Jump to content
Ratherbfishing

Side imaging overrated

Recommended Posts

I'll probably receive the wrath of some of the more devout advocates on this forum and be labeled an apostate (or, worse still, a troll), BUT I had high(er) hopes for the side-imaging feature on my Helix 7 and, frankly, I'm not all that impressed.  I have heard I should upgrade to a better transducer but even without it (I opted not to), I had expected to see SOME images to the side of my boat (albeit, perhaps, "fuzzier").  I've driven past KNOW features (I could SEE them it the water) and will carefully study the screen religiously to watch for ANY sign of them.  But even when they were CLEARLY within the range setting and in reasonably deep water, unless it's the size of a large tree, MOST of the time...nothing.  And the down imaging, too, has been a disappointment.  I've gone directly OVER stumps and sunken steel barrels (things that should stand out like a sore thumb), etc. without so much as a whiff on the screen.  RARELY does it ever look even remotely like the demo mode.  The only feature I tend to use with regularity is the "traditional" sonar which IS clearer and useful.  How CRITICAL is the transducer placement?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a helix 5 with the regular transducer and I can see plenty. I have found numerous brushpiles and on the river I can see the deeper laydowns and can make out individual branches even with the small 5in screen. it does not work great in less than about 8ft of water but I am very happy. what kind of settings are you running?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really need some quality time with SI, but I'm really afraid that my mind will never grasp it.  I'm generally good with spatial recognition and relative movement, but, man....I still have trouble bending my brain around the display.  I've done the folded paper visualization and spent time with images side by side with DS or photos or 3D renderings...and still, I struggle with SI display

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like user error and it would be hard to convince anybody otherwise. I've used both SI and DI features on Lowrance and Humminbird; Scanned images show up perfectly and are  very crisp. You need to get somebody to show you how to use it properly and do some homework via youtube.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, iabass8 said:

This sounds like user error and it would be hard to convince anybody otherwise. I've used both SI and DI features on Lowrance and Humminbird; Scanned images show up perfectly and are  very crisp. You need to get somebody to show you how to use it properly and do some homework via youtube.

I KNEW someone would say this.  I'm not an idiot, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Ratherbfishing said:

I KNEW someone would say this.  I'm not an idiot, however.

I'm not calling you an idiot. Being that you are unable to see anything clearly and are unable to distinguish anything on the screen, your unit is not set up correctly and/or you are not using it correctly. It takes practice to figure them out and there is a learning curve. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, iabass8 said:

I'm not calling you an idiot. Being that you are unable to see anything clearly and are unable to distinguish anything on the screen, your unit is not set up correctly and/or you are not using it correctly. It takes practice to figure them out and there is a learning curve. 

Sorry, my reaction may have been a little too strong.

Not seeing things clearly and not at all are two different things.  Usually there is nothing.  At what depth do you have to be in before things are "seen"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Ratherbfishing said:

Sorry, my reaction may have been a little too strong.

Not seeing things clearly and not at all are two different things.  Usually there is nothing.  At what depth do you have to be in before things are "seen"?

I've used side imaging in water as shallow as 3' /w success. I've had it on before in 2 FOW and have no issues but generally if I'm not on pad I hop off the big motor that shallow. The deepest I've used it is around 25' or so. I think Wayne has some pretty good screenshots of super shallow side imaging. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wayne's screen shots are MILES away from what I generally see.  I wish I had a large pool in which I could place different objects of different shapes and at different depths to practice.  But then again, I have "driven" directly over known objects (ensuring the transducer was right on top of-for the down imaging) and, generally, very little to report.  I've changed the settings (including range) with little to report except, for instance, a different color.  The regular 2D sonar seems to be fine but the other modes, not so much.  And if all I wanted was an improved 2d sonar, I could have spent considerably less.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That royally sucks.  Nothing worse than spending lots of money for something with a lot of hype only to be disappointed by the result.  I don't have side imaging and I've often considered upgrading but your thread has questioned that potential now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something is definitely wrong, and I'm nearly certain it has nothing to do with your ability to interpret the screen.  You should be able to clearly see big stumps and boulders with side imaging. 

Hopefully, your settings are just messed up, because then it's an easy fix.  Typically, the default side-imaging sensitivity is set way too high.  Try setting yours lower.  Also, be aware have to manually adjust sensitivity for different depths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ratherbfishing said:

Wayne's screen shots are MILES away from what I generally see.  I wish I had a large pool in which I could place different objects of different shapes and at different depths to practice.  But then again, I have "driven" directly over known objects (ensuring the transducer was right on top of-for the down imaging) and, generally, very little to report.  I've changed the settings (including range) with little to report except, for instance, a different color.  The regular 2D sonar seems to be fine but the other modes, not so much.  And if all I wanted was an improved 2d sonar, I could have spent considerably less.

Can you do a split screen with 2d and D.I.? If not switch back and forth between them before the known objects leave the screen. See if the known objects are showing up on the 2D and not the DI. If you can see them in 2D I would say you do have some sort of problem with something in your DI. Can you post the settings on your DI?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest getting someone who has had Humminbird SI for a while go fishing with you. I had similar issues to start but a buddy helped me with settings and lowered the transducer a bit to clear it up.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, pawpaw said:

Can you post the settings on your DI?

This is where I AM an idiot.  Perhaps I can-after some time.

10 minutes ago, pawpaw said:

Can you do a split screen with 2d and D.I.? 

I hadn't thought to try this but that should be illuminating (maybe).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, pawpaw said:

Can you do a split screen with 2d and D.I.? If not switch back and forth between them before the known objects leave the screen. See if the known objects are showing up on the 2D and not the DI. If you can see them in 2D I would say you do have some sort of problem with something in your DI. Can you post the settings on your DI?

You can do a quad screen with whatever screens you want to define in it.  I like run half screen DI, quarter DI or Chirp, quarter GPS, zoomed in.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Ratherbfishing said:

This is where I AM an idiot.  Perhaps I can-after some time.

Not at all. There is definitely a learning curve.

I think I would reset factory defaults and see if something in the settings didn't get jacked up or something. I know it's a pain to reset all your views and what not but it could be worth it.

Another common problem is during install the transducer was set level with the boat sitting level on the trailer. The problem there is your boat will not be exactly level when your idling at 3-4 mph. The bow will be higher. To measure this I took a 2' level with me in the boat. I laid the level on the floor and while idling my buddy stacked coins under the low side of the level until it was level then noted how many coins it took. When I got home I put the coins back under the level and jacked up the trailer until I had the same pitch again. Then go back and check the transducer for level. If it's not level, correct it.

Hopefully one or both of these will help. Good luck

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd really encourage you not to give up on SI ~ It's not The End All as far as imaging goes - but it's been a game changer for me.

BUT there was a learning curve for me too.  I've had the Si on the Lund for a few months now (via a Helix 10) - It's definitely helped me find cover which has directly resulted in fish I may have never found with out it. 

 My guess is your unit is not tuned correctly - like a bad picture on an old TV - you'll get it right. 

And when you do - you'll see what it's capable of.

A-Jay

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that something isn't right, but it's hard to diagnose exactly what over the Internet sometimes. I'd second the recommendation to reset the defaults to factory settings, then next time you are out on the water, take a couple pics while running around and post on the site so we can have an idea of just what you are (or are not) seeing. I think that would be very helpful in this situation.

-T9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah don't give up on it yet. It took me a bit to get where it was of much use to me. It helps to just go out and spend time not fishing, focusing only on adjusting settings and stuff.

One thing that really helped me  1) gain some faith in SI and 2) gain a better understanding of what I was seeing was using the recording feature.  Not sure if you have that option or not with your unit.

I spent 2 hrs just trolling around a 100 acre reservoir where I know (or thought I knew) most of the underwater features. My buddy fished but I really didn't at all. I downloaded a trial version of a sonar viewing program and watched the recording like a movie. 

It helped me a ton. The program allowed me change palettes and contrast and on a 15" laptop screen. I used a view where I was looking at sonar DI, and SI. Because I was reviewing it in my kitchen I wasn't doing anything but focusing on the returns. I always felt like I was focusing on the boat but I missed a lot. 

After spending some time like that I started having much better luck using imaging while fishing. Once I convinced myself it actually worked I started playing more with range and stuff a lot of what I had read started clicking. Might not help you at all but it definitely made a huge difference for me. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought my helix 5 SI this past spring and after playing with it and using it all summer i am just now getting the hang of it and learning what i am seeing.  I also did upgrade to the HD transducer and it is a world of difference.  Take some time to learn it and make sure it is set up properly.  I also fish from a kayak and frequent shallow water and have seen images on my screen of bluegill beds that look like honeycombs 40 feet away.  

It has definitely enabled me to catch some fish that otherwise I wouldn't have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch this video on how to setup your transducer. 

Also, with SI you do not need to run directly over an object. just to the side.  Find a known object, mark it with a buoy, move past it with your SI and DI split screen on.  Make adjustments to your Sensitivity and Contrast.  You may need to change the Palette colors as well.  SI and DI are very sensitive to water depth compared to 2D, meaning as water depth changes your setting will need to also.  There is no "automatic" setting.

Your chart speed must also match the boat speed.  SI and DI are usually good up to about 5-6 mph only.

Do a search for Doug Vahrenberg and watch his videos or posts on other websites.  His info will be extremely helpful to you.

The attached chart settings are applicable to Helix as will.  I have a & SI and love it for the detail it shows.

 

 

DV chart setup.png

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ohio Archer said:

Watch this video on how to setup your transducer. 

Also, with SI you do not need to run directly over an object. just to the side.  Find a known object, mark it with a buoy, move past it with your SI and DI split screen on.  Make adjustments to your Sensitivity and Contrast.  You may need to change the Palette colors as well.  SI and DI are very sensitive to water depth compared to 2D, meaning as water depth changes your setting will need to also.  There is no "automatic" setting.

Your chart speed must also match the boat speed.  SI and DI are usually good up to about 5-6 mph only.

Do a search for Doug Vahrenberg and watch his videos or posts on other websites.  His info will be extremely helpful to you.

The attached chart settings are applicable to Helix as will.  I have a & SI and love it for the detail it shows.

 

 

DV chart setup.png

SI and DI works great from Zero to about 12 mph if you can maintain good water contact. That is what the Chart Speed setting allows. The setting range is 1-10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on the lake today, saw this SI image, thought of this thread, and got a screen shot.  This is a Helix 10 with the HDSI transducer. Depth is only 12 feet but you can see a bunch of stuff on each side, including spawning beds.  When I had my HB 798 with the standard compact transducer I would not have seen this much detail, this sharp, but I would have seen enough to know if I wanted to work over that area.

So, for me, and with the equipment that I've had, I'd say the last 5 years that I've been using SI has indeed let me see more stuff...and  catch more fish...

S00043.PNG

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Goose52 said:

I was on the lake today, saw this SI image, thought of this thread, and got a screen shot.  This is a Helix 10 with the HDSI transducer. Depth is only 12 feet but you can see a bunch of stuff on each side, including spawning beds.  When I had my HB 798 with the standard compact transducer I would not have seen this much detail but I would have seen enough to know if I wanted to work over that area.

So, for me, and with the equipment that I've had, I'd say the last 5 years that I've been using SI has indeed let me see more stuff...and  catch more fish...

S00043.PNG

Nice shot. The HDSI is a step up for sure.

Did you change your scroll speed or boat speed half way through this shot?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, pawpaw said:

Nice shot. The HDSI is a step up for sure.

Did you change your scroll speed or boat speed half way through this shot?

Boat speed - at the bottom of the SI image I was drifting and not moving fast enough to get a good return so I cranked on some speed and got some sharp detail that you see at the top of of the image. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing

    fishing poles

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×