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2020 Nitro Z18 Pro HB Helix 7 Electronics Issue

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CDFord

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I recently purchased a 2020 Z18 Pro with Hummingbird Helix 7 MSI on the console, Helix 7 MDI on the bow, Ultrex with MDI with iLink, and they are all connected to the HB ethernet hub. I cannot seem to get my console HB to graph at all. It appears I received a few upgrades that are not included in the 2020 Z18 Pro models, for instance ... my Ultrex came with the MDI Transducer, and the transducer on the console Helix is the transom mount "HW + MEGA SI 150" which apparently is the XNT-9-HW-MSI-150-T MEGA SI/DI Dual Spectrum CHIRP Transducer w/Temp. I am grateful for the unexpected gift ... however, I cannot seem to get it to function properly. I checked the cable going into the back of the console unit, and it is a Y cable. First question ... is there a thru hull 2D already installed in the 2020 Z19 Nitro Pro? Second ... why the Y cable? Third ... any cles why I cannot get SI/DI/2D to show good data while idle or at a stand still with motor off? Before this purchase, I was a Lowrance user, so please forgive my ignorance. I am an engineer, and I have tried everything from reading the manuals front to back as well as watched every YouTube video I could find. The Transducer that shows up in the sonar setup menu is "HW + MEGA SI 150". Any help would be appreciated.
 

CDFord

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Update after extensive troubleshooting
I updated to the latest firmware and still having issues. For the Helix MSI G3N on the console, I did discover that I have the XNT 9 HW MSI 150T mounted on the transom as well as a XP 9 HW mounted inside the bilge. These are connected via the correct Y-Cable. I cannot get reliable soundings thru the hull while on plane for 2D. I changed out the Y-cable since I had an extra and this did not solve the issue. I have reset to factory defaults before and after firmware update and this also did not resolve the issue. SI/DI work well off plane as expected, but no reliable 2D even while not on plane. I took the Y-cable off and checked the transom TD and everything works. I suspect either the XP 9 HW is bad or improperly mounted.
My bigger issue is the bow mounted Helix 7 MDI G3N attached to the Ultrex MDI with I-Link. All cables verified secure and firmware updates were done. I get 2D, but nothing but a black screen on DI. I reset to factory defaults while on the water several times and verified I had the correct transducer selected to no avail. I can see the console SI/DI on the bow unit when I select the console source Helix in Network settings via ethernet, but no Ultrex DI, just 2D. The Ultrex definitely is the MDI version. Am I missing something? I am getting ready to process a warrantee claim, but wanted to exhaust all efforts before I go that route.
 

Pat Dilling

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It sounds like you have tried everything I can think of. I have a 2021 Z19 Pro that is configured the same way yours is, except I do not have an in-hull transducer. I had a similar issue with my bow Helix and found I had the wrong transducer selected. You want the Mega Down Imaging transducer. Here is a video showing which menu to use.
. Also, have you contacted Humminbird support? I have worked with them using their live chat feature on their web page and found them very helpful and responsive. https://www.humminbird.com/contact

Good luck, please keep us posted on what you figure out
 

CDFord

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That was my original thought as well. I updated my software to ensure I was not missing anything in the transducer selection list as well. my new 2020 Nitro Z18 Pro is a little bit of a mystery. I bought it at Bass Pro in Orlando and the sales tag showed only the tandem trailer upgrade. I ended up with a Ultrex with MDI instead of US2 and a few other things like the thru hull puck.
I suspect it was a boat someone ordered and never completed the purchase, or they just missed it. I even brought it up to the salesman who sold me the boat, and he just said Merry Christmas. Anyway, I did make sure I had the correct transducer installed. On mine it is “Built in HW : MDI+” according to the posts I have read, but I will take your advise and call HB customer service. One more thing I need to check is to make sure I have the correct adapter cable going from the 9 pin on the Ultrex to the Helix 7 MDI G3N on the bow. There are two different PN where both will connect but are pinned differently for the Helix 7 vs the Helix 8 and larger. Not sure if that makes a difference but worth checking out since all I have to do is remove the panel ... for the tenth time 😒.
BTW ... in the heat of frustration, I think I tried almost every transducer in the list to see if I could get anything to show up in the DI screen to no avail. i do see something while in the garage, but nothing but black when TD get wet on the water.

thanks Pat ... I really appreciate the tips. Stay frosty and dry.
 

JohnB

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I second the idea of getting in touch with Humminbird. Their customer service is very good - which sounds hard to believe in this day and age.
 

Pat Dilling

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I checked my transducer setting for my bow unit and it is HW: Mega DI. Before I had that selected I was having the same issue you are experiencing. My unit was initially a Helix 8 DI, now a Helix 10 DI+. I know there are differences between mine and your Helix 7 but thought I would let you know. I also discovered that I have an in-hull transducer and Y cable just like your installation. That makes sense because I do get readings at speed.
 

CDFord

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Thanks Pat. For some reason, I do not have that transducer selection in my list on my Helix 7 MDI G3N. I updated my firmware, but only have the “Built in HW : MDI+”. Maybe the MDI+ is part of the problem. I really do love the HBs features, but I have to say I never had any issues like this with my Lowrance HDS Carbon units on my last boat. I hope these issues are just learning curves.
 

CDFord

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Update ... the issue has been resolved. The adapter cable from the Ultrex MDI transducer to the Helix 7 MDI G3N was incorrect. It was the MKR-MDI-1 instead of the MKR-MDI-2. This was done at the factory. I installed the right cable and everything now works.
Thanks for all your posts. Time to go fishing now :)
 

CDFord

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I ended up not having to call Hummingbird customer service. It would have been quicker if I had done that early in my troubleshooting, but I did not "stop and ask for directions" :)
As an engineer, I love to solve problems on my own. Sometimes it works ... and sometimes it does not.
I am confident that once I obtained all the cable/adapter part numbers, they would have quickly said I had the wrong adapter cable. But I have learned a great deal during the process.
Thanks
 

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