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Author Topic:   Testing Navionics Memory Card
JMARTIN posted 07-19-2011 01:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for JMARTIN   Send Email to JMARTIN  
My Lowrance LMS 335C DF GPS/Sonar unit started malfunctioning last year and I replaced just the head unit with a Lowrance HDS 5. The HDS-5 does not seem to be reading my NAVIONICS chart card that I had in my old unit.

There is a possibility that when I was doing some hard crashes on the old unit that I forgot to take out the card. How can I test just the card? Stick it in a computer?


jimh posted 07-19-2011 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Because you never tried the NAVIONICS card as a mounted volume on your computer memory card reader before, you won't know if the card will be mounted or not. If you try the card in your computer's memory card reader, and your computer can see the file system on the card, that will indicate that the card seems to be intact. On the other hand, if you try this and the computer cannot see the files on the card, we will not know if this is due to a malfunction of the card, or if it is due to an incompatibility with the file systems.

It is my recollection that some publishers of digital cartography on memory cards have adopted certain techniques which result in the card being unreadable unless mounted in a specialize memory card reader which has some sort of proprietary (and secret) drivers that permit the card to be read. I believe that this precaution is taken to stop the casual duplication of the data on the memory cards by simply copying their files using a standard computer file system.

The best test of the integrity of the card is to try it in another chart plotter which is known to be able to read such cards.

SJUAE posted 07-19-2011 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
I think there is a warning with your chart card not to put it in a PC/MAC card reader.

I guess you have updated your HDS software which should prove there is not a fault with the HDS drive


JMARTIN posted 07-19-2011 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
I have just received and started using the unit. I have not updated anything. The basic chart is useless, as was the one on the old unit also. With a card it was terrific. I will see what Lowrance has to say about it. John

jimh posted 07-19-2011 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The HDS units from Lowrance are sold with various bundles of included digital chart cartography. The HDS unit that I have has a terrific base map of digital cartography for the entire United States. This added cartography was only a modest up-charge, about $90, and was a very good investment, in my opinion, as it makes the chart plotter a competent navigation chart source for almost anywhere in the U.S.A.

Of course, add-on digital charts for specific areas generally have better cartography, better detail, and better hydrology, but some of these cards cost quite a significant percentage of the HDS unit's price themselves.

jimh posted 07-19-2011 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the NAVIONICS memory card with the digital chart cartography has become damaged and can no longer be read in your HDS chart plotter, check with the publishers of the cartography, NAVIONICS, to see if they will send you a new memory card in exchange. You may have to pay a fee. You will also probably get the latest chart updates.
tedious posted 07-21-2011 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
John, I just went through the same thing - expected the Navionics Gold chart that worked in my old LMS-332 to work with my new HDS-7. It turns out the old card has a different format - it's not compatible with the HDS series.

I can't tell you how I found that out because the fine print on the message I received told me not to, but it was a reliable source.


JMARTIN posted 07-21-2011 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Poop, bet I am in the same situation. I have not heard back from Navico yet. A friend of mine has a similar LMS unit so I can give it a test this weekend.


tedious posted 07-21-2011 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Yep, about $250 worth of poop to replace it with a new Platinum+ card. If I were to do it over again, I'd probably try the newer version of the Gold - I wanted to try the new features of the Platinum+, but I don't find the charts themselves as easy to read as on the old unit with the old card. The buoy icons are much smaller, and I have not found a way to change them.

Good luck!


JMARTIN posted 07-27-2011 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     

Finally got a response from Lowrance and Tim is correct. The HDS-5 will only use the MSD format and my existing card is MMC format.


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