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Lowrance questions/ recommendation wanted

  • Grayghost
    Participant
    Posts: 13
    #2104108

    Hello,
    I purchased a used boat last year that came with an HDS7 Gen 2 non touch that has sidescan and downscan run though a Structure Scan HD box. I bought a used HDS8 Gen 2 non touch and put that at the console, moved the HDS7 to the bow, installed a Motorguide XI5 from my previous boat, and connected everything via a NMEA 2000 network. With the help of a couple guys on here from PM’s I got everything working like it should. After using it for the year I liked it but I think it could be better. The mapping is not as good as I would like it and I think the trolling motor options are limited because neither unit is touchscreen. I am using a Navionics chip with the fish and chips on, I was told it is probably the processor speed that is the issue. When I looked up the specs on the HDS8 it listed 2013 as the last year it was made. I have a newer Hook 5 that has clearer mapping, the Navionics site also shows better quality.

    I contacted Lowrance to see what current models would be compatible with the set up I already have, I was told HDS live and the Elite FS would work. I also asked if I could use my current transducer with the new head unit or if a new transducer would work with my current equipment. I was told the trolling motor transducer would work using an adapter. They didn’t really answer the question about the main transducer, I am waiting for a follow up response from them.

    My question is does anyone know if the newer models will work with the transducer I am currently using or will the older models work with the new transducers? Also, if these are not compatible with each other how much better are the newer models? Am I better off getting the newer model and start building over time from there?

    A second question would be if I am not getting a lot more going with a newer model what would be a good recommendation to look for in an older used touch screen model that would work with what I have? My budget is around $1300 but if I could buy a used head unit for $600 and still get most of what I would from a new unit I would probably go that route. I don’t mind spending more money if I am getting something worthwhile out of it.

    Please bear with me if these questions sound dumb, I am brand new to the networking thing. I have always had older boats with just a simple stand alone sonar/GPS unit. As long as I have the equipment I want to get the most out of it. If you have ideas or recommendations please let me know.

    Thanks for your time.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9989
    #2104112

    I dont have a Live or Elite FS, but I upgraded from a Gen 1 HDS to now have HDS Gen 3 touch units and never swapped out my transducers. The nice thing about the newer HDS units is the StructureScan module is built into the head unit now so you no longer need the box which is nice. If you do upgrade units Id recommend checking out the Lowrance brand of chips they are very very good IMO. I have used them all with my HDS units going all the way back to the LakeMaster chips and I have found the Lowrance Chips are essentially using LakeMaster data and they have been updating them as well since the chip I have is a few years old. I also have Navionics chips and those work well, but there are areas where one brand shines over the other.
    You could probably find used Gen 3 touch units fairly reasonable. Or opt for the Elite FS. It will do the vast majority of what the Live will do, but at a cheaper cost.

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5892
    #2104141

    Live will not play nice with a gen 2. It’s Gen 3 Carbon and Live. If you can go spend a day at the sport show and talk to the Lowrance people working there. They are really good at explaining stuff in person.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9989
    #2104144

    Live will not play nice with a gen 2. It’s Gen 3 Carbon and Live.

    Thanks for reminding me that my newest units are now in fact very old.

    Chris Messerschmidt
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 541
    #2104152

    Live will not play nice with a gen 2. It’s Gen 3 Carbon and Live. If you can go spend a day at the sport show and talk to the Lowrance people working there. They are really good at explaining stuff in person.

    I get to work the sportsman’s show, hopefully I’ll be in the booth this year again.

    I will say this, will it work? yes. Will it be fast? no… Essentially what happens is the Live unit will go into what’s referred to as a legacy mode. It basically brings is performance down to the Gen 2 to match the speed and performance of that unit. Yes the live unit will show the ducer info from the old units.

    I personally would run the AI 3 in 1 to the live unit, and use the old Gen 2 just for mapping only. If you have a point 1 then it helps get the Gen 2 to a 10Hz refresh rate instead of the old 5hz and give you a heading sensor function. Mapping for Navionics really isn’t going to change much between the older units to new units.

    As to your questions about upgrading…. I would look for a 9 Carbon which are on sale at Bass Pro/Cabelas and thats a good place to start with the upgrade as its pretty close to a LIVE unit and will play nice with them.

    Grayghost
    Participant
    Posts: 13
    #2104282

    Thank you for the replies and information guys. This is what I was looking for.

    I am planning on going to the Sport Show and talking to the people at the Lowrance booth. I was hoping to get some information before that so I had better questions to ask and understood a little more.

    I am running my motor information through the HDS8 and fuel usage. I assume if I went with something like a Gen 3 touch or Carbon it would still be able to do that? Motor is a Yamaha F150.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9989
    #2104304

    I am running my motor information through the HDS8 and fuel usage. I assume if I went with something like a Gen 3 touch or Carbon it would still be able to do that? Motor is a Yamaha F150.

    Yes, an HDS unit will do that, but I dont think an Elite FS will do, but I havent checked for sure.

    Chris Messerschmidt
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 541
    #2104410

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Grayghost wrote:</div>
    I am running my motor information through the HDS8 and fuel usage. I assume if I went with something like a Gen 3 touch or Carbon it would still be able to do that? Motor is a Yamaha F150.

    Yes, an HDS unit will do that, but I dont think an Elite FS will do, but I havent checked for sure.

    FS units will as well. That info comes in through NMEA.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7979
    #2104413

    Thanks for reminding me that my newest units are now in fact very old.

    Its unbelievable how quick a “new” model seems to age nowadays. Its like you have to upgrade every other year to have new technology.

    I’m using Carbon and Elite units and I am starting to already get that feeling too.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9989
    #2104419

    FS units will as well. That info comes in through NMEA.

    Thanks for correcting me. I think it was the older Elite ones that I was thinking of. I had always thought of getting that adapter for my Suzuki but never got around to it.

    Justin Laack
    Participant
    Austin,mn
    Posts: 374
    #2104443

    Sorry to piggy back off of Grayghost’s post but. Can I get the clear images from structurescan on a carbon unit using the transducer from a g3 model or do I need the transducer from the carbon unit?

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9989
    #2104445

    Sorry to piggy back off of Grayghost’s post but. Can I get the clear images from structurescan on a carbon unit using the transducer from a g3 model or do I need the transducer from the carbon unit?

    They generally all use the same transducer. I have upgraded units many times over the course of me owning my boat and still have the original 2D transducer. I had upgraded to the structurescan transducer when I bought a unit capable of that and multiple new units since all work fine with it.

    Chris Messerschmidt
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 541
    #2104610

    Sorry to piggy back off of Grayghost’s post but. Can I get the clear images from structurescan on a carbon unit using the transducer from a g3 model or do I need the transducer from the carbon unit?

    A gen 3 unit uses the old LSS-2 or heck even the original LSS-1. The carbon and Lives look much better with the Active Imagining 3 in 1 ducer.

    While the LSS-2 would work on a carbon, I would still run the AI 3 in 1.

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