Hummingbird 797c2i Sonar Fish Finder

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by BowBender, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. BowBender

    BowBender New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Georgia
    Well after a lot of research including Catfish1 I finally bit the bullet and bought one.

    My old one was a Hummingbird Wide Optic.

    Fish finders are like computers. Every five years the technology has change so much it is like a whole new world. The difference between this one and my old one is unreal.

    All the marketing says turn it on and it works no complicated learning. True BUT, if you really want to learn ALL the features to the best benifit it does take some learning.

    I took it out for a day and tried it out. Became a little frustrated learing the side scan and moving back and fourth between screens.

    The next day I spent about four hours reading and studying the manual and playaing with the simulator learning the features. Then I took it out again. Did a whole lot better after that. I actually found three sunken boats in the lake I fish.

    The lake I used to fish (720 acres) has changed after a storm a few years ago. Just a few hours on the lake showed why. The cover I used to fish was gone. I am having to completely relearn the lake. Stuff I used to fish around had moved as much as 300 yards from where it used to be or was completely gone.

    The GPS tracking works good and is well worth while.

    I ordered mine fully loaded with maps and so far that has been great. I have not had a chance to try it out on a really big lake yet.

    I noticed when I went on line and registered my machine that there were two software updates for it. I down loaded these. I had to buy the cable to move these from the computer to the fish finder about $24.00. Looks like for more than $1200 for a machine, they would have included the PC cable.

    I had no trouble at all loading the new software.

    I did notice some coments in Catfish1 that the GPS some times show a boat on land when it was in water. I think the software up date is supposed to fix this. I have not tried it yet but the software that came with mine has not exhibited this problem.

    I wish I could have afforded the $2000.00 or $3000.00 model with their bigger screen. At my age the side scan is small and I have to get the right lenz of the trifocals on it to see it properly. I did find that in bright light it is some times hard to see. The fix for this was to change the color of the screen to grey from blue. Again this is playing with the machine and learning ALL its features.

    There is a DVD video Humingbird 700 Series by Bennett Marine at Bss Pro for about $15.00. This was a worthwhile expenditure.

    I had concerns about how well it would work in shallow water. A Lot of the water i fish is 10 feet or less. It works fine side scan and all. The only thing I noticed is that when set to scan 150 feet side to side, the ability to see side ways dropped down to about 75 feet when the water depth dropped below five feet.

    Is the machine worth it? For me Absolutely.
     
  2. BowBender

    BowBender New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Georgia
    I thought of one other thing. The unit has a SD card slot on the front to store your way point and other data. You have to buy the card separately. Hummingbird should do like most camera companies and supply at least a small card with the unit at this price.

    You do not have to have this but it is a worthwhile feature.

    Fortunately I had a spare card for my camera and it worked fine in the fish finder. So add another $20-50 dollars depending on the size card you need. These can be found on sale pretty cheap if you shop around. Best Buy, Circuit City, Tiger direct etc. They are very common devices. Ideally you would have one for each lake you use.

    The software I down loaded from Huummingbird will let you transfer this data from your fish finder to your PC so you can back it up or edit it as needed. This is a really nice feature.
     

  3. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    A couple of notes here. You do not need the PC cable to do updates. Simply load the update onto a blank SD card and install in unit before power up. It will prompt you to update if you wish, telling you your current software revision and the version on the card.

    The unit stores waypoints in its own memory.
    The sd cards are normally used for screen snapshots etc although you can save waypoints there somehow, never tried it.

    Of course if you didn't have the NVB model your Navionics Map would occupy the single slot.

    I agree on the small screen. Even at the price, next time I'll be saving up some more bones to get the 997 or the 1197.
     
  4. cowboyd

    cowboyd New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    il
    I am in the middle of deciding whether to buy the 797c2i si or not. I found your comments very interesting and while I don't want to spend the extra money for the wider sceen, not only for the dollars but also because I plan to adapt the unit to a portable for Canada, I am really interested in two things. First should I get the larger screen and secondly does the thing work as well as they advertise it?

    :confused2:
     
  5. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    That thing will open up a whole new underwater world for you, definately worth the money.

    The big screen of the 997 is worth the upgrade also. I choked on the price and bought the 797 of which I now regret. Every time I go into a store and see them side-by-side I regret my purchase. The big screen is sooooooo much easier to see, plus waaaaay cooler! If you can, go see them side-by-side in the simulation mode at your nearest fishing store.

    Passed something interesting on the side scan? Simply move your cursor over it and mark a waypoint. Anchor up and run your cursorback to that waypoint and now you know the heading and distance to your fish. Can't get much cooler than that and you can't do that with traditional 2d sonar. Your fishingwill improve once you learn your unit.

    See a blob on your 2d? See a sunken boat on the 3d (or whatever), in other words now you know what you are seeing. You will find things on your home water that you never knew existed!:wink:
     
  6. catfish1969

    catfish1969 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    ILL.
    I To picked up the 797 I have to install it yet ,I to struggled with going larger, but the price kept me at the smaller I figured I could not swing the price of the bigger one so smaller was better than nothing at all... I did get it fully loaded... very excited about getting it on and trying it out!!!!! :big_smile:
     
  7. cowboyd

    cowboyd New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    il
    I have to admitt I just stumbled on this place tracking down my research on the 797c2i si but seldom have I found a friendlier bunch and for that I am most appreciative. 60 is just around the corner so the whole vision thing is an issue ( I just hate that I have to have cheater glasses to tie a darn knot ) Do you or anyone know if the transducer is the same for both the 700 and 900 series? I have to be honest and have done very little catfish fishing and seem to do most of my fishing up north...........I need the get away from all contact and if they can find my cell phone I might as well stay in the office.........stupid old man can not ignore a message either so my best choice is not to be able to get them.

    Thanks again

    Dick
     
  8. cowboyd

    cowboyd New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    il
    lol just noticed my status is as an initiate that along is worth checking back!
     
  9. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Transducers are different for the 797 and 997 units.:0a26:
     
  10. Shotgun Slim

    Shotgun Slim New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Texas
    I bought a 797 last year and am just getting used to it. Kinda weird being able to count branches on sunken trees.