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
steffanf

Issues with Lowrance sonars loosing bottom reading...

35 posts in this topic

This seems to be a common problem with many of the Lowrance sonars produced over the past 2-3 years. I've heard it many times on this forum and I am sure their reputation is suffering. Everything from LCX-27's to LMS-332's, 520's, 510's down to some of the X units. What is the general concensus of the reason behind this? I ask this because my 520 is having problems with loosing bottom at times over weeds in 4-5 feet of water. I have to pull out to deeper water, sometimes up to 10-15 feet deep to regain bottom readings. The thing is, I also have an X-135. When I swap it out with the 520, everything works almost perfect. I may loose bottom once in a while when I go over some weedbeds in less than 2 feet of water, but it finds the bottom again within a few seconds... and there is no need to pull out over deeper water either. Can anything be done about this? There is more to the story than this with my latest Lowrance "issues", but I will delve into that later...

-Gregg B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a software update that is supposed to deal with this. It is explained on lowrance web site. I haven't tried it yet. It adds some modes that help keep the processor from getting confused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this is an upgraded unit I just got from Lowrance since I was having problems with my last unit (332c), which was fairly new itself. I assume that the software update has been made, since it came directly from Lowrance... no? And, what are these additional "modes"? Is there some new settings in the programming that allow me to cure this problem? If so, what settings should I use? Currently I have the scroll speed and ping speed set as fast as it will go. I am using the auto-sensitivity and set the "base" sensitivity to 85%. Surface clutter is set at Medium and noise rejection is set to Low. Anything else?

-Gregg B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turn down the sensitivity when in shallower water and sometimes slowing the ping speed will help too.

I'm running a 520 and X28c and haven't had much problems with them because I believe it's due to running the sensitivity in manual mode all the time. I've never cared for the auto mode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a LMS 480 and it is doing the same thing, sometimes it works great and other times it is a piece of ****. Has anyone sent there's in and had the problem resolved properly, or does it just keep reoccuring?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is with the combo units, the sonar-only units are much better. That's why the x135 works better than the 520.

On my console I have a x102c and a seperate gps and never lose my bottom reading on the x102c. On my bow I have a 332c combo unit and weeds give it fits. The latest software update made it better but it still has problems in weeds. I have turned down the sensitivity and had it improve the performance a little but not correct it all the way. I've heard the 520s are better than the 332s but every time I've used a 520 it hasn't been around weeds so I can't say for sure.

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but that's the way I see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what these units cost they should be flawless.

I was interested in getting one, but I've decided to hold off until they make things right. It's hard enough to justify spending the bucks on equipment that actually work as they should. It's even harder to explain to my wife why I bought something that doesn't work, to use for myself, to give only myself pleasure.

Sorry Lowrance, but I have no patients when it comes to over priced stuff that only works sometimes. If you want my money, you have to do better then that. If you don't, somebody else will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was playing around in the menu setting on Friday and there is a setting where (if checked) will only show the depth if "xxx" (i forget the term). but when i checked it, the depth did dissappear off the screen for intermittent periods of time, mainly when i was over weeds. Not sure if that would be a possible culprit or not?

BTW, my 797SI hummer has not lost bottom contact or GPS position since got it. I'm slowly being converted....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are these problems more likely with the Lowrance units? Or is it a problem with others (garmin, hummingbird, eagle)?

I've got an older x51 that having problems reading bottom (or anything else for that matter) - am looking to replace the whole thing but don't know a lot about reliability of the different manufacturers - any recommendation would be appreciated (looking to keep cost down).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I understand it, the modes control the maximum depth that the unit will go to while searching for bottom after an abrupt transition, and probably some other stuff. There is another option on some setup screen or maybe several options that allow you to set it for shallow or deep. You can find out what software you have by querying the unit using the menus.

I wouldn't count on it having the new software. Installing is trivial, if you have a SD card laying around and an adapter for your computer. If you don't then you can buy all the necessary stuff at wally world for 10 or 15 bucks. (an SD card and an adaptor)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are these problems more likely with the Lowrance units? Or is it a problem with others (garmin, hummingbird, eagle)?

I have only used garmin units.Have never had a problem with them reading bottom.Did have 1 transducer wear out after 5 years of use.Still read bottom but in shallow water it would make me have to turn the gain way down because the screen would get all cluttered up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I know, this is only a Lowrance issue. My old Humminbird Wide Eye never did any of this. I also have a new Navman 4430 (came with the boat) on the transom and it doesn't have this problem.

One of you said it is a problem with just the combo GPS/Sonar units like the 332c and 520c. Like I said, my X-135 runs just fine. So, does the 510c (non-GPS equvalent of a 520c) work without any problems as well?

Also, someone said to turn off the auto sensitivity. I never tried that... perhaps that will work. For those that have, what manual setting percentage do you typically turn the sensitivity to? I suppose I could just set it to where the screen is legible and leave it at that?

And, how do I check to see if the latest software has been installed on this 520c? What version is the newest software?

To add more about the background story, I initially had problems with my 332c turning off for no apparent reason. I sent it back in to Lowrance. The replacement 332c I received would not read bottom at all. I sent that one back in and got another 332c. That one lost bottom frequently over weeds. When I talked to them last, they upgraded me to a new 520c. This unit performs much better than the 332c, but it still looses bottom occasionally (requireing a move out to 10-15' of water to reestablish a bottom reading). I said my X-135 runs just fine. I know that the X-135 puts out 4000 watts of power, compared to the 2400 watts of the 332c and the 520c. I wonder if it has anything to do with that.

-Gregg B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The link (hope this is ok) http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Mari...oftware-Update/

if link not ok, then go to lowrance page, products, marine, fullsize, 522c, downloads. The latest level is 2.3.0 and can be checked by

How to see if your LMS-522C iGPS is already using version 2.3.0 software:

1. Press the MENU button twice on your LMS-522C iGPS.

2. Select SYSTEM SETUP.

3. Select SOFTWARE INFORMATION.

4. The software version for your unit is located under the line that says "LMS-522C iGPS" (ex. "Version 2.3.0").

5. If your version is the same version listed above, there is no need to download the software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Problem is specific to Lowrance. Humminbird has no issue whatsoever with losing bottom contact over weeds unless transducer is damaged or weak. TAW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you were right, Delcecchi. This replacement unit I got direct from Lowrance did not have the latest software upgrades installed. It was running version 2.1. I have since upgraded the unit to the latest software version (Ver. 2.3) and will get to try it out next week. I will report back how well it corrected the aforementioned problems.

One thing I did notice after I downloaded the new software. While playing with the settings, I noticed there was a chart "manual" mode hidden in the settings. If you ever noticed while running one of their sonars out of water, the transducer will still "ping", but it will do so very erratically... with many pauses and breaks in the ping rate. This is actually the same thing that happens when the unit looses the bottom reading over dense weeds at times. When putting the chart mode in manual, the pings are sent out by the transducer unhampered at a constant rate. I'm going to try this setting over water next week as well and see how well it does. I think in this mode the sensitivity holds at the last setting... never adjusting. Also, I'm sure noise reduction is totally turned off, so the units overall performance may be compromised. We will see...

-Gregg B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the only thing the manual mode does is stop the sensitivity setting from adjusting automatically. Running your unit in manual mode and turning down the sensitivity a bit will sometimes help in the weeds.

Try setting the ping rate at 50%, that seems to be the best for my unit for working in weeds.

Manual mode won't affect anything other than your sensitivity setting --- your color line settings and noise and surface clarity settings etc. will stay where they were unless you change them.

Good luck, hopefully the new software will cure the problem for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same issue and have tried adjusting everything to no avail. My Eagle Fishmark 480 in the front of the boat has no problem but the 520 will not pick up bottom at all. I'll have to try the new software to see what happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 520c as well. I have tried everything including the software upgrade. Still the same issue. I don't know what to do next?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to get a new Garmin next spring. I'm not spending my hard earned $ on something so many people have issues with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a LCX 27c and bottom reading at low depth (15ft and below) is pathetic. Practically a $ 1000 unit that works worse than a $ 50 Walmart model.

But I am very happy with it in deep water, I use the dual ducer on 50khz, and on Lake Michigan and Superior it marks fish very well even a 200ft or 300ft or more.

Comparing the 2 frequencies on depth of about 75ft I have serious problems with the 200khz, I already replaced a transducer, and I think the units have too much power for what we need.

Unfortunately my fishing time on these lakes is minimal and cost of unit it's still high as of now.

Next unit will NOT be a Lowrance, possibly a Humminbird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK. I got my unit to work very well. I downloaded the newest software version (ver 2.3) the other day and got to test the unit for some 9 hours on Tuesday. Since I was working a weedline, I also set the upper and lower limits (0 ft. and 25 ft.), which I believe made a difference. The unit only lost track of the bottom a few times. However, only the depth READING was temporarily lost (regained within 10-20 seconds at worst). The sonar never stopped pinging (or even slowed down or stuttered). So, the graph was still reading bottom correctly the entire time. I am happy with this unit now. I have at least some renewed faith in Lowrance for the time being. We will see how long that faith lasts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a LCX 27c and bottom reading at low depth (15ft and below) is pathetic. Practically a $ 1000 unit that works worse than a $ 50 Walmart model.

But I am very happy with it in deep water, I use the dual ducer on 50khz, and on Lake Michigan and Superior it marks fish very well even a 200ft or 300ft or more.

Comparing the 2 frequencies on depth of about 75ft I have serious problems with the 200khz, I already replaced a transducer, and I think the units have too much power for what we need.

Unfortunately my fishing time on these lakes is minimal and cost of unit it's still high as of now.

Next unit will NOT be a Lowrance, possibly a Humminbird.

Thats too bad Valv, I'm glad I checked on here. I was about to pick up a 27C but much of my fishing is in the shallows so i guess that would be overkill. I'm looking for a large screen Sonar/GPS combo.

Will keep looking for input as these are dang spendy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new software versions have corrected many of the problems, and by turning down your ping speed you can clean it up pretty good. Maybe not all the time or in every situation, but not too bad. You quoted one of Valvs earlier posts, in his last post he said he had the unit working better.

Lowrance has a new line of units coming out early next year, high definition models which convert the signal to digital, and they say they won't have these problems with the new units. I've seen the demo units and they are sweet. Hopefully their performaance on the water is as good as they say it will be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I updated the software on my 520, and it got worse. I started losing the depth reading for minutes at a time over 30 fow with NO weeds anywhere in sight. At one point I lost depth for over 15 minutes for no apparent reason; the graph told me I was in 2.4 fow when I was over 20. Should I email Lowrance or what? I'm not sure what to do???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure you have the latest update. If that doesn't work, try to get them to send you the original version you had on a SD card.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0