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