The AlumaDucer was designed to be simple to install and easy to use. Our goal is to have you put it in and forget about it! This said there are exceptions to every rule and your boat might be one of them. The following are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the AlumaDucer that might help you.
QUESTION: Can I watch a video to show me how to install the AlumaDucer?
QUESTION: My hull is a double-layer construction. Will the AlumaDucer still work.
ANSWER: Unfortunately, No. The problem is the air gap between the two layers. This will stop any sonar signal dead. In order to make it work, you’ll need to cut through the top layer and attach the AlumaDucer to the outer layer only.
QUESTION: I can’t get high speed performance out of my AlumaDucer, the display loses bottom at about 30 miles per hour.
ANSWER: The AlumaDucer will help many boaters get better high speed performance then ever before using externally mounted transducers. The key is understanding the dynamics of how water flows under your hull at different speeds. Fiberglass boats often have a flat spot or pad on the very rear of the boat. This flat area is ideal for transducers to get a good clear reading at high speeds. With Aluminum hulls, this area may not be as obvious. Welded, flat bottom Jon boats are often easy to find an area where smooth water without bubbles are flowing down the hull of the boat. Boats with rivets along their bottom side do create more turbulence, so finding an area of smooth water without air pockets can be for of a challenge, but it is possible in most cases.
We recommend you fill the rear area of your boat with an inch of water before you permanently epoxy the transducer into position. It is best to use a small bag of sand (we use a zip lock bag with beach sand in it) or anything else you can use to place the transducer firmly to the hull and keep it under the thin layer of water you have in your boat. Now get your boat on plane and see if your bottom readings are strong, if not, try a different position until the transducer finds a good area of water flow under your hull with minimal amount of bubbles.
Once this sweet spot has been found, you simply drain your boat, dry out the area you wish to attach the epoxy, and follow the package instructions. We have used a hair drier to speed the process, with no bad effects.
QUESTION: I installed the AlumaDucer this morning and it worked just fine, but on the second day, I turned on my unit and never got a depth reading, is my AlumaDucer broke?
ANSWER: The AlumaDucer is designed to give you years of trouble free performance. The problems is one of not following the instructions. The special blend of A.C.E. Epoxy that Vexilar uses for the AlumaDucer sets in about 30 minutes, but you need to let the AlumaDucer sit at least 12 hours before turning on your sonar. By going fishing the same day you mounted your AlumaDucer, the ping of the transducer actually pulled the AlumaDucer away from the hull and while it was still soft, it worked, but once it fully sets, an air pocket was created. The only solution is to remove the transducer and start over. Sorry…
QUESTION: I have installed my AlumaDucer in the wrong spot and need to remove it. How do I do it without damage to my AlumaDucer?
ANSWER: Removing an incorrectly placed Alumaducer without damage to the Alumaducer is going to be a challenge. You will be trying to break free the existing bond and since something has to break free, either the bond between the ACE Epoxy and the boat hull or the ACE Epoxy and the face of the Alumaducer. If you break the bond on the face of the AlumaDucer, 90% of the time the transducer is damaged and will no longer work. This is why it is so critical to pre-test the location of the AlumaDucer BEFORE you permanently put it in position. Having to move the position of the Alumaducer to get a better signal may result in having to purchase another AlumaDucer! So basically you have a 50/50 chance to salvage your Alumaducer if you install it in the wrong place in your boat. We have found that the best way to take out the installed Alumaducer is with a rubber mallet or a block of wood and a hammer. The hard part is getting down to the correct angle to break it loose. You want to strike the top of the Alumaducer from the lowest angle you can get in your boat. Do not use a standard hammer directly on the Alumaducer to break it free, because the sudden shock to the crystal may damage your transducer. We have found that if you can apply a little heat to the underside of your hull will help to release the epoxy from the hull rather than the transducer face. Best of luck!
Be sure to lightly sand the face of the transducer top remove the old Epoxy before re-applying the AlumaDucer.
QUESTION: I installed my AlumaDucer last winter and when I went fishing this spring, it didn’t work at all.
ANSWER: We have found that the hull of your boats needs to be at least 60 degrees or higher to get the A.C.E. Epoxy to bond with the Aluminum. Even if you prepared the surface correctly, about 20% of the installs may not take. You will need to remove the AlumaDucer and re-mount it when the air temperatures are above 60 degrees for at least 12 hours.
QUESTION: I’m running my little boat and find that if I lean one way I get a bottom reading and if I lean the other, the signal disappears. What is going on?
ANSWER: Small aluminum boats, especially ones that exceed 25 miles per hour are very weight sensitive as you increase your speeds. With only one angler in the boat, it is always best to mount the AlumaDucer on the same side of the boat as the lone angler. Most boats tend to list to that side. If you put more than one person in a small aluminum boat, the weight shifts again comes into play as the second angler might weight more than the first.
Our testing shows that the closer you can mount transducer to the center keel of the boat, the more consistent your signals will be no matter whom is in the boat.
QUESTION: I’ve been running the AlumaDucer for over a year and now with no problem, but now I lost bottom signal at high speeds, what could it be?
ANSWER: Vexilar has been testing the AlumaDucer for years to insure its performance and reliability. One of the key differences between fiberglass and aluminum hulls is that in time, some aluminum hulls change their shape, the hull may have been damaged by impacts or the hull could change shape if you have a sitting on a roller style trailer. The ever changing shape of your flexible aluminum hull might change the performance of your AlumaDucer over time, so re-installing the transducer in a new location may be needed.
QUESTION: I have a jet boat hull with a thick aluminum hull and your AlumaDucer is only rated for hulls .150 thick, will it still work?
ANSWER: YOU BET, When Vexilar targeted the Aluminum boat market for fishermen; we tested the most common hull thickness which is .090 thick. With the super thick hulls found on a jet boat, you might experience a 10 to 15% loss in sensitivity. The advantage most jet boat owners have is that these boats are commonly used in shallow water or most shallow water fishing situations, you will probably not notice the drop in power at all.
QUESTION: Will the AlumaDucer work on other units besides the ones you have adapters for?
ANSWER: The Vexilar Accessory Adapters we have created fit almost 98% the sonar systems on the market today. If your sonar is of acompatible frequency systemand does not have a compatible Accessory Adapter, then your options are few since you would need to create your own connector system to be able to use the AlumaDucer. For a flat service fee of $35.00 Vexilar will put your needed connector on an AlumaDucer and it will not require any adapter at all, since it will be custom made to your specific unit. (provided transducers plugs are still available.
QUESTION: Will I still be able to use my temp meter with the AlumaDucer?
ANSWER: If your unit has the temp sensor built into the transducer, then no. If your unit has a separate temp sensor probe available, then yes.
QUESTION: My hull has a pretty good rise. Will the AlumaDucer still work?
ANSWER: The “V” shape of your hull near the transom varies from boat to boat. The dead rise of some hulls could be as steep as 22 degrees. The performance of the AlumaDucer may affect the way your unit displays bottom when you get in depths deeper than 60 feet. In shallower water applications, the display is not noticeable to most, so yes, your AlumaDucer will work.