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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Jaycar Ultrasonic Antifouling Review

    Hi everybody, this is my first post here. After reading USAF posts over the past 18 months, I decided to write about my experience. I have a 22' Center Console boat which sits on a mooring in Sydney, Australia. It is in warm, shallow water near the beach, and barnacles were becoming the bane of my life. Standard antifouling paint lasted 6-8 months, and by 12 months I could not get the boat on the plane. Only regular scrubs from professional divers made yearly antifouling possible. Understandably, I jumped when Jaycar advertised its USAF kit for $249. I must have been one of the first people to buy and fit one.

    Anyhow, this is my pictorial story:

    This is ROMA II


    I last antifouled it on February 2010. For those who are skeptical, here is the receipt:


    On 6th January 2011, the professional diver gave me this report. As you can see, the hull had hard and heavy growth, and the antifouling was now gone from some areas. The guy called me and told me to get the boat antifouled, as it would be too hard to clean it again next time.

    Here is the report:


    Three days later I installed the Jaycar USAF at the rear, close to the transom. Here is a picture of the transducer:


    The control box was placed nearby, close to the battery. I installed a 40W solar panel, as the boat was on a mooring.


    On 2 November 2011, eleven months later (and 21 months after the last antifouling), I had the boat on the slip and I quickly took a few photos with my iPhone. The result was so good, I nearly cried. Previously it only took 12 months for the hull to be covered by barnacles, oysters, mussels, sponges, coral and a surrounding ecosystem of crabs, funny looking worms and so on.

    This is the boat from the front:


    Viewed from the rear, I found no hard growth. The soft growth was visible in a few places, and could easily be removed with a finger nail or brush:


    Most of the soft growth was near the transom, particularly on the bung. I wonder whether being plastic, rather than fibreglass, it dampened the ultrasound waves:


    Here is a close-up of the growth:


    Overall, I am really, really happy with the result.

    Now for the problems:

    1. The USAF drains the battery, and the 40W solar panel is not enough to keep the battery adequately charged. The regulator cuts off the USAF before the voltage drops too far, so the battery is not ruined. When I want to go out on the boat, I turn off the USAF and wait 15 mins for the panel to put some juice back into the battery. The motor, a 90HP Evinrude Etec then starts well.

    2. Does the USAF harm marine life? They say no, but when I installed it I dived under the hull to see if I could hear anything. When closer than 20cm, I heard an ear-splitting high-pitch sound, probably transmitted through the skull rather than ear drums. I moved away quickly but I suffered tinnitus (ringing in both ears) for the next 24hours. It was highly unpleasant, and I won't be doing it again. It was like the day after a rock concert, but worse.

    In conclusion: I'm happy, and maybe a bit deaf, but I believe the USAF has already paid for itself.

    JulianP
    Last edited by JulianP; 02-11-11 at 21:15.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    South East UK & Mallorca
    Posts
    1,267

    Default

    Jeese Julian, tinitus in both ears for 24 hours does not sound healthy to me.

    If this is a result of using such systems I for one will be giving them a very big miss.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Falmouth
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    What a brilliant set of observations Thank you for that. Seems to have worked for you.Is it possible to put another transducer up fwr`d?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    466

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for your comprehensive post.
    I have just ordered USAF from Jaycar and will install it this winter so it will be operational after a lift out and clean. I hope I will get results as good as yours.
    I was gratified to hear that the US output was as loud as you say though sorry about the tinnitus! Water carries sound very well so would not expect problems due to airborne transmission - this has never been commented on.
    You must have ( or had ) very good hf hearing!
    There have been a couple of negative comments in the forums about Jaycar's service but I hope these are unfounded. If the kit does not arrive in a week or too I shall get worried.
    There was a comprehensive post on the yachtie forum about building this kit which I shall be using as a guide.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    203

    Default

    My kit has just arrived here in the UK. I ordered it on 28th Oct, the Parcel Force website said they collected it on 1st Nov, it was at the local depot on the 11th but VAT had to be paid first (our miserable demanding unstrusting civil(?) service, I selected delivery on 15th and here it is. Cant complain at that, Jaycar are faster than UK beaurocracy.
    J Webb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    East Sussex.
    Posts
    20,890

    Default

    Julian, What is the thing you have installed the transducer on? It needs to be on the hull, where the sound can pass through the layup. Your photo makes it look as if it is on some kind of extra thick or even hollow area. Try moving it to a flat area of hull, and see if it performs better.
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman_E View Post
    Julian, What is the thing you have installed the transducer on? It needs to be on the hull, where the sound can pass through the layup.
    To me it looks like it has been installed right above the bung he mentioned.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman_E View Post
    Julian, What is the thing you have installed the transducer on? It needs to be on the hull, where the sound can pass through the layup. Your photo makes it look as if it is on some kind of extra thick or even hollow area. Try moving it to a flat area of hull, and see if it performs better.
    It's installed on the floor of the boat. There are only a few centimetres of fibreglass between the transducer and sea water. If you look at my last two photos, you will see a patch of growth on the left. The transducer is on the other side of that patch. I must say it's a little bizarre that seaweed would groow almost in a circle around the transducer. Maybe there's a perfectly clear explanation, but it is one which escapes me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    466

    Default

    Kit arrived on 16th, well packed with instructions. Jaycar say to allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.
    Norman's point re mounting position of transducer is interesting. Ultrasonic vibes are used to detect flaws in castings etc because the flaw causes a reflection so it seems that transmission is likely to be best when the transducer is mounted to a large flat surface. Corners or some other discontinuity may cause a loss in transmitted energy because some has been reflected back. I wonder if the high frequencies heard by Julian close to his boat were an indication that energy was being lost into the water rather than zipping around the hull?
    It seems certain that the better the mechanical connection between the transducer and glassfibre the more energy will be transmitted into the hull.
    What an interesting little project!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Trevor123

    Hi
    I am in tropical waters and have just fitted the antifoul device from Jaycar. Can anyone tell me how to test and what to use to see that it is actually working and what the output should be.
    The boat has just been refitted out and new antifoul. It is a steel hull 38 foot and planning to put two devices on. I have one on but need to know its working before fitting the second.
    any help would be appreciated.

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