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Russell H.
Russell H., Service Tech
Category: Consumer Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 9927
Experience:  8+ years of professional experience
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I have a Garmin 4212 GPS plotter with a GSD 22 sonar module

Customer Question

I have a Garmin 4212 GPS plotter with a GSD 22 sonar module hooked to an Airmar transducer. It worked fine for 4 years, now I get a message "Transducer dicconnected". GSD blinks flashing red after the unit is on for a few seconds, solid red initially. I have checked DC power to it and all other wiring, cables and connectors and find no failures. Is my GSD 22 the problem?
I have looked for a replacement, there are two different Garmin part numbers (011-01133-00 and 010-00397-00). Will either work as a replacement if necessary?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Expert:  Russell H. replied 9 months ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting JustAnswer.com. My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question. Don't conclude too soon that a component in the system is faulty... though it is quite possible too. The first thing to do in a maritime or coast-wise or yachting context, is to check on and eliminate all possibility of corrosion from the system. Salt water and spray (even as an almost impalpable vapor) is very corrosion-producing, and even fresh water/spray can affect things. Undo, check, and clean (even if visual check comes up negative to all appearances) the connections that are a part of your system. Do this one connection at a time, so as to not forget which connector goes to what, then move on to the next connector or connection in the system.At each connector, you undo the connection, then (after a brief inspection) scrub both sides of the connection with a clean dry brush, for at least 20 seconds for each connector. Then wipe each connector with a clean dry rag cloth, until the metal shines, then re-connect firmly. And on to the next connector. Do this with the power Off, of course. Then try the system again.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have done all that weeks ago. The ethernet connectors are not easy to clean on this device but I wiped them with alcohol and a cotton swab. The connector to the sonar sounder has been cleaned and checked as well, as has the power connector. Any other ideas? Broken wires are also not likely, the cables have been checked thoroughly. What I don't understand is why this unit blinks red and I get the "trandsucer disconnected" message when it has not been disconnected, and you would thing a bad connector would be intermittent, not totally repeatable as this one is. I have tried moving the connectors while powered to see if there is any reaction, nothing changes. Is there a way to test the GSD 22?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Both the 4212 chartplotter and the GSD 22 are isolated from saltwater since installation, the plotter is in a sealed flush mount in our flybridge and the GSD 22 is on the engine room firewall with no exposure to spray or dirt, all connectors and cables are isolated from corrosion.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 9 months ago.
You've done the right things, but there have been no improvements.Either the Airmar transponder or the sonar module are defective I would think, even if the error message is on the display part of the system.Try disconnecting the transponder. Does the error message or the response to being powered On differ in the least?
Expert:  Russell H. replied 9 months ago.
You may have to dismount the transponder and have it tested in a shop, in order to tell whether the transponder or the module is at fault. If you need references to a nearby shop that could do that testing (they'd hook it to a known-working rig and put it in a bucket of water so that it would work minimally), let me know what zip code or town/city and state you'd be seeking such a shop in.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I live in Concord, NH 03011.Yesterday I made another attempt to get my system working by cleaning the contacts again and checking for continuity in all the cables, it all checked out just fine but my problem persists. I even tried use of some conductive grease (lightly applied) to check if there is any contact issues with the connectors, it did not help so I re-cleaned the connectors and I am in the same condition I was, no sonar. I tried disconnecting the ethernet cable, the system immediately recognized the signal loss.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 9 months ago.
I'm still not sure from the sound of it, as to whether the problem is in the sonar transducer or in the sonar module. To have the sonar transducer tested, go to a shop in your area for Garmin Airmar tranducers, these two being listed: dick's sporting goods inc295 LOUDON RD CONCORD NH 03301603(###) ###-#### ***** SPORTS142 NORTH MAIN STREET Concord, NH 03301 US***-***-****
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Transducer is thru-hull mounted, boat is in the water. I have purchased a functioning GSD 22 that I will install next. If it still fails, I will have to purchase an external transducer and mount it on the transom to verify that is the problem.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 9 months ago.
I see. Yes, you can't dismount that transducer, obviously.