Sounder/GPS

7 years 2 months ago #23414 by Tassy
Tassy created the topic: Sounder/GPS
Hi all,

After some advice on electronics for the new boat. Was originally going to install a Furuno FCV - 620 sounder and add a GPS later on. Now leaning towards the idea of fitting a combination Chartplotter/GPS/Sounder.

No idea where to start. Budget up to around $2000.00. The boat will be used primarily for diving but also fishing out of Portland in Victoria. 5.8m plate alloy.

Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks Silas

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7 years 2 months ago #265863 by james
james replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I have a boat similar size to yours and have the Furuno FCV 620 sunder, it's a fantastic unit, great for fishing stripeys down to 300m and sounding out dive sites in shallower. I recently bought a new GPS plotter and went with the Lowrance HDS 5, because it was the cheapest going around at the time, the Navonics charts are great very detailed. I would always go with the separate units that way if one craps out you still have the other and all is not lost. Very frustrating when you are out on a diving or fishing trip and both your GPS and sound fail, having them as separate units reduces the chance of this happening.

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7 years 2 months ago #265864 by Nautilus
Nautilus replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I use one of those Humminbird sidescan sonars. Great for locating dive sites, but you really need the full screen. It has a great built in GPS, but again, if I'm looking at the chart I want to see the whole screen. So having them both in the same unit and using split screen just doesn't do either any justice. I'm still happily using my old Navman GPS which allows me to use the side scan to its full potential.

Having said that, the side scan will identify structures 50m and more either side of the boat. The built in GPS lets me place the cursor over an interesting looking bit anywhere on the screen, and mark the spot. I can then use the GPS to navigate back to that spot. In other words I can paint an entire wreck bow to stern on the scanner and then select any spot to put my shot line and the unit will put me right onto it.

So ideally I'd recommend a combo unit with structure scan and GPS and a second GPS! [:rumour:]


Cheers,

Sven.

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7 years 2 months ago #265869 by My-way
My-way replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
Damn you and all your toys Sven...[:-L]

I'm back so time to hit the crays when they're on.

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7 years 2 months ago #265881 by Andy
Andy replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I have a FCV 585 and have been extremely happy with it. I would imagine the 620 is a similarly capable unit. Given the excellent reviews the fisherman give both units there are lots of happy owners out there. I would suggest going to the larger screen of the 585 as it gives you more pixels to see more detail which is the whole key to making accurate interpretations of the image.

Given the good dollar it is well worth looking at buying the unit from the States, just be aware that they are mostly sold without a transducer there. Have a good look too at Airmars website to get a good idea of transducer options.

These sounders can take in NMEA 0183 data sentences to allow you to hook up to a GPS/chartplotter to be able to track back on the sounders screen and see the coordinates of a particular feature.

Personally I dont like combo units as I think a single screen does not do justice to both the bottom trace and a map. It is very nice to have a big screen for each to look at. However you may find yourself hardly using the chartplotter in the end once you know where to find a site you dive regularly the screen might be able to be dedicated to the sounder anyway. I would suggest however a sounder screen is ideally orientated in portrait and whilst most chartplotters and combos are in landscape.

The Lowrance HDS are probably the best value high definition chartplotters on the market. Though the inbuilt GPS is a waste if you have a hardtop.

Lowrance have a similar sidescan product to the Hummingbird product. Im surprised by the performance (of the sidescan) in the comments above as I was under the impression that both Hummingirds and Lowrances side scan products were quite limited in depth ability restricting the usefulness to divers.

With regard to quality I have had a number of issues with Lowrance hardware (pixels on screens dying, dampness inside casings and units just giving up). The local warranty and support is pretty average. I do think the product is better now however given the terrible support Ive recently had from Navico on a Navman product, the local service is still the same. I had a Hummingbird on our old Signature and it was a piece of junk, however it is probably unfair to judge what they produce today against something from the mid 1990s.

I think your approach of buying yourself a really good sounder and adding a chart plotter as and when you need is very sound. A small, portable GPS may well do your needs and a good sounder is an excellent investment.

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7 years 2 months ago #265885 by Matty Hamster Diver
Matty Hamster Diver replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I just installed a lowrance HDS7 combo unit with a high end 1 kHz transducer. Unit cost me $1600 for the head unit. You can get them for 1.8K with a Skimmer transducer. Speed for chart plotter to zoom in and out is excellent, and the screen is just big enough to run both the chart view and Sounder view side by side.

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7 years 2 months ago #265886 by max
max replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I went for two seperate units, buying both a GPS and a sounder.

Both Garmin units and they have been great.

For you budget, check out the Whitworth catolog

They have a Garmin GPS 450x reduced from $530 to $299. This is a mounted unit, and it's excellent. Large figures and easy to read, even from the back of the boat. Ths is most important when diving, so you can check that the anchor has not pulled out.

For the sounder, go Garmin again, the colour 400c, priced at $489.

You will come in well under $1000 and be very happy with both sets.

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7 years 2 months ago #265888 by Chriso
Chriso replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I have a Northstar M84 recessed into the dash. Love it !
www.northstarnav.com/Products/Multi-Func...plays/Northstar-M84/

Cheers
Chriso

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7 years 2 months ago #265942 by Tassy
Tassy replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
Thanks for all the advice/ideas, keep them coming. Still undecided. Anyone had any negative experiences with any of the big brands.

Cheers Silas

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7 years 2 months ago #265944 by Tassy
Tassy replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
Thanks for all the advice/ideas, keep them coming. Still undecided. Anyone had any negative experiences with any of the big brands.

Cheers Silas

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7 years 2 months ago #265947 by max
max replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
Yes Lowrance.. Check out the various Fishing forums, lots of flack directed at them for poor backup when things go wrong

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7 years 2 months ago #265954 by aquaholic
aquaholic replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I also have a Lowrance combo unit with the navionics maps.

It's great and hasn't skipped a beat in the 2 years since I've had it. I also got it attached to my engine to show tacho, fuel flow etc through some sort of black magic.

Mentioned earlier was the use of a backup GPS.

I have this www.navionics.com/MobileMarineFeatures.asp?MobileType=Android installed on the SD card on my mobile. My phone now has essentially the same maps as my chartplotter (maps that cost me about $350 from Shark Bay to Dunsborough only), but with all of Australia (with the added bonus of tides etc) and it cost about 15Euros. I think every skipper should have it as a secondary.

There's also an iphone version for those of you that like that sort of thing.

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7 years 2 months ago #265957 by Matty Hamster Diver
Matty Hamster Diver replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
quote:

Originally posted by aquaholic
think every skipper should have it as a secondary.

There's also an iphone version for those of you that like that sort of thing.







Mate had it on his Iphone on the run we did on tuesday. Iphone had some real problems updatng GPS location from time to time. Big jumps in updated location, but the maps looked the same (just smaller). I always run a second GPS, have a navman tracker 500i giving basic GPS data on the current boat as a back up.

Matt

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7 years 2 months ago #265961 by Rick
Rick replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
quote:

Originally posted by Matty Hampster Diver
Mate had it on his Iphone on the run we did on tuesday. Iphone had some real problems updatng GPS location from time to time.Matt


That was more my fault MHD i did not know how to use/set it up correctly [^|^] [:nutter:]
got it going by the time we were above Mud Island.
(still have part of the tracking map from this trip on the phone)

(was going to add a image from the phone of the trip, but can't work it out) [?|?]

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7 years 2 months ago #265968 by aquaholic
aquaholic replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
quote:

Originally posted by Matty Hampster Diver
Iphone had some real problems updatng GPS location from time to time. Big jumps in updated location



I don't know much about iphones, but does it have a real gps chip in it? I'm guessing it does, so sounds like it's related to whether it's turned on or not (maybe triangulates using mobile towers if you have gps off?), or you are using it under a hard roof so don't have constant line of sight to the satellites?

Mine works exactly like any other gps unit, but smaller and cheaper maps! I used to always carry a handheld magellan in case anything happened to my primary, but don't bother now if I have the phone.

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7 years 2 months ago #266181 by jugglematt
jugglematt replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
i use a humminbird matrix . gps sounder combo

it has Australia maps which can be updated via SD card with detailed information .

i use this unit for diving which involves sounding the bottom , and returning to GPS points .
its accurate ( can get me within 10m - 15m of a dive site!)
simple to operate
easy to read
and can split screen ,eg gps 1 side sounder other side
i really like having it all in one unit,
i dont like the idea of having a hand held GPS for boat use, batteries to forget, something to loose , get stolen, or drop overboard
great unit works well and i think it was around $500-$600
the only thing i would recommend is with your antenna is mount it up a bit , on your Bimini/ or slightly raised from your deck , it just seems to give a more consistent reading from the GPS

Regards
Matt

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7 years 2 months ago #266351 by Tassy
Tassy replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
Thanks for all the info so far.

Any one had any dealings with Lowrance HDS 5 or HDS 7 combination sounder/GPS or the Humminbird 798 CX. I think the HDS 5 with structure scan will work out to a similar price as the Humminbird.

Be interesting to hear any comparison between the sidescan function of the Humminbird and the Lowrance with structure scan.


I know the Humminbird side scan is limited to around 45 m depth. Anyone know how deep the Lowrance structure scan is good for.

Cheers Silas

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7 years 2 months ago #266395 by AB
AB replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
Tassy,
Anytime someone asks for info on technological gadgets, you get lots of replies from people who love their gizmos. I tend to want more info before offering advice, like - what to you want to acheive from your GPS??

Alan

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7 years 2 months ago #266399 by SteveL
SteveL replied the topic: Sounder/GPS
I think you should keep the chart plotter big and doing chart plotter things and get as decent sounder do do sounder things

Personally I run a 12inch Navman M121 (M84 Northstar I think they are now)

and a Koden CVS128 sounder with a 1Kw transducer - just brilliant

Nice big displays with great detail

Not a big fan of multi function devices, as they seem to do everything OK but nothing well.

Steve L

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