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Walleye71

Lowrance HDS question

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I have read some previous posts in this forum and wondering if anyone else has braved this new product yet. I have two HDS 7s on order. I'm in the software business and should know better than to buy 1st year product but I love all of the new features over the old technology. Built in Broadband, built in puck, The LED backlighting that is so much more reliable than the fluorescent. Just looking for more feedback. Thanks. I will provide some when I get to use them in about 3 weeks.

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I have a HDS-8, just got it mounted in the boat and it looks good. I will try to go out this weekend and see how it works on the water. I went with the HDS-8 because I can link it to my current Lowrance electronics in the front of the boat. I hope SI is an easy add-on and that it works as well as the birds.

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Make sure it's weather tight. I heard about some issues of water intrusion. I'm anxious to hear people's opinion though. I'll be upgrading console electronics next year and would like to have an HDS.

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Make sure it's weather tight. I heard about some issues of water intrusion.

From what I've been told, that was a problem with early units that have been recalled --- if you buy one now there shouldn't be an issue --- at least that's what they're telling us.

The guys I know that have the HDS units already have been happy with them --- they're a little different than the previous units so it takes a bit to get them figured out, but generally very happy users so far.

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Thanks Guys for the feedback. I have heard the same things about the early models, that they are not water tight. I also heard there has been problems with connection between the puck and the unit. We'll see what happens. I will let you know how they work in Waubay in a few weeks. I will carry a backup just in case.

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FYI.. Had the HDS 7 unit out this weekend at Waubay and it was awesome. Great picture, pretty good target seperation, read the bottom at 30mph unlike past units at times. No problems to report. I didn't get the external puck but apparently you will need one if you put these units in a electronics locker. Excellent visibility in the sun.

I think i want to get the sirus weather with the unit.

One thing i haven't figured out with splitting the screen (have sonar and chart on the screen at the same time) the sonar side loses depth and water temperature. In the full screen display with the sonar those two features are populated. I have to call Lowrance on this one.

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Also, I used the Dakota LakeMaster Chip in the unit. It was a plug and play unlike the old units where you had to go and choose what map data you wanted on the unit. I believe the HDS8 and 10 have two slots so they still may be like the old way.

FYi, That chip is awesome for those that fish in Sodak.

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Thanks for the feedback. I'm interested in upgrading to the HDS 8 next year so keep the good info coming. The 18c that I have on my dash now looses depth and water temp when split screen with map.

I'd like to hear about the side imaging and satellite weather too. How much extra are these? How accurate? Ease of use?

Walleye71- I love the godfather reference.

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I'd like to hear about the side imaging and satellite weather too. How much extra are these? How accurate? Ease of use?

Lowrance Accessories

Lowrance hasn't released the price yet for the side imaging, they said they'd release more info at the ICAST show in July.

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Love the Godfather.

I just talked with my guy at Reed's and he said a year subscription to Sirius Weather is $370. There is a link as well on the Lowrance site. YIKES! Plus the price of the puck ($300). I guess I will stick with WCCO. hahahahah!

Cool stuff and would probably makes sense if you are a guide and could write it off.

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The SIRIUS weather package is $30 per month, plus a connection fee. I think it's best use is on bigger waters like the great lakes and the coastal regions.

If you subscribe to the weather package you can add SIRIUS radio - music, sports, talk, etc - starting around $7 per month.

The satellite antenna picks up weather and radio -- it connects to the HDS unit for the weather and connects to your stereo via a stereo jack for music.

I agree, it is pretty cool stuff. It sure isn't cheap though. In my boat we get the weather on the marine band radio weather channels and we listen to music from our iPods through the stereo grin

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There is a menu where you select what on screen displays you want. The selection is different for split screen vrs full screen. The fine manual will tell you how to get to the page where you select the data items.

At least that's how it is on both my combo units.

Thinking back, if you hit menu with the desired page active you should be able to figure it out.

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Love my HDS 7. I demoed it up to the Sturgeon Excursion..never left my boat. laugh My only issue so far is losing the bottom in 3FOW or less. smirk But as stated above, the Sonar does keep bottom reading above 30+ MPH, which in all other Lowrance units I have had, has not been the case.

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Figured it out. In the Main Screen where you select what you want to view (Sonar, Chart, etc) hit the Menu button. It is easy to follow from there.

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I went for the HDS-5. The first time I used it in South dakota last weekend it work great and was impressed with the unit. Very easy to see in bright conditions. After using it this weekend there is something wrong with unit. It always want's to restart. I turn the unit on and it just starts to read and it goes back and restarts over. Did it enought this weekend to tick me off. will have to contact lowarance about that though. when the unit works I like it very much. Will be even better when they come out with the software upgrade so I can run the Navionics chip in it.

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eyepatrol, I would love to hear about why you didn't have a good first experience with your HDS-7.

Personally, I just bought the HDS-5, but I have not gotten out yet. I will say the screws that were provided for install did not work. I had to buy my own. I am hoping that the unit works well.

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The sonar screen hesitates/pauses quite regularly, freezes up in tall weeds every time, freezes up when not in the weeds, will just go black for no reason at all, won't read when driving at all, won't read the Lakemaster chip at all, way too many menus to search through to "try" and find simple functions (like overlay data as one example of simple info), user manual doesn't match the on-screen menu is some instances, sonar output is very "dotty" regardless of adjusting various settings, sometimes takes a long time for sonar to come up when turned on and basically takes a computer wiz to figure out. I've heard people say it takes "some" getting used to and it is a "little different" with the menus compared to the previous models. IMO, it takes a lot of getting used to and is very different from the previous models.

I better stop there.

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Skies, My unit does the same thing. I thought I wired it wrong, but the wiring is flawless. Please let me know what you find out and why the unit resets itself. Thanks CC

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The HDS 5 and HDS 7 both have software updates on-line, if you haven't updated your software yet then do that right away.

I put an HDS-7 in my boat last week and was very happy with it over the weekend. You need to go through ALL the setup and installation menus but after you do the performance is much better. Select the right transducer in the installation menu, it is probably the HST-WSBL if you got it with the unit. Select 200 khz and select shallow water mode or freshwater mode and go from there. You may still need / want to tweak the unit but go with that. Also, select the color pallete that you like, I used several and like some better than others.

I think once you get the unit set up right you'll be much happier with it --- mine also had a slow and blocky look to it until we did the settings. There's basically only 3 menus to go through so not too bad to get it figured out IMO.

Good luck getting it figured out. At this point I am VERY HAPPY with the sonar, I think the broadband sonar is as good as advertised.

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Perchjerker, one thing I'm struggling with a little is getting crisp arches to indicate fish. Lowrance gives some pretty good trouble shooting tips that I will have to try this weekend. Are you getting good arches? I can tell what fish are it just isn't quite like their examples in the Manual or simulation.

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Arches are overrated in my opinion ---- you'll only get perfect arches IF the fish is in the center of your cone, and IF your transducer is aligned pefectly for that fish, and IF the boat is moving at the right speed in relation to the fish.

Much of my fishing this weekend was in 3 to 6 feet of water, with the boat not moving very much (we were jigging and drifting with the wind or using the electric motor). You tend to get more blotches and lines instead of arches in those conditions --- still fish, just not arches. If we weren't jigging we were trolling in shallow water and not marking many fish in those conditions.

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Cads, When I checked the sofware verision on mine, it was not the one that is on the lowrance HSOforum. I called cabelas today to see when lowrance is comming out with a another update and they said the 18th. I might try and wait that long, if it doesn't work that way I will put the current update in and wait it out till the 18th. Then I will be able to use my navionics chip in it. Mine only acts up every once in a while. If it works for the first few minutes, then I am good to go. Might try and go through the setting menu and fine tune it a bit also.

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