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  Depth Finder, Speedometer, and Fish Finder

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Author Topic:   Depth Finder, Speedometer, and Fish Finder
Lil Ole Boat posted 06-06-2010 09:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for Lil Ole Boat   Send Email to Lil Ole Boat  
I am looking to purchase a fishfinder for my 17 Super Sport. I don't know much about these devices, but I would like to know water depth, boat speed, and water temperature. I am not much of a fisherman, so the fish finding part will go basically unused. [Give] any recommendations on what to buy. I don't want to spend more than about $150. What brands are the best?
jimh posted 06-07-2010 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Consider the Lowrance Mark-5-X model. Its retail price is only about $150. You will need a transducer with water temperature and a speed paddlewheel.
Jefecinco posted 06-07-2010 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Keep in mind that a speed paddlewheel transducer is not very accurate. If it's important to know the speed you are making at an error rate of better than plus or minus around 10 MPH you will need to calibrate the paddlewheel reading.

If the software in the Mark-5-X sounder allows calibration you will probably find it to be easy if you can use a hand held GPS as a standard. The Lowrance web site generally provides for downloading the Operators Manual for all products sold. You can check the calibration feature before buying.

Because a paddlewheel speedometer transducer measures speed over the water and a GPS measures speed over the ground it may be necessary to determine your actual speed over the water by making both upstream and downstream runs and averaging the readings. Once an accurate speed over the water reading from the GPS is obtained the sounder reading can be adjusted to a good level of accuracy.

Also keep in mind that a paddlewheel transducer reading may be more accurate at some speeds than at others. If this is the case you may wish to calibrate for the speed that is most important to you.

Butch

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