VEXILAR | FL-10 | Owner`s manual | VEXILAR FL-10 Owner`s manual

FL-18 Owner’s Manual
General Description
Unit Installation
Power Connection
Transducer Installation
Typical Indications
Frequently Asked Questions
Transducer Beam Angle Chart
Trouble Shooting Chart
Accessories and Other Products
Service and Support
9 - 11
12 - 16
17 - 20
24 - 26
27 - 28
Founded in 1960, Vexilar, Inc. has a long history of
bringing revolutionary technology to the sport fishing industry. Just some of the Vexilar firsts include:
the first liquid crystal display, the first fish alarm, the
first three color display, the first CRT and the first
straight line paper graphs for the sport fisherman.
And over the last twelve years, the Vexilar FL-8 has
revolutionized the flasher market. Now, with the FL-18, we bring you
the first ever split-screen zoom flasher.
The FL-18 is a compact and lightweight depth sounder designed for
serious anglers. Besides indicating depth, the unit also shows changes in
bottom content and conditions. It can also discriminate between large
underwater targets, such as fish, and smaller targets such as bait fish and
plankton. The split-screen zoom feature provides very high display resolution within the bottom six feet of the depth.
The unit transmits bursts of high frequency pulses, which are converted
from electrical to mechanical energy by the transducer. These "sound"
pulses radiate from the transducer downward into a cone shaped area
and are reflected back up to the transducer where the energy is converted back to electrical signals. The FL-18 then processes these signals and
displays them.
The circular display is accomplished by attaching an LED (Light
Emitting Diode) to a wheel, which
is then spun at a high speed in
the clockwise direction. This
allows for an extremely high
speed update. The bottom, as well
as other targets, can be displayed
as red, orange, or green to indicate
strong, medium and weak signals
respectively. The FL-18 also has
patented Interference Rejection (IR)
Technology. This lets the user "filter out" unwanted interference from
another nearby depth sounder. With a wide variety of transducers and
accessories to choose from, the Vexilar FL-18 is a sure fit for any application.
Operating Voltage:
Current Draw:
Power Output:
Target Separation:
Display Colors:
10.5 - 15 Volts (12 Volts Nominal)
400 Watts (Peak to Peak)
200 kHz
525 Lines of Resolution
2.65" Min.
3 - Red, Orange, and Green
4.4"H x 6"W x 2.5"D
1.1 Lbs.
Depth Scales:
0-20', 0-40', 0-60', 0-80', and 0-200' - Standard Model
0-30', 0-60', 0-90', 0-120', and 0-300' - Custom Deep Model
The transducer included with your FL-18 determines the beam, or cone,
angle and the mounting application. Please refer to the packaging to
determine which transducer you have. A complete list of transducers
available is listed on pages 27 and 28.
Features and Specifications Subject to Change Without Notice
To be able to use the FL-18, you must provide the unit with power and
mount the transducer in an appropriate location.
Find a convenient place to mount
the unit. This may include a boat
seat, deck, dash, or a portable case.
Make sure that there is plenty of
room for the unit to tilt and/or
swivel freely without the cables
binding behind the unit. Once you
have found a spot, remove the unit
from the gimbal bracket. Securely
attach the bracket to the mounting
Plug the flat 3 pin connector into the back of the unit. Find the closest
source of 12 volts and run the cord to it. Keep the cord away from sharp
metal edges and avoid tight places where the cord may get crushed.
Connect the red wire to positive and the black wire to negative or ground.
If the cord provided is not long enough, more can be added. Use 18 gauge
wire minimum. For boat installations, it is recommended that a 1 amp
in-line fuse be placed in the positive line as close to the power source as
possible to protect against any shorts in the wiring.
There are three basic types of transducers to consider: High Speed, Puck
Style, and the Ice-Ducer System.
When choosing an area to mount the transducer, keep in mind that you
need clear water flow across the face of the transducer to insure a clear
reading at all speeds. Try to stay away from rivets, ribs, or strakes that
would be just in front of the transducer.
They can disturb the water and scramble the reading.
With the mounting bracket attached to
the transducer, hold it up to the boat
where you are planning to mount it.
Mark the holes on the transom, or
mounting plate, so that when the bottom
of the transducer is flush with the bottom of the boat the holes are located at
the bottom of the bracket slots. This gives
you room to "fine tune" the position of
the transducer and optimize your reading after you've put the boat in the water.
Ideally, the transducer should be just
under the bottom of the boat. However,
you may need to lower it 1/2” to 5/8”
to get a clear reading at top speed.
Figure D
Drill out the holes and tighten the
bracket to the hull securely. Be sure to seal any holes drilled into the transom with silicone to prevent water from leaking into the boat. Give the
transducer a slight tilt downward so that the back is about 1/8” lower
than the front. Tighten the bracket screws and nuts securely. Run the
transducer cord up to the unit. Plug the transducer connector into the
back of the unit and screw the retaining ring down snugly
There are three ways in which a Puck Style transducer can be mounted. It can be mounted In-Hull, on
an electric trolling motor, or portable (with a suction
cup or on an arm of some type).
Puck Style
This method of gluing the transducer to the hull gets the same results
as if you were using the High Speed transducer, only there are no holes
to drill in the boat and there is no transducer on the transom to get damaged by impact. With a good installation the losses through the hull will
be negligible. This installation is most common in fiberglass boats, but
you can also achieve good results in aluminum hull boats as well.
Finding the best location for the transducer before mounting is critical.
Choose a flat smooth spot near the center of the bilge area and near the
back of the boat. It is a good idea to make a "test run" before you permanently install the transducer to make sure that you can get an acceptable reading through your hull, and when the boat is on plane. Put about
a half inch of water in the bilge area and hold the transducer in the intended location. Move the transducer around until you get the best reading.
Mark that spot.
To install the transducer, first drain the water from your test run and
then clean the spot of mud and oil. If the mounting area is rough, sand
it smooth with some medium grit sand paper. Using an epoxy or silicone
glue, make a puddle about the same diameter as the transducer on the
hull. Place the transducer in the glue. Press it down firmly, gently twisting it back and forth, making sure that there are no air bubbles in the glue
between the transducer and the hull. Let the glue dry completely before
turning the unit on.
Run the transducer cord up to the unit taking the same care as you did
when you ran the power cord. Plug the transducer connector into the
back of the unit and screw the retaining ring down tight.
To attach a Puck Style transducer to a trolling motor,
use the large cable tie provided*. Notice the slots in the
transducer for this purpose. Locate the transducer on
the bottom of the lower unit as in figure F. Run the
cable up the shaft using cable ties to hold it in position.
Make sure that the movement of the trolling motor will
Figure F
not damage the cable. Plug the transducer connector
into the back of the unit and screw the retaining ring down tight.
*Metal hose clamps are not recommended, as they do not give way in case of impact
with an underwater object.
Optional suction cup brackets can be used to temporarily attach a transducer to the transom or side of the boat. The cups should be placed in a
location where it will not be torn off when the boat starts to move at high
speed. It is a good idea to tie on a safety rope in case the cup does let go.
There are three suction cup brackets available for the FL-18. The BK0023
and the BK0027 are made to attach the Puck style transducers to a boat
for use at slow speeds. The BK0044 suction cup brackets is made to attach
the high speed transducers to a boat for high speed uses. See pages 27
and 28 for transducer and bracket options.
An arm can also be used to hold the transducer. Simply attach the transducer to the end of the arm using cable ties or tape. If the arm is constructed of metal tubing insulate the transducer from the arm by wrapping electrical tape around the arm. This prevents "ringing" which is displayed as noise near the surface on the flasher display.
Run the transducer cord up the arm using cable ties to hold the cord
in place. Plug the transducer connector into the back of the unit and screw
the retaining ring down tight.
The Ice-Ducer system provides a quick and easy way to set up the transducer for ice fishing. All of the adjustments needed to find the true perpendicular point are done automatically. To use the Ice-Ducer, simply
adjust the transducer to the desired depth and drop the assembly in the
ice hole.
There are three main components to the Ice-Ducer system. They include the transducer, float, and the stop. The
transducer comes assembled with the connector already
installed. The stop is put on by passing the transducer cord
through the slit in the side of the stop. The float is installed
between the stop and the transducer in the same way. Make
sure the countersunk hole is facing up towards the top. The
stop will rest in this hole.
To use the Ice-Ducer, adjust the stop to allow the transducer to float at the desired depth. A six inch minimum is
recommended in order to make sure that the transducer
will be pointing straight down. Ideally, the farthest it should
be down is to the bottom of the ice hole. If the transducer
is below the bottom of the ice it can cause tangling problems when bringing in fish.
If you run into problems when using the Ice-Ducer and
you can't see your bait try this, rub the bottom of the transducer with water to eliminate any residue or air film. This
insures good contact between the transducer and the water.
Check the length of cord between the float and the transducer to make sure there are no kinks in the cord that will
cause the transducer to shoot off to the side.
The Ice-Ducer
*Patent no. 5,546,362
Figure H shows the three main controls of the FL-18.
They include Power and Range control, Mode Setting
control, and Gain control.
The knob located at the bottom of the control panel
turns the unit on and selects which range is to be used.
The far left position is the OFF position. There are five
depth ranges to choose from.
Standard Unit
x1 = 0-20’, x2 = 0-40’, x3 = 0-60’, x4 = 0-80’,
and x10 = 0-200’
Custom Deep Unit
x1 = 0-30’, x2 = 0-60’, x3 = 0-90’, x4 = 0-120’,
and x10 = 0-300’
Figure H
To activate the unit and select the appropriate range, turn the Range
knob to the right. To read the correct depth on the display you must correlate your range setting with the proper scale on the display. For a range
selection of x1 you would read the white numbers on the display directly to read the proper depth. For a range selection of x2 you would read
the white numbers and multiply the reading by two. Multiply the reading by three for x3, four for x4, and ten for x10.
For example, figure J on page 12 shows the leading edge of the bottom
at fifteen feet. With a range setting of x1 you would interpret this as 15
feet deep. With a range setting of x2 you would interpret this as 30 feet
deep. With a range setting of x3 you would read the depth as 45 feet
deep. x4 would read as 60 feet and x10 would be read as 150 feet.
If the unit were a Deep Range model, you would read the depth the
same way. The only difference is that the multiplier is 30 instead of 20.
The Mode control selects the FL-18s output power level and zoom view.
The Normal position will be the setting that is used most often. With the
Normal setting, the FL-18 operates in the standard flasher mode with
normal (high) power. The depth is read using the outer white scale on
the display.
LP, or Low Power, Mode is used for shallow water conditions. Generally
depths of 15 feet or less. The FL-18s LP Mode output power level is
approximately 50% less than the Normal Mode. Depth is determined in
the same way as the Normal
AZ, or Auto Zoom, splits the
screen of the FL-18 into two different sections. Refer to figure L.
on page 14. Given that the range
control is set to x2, here is how to
interpret the display:
The right hand side of the display shows the full water column
below. Instead of reading the
white numbers for depth, you now use the inner yellow scale. The leading edge of the bottom lines up close to the 15 foot area of the yellow
scale. With the range set to x2 you interpret the depth as around 30 feet.
The left side of the display shows only the bottom six feet of the depth.
Notice that the display works in the opposite direction here. The bottom
is lined up with the yellow zero mark near the 7 O’clock position. The
scale reads from this point up, in the clockwise direction, in one foot increments. The 6 foot mark is actually six feet off of the bottom.
In figure L, with a range setting of x2, Fish A is near the bottom and
shows both in the full and zoom views. Fish B is more than 6 feet off of
the bottom, so it does not show in the zoom view.
BL, or Bottom Lock, mode works in the same way as the AZ mode. The
only difference is that once the FL-18 finds the bottom, it locks it in position on the zoom view. The bottom will change position with depth on
the full view side, but will remain fixed at the zero mark on the zoom
Auto Zoom works best while moving very slowly or while you are stationary, such as ice fishing. Bottom Lock works best for trolling or moving at higher speeds. Both the Auto Zoom and Bottom Lock features are
available when in Low Power or the Normal Modes.
The knob located at the top of the control panel is the gain control. This
controls the amount of signal that you see on the display. A gain setting
of zero will display a minimum amount of signal while a gain setting of
ten will show the maximum amount. Different conditions will require
different gain settings. Deeper water will require higher gain than shallow water. A weedy bottom will demand a lower gain setting than a
clean bottom. Keep the gain level low. Too much gain can "wash out" the
targets that you want to see. A good rule to use is one number of gain
for every ten feet of depth.
Generally, for open water it is a good idea to set the gain at an appropriate level and leave it there. Only change the gain level if the water
depth or conditions change significantly. For Ice Fishing, you want to
adjust the gain and use your bait a the reference point. Adjust the gain
to make your bait appear as green.
Pushing in on the Gain control knob operates the Interference Rejection
feature. The I.R. feature has ten steps of rejection to let you eliminate
unwanted interference from another nearby depth finder. When you turn
on the FL-18, the I.R. automatically comes on to the first step. If necessary, press the Gain knob repeatedly until the interference is eliminated.
You can press the button nine times before you get back to the first step
again. Turning the unit off and then on again will also reset the I.R. back
to the first step.
* Patent #5,515,339
Zero Signal
Trailing Edge
Read Depth
Fig. J
The three-colors of the FL-18’s display represents the strength of a signal. A red color indicates a strong signal, an orange color indicates a medium strength signal, and green represents a weak signal. The colors will
combine to indicate objects, such as bottom echoes, structure, fish, and
plankton. This section is intended to help you understand how to read
the depth, identify fish, and understand the meaning of the FL-18’s display.
To read the proper depth on the FL-18, you will need to turn the unit
on to an appropriate range. First make sure you are in the Normal mode.
Then turn the Range knob to the right one click. The signal at the 12
O’clock position on the dial is the “zero mark”. This can be thought of as
the surface of the water. If the depth is less than 20 feet you will see a second signal, similar in appearance to the zero mark, appear on the display. This is the bottom signal. If no second signal appears, turn up the
Gain about half way and continue clicking the range switch to the right
until it does show a bottom signal. Once you find the bottom signal, line
up the leading edge with the closest white depth mark on the scale. Refer
to figure J and K. Multiply this reading by the depth range setting.
Refer, again, to figure J. If the range setting is X1 then the fish is just
over a foot above the bottom. We know it’s a fish because it is a significant target that is not attached to the bottom. The target that appears just
above this fish is smaller and there is no red. Here is where target identification gets a bit trickier. Since we do not know the position of the targets in the cone of sound, we cannot readily identify it. For example, the
green target at 12 feet could be a small piece of floating debris or small
baitfish in the center of the cone. It could also be a large fish out at the
very edge of the cone.
In the weeds, spotting fish is more difficult. Figure K shows a bottom
at 8 feet (X1). The weeds extend from the bottom up to about 5 feet. Notice
Zero Signal
Fig. K
Surface Clutter
Read Depth Here
Bottom Signal
the red target at 7 feet is marked "possible fish". We cannot say that it is
a definite fish because the weeds around it are dense enough to give a
red signal themselves. Again, keep the gain as low as you can for reading in the weeds. This would be a good situation to use the Low Power
Mode. Switch the Mode to LP and turn the gain up until you get a clear
reading of the bottom, but not so high as you can see all of the weed clutter.
The advantage of using the FL-18’s zoom display is that you have very
high display resolution of the bottom six feet at any water depth. This
allows you to identify fish holding close to the bottom and recognize subtle changes in depth or structure with much greater ease.
Figure L shows a typical ice fishing situation with the FL-18 set to the
Auto Zoom mode. Notice that the right side of the display shows the
entire water column and the left side only the bottom six feet. Fish A is
Zero Signal
Fig. L
Fish B
Fish A
Fish A
(Zoom View)
(Full View)
Fish A
Fish B
Fig. M
(Full View)
Fish A
Fish B
(Zoom View)
visible on both displays because it is less than 6 feet from the bottom.
However, Fish B and the bait are more than six feet from the bottom so
they do not appear in the zoom view.
Figure M shows a typical open water situation where the FL-18 is set
to the Bottom Lock mode. It is important to note that when the depth
exceeds the selected range, the Bottom Lock feature will lose its lock on
the bottom. Therefore, it is a good idea to select a deeper range than the
water you anticipate being on. Here the range is set to X4, so the Bottom
Lock will operate down to 80 feet. On the full view side, the bottom and
the fish are very close together making it difficult to recognize the fish.
However, on the zoom side the targets are much more spread out making the fish very easy to identify.
An advantage to setting the depth range to a much deeper setting than
necessary is that you now will be able to see the multiple echoes beyond
the bottom. Given a fixed gain setting, the more and the stronger the
echoes appear, the harder the bottom content is. This can be an important feature to the bottom and can help you find where the fish are.
Ice fishing brings out the best in the FL-18. The stable platform of ice
lets you concentrate on your bait and the fish around it. The bottom
becomes less important because it never changes. The only movement
on the display is of your bait and fish.
Unlike open water use, the direction in which the transducer is pointed is very critical. You want your bait to be located in the dead center of
the cone of sound. This way you can see very small baits at low gain settings and also see fish come in from all sides. If you are not using the IceDucer system, the transducer must be attached to an adjustable arm so
that it can be manually pointed directly at the bait. Sometimes it helps to
attach a bubble level to the transducer so that you know when it's sending the signal straight down the hole.
After your system is properly set up, adjust the gain until you see your
bait as a green target. You may need to readjust the gain control to keep
the bait green. This is due to the changing condition and position of your
bait. If you are using a swimming bait or a lure that darts to the side as
it's jigged, you will see the color change as the bait moves. Sometimes it
may even disappear if the bait goes out of the cone of sound.
Fish will appear at the edge of the cone as a green target. If the fish
moves closer to the bait it will change from green to orange. If it moves
up, right next to the bait, it will change to red.
Where Should The Gain Control Be Set?
Generally, the gain should be set to give you a good reading of the bottom. This would mean a red leading edge. A basic rule to use is one number of gain for every 10 feet of depth. Although you will want to finetune this setting with the current conditions in mind.
For ice fishing, you want set your gain level by the appearance of your
bait. With your bait down at the fishing depth, adjust the gain to make
your bait appear as a green signal.
What Color Should Fish Be?
For ice fishing with the FL-18, the fish target entering the outside of the
cone of sound will appear in green, as it moves towards the bait it will
add some orange into the center of the signal, and if the fish continues
to the perpendicular line under the transducer, red will be added to the
center of the fish target. These color changes will take place automatically, without adjusting the gain control. This color change feature allows
you to observe the fish moving towards or away from your bait.
The fish can appear the same way on open water as they do ice fishing, as the same rules apply. Although, instead of the stable platform of
ice you have wave and boat motion to contend with. If you see a red target separated from the bottom you can be fairly certain that it's a fish. If
all you see is green or orange you won't know if it's a fish until it turns
How Long Will My Battery Last On The FL-18?
Run Time - The FL-18 draws about 275 mA, or about a quarter of an
amp of current The unit will run good until the battery voltage drops to
about 10 volts. Below this point you will notice lower sensitivity, as well
as, a much dimmer display. The Vexilar Model V120, a 7.2 amp/hr battery, will run the FL-18 for about 16 hours straight.
Battery Life - This applies only to rechargeable batteries. The largest
influence on battery life is your charging habits. Follow the charging
instructions that come with the battery. To get the most out of it, follow
these simple tips; Charge the battery as soon as possible after each use
or, if it's cold, as soon as it reaches room temperature. Do not overcharge
or under charge the battery. If possible, use a battery charger that has an
automatic shut-off feature. A battery should be stored, fully charged, in
a cool place. Charge it every month or two when in storage to make sure
it maintains a full charge.
Will The FL-18 Read Through The Ice?
The FL-18 will easily read through ice, provided the ice is CLEAR ICE
and not MILKY ICE. Remember, the transducer must have good contact
with the surface of the clear ice. A bottom indication should appear on
the sounders dial at an appropriate depth. The ice surface must be wet;
water works well.
Why Do I Get Interference?
Electrical interference can be caused by other electrical equipment that
put unwanted signals on the power or transducer line. It usually can be
reduced or eliminated by simple fixes such as resistor spark plugs and
wires on the engine or better grounding on the electrical system.
Sometimes, however, there can be equipment problems that need shop
Another kind of interference comes from another depth finder operating on the same frequency nearby. The FL-18’s interference rejection circuitry is designed to knock out most or all of this, but sometimes severe
conditions can still cause interference. The two factors that determine if
this happens are: a) the depth of the water and, b) how far apart the two
sounders are placed. If this interference is happening, each of the sounders
will have a non-stop rotating light moving around the dial. One moving light rotates around the dial clockwise and on the other sounder the
light will rotate in the counter clockwise direction. To eliminate this problem you can either move the sounders farther apart or shut one off.
What Do The Colors In The Bottom Light Mean?
Besides depth the bottom light can give you a lot of information. The
width and color content of the bottom signal can tell you what type of
bottom it is.
Ice fisherman can look for movement of color in the bottom signal. If
you see a red line move through the orange or green part of the bottom
signal, it's probably a fish close to the bottom and away from the center
point of the beam angle.
Open water fisherman usually can't see this because the boat moves
too much. You can, however, see changes in the bottom type as you move
along. The wider it appears and the more red in the signal, the harder
the bottom. The narrower it appears and the more green and orange in
the signal the softer the bottom is.
Why Shouldn’t I Use Auto Zoom Mode In My Boat?
You can use the Auto Zoom feature in the open water, but you need to
be aware of what you will see. The Auto Zoom feature is designed to find
the bottom and zoom in on a 6 foot window from there up. As the depth
changes with boat motion, the bottom will change position on the zoom
display. If it gets deeper, the bottom will move off of the screen and no
longer be visible. If the depth gets shallower, the bottom will move up
the display, making your zoom window smaller and smaller. When the
bottom gets to the top of the display or disappears from the bottom of
the display, the FL-18 will reestablish the bottom again. It takes about 5
seconds for the unit to establish a new bottom zoom. If the boat is moving quickly over large changes in depth, the Auto Zoom feature will not
be able to update the bottom fast enough and the reading will not be consistent.
Why Shouldn’t I Use Bottom Lock Mode For Ice Fishing?
The Bottom Lock feature will not work correctly for ice fishing because
the Bottom Lock feature is constantly looking for depth changes so that
it can keep the bottom locked in place on the zoom display. If a target,
such as fish or your bait, moves into the view with a strong enough sig-
nal, the FL-18 will think that the depth has changed and lock on the new
signal instead of the real bottom. This appears to you as the target suddenly disappearing from the display. What has happened is that the
Bottom Lock has locked onto the new strong signal. Instead of zooming
from the bottom up, you are zooming from the new signal up. When the
target goes away, the FL-18 will re-lock the correct bottom. This makes
for a “jumpy” display that is difficult to interpret.
What happens If I Use Zoom In Water That Is Less Than
6 Feet Deep?.
If you use either zoom mode in depths of less than 6 feet, the size of
the zoom window, you will notice that the zero signal will appear in
the zoom view. This will not cause any harm to the FL-18, but you may
notice some erratic operation. Switch to Normal or Low Power Modes
for depths less than 6 feet.
Where Can I Find More Information About My FL-18
And Other Vexilar Products?
There is a large amount of information located on the Vexilar web site.
Simply direct your browser to There you will find
information on how to use the Fl-8, FL-18 and other products to their full
potential, tips on how to install transducers for reliable results, and
resources such as owners manuals and accessory instruction sheets. You
can also register your new FL-18 and purchase all Vexilar accessories
securely on line.
Permanent Mount
With permanent mount applications, the power cord is left connected
to the source, the transducer is not easily removed, and the gimbal bracket is screwed to the seat, deck, or dash. Under these conditions maintenance is very simple because nothing changes once the unit is installed.
Because of this, problems can sneak up on you if you're not careful.
The unit should be removed from the bracket whenever the boat is
parked to guard against theft. Don't store it in a place that may fill with
Power connections need constant checking. Corrosion can develop and
cause intermittent or loss of operation. Connections made to battery posts
need extra attention because of the battery acid.
The transducer should be checked for scratches and cracks which can
reduce the units sensitivity. Cuts or breaks in the cord should be repaired
as soon as possible so corrosion doesn't attack the wire. Periodically clean
the face of the transducer with a mild detergent. An oily film can develop which will cause weak readings.
Portable Setups
In portable applications the unit is generally mounted to a carrying
case and the transducer is frequently removed, as is the power. These
conditions can cause more wear and tear than a permanently mounted
In addition to the previously mentioned maintenance items, be sure to
check for broken or pulled wires, loose screws or hardware, and battery
Beam angle has a large effect on the performance of your depth finder. There is
more to it than simply area of coverage. The
correct beam angle to use depends entirely
on what you are trying to do with your
sonar. If you are fishing for suspended fish
then you probably would be very pleased
with the performance of the 19º. However,
if you were going after fish that are hang90’
ing right on the bottom, along a steep drop100’
off, you would have
better results with the
100.4’ 9º. Here's why;
Dead Zone is an area within the transducers cone
of sound that is blind to you. The wider the beam
angle the greater the possible dead zone. The sonar
will mark bottom as the nearest distance it sees. If
you are fishing over a slope, it may see the high side
of the slope, at the edge of the cone, and mark that
as bottom. The fish that are hanging on the bottom
in the center of the cone will be invisible to you
because they are actually within the bottom signal
on your depth finder. A narrower beam angle will reduce this effect.
Your depth finder puts out a constant amount of power. It does not
matter where you have the gain level set. Gain simply controls how much
you amplify the signal that is bounced off of the bottom. Therefore, a
narrow beam transducer will appear to be much more powerful than a
wide beam transducer. This is because you are putting that same amount
of power into a smaller area. This can be an advantage if you are fishing
in deep water or a detriment if you are fishing shallow. A narrow beam
transducer can be overpowering in shallow water. The use of the LP
mode on your FL-18 will solve this problem.
Possible Cause
Unit is turned on, but no
display and motor is not
Check for bad connections, proper hook
up polarity, and make sure you have a
good, fully charged, battery.
Unit is turned on and
the motor is running,
but there is no display.
Battery voltage too low. The unit will
show no display if the voltage is below
10 volts. Check while unit is running.
Unit runs well for a
short time, then lights
fade out or unit quits.
Bad battery or connection. Voltage may
be good when checked, but will fall as as
unit runs.
Unit runs and shows
display light, but does
not read depth.
Transducer is not plugged in, not in contact with the water.
Unit works, but needs
high gain to see bottom
or targets.
Transducer is not aimed correctly or
needs to be cleaned. 19º transducers will
have trouble seeing small targets deep.
Unit works, but has too
many lines on the display. Can't tell what is
Improper transducer adjustment. Also,
gain may be set too high or ,if gain is set
to minimum, switch to the LP Mode.
Unit works well when sitting still or at when slow
trolling, but loses reading
at higher speeds.
Improper transducer type, installation,
or adjustment causing a loss of clear
water flow across the transducer when
the boat reaches a certain speed.
Unit shows noise when
engine or electric motor
is turned on.
Defective engine or electric motor. Also
can be improper grounding or missing
ground in electrical system.
I.R. does not work. Can’t
eliminate interference
from other depth finder.
Gain may be set too high or the other
unit has a problem. Also, check for ice or
debris buildup under the gain control.
The unique P-160 Porta Case holds your Vexilar FLSeries or other manufacturer's sonar or GPS. It has
space for your transducer, a rechargeable battery, and
the Vexilar Battery Status Indicator. Just set it down
on the ice or boat seat, position the transducer and
turn on your flasher. The round base is just the right
size to fit down inside a standard 5 gallon bucket.
The P-100 carrying case is simple, sturdy, and inexpensive. It is an easy way to mount the Vexilar FLSeries and many other depth finders and GPS. Made
of strong ABS plastic, this case can take abuse at any
time of year.
This Battery was designed for sportsmen on the
go, with rugged construction and design features that
make it ideal for summer and winter use. With a near
"bulletproof" charger, this system packs enough power to run your equipment for hours, and for years to come.
The Battery Status Indicator works with all 12 volt lead
acid (gel cell) batteries and can be permanently mounted
or used as a portable unit. It monitors your battery constantly as it is discharging and charging. Battery charge
status is indicated with a highly visible LED light. Portable,
durable, and water-proof. Draws very low current.
The flexible night light simply attaches to the
Porta Case or other type of case to get light where
it is needed. Just attach with the wing nut provided and hook up the battery clips. Extra bulb is
The ProMount is a releasable swival mount
designed to hold marine electronics such as
depth finders, GPS systems, and marine
radios. Includes hole covering gasket and mounting hardware.
The Mag Shield magnifies the display of any Vexilar
FL-Series flasher. It also protects the display from debris
falling into it. Easily installs with a friction fit.
Other Great Products From Vexilar
The EDGE2 Model LC-507
The Edge, LC-507, is an amazing depth sounder.
It is unique in that it’s like having two totally different depth finders in one unit. It comes with two
transducers, a 107 kHz, 38 degree, and a 400 kHz,
10 degree. The idea is that you mount the transducers right next to each other and compare the
two different views directly on the split screen.
You can also run either beam at full screen. Speed,
temp, and voltage sensors are included. This unit
was designed for the very serious fisherman. It has a lot of powerful features, but is one of the easiest units ever made to understand and operate.
The CLC-200 Five-Color LCD
The CLC-200 is a five-color LCD depth finder
with great multi-colored resolution at an affordable price. It’s available in either the popular
Boundary Waters portable version (shown) or with
a releasable swival ProMount mounting system.
The FL-10 In-Dash Color Flasher
The FL-10 is designed to fit in the standard in-dash mounting hole in your boat.
It’s super bright and has an exclusive flat
display with a very wide viewing angle.
The LPS-1 Handheld
The LPS-1 is a simple handheld digital depth
finder. It’s great for canoeists, backpackers, ice fishermen, and even scuba divers. It runs on one nine
volt battery and gives quick and accurate readings
of the depth.
The Deptherm Model 104
The fishing odds are on your side when you use DEPTHERM.
It tells you quickly and accurately what temperatures are below
your boat and it also tells you the temperature at a specific depth.
If your DEPTHERM indicates that the water is too cold or too
warm for the species you're after, you can quickly move, just as
the fish do.
Transducers and Accessories
TB0044 - 19° Transom Mount High Speed
Transducer. Comes with the Mounting Bracket
and 25 Feet of Cable.
TK184 - Complete Mounting Kit. Comes with
TB0084 Transducer, FL Power Cord, Unit
Mounting Bracket, and all the Hardware You Need to do the Job Right.
TB0084 - 12° Transom Mount High Speed Transducer. Comes with the
Mounting Bracket and 25 Feet of Cable.
TB0030 - 9° Transom Mount High Speed Transducer. Comes with the
Mounting Bracket and 25 Feet of Cable.
TB0045 - Dual Beam 9/19° Transom Mount High Speed Transducer.
Comes with the Mounting Bracket and 25 Feet of Cable. Built-In
Switch Box must be Mounted within 3 Feet of the Depth Finder.
BK0044 - Optional Suction Cup Mount for all of the above High Speed
Transducers. Dual suction cups for extra holding power.
TB0023 - 19° Puck Transducer. For Mounting on a
Electric Trolling Motor, In-Hull Mounting,
Portable Use, or Ice Fishing. Comes with 25 Feet
of Cable87
TK123 - Complete Mounting Kit. Comes with
TB0087 Transducer, FL Power Cord, Unit
Mounting Bracket, and all the Hardware You Need
to do the Job Right.
BK0023 - Optional Suction Cup Mount for TB0023.
TB0027 - 9° Puck Transducer. For Mounting on a Electric Trolling
Motor, In-Hull Mounting, Portable Use, or Ice Fishing. Comes with 25
Feet of Cable.
TB0087 - 12° Puck Transducer. For Mounting on a Electric Trolling
Motor, In-Hull Mounting, Portable Use, or Ice Fishing. Comes with 25
Feet of Cable.
TB0032 - Dual Beam 9/19° Puck Transducer. For Mounting on a
Electric Trolling Motor, In-Hull Mounting, Portable Use, or Ice Fishing.
Comes with 25 Feet of Cable. Built-In Switch Box must be Mounted
within 3 Feet of the Depth Finder.
TB0050 - 19° Ice-Ducer. Self Leveling and Floats in the Ice Hole. Comes
with Float, Stopper, and 7 Feet of Specially Designed
TB0051 - 9° Ice-Ducer. Self Leveling and Floats in the
Ice Hole. Comes with Float, Stopper, and 7 Feet of
Specially Designed Cable.
TB0052 - Dual Beam 9/19° Ice-Ducer. Self Leveling
and Floats in the Ice Hole. Comes with Float,
Stopper, and 7 Feet of Specially Designed Cable.
Built-In Switch Box must be Mounted within 3 Feet of the Depth
TB0080 - 12° Ice-Ducer. Self Leveling and Floats in the Ice Hole. Comes
with Float, Stopper, and 7 Feet of Specially Designed Cable.
SB-100 Switch Box - The SB-100 Switch Box allows you to run two
transducers on one FL Series unit. You could switch between a trolling
motor mounted transducer and a stern mounted one or, while ice fishing, switch between the hole you are fishing from and a remote hole.
Also, the SB-200 is available as a switch box for two units and one
Service and Support
If you find that you need help please contact us. Have ready the model
number and, if possible, the serial number of your product. Be sure to
read the Frequently Asked Question and Trouble Shooting sections first.
Vexilar, Inc.
200 W. 88th St.
Minneapolis, MN, 55420-2752
(952) 884-5291
(952) 884-5292
Web Site
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