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Normally Yes the screen shoudl still light with a connection error about there being no transducer.
Considering he problems you are having, the best thing to do unfortunately in this case is to send it in to Humminbird repair. They charge a flat fee to fix whatever is wrong with your portable fish finder;-)
Please contact Humminbird Repair: http://www.humminbird.com/Category/Support/FAQ/US_ASC/
Humminbird Service Dept.
678 Humminbird Lane
Eufaula, AL 36027
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