Category Archives: Tips and Advice

Get your Electronics Ready for Ice Fishing

I can’t tell you how many times ice anglers come into the store once the season starts and I hear, “My unit worked before I put it away but when I took it out this season it won’t!”.  Now is the time to double check all your ice fishing equipment is in working order so the first trip of the year isn’t ruined.

The most common issue we see is a dead battery.  Batteries that have been put away without a full charge, or not charged at all during the summer, could end up dead and unable to take a charge when you try and charge it.  Battery maintenance is very important for underwater camera’s and flashers.  We recommend charging the battery after each use and maintaining that charge at least once a month when the unit is not in use.

Should you run into a problem where your battery isn’t taking a charge, or its just time for a new, one we have replacements in stock.  They are available with or without a charger.  The DSC100 is a great product from MarCum to ensure your battery is maintained properly.  Its easy to read digital display and automatic shutoff feature makes battery maintenance a breeze.

While there is no way to accurately test a transducer out of the water without expensive diagnostic tools there is a way to get an idea if there might be a problem.  First, check to see if you can hear or feel the transducer pinging (sounds like clicking or feels like small pulses).  If you can’t hear or feel it that may indicate a problem with your transducer.

The second way to check it is to hold the transducer about 3-4 feet off a hard flat surface (like a concrete floor).  Turn the gain up until you see a reading about 3 times deeper than the distance from the transducer to the floor.  If its 3 feet off the ground it should read in the 15′ range.  If you keep turning the gain up you should see double, triple, or even quadruple echos.  The more echos you get the better the reading.

These are a couple of quick things you can do to check and make sure everything is ok before hitting the ice this season.  We stock batteries, chargers, transducers and just about every other accessory you may need for your underwater camera or flasher!

-Lawren

Simple Marine Electronics Troubleshooting Tips

With the fishing tournament season winding down and year end classic/championships starting up it is important to make sure your electronics are working 100% for these big money events. Over the summer we have had countless anglers come in with units they are having problems with. The good news is the solutions to those problems are quick and painless in most cases. Here are the three things we ran across most this season. 

Check to see what software version you are running

At the tournaments we visited this year the number one solution to the majority of problems was updating the software on units running outdated versions. The process for downloading the updates is very simple. All you need is a blank SD card (DO NOT USE YOUR NAVIONICS MAP), a computer with an internet connection, and card reader. Detailed instructions can be found at the following links.

Lowrance’s Software webpage. Click the model you own and follow the steps listed to download the update

Follow this link to the Lowrance Software Updates page –> Lowrance Updates

Humminbird requires you to register online for an account before you can access their software updates

Follow this link to the Lowrance Software Updates page –> Humminbird Updates

Another problem we noticed this year were anglers having trouble with their units near the end of the day when they go to crank the engine. After a full day of fishing with livewells and other electronics going, the main cranking batteries often barely have enough power to crank the engine over. If you have been in the situation where your units shut off or do funny things when you crank the engine near the end of the day it’s a good idea to look at your power source and upgrade it.

I ran two 8” screens, one 5” screen, NMEA2000 network, livewells, bilge, etc off my group 31 1000 cranking amp battery and never had any issues. If you have a smaller cranking battery like a group 24 or 27 I highly recommend upgrading to a larger one. The electronics today are much more voltage dependant than in the past and power sources need to be upgraded accordingly.

A work around solution if you notice this problem while you are in the middle of a tournament is to turn your units off, crank the engine, then turn the units back on. Obviously this isn’t the best solution but it will get you going for the time being. A better solution would be to look at your battery and get the biggest you can fit in your boat.

Lowrance Restore Defaults Menu

If you are on the water and you run into any other issue the first thing to do is reset the options on your unit. On a Lowrance you want to press Menu twice, go to System (or System Setup), then go to Restore Defaults. This will bring your unit back to factory settings and not delete waypoints. If that doesn’t solve the problem a hard reset is in order. To do this, turn the unit off, then press, ZIN ZOUT PWR all at the same time, hold the keys until the warning message appears on the screen. THIS WILL DELETE ALL WAYPOINTS, TRAILS, ICONs, ETC – back them up first.

Humminbird Restore Defaults Menu

On Humminbird units its much the same as Lowrance, press Menu twice, go to System, then go to Restore Defaults. THIS WILL DELETE ALL WAYPOINTS, TRAILS, ICONs, ETC – back them up first.

These are the easiest solutions to the majority of problems we run across at Radioworld. If you are experiencing any other issues feel free to email us for some other troubleshooting tips!

-Lawren

 

 

 

 

Need a Navionics Chart for the Berkley B1?

The Berkley B1 is one of the largest bass fishing tournaments in Canada that draws anglers from all across eastern Canada to compete to be the B1 champion.  The tournament is held on Lake St Francis which is part of the St Lawrence river and covered on several Navionics charts.

We have had several anglers competing in the Berkley B1 asking about what Navionics chart is best for Lake St Francis.  Here are some screen shots from the various charts that cover this area.

Navionics Platinum+ 901 3D View with Satelitte Photo Overlay

 

Navionics Platinum+ 901 2D View with Satelitte Photo Overlay

If you have a Humminbird 900 series or up or a Lowrance HDS unit, the Platinum are a great choice because they have the ability to overlay satellite photos which, in shallow water, can reveal shoals and other underwater objects as seen in the photos above.

Navionics Gold 2XG

For any other unit that uses Navionics charts the Gold 2XG would be the best choice.  This chart is one of the most popular we sell at Radioworld because of its expansive coverage area and excellent chart quality.

Navionics Fish’N Chip

Another thing to remember is that charts cannot be transferred over the NMEA2000 or Ethernet networks.  If you have 2 units on your boat you will need 2 Navionics charts.

If you plan to fish the Berkley B1 drop by Radioworld for a demo of the Navionics charts and we will help you select the right one for your needs.

-Lawren

Fine Tune Your Summer Trolling

Speed and Temperature are two of the most important elements when trolling the great lakes for salmon and trout.  There is no better way to monitor speed and temp than with a Fish Hawk X4.  These are also the most convenient products to use as all the data from down below is sent to the boat without any wires to worry about.  A probe is mounted on your downrigger cable to record speed and temp at the ball.  Another sensor is mounted on the transom to received the data from the probe at the ball.  The sensor that is mounted on the transom will also record surface temp and a water speed to keep track of that.

The Fish Hawk X4 will display this data on a LCD screen mounted at the helm in large digital numbers that are very easy to read.  After seeing this product in action it’s amazing to see how different the speed can be at the cannon ball compared to what a surface gauge will read.  Underwater currents can alter the lures speed drastically…sometimes to the point of the lure hardly moving and that can mean hardly catching fish.  You won’t have that problem anymore with the X4

Right now the X4 is on sale at Radioworld at one of our lowest prices ever!  We also have the Fish Hawk TD and Fish Hawk 520models in stock.  Stop by Radioworld, or call our sales team at 416-667-1000 for more information on these products.

-Lawren