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Do I need an external GPS?

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My dad just bought his first boat. A Pro-v 1775 tiller. I've read many people not picking up GPS sats with the unit and antenna in the tiller box. Will I need an external GPS? I'd really like to pick up the HDS-5, but I don't want to spend the extra buying an external GPS puck. Might force me to look at the 520c or a Humminbird with external antenna.

And, if I need an external GPS, any recommendations for packages?

Thanks - Tony

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Congrats to your dad on his first boat, and a good one at that.

If you are going to mount the unit in the electronics compartment where it will be under the metal gunnel then you'll probably have issues with an internal antenna.

You have some options though. RAM mounts are a great way to go, the best tiller setup I ever saw (IMO) was with a couple RAM balls mounted on the vertical surface below or beside the electronics compartment. That guy would store his electronics when not using them, but when using them he put them on the RAM balls outside the compartment - got them closer to him in his chair, let him position them where he wanted them instead of in the compartment, and let him use the space in the compartment for other things (a couple units fills that space up quick).

I've also seen internal antenna units on RAMs inside the compartment, positioned so the RAM brings it up and out of the compartment so the antenna has a clear view of the sky. That is another good way to go.

Unless you can find a discontinued LMS520 or go with a used unit, if you want Lowrance you're going to have to get the built-in antenna on the HDS-5 positioned so it has a clear view of the sky, or add the network and an external gps puck. The bright side if you go that route is you can go with the high-accuracy LGC-4000 puck.

If you want to go with Humminbird the 788C is in the same size and price range of the HDS-5, and has an external gps antenna. IMO the only drawback to HB units is that they work with Navionics cards but not LakeMaster cards.

You can check out all the units HERE at Pro Fishing Supply. Also, we have a sale on the HDS-5 right now in addition to the Lowrance rebate, which gets your final price the HDS-5 below $600.

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Thanks PerchJerker - Appreciate the advice, and if we decide to go the RAM mount with internal GPS, I saw your deal on last year's HB 797... Looks like a GREAT deal.

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