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pearllakebulls

GPS/sonar and rigging questions

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I am in the process of rigging my new boat and I am trying to decide what sonar/gps unit to get. I know that Lowrance has a great reputation right now, and I am leaning heavily towards one of theirs, but am having trouble deciding which model. I compared the LMS 525C DF and LMS 520C and they are about $50 difference in price and from the specs the only differences in the two is the DF stands for "dual frequency" and the peak to peak power is higher on the 525(4000w vs. 2400w). What are the advantages/disadvantages of the dual frequency and is the power difference important? Also, I am looking at "autopilot" on my trolling motor and I want to know if it is really nice to hook that up with the GPS. Thanks and I appreciate your help!

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I run two 520's on my boat and find the power to be plenty adequate. I really don't see the need for the "deep" option on any inland lakes as the 2400w is plenty power to do the job.

I'm not familiar with connecting the autopilot to the GPS? I have a Minn-Kota bow mount that is equipped with Autopilot and don't find myself using it all that much. Typically I'm using that trolling motor while working structure so it really isn't a viable factor. The only thing I could see it used for is if making long, straight, trolling runs or if you need the boat to run in a straight line while dealing with something else in the boat where your attention is away from running the foot pedal such as re-tying a line, etc.

The 520 series locator is a great little unit. I really like mine. I'd suggest saving the $50 and getting the 520 plus a Lakemaster MN chip. Check out Pro Fishing Supply as an option for purchasing the Lowrance units. They are a Fishing MN sponsor and will set you up with what you need at a honest price!

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I don't think you can connect your gps and your autopilot on trolling motors.

The only difference between the 520 and the 525 is the dual frequency. The narrower frequency uses more power to shoot through salt water or to shoot to greater depths, that's why the 525 puts out more power.

For most of the water people are fishing here in MN, like less than 60 feet deep, there's really no need for the narrower frequency unless you want it so it doesn't interfer with another locator on your boat. But the wider frequency (which is what the 520 has) will give you better performance in most situations with the water depths we fish around here.

If you go after Salmon in the Great Lakes or something like that then the Dual Frequency model would be a good one to get. I've had Dual Frequency units in the past and really never used the narrower frequency, and now I just have single frequency units on my boat.

I think the 520 and the 525 are great units. I assume you know this already but there is a Lowrance rebate on those units, if you buy them before the end of August.

You can check those units out and their pricing here at Pro Fishing Supply Lowrance 520 / 525

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I am looking at "autopilot" on my trolling motor and I want to know if it is really nice to hook that up with the GPS. Thanks and I appreciate your help!

I hear quite a few folks rave about the TR-1 autopilot setup. It isn't applicable to a bow mount electric, just throwing it out there. It's a kicker control system for trolling.

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thanks for the help on the sonar. As far as the autopilot on the trolling motor, it seems as if you are right, I did some digging and nowhere on the websites does it say a person can use the trolling motor to follow a specific path from a GPS unit. The dealer who told me about it must have been wrong.

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Autopilot on trolling motor just keeps it pointed in a constant compass direction. So boat will go in more or less a straight line without manual attention even if wind shifts or anything.

The fancy autopilots that hook up to the helm are a different deal.

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The TR-1 has a number of fishing patterns that are controlled through a GPS connection.

Here's a clip from the HSOforum:

"If you hook your autopilot up to GPS you can track a GPS course with the pilot. Select a waypoint on your GPS and command "go to waypoint". With the autopilot in Heading Hold, press the GPS button on the remote. The autopilot will now steer to the heading commanded by the GPS and at the same time act to reduce the cross track error."

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ok, now what is your opinion on minnkota trolling motors with the autopilot feature? Does it work well for following a compass direction? I read a few customer reviews about it somewhere and they did not sound too impressed, I believe they said it was a waste of money and it would get confused in choppy water and make sharp turns for no apparent reason. Anyone out there have similar experiences with it or could it just be operator error?? It looks like it is about $200 more for the autopilot. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

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Minn Kota autopilots ---- some people love them, some people have trouble with them. Sorry I can't be more specific but that's really the way it shakes out. It's not operator error, the gyro-compasses can go out or even just get confused at times. I've used "good ones" and "bad ones". I usually find them more frustrating than their worth and usually have the autopilot feature turned off on motors that have them. I used to buy autopilots but my last few motors have not been autopilot.

A different feature you might want to consider is the copilot. A lot of people seem to like that feature, it's a small remote control you can use to control the motor instead of the food pedal.

Personally I just use the foot pedal. With the 18' cord I can run my bowmount motor from my rear platform if needed (like when my kid wants to fish off the front of the boat). And I muskie fish a lot and I don't want to stop casting or retrieving to adjust the trolling motor. I'm just used to running it with my feet and have stuck with that.

Hope this helps.

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I troll a lot of spinners and cranks and the aoto pilot on my bowmount makes things much easier for me. I can real in fish without having to mess with a foot pad and I can set it up so it will keep me straight in a wind when Im trolling with the big motor. I hate taking a fish out of the net and look up and see the wind has turned you sideways. With auto pilot that doesnt happen nearly as much.

Yes in big gusts it at times is slow to correct and I have had times where I think underwater cables of some sort were messing with the compus but over all I like mine so much I wont own a bowmount without auto pilot. I also have the co pilot that I wear around my kneck and thats great as well. No more foot pad and cord in the way in my boat.

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