Side Imaging Troubleshooting

I am having problems with my Side Imaging unit. What should I do?

Side Imaging Solutions

No Side Scan or Not Working Correctly

Make sure your depth sounder has the Side Imaging Option. Not all fish finders are capable of this. Check your Operations Manual to see if this is a feature of your depth sounder.

Check the Unit
Using the Setup Menu tab, set all features on "Auto" or "Restore Default" to see if the problem was in the way the depth sounder was set up to operate. Try resetting your options.

If possible, test the unit on another boat with the same model number and accessories installed. If your unit functions properly on the other boat, you know the problem is in the installation, accessories or cables.

Check for Simulator Mode
Check that your depth sounder is not in simulator. With the depth sounder turned off, momentarily press the power button. Normally you should hear one chirp if the depth sounder turned on in normal operation and multiple chirps if the depth sounder turned on in simulator. Some models will flash or scroll the word "Simulator" on the display.

Maximum Range
Check that you are not trying to read beyond your depth sounders maximum range capabilities. This is shown in your Operations Manual.

Features and Menus
For those depth sounders with the following features and menus, try adjusting them as stated:

  • F vs. M - Check that your depth sounder is reading in the appropriate depth units, F or FT for feet. M for meters, etc. If the depth sounder is reading in the wrong depth units select the proper depth units as shown in your Operations Manual. If you cannot select the depth units, send your depth sounder in to the Repair Center along with a letter explaining the depth units you would like the fish finder to read in. Note: Not all depth sounders are capable of reading in Feet, Meters or Fathoms. Refer to the Operations Manual that came with the unit or call the Humminbird Customer Resource Center to make sure that your depth sounder has this capability.
  • Sonar Mode - If selectable, be sure the Sonar Mode under your System Options menu is set to Side if you are using the wide side transducer.
  • Transducer Feature - If your depth sounder has the Transducer feature in the options menus, select side if you are using the wide side transducer.
  • Transducer Select - If your depth sounder has the Transducer Select menu, select Wide Side if you are using the Wide Side transducer.

Check the Transducer

  • Check the Operations Manual and Transducer cable to insure you have the proper transducer. Normally, the transducer type is marked on the cable within the first 6 inches from the connector end. The correct transducers to be used with your depth sounder are listed in your Operations Manual.
  • Check that the transducer is positioned on your trolling motor or transom properly. Remember that this special transducer reads out the sides and out of the bottom of the transducer. Do not mount this transducer next to other transducers, speed/temp gauges or motor. Doing so will block the signal on that side of the transducer. This should also be remembered when the side scan transducer is mounted on a trolling motor as depending on the direction that the trolling motor is pointed in, the transducer may be 'viewing' the boat's hull. All transducers must be pointing straight down and have an unobstructed 'view' of the bottom to be able to give an accurate depth reading.
  • Check for Marine growth or other obstructions that may be on the bottom of the transducer. Some anti-fouling paints may not be used or may only be used in a single thin coating. Clean the bottom of the transducer with soap or detergent and water or lightly sand with sanding paper. This will help "wet" the transducer. When putting a transducer in the water, it may form air bubbles across the face or "eye". This can be simply rubbed away with your hand.

Check the Transducer Switch
If you are using a transducer switch, unplug the transducers and plug them, one at a time, directly to the depth sounder to check for a problem with the switch. If the depth sounder functions properly, return the switch for repair or replacement.

Check the Connectors & Pins

  • Check the transducer connector, depth sounder connectors, fuse, fuse holder and battery terminal connections for corrosion. If corrosion is present, clean it off by using an abrasive (sandpaper, battery terminal cleaner, etc.) or with a mixture of baking soda and water. Corrosion may cause a weak signal or loss of voltage to the depth sounder.
  • Check the pins of all connectors, to make sure they have not been bent, broken off or pushed back into the connector plug. If any connector pins have been bent, you may try to straighten them with needle nose pliers. If any pins are broken, replace the entire accessory. Note: There is a risk that while straightening a bent connector pin, it can break.

Check the Cables

  • Check your transducer and transducer cable for nicks, cuts or physical damage. Try to repair any nicks in the cable with electrical tape. If any have had the internal wires cut or separated, the entire accessory should be replaced. Damaged transducers should be replaced.
  • Wiggle all the transducer cables leading into the connectors to show any intermittent connection. If a cable is intermittent, replace the entire transducer.

Check for Proper Voltage
Check for proper voltage to your depth sounder at the power cable pins. This will ensure that you are getting the proper voltage to the depth sounder. The operating voltage range is shown in your Operations Manual. It is advisable to check the voltage with all of your electrical equipment running as well as with the main motor and/or trolling motor running at different speeds. This may show an over-voltage, under-voltage or electrical interference condition. If you have an over or under voltage condition, it may be due to an inadequate charging system on your boat. Have your boat's electrical system inspected by qualified personnel.

Check for Electrical Interference
Check your depth sounder with the boat sitting still, with all electrical equipment and motor(s) off. This will eliminate any possible source of interference.

  • If this corrects the problem, then the depth sounder is receiving electrical interference from your boat equipment.
  • To determine the piece of equipment that is interfering with your depth sounder; turn each piece of equipment back on individually, until the problem starts again. When the problem begins again, the last piece of equipment turned on is interfering with the depth sounder. Also try this with your main motor and trolling motor running at different speeds. Follow the appropriate instructions to eliminate this interference.
  • Using an in-line fuse, connect your depth sounder directly to the battery. This may eliminate faulty electrical connections and electrical interference, which may be causing your problem.
  • Have your boat's grounding system inspected by qualified personnel. Your depth sounder may be trying to operate on a "floating ground".

Interference on side imaging products could appear like the below image.  


If you are still having problems after trying the preceding suggestions, please contact our Help Center.

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