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Brett's_daddy

Replacing Older Fish Finders?

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Okay, I just bought a used boat and it has 2 Humminbird fish finders on it with one transom mount transducer and one bow mount trolling motor transducer. If I wanted to upgrade these to color models would I have to change out the transducers or could I just swap out the head units? Also, is GPS really necessary on the fish finders if you're just sticking to smaller lakes/ponds and not venturing out onto the ocean or one of the Great Lakes (seems like it usually adds about $100 - $150 to the cost of the unit)?

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It depends on what models you have now and what sonar technology you want to purchase.

No simple answer without that information.

Just now, Wayne P. said:

It depends on what models you have now and what sonar technology you want to purchase.

No simple answer without that information.

Also do you intend to stay with Humminbird equipment?

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Well, I know I would like color and down imaging but other than that I don't think I need a chartplotter or anything . Sticking with Humminbird depends on if I can re-use the transducers...if not then I'll just got with whatever is the best bang for your buck unit with color and DI whichever brand that may be.

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I am pretty sure in the Humminbird lineup that DI will force you to replace the transducers. See the image below. The top one is the transducer for the previous series of DI units and the bottom one is the transducer for the older, pre-down imaging, type units. They have a live chat on their contact page so if you get a picture of your transducers they can probably tell you what color units you could hook up.

http://www.humminbird.com/Category/Company/Contact-Us/

pucks.jpg

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I chatted with Humminbird and they said any of the Helix Sonar models would work by just replacing the head units but if i wanted a DI unit I would need to replace the current transducers with a DI transducer.

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If you get a DI unit for the bow/trolling motor, exchange the included transom transducer for the trolling motor PUCK version.

That transducer for the Helix 5 or Helix 7 would be the XTM 9 DI 25 T.

The PUCK version has extra internal shielding to help with possible RFI issues from the trolling motor.

Bottom line is use the correct parts for the application.

If you have a suitable hull for a shoot-thru installation, you can use the transom DI transducer as a shoot-thru.

 

3 hours ago, Turtle135 said:

I am pretty sure in the Humminbird lineup that DI will force you to replace the transducers. See the image below. The top one is the transducer for the previous series of DI units and the bottom one is the transducer for the older, pre-down imaging, type units. They have a live chat on their contact page so if you get a picture of your transducers they can probably tell you what color units you could hook up.

http://www.humminbird.com/Category/Company/Contact-Us/

pucks.jpg

The pictured DI transducer is standard for all the Helix DI models as well as all the discontinued number series DI models.

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and by exchange, Wayne P means Humminbird has an exchange program for their transducers as long as you do not unpackage the one that comes with the unit, you can upgrade.

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GPS isn't needed for where you will be fishing...  however... it is really nice to have.  

If you are going to be on say, Waterbury Reservoir or Peacham pond, you will find all sorts of things that you can easily miss again.  Marking a way point makes coming back super easy. Smaller/shallower lakes don't really "need" it.

Down imaging is nice when uses in conjunction with the sonar.  You can easily tell a bait ball from a brush pile.

 The  $10-15 Navionics app does an amazing job and allows you to do "bathroom break" research. 

Look into the Garmin Echomap 73dv's for  $425 at bps (love mine) and perhaps the Striker 4DV for $119 then get the  $20 cable to link them.  This way you have the bigger unit with preloaded maps up front where you will spend most of your time fishing.  When you mark a spot on it the way point with be stored on both units.  So next time you go you can drive right to the spot.  A smaller screen on the console is fine since you are so close to it.

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How about the Garmin Echo 551dv for up front on the bow and maybe a Garmin Striker 4dv for the console? I will have to sell the older Humminbirds first, will have to Google them to see how much they are going for now.

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Brett's_Daddy...

Help us out a little:

  1. What is the boat you wound up with (I'd like to know, just because it's been fun to follow your story and I want to hear about where you landed).
    • This will become important as we begin to discuss the details of how you're going to mount your gear.
  2. What are the HB units on the boat now?
  3. What HB units are you considering...and what's your budget?

My thoughts:

  1. No way I'd buy new electronics and cripple them with old transducers unless I was 100% certain it would not limit the capabilities of my new equipment.
    • Might they "work"?  Sure...but would they allow me  to use all the capabilities of ny new gear?  Probably not.
  2. You're not going to save any money by using the old transducers...the new units will come with new ones.  Put in the time and mount the transducers that come with the new equipment.
  3. Get GPS.  You're gonna want to mark places you've caught fish, or spotted good structure.
    • IMO, a fish finder without GPS these days is less than half a tool...
  4. Get at least good 2D with down imaging...if you can float the little bit extra to add Side Imaging...do it.  You won't regret it.
  5. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the major brands of electronics.  They are all good, the biggest reason to choose one over the other is cost and how much you like the interface.
  6. Once you choose a brand...stick with it and build your system.  I use Humminbird and MinnKota because they work well together (they are parts of the same company).  If I understand things correctly, Lowrance and Moto Guide are similar.  I'm not sure if Garmin can "talk" to either brand of trolling motor.

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The boat I ended up with is a 1990 Sea Nymph 16ft. v-hull side console with a 40hp Johnson outboard and a 50lb thrust MinnKota All Terrain bow mount foot controlled trolling motor. Yes, it's old but the guy I bought off is local and he bought the boat brand new in 1990 and has taken immaculate care of it...the boat has never seen rain! Always greased everything each year in the motor...you can take off the cowl and the motor looks brand new, no rust anywhere, no cracked fuel lines...everything looks immaculate. All of the carpet and decking/floors in the boat is solid and all original...no soft spots anywhere, all gauges work too. It's a really nice boat and it's obvious that this guy babied this thing and really took good care of it (both the batteries and the fish finders always came inside for the winter), when it wasn't in a heated garage it has a full custom cover and the motor even has it's own cover and he never let snow pile on top of it, would go out and brush all the snow off and snow blow all around the trailer every time it snowed. The trailer also looks new, no rust anywhere, new bunk carpets...he also fabricated a Fulton trailer jack with a pneumatic wheel which makes it much easier to move around in the yard. The only thing I'm thinking now of doing is adding a CMC power trim/tilt unit (Bass Pro Shops has a 6 pay plan where you can purchase something over $125 and pay however much you want up front and pay the remaining balance off in 5 months at zero % interest) and just stick with the current fish finders until next year when I have more money :D.

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Sounds like a nice rig - you should go over to the boat forum and post some pictures of your new ride.

 

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I'd always want to replace the entire system when changing sonars.  No telling if the former jughead owner wired it properly with correct circuit protection and wire routing, or whether the old installation now has frayed or cracked wiring that will reduce the performance of the new unit.  New is always better when it comes to electronics.

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