Results of Studying Sonar Units, Opinion.

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by FishBrew, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. FishBrew

    FishBrew New Member

    Messages:
    329
    State:
    North Texas
    Never owned a GPS/plotter unit before. Been reading all the good post and info on the BOC and reading many different websites in regards to a boat mounted unit. In order to shorten the list of choices, these are the "requirements" I want from the unit coming out of the box (new).
    - unit to trandsducer cost around $500 or less
    - GPS/plotter - 12 channel
    - compatible with Navionics HotMaps Premium 2007 (lots of my local lakes)
    - single transducer, wide cone, built in temp
    - high speed/hyper scroll
    - 5 inch screen min.
    - color screen is optional. Would like color, but not at the cost sacrifice of the above requirements.

    In general, I don't have a brand loyality or opinion here since I have never owned one that has these capibilities. I started at Navionics website to shorten the list of choices. I have not researched beyond Lowrance, Hummingbird, and Eagle ... yet. From these three names, I keep coming back to two models that seem to fit all of the above. One has been discontinued, but still findable. They are the Lowrance 480M and the Lowrance LCX 17M (neither color screen).
    Any opinions? Have I missed something?
     
  2. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Jason, either one of those would be a good unit in grayscale, the edge wouild probably go to the lcx17, for the larger screen.
     

  3. rwilley3

    rwilley3 New Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    State:
    Brighton, Tenne
    I bought me a LCX17m last week new off E-Bay. I have not hooked it up yet but it looks like "just what the doctor ordered". Hey Fishbrew you can download the emulator for it from Lowrance as well as owners manual if you want to give it a trial run before you but it to see how it looks and operates.
     
  4. bigun12

    bigun12 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    Texas
    I have a Humminbird 787C2 with external GPS that I love and fits all your criteria except price.

    I believe Humminbird offers a 700 series fishing system in grayscale that is just like the one I have except gray scale which you could easily obtain for the money you are talking about.

    Try http://j&hproducts.com
     
  5. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,710
    State:
    Independen
    I wish I could give you a report on my new LMS334, but it's only about 7 degrees outside, so it will be a while before it gets used. I think this unit will serve me well, and sounds about like what you're looking for.
     
  6. bigun12

    bigun12 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    Texas
  7. bigun12

    bigun12 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    Texas
  8. duckalot

    duckalot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,971
    State:
    Missouri
    Cabelas have this unit with GPS on sale for 499.00 was 899.00.
    Can anyone tell me, Does that have an internal antenna?
     
  9. rwilley3

    rwilley3 New Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    State:
    Brighton, Tenne
    I tried them before I bought mine on e-bay(New) and they were out of GPS models and the note on GPS models led me to believe they were not ordering more. I should have called because it sure looks looks like they may have them back in stock now. That bites because they are selling them cheaper then I bought mine for just a couple of weeks ago.
     
  10. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,502
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Spend the extra money and get a color. You won't be sorry. I have a lowerance 332c and 102c. Have to check recent prices.
     
  11. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    Jason, I have the Lowrance 480M. I've had it three years, been well pleased although I had problems with the first one. Cabela's replaced it and no more problems. If I was getting a new one it would probably be the same, only in color.
     
  12. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    After I went through 3 Lowrance x107s in about two months time for water intrusion problems I went to garmin 178C which ACTUALLY is rated waterproof. The Lowrance units say that they are waterproof but they are not. The garmin is RATED to work perfect even if underwater for 30 minutes. Since I went to the garmin 178c I have never had a problem, I bought a triducer for it so I have the transducer,speed,and temp all in one unit. The screen isnt as big as the Lowrance x107 I had but for the size of it, it is awesome. I can see the screen perfect even on the brightest days, and the resolution is great. As for the GPS, Garmin has been rated #1 for some time now. It locks on to WAAS and the satelites in about a minute, even if I go to a completely different place from the last time I used it. I have never lost satellites on this unit, and I have been in the boonies with high trees all around me. I know some of you are asking how did the water get into the Lowrance units, I figure that maybe I got three units out of a bad batch. I leave the depthfinders on my boat, even in the rain. I guess those three either had bad seals, or they just weren't engineered for the heavy N.C. rains. Just something to keep in mind if you leave your depthfinders out in the weather like I do.
     
  13. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    I just purchased a Lowrance LMS-334c iGPS for $500 used that had been on the water 3 times. Just installed it yesterday but haven't had it on the water yet. I downloaded the similator from the web site and have been learning from it. I really think this will be a good system. I had my search narrowed down to Lowrance, Garmin or Eagle. From what I've seen and read these are the best units on the market. All I've ever owned is the cheap $100 units and I'm looking forward to seeing whats really down there.
     
  14. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    If you look at the one quality of the 2 units that matters, its resolution.The 17M has much better pixel count than the 480 which means you will get better detail.If it were me and I had to choose between bigger screen with more detail in monochrome or a lesser model in color ,I would always go bigger and more.Poor resolution and detail in color is still poor resolution!!!!!:eek:oooh: Seeing it in living color doesn't make it better.If you are cost conscious monochrome still gets the job done and the 17M is one of the best most powerful units made.:smile2:
     
  15. mcal762

    mcal762 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Virginia
    Bigun,
    hello, i ws looking at the 787c2i fish finder and was wondering how detailed the maps are in it? how good are the charts i.e. depth soundings on the charts, wrecks etc... do you have any complaints about it? What are some of the goods that you like about it. Thanks
    Mcal
     
  16. bigun12

    bigun12 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    Texas
    I have no complaints at all. Mine is the external GPS reciever model.

    The maps are 4 nm which isn't very detailed but you can over zoom in lots of places. I've only used mine on fresh water impoundments and found the maps more than adequate for my navigational needs thus far although I will probably buy a premium HotMaps card for mine soon to aid in locating structure in the lakes I normally fish. The maps that come with the unit aren't worth much in that regard as they lack depth conturs ect.
     
  17. mcal762

    mcal762 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Virginia
    Bigun,
    thanks for the info.
    Mcal
     
  18. bank bouncer

    bank bouncer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    INDIANA
    I have a Lowrance 135, it has given me nothing but problems with moisture to the point were the buttons wont even work. Open it up and pour and shake moisture out of it, then use a hair dryer on it, it all started when I left it on my boat under the cover, condensation. Also important is power, no less than 2500, better with 4000 watts.
     
  19. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    I've been doing the same research and friday I purchased the LCX-17M. I should have it monday. ( I hope) One of the members suggested to check out this place http://www.reedssports.com/main.taf?cat=1041 to get the best deal on the unit. I did and it was the cheapest place to get this particular unit. I checked prices all over online and locally and this was the lowest that I could find.

    Let me know if you buy this unit and keep us posted on how it works for you. I've got a lot of reading and learning to do on mine.