on Fishing Electronics

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Modern electronics afford anglers better methods for finding fish of all species, but like all technology this is only when they are working. Lately I’ve had some issues with my Lowrance HDS units losing connectivity to the Structure Scan module. My graphs are mounted on RAM Mounts and I remove them after every trip. This is a great option for flexibility in mounting big units and moving them where you can see them better on long days of studying your electronics.

There are, however, drawbacks to any mounting option. I remove the graphs every trip, however, my cables are exposed above the deck on my boat. What that means is corrosion, water, rust and other elemental factors can weaken the connectivity of the cables.

I often cover the boat but occasionally a heat storm will break out and the boat gets wet. Then it dries. Before you know it, there is corrosion on the terminals on the plugs. I took me a while to track the problem down, but the solution was easy.

I went to Walmart and NAPA and picked up a can of QD Electronic Cleaner and a tube of Dielectric Silicone Compound. The EC is a spray similar to MaxFilm from Royal Purple. Where Royal Purple’s MaxFilm can prevent things like this, once it has already happen I needed something that cleaned the terminals. I sprayed a little into the plugs and in a matter of minutes the terminals were glistening.

I then took a tooth pick and a q-tip and spread some dielectric grease into the plug making sure each terminal was coated. You can also rub dielectric grease on the plugs for your trailer lights to keep them connecting properly if you are seeing your lights flicker or not consistently lighting.

I’ve now taken the caps that came on the back of my HDS unit and used them to cover the ends of the cables when they are outside in the elements. Hopefully these simple tips will keep your graphs working in tip top shape and keep you on the fish with less frustration.