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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Lowrance HDS Gen-3
|Author||Topic: Lowrance HDS Gen-3|
posted 12-09-2014 09:15 AM ET (US)
Based on some information gathered on the web, mainly from a retailer's website that inadvertently showed images and information prematurely, it appears that the Lowrance HDS series of chart plotters and SONAR devices will be soon updated to a third generation. There is some speculation that a future Gen-3 HDS device will provide the following enhancements:
--the DISPLAY will be a touch-screen multi-touch widescreen aspect ratio with LED backlighting;
--conventional physical buttons and controls will also be provided;
--wireless connectivity (presumably with WiFi) will be built-into the Gen-3; no need for external wireless add-on device; with tablets and smartphones the Gen-3 can be remotely viewed and operated;
--GPS receiver has 10-Hz position solution rate (but still GPS-only, it appears);
--two different digital charts can be view simultaneously;
--SONAR includes pulse compression technology;
--two slots for removable memory cards in MicroSD format.
The SONAR can operate in three modes:
--Broadband, Lowrance's name for their enhanced conventional 83-kHz to 200-kHz range SONAR that uses very short pulse duration to improve target resolution;
--a limited bandwidth pulse-compression mode, popularly called "chirp", to improve target resolution (and keep up with the marketing blitz for this technology); this technology is adapted for use with the existing inexpensive skimmer transducer rather than requiring larger, lower-Q, much more expensive transducers.
--DownScan, Lowrance's name for very high-frequency conventional SONAR that gives more target detail; this may require additional transducers to implement.
The DownScan SONAR can be overlaid on the two other presentation modes.
posted 12-09-2014 10:18 AM ET (US)
The purported view of the HDS Gen-3 device shows the layout of physical buttons follows the general design used in the prior generations of HDS devices, but the buttons no longer have printed legends. Instead, icons are used. The mapping of legend to icon appears to be:
ZOUT ---> a minus sign
ZIN ---> a plus sign
EXIT ---> character "X"
ENTER ---> downward and left arrow
MENU ---> representation of drop-down menu from screen presentation
PAGES ---> representation of two pages shown side by side
WPT/FIND --> waving flag
LIGHT/PWR --> universal power one/zero icon
As a native speaker of English, I prefer the short English word legends. For the screen zoom function, the plus sign and minus sign are reasonably easy to understand.
For the EXIT function, I think the ESC (escape) legend would be better. I think this is practically universally understood by even non-English speakers. The single charcter "X" is generally understood to mean multiplication. I am familiar with an "X" contained inside a square as a graphic cue for "close window" on some interfaces. The "X" can also be seen as a stop button in some browsers.
The ENTER symbol is widely understood, but I again would prefer the English word legend. That same icon appears on some keyboard RETURN keys.
The new icons replacing MENU and PAGES are totally new inventions from Lowrance for iconic representation. I don't find them particularly familiar or intuitive.
The waving flag for WPT (Waypoint)--another invention--has very little intuitive meaning for me. WPT seems like a practically universally understood term in navigation. The flag icon holds no meaning for me as a navigation function.
The zero-one power icon is completely understood these days by practically the entire planet, so I have no objection to that. I presume the lighting function has been removed from the button in the new device.
I suppose the designers felt that the button legends must be either all-words or acronyms or all-icons, and there could be no middle ground. Perhaps the choice of all-icons was influenced by a view of the market for these devices being global and having substantial potential of sales to non-English speaking boaters. While I may be prejudiced by being an English speaker, I can't imagine the non-English speaking market for high-end recreational chart plotters and SONAR is so large that it could demand abandoning English legends on the physical buttons of the user interface. At the least, Lowrance could have made a USA version--their primary market--with English word legends for the buttons. Note that they already make separate versions of these products for North America and Rest-of-World (ROW) so they can constrain sales of product with Geo-fencing. It would seem trivial to also provide a different set of rubber button caps for North American with word legends instead of icons, and leave the all-icon button caps for ROW models.
posted 12-09-2014 10:22 AM ET (US)
A further problem with the iconic button caps occurs in descriptive narration of the operating process. Previously, one could write instructions like this:
"Push the MENU button to access the menu selection page."
Now one would have to say something awkward like this:
"Push the button that has an icon representing the appearance of the drop down menus to access the menu selection page."
"Push the third down button on the left side of the eight button array..."
posted 12-12-2014 01:04 PM ET (US)
More images of the new Lowrance HDS Gen-3 continue to appear on the internet. Here is the HDS-9 Gen-3:
posted 12-12-2014 10:34 PM ET (US)
As for "wireless interface," it looks like both BLUETOOTH and WI-FI are provided in the Lowrance HDS TOUCH Gen-3 units, but apparently no BLUETOOTH in the non-touch units.
posted 12-13-2014 09:26 AM ET (US)
Going to the micro-SD card format makes all our SD map cards obsolete. Navionics is going to be selling a lot of upgrades. But, what used to take several cards now comes all on one card; when I got my Elite 7 Gold it came with all of North America, including Canada, the Bahamas, and Virgin Islands all on one micro-SD card.
posted 12-14-2014 11:55 AM ET (US)
The Lowrance HDS chart plotters of the third generation will be able to use digital cartography from several publishers, including:
--INSIGHT (in several sub-brands), which seems to be Lowrance's brand of digital charts
--NAVIONICS, a global chart publisher with several tiers of charts and features, and
--C-MAP, also a global chart publisher
To review a bit, we look at INSIGHT and the many options from Lowrance:
--INSIGHT GENESIS: an electronic chart made from the user's own data, collected by the user with the chart plotter and sounder, uploaded to Lowrance, and returned as a custom digital chart;
--LAKE INSIGHT: a collection of charts for inland lakes, available in PRO and HD versions
--NAUTIC INSIGHT, a collection of charts of USA coastal coverage, available in PRO and HD versions;
--TOPO INSIGHT HD, a collection of USA land based digital charts, sold by regions in Midwest, North Central, Northeast, South Central, Southeast, and Southwest; and
--TOPO INSIGHT PRO, another collection of USA land based charts but with road maps and points of interest, as well as other features.
posted 12-17-2014 05:03 PM ET (US)
HDS Gen 3 Officially announced today
posted 12-17-2014 05:13 PM ET (US)
The official announcement said:
December 17, 2014
Lowrance Announces The All-New HDS® Gen3
Lowrance, a world-leading brand in fishing electronics since 1957, announced today the launch of the High Definition System (HDS) Gen3 fishfinder/chartplotter series. The next revolutionary step forward for the world's top-selling and award-winning multi-function display, HDS Gen3 is available in 7-, 9- and 12-inch models and combines a faster processor with enhanced, built-in fishfinder technologies, as well as a modified menu system that's even easier to use.
With an improved Lowrance user interface plus multi-touch and full keypad operation, the HDS Gen3 series provides quicker, fingertip access to all features—along with an enhanced, lightning-fast processor for more responsive performance. Instinctive, icon-driven commands are easy to learn, and convenient features such as scrolling menus, cursor assist, snap-to setting markers and preview panes with quick-touch slider bars, provide a user-friendly feel, similar to operating a smartphone or tablet.
Each HDS Gen3 model comes standard with today's most advanced fishfinding technologies—from StructureScan® HD and DownScan Imaging™, which provide picture-like images of fish-holding cover—to CHIRP Sonar for improved target separation and superior noise rejection for clearer, easy-to-see bait fish and game fish targets. When combined with Lowrance's TrackBack™ feature, these sonar technologies combine to make HDS the fishfinder of choice for anglers worldwide.
Additionally, the HDS Gen3 features built-in wireless connectivity for convenient mapping and software downloads directly to your fishfinder/chartplotter, as well as connection with mobile devices using the Lowrance GoFree App. All HDS Gen3 models are also plug-and-play compatible with performance-enhancing options such as SpotlightScan Sonar™, Broadband Radar™, SonicHub® Marine Audio, SiriusXM® Marine Weather and audio, Class B AIS and DSC VHF, as well as the recently released SmartSteer™ control for MotorGuide® Xi5 electric-steer trolling motors and the Lowrance Outboard Pilot.
"Since 2008, anglers worldwide have relied on Lowrance HDS systems to make the most of their time on the water," said Leif Ottosson, CEO, Navico. "Not only does HDS offer today's most advanced fishfinder technologies, the collection of optional mapping solutions and performance modules cannot be surpassed by any fishfinder/chartplotter in the industry."
Providing anglers with the most expansive list of mapping-upgrade options, HDS Gen3 is compatible with the complete collection of Navionics® charts, as well as C-MAP MAX-N+ and third-party mapping partners, such as NV Digital Charts. HDS Gen3 can also utilize the Insight Genesis™ map-creation tool, which allows users to create and share high-definition contour maps from personalized sonar recordings. All charting options can also be used with Insight Planner™ PC navigation-planning software. In addition, Easy Routing and AutoRouting features are available globally, outside of the Americas, with C-MAP MAX-N+ and Navionics charts, respectively.
Sized to fit the same bracket and flush-mount cutout as HDS Gen2 Touch, the new HDS Gen3 series of 7-, 9- and 12-inch multi-touch displays are priced at [euro]1,199, [euro]1,799 and [euro]2,799, respectively, not including transducers. All models can be purchased from authorized Lowrance dealers and distributors, and they are protected by a two-year warranty along with the Lowrance Advantage Service program. For more information on the Lowrance HDS Gen3, the entire Lowrance line of marine electronics, or to locate an authorized Lowrance dealer, please visit www.lowrance.com.
posted 12-17-2014 05:15 PM ET (US)
The announcement seems to give the MSRP in units of Euro-currency. Perhaps this announcement was targeted to European customers. It also seems to have fewer details than my preliminary article which speculated on the features of the Gen3 products.
posted 12-17-2014 05:47 PM ET (US)
posted 12-17-2014 06:11 PM ET (US)
Lowrance has populated the Gen 3 Products Section of their website with more product details. This is interesting:
"Multi-view and chart sharing - View two charts simultaneously, in 2D or 3D perspective view, with independent control, range and overlay capabilities. Plus, get the maximum from your chart card purchases; buy one map card and view it on all Ethernet networked HDS Gen3, HDS Gen2 or Gen2 Touch chartplotter displays."
posted 12-17-2014 11:32 PM ET (US)
posted 12-18-2014 09:41 AM ET (US)
The Gen-3 units are loaded with features. The sonar and interconnectability capabilities are seemingly endless. The price of the seven inch unit is less than the list price of the Garmin 740S I purchased about five years ago.
More features for less cost is a trend I like.
It will be interesting to see how the competitors respond to the Gen-3 challenge.
posted 12-20-2014 09:36 AM ET (US)
The SONAR capabilities of the Lowrance HDS Gen-3 devices will depend upon the installation of appropriate transducers. The off-the-shelf configurations are typically as follows for the HDS Gen-3 devices:
--with INSIGHT USA charts and no transducers; this is the base price usually mentioned.
--with INSIGHT USA charts and 83-kHz/200-kHz Skimmer transducer; add $50 to base price.
--with INSIGHT USA charts and 50-kHz/200-kHz transducer; add $100 to base price.
--with INSIGHT USA charts, 83-kHz/200-kHz Skimmer transducer, and LSS-2 transducer for side scan (STRUCTURE SCAN); add $250 to base price.
There are other transducers available for the downward directed SONAR. These are listed at a Transducer Guide web page.
posted 12-20-2014 01:59 PM ET (US)
My interpretation of the icons on the user interface buttons (see above) was wrong. I based my interpretation on my experience with using prior models of HDS devices, but I misinterpreted the two icons that Lowrance is using for the buttons that used to be called MENU and PAGES.
In the QUICK START guide, Lowrance explains the function of these buttons. First, it gives an illustration with callout numbers that point to the various buttons. This gets around the problem of how to describe a button with only an icon label. The user won't know a button is the "menu" button until you explain the icon to him. So Lowrance uses a technical illustration with callout numbers and arrows.
Callout-6 points to the button I thought was the old MENU button on earlier models. Lowrance tells the user that button Callout-6 is called the "Menu key." Well, I was right about that, but the button has very different function than the old menu button. The function for this new Callout-6 button or the button called "Menu key" or the button with an icon that seems to be intended to represent drop down menus on a computer graphical user interface, is described as follows:
--activates the panel menu (which I presume is defined somewhere else, otherwise, what is a panel menu?);
--press twice to access the Settings menu;
--press and hold to hide the panel menu.
Callout-9 points to the button I thought was the old PAGES button on earlier models. Lowrance tells the user that button Callout-9 is called the "Panel key". It turns out this button is only somewhat related to the old PAGES button. (The old PAGES button brought up a navigation page that allowed the user to select the display's contents.) Callout-9 button has a two new functions:
--switches the active panel on a multiple-panel display, and
--press and hold to expand the active panel to a full-page panel.
What I find humorous in these explanations is the instructional narrative has to revert to using a name for the buttons, like "Menu key" and "Pages key" instead of using the icons that are on the buttons themselves. The instructions even avoid using the icons to identify the buttons, and use old-fashioned technical illustration techniques of lines and callout numbers to identify them. It seem quite ironic that that the buttons with icons have to first be identified with callouts, and then named, so the instructions can begin to refer to them with a name so the user can know what they are supposed to do. Wouldn't it have been simpler to just put MENU and PANEL on the buttons themselves?
posted 12-24-2014 09:07 AM ET (US)
The user interface in the new HDS Gen-3 devices has a much different look compared to the older HDS devices. There are many on-screen touch-interface buttons. The user interface has a more rectangular or squared-off look, and has more colors. Here is a typical user-interface screen:
The screen touch-buttons are quite large to make the touch-screen interface easy to use. Notice that buttons are labeled with both icons and text legends. I wonder if the text legends are localized for the many various language options provided by Lowrance. They offer a lot more languages than the usual English/French/German choices. In my HDS first-generation device there are 23 choices for languages. If there are 23 choices for language localization in the Gen-3, then all the user interface icons would have to be duplicated 23 times, each with different legends. It will be interesting to see if that is actually provided.
posted 04-30-2015 01:05 PM ET (US)
I have the HDS 7 Gen 3 version, though I have yet to install it. By playing in my driveway I found:
--I miss the days of my Northstar 95x series of GPS units;
--you don't need an external GPS antenna (but you can add one). I even got a fix inside my garage with the door closed;
--it took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to get out of the demo mode;
--chart plotters have come a long way
--I most likely will never use all the features
--you most likely will need the manual, maybe even download the PDF version to a tablet to have on the boat
--installation will be simple, figuring out all the options will add to the complexity;
--figuring I will most likely want to spend the off-time in the comfort of my house means deciding between flush or gimbal mount; but if I decide on flush, the mounting screws are under the front bezel, so four screws and out for the season, and
--I miss the days of my Northstar's. I have four working Northstar units that I am getting ready to send out for updating. One may end up on the boat, anyway.
posted 04-30-2015 01:25 PM ET (US)
Thanks for your first impression of the Lowrance HDS Gen-3 device prior to actually installing and using it. Perhaps you can follow up with more comments after you have installed it and operated it for a few months.
Given the number of features, the number of optional accessory, and the several methods to interface the HDS series to other boat electronics, I would anticipate that a considerable amount of time will have to be spent becoming familiar with the hardware, with the user-interface, and in the operation of the device.
I do not subscribe to the notion that any user must be able to operate any modern electronic device to its ultimate capabilities without investing any time in study of the device or in reading support literature. This quotation matches my feelings on this topic:
From "Living with Complexity," p.31, by Donald Norman (A copy is available on-line.)
posted 05-01-2015 02:44 PM ET (US)
Jim, you might have missed my opinion of the comparison of the Lowrance to the Northstar 95x series.
No doubt any technical device will require some user study and practical use. My reference to the Northstar is that just about anyone could turn on the 95x series units, and put it in operation with 5-10' of position accuracy, without ever opening the manual. All of the wiring for the data cable is even stored on the unit as a simple to find page.
One of the the things I found over the years for myself, is that the device you initially learn on tends to be you preference for the future.
My preference for LORANs was the King (and eventually the Furuno MKII's) for the way they operated, and once into the GPS world I did and still do everything in the north up mode, because that was the way I started.
I am actually looking forward to being able to figure out all the bells and whistles and being able to get various items to work together.
posted 05-01-2015 04:16 PM ET (US)
PORT' -- I agree with you; the human being generally prefers to avoid change. Thus I am not surprised by your report that the methods and controls of your former chart plotter seem to be more appealing than the new one.
I did not really find anything you said about the Northstar devices in comparison the Lawrence HDS Gen-3 to give me any insight into either device. I believe you said, repeated twice, that you missed the Northstar devices.
I think you got off to a bad start with the Lowrance HDS because you said it took you half an hour to shut down the demonstration mode. Now that you're over that hurdle and you've shut off demo mode, I bet the HDS will come up running in a flash. I bet its GNSS receiver is better than the old chart plotter you liked. I bet its SONAR is lightyears ahead. I bet the display is better. I bet the digital charts are better. I bet the price is much better.
ASIDE: On the other sidebar you have introduced, the products of KING RADIO, I can comment. I have an old KING VHF Marine Band radio. At the time it was made it was a very nice VHF Marine Band radio, but in today's world it is just a museum piece. It has no digital selective calling, no NMEA interface, no modern features. It is so old it hardly has any integrated circuits in it. It was a nice radio, I removed it from my boat about 13 years ago and have never looked back. I don't miss it, or think it had any special qualities that made it better than a newer radio.
posted 05-01-2015 06:57 PM ET (US)
What I find hard to understand is that in today's world of computers masquerading as SONARS/Chartplotters/MFDs is that the User's Manual is not embedded in the unit's memory for recall as needed by the user.
As an aside, for those of us who are gluttons for punishment, here's Lowrance's current deal:
MORE TIME FOR THE ULTIMATE UPGRADE
I think the list of "qualifying products" has been expanded so the deal may actually be attractive.
posted 05-02-2015 11:45 AM ET (US)
Having used a touch screen chart plotter only very briefly, it took only a moment of use to gain insight into the enormous advantage of a touch screen user-interface over the previous interface methods limited to a few physical buttons and a perhaps a few soft-key buttons. The great advantage of the touch screen is the ability to have a full typewriter keyboard presentation for entry of file names when creating or manipulating files. For example, saving geo-position data files (like waypoints or trackpoint) is made much better and faster with a touch-screen full QWERTY keyboard user interface. I don't think there is any way back to spending five minutes entering a waypoint name the old fashioned way when you can touch-screen type-in a name in a few seconds.
posted 05-03-2015 11:54 AM ET (US)
I agree with Jim: touch screen is the way to go.
posted 05-04-2015 12:08 PM ET (US)
Still not running yet, but I do like the feature of the flush mount being accessible from the front.
I did my flush mount panel yesterday and by leaving the HDS out I am able to get to all the wires for everything in the console. Since the Standard-Horizon GX2200 radio is right next to the HDS, I will easily be able to do the interface connections as well.
posted 05-07-2015 09:51 PM ET (US)
I found out, in the last two days, the Lowrance printed manual for interconnections does not match the information on-line. Standard-Horizon [the manufacturer of a radio, not the manufacturer of the Lowrance HDS Gen3] gave me some connections to try; they didn't work. But [the data about interconnections for the HDS Gen3 that was provided by another manufacturer] got [the interconnections] close enough to have the VHF receive position data from the HDS.
It appears AIS data is going to be a no-go. The GX2200 outputs AIS data on the 0183 port. [The GX2200 only has a NMEA-0183 interface, so that is the only place it can interface to other devices--jimh]. The HDS only receives AIS data on its NEMA-2000 port. And, here, I thought the geek at West Marine really knew what he was talking about.
The HDS I have has software version 1.0. On April 1, 2015, version 1.5 came out. April fools on me.
No matter how I try, the HDS does not boot from the card [with the updater file]. Tried formatting the card under Windows and Mac OS, tried unzipping to the card, tried unzipping from the card, nothing. The website is sparse on info with regard to actually doing the update.
To add to my misery, I purchased a Navionics+ card. I'm still not sure I like the program Navionics is running. They are the mother ship for multiple higher end units, yet their tech support will tell you the Navionics charts are way superior to the Lowrance charts, a Navionics subsidiary. Navionics tech told me the Navionics+ cards are superior as they include the entire U.S.A and SonarCharts [i.e., a branding called "SonarChart"], and that the cards are 16-GByte compared to the Gold cards 2-GByte. My new card is only 2-GByte, and, when I tried to download the charts, their system would only let be grab a portion of the US. Then [the Navionics download server] gave me an error for insufficient data space.
I still haven't figured out why my HDS boots up to a non-existent Navionics chart instead of the factory supplied Lowrance charts.
I went online, read a bunch if tricks. I used a new [unclear, perhaps means a removable storage card] from Costco, one of the high speed, 32-GByte chips. No formatting. [long narrative of moving the memory storage card among variuos operating systems and using various methods] and [the HDS Gen3] went through the update procedure successfully. When finished I verified it was indeed 1.5. This time I was also able to see the card under the "files" window. Perhaps the previous cards, having been formatted multiple times under either Windows or Mac [were the cause of the problem].
Next [problem to resolve] is the Navionics chip.
posted 05-10-2015 07:40 AM ET (US)
I have read many reports of other users having problems, but I have never seen any evidence that the fault was due to some defect in the HDS. The source of most reported problems are errors by the user performing the update.
It is unfortunate that it took you so many attempts to perform the software update, but I suspect that the causes of the earlier failures were not any element of randomness in the HDS operating system. In my experience with performing updates to the HDS operating system--I have done it several times--it works reliably and without any random problems. I would attribute failure of the update process to be successful to be due to errors in the files on your removable storage card, and not to anything odd about the Lowrance update process.
The space available on a removable storage volume has been a problem in some early versions of the NAViCO operating system used with the Lowrance HDS. A removable storage volume must be properly sized: large enough to hold the update file, but not larger than the operating system of the HDS can handle. On the earlier versions of the operating system, the size of a removable storage volume was limited, and a frequent problem occurred when users tried to employ removable storage cards that were too large. However, these early version HDS problem are well known. I don't think they reflect anything odd or unusual about the Lowrance HDS Gen3. It apparently can use removable storage cards of 32-Gbytes, according to your narrative. I don't find that to be a particularly odd limitation.
There is no ownership of Lorance by Navionics. Lowrance is owned by NAVICO. Navionics is not owned by NAVICO. The names are perhaps somewhat similar, but the companies are not under common ownership.
posted 05-10-2015 08:02 AM ET (US)
I do not have much faith in your report that AIS data must only be sent to the HDS via NMEA-2000 because I have my own experience with earlier version of the HDS that contradicts that. Lowrance has been handling AIS data via NMEA-0183 successfully for many years. I suspect that the problems you are encountering may be due to the AIS data being sent at a higher baud rate than the usual NMEA-0183 baud rate.
Re the Lowrance HDS Gen3 and AIS via NMEA-0183: in the Lowrance HDS Gen3 Installation Manual, specific instructions are provided for setting the baud rate of the NMEA-0183 port for use with AIS devices. This is a reasonable basis to assume the Lowrance HDS Gen3 has the capability to receive AIS data via that port.
The manual also lists the supported sentences for its NMEA-0183. The list includes the usual sentence for AIS: DSC, DSE, and "VDM" [actually AIVDM--jimh]
These statements in the literature from Lowrance contradict the assertion made above (by user porthole2) that the Lowrance HDS Gen3 can only handle AIS data via NMEA-2000.
The Lowrance HDS Gen3 appears to have only one NMEA-0183 bi-directional port, as documented in the Installation Guide on page 26 in the PDF document found on their website. The port connections are provided on the Power/Data cable and are a typical NMEA-0183 balanced port or RS-422 type port.
This method has been used by Lowrance consistently. The conductors are color-coded for signal in a manner consistent with earlier implementations from Lowrance in the HDS series.
posted 05-10-2015 08:10 AM ET (US)
The software update to v1.5 appears to mainly provide improvements or changes to the WiFi connection facilities of the HDS. According to the literature accompanying the update, there does not seem to be any particularly startling change in the general operating system. A second area of change seems to be in the process of recording SONAR log files.
posted 05-10-2015 08:48 AM ET (US)
ASIDE: No part of the process of the updating of a Lowrance HDS is performed in either the MacOS or the Window-OS. The update process occurs in the NAVICO operating system.
The update process requires that an executable file be available on a removable storage volume inserted into a card slot on the HDS. On power initialization the HDS checks the cart slots for such a file, and, if found, executes the instructions in the file. This method of moving files among computer systems is known as SneakerNet.
The process of creating a removable storage volume on a card is typically left to the user. The user downloads the updater from a remote host. The form of the updater files may be in an archive. Lowrance provides instructions on the steps to be taken to write onto a memory card the necessary files. This process can be performed by many operating systems, but the operating system is not involved in any way with the update process.
Lowrance has, in the past, tried to make the creation of an updater file an automated process by using various methods. In some cases a JAVA script was used. In some cases some sort of Window-specific self-executing application was tried. Problems with this process being performed by users is nothing new or unique to the HDS Gen3.
It is my theory that one of the reasons Lowrance is keen to introduce the WiFi link to their chart plotters is to facilitate the chart plotter itself being able to download the updater files directly to its own file system. This will eliminate a lot of problems created by the user trying to bring the updater file to the device via SneakerNet methods.
posted 05-11-2015 02:40 PM ET (US)
It seems when you do an edit or your take on others experiences, something gets lost in the "translation".[I hope not. I try to figure out what pronouns like "it" of "them" mean and use the antecedent of the pronoun. I also try to fix confusing text or line breaks--like the many I have inserted here to break up paragprahs of quoted material from the rest of your reply--jimh]
"The source of most reported problems are errors by the user performing the update."
[Line breaks inserted for clarity--I hope that is not going to change any meaning--jimh]
That may very well be, but there is zero information on the Lowrance update-download website on how to actually perform the update. Although, the PDF file for the update exclaims that the how to info is contained, it is not physically in the file.
From the website: "**Prior to performing this update, review the release notes for more information as the update process has been modified**'
"I do not have much faith in your report that AIS data must only be sent to the HDS via NMEA-2000 because I have my own experience with earlier version of the HDS that contradicts that"
I'm sure I am doing something wrong, but I sure would like to know the correct color combo to make it work.
[Now PORTHOLE2 is talking, not quoting me--jimh]The file that HDS Gen 3 is looking for has the extension .upd
All versions of the update file I have on my system are appended .upd
As it turns out, "if" the update file is downloaded and unzipped correctly, there should be a file appended .auto.upd that is placed in the root directory of a micro SD card.
"Lowrance provides instructions on the steps to be taken to write onto a memory card the necessary files"
posted 05-12-2015 07:50 PM ET (US)
porthole says that something got lost in the translation when I wrote:
Let me clarify that, if you misunderstood. I have never heard of any problem in performing an update that was due to a problem with the updater file. The problems alway seem to be problems with the user getting the update file onto the machine to be updated. I hope that clarifies what I wrote.
posted 05-12-2015 08:02 PM ET (US)
[I replaced this reply with the two below--jimh]
posted 05-12-2015 09:08 PM ET (US)
There are so many topics introduced into this discussion by PORTHOLE2, we need a review of them and a bit of organization. Let's break this out into topics. I addressed one topic, my comments getting lost in translation, already in a earlier reply. Now on to the other topics:
PORTHOLE TOPIC A: NO UPDATE INSTRUCTIONS
This contradicts my experience with Lowrance. I have performed many firmware upgrades to Lowrance HDS products, and everyone has worked. There were instructions on how to perform the update. I can't accept the notion that after being in the business of making the HDS and providing updates that Lowrance suddenly forgot to tell the users how to perform the update.
PORTHOLE TOPIC B: WHERE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS
Maybe I can, but I don't have the time right now to undertake that project. My experience tells me the instructions must be somewhere, otherwise how could anyone figure it out?
PORTHOLE TOPIC C; was HDS GEN-2 ONLY WORKS WITH NMEA-2000 FOR AIS; now changed to STANDARD-HORIZON DOES NOT OUPUT DSC, DSE, and AIVDM
From the literature for the GX2200 from Standard Horizon, called the Owner's Manual, page 22 of the PDF:
I hope this clears up the discussion regarding AIS with:
--the HDS: it does AIS
--the GX200: it does AIS
PORTHOLE TOPIC D: how can the HDS Gen-3 and GX2200 be interfaced for AIS:
I guess we have gone from these devices both not having AIS to them having AIS but how is it interfaced. I would be glad to help you interface these devices. Start a new thread, with a topic "NMEA-0183 Interface for GX2000 and HDS Gen-3" and I will give you some guidance. I have never met two NMEA-0183 devices that I couldn't interface. See you in the new thread.
Please note that I never just give color-to-color instructions. I just give the general solution, which is TALKER A to LISTENER A, and TALKER B to LISTENER B.
It is my experience that Standard-Horizon gives really clear information about their NMEA-0183 interface, and Lowrance does almost as well. But if you want help making an interface between specific devices, I will try to help. Making NMEA-0183 interfaces is really not the topic here. We were talking about the Lowrance HDS Gen-3.
posted 05-12-2015 09:10 PM ET (US)
OOPS--I left out one last topic from PORTHOLE2:
PORTHOLE2 TOPIC E: MAKING DSC CALL TO AIS TARGET BY RADIO CONTROL FROM CHARTPLOTTER
Where does Lowrance say this is possible and specifically with a radio from a competitor? I agree, it would be a nice feature, but I have never seen it work when mixing brands of chart plotter and radio. Setting up DSC calls in a radio seems to be, at the moment, limited to using proprietary sentences, not standard NMEA sentences.
posted 05-12-2015 09:15 PM ET (US)
Also, a corollary to my question above: where does Standard-Horizon say it is possible to set up a DSC call by using a chart plotter?
posted 05-12-2015 09:51 PM ET (US)
I don't think the user needs to know too many details about the file suffix changes when the update is performed. That is just an artifact of Lowrance trying to cope with all the bass anglers who know little about computers trying to update their Lowrance devices. The unfamiliar HDS owner leaves the updater file in the slot, and the HDS keeps trying to boot from the updater file. The guy calls Lowrance support for help. They have to tell him, DOH--take the updater card out of the slot once you run the updater. That is COMPUTER SCIENCE 101, but in anglers it is apparently considered Post-doctoral level knowledge. Lowrance probably got tired of this happening and wrote a routine on the end of the updater that changes the file name so it becomes a one-and-done updater card. If the user followed the instructions the first time, they'd not have the problem. Take out the updater self-boot card when finished. It is not that hard.
posted 05-12-2015 11:25 PM ET (US)
The following is strictly related to the HDS Gen3.
[Actually, "the following" was not strictly related to the HDS Gen3. PORTHOLE2 changed the topic of discussion away from the Lowrance HDS Gen3 and began to discuss the participants in the discussion. This sidebar discussion of the participants has been deleted--jimh]
From the literature for the HDS Gen3 (no space) from Lowrance, called the Operator Manual, page 120 of the paperback supplied with the unit: [Quoted material apparently follows]
Calling an AIS vessel.
If the system includes a VHF radio supporting DSC (Digital selective calling) calls over NMEA 2000, you can initiate a DSC call to other vessels from the HDS Gen3.
[Apparent end of quoted material. Please use the QUOTE function or use quotation marks to denote quoted material.--jimh]
posted 05-13-2015 12:00 AM ET (US)
Re where to find the instructions on how to perform an update:
I found about six pages of detailed instructions on how to perform an update to the HDS Gen-3 in the INSTALLATION MANUAL. See:
See the section under the sub-heading
SOFTWARE UPDATES AND DATA BACKUP
which begins on page 49. This tends to reaffirm my earlier conviction that Lowrance had NOT, after making the HDS series for years, after having posted youTube videos, after having provided very detailed instructions, suddenly forgotten to tell the user how to perform an update.
posted 05-13-2015 12:11 AM ET (US)
PORTHOLE2 says this material appears in the Lowrance manual:
I found a similar quote in
which appears on page 120 and says:
That sounds reasonable to me. I don't have any basis to argue with it. Of course, you have two big problems:
--"the system" you have assembled does not have a VHF radio with NMEA-2000;
--since you don't have a VHF radio with NMEA-2000, your radio cannot possibly support the NMEA-2000 PGN being used to initiate the call.
A further problem is Lowrance does not identify the PGN they are using to initiate a digital selective call on the radio from the chart plotter. A NMEA-2000 device should list the PGN's it supports. The only way to know if two devices will interoperate with this function is for each device to list the PGN's it can send or receive. Since Lowrance does not seem to list the PGN for this call generator function, it is going to be hard to tell what radios will work with it.
Have you found any list of PGN's or radios that Lowrance says can interoperate with this function on the HDS Gen3
posted 05-13-2015 12:13 AM ET (US)
Your mention of "printed manual" reminded me that you earlier said there was a discrepancy between the details of the NMEA-0183 interface in the printed manual you had and the PDF files on the web. Can you tell us more about that discrepancy?
ASIDE to PORTHOLE2: I hope you know that your Standard-Horizon GX2200 radio can already initiate or set-up a DSC page to an AIS target. The radio handles that function all by itself.
posted 07-20-2015 03:11 PM ET (US)
Thanks for pointing that out.
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