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.