Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:35 pm

jimh wrote:
porthole wrote:Dual HDS Gen3 devices that are networked via NMEA-2000 and Ethernet cable do not share AIS data.


I don't understand this statement. Neither HDS Gen-3 is the originator of any AIS data. How could they share something neither of them originates? AIS data comes from an AIS Receiver and the data output from that receiver.



I rephrased the comment.
I thought it was understood based on previous posts that the original HDS was connected to a Standard Horizon GX-2200 outputting AIS data.

Perhaps in my simple concept of the whole connectivity experience I kind of expected that the AIS data on the #1 HDS would mirror to the #2 HDS.
Just as it does for multiple items such as waypoints, routes and trips,

jimh wrote:I think you have an unreasonable expectation. I think you are expecting that one of your HDS devices is getting some AIS data from a NMEA-0183 connection, and you expect this data to be sent to the other device via "NMEA-2000 or Ethernet." Such an action by the HDS would require it to be able to receive AIS data from its serial port in NMEA-018 protocol, then translate that data into NMEA-2000 protocol data parameter groups and transmit those PGNs to its NMEA-2000 network; then do the same data translation and electrical translation for its Ethernet network--but there is no standard in existence for transporting NMEA-0183 or NMEA-2000 over Ethernet that I know of, nor does Lowrance make any claim it can do this in an HDS. Actually, I doubt you can find any device that can do this sort of translation from one protocol to another, then a third translation to encapsulate and transmit the data on a third protocol.


Not everyone has your understanding of the theory behind this stuff, myself included.
When waypoints, routes, display brightness adjustments, numerous settings, auto pilot, two different SONAR transducers displaying 3 different SONAR screens and various other items are displayed or active between both units, I would think it is not unreasonable to expect the AIS data on one device to display on another device.

I would also think the displayed navigation "Goto" data would be available on both networked HDS units, but it is not.
Last edited by porthole on Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Duane
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porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:41 pm

I did find a work around to display AIS data from one VHF/AIS radio to two HDS Gen3 MFD's simultaneously.

I piggy backed the NEMA wires from the second HDS to the first HDS. This did not work initially. It took several attempts at resetting the NMEA port 1 baud rate, including turning off HDS #1 while resetting the baud rate. Sometimes changing the baud rate on one device changed it on the other as well.

Also see my separate thread on the Icom interface problem.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:29 am

porthole wrote:...When waypoints, routes, display brightens adjustments, numerous settings, auto pilot, two different SONAR transducers displaying 3 different SONAR screens and various other items are displayed or active between both units, I would think it is not unreasonable to expect the AIS data on one device to display on another device....


The difference between all of the data elements you mention above and the AIS data is just this: all that other data originates on one of the HDS units. The AIS data originates externally to the HDS system and comes into one device on a point-to-point serial data connection.

Your solution of connecting two NMEA-0183 LISTENER circuits, one LISTENER on each of the HDS devices, to the NMEA-0183 TALKER output of the AIS receiver, was the most reasonable solution. In NMEA-0183 electrical circuits, one TALKER can be connected to several LISTENER inputs by just wiring the inputs in parallel. This just about always works with two LISTENER input, and may work with more LISTENER inputs in parallel, although I would think it might depend on exactly how the actual circuitry on each device in implemented. I think the NMEA-0183 specification says three LISTENER inputs is the most that can be wired in parallel, and then a "signal expander" is required to be used to drive four or more LISTENER inputs.

Cf.: NMEA 0183 INSTALLATION AND OPERATING GUIDELINES and see Section 8.2.1.1

fixer01
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby fixer01 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:31 pm

jimh wrote:Such an action by the HDS would require it to be able to receive AIS data from its serial port in NMEA-018 protocol, then translate that data into NMEA-2000 protocol data parameter groups and transmit those PGNs to its NMEA-2000 network;

I think it does do this.

jimh wrote:but there is no standard in existence for transporting NMEA-0183 or NMEA-2000 over Ethernet that I know of

NMEA OneNet is in the discussion stage and Signal-K is partially implemented. Also, you can access the AIS data over Lowrance's websocket protocol now.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:17 pm

Yes, perhaps in NMEA's OneNET there will be some standard methods proposed to handle transport of legacy protocols over the new protocol, but at the moment I don't think there is any device implementing that function, and certainly not the Lowrance HDS devices. Maybe Lowrance will adopt OneNET in the future. Also, an existing HDS device certainly knows nothing about SIGNAL-K or what they might implement in the future.

I don't know what an HDS does with AIS data it receives via NMEA-0183. In order to translate the data to NMEA-2000, there would have to be a translation of the datagrams. NMEA-0183 has data sentences; NMEA-2000 has parameter groups. Can you give me a list that is originally from Lowrance of what NMEA-0183 sentences an HDS will translate into NMEA-2000 PGN datagrams, and give me the particulars, that is, the NMEA-0183 sentence names and the NMEA-2000 PGN numbers?

For example, an AIS receiver might output on its NMEA-0183 TALKER output a sentence with the AIVDM or AIVDO structure, say an AIS receiver might send an AIVDM message it received from a ship. Where can I find in Lowrance documentation that this AIVDM NMEA-0183 message will be translated to a NMEA-2000 message, and what NMEA-2000 PGN will be sent?

As a further basis to support my opinion that a Lowrance HDS can't translate AIS data it receives on its NMEA-0183 port to be sent on its NMEA-2000 port, I refer readers to an earlier article on the topic of what NMEA-0183 sentences and what NMEA-2000 PGNs an HDS can handle. See

http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/003271.html

You will find a listing of the sentences and parameter groups. I do not see the HDS as being listed as transmitting any NMEA-2000 parameters associated with AIS, except PGN 129802 AIS Safety Related Broadcast Msg.

The NMEA.ORG website says that PGN 129802 is an implementation of the ITU-R M.1371 Message 14 Safety Related Broadcast Message.

The USCG website says that the ITU-R M.1371 Message 14 Safety Related Broadcast Message is just that, a safety related message.

However, in an e-mail from NAVICO on the HDS Gen-1 devices mentioned in prior posting (linked above), there was no mention in a list of transmitted NMEA-2000 PGNs of any AIS related data.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:14 am

fixer01 wrote:
jimh wrote:Such an action by the HDS would require it to be able to receive AIS data from its serial port in NMEA-018 protocol, then translate that data into NMEA-2000 protocol data parameter groups and transmit those PGNs to its NMEA-2000 network;

I think it does do this.


According to the report from Duane (see above), it does not do this. Can you test this with your gear and report an alternative outcome?

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:13 pm

When you do a software update the new software is downloaded to a SD card you have in the HDS.
Once the unit recognizes that there is a newer version of software, you will get a screen message about the update with a choice of updating at next startup or restart now.

Once the HDS has been updated every restart will bring up the message "old update files found, do you want to delete them?"
When I finally deleted the update files, my HDS reverted to a prior software version.

Thought that was odd or just an anomaly. So I had been ignoring the delete old file message.
Yesterday I deleted the old files and once again the HDS reverted to a prior software version.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:12 am

Added Lowrance Fuel Flow and Fuel Level sensors.
The Fuel flow sensor was barely long enough to reach my helm area, 10' I think. Fortunately I had the 6' N2K cable left over from the outboard autopilot kit to be able to reach the network backbone.

I may add a DPDT switch in the fuel level circuit to be able to access my fuel gauge on the Yamaha gauges.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby conch » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:36 pm

I expect to see AIS information across 3 Garmin MFDs using NMEA 0183 when I finish installing a Standard Horizon GX2200. The data is shared over the Garmin Marine Network to other connected chartplotters according to Garmins installation instructions. They note that all NMEA 0183 devices must be wired to one chartplotter on the network. NMEA 2000 data is not shared over the Garmin Marine Network. I am waiting on a new flush mount panels to be cut before I can try this out.

Do all MFDs have to be turned on to pass NMEA 0183 data and Garmin Marine Network data to each other? Knowing this will decide which MFD gets the DSC, AIS, and Radar info connected first. Garmin offers a multiport switch, but it seems it must always be powered to work. I do not know if daisy-chained MFD's will pass data along if the power button is off, yet they are connected to power.

The Garmin network port expander does not have an on/off switch, only a power cable. I could have tried this earlier with sonar on the Garmin network but didn't think of it until I had the dash apart.
Chuck

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:38 am

A little hands on last night: I have not had a chance yet to calibrate the Lowrance networked fuel tank sender. And I know it is not reliable unless stopped on calm water. Starting with what I believe to be about 90% full, the display constantly jumped between 0, less-than 1/4, 3/4, and so on.

Right now I am only using one of the HDS info screens for fuel data. So far the alarm will have to be turned off, constantly flashing on the screen which then has to be acknowledged to remove it. And since the two HDS 7's are on the network, you get a message on both.
I have a Lowrance LMF 400 to install but I am waiting for another four-way Tee; they seem to be in short supply.

AIS--There seems to be more private and commercial boats in my area running AIS transmissions. And many either forget to turn them off or edit the info to show they are at dockside and not a threat. Out on open water the AIS feature will be nice. Riding through the river and bay waters around here it is annoying. Every time we rode past a marina I would get three dangerous vessel alerts, several times. Even with the CPA set to 20-feet and time set to one-second I occasionally still got alerts.

Will have to see if there is a simple OFF-ON setting.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:05 pm

conch wrote:I expect to see AIS information across 3 Garmin MFDs using NMEA 0183 when I finish installing a Standard Horizon GX2200. The data is shared over the Garmin Marine Network to other connected chartplotters according to Garmins installation instructions.


Let me comment on this; I am sorry I did not see this posting earlier.

With NMEA-0183, one TALKER can be connected to more than one LISTENER. The AIS information from an AIS receiver TALKER can be wired in parallel to three LISTENERS.

I am not familiar with Garmin networking. It sounds like there is some provision in the networking to transport AIS data from NMEA-0183 to the Garmin network. This may be a simpler way to get the data to more than one Garmin chart plotter. I would anticipate that the chart plotter to which the NMEA-0183 TALKER is wired is the device that will translate and re-transmit the data to the Garmin network. As long as that device is operating, other Garmin chart plotters on the network should be able to get the AIS data.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:40 pm

I installed a LMF-400 last night. I'm a little disappointed in the quality of the screen readout. It looks like a 15-20 year old dot matrix display. And, it is also on all the time. It would be nice if it shut off when the HDS units are switched off.

Looks like I will be adding a switch for the network's B+ supply.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:12 pm

The LMF-400 type gauges are very dated and clearly not state-of-the-art in terms of display technology. Their advantages:

--they fit in existing 3.5-holes in dashboards that are left over when removing traditional analogue gauges;

--they can be configured to show a very long list of data, including a few features not found in other displays, such as a twin engine RPM synchronization indicator; and,

--they have been private label branded by Evinrude and Suzuki and can show proprietary engine diagnostic messages or alerts that generic gauges cannot; they may even be able to perform some useful control functions over the associated engines--I'd have to double-check on that.

But as a 2016 display device they are very far off the pace. You'd be further ahead in many cases--if the dashboard allowed for the space--to get a 5-inch multifunction chart plotter or SONAR device and just use it for engine data; the cost would not be much different if you catch a close-out sale on some obsolete plotter or sounder that was being sold off at a big discount. There are some nice color displays that occupy about the same dashboard space, 4-inch diagonal displays, but they tend to be expensive, about $400 to $500, compared to the LMF-400.

Another aspect of the LMF-400 that drives me crazy is the v-e-r-y s-l-o-w reaction to any user input via the control buttons. You have to go back to about 1980 to find any sort of computer device that reacted this slowly to user input. And, finally, the LMF-400 wastes a lot of processing power trying to give the display the appearance of scrolling. Its update rate is preposterously too slow to actually deliver the appearance of scrolling, so you end up looking at the display trying to scroll for two or three seconds, wasting a lot of time and processor cycles for really no good.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:43 pm

LMF-400, well that was a non 'upgrade'.

Could barely see the screen and it would constantly switch between fuel level, no fuel data at all, to a reset software configuration error.
Very disappointing. All I really wanted was a fuel gauge and fuel used display that integrated with the HDS units. And was a bigger display then what is on the HDS.

My display certainly does not look like this. And this is the exact screen I want to keep displayed.

Image

I did a search, but didn't come up with any 5" displays that are listed as NEMA 2000 capable.
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Duane
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porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:23 am

It also seems that the LMF-400 has multiple software versions available, but Lowrance lists no software upgrades as being available.
Mine is 1.2.0 and I bought it used. So now I am wondering if it is worth buying new to get the newer software and a better display, one upgrade would appear that you can set the LMF fuel remaining display to be based on fuel flow instead of the sender level.

Last night I added an on-off switch for the network. I could see where a display that is on all the time (batteries on) would burn and lose it's "qualities"
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Duane
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porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:37 pm

It would appear my LMF-400 is defective and is coming out.

I now have the following items all networked together, using Lowrance branded cables and tees.
Two HDS7 Gen3 MFD's
Outboard auto pilot
Point 1 (required for AP)
LSS2 transducer
Airmar TM-150 transducer
Fuel level sensor
Fuel flow sensor
and the LMF-400 that has it's own problems.

I am using two 4-way tees with a 2' cable connecting them. B+ is supplied in the middle of the network. I think I have the power requirements balanced on either side of the B+ input.

My fuel level display occasionally goes out. Not just low from getting up on plane, just shows 0 fuel, level or percentage.
My fuel flow has only worked sporadically. Yesterday it only displayed fuel data for the equivalent of .5 gallons.

Is there any way to test the network for data that an end user can do?
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:50 pm

I went wreck hunting yesterday. In 60-70 feet of water I am not at all impressed with the side scan features.
I also dislike having to constantly reset my water column range if I switch views or made adjustments on the other transducer. And there is a lack of adjustments using the LSS2 for column depth.

If I had to use the side scan feature to find the wrecks I would have been out of luck. I picked wrecks on our artificial reef which sit upright on the sand, are steel and have good sonar returns. The side scan did not pick up returns even though I knew I was just off to the side of the wrecks.
I have dove many of these and typically have waypoints for the bow, center and stern.

The standard transducer allows you to set an upper and lower limit such as top = 40', bottom = 75', typical for my searching on the reef.
The LSS2 only allows 'Auto' or predefined bottom depths in 20' increments with 0' for a top limit.
If you make any changes on the LSS2, the Airmar display dittos the setting, requiring multiple steps to reset.

To set a 40'-75' water column:
Tap the screen, select menu, select range, select custom, select upper, select '-' (minus), scroll over two digits (4 digit display) and enter your upper limit. Then select lower, scroll over 2 and enter the depth. Takes longer to write it then do it , but it is annoying.

I'll post some screen shots later.
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Duane
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porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:19 pm

SONAR grabs. These are all steel wrecks, two tug boats and a barge.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

These 3 are a barge.

Image

Image

Image
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porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:20 pm

There has been one constant with my Lowrance networked stuff; fuel tank level and fuel use data displays are inconsistent. At times the fuel tank level will be displayed, and at other times a blank screen. When the level is not displayed on the HDS it would still display on a LMF-400 device. Fuel burn [fuel flow rate in GPH, MPG, trip, season] was coming and going for a while, but now it does not display at all.

Been back and forth with Lowrance customer service. Every time I send CS an update it takes a few days for an answer and suggestion to try, then it will be several days before I can be back on the water. One suggestion was to check the voltages. When I asked specifically how to check, I got the very helpful answer: "you would use a voltmeter."

Last tech tip was to do a hard reset of the HDS MFD's. That is not without pitfalls, as when you do a hard reset, it is back to factory specs and erases all settings, waypoints, tracks, etc. Yes, the waypoints and data can be saved first.

Doing the reset solved nothing and gave me a new problem. It took over an hour to get the autopilot back online and working. Rudder calibration needs to be performed and then tested. I did it probably twenty times before it would pass without a calibration failure message.

Currently on-hold waiting to hear back from Lowrance. Tech support is typically a three day window: day one you ask; day two you wait; day three you may get a reply--may get. Since my last response back to Lowrance was Thursday, I don't expect a reply until Monday or Tuesday.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:12 am

Still waiting to hear from Lowrance :-( on the above concerns.

New concern. One of the HDS Gen3's has been starting up with a memory low display. And, I can't do a screen shot, that brings up a 'low flash memory' error.
The screen prompts recommends:
- purging deleted waypoints and routes
- clearing alarm history
- deleting sonar and radar logs

I have no sonar or radar logs, clearing alarm history is relatively straight forward.

I have 102 waypoints, 30 deleted waypoints, 3 routes and 1 trail.

Purging deleted waypoints. The HDS Gen3 units continue to store deleted waypoints and routes for networking purposes (more on that later) and should be purged periodically. The manual mentions purging but does not specify how you do that.

Purging waypoints:
Tap the pages button
Scroll down the menu on the left side to 'files' and tap, scroll down to 'waypoints' and tap
Your choices are export, export region, delete all or Purge. That's how purge removes stuff stuck in memory.

Last night I did that on HDS #1. Within seconds of tapping purge the process completes.
On HDS #2 performing the same operation has left the unit in 'hourglass' (busy) mode for 12 hours so far. I turned off the HDS and restarted a couple of times to no avail.

There is something wrong.
HDS #1 displays 500 KBs of used space and almost 65 MBs of free space.
HDS #2 displays 1.3 MBs of used space and only 1.1 MBs of free space.
Last edited by porthole on Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby Don McIntyre - MI » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:35 pm

Duane -

Don't give up on side scan just yet. Here's what I got recently:

shot 008.png
shot 008.png (215.14 KiB) Viewed 16150 times


and:

[attachment=0]reduced.jpg
Attachments
reduced.jpg
reduced.jpg (135.97 KiB) Viewed 16150 times

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby fixer01 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:40 pm

porthole wrote:HDS #1 displays 500 KBs of used space and almost 65 MBs of free space.
HDS #2 displays 1.3 MBs of used space and only 1.1 MBs of free space.

As a last resort you can do a hard reset by holding down the + and - keys when you power on (it should beep after a few seconds). This wipes any data you have on the device - logs, waypoints, settings, etc - and returns it to the same state it left the factory in.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:04 am

That's pretty good Don, and better then what I have gotten so far. I have another screen shot to add later, almost looks like a boat.

So, the secret location is out :-)
Estimating size at 200 x 40, is that the Northwind?

Don McIntyre - MI wrote:Duane -

Don't give up on side scan just yet. Here's what I got recently:

shot 008.png

and:

[attachment=0]reduced.jpg
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:17 am

fixer01 wrote:
porthole wrote:HDS #1 displays 500 KBs of used space and almost 65 MBs of free space.
HDS #2 displays 1.3 MBs of used space and only 1.1 MBs of free space.

As a last resort you can do a hard reset by holding down the + and - keys when you power on (it should beep after a few seconds). This wipes any data you have on the device - logs, waypoints, settings, etc - and returns it to the same state it left the factory in.


Have done that once already at the recommendations of Lowrance tech support.

I did perform the hard reset again last night, only on #2 HDS MFD. It is not without drawbacks though. Even though I had exported my settings file and then imported the file back in, it did not make everything copacetic.

I did gain back the lost memory, now I am at approximately 500 KB's used and 72 MB's free.
I hope the memory programming is not as flakey as MS windows has been over the years.

Two things stand out, one, my autopilot settings were not set - for either HDS display
Another is the MMSI number was removed from memory, on both units. Good thing the HDS MFD's allow more then one entry for MMSI numbers, unlike many marine VHF radios (2 entires is common)
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:25 am

Side scan, not so lucky yet. Downscan shows promise, but there is a bit of delay before seeing anything unlike the traditional sonar.

Screen shots are limited to 800x480, so zooming in is not so great.

NJ Artificial reef system, Axle Carlson Reef, Veronica M tug, formerly the "Captain Bill"

Veronica M Tug

Image

Image

Image

I wasn't expecting a return like this so I hadn't taken the setting off of auto yet. Otherwise set at 80' should have yielded a nicer return.

I wish the range could be adjusted on this SONAR. You are limited to just a depth setting, and at 20 foot increments with that.
When Wreck hunting I like to have the bottom set to about 5 below the actual and the upper limit anywhere between 20-40 feet, depending on what I am looking for.

Something like on the left side shown here.
The bottom is set at 75', upper limit at 40'

Image
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby Don McIntyre - MI » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:51 pm

Duane--I've found that practice helped. Also slowing down to bare idle will paint the target in side scan mode longer.

Regards - Don

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:39 pm

Don McIntyre - MI wrote:I've found that practice helped. Also slowing down to bare idle will paint the target in side scan mode longer.


I'm running at idle. The wreck hunting is a learning curve as well. I'm used to bigger boats with twin screws. That makes for an easier pattern run.

Did you see my post above ? Is your side scan image the Northwind ?
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:39 am

The SONAR image posted by Don are from the NORTHWIND which wrecked on ROBERTSON ROCK in 1926. Compare the images with an old picture of the ship at

http://dansdiveshop.ca/trips-events/div ... northwind/

I find that side scan SONAR image to be just amazing. I have sailed past Robertson Rock dozens of times. I had no idea what was down there. It looks to be in amazing condition.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby Flippa74 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:15 pm

G'day all,
Flippa from Australia here and I'm enjoying your discussion and screen shots.
Do any of you know if the HDS Gen 3 can be connected wirelessly direct to a GoPro so the video can be displayed on the MFD screen?
Thanks

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:55 am

I recently had the opportunity to use a 24' pontoon boat up in New Hampshire on Broad Bay and Ossipee Lake. I brought one of my HDS Gen3's along to play with on the lake as it had navigation information from the installed Navionics SD card available.

I'll post screen shots later. I found a huge drawback to using this MFD: you cannot turn off contour lines! You can set different scales, but will always have at a minimum of 18-feet depth and below with contour lines displayed.

Depending on what chart scale you are using at a given time, there is the possibility that no chart information is visible on the "etch-a-sketch" maze of contour lines. There were times on some of the narrower areas where I was zoomed out that the channel was not visible at all under the all the black lines, almost to the point of being a solid color.

I contacted Lowrance and the response was that there was no way to turn off contours completely.

You can switch to the built in Lowrance data from the Navionics cartography, but the chart was useless in the area.

Contour option display is limited to 18', 30', 60' and all.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:32 pm

So here are two screenshots taken from Ossipee Lake in New Hampshire. Being a lake in the mountains means there are a lot more contours then I am used to seeing living on the coast. Our depth changes here off New Jersey are very gradual. At this lake there are portions where the depth can change 20' vertically in 20-40' of travel horizontally.

The ability to turn off the contour line when not needed would be a great feature when you just want to cruise around and are not interested in all the detail.

Image

Image
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:48 pm

Since we were going to be away on a six-week camping trip (leaving August 31st), I pulled the two HDS Gen3's from the dash for security purposes. When reinstalling them the other day, one HDS (the older, first unit I purchased) would not turn on. Pressing the power button I would hear a short beep and just see the lights flash behind the keypad. Three times turning on the unit popped the 5-Ampere fuse. Swapping the two HDS units from side to side in the dash yielded the same result--a dead $1,200 chart plotter.

Still under warranty until March 2017, I called Lowrance. Not much help, other then issuing a RMA # and offering that all user data would be erased. What surprised me is the push-sell to either upgrade my HDS-7 to the -9 version for $500 (a $300 savings in the price difference between the 7 and 9) or to add an extended warranty to my current coverage in 6 month intervals, with a max of two additional years for $130 ($200 on the Navico website)

The kicker, these were a one time offer while on the phone with support.

The size upgrade is tempting. At $500 I would get a new unit with a new two year warranty. Taking away the cost of the extended warranty the retail $200, I would essentially be getting the 9" for $300.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:32 am

I have read about those upgrade offers when you have a dead Lowrance chart plotter--even when out of warranty. They make me wish my old HDS-8 (first generation) would stop working so I go get an offer to upgrade for only $500.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:52 pm

I sat down with several panel cut-out templates and looked to see if it was even possible to install a HDS-9. As the boat's dashboard panel is laid out now, I could actually just fit-in two 9-inch displays, although I would have to remove my digital voltmeter, cell phone support, and 50th Anniversary Whaler key fob.

I took a ride to West Marine to compare the 7-inch and 9-inch displays. The side-by-side screen size difference is enough for me to make the jump. The pricing was slightly more than I originally heard--$512 versus $500. And, assuming a shipping fee and sales tax, the total delivered is $563. That price is for the display only, no mount or sunscreen. Those would be an additional $50 for the installation kit.

Those prices are for a re-manufactured unit, which I assume is what I would have gotten by sending out my HDS 7 for repair. Tech support told me the re-manufactured unit has all new parts inside with a possibly used outer case.

The cost difference between the 7-inch and 9-inch HDS displays is $800. I would have originally bought the 9-inch display, but at that time it was for installation on my Outrage 17, and I never had plans with that boat to run two displays or have a need for a bigger display. The Outrage 17 was to be an inshore-only boat. The present boat, an Outrage 21, is quite capable of running offshore.

The bigger display will fit-in nicely with my plans to add RADAR in the spring, although pricing is really good right now for the Lowrance 3G and 4G RADAR sets.
Last edited by porthole on Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:14 am

Finally got my replacement HDS-9 Gen3 MFD. The cost was [please clarify this cost] and it took seven days, shipped Via FedEX-Post. Basically it came across country from San Diego to New Jersey. Three days from California to New Jersey via FedEx, then four days from the New Jersey USPS hub to my house, which is 35 miles away, and no way to do a customer pickup.

What I received was more than I was expecting. The upgrade was to be a bare bones MFD with no gimbal and other pieces, $55 extra if I wanted the gimbal, sunscreen and harness. What I got appears to be a full retail kit, MFD, gimbal, parts package and all the manuals and of course the obligatory LOWRANCE decal.

Took the console apart again yesterday and went about setting the new MFD in. I did pick up an additional piece of black Starboard, but elected to just 'bandaid' over one of the now additional holes in the original Starboard.

First thing I noticed while working in the garage, the new 9-inch screen has a different display than the 7-inch MFD, which is clearly seen when the device is off. Don't know enough about the screens to know what the difference is, but I'm sure it has nothing to do with screen resolution, as both devices have the same "WVGA color TFT LCD 800 x 480" resolution. You have to make the jump to the 12-inch display to get a better resolution, WVGA color TFT LCD 1280 x 800 screen.

HDS-9 Gen3 screen

Image

HDS-7 Gen3 screen

Image


I realize the exposures are not exactly the same, these are late night iPhone snaps. But, the difference is as obvious as these two pics make it appear. The bright strip down the center is the overhead fluorescent garage light.
Last edited by porthole on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:23 am

jimh wrote:I have read about those upgrade offers when you have a dead Lowrance chart plotter--even when out of warranty. They make me wish my old HDS-8 (first generation) would stop working so I go get an offer to upgrade for only $500.


FWIIW, Tech support offered me the upgrade on the first call-in to support, while I still had my MFD.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:40 am

porthole wrote:The cost was [please clarify this cost]



To clarify, on my 'upgrade' conversations with Lowrance tech support, the costs were $500 plus shipping (on the first discussion) for a reman MFD. Reman was defined as all new internals with a possibly used outer housing, with full warranty.

Actual upgrade phone call the cost was $512 plus shipping. My credit card was tapped for $563. So $512 for the HDS9 and $51 for shipping.

To further update, my actual credit card final charged amount was only the $512 upgrade cost with no additional charge for shipping.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:19 am

Installing the new MFD was relatively straight forward not including the task of removing the console housing.
Once installed and everything plugged back in I spent 2 frustrating hours trying to make things work correctly.

Prior to dash mounting and at my desk I did a settings, waypoints and routes import. Fortunately I had a fairly recent settings backup before the orignal unit crashed.
The first thing I noticed when both HDS units were booted up was a very noticeable screen color difference with the orange bars that are first visible.
Deep orange on the older unit and a washed out orange on the new unit.

From there:
Autopilot sometimes works on one and not the other, then does the opposite, or not at all.
Screen brightness is not sync'ed between the two although sometimes the screens will change randomly while adjusting on either or device.
No 0183 position data out to Icom VHF
No 0183 AIS data in from Standard VHF
MMSI numbers erased from both MFD's
Point 1 AP not in the device list
When selecting a GPS source under the satellite configuration page the selections would constantly 'self' change. Sometimes changing to a source that was labeled "invalid"
Fuel level works on the new MFD, cuts in and out on the older MFD
Under the diagnosis page the BUS on the HDS7 alternates between on and off
When looking at the "device list" page, the listed devices randomly changes on one and not the other.

And surprisingly, the power in cord twist locks and ports on the HDS9 are a different color, red versus blue.

I'm a bit perplexed and haven't contacted Lowrance yet. I was able to capture some of the anomalies on video, once I get those on the net I'll make my phone call.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:40 am

Any ideas as to why two HDS MFD's networked through a NMEA 2000 network and connected with an ethernet cable (required for the screen brightness sync) would behave like this?

These are youtube videos

Lowrance HDS Gen3 Autopilot_data

Lowrance HDS Gen3 Brightness_sync

Lowrance HDS Gen3 HDS_fuel_inputs

Lowrance HDS Gen3 Fuel_data

Lowrance HDS Gen3 Device_list

Lowrance HDS Gen3 BUS_on-off


Not a good picture, but an example of the 9" and 7" screens with the same resolution, items like the autopilot control are scaled the same. It would be nice if this box was smaller on the screen now.

Image
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby Acseatsri » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:15 pm

I would try a different Ethernet cable. It's kind of "cheesily" made and seems like if flexed much it might develop a break inside the sheath. I've seen this problem discussed before on the BBC forum.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:25 pm

The Lowrance ethernet cable is a pricey item for what it is.

So I tired a few things. First I swapped positions on the network tee of the autopilot and point 1 antenna. Low and behold the pilot now works, a little odd at times, but works.
For navionics chart problems I was having (mostly with some of the screen displays) I swapped the chart SD card from the new HDS 9 to the older HDS 7 and that seemed to solve the charting concern. Previously the Navionics chart was in the HDS unit that was returned to Lowrance for service and had never been in the second HDS 7. I read somewhere that chart on chip problems could be related to some type of device imprint on the chip.

I think the input-output of the NMEA 0183 data between the two HDS units and Icom and Standard VHF's was related to incorrect baud rates not being transferred during the settings re-map. Either way, setting the HDS 9 baud rate to 4800 had the Icom displaying position data, and setting the HDS 7 to 38400 had the AIS data from the Standard display on the HDS - some of the data.

For some unknown reason, my Standard VHF was displaying 3 vessels within 7 miles of my location, yet on the HDS only 1 vessel was displayed.

I was out most of the day fishing this past Friday and although my HDS's displayed fuel level and prior fuel burned, current burn rate of total fuel used never changed, so still no luck getting the fuel level and fuel flow sensors to give accurate readings. The on and off of the fuel level display seen in one of the videos I posted seems to have disappeared.
Last edited by porthole on Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:28 pm

All 3 targets are under 7 miles from my location, two of the targets are within a few hundred feet of each other, so only one icon is visible.

Standard Horizon VHF displaying 3 AIS targets

Image

HDS 7 Gen3 displaying AIS data received from the Standard VHF, 2 fewer AIS targets

Image
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:34 pm

Example of the chart display problem I had. Both units are set at about same range, the Navionics SD card is in the HDS 9. On the HDS 7, Navionics is selected under the menu for the cartography source desired. Yet no chart is displayed.

Image
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:36 pm

The screen pattern was plainly visible several times throughout the day and it appears to be a mask just under the glass and in front of the actual screen display.

Image
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:31 pm

porthole wrote:I think the input-output of the NMEA-0183 data between the two HDS units and Icom and Standard VHF's was related to incorrect baud rates not being transferred during the setting remap. Either way, setting the HDS 9 baud rate to 4800 had the Icom displaying position data, and setting the HDS 7 to 38400 had the AIS data from the Standard display on the HDS - some of the data.

For some unknown reason, my Standard VHF was displaying 3 vessels within 7 miles of my location, yet on the HDS only 1 vessel was displayed.


If I am following your narrative, I think you have two radios and two chart plotters. You have them connected as follows

HDS-9 to Icom radio at 4800-bps

HDS-7 to Standard-Horizon (S-H) radio at 38400-bps

The interface between HDS-7 and the S-H radio is intended to show AIS targets on the chart plotter as received from the radio. The normal speed for an NMEA-0183 interface with AIS data is the NMEA-0183-HS standard, which uses a baud rate of 38400-bps. Note that use of 38400 is not mandatory, but it is the usual default setting. The faster data rate is used because it permits more data per second to be sent. In an area where the radio might receive a lot of AIS transmissions, the faster data rate can handle all the targets that might be received, whereas if the standard and slower rate, 4800-bps, were used, there could be some data loss.

I can't offer any reasonable explanation for the behavior you describe in which an AIS target is plotted on the radio's mini-chart-plotter screen but is not displayed on the HDS chart plotter's screen. Perhaps some of the targets are old, that is, their last position is shown but that data is not current. If the HDS chart plotter was connected sometime after the radio received the target data, the HDS may not have received that old data and thus is not showing the target. Check the radio mini-chart-plotter next time this occurs to see if there is a time-stamp on that target data.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:51 pm

jimh wrote:If I am following your narrative, I think you have two radios and two chart plotters. You have them connected as follows

HDS-9 to Icom radio at 4800-bps

HDS-7 to Standard-Horizon (S-H) radio at 38400-bps


You are following correctly.

The chartplotters are always turned on first. VHF's anywhere from a few seconds to sometime later.

I will look for time stamps and some of the other details.
Since you bring up a timing possibility, I do recall 1 or 2 of the targets as being at the dock.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:52 am

If the AIS targets were really close, just feet away, maybe the Lowrance chart plotter has some sort of data filtering that discards that data as being not usable. That is a wild guess.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:19 am

When I mentioned that only one icon was visible I should have clarified that. Both icons were on the Standard-Horizon radio's mini-plotter screen, just one on top of the other. If you scroll through the list of targets, the overlaid icons would be shown as being active, meaning only that I could see a difference in the display.

With the upcoming weather I doubt there will be much opportunity in the next week to do some comparisons.

A nice feature of my setup is that I can turn everything on and play with devices using my iPad from the comfort of my TV room. Might even try mirroring the iPad to my TV.

I just looked up AIS targets on two different internet sites and surprisingly, a local pleasure boat that uses AIS is displayed on one site and not the other. The site showing the boat has data received as of five minutes ago.

I use these two sites to look.

https://www.vesselfinder.com/

http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-74.0/centery:40.2/zoom:14
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:11 am

porthole wrote:I just looked up AIS targets on two different internet sites and surprisingly, a local pleasure boat that uses AIS is displayed on one site and not the other...


Re the difference in AIS targets reported by two on-line vessel position websites: these on-line websites depend on cooperating receiver stations sending data to them. It is possible that, in any particular area, one of the websites has a better cooperating receiver station than the other, with the result that one of the websites shows more vessel targets than the other. I doubt that they share this data, as the are competitors.

porthole wrote:A nice feature of my setup is that I can turn everything on and play with devices using my iPad from the comfort of my TV room. Might even try mirroring the iPad to my TV.


Please elaborate on how you accomplish this remote monitoring. It sounds very interesting. I would like to know more of the details.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:02 pm

jimh wrote:
porthole wrote:
porthole wrote:A nice feature of my setup is that I can turn everything on and play with devices using my iPad from the comfort of my TV room. Might even try mirroring the iPad to my TV.


Please elaborate on how you accomplish this remote monitoring. It sounds very interesting. I would like to know more of the details.


Elaborate, sure _ accomplish - eeerrrgghhhhhh.

Here goes.
First off, on your older Gen1 I think you would have to have the Go Free wireless module

You start by installing the GoFree on on your tablet or phone (no PC or Mac versions)
With your HDS and tablet on the same wifi network, bring up the GoFree app and "add an MFD" using the IP address, which can be found either on the device's info page or if you are logged into your household network, the Router admin page.

Image

After adding one or more MFD's the screen will show the device with whatever you named it.

Image

If everything is successful, your tablet or phone will mirror your MFD. Notice on the bottom are icons for all the menu choices. You can do everything on the GoFree app that you can on the device EXCEPT operate the autopilot controls.

Image

If you happen to bring up the system controls page on your device like I did here to turn down the screen brightness, and you don't "X" out of the controls, your tablet will display a lock icon and you will not be able to do anything from the tablet.

Image

Once I am here, I can bring up the iPad mini menu (swipe up from bottom), and use Apple AirPlay mirroring, which connects to my Apple TV device to the flat screen. With airplay, anything on my iPhone or iPad is mirrored to the 65" TV.

Image
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