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I've had that problem several times over the years and it always turned out to be the transducer on its way out.
I had the same issue on my M68C unit and was pretty sure it was the ducer. I could fix it temporarily by "resetting" the unit (direction for resetting in the manual) but it only fixed for a short time then same behavior came back.
I was looking to upgrade to better mapping features anyhow so it gave my and excuse to buy my HDS-5 but my 68C seems fine so I'm going to buy a new ducer and put it on my trolling motor.
Thanks for the help. I have to admit, I was kind of expecting that I was going to hear it was the transducer going on me. I'm a little disappointed given that I only put 130 hours on the one I have, 99% of that time is trolling.
Sounds very similar to the way you described yours going John when you said someone would walk to the bow and it would work again. Sometimes the littlest thing would get it to reset, like a tap with the net, moving it up a couple clicks on the mount then putting it back, rocking the boat, or turning the AM/FM on and off. The one thing that ALWAYS worked was taking it back to the dock. Every time we went in to the dock where the water is only a couple feet deep it would reset and work fine.
I will try running it in manual mode but I think I am going to buy a new ducer to keep on the boat for when it finally does completely play out. If you want to part with one John, I will buy it or I could hop online and find one somewhere?
I am dying to fish on the barge for a day, Sunday IS a holiday at our house given that she is a mom 3 times over. This **** job of mine keeps getting in the way of fishing.
Don't hurt to have a spare, I have a spare everything (almost)
Probably be faster if you just order one on line as mine are on the boat at the lake. Not sure why they have so many problems with them but I do know if you run your ping speed higher than factory setting, it can shorten ducer life considerably, that's the one setting I don't touch. Order the 200mhz only, they are cheaper and you don't need dual frequency on the lakes.
Anytime you want to hop on The Barge just let me know, I fsh allot and I'm always looking for someone to fish with, especially when it's windy. Solo is fine when yu get a day with not much wind, problem is the weatherman never get it right..
(who's hoping it's not windy Wednesday)