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Author Topic:   New LOWRANCE HDS Gen2
jimh posted 12-03-2011 11:11 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
It looks like the United States Postal Service spoiled a surprise that LOWRANCE had intended for December 8th. By delivering some Bass Pro Shop catalogues faster than anticipated, readers of those catalogues became aware of a slew of new products being announced by Lowrance.
WT posted 12-03-2011 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I was at Bass Pro today and was looking at the HDS-8. The Bass Pro sales guy told me that I can get up to $150 off on the purchase of up to $1500 by getting a Bass Pro credit card. Also there is a $200 Lowrance mail in rebate for the HDS-8.

I suppose I'd rather get the Gen2 unit instead of the $200 rebate. Any price reductions on the $600 StructureScan Sonar Imaging module?

Thanks,

Warren

jimh posted 12-03-2011 11:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
While the products are in the catalogue and the official announcement is apparently coming on December 8, there is no word on when the Gen2 products will actually be on the shelves and available for sale. However, given the faster processors and added features, I would wait for the Gen2 to arrive, if you don't immediately need a chart plotter and SONAR multi-function device.
jimh posted 12-08-2011 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here are the full details of the new Gen2 Lowrance HDS devices:


LOWRANCE UNVEILS NEW HDS® GEN2 MULTIFUNCTION DISPLAYS
Featuring Faster Processing Speed And New StructureMap™ View

Lowrance, a world-leading brand in marine electronics since 1957, is pleased to announce the next-generation of the world’s best-selling multifunction displays, the HDS® Gen2 High Definition System.

The new HDS Gen2 provides faster processing speed and StructureMap™ view, a powerful, innovative tool that allows users to overlay StructureScan® sonar images on a chart in real-time or to save images and review at leisure. The HDS Gen2 also delivers the many award-winning benefits of the popular HDS fishfinder/charplotter series.

The Lowrance HDS Gen2 displays include double the memory and twice the processor speed of first-generation HDS models, providing boaters with enhanced responsiveness, faster start-up, quick menu operation and lightening-fast chart panning and zooming speeds.

When paired with the StructureScan Sonar Imaging module, users can activate the StructureMap overlay and view images directly on their charts in real-time. Boaters can also create StructureMap charts of their favourite boating, fishing and diving areas.

Compatible with Navionics® cartography and featuring Turboview™ for high-speed seamless zooming and transition between 2D and 3D modes, the HDS Gen2 also provides a built-in recording capability, so that users can easily create and view StructureMap detail without the aid of a computer.

Greg Konig, Lowrance Product Line Director said: “The new HDS Gen2 delivers the same feature-packed benefits that have made HDS a global-leading multifunction display.

“Now, with Gen2’s faster processing speed and the new StructureMap feature, boaters, divers and anglers will be blown away by the speed and amazing views of real-time StructureScan overlay.”

All HDS Gen2 models with chartplotter capability feature an internal, high-sensitivity GPS antenna, and products with fishfinder capability incorporate the award-winning Broadband Sounder™.

Lowrance’s TrackBack™ functionality allows HDS Gen2 users to scroll-back the recorded history of their Broadband Sounder or StructureScan sonar imaging to review structure or fish targets and pinpoint the location with a waypoint. To avoid losing important sonar data, HDS Gen2 continues recording throughout the use of TrackBack to ensure valuable readings are not lost.

HDS-7, HDS-8 and HDS-10 Gen2 models feature a SolarMAX™ PLUS display with LED backlighting, while the HDS-5 features cold-cathode fluorescent backlighting, for exceptional views in even the brightest sunlight and clear, wide viewing angles. Users can also adjust the screen brightness for low-light conditions.

HDS Gen2 models offer an easy-to-use graphic menu system for more convenient access and control of key functions. In addition, HDS-8 and HDS-10 models feature six programmable soft keys for one-button access to the most commonly used menu functions.

HDS Gen2 products can be easily networked with a complete line of NMEA 2000® tracking and engine sensors and are compatible with Lowrance’s comprehensive range of innovative marine-electronics, including Broadband 3G™ Radar, the new Broadband 4G™ Radar with beam-sharpening for unprecedented target separation and the SonicHub® marine audio server for integrated access to music stored on an Apple iPod or iPhone.

The HDS Gen2 multifunction display lineup consists of nine models (see table below) and can be easily networked together using high-speed Ethernet cabling for waypoint and data sharing.

Model--Screen size--Features

HDS-5 5-inch Chartplotter Sonar
HDS-5x 5-inch Sonar
HDS-5m 5-inch Chartplotter
HDS-7 6.4-inch Chartplotter Sonar
HDS-7m 6.4-inch Chartplotter
HDS-8 8.4-inch Chartplotter Sonar
HDS-8m 8.4-inch Chartplotter
HDS-10 10.4-inch Chartplotter Sonar
HDS-10m 10.4-inch Chartplotter

All Gen2 fishfinder models are available with 50/200 kHz Skimmer® transducer packs for deep-water applications, or 83/200 kHz Skimmer packs for inland waters. All HDS Gen2 models are compatible with Airmar® in-hull or thru-hull transducers for up to 1 kW operation. Lowrance HDS Gen2 displays are protected by a 2-year limited warranty, and backed by the 5-year Lowrance Advantage Service Program.

The HDS Gen2 products are expected to be available from January 2012. For more information on the Lowrance HDS Gen2 series or the Lowrance range of marine electronics, visit www.lowrance.com .

jimh posted 12-08-2011 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
More details about pricing for the Lowrance HDS Gen2 line can be found at on-line retailers like Bass Pro Shops, e.g.:

http://www.basspro.com/Lowrance®-HDS10-Gen2-Fishfinder/ GPS-Chartplotter/product/53519400/247274

http://www.basspro.com/Lowrance®-HDS8-Gen2-Fishfinder/GPS-Chartplotter/ product/53519200/247275

http://www.basspro.com/Lowrance®-HDS7-Gen2-Fishfinder/GPS-Chartplotter/ product/53518900/247270

http://www.basspro.com/Lowrance®-HDS5-Gen2-Fishfinder/GPS-Chartplotter/ product/53518500/247273

jimh posted 12-08-2011 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
At first glance, the principal differences in the new HDS Gen2 models appear to be

--double the memory

--faster speed processor

--inclusion of StructureMap View software.

The StructureMap View software allows the user to display images of the sea bed produced by the SONAR as overlays to navigational charts, apparently in a 3D-style modeled fashion. This could be very attractive for anglers looking for more detail of the sea bed, or for boaters who just enjoy seeing the wonders of modern technology in action (which is the group to which I belong). The overlay of the SONAR onto the chart data can be done in real time or from stored images, if I understand the functionality of the device correctly.

jimh posted 12-08-2011 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here are two screen shots from an HDS Gen2 showing the StructureMap View feature where the SONAR bottom image has been integrated with chart cartography and the current vessel position from GPS:

Screen capture of StructureMap feature on Lowrance HDS Gen2
As best as I can tell, this screen shot shows a real-time mapping of SONAR data onto a chart. The boat is heading toward the bottom of the screen. The real-time SONAR echos from the side-scan SONAR have been mapped onto the chart data. Ahead of the boat icon the bottom is shown with contour lines, as the SONAR data has yet to be received for that area of the sea bottom.

Screen capture of StructureMap View on Lowrance
This screen shot shows the vessel position on a region of the chart where there is already recorded side scan SONAR data. The region ahead of the vessel has already been mapped by SONAR data.

jimh posted 12-08-2011 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Lowrance now has more information on the new HDS Gen2 products at

http://www.lowrance.com/Products/Marine/HDS-Gen2/

jimh posted 12-09-2011 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Just to be clear, the new HDS Gen2 devices contain the necessary software to produce the StructureMap View feature, but they do not contain the hardware to create the side-scan SONAR. To get the side-scan SONAR image, you must purchase the accessory StructureScan module and special transducer.

The StructureMap View feature is described by HDS Product Manager Steve Thomas:

"Overlaying information on top of a chart isn't anything new. We've been overlaying RADAR information and weather information--most recently--for many years.

"We developed StructureMap because a lot of the early adopters of StructureScan were having difficulty interpreting it. So overlaying the structure information on top of the chart allows you to better see where that structure is positioned in relation to your boat or vessel."

Also, the processor used in the HDS Gen2 as compared to the original HDS is described as being "a much faster processor."

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