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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Advantage of Lowrance HDS Gen-2 Over Gen-1
|Author||Topic: Advantage of Lowrance HDS Gen-2 Over Gen-1|
posted 04-08-2012 12:20 PM ET (US)
Shopping this spring for a new GPS chart plotter/sounder in 5 inch screen size.
Focused on the Garmin 541S, Lowrance Elite 5M Gold and HDS-5 series.
I have read Jim's excellent articles on his HDS-8. I still have an analog engine so I am not quite ready for a NMEA 2000 network, but I will eventually repower this boat.
I have a separate Humminboard sounder, but it's old too so I am thinking of buying the Lowrance combo unit so when the Humminbird fails, I will go with the Lowrance sounder, since I believe Garmin sounders are not as good.
Torn between rebate offers on HDS Gen1 vs. Gen 2. I am leaning toward the HDS to get the expandability for weather, satellite radio and NMEA 2000 interoperability. However, I won't need it for another few years until I repower, so I am torn between Gen 1 and Gen 2.
Other than a faster processor, what's the advantage of getting Gen 2 now?
posted 04-08-2012 12:34 PM ET (US)
The Lowrance HDS-series Gen-2 devices are all said to have faster processors than their predecessor devices. The faster processor also apparently allows the operating system to provide more features. The new features need a lot of processor power.
There is a rule which is a corollary of the Andy Warhol prediction--In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes--which says: In the future everyone will be satisfied with the speed increase of their new computer for 15 minutes.
When I began to use my HDS-8 after using a monochrome 1-bit display SONAR and monochrome chart plotter with small screen, I was thrilled with the improvement. I never complained about the speed of the execution of the software. However, faster is always nicer in software and hardware.
If you want a good deal on an HDS-8 perhaps you can buy mine and I'll get myself a Gen-2!
posted 04-08-2012 12:59 PM ET (US)
I recently purchased the Lowrance HDS-7 Gen-1 for $799 and received a $200 rebate offer for a net cost of $599. This past weekend, I saw the HDS-7 Gen-2 offered at a massive exurban big box for $1499. That is powerful financial incentive.
posted 04-08-2012 03:00 PM ET (US)
The features of the Gen-2 HDS series were described in some detail in an earlier article in this discussion area. See
posted 04-08-2012 05:38 PM ET (US)
Thanks JimH for the additional detail, particularly on structure scan. The structure scan feature of the Gen 2 is impressive but beyond my requirements.
Prices on the Gen1 are very attractive, to the point that buying in lieu of the less capable Elite 5 series is warranted.
posted 04-09-2012 02:34 AM ET (US)
Mambo-I spoke with a rep for Lowrance for a while at the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach and asked him the same question. He basically said the Gen 2 stuff will work better with StructureScan. Also, on the Gen 1 hds units when you are in chartplotter mode and zoom in and out the screen has a significant delay while the screen refreshes. This is apparently faster now on the Gen 2 stuff. I have four
Gen 1 HDS units and don't really have a problem with the refresh speeds, so I was somewhat relieved to hear that.
A side note on the HDS units, you may want to upgrade to an Airmar transducer if you fish water more than 50 feet deep. The tm258 is very sensitive and the tm260, I believe is, twice as sensitive. Either of these apparently makes the best use of the Lowrance Broadband Sounder digital technology and offer much better performance compared to the stock ducer. I am going to upgrade to a tm260 myself pretty soon.
Last weekend I was fishing in Monterey Bay in the Soquel Canyon area. I thought my sonar was broken at first because I couldn't get a reading. Turned out, I was in 1600 feet of water only three miles offshore! Once I got over the wall or edge of the canyon in 600 feet, or so deep, then I started seeing the bottom on the display and marking bait.
posted 04-09-2012 06:44 PM ET (US)
if you need to have the side scan, you should buy gen2. if not, you can upgrade the software on gen1, in few years gen 2 should come down in price. when that happen you can use the gen1 and gen2 together.
posted 04-09-2012 08:00 PM ET (US)
Thanks Bass and Whale. I really don't need side scan imaging right now. I am a little concerned as a trailer boater with a myriad of transducers protruding from the transom.
The Humminbird 360 scan takes the cake!
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