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Author Topic:   Northstar Explorer 650 experience
PeteB88 posted 07-21-2012 06:03 PM ET (US)   Profile for PeteB88   Send Email to PeteB88  
I have a brand new Northstar Explorer 650 Chartplotter/Fishfinder combo I picked up a while back and never installed it. I posted questions about mounting external GPS antenna when I got it (winter a couple years back) but that's as far as I got with it.

I am curious if anyone, on CW, has experience with this GPS/finder and would appreciate any info you could share. I have been told it's good equipment, a couple years old, but not that popular in the market. I still might mount it on the 13 (external probably a hassle) or put it on Craigs locally or Ebay - offer first in Marketplace. I'm not going to give it away.

Thanks in advance.

PeteB88 posted 07-31-2012 11:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
No one can share anything about Northstar gear? I guess I can mount it on 13 with external GPS (per recommendations before) or put it on Craigs or Ebay, see what happens and get something new. The mini Lowrance units are interesting as some of the others and Humminbird.

We use the 13 for fishing bass and panfish besides screwing around on inland lakes and rivers so fishfinder and finding our way back on unfamiliar water in the middle of the night is important .

But I have no idea about Northstar and the one I have is brand new in the box, a couple years old.

If I don't hear anything thanks anyway.

Jessielove posted 08-01-2012 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jessielove  Send Email to Jessielove     
I can't offer any opinion on that specific unit, but in the past, Northstar had a strong reputation as a premier manufacturer in the LORAN and GPS navigation markets. That of course may mean nothing with your unit.
PeteB88 posted 08-08-2012 12:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Thanks Jessie - that's what I've heard but I also heard they might not (even the newer ones like mine) be able to lock on new satellites. I will be checking that out.


gwmjr posted 08-13-2012 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for gwmjr  Send Email to gwmjr     
I have been using a NS 650 for over a year. Used a 657 for 3 years before the 650. What would you like to know?
gwmjr posted 08-13-2012 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for gwmjr  Send Email to gwmjr     
OK, I went back a re-read your original post and you are looking for any general comments about the unit. I assume you know the old Northstar company was bought out by Navico and these Explorer units were discontinued a few years ago. I bought the 650 new in 2011 at a large marine dealer which sold it on ebay for about $350. After I installed it, it would not find satellites. Ended up the external antenna (which was new) was defective. I called Navico and was told no warranty would be honored since they did not have any of these antennas in stock anymore. So forget about any applicable warranty. Thankfully, I could use my old antennae from the 657 unit which was the identical model.

I primarily leave the unit on the chartplotter screen and have the C-map MAX card installed. It is old technology (slow processor and limited data)but meets my needs. I also have all the SmartCraft functions from my Mercury 150 EFI tied into the unit. The Smartcraft compatibility was what sold me on the unit. Once the NS unit dies, any newer alternatives will be much more expensive which can give me the SC info.

The Northstar Explorer units have gone the way of the dinosaur. But when new units pop up on Ebay, they seem to bring a pretty high price.

Hope this helps.

PeteB88 posted 08-14-2012 01:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
gwmjr - Thanks so much for your time. I am going to put the unit on Ebay and see how it goes. It does indeed seem like a great unit for its time and I'm glad to hear there is some use for them. This one is totally brand new, in the box, never used. I need a good unit for my Classic 13 and have also considered a mount and transducer for my Raymarine A57D - but think a separate unit, newer and fisherman and rookie boat driver friendly might be a better choice. Looking at Humminbird and Lowrance.

Best to you and thanks again.

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