Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
mknolls

Help Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter Units

9 posts in this topic

I'm looking to buy a new fishfinder/GPS. I have been going back through the threads to see what everybody has to say about them. I was leaning towards a HDS 8" Lowrance. I see that there is an update coming out as I have read and also talk to the guys at Cabela's. It seems that there are a lot of guys out there that aren't happy. Would like to get some opinion on this unit and weather or not there might be another brand that the professionals (all fishing fanatics) use and may not have as many problems. Not sure what way to go. Really like the look of the Lowrance 8" and see that a lot of guys love it when it works. Are the newer units better then the old? Or do we think the updates will take care of the problems every one has? Are the update's out? And if they are has anyone done it yet, and did it help?

Thanks

MK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new 2.1 update really helped things out. I've never ran hummingbird so my opinions on them aren't really worth anything. I have ran lowrance all my life and love the new HDS units. If you get the weather for them it's a really sweet set-up. IMO nothing else can really come close to them, head over to your nearest Cabelas and Scheels and just spend some time with the units to see if you like them. Play around with them a bit and see if they're a comfortable fit with you. Oftentimes people either get units too complicated for their needs and aren't happy, or they get something a little too simple and again aren't happy. If the HDS fits your needs pull the trigger, you won't be disapointed.

On a sidenote, make sure you install your transducer correctly. For some reason, the 'ducers for these units are awfullly sensitive to being in the wrong position which gives most people their headaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's been 2 software updates in the last few weeks, the majority of the updates have been mapping related, specifically Navionics. Lots of guys have complained about having to update their units ........ but when Lowrance introduced the HDS units they told everyone that they needed a software update from Navionics to get the Nav maps to work (then Nav was a month late getting it out there). It's done now ----- I've updated my HDS with both the latest updates (very simple to do), and the Nav maps work great in there.

I've never had any problems with my HDS unit. I use it as a sonar way more than a GPS but I haven't had any complaints about it at all. I think the sonar ROCKS!!!!

Everyone I know that has HDS units are happy with them too. Just for example, in the last two days I got calls from 2 customers who were just raving about how good their HDS works - one guy installed his in-dash under a hardtop and loves how good the gps is working, the other guy has been fishing in 3 fow and thinks his sonar performance is outstanding.

I agree with fishingfrenzy, I think a lot of the issues guys have posted about have been transducer related, or that they have to update their software.

You can check out the HDS and our low prices at HDS-8 At Pro Fishing Supply

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the fact that it is tech: I look forward to a new challenge. I have Played with them a little and that's why I think it would be a good fit for me. I'm not sure that I need the weather set up for it although it sounds real cool. And it would be fun to play with. Something to look forward to down the Rd when I can afford a bigger boat. I have a Aluminum boat and was told I have to put the transducer on the back when I get one. Do you have any advice as to tweaking it to make sure it works well. I will do the install my self. Also will I need to up grade to any other opponents or another battery system other then a 12 volt system? Almost for got. Would the Insight USA or the Basemap be a better fit for a guy who mostly fishes MN. My understanding from the guy at Cabela's said that when you run the lake master chip you lose some of the 3d structural on the Insight USA. And that the Insight USA is more for Coastal waters. He said that the Basemap would work for what I would do. Does anybody have an Opinion of one or the other? And what are you running and why?

Thanks

MK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I am not a big fan of transducer mounting boards or plates, they are a good way to go with an aluminum boat --- that way if you need to move the transducer you can do it easily without putting more holes in the boat. What has worked for me is to put the transducer 1/8-1/4 inch lower than they show in the manual, and to tip the back of the transducer down a bit to put more of the transducer face in the water when running. This is on boats with big outboards and kickers and stainless props designed to give stern lift, it might be different on other boats. Point is --- if it's not working right, try adjusting it to see if you can improve it.

A big key is going into the HDS installation menu and selecting the right transducer for the unit. Then set it on 200 kHz and shallow water mode and go from there. Next things to try are ping speed, sensitivity and colorline settings, and choosing a color palette. I really like the pictures my HDS has been drawing!

Your 12 volt system should be fine, I run all my electronics off my starting battery. I keep my batteries on an on-board charger all the time when my boat is in the garage.

The LM chip does not have the 3D features. I've played around with the 3D map views and while they look kind of neat I don't find them to be very helpful or useful. I'm sticking with my 2D contour maps. With the LM and Nav map options we have for this area I think the Base Map version is the way to go, instead of spending the extra money on the Insight version I'd go with a map card or two.

I have the Base Map version in my boat. I've used the gps and map screens on my HDS, but I mostly use my HDS as a sonar -- I have a unit mounted right by it that I use for my GPS. When Lowrance releases their side scan component later this year I am going to add that to my HDS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being that this is my first fishfinder / GPS I think it well be good for me. I do know that the guys who fish more then me or guides have both setups in there boat. I don't see that happening for me right at this time. I do have an older hand held Grumman that I will still us to do some marking with, to have to units to do that with should work for what little fishing I do.

Thanks for the info it was very help full I can't wait to try it out. I hope to play with it a few times before I venture off to lake Vermillion at the end of the mouth. Thanks again PJ

MK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had the HDS 7 out today for the first time. The sonar is amazing. Found a school of small sunfish in 30ft of water and the arches it was drawing were sweet. They look just like the arches in the adds. Sunlight viewability is awasome. The scope of what you see on the bottom is so wide, looks something like 3D when you go over a bed of boulders or similar stucture.

Not sure why they call it a 7. The screen is only 5 1/8".

Someone in Marketing should get their pee pee whapped for that one. Other than that Im pretty happy with it so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you really like the HDS 7. Did you get a chance to use GPS and did it go ok. Did you do the install your self? And do you have the latest upgrades for the unit? O ya did you get any of those sunnies?

MK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure why they call it a 7. The screen is only 5 1/8".

They measure the screens diagonally, all electronics companies do it that way, same for TVs and computer screens. I think the specs for the HDS-7 is a 6.4" screen, I guess that's close enough to 7 for them.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Watch your City Ordinances.  Some city's require a back-flow preventor, and it can be VERY expensive. I have both the battery backup, and the water driven sump pumps in my pit--all at different elevations, and feel very confident. When the water comes up, and the power goes out, the battery backup starts working.  After that the water driven sump pump will kick in.  The water driven pump will keep pumping until the power is restored and the main pump returns everything to normal. There is always water pressure in a power outage (from the tower).  Cities keep the tower full for fire protection
    • So proud of my 93 year old dad.  It's getting tougher and tougher just getting him out there, but he still knows what to do once there.    
    • I still gotta tag Moose! I'm going for a Tom only!!   (Personal thing) is ,,, I want to do it with my bow
    • Shaggy parasols are coming up in the shade garden again. Yum.  
    • VTX129 has a great point on nothing smaller than 9". I have a HB 998Ci HD unit. The bottom features that I can pick up are incredible- however I sometimes have a problem picking fish up on it. I have tried to keep my SI width narrower to help ID fish. Overall fantastic tool. The hard to soft transitions are easy to see as are rocks and so forth. On the HB units the larger screened ones come with the High Def transducer.  The smaller units come with a compact transducer. You can find some great prices on models that are being phased out - but they also will quit repairing those units sooner as well. Trade off's. Check out Universal Mania and some others online for pricing. Bass Boat central has a lot of info under Humminbird and Lawrance topics.   Good luck   Steve
    • CM I agree...and Chicago seems to find those diamonds in the rough...not sure how their AHL team is or if they have more of these "sleepers" coming up from somewhere but I bet they are right back in the finals within a 2-3 years with or without Q.   Another article that came in last night on Fletch/Wild http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2017/04/25/wild-exit-early-fletcher-stays-positive-a-familiar-refrain-in-minnesota/  You might have to Cut/Paste
    • Same have to give them a try once they come out.
    • Can't wait to test that Sprinker. 
    • lots coming thru for a couple days now.  had fun whistling with a couple yesturday. 
    • I wasn't able to catch it live and when I tried finding it after the fact it wouldn't play on my laptop for some reason. I do admire Bowman for being visibly ticked about their early exit, but I think that may get pushed a little too far. You tick off Q and he might just walk out the door. Bowman just fired one of his buddies and Q isn't too happy about it. We will see how that plays out. I think the Hawks are in a tougher position cap-wise than the Wild and have been for a few years. The difference is they had been getting no-name guys to emerge and contribute. They could be on a very slippery slope in Chi-town. We will see how that plays out.
  • Our Sponsors