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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Lowrance HDS-5 Prices and Options
|Author||Topic: Lowrance HDS-5 Prices and Options|
posted 05-23-2010 10:25 AM ET (US)
I undertook a brief study of the Lowrance HDS-5 product line so that I could learn the various prices and options. It is no wonder that selection of marine electronics had become so complicated. In this one series of product alone, Lowrance offers dozens of models. You can buy the HDS-5 as a SONAR-only, as a GPS and chart plotter only, or as a combination. For models with SONAR, there are many transducer options. For models with a GPS and chart plotter, there are three options for cartography (in the United States, as well as other options for non-US buyers). The result is a complicated price and feature structure:
HDS-5x ECHO SOUNDER only
HDS-5m GPS and CHART PLOTTER only
HDS-5 Combination GPS, CHART PLOTTER, and ECHO SOUNDER
With cartography option of BASE MAP
With cartography option of LAKE INSIGHT
With cartography option of NAUTIC INSIGHT
There are even more variations available with other transducer options.
posted 05-23-2010 10:30 AM ET (US)
In addition to the bundled cartography mentioned above, the HDS-5 can also use additional cartography from
posted 05-23-2010 03:13 PM ET (US)
The latest Lowrance HDS software upgrade HDS 3.0 (280 MB file) supports Mercury Smartcraft interface. You need to purchase of SmartCraft Merc Monitor from Mercury to provide real time monitoring of Mercury Engine Data on HDS displays.
posted 05-23-2010 05:11 PM ET (US)
Steve--Once you buy the Mercury Gateway I think most all displays can show the engine data. That is really a separate topic. Perhaps you can start a new thread on Mercury gateway installation. Thanks.
posted 05-23-2010 06:21 PM ET (US)
Although I browsed through the Lowrance literature, I can't figure out if the HDS-5x models--SONAR only--have a memory card slot. The specifications for the HDS-5x does not mention a memory card slot. If there is no memory card slot, can a HDS-5x record screen images in any way?
posted 05-24-2010 09:21 AM ET (US)
I don't see a memory card slot on my HDS-5X (Sonar only) unit. But the Operations Manual refers to the units ability to record sonar chart data to an MMC/SD card or to the unit's hard drive. I might try and record when I'm out today.
The unit is able to "replay" the last several minutes of chart data by moving the cursor back.
posted 05-24-2010 01:27 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the information (first-hand) on the HDS-5x and lack of memory slot. I am sorry to hear that. For me, being able to record the screen on the SONAR to a memory card is essential.
posted 05-24-2010 03:55 PM ET (US)
To update a HDS-5X:
Place the SD/MMC card containing the updated operating software in the SD card slot.
I presume you can get screenshots a similar way but reversed, but seems pointless and hard work unless you just have a GPS/plotter attached.
posted 05-24-2010 07:43 PM ET (US)
I can confirm that the HDS-5X (Sonar only) unit can indeed record to the internal hard drive. I tried it today. It was relatively simple and it was also quite easy to retrieve and "replay" afterwards. Not a feature I would normally use. It's still a mystery though as to why the Operations Manual refers to the use of an SD card as an option.
As an aside, I can also say that this unit works well and I'm very pleased with it.
posted 05-24-2010 10:24 PM ET (US)
Did you know that there's a 3.0 SW update out for all HDS units? It came out on 5/11/10. I just upgraded my unit (still on the bench), it goes on the boat this week.
posted 05-25-2010 01:56 PM ET (US)
Dave--I think Steve is aware of the update. He mentioned it in his posting on May 23.
posted 05-25-2010 03:06 PM ET (US)
I noticed doing several studies on the HDS units that the manuals are not unique to each model.
Quite often the screen shots, menu's are for the higher end HDS-8/10 yet in the HDS-5/7 manual. You can tell by the aspect ratio of the screen.
I think in your HDS-5X you may have the section from the HDS-5/7 manual about SD cards in error
In truth the manuals should be updated as Lowrance have released several major software upgrades that many menu's have changed and been added now.
Seems you need to find a buddy or an ETEC dealer to upgrade your 5X with the latest software.
Hoosier , Thanks :)
posted 07-03-2010 04:11 PM ET (US)
Model variation of Lowrance HDS-5
HDS-5x ECHO SOUNDER
HDS-5m GPS and CHART PLOTTER
HDS-5 Combination GPS, CHART PLOTTER, and ECHO SOUNDER
Help out a dumb bunny. I have an opportunity to buy a used HDS-5M. Will I be happy looking at a chart plotter? I have standard type fishfinders in the past.
I had an Eagle flasher-type product many years ago that was kind of cool, but you had to interpret the information. Don't want much interpretation, just want to look at what going on beneath the boat like fish, depth, big stuff coming at me . . . . .
Story: My wife's uncle was fishing off Cocoa Beach, FL back in the early 1980s when a nuclear sub suddenly surfaced about fifty yards away. I guess it was the end of voyage put it on the roof surfacing because the guys in the fishing boats almost had heart attacks. You have got to figure the Navy guys sonar ranged them and decided to have some fun.
At any rate, will I be happy with an HDS-5M?
Bill in NC
posted 07-03-2010 04:25 PM ET (US)
Additional note: Picked up my newly retrofitted Montauk yesterday with 90 hp E-Tec, I-Command and Lowrance little white GPS console mount feeding into the I-Command control gauge. Am now looking for a suitable fishfinder/depth finder and figured the Lowrance HDS series would be a good fit.
I appreciate any advice on this subject regarding brands and models.
BTW, my boat is sweet. I now see what you guys were talking about regarding sudden low end power from an E-Tec. It runs close to 45 mph and has a Stiletto prop as recommended from the information gathered on the CW site!
Bill in NC
posted 07-03-2010 04:48 PM ET (US)
I have an HDS-5, 7 and 10 on my boat and love them all. They are all gps/sonar units because I figured for the increase in price it is worth it to have backups, especially because they are Lowrance (a bit on the fragile side). I also just installed structure scan and bought the broadband radar and I Command which I need to install. Very exciting stuff! Customer service and warranty with Lowrance is surprisingly good in spite of all the negativity I have heard.
Also, I picked up my HDS-5 on Ebay for $600.00 in perfect condition. It even works better than the original HDS-7 I bought from a store that pooped out on me after a couple of uses. Lowrance promptly replaced it and it's all good now. Now what's my excuse for not catching any fish...oh yeah it's "the wind was blowing too hard" :)
posted 07-05-2010 08:37 PM ET (US)
I think you would be better off with the HDS-5 as it has the sounder.
Don't worry about settings etc the Lowrance on default/auto is good for most & use the fish ID symbols
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