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FAQ – Lowrance Tips and Tricks

  • CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1553915

    This is a place to highlight some of the frequently asked questions with Lowrance units.

    Mapping Chips: With Johnson Outdoors acquiring Lakemaster in 2011 from 2012 onwards no new lakemaster chips are being developed for Lowrance Units. If you have one of these prior lakemaster chips they will still work in Lowrance units BUT if you update your SW version on the Lowrance unit to version 4.0 or later it is messing up the mapping data. The chip still functions, contour lines appear correct, but the depth values on those lines are way off essentially making them useless.

    So what chips can we use for those of us with Lowrance units? Lowrance makes multiple different mapping chips, but the ones that I have had the best luck with in the Upper Midwest (mostly Minnesota and part of Canada) is the Lowrance Lake Insight Pro. There is an “HD” version of this chip which the only difference I can tell is this one has shaded relief while the Pro chip does not. Shaded relief is nice for larger displays or when zoomed out, but if you zoom in or have a smaller display (under 7″) it really isn’t all that useful and even gets disabled when you zoom way in.
    Map detail of these chips from what I can tell identical to the Lakemaster Chip I had for Minnesota (2012 version). I have compared them side by side while on the water on lakes throughout the state and have not noticed any differences. The one bonus of the Lowrance chips is that you also get Lake of the Woods and Rainy River on this one chip where with Lakemaster that was an additional chip to set you back more money.

    Navionics also offers multiple mapping options. They have a nice web application that you can go on to actually look at the detail that is on the chips before you actually purchase one so you know what you are getting.

    I have found the Navionics chips to be not quite as good in MN waters as the Lakemaster/Lowrance chips for the most part. Some bodies of water they are worse, some they are better, but the Lowrance/Lakemaster chips tend to be closer to what I actually see on the water.

    Networking your Lowrance Units together:

    Very high level because some folks get confused by networking and do not realize how easy it is (or hard it can be) to get a lot of benefit.

    Ethernet Networking: simple plug and play with an Ethernet cable between two units. Super simple to use and will allow you to share sonar between units (if you only had one transducer but wanted to display sonar on another unit), waypoints – if you create a waypoint on one, it will automatically appear on the other. Very nice feature.

    NMEA: Much more involved networking for adding in engine diagnostics, radar, and a whole host of other plug ins. Requires a powered backbone, t-connectors, short extension cables, and terminators.

    This is a brief list for starters, but anyone feel free to add things along the way. I know I have learned so much from other people and will add more here when I have time, but I thought it would be good to at least get a start.

    I think it would also be helpful to share settings, palettes (HDS units), or other preferences for folks to try out. I know since I began using StructureScan this year I was helped tremendously by others who told me some of their preferred settings. Probably saved me hours of frustration.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1553916

    HDS Units — Settings and preferences:
    Sonar – I like palette 13. I use Auto Sensitivity set at -4%. I think this gives me the best view of bottom content and then also has enough detail to show schools of baitfish. Colorline I usually set around 76 to 80%.
    Ping speed I have maxxed. Scroll speed set to auto. If I am using my unit for ice fishing I leave ping speed maxxed, but I speed up the scroll speed.

    Transducer — most units come with the 83/200 transducer. Be sure to select the appropriate one in your settings. A lot of folks do not know the difference between the two settings, but in simplest terms 83hz is best for deep water while 200 is best for shallow. You will have a much wider coverage area with the 200.

    TripleA
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 655
    #1553937

    HDS Units — Settings and preferences:
    Sonar – I like palette 13. I use Auto Sensitivity set at -4%. I think this gives me the best view of bottom content and then also has enough detail to show schools of baitfish. Colorline I usually set around 76 to 80%.
    Ping speed I have maxxed. Scroll speed set to auto. If I am using my unit for ice fishing I leave ping speed maxxed, but I speed up the scroll speed.

    Transducer — most units come with the 83/200 transducer. Be sure to select the appropriate one in your settings. A lot of folks do not know the difference between the two settings, but in simplest terms 83hz is best for deep water while 200 is best for shallow. You will have a much wider coverage area with the 200.

    Maxing your ping speed supposedly can burn out the transducer, I would be careful there. Also- for any MN fishing 200khz is all you will need/want, go with the 200/80 transducer.

    Be sure to set your lowrance unit on the “shallow water” setting as anything else is for 600ft+. -4% auto sensitivity seems to be the best.

    skeeter20
    Participant
    Winnie/Grand Rapids,MN
    Posts: 902
    #1554053

    Transducer — most units come with the 83/200 transducer. Be sure to select the appropriate one in your settings. A lot of folks do not know the difference between the two settings, but in simplest terms 83hz is best for deep water while 200 is best for shallow. You will have a much wider coverage area with the 200.

    83khz has a wider cone angle then 200khz and can be great for shallow water because you are covering more water. The benefit of 200 over 83 is easier target separation of bottom structure and fish arches show up better in shallow water. I have started using 83 a lot more in different situations!!!

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1554826

    One thing that has caused a couple guys issues that were starting to record their own sonar data was they put too large of an SD Card. HDS units will accept cards up to 32GB. So keep that in mind if you are planning to record sonar OR if you are going to do a SW update yourself. The card must be no larger than 32GB.

    GlennRengo
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 73
    #1554859

    Besides waypoint sharing with the Ethernet connections two HDS Gen 2 units with the Ethernet connection can share one mapping chip and both units will display the mapping data, providing you have both units turned on of course. It saves you from buying another chip at $100 or so.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1557333

    Calibrating the touch screen on your HDS touch unit.
    When I first purchased my HDS touch I was amazed at how well the touch screen worked, even when wet. Where I touched the unit reacted.
    Well, then I went to SW v 4.0 due to the Pinpoint Autopilot features I needed to utilize and things took a turn for the worse.
    The little “x” in the corner of the screen to close windows, no longer wanted to recognize my touch.

    Well, there is hope. You can calibrate it and its quite easy. I have done this and now its back to flawless again:

    1) First power off the units (provided its on).
    2) Once its powered down, press and hold the waypoint button and then while still holding the waypoint button depressed, hit the power button to turn the unit on.

    Keep holding in the waypoint button as the unit boots up. Once you hear an audible double beep you can release the waypoint button.
    3)The calibration mode will activate and will have a crosshair in the upper left corner. Just touch each of the crosshairs as they appear. It will register the settings.
    4) Click “Accept” when it appears and your unit is now calibrated.

    Josh Freeseman
    Participant
    Posts: 15
    #1560577

    Does anyone use the surface clutter and noise rejection functions? What is the downside to these functions?

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1561118

    I turn them off and then adjust down my auto sensitivity. If you turn those features on, I have found you actually miss baitfish, etc higher up in the water column. If you are fishing super shallow water, say less than 10′ then it may not make a difference to you, but I like having a better picture of the full water column.

    hoppy1
    Participant
    Posts: 21
    #1616692

    Can I run two units off one transducer? I have a lowrance HD 7 gen2 and a LCX111c HD. If so, what do I need to do this? Thanks for your help.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1616764

    Yes you can. I am not 100% familiar with the lcx but if there is an Ethernet port you can connect the two with just an Ethernet cable. Otherwise you would have to do nmea

    hoppy1
    Participant
    Posts: 21
    #1617687

    The Ethernet cord. I looked at the back of the LCX 111c HD and the connection is black, the HD 7 is yellow. I need to find out if I would buy a cord with two yellow ends or one yellow and one for a red connection?

    hoppy1
    Participant
    Posts: 21
    #1618172

    I sent Lowrance the same question and here was their answer.

    Thank you for contacting us.
    The LCX-111C ethernet port was not active. Because of this, there is not a way to connect these two models together to share data through the ethernet. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

    I hope this answers anyone else, with the same question.

    Thanks for all your input Captainmusky. You are a great resource person for a lot of our unknown ventures with electronics.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1618482

    Bummer on the Ethernet not being active but you should be able to do some sharing with nmea. Much more involved. Probably would be cheaper in the end to upgrade to a newer unit while selling the lcx. It’s hard to do when you have a trusty gps you want to keep it.

    hoppy1
    Participant
    Posts: 21
    #1625397

    Hey CaptainMusky, I have a question for you. I found a y-adapter cable to connect my 2000 receiver to my 111c hd. It is not connecting to any satellites. How or what should I look for on why it isn’t? The status screen just keep flashing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1625411

    There should be a separate power lead that you need to run to a power source just for the 2000. Do you have that hooked up? If you do make sure that if it’s connected to a switch controlled power source like a master power switch, that you have that in. I would recommend doing this so you can cut the power to the puck because it doesn’t have an off otherwise and would just stay in draining battery.
    Aside from that, as long as you have It installed in a location without any obstructions it should work. If you see the gps status screen you are looking in the right place. You may need to define the gps source??? Choose lgc2000. I hope it’s one of those things.

    hoppy1
    Participant
    Posts: 21
    #1625443

    the y-adapter has one end that connects to the 2000 puck and the other one connects to the back of the finder and the third one has a 60ohms plug.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1626637

    I remember the 33x series lowrance I had and the puck had to have a separate power source. Of you look on the wires are any of them labeled? Obviously there must be different colored wires maybe you can find a wire diagram online? I will look too if I get a chance.

    Kevin Horne
    Participant
    Posts: 1
    #1635301

    I just installed the Hook 4x with Chirp on my kayak… Should I turn off surface clutter and noise rejection? I have taken it out once and it was pretty good, but it’s just the factory default settings – anything else I can adjust to get the best out of my unit? I fish mainly lakes and some ponds. Thanks!

    broth82
    Participant
    Posts: 185
    #1704154

    hoppy1 did you end up getting the puck to work? I just picked up a LMS337 with a 2000 puck, and the wiring to the power to it comes out of the power connector for the unit. On mine I have 3 cables coming out of the power cord, one cable has 3 wires (White, Red and Black) this one is for the power to the unit itself, another cable has many different colored wires, I didn’t use these, but you need to make sure that they cant touch each other if they have bare ends. The third cable has 3 wires also (Red, Black and unshielded silver wire) this one is the power to the 2000 puck. I tied the black wires and the unshielded silver wire together and ran that to my “-” side on the battery, then I connected both red wires together and attached that to a toggle switch, then from the toggle switch to the “+” on the battery.

    BoatsHateMe
    Participant
    Between Pool 2 and Pool 4
    Posts: 757
    #1805893

    I have a Hook 7 G2 Triple shot. Is it possible for me to shade different depth ranges on my contours? I’ve scoured the settings and can’t find a way to do this.

    Harold Higdon
    Participant
    Posts: 1
    #1838145

    I have one basic question—How do I set the scroll speed on my Hook 4, or can I?

    I can’t see how after playing quite a bit with the various menues.

    thx

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1838202

    I have one basic question—How do I set the scroll speed on my Hook 4, or can I?

    I can’t see how after playing quite a bit with the various menues.

    thx

    I do not believe the Hook models have a scroll speed setting/adjustment. Its one of the several features they cut from the lower end lines to get price down and make units easier to use.

    Philip Garth
    Participant
    Posts: 1
    #1881463

    I have an old Lowrance Hook. The depth measured in my garage is over 8 feet when it is actually 2 feet. How do I correct this?

    Cody Meyers
    Participant
    Posts: 322
    #1901385

    I don’t think that I’d worry about that. Mine doesn’t normally read a depth when I’m the garage but it works fine when out on the water.

    Is yours working correctly when out on the water?

    Darren Pruett
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    #1906746

    I just installed a navionics card to my hook 7, It wont even bring up maps….HELP:???:

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1906760

    I just installed a navionics card to my hook 7, It wont even bring up maps….HELP:???:

    you have to chose map source in the units setting and choose Navionics. Otherwise its using the base chart which may be nothing.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11297
    #1906815

    I have an old Lowrance Hook. The depth measured in my garage is over 8 feet when it is actually 2 feet. How do I correct this?

    That’s perfect. Sound travels 4 times faster in water than air, so it is reading correctly.

    Darren Pruett
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    #1906877

    It gave me choice of navionics and navionics fish and chips

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #1906949

    It gave me choice of navionics and navionics fish and chips

    Heres the other thing, what Navionics chip did you purchase? Did you download “freshest data” from the website? I bought a new chip a couple years ago and there was no data on it. You have to go to the website, select the area you want to download and download it to your computer, then put on the chip.
    Its also possible that whatever body of water you are looking at isnt charted at all.
    If you would provide more specifics about where you are looking for data that would certainly help.
    You can also look at the webapp to see what should be mapped by Navionics here:
    https://webapp.navionics.com/#[email protected]&key=gycuGfg~%7DP

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