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Pierce LaFleur

Lowrance or Humminbird

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I just recently bought a boat and I am wanting to put some fish finders on it, I am thinking about 2 9" but im not sure if I should go Humminbird or Lowrance and am definitely putting chips in whenever I get them. 

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Either one.  It just depends on what you want.  I think HB has the best side and down scan and Low has the best 2d sonar.

 

When you say you are putting "chips" in when you buy I assume you mean map cards.  If that is the case you can network the units and have them share 1 card.  I have 3 units in my boat all using 1 card.

 

It would be time well spent  if you went to a store that carries both and look at them and the key functions to help you make your choice.

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Ford / Chevy / Dodge thing. Many stores have a bunch of models on display. Have you had a chance to try them out? A big factor and possibly one of the biggest differentiators is the user interface... buttons, menus, etc. 

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2 minutes ago, haggard said:

Ford / Chevy / Dodge thing. Many stores have a bunch of models on display. Have you had a chance to try them out? A big factor and possibly one of the biggest differentiators is the user interface... buttons, menus, etc. 

I live an hour away from anything lol, closest thing to me is twenty minutes away and its a dollar general, A gentleman has a 9" helix si he wants to sell me for $400 without the transducer and its two months old, im not sure if its a good deal or not?

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If you're using to units and share waypoints, the total package Garmin is your cheapest route. 

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Prepare yourself for an onslaught from fanboys of every brand out there. The biggest thing is this, you get what you pay for. None of them are cheap. You can lessen the costs but not without losing features and benefits. You really need to watch some guys using and demonstrating different units to best determine what features you're wanting. At that point you can best decide what brand, size, and sonar type you are in the market for. 

 

I bought a Humminbird Helix 7 SI and am amazed at it's capability in such a compact unit. But, money was a big factor for me. I would have loved to upgrade to one of the units with I comma in the price, but I couldn't justify it. 

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HB Fan Boy here ~ 

 

57abdb12d0656_CruisingintheLund1.thumb.jpg.da7e591fce62ce4848bfc6e58abf03fb.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

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6 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

HB Fan Boy here ~ 

 

57abdb12d0656_CruisingintheLund1.thumb.jpg.da7e591fce62ce4848bfc6e58abf03fb.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

me too. for 30 years now.

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2 hours ago, Jig Man said:

Either one.  It just depends on what you want.  I think HB has the best side and down scan and Low has the best 2d sonar.

 

When you say you are putting "chips" in when you buy I assume you mean map cards.  If that is the case you can network the units and have them share 1 card.  I have 3 units in my boat all using 1 card.

 

It would be time well spent  if you went to a store that carries both and look at them and the key functions to help you make your choice.

This ^^

 

I've run them both for over 30 years. Each has strengths and weaknesses. Both are great units overall. In the past I leaned much more Lowrance. These days, more H'bird. Wouldn't complain with either on my boat. Figure out what is most important to you and then decide.

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I hate to be that guy, but my experience was very bad with Hummingbird. Helix 10 GN2 Mega.

 

bought two finders last year august 2018.

 

My issue was when fishing shallow and a hard bottom the screen showed 3 bottoms.

I spoke with tech many times, on and off the water and they weren't able to help me.

Every person had something different to try.

 

sold both units and went back to Lowrance and fished the same water I had no issues.

 

I DO NOT LIKE Humminbird, I hope you have better results.

i have videos and pictures

 

Thanks and best of luck

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I prefer Lowrance.  I think Humminbird makes a good product, I just prefer the menu layout of Lowrance units.  

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I have two (soon to be 3) Humminbirds on my bass boat and a small Lowrance for my kayak.  I think others have pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as the major differences.  It really comes down to a more intuitive user interface, touch screen and the best 2D sonar (Lowrance) vs. the best Side Imaging, Down Imagaing and better connectivity (Humminbird).  Having used only Lowrance until the past few years I was very hesitant to make the switch to Humminbird and learn a whole new head unit and menu system, but ultimately the SI and DI images that Humminbird was producing at the time were leaps and bounds better than any images I’d seen from competitors.  

 

I knew I was going to be using an Ultrex, so the fact that Humminbird connects to the Ultrex via ipilot link was a key factor for me as well.  Humminbird helix units w/lake master chips networked with the Ultrex ipilot link is a very cool system and arguably gets you great bang for your buck.  I would caution anyone looking to implement this system that there are some “hidden” costs that you may not be aware of when pricing it all out.

 

Humminbird recently released a new lineup of headunits and transducers, which are supposedly produce much better traditional 2D sonar CHIRP images.  Haven’t seen any results or tested it myself yet but any improvement in this regard is certainly welcome.  

On 12/25/2018 at 10:43 PM, Basson66 said:

I hate to be that guy, but my experience was very bad with Hummingbird. Helix 10 GN2 Mega.

 

bought two finders last year august 2018.

 

My issue was when fishing shallow and a hard bottom the screen showed 3 bottoms.

I spoke with tech many times, on and off the water and they weren't able to help me.

Every person had something different to try.

 

sold both units and went back to Lowrance and fished the same water I had no issues.

 

I DO NOT LIKE Humminbird, I hope you have better results.

i have videos and pictures

 

Thanks and best of luck

 

Unfortunately this is a known bug/issue with that specific Helix model - The Helix 10 CHIRP G2N MEGA SI (I own one as well, as far as I know the issue is limited to that specific unit) - supposedly Humminbird has a firmware update in the works that will fix this issue, but I’m not sure what the ETA is on that update or if it’s a priority for them or not.  Mine rarely does it, I need to be in 6-8 feet of water with a very hard featureless bottom to reproduce the effect, but it’s certainly a bummer regarldless.

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54 minutes ago, Janderson45 said:

 

 

Unfortunately this is a known bug/issue with that specific Helix model - The Helix 10 CHIRP G2N MEGA SI (I own one as well, as far as I know the issue is limited to that specific unit) - supposedly Humminbird has a firmware update in the works that will fix this issue, but I’m not sure what the ETA is on that update or if it’s a priority for them or not.  Mine rarely does it, I need to be in 6-8 feet of water with a very hard featureless bottom to reproduce the effect, but it’s certainly a bummer regarldless.

Funny, I have that exact model on the console of my rig and I’ve never once had this issue, and I’m in central Ontario where the bottom is almost always bedrock/granite in a lot of places. I will say that for both of my units I’ve never installed any new updates, they do everything I need them to do just the way they came, and, if it ain’t broke ...

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I agree with what others have said.  I've used both brands in the past.  Both get the job done.  I'm currently a happy Humminbird Solix user.  Most of the lakes I fish have high definition LakeMaster maps available.  For my needs,  this makes all other brands of fish finders obsolete.  I mostly fish offshore structure where the LakeMaster maps are a game changer.  Lakemaster maps are not available for all lakes so this may not be a factor in your decision.  I personally have been more impressed with the quality of Lowrance units over Humminbirds.  My Solix units have a few annoying bugs but nothing that makes me regret buying them.

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On 12/25/2018 at 6:27 PM, Jig Man said:

When you say you are putting "chips" in when you buy I assume you mean map cards.  If that is the case you can network the units and have them share 1 card.  I have 3 units in my boat all using 1 card.

This is not true with all models.  For HB only Onix/Solix share maps over ethernet.  Lowrance shares mapping over ethernet, but only the HDS models have ethernet capability.  The new Ti-2's might be able to share maps wirelessly, but I haven't seen too much about them in use yet.  

 

Just FYI.

 

I've had and used both brands thoroughly, there are things I like and dislike about each...But overall either is a good choice.  

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Hey Guys

 

I agree HB must make a good product, but my experience wasn't a good one . Here is a image of the finder showing two bottoms, this happened all of the time on hard bottoms and the depth readings would also change.

 

Helix 10 GN2 ( this model was not SI ) standard GPS hooked up to a Ulterra

 

My biggest issues was HB couldn't help me fix it, and every tech person had a different fix but nothing worked.

 

Be careful I would never think Humminbird products would work this way.

i have more images and videos

 

helix1.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Basson66 said:

Hey Guys

 

I agree HB must make a good product, but my experience wasn't a good one . Here is a image of the finder showing two bottoms, this happened all of the time on hard bottoms and the depth readings would also change.

 

Helix 10 GN2 ( this model was not SI ) standard GPS hooked up to a Ulterra

 

My biggest issues was HB couldn't help me fix it, and every tech person had a different fix but nothing worked.

 

Be careful I would never think Humminbird products would work this way.

i have more images and videos

 

helix1.jpg

I do not see 'the problem' ???

What am I missing ? 

A-Jay

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I just want to be clear its not my mission to bash HB.

 

But in the last 18 years using Lowrance products I never had any of these issues.

 

The screen should only be showing one bottom as show in this image.

 

This image shows a rocky hard bottom.

 

helix3.jpg

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Really wish @Wayne P. would poke his head in here - just once of old time sake.

Miss him. 

A-Jay

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You’re seeing numerous “bottoms” in shallow water with a very hard bottom.  This is an echo since you are using “high CHIRP frequency.  The bug or issue that Humminbird is struggling with is the digital depth readout in scenarios like you posted.  Your particular helix appears to be reading the correct depth and functioning correctly.  

 

If you switch the sonar frequency to 83khz or decrease the sonar sensitivity what happens?  My guess is that the double or triple bottom issue disappears.   

 

The issue arises when the sonar unit is not able to differentiate between the numerous “bottoms” that the sonar return is showing.  So in the first image you posted, the unit would be reading 15-20’ of depth when you’re really in 5’ of water.

 

Based off the sonar readings shown in each photo, the first picture has a significantly harder bottom than the second photo.  Notice the red vs. yellow coloration of the bottom?  Red is going to be your strongest sonar returns (hard bottom in this case) and as the colors change to orange, yellow, green then blue the sonar returns are getting progressively weaker.   

8 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Really wish @Wayne P. would poke his head in here - just once of old time sake.

Miss him. 

A-Jay

 

He’s still very active on “another forum” posting pretty much daily on Humminbird related topics.  Much of what I’ve learned in regards to Humminbird is straight from the horses mouth, and I’ve been doing my best to share some of that here.  I’ve still got plenty to learn myself though, Wayne is a fantastic resource for all things sonar, especially Humminbird.  

23 hours ago, Way north bass guy said:

Funny, I have that exact model on the console of my rig and I’ve never once had this issue, and I’m in central Ontario where the bottom is almost always bedrock/granite in a lot of places. I will say that for both of my units I’ve never installed any new updates, they do everything I need them to do just the way they came, and, if it ain’t broke ...

 

I made a bit of a mistake in my original post, the bug/issue isn’t specific to the Helix 10 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N, it’s been reported across the whole line of G2 Helix MEGA units as well as the G1 Solix MEGA units.  

 

The issue however, is not the units showing numerous bottoms like posted in the photo above, but rather the unit not being able to decipher which one of those “bottoms” is real- the digital depth readout will jump around between all 3 echos and show 5ft, 10ft, and 15ft of depth for the same location.  

 

I read yesterday that Solix received a recent firmware update that supposedly addresses the issue, but still nothing on the Helix units as far as I can tell.  The biggest concern with this bug is when using AutoChart live - if you’re not careful you might end up drawing a map with sharp depth contours that don’t exist..

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@Basson66  Here is my take on the two images you posted.

 

The problem with the first image (with 3 bottoms) is that the lower depth range is to deep.  You're in 5 ft of water and the screen is showing 29 ft of sonar returns.  Sonar signals keep bouncing around after they are recieved.  The signal is bouncing off the bottom and you are reading it a 5ft,  then it bounces off the boat/surface and back down off the bottom again and is shown at 10ft and then again and is shown at 15ft. The hard bottom and shallow depth make the bounces stronger so the problem is worse.  This is still happening  on your second images but you don't see it because range is set to 10ft and the second bottom would be a 17ft (twice the depth).  In shallow water,  you will see these extra bottoms on any sonar if you manually set the range to more than twice the depth.  Your unit is interpeting the depth correctly but the range is not being adjusted to match the depth.  THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM.

 

There might be a simple solution to your problem.  Make sure you have your lower range set to "Auto".  If you inadvertantly set it to a fix range then this would explain what you are seeing.  If it is set to "Auto" then it is a software problem that Humminbird needs to address.

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10 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I do not see 'the problem' ???

What am I missing ? 

A-Jay

 

1 hour ago, Janderson45 said:

You’re seeing numerous “bottoms” in shallow water with a very hard bottom.  This is an echo since you are using “high CHIRP frequency.  The bug or issue that Humminbird is struggling with is the digital depth readout in scenarios like you posted.  Your particular helix appears to be reading the correct depth and functioning correctly.  

 

If you switch the sonar frequency to 83khz or decrease the sonar sensitivity what happens?  My guess is that the double or triple bottom issue disappears.   

 

The issue arises when the sonar unit is not able to differentiate between the numerous “bottoms” that the sonar return is showing.  So in the first image you posted, the unit would be reading 15-20’ of depth when you’re really in 5’ of water.

 

Based off the sonar readings shown in each photo, the first picture has a significantly harder bottom than the second photo.  Notice the red vs. yellow coloration of the bottom?  Red is going to be your strongest sonar returns (hard bottom in this case) and as the colors change to orange, yellow, green then blue the sonar returns are getting progressively weaker.   

 

He’s still very active on “another forum” posting pretty much daily on Humminbird related topics.  Much of what I’ve learned in regards to Humminbird is straight from the horses mouth, and I’ve been doing my best to share some of that here.  I’ve still got plenty to learn myself though, Wayne is a fantastic resource for all things sonar, especially Humminbird.  

 

I made a bit of a mistake in my original post, the bug/issue isn’t specific to the Helix 10 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N, it’s been reported across the whole line of G2 Helix MEGA units as well as the G1 Solix MEGA units.  

 

The issue however, is not the units showing numerous bottoms like posted in the photo above, but rather the unit not being able to decipher which one of those “bottoms” is real- the digital depth readout will jump around between all 3 echos and show 5ft, 10ft, and 15ft of depth for the same location.  

 

I read yesterday that Solix received a recent firmware update that supposedly addresses the issue, but still nothing on the Helix units as far as I can tell.  The biggest concern with this bug is when using AutoChart live - if you’re not careful you might end up drawing a map with sharp depth contours that don’t exist..

Janderson45 nailed the possible "issue" but otherwise there is nothing wrong with that unit and screenshot. You can see digital depth reading correctly at 5.3 ft. Doesn't look to me like you even have the unit on auto depth in the first place. This is one reason why I never run my units in auto (Hbird or Lowrance). I say nothing wrong here..

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You can du0olicate that issue shown above with any brand unit.  as mentioned, depth setting is too deep.  User error.  Good luck with your new units.  If you need help, stop by here and ask.  There's a lot more support for the user experience side on our forums.  These newer units are more complex, and take a bit of time to learn.  They aren't a set it and forget it deal.

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55 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

@Basson66  Here is my take on the two images you posted.

 

The problem with the first image (with 3 bottoms) is that the lower depth range is to deep.  You're in 5 ft of water and the screen is showing 29 ft of sonar returns.  Sonar signals keep bouncing around after they are recieved.  The signal is bouncing off the bottom and you are reading it a 5ft,  then it bounces off the boat/surface and back down off the bottom again and is shown at 10ft and then again and is shown at 15ft. The hard bottom and shallow depth make the bounces stronger so the problem is worse.  This is still happening  on your second images but you don't see it because range is set to 10ft and the second bottom would be a 17ft (twice the depth).  In shallow water,  you will see these extra bottoms on any sonar if you manually set the range to more than twice the depth.  Your unit is interpeting the depth correctly but the range is not being adjusted to match the depth.  THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM.

 

There might be a simple solution to your problem.  Make sure you have your lower range set to "Auto".  If you inadvertantly set it to a fix range then this would explain what you are seeing.  If it is set to "Auto" then it is a software problem that Humminbird needs to address.

 

Yes, I just assumed he had lower range set to Auto, but if he doesn’t that’s another easy way to fix it and the first thing that I would try. 

 

Depending on the lake and depths I’m fishing I may manually set the lower range or I may leave it on auto, depends on how uniform the depths I’m scanning are.

 

Changing to a lower (wider) frequency or decreasing sonar sensitivity should also help alleviate the issue if the unit is indeed set to Auto lower range.  Also, sometimes messing with the surface clutter settings (turning it up) can help in shallow water like this.

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Hey Guys,

 

I assure you, Ive tried everything !

 

Talked with tech for a hour when I was on the water.

Called them 4 more times, went back on the water

Changed every setting, removed all options, still the same issue

power on reset, soft/hard

changed both finders front to back

I also owned the Helix 10 Mega DI

I even called Minn Kota a few times and they said it wasn't the transducer.

 

Then I was told to disconnect the hub,  at this point I had enough.

I gave up.

 

I asked if I could return them and they offer to check them out.

Wasn't willing to send them back during prime fishing season.

 

So at this point I went back to Lowrance,

 

I have a video where I was sitting in 6 foot of water and the readout went from 22', 18', 15' 17' to 6 reading three bottoms to a clear 6' reading and then bouncer all over again.

 

Thanks

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