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Author Topic:   Lowrance and Mercury Improve Instrumentation Integration
jimh posted 12-04-2014 08:57 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Lowrance has just released a new software update package for their HDS Gen2 Touch series which improves the integration of the HDS Gen2 Touch displays for vessels that already have a Mercury Smartcraft network and a Mercury VesselView 4 or VesselView7 display. (Note this integration is only provided on the Touch series, not on the other HDS Gen2 displays. The interface design relies on using on-screen virtual buttons.) The Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch display and the Mercury SmartCraft VesselView must both be connected to a NMEA-2000 network.

The SmartCraft VesselView7 and VesselView4 displays have a NMEA-2000 connector on their rear panel, and provide the gateway functionality to carry data between Smartcraft protocol and NMEA-2000 protocol. The VesselView7 hardware appears to be very similar to some other NAVICO products branded under their SIMRAD line. The appearance of the user-interface elements on screen in the Smartcraft VesselView7 has a remarkable resemblance to Simrad's user-interface. The VesselView4 display presents a different appearance.

The software update package is designated version 3.5, and it applies to both HDS Gen2 and HDS Gen2 Touch devices. For more details on the new software update see 5%20release%20notes.pdf

Mercury has also greatly improved their on-line information about the VesselView devices with a new website at vesselview/

From the above link you can access a considerable amount of literature about VesselView devices and their details that was previously rather obscure and hard to find.

The Lowrance software updater also adds a great deal of new functionality for control and integration with their MotorGuide trolling motor. With the new software the steerable trolling motor and HDS integrate to become a sophisticated auto-pilot system for maneuvering at low speeds. The updater software is available (at the moment) from

jimh posted 01-12-2015 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I just noticed that the Lowrance updater file for the HDS non-touch which is listed on the update page (linked above) has a problem with the file permissions. When the payload of the archive file is extracted, the resulting .UPD file does not have the execute permission set.

You will have to manually change the file permissions on the UPD file before copying it to the removable SD-memory card to use in the Lowrance chart plotter. How to accomplish this varies with the operating system being used.

In MacOS and UNIX, the easiest way to do this is with a unix shell. Use the command

CHMOD 755 *.upd

to change the .UPD file to an executable.

I cannot offer advice for how to accomplish this in Windows. I am sure there must be a way, but I don't have a Windows computer to test with.

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