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Author Topic: Playing With the New Helix  (Read 1076 times)

Offline Curt

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Playing With the New Helix
« on: December 27, 2019, 06:49:59 PM »
Well, I had some time this afternoon, so I decided to connect the new Helix and make sure it powered on correctly.

Happy to report that it did just that!

Next, I will be removing the old 788 and prepping to install the Helix.

While I was playing with it, I did notice that the mounting bracket that came with it is fairly tall. I set it in front of my TM foot pedal and found that I will probably be able to mount it using the stock bracket, at least initially, and start the season using it that way.

If I find that it sits too low, then I will opt for an aftermarket mount to raise it up a bit higher.

As I move into the installation, the importing of the data from my old unit, and then actual on-the-water use, I will be writing about it over at TackleTest.com, to document the whole process, sharing what I like, what I don't like, and what I learn about it.

More to come...  :nod:

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Offline Jig Man

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2019, 10:15:00 PM »
The Helix is definitely the work horse of the Humminbird brand.
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Offline Curt

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 05:53:29 PM »
Well, I spent a bit more time in the garage today, playing with the Helix.

The best part is that I got all of my GPS stuff imported from the old 788  (woohoo)

It was actually, very, very easy to do and took less than 5 minutes. Once I had done that, I spent some time cleaning up old waypoints that I no longer needed. Then I start figuring out how and where I will mount it.

Now that I have that figured out, I will start working on getting it done, step by step.

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Offline Jig Man

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 08:27:25 PM »
Sounds good.  You probably have a bit of time to work on it with your long winters.
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Offline Curt

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2019, 10:19:35 AM »
Sounds good.  You probably have a bit of time to work on it with your long winters.


Definitely have time. I don't want to put it off, though, since we do sometimes have a thaw in February that allows me to get out and fish!

On another note, I have been told by a couple guys to make sure that I have a good power source for this unit, since the bigger screen tends to draw more than my old 788. I was advised to run a new wire directly from the battery, with an inline fuse for safety. I think I might just do that, just to be sure there are no issues with power.  :nod:

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Offline Jig Man

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2019, 11:25:26 AM »
I doubt you will have to rewire with only this unit being added.  The larger the screen the more it draws.  If you should experience extra draw you can reduce the screen brightness.
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Offline Curt

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 11:32:18 AM »
I doubt you will have to rewire with only this unit being added.  The larger the screen the more it draws.  If you should experience extra draw you can reduce the screen brightness.

Thanks Jig Man. Looking back, I have definitely had intermittent issues with the wiring in the front, even with the 788. I think I have have resolved it, but I will do some voltage testing, just to be sure.

My 798 on the console always shows higher voltage than the 788 at the bow. Sometimes the voltage was as much as 2-3 volts difference. Again, I will do some testing. I'd rather spend a few hours and a little money to have it working 100% than to have to worry about it flaking out on me on the water  :nod:

I'm guessing that the wire needed should have to be no more than 14 or 12 gauge, so buying 50 feet of it won't be that expensive.  (nope)

The hardest part will be snaking it through the hull, but it's not like I haven't had to do that before.

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Offline Jig Man

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2019, 03:16:01 PM »
I'd go bigger so it won't have to be replaced later.  Some guys are going as large as 6 gauge on the new electronics.  If you have a fish tape it shouldn't be much of a problem to pull the wires.  I have pulled a bunch of wires with my old Harbor Freight fish tape.  If you lived closer I'd come by and help you.
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Offline Curt

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2019, 03:23:50 PM »
Wow. 6 gauge for electronics??  :surprised:

That's what most guys use for trolling motors. But I guess it's better to be safe than sorry  :nod:

Thanks for the offer to help me! I think it would be a fairly long drive, though  (giggle)

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Offline Jig Man

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2019, 10:31:51 PM »
6 would probably be over kill for you.  I know some guys who run as many as 5 large screen units.  There is a big juice draw with all of them on at the same time.
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Offline Curt

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 10:35:05 AM »
Agreed. I will probably go with 12 or 10.

Quote
I know some guys who run as many as 5 large screen units.  There is a big juice draw with all of them on at the same time.

No doubt at all. I am in awe sometimes when I see the setups that some guys have with electronics now  :surprised:

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Offline Curt

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2020, 01:27:56 PM »
I packed up my transducer and shipped it back to Humminbird today. They are going to exchange it for a trolling motor transducer, at no cost to me, since I never mounted or used the one that came with it, which was meant for transom mounting.  :thumbup:

Gonna do some more research before purchasing the wire to run from the batter to the front of the boat.

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2020, 11:00:40 AM »
Curt here is a quote from another forum from a guy who was an electronics engineer for 37 years, "You will be better off using larger wire. Could get by with 12 but 10 would be better. The key for trouble free electronics is low voltage drop. The price difference to up the size in minimal. Its not like you are buying 1,000 feet. Also get marine connectors. If you ever buy bigger units you won't have to do it again."

He has helped me a bunch and has never steered me wrong.
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Offline Curt

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2020, 12:07:03 PM »
@Jig Man Thank you so much! I will buy size 10 wire and make 1 solid run from the battery to the bow, with an inline fuse. I will check to see what amperage the fuse should be.

Hummingbird also provides a filter that they want me to install to prevent interference.

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Offline Nightmare

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Re: Playing With the New Helix
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2020, 09:55:27 PM »
I will buy size 10 wire and make 1 solid run from the battery to the bow, with an inline fuse. I will check to see what amperage the fuse should be.

If that's how you plan, remember that the inline fuse at the battery is to protect the wire - not the DF. Gauge and run distance (full circuit, there and back) determines fuse size. Protect the DF with the in-line that comes with.

If you're going to go to the effort, make your run to a centrally located spot relative to your bow and console. Connect to a quality fuse box for the purpose (Blue Seas is a respected maker) with a ground bus bar. You can run from there to both bow and console units with same or lesser gauge conductor and install appropriate fuses at the fuse box.

Just another approach to circumvent potential future issues and provide clean & adequate power to all your electronics now instead of piece-mealing later.
 (shrug)

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