Everything You Need to Know about Transducers

Having a good understanding of the transducer you have installed in your boat can save you time and some extra cash along the way. Therefore, this article will discuss and approach everything you need to know about transducers, so when buying, installing, servicing or testing, you’ll be able to make the right call.

What is a transducer?

A transducer is a sensor that converts a signal in one form of energy to a signal in another. Usually in boats, it is an ultrasonic transmitter and receiver in one. The sound pulse “reflects” and travels back to the boat and is then translated into usable data such as depth, structure, etc.

This is a very sensitive component that can give a good or poor signal to the fish finder if it is selected for the fishing type/hull and installed professionally. It is the transducer that changes electrical pulses into sound waves or acoustic energy and back again.

How do transducers work?

Almost every fish has an organ called an air bladder filled with gas that allows the fish to adjust to the water pressure at different depths easily. The amount of gas in the air bladder can be increased or decreased to regulate the buoyancy of the fish.

Because the air bladder contains gas, it is a drastically different density than the flesh and bone of the fish as well as the water that surrounds it. This difference in density causes the sound waves from the echo sounder to bounce off the fish distinctively. The transducer receives the echoes and sends it back to the echo sounder, which recognizes these differences and then, displays it as a fish or terrain.

Can fish hear my transducer?

No, the sound waves are ultrasonic. They are above (ultra) sound (sonic) that human ears are able to hear. Humans can hear sound waves from 10 Hz to 20 kHz. Most fish are unable to hear frequencies higher than about 500 Hz to 1 kHz.

The ultrasonic sound waves sent out by Airmar transducers have frequencies ranging from 10,000 kHz to 2 Megahertz (200,000,000 Hz), clearly beyond the hearing of fish. However, most people can hear the transmit pulses of our 10 kHz transducers; they sound like a series of clicks.

Why do I need a transducer on my boat?

If you’re fishing and/or have the desire to see water depths, structure, or movement under your boat, a transducer is a must-have feature.

Transducer repairs and misplacement

Different problems can occur to a transducer such as, broken circuit boards, dented enclosures, disconnected wires, faulty signals, intermittent problems, shortened life span, and many others but often misplacement is what causes the problem. So when installing or maintaining a transducer make sure you have someone with professional knowledge and experience assessing your marine device.

Transducer Testing

Nautek Marine is specialised in transducer testing, one of the only marine centres in Australia able to provide an accurate transducer diagnostic report using top-notch marine technology.


The AIRMAR transducer diagnostics is the latest in the field service technology not ever been made available to professionals for field testing. The test is non-destructive and very clear on providing insight into why your fishfinder may be under performing. It provides the device usage in hours and the accuracy of the transducer frequency across most transducer types.


  • For use with conventional and Chirp-ready transducers with operating frequencies from 25 kHz to 500 kHz
  • Automatically read Xducer ID® features such as transducer model, frequency, part number, and serial number
  • Quickly compare a transducer’s current acoustic performance to its original factory-approved setting with a simple Pass or Fail screen display
  • Instantly save, email or text test results to a boat owner, dealer, installer, or even an Airmar technician
  • Easily test transducers onboard or remotely at the dealer or OEM
  • Tutorial on Interpreting SensorCheck™ Results

With more than 15 years working in the marine industry, Nautek Marine is Victoria’s leading marine service provider. Our one-stop-shop for marine requirements has what you are looking for.

We hope this post was helpful. We would love to hear from you.

Enquire Now