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fissure_man

Sonar/GPS wish list

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What’s coming next in the Sonar/GPS game?* What improvements do you want to see?

Get your wish list in and maybe the fine folks at HB or Lowrance will read this and make it happen!

3 ideas from me:

  1. Include a heading sensor by default.  Being able to see on the map where your boat is pointing at all times makes it SO much easier to stay on waypoints with the trolling motor.  And if you’re ever trying to grab waypoints in side-scan view, the heading sensor improves accuracy.  This should be built in, not an add-on ($).
  2. Real-time mapping.  Store depth/gps data on board (your unit does this anyway), then map it into contours as you fish.  The more you putter around your fishing spot, the better your map will get.  Similar software already exists for exported data, we’d just need a bit more storage and computing power on the unit.
  3. Wifi.  Automatic waypoint back-up and sync to PC.  Park your boat in the garage, power on your sonar, and automatically back up your waypoints to your laptop.  From the laptop, use manufacturer software to organize, delete, rename, or create new waypoints, then easily sync back to the on-board unit.

What else?

*disclaimer: it’s been a while since I’ve been shopping for a new unit, maybe some of this stuff exists already :D

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Number 2 already exists on Humminbirds. 

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5 minutes ago, Tim Kelly said:

Number 2 already exists on Humminbirds. 

Does it in real time?  I've seen the "Autochart" stuff, but I think you need to export the data to your computer, process it, then load it back onto your unit.  Is there something better?

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Autochart live. It's on the Helix 9-12 and the Onix units. 

I think the newer Garmins have a similar feature too. 

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Pricing for said stuff that the average hobbyist could purchase without having to take out a bank loan. Would be a start.

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11 minutes ago, Tim Kelly said:

Autochart live. It's on the Helix 9-12 and the Onix units. 

I think the newer Garmins have a similar feature too. 

Sweet, I just looked that up.  After the original autochart this was a logical step.  Have you used it?

 

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No. I can't make myself spend that much money on a sonar, as much as I'd love it!

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1 and 2 are features on Garmin.  And the self mapping is real time.

 

SE Kansas grass grower

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1.A built-in heading sensor (compass) is not a good idea due to the various ways units are mounted (vertical, horizontal, and tilted).

2. Not only does Garmin and Humminbird have real time contour mapping, you can get that with a smartphone or tablet using a Vexilar Sonarphone, Lowrance with Wifi, and Raymarine Wifi. That is Navionics Sonar Charts Live.

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I don't think #1 is? It has a built in GPS receiver, like the birds and probably the Lowrance, but the heading sensor is a magnetic compass that tells you which way the boat is pointing when you are stationary, or virtually stationary. Very useful as you can easily work out which way it is to a marked point before you set off, or which way to cast to a mark. Lowrance and Humminbird sell a specific GPS puck to achieve this as an extra. 

2 minutes ago, Wayne P. said:

1.A built-in heading sensor (compass) is not a good idea due to the various ways units are mounted (vertical, horizontal, and tilted).

It could be addressed in the set up as you could tell it which direction it was to the front of the boat. However, you might have trouble with magnetic interference if it were built into the unit as it might be mounted near something that caused a magnetic field. You have to be careful mounting the pucks in locations where they will be interference free.  

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#1 I would like a heading sensor to come with my graph as well.  

#2 I would like fishing specific icons to come with my highly specialized piece of equipment that's built for fishing. I don't know about the new Humminbirds, but the 98's and 99's just have blue dots and if you don't name them god only knows what you marked. Lowrance has had the same set of icon's since the 90's. Over half of them are icons you'll never use while fishing. They have yet to add an icon for stumps, or timber. They don't have one for a brush pile or anything like that. If I'm spending 2k or more on a locator for my boat, I don't need a dang street sign icon, or a car, or the other 25-30 icons that have no reason to be there. 

#3. I'd love to not be nickle and dimed for ever single accessory, as well as have an affordable unit to begin with. I understand the whole supply and demand thing, but I know I'd be much more willing to upgrade more often if it didn't cost SO much. They've got us by the balls on that one though and they know it unfortunately. 

#4 I'd like to be able to adjust the size of the font on the contour charts. I understand it stays the same size when you zoom to show accuracy, but there are times it's god awful hard to read, and zoom does you no good.

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4 hours ago, Wayne P. said:

1.A built-in heading sensor (compass) is not a good idea due to the various ways units are mounted (vertical, horizontal, and tilted).

Maybe this will be tough, but give the engineers a chance lol.  If it can't be built-in, at least including it in the price tag would be nice.  Or how about including (for no extra charge) a smaller puck with the heading sensor only, not the precision GPS.  For me, that compass adds a huge value to the basic GPS + map.  Especially for the cheaper units, if they can include that functionality without requiring additional purchase, it would be a nice selling point.

4 hours ago, Wayne P. said:

2. Not only does Garmin and Humminbird have real time contour mapping, you can get that with a smartphone or tablet using a Vexilar Sonarphone, Lowrance with Wifi, and Raymarine Wifi. That is Navionics Sonar Charts Live.

That Sonarphone is a neat idea... looks like I'm behind the times. :) thanks for the reply

 

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4 hours ago, WIGuide said:

#1 I would like a heading sensor to come with my graph as well.  

You know, a regular, old school, compass that mounts on your dash is not an expensive item.

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8 minutes ago, Scott F said:

You know, a regular, old school, compass that mounts on your dash is not an expensive item.

This is true, but it's not the same benefit.  With compass linked to my GPS unit, I can glance at the graph and see where the boat is pointing relative to my map/waypoints, and quickly judge where to turn my trolling motor or which direction to cast.  In open water without visual markers, this makes a tremendous difference in the ease of staying on a spot with the trolling motor.  When driving at low speed (idling to a spot, or running side-scan), the accuracy of the linked compass makes a big difference over the default unit, which relies on the GPS track for heading info, and doesn't work at all below ~0.5 MPH or something.

For the record, I do keep an old school compass on board as well, but for different reasons ;) 

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9 minutes ago, Scott F said:

You know, a regular, old school, compass that mounts on your dash is not an expensive item.

Very true, but a regular old school compass does not keep my map straight on my graph. If I choose to orient the map in the course up option so everything is positioned relative to how I'm looking off the front of the boat, it's great when I'm moving consistently, but when I stop to fish or hold on a spot, the map begins to re-orient as I begin to drift. With the north up setting, that's great if my bow is pointed straight north, but if not then you begin to play the guessing game on how many degrees my target is this way or that way. If you're fishing something like a huge long ledge, it's not much of an issue. However, not all structure is that big. For instance, the other day I was fishing a series of small humps about the size of a boat. I'm not framiliar enough with these spots yet to have landmark points to line up their exact location to line up my cast. With the wind blowing in the 15-20 mph range and gusting to more my map was in constant state of re-orientation making it tough to find. Once I got my angles down it wasn't bad, but I wasted a ton of time getting to that point. 

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17 hours ago, fissure_man said:

Sweet, I just looked that up.  After the original autochart this was a logical step.  Have you used it?

 

I have - It's KILLER !

A-Jay

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