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herefish101

depth finder, bang for the buck

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i recently bought a boat with an older depth finder, its an interphase dc500 is this a decent unit or should i replace it? i checked on the interphase web site and found an owners manual, it has plenty of power but i've never herd of this company, any info on this unit or even the reputation of the company would be great.

so i'v decided to go with a new unit. i have an h2o to use for gps so i only need a sonar. i would like to keep the price fairly low, around the 250 dollar range, i'v checked into the hummingbirds recomended, but i'v also in my searching came across these garmin units that are in my price range and seem to offer the same or comparable power but they have color screens.are these good units or should i go hummingbird? any more advice would be great.

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Interphase has been around for a long time and made quality sounders. They have sort of gotten out of the consumer grade market and into forward scanning sonar.

128x160 pixels isn't the best resolution but it'll get the job done. If it works I'd use it or keep it for backup.

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Sometimes the old stuff is better. I'm not too familiar with this brand but if it works, why replace it? Or, if you want to upgrade to some fancy schmancy stuff you can still keep it and use it as back up or bow mount.

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I had an old Interphase on a canoe, quite a few years ago. It worked fine. The only problem was that with it's amber screen, it was next to impossible to read when the sun hit it.

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My last boat had on old Lowrance unit. It mostly was a depth finder but could tell you a little bit about the bottom and whether or not there were fish below. I mostly just used it to know depth and was pretty happy. I find that more electronics means more monkeying around with that stuff instead of putting my feet up, listening to some tunes, and enjoying where I am.

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I agree with keeping it as a back up. If your not looking for a GPS, check out the humminbird 535 and 565. For the money, they are a nice unit and work very well.

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I see you edited your post with additional info.

At one time I'd never have recommended a Bird. If you had asked me two years ago I'd have said Eagle has the best bang for the buck. They still are priced right but the dependability of Eagle and Lowrance has lost my confidence at this time. To be fair Lowrance is still up there on the leading edge and there are certainly tons of their sounders working without any hiccups.

Things change, the Birds have come a long way recently.

Definitely worth consideration IMO.

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herefish101...I had the same unit, plus the Pilot Loran, in my boat for over 15 years. I replaced it last year with a Lowrance X-96 and a hand held Lowrance Expedition C GPS. There was nothing wrong with the Interphase unit, I just wanted to update.(I really miss that 8 ft. Loran antenna) I paid under $300 for the X-96, it has speed and temp. and I love it.

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I think the new Hummingbird 788c Combo is one of the best bangs for the buck on the market today.

It features a brilliant color, ultra-high resolution 640V x 640H 5" display, DualBeam PLUS sonar with 4000 Watts PTP power output, GPS Chartplotting with built-in UniMap, and advanced Fishing System capabilities. In addition, it includes dual card slots for maps and saving waypoints, as well as 3 programmable preset buttons to save your favorite views. $649.99

My next pick in the Humm'r line would be the 587ci Combo. It features a brilliant color 320V x 240H 4.5" display, Dual Beam sonar with 2400 Watts PTP power output, 16-channel internal GPS Chartplotting with built-in UniMap, a card slot for maps and saving waypoints, and a Tilt & Swivel Quick Disconnect Mounting System. The new design also allows drop-in replacement for competitive in-dash models. $469.99

A very impressive easy to use newcomer from Humm'r with an amazingly bright display is the PiranhaMAX 190c. It features a 256 color 320V x 240H 3.5" display and Single Beam sonar with 1600 Watts PTP power output. The new design also allows drop-in replacement for competitive in-dash models. $219.99

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havent looked at locators lately but I do know that I love the x 135 thats on my boat its really powerful and has what i need for features its the strongest grayscale on the market and finds transitions really well and put fish in the boat for me.

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Wow! - I'm really dated !!!

I've been up/down the depthfinfer road to hell,

and over the years I have come to the stark realization

that there are only 2 things that matter to me - how

deep is it, and how hard is the bottom. There WAS a time

when I was taken in by all the bells/whistles that sonar

makers were touting, much as they are now touting the

"maps" thing.....folks, there ain't no MAPS detailed

enough to get you on fish as of this date....either go

there and set your own GPS points, or forget it. Some

hot walleye bars I have fished are only 20x40 feet - do

you really think these pre-programmed maps will show that?

Of course not.

Bottom line - go for POWER - the more transmit power, the

stronger is the return signal, and therefore the more

"data" your sonar has to process....maybe even displaying

fish. (Don't get hooked into the "fish-id" [PoorWordUsage] - it's

just that - [PoorWordUsage].) Learn to interpret the RAW sognal for

yourself, what is a weed, what is a rock, etc. Yes. the

old TV shows you have seen that showed "hooks" are real,

and good sonars will show them.

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