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jeff25

Looking for first fishfinder

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Just squired a new boat from my grandfather and I would like to replace the unit up by the bow. The main lakes I fish close to home are electric only so I will only be using that unit by the trolling motor. I would like to keep it under $500. Should I get a sidescan or downscan unit. Or is there one that has both for my budget? Brand does not matter

Right now it has an older eagle magna 2, I believe has sidescan and maybe just 2d sonar

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The Eagle is a 2D unit. It was an antique before there were any recreational imaging units.

 

The Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS G2 is $499 and replaced the discontinued Helix 5 SI GPS at the same MSRP last year. The discontinued model should be on sale wherever you may find one.

I have seen them at Gander Mt and Dick's Sporting Goods.

It has Side Imaging, Down Imaging, 2D Sonar, GPS/mapping.

The current model G2 has CHIRP Sonar and CHIRP Imaging.

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Chirp supposedly delivers better separation,

but for many users the jury is still out.

 

Roger

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1 minute ago, RoLo said:

Chirp supposedly delivers better separation,

but for many users, the jury is still out.

 

Roger

 

Still out for me and four of my units are CHIRPers.

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Just now, Wayne P. said:

 

Still out for me and four of my units are CHIRPers.

 

It seems that sonar technology may be at a sticking point.

 

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1 minute ago, Wayne P. said:

 

Still out for me and four of my units are CHIRPers.

So you're not 100% sold on CHIRP? I don't have anything with CHIRP just curious.

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It has zero benefit for where and how I fish. It may do better with a more powerful CHIRP specific transducer like AIRMAR has.

 

I have done extensive testing with CHIRP and single frequency with the same units, on the same fish, the same day, and within the time frame of changing the settings, and see no difference.

 

See any difference with these same fish?

 

This is the 83 kHz band single and CHIRP frequency:

 

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This is the 200 kHz band single and CHIRP frequency:

 

S00007_zpsl6li3ev1.png

 

S00008_zpshw5hska7.png

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I don't have any complaints about the ray marine dragonfly unit, but i would opt for something with side imaging as stated previously.  I would have a tough time spending more then 500 on one now adays as....see below.

 

I am currently confused by most boat technology.  I don't understand why i can't integrate the sonar directly to my windows/android/mac and get the display on a reasonable screen i already own.  Software updates could significantly update functionality.  Screens would be bigger and much better quality.  Time to market for these manufacturers would be drastically reduced and one could easily make just as much money with subscriptions as they do with hardware sales.  basically unlimited storage of locations and paths.  Cloud functionality.  integration with publicly acceptable software like google maps.  I see units for 4k+ now and it just makes me laugh.  I can get a couple surface pros for that and use them on and off the boat.  Or go the android path and just treat them like disposable units.  

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1 hour ago, bachelorpads said:

I don't have any complaints about the ray marine dragonfly unit, but i would opt for something with side imaging as stated previously.  I would have a tough time spending more then 500 on one now adays as....see below.

 

I am currently confused by most boat technology.  I don't understand why i can't integrate the sonar directly to my windows/android/mac and get the display on a reasonable screen i already own.  Software updates could significantly update functionality.  Screens would be bigger and much better quality.  Time to market for these manufacturers would be drastically reduced and one could easily make just as much money with subscriptions as they do with hardware sales.  basically unlimited storage of locations and paths.  Cloud functionality.  integration with publicly acceptable software like google maps.  I see units for 4k+ now and it just makes me laugh.  I can get a couple surface pros for that and use them on and off the boat.  Or go the android path and just treat them like disposable units.  

 

 

You can already have sonar on your mobile device with several wireless transducers.

You can also create contour mapping in real time on your device.

 

Then you have to deal with sunlight viewability and waterproofness.

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The closest i have seen is the dragonfly which still requires a base unit instead of just a usb or similar tranducer direct to a device using software.  I have researched and found a few solutions but none of them are even close to polished or work anywhere near as well as I would expect.  I have seen some that go for 10s of thousands of dollars for large commercial/yachts but nothing that is anything other then screen replication like the dragonfly does for fishing purposes.  

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If you go with a mobile/remote solution, figure in the cost of a waterproof case and some kind of mount.  I like the RAM X-Mount and Lifeproof cases.

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Fish finders are state of the art electronic devices that evolve faster than our ability to utilize all the features, unless that is your area of expertise. Buy only what you need and will use daily. If being able to know water depth, structure details and detect bait fish and other larger fish to one side of your boats path a side imaging unit is handy and time saving. If locating your position on a lake via GPS maps then GPS is useful. If knowing

 the depth, see baitfish and larger fish under the bait with a down looking sonar then traditional sonar unit is all you need. A combination of GPS, down looking color digital sonar with good bottom to target separation and surface water temps would be your basic unit today and within your budget.

Scanning units get more complicated and higher price. You need to set your priorities than sort out which units meets your needs.

can you utilize all the menu features including manual settings on your current unit?

Tom

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if you haven't purchased yet  field and str. has 2 on sale. garmin7dv for 299 and lowrance hook 7 with mapping for 399

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1 hour ago, jeff25 said:

Is the transducer with the helix 5 a standard or hd

 

The Helix 5 SI GPS and Helix 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 come with the Compact SI transducer XNT 9 SI 180 T. That is standard for that model and the Helix 7 SI models and the Helix 9 SI non-MEGA SI model.

 

The XHS 9 HDSI 180 T is standard for the Helix 10 SI model and Helix 12 CHIRP SI models that are not MEGA SI.

 

Any non-MEGA SI model that has a standard Compact SI transducer can use the HDSI transducer to get sharper images due to the longer length.

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Any word on the garmin striker 7 sv. Bass pro has them for $499. Description says it has a 400/800khz transducer

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Ebay also has referbrished lowrance elite 5 ti for $350, it only comes with a downscan transducer but I could always buy a totalscan at some point.

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