I am relatively shocked at how badly Minnkota engineering managed this situation on the new terrovas. First the problem starts with the simple fact the US2 does not support higher frequency sonars that support Down Imaging or Side Scan. At first, I thought this to mean the Down Image feature would not work and i would have to only use 2D regular sonar which I was fine with on bow. That is not true, the Down Imaging frequency will still create noise and prevent bottom lock when using 2D sonar because you cannot turn off source signal at sonar. I was also informed continued use would lead to premature failure of US2, so you cannot just fix your sonar depth to 30FOW and call it good.
The second major issue after they force anyone with modern sonar equipment away from US2 is there is no way to route the cable without it binding during spot lock, etc. Before lift assist there was a nice groove you could epoxy cable to so it would be flush with motor shaft. The lift assist now uses a spring the consumes this channel.
I was told you cannot remove the lift assist from trolling motor because again...I would gladly give up this convenience for the benefit of a working locator on bow. I am not sure why removing lift assist makes it so trolling motor won't work, or this might just be a commercial stance by Minnkota saying it voids warranty. One guy on line did it and said it took hours and two guys to put back on (coiled spring problems!)
Ultimately there are really 4 solutions I have found.
1. Precision Sonar makes product called Cable Guard that retails for around ($130). It consists of some CNC aluminum brackets and air hose to route cable off the shaft and provide enough flexibility for motor to turn freely without binding. I will be going this route in future.
2. The above product is a improvement over what I am doing now which is to route transducer cable through a 1/4 inch air hose and coil it around the shaft of motor. Problems with this approach is you still have to pay attention to air hose when deploying and stowing motor because it can and will catch in the hinge. It also looks like a rat nest of cable.
3. People will use a tool balance to pull slack out of cable and just route the cable in a way that bypasses shaft completely. I am not totally sold on this option for some reason. Just seems rube goldberg to me.
4. The last option and probably best option other than it voids your warranty completely is to simply remove the US2 and route cable up the shaft. This requires fabricating a new WATERPROOF seal where US2 transducer previously existed.
if anyone else has any suggestions I would be happy to hear them.
The following ideas were eliminated from consideration.
- just using transom mounted transducer and routing to bow locator.
- using a transducer pole mounted to bow. I only found one affordable commercial product and it did not get great reviews because it pole could move around and wobble thereby distorting bottom readings (https://www.amazon.com/Transducer-Mount-Assembly-Boats-Pontoons/dp/B0106HX1ZW)
- this transducer pole seems a little bit over engineered to me on cost and size http://www.podunkideas.com/da-ducer-apparatusreg.html
If someone knows anyone at Minnkota that worked on this product, please let them know this should be a considered a major fail on their part...especially considering Humminbird is part of same company.