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Opinions on Down Imaging
Posted: 03 March 2012 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m looking for some new electronics for the bow of my electric only boat. I’ve been comparing the Humminbird/Lowrance units with both GPS and Down Imaging. I’ve heard some conversation that is making me question exactly how DI functions without having Side Imaging as well. Any thoughts or suggestions on Down Imaging? Also any input on the Lowrance Elite 5 DI vs the Humminbird 597ci HD DI would be appreciated!

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Posted: 03 March 2012 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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First of all, how fast does your boat move with the electric? I believe you need 3.5mph for the down and side imaging to work. Might not even be practical with an electric only.

With most boats, 3.5mph is just over idle with the big motors. I havent seen an electric that could push or pull 3.5mph yet. But I guess if you put a 101lb on a 14’ jon it might work.. but good luck controlling it at 3.5mph from the bow.

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Posted: 03 March 2012 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’ve been told that DI works sitting still…3.5 for the side imaging though.

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Posted: 04 March 2012 12:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Fishinfor5 - 03 March 2012 09:12 PM

I’m looking for some new electronics for the bow of my electric only boat. I’ve been comparing the Humminbird/Lowrance units with both GPS and Down Imaging. I’ve heard some conversation that is making me question exactly how DI functions without having Side Imaging as well. Any thoughts or suggestions on Down Imaging? Also any input on the Lowrance Elite 5 DI vs the Humminbird 597ci HD DI would be appreciated!

I have an HDS-8 with side imaging and down scan as part of the structure scan system.  I use down scan in split screen with the chart 90% of the time.  It’s a must have.  I don’t know about Hummingbirds, but the Lowrance imaging works sitting still. 

Side imaging, well, scans off to the sides of the boat and down imaging scans down below the boat.  Think of down imaging as conventional sonar but in ultra high detail.  If you have used conventional sonar graphs then the merits of down imaging should be apparent.  If not, then trust me, it’s something you’ll like. 

Details:  The Lowrance HDS series do not have down imaging and side imagine built into the units.  You have to purchase a $600 structure scan system that has both down imaging and side imaging built into it and then network your HDS unit(s) into the structure scan system.  It’s expensive.  Now, Lowrance also offers GPS sonar units with down scan built into them such as the Elite-5 and others.  These are smaller units aimed at anglers looking for GPS, down scan and value/money ratio.

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Posted: 04 March 2012 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Im assuming the reason Humminbird came out with the new 360 radar looking type of sideimaging was becasue of it not working when you are not moving.  There seems to be sudden lack of transome space witha 2 power poles, and this new 360 trasducer

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Posted: 04 March 2012 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’ve been comparing the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI and the Humminbird 597ci HD DI…just for a point of reference.
I just dont see the need for Side Imaging that I won’t get peak performance for the price. That’s why I’ve narrowed it down to the 2 units w/ chartplotting and DI.

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Posted: 05 March 2012 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Fishinfor5 - 04 March 2012 03:24 PM

I’ve been comparing the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI and the Humminbird 597ci HD DI…just for a point of reference.
I just dont see the need for Side Imaging that I won’t get peak performance for the price. That’s why I’ve narrowed it down to the 2 units w/ chartplotting and DI.

It sounds like you know what you want.  You correct, you do have to pay premium to have side imaging with a Lowrance product because you buy the structure scan system and then an HDS head unit.  The only recommendation I can give you would be to purchase a unit with a large screen.

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Posted: 05 March 2012 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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BBK - 03 March 2012 09:41 PM

First of all, how fast does your boat move with the electric? I believe you need 3.5mph for the down and side imaging to work. Might not even be practical with an electric only.

With most boats, 3.5mph is just over idle with the big motors. I havent seen an electric that could push or pull 3.5mph yet. But I guess if you put a 101lb on a 14’ jon it might work.. but good luck controlling it at 3.5mph from the bow.

I know a guy that knows a guy thats running a 101 on his 16ft jon cool smile

I tried SI on my jon boat and was getting some distortion in the image due to vibration from the TM shaft.

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Posted: 05 March 2012 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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To further complicate things…

I’ve been looking at the Humminbird 597ci HD DI combo. BPS has it listed for $649.00. Then I get a Cabelas catalog in the mail today with a Humminbird 587ci DI combo listed for $499.00. It has all the same specs as the 597 with the exception of thr screen size (4.5” vs 5”). Can anyone explain the differences between these 2 units?? Does Cabelas have exclusive models from Humminbird perhaps?

These guys are making it difficult to spend $500-$700!!

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Posted: 05 March 2012 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Upon further review the cheaper unit had a 4.5”, 640V x 480H color display and the other has a 5” 640V x 640H LCD color display. That has the be the difference.

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Posted: 06 March 2012 02:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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IMO a 4.5” screen is pretty small considering you’ll be 5 to 6 feet above it looking down trying to read the image.

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Posted: 06 March 2012 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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If your comfortable reading your electronics, the di probally wont do much for you. I have never had any issues with any Lowrance products that Ive had.

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when in doubt swing it

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Posted: 06 March 2012 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I agree, 4.5” is too small.

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Posted: 06 March 2012 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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BBK - 06 March 2012 06:23 PM

I agree, 4.5” is too small.

Thats what she said!!

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Posted: 06 March 2012 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Fishinfor5 - 03 March 2012 09:12 PM

I’m looking for some new electronics for the bow of my electric only boat. I’ve been comparing the Humminbird/Lowrance units with both GPS and Down Imaging. I’ve heard some conversation that is making me question exactly how DI functions without having Side Imaging as well. Any thoughts or suggestions on Down Imaging? Also any input on the Lowrance Elite 5 DI vs the Humminbird 597ci HD DI would be appreciated!


A very personal opinion here ....BUT….I think the down/side imaging is a bit gimmicky. It is cool to see in the store on simulator but in my opinion if you know how to read a good (repeat….good) quality graph like the HDS series Lowrance, you don’t need down or side imaging.  I do not need to know if a submerged structure is a bridge or a car, or a fence…....I just need to know it’s a submerged structure and probably holds fish. I know the side imaging is selling like hotcakes but I just feel it’s money for something you probably do not need, provided you can read your graph with some expertise.

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Posted: 06 March 2012 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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BBK - 06 March 2012 06:23 PM

I agree, 4.5” is too small.


Oh man you know how to hurt a guy !!  LOL  “I was in the pool…I was in the pool !!!”

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