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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Hi everyone,

Many thanks for the amazing knowledgebase that you have all created here! As a new PA-14 owner I have benefited greatly from your trials, tribulations and successes. Good on ya mates.

My first post here is a note to anyone considering the installation of a Lowrance Elite HDI 5 fish finder unit on their Hobie. I chose the HDI because I wanted GPS, down scan and standard fish finder sonar all visible on the screen at once. It's worth saying that I'm very pleased with the unit, but the install was a lot harder than it needed to be. I'm not trying to warn you off the HDI, just making sure you know what you're getting into.

The transducer install is simple and justifies the "Lowrance Ready" claim by Hobie. The plastic bracket provided with the PA 14 fits the new dual-frequency ducer perfectly so it's a five minute job to screw it together, thread the cables up the scupper and screw the plate back on. No worries.

Next you thread the cable into the through-hull behind the seat. Also no problem if you have long arms. I put my battery in the aft water tight hatch so one cable goes back there, then all three wires get run forward. In my case I put the HDI head on the port side and I was able to snake all the cables out the through-hull there.

That's the point at which you realize you have a problem. The HDI units have two cables with three wires and the combination is way too big to fit into the Hobie through-hull inserts. There's just too much wire and too little slot. You also realize that one of the Lowrance cable connectors won't fit through the nut that secures the through-hull from inside. Bummer.

After some squirming I realized that the only solution was to add another through-hull fitting and put one cable-end through each of them. So I ordered another Hobie through-hull from Austin Kayak and drilled into my pristine Hobie skin for the install.

The final challenge was to get the "Fathead" cable connector through the backing nut for the through-hull. The decision to use a different connector for one of the cables is annoying and it really does invalidate the "Hobie Ready" claim. It's not Hobie's fault but that cable isn't going to work without modification.

In my case that involved a few minutes with a dremel moto tool to grind down the "spines" on the connector locking ring so the backing nut would fit over the connector. Once that's done the rest of the install is clear sailing.

So buyer beware, the Lowrance Elite HDI 5 is a great fish finder and a good choice for your Hobie, but you need to be prepared to do a bit of techie work to get it installed.

Best regards and thanks again for all the great work here.
PS, I'd post pictures of the install process but I haven't figured out how to do that on this board yet....Update: ah ha, Pics aren't that hard after all!

Grind down the connector "Spines"
Image

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Final Product
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Maiden Voyage in West Falmouth Harbor
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Last edited by GrouchyOldMan on Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Yeah those new Elite HDI units were not around yet when Hobie did the Lowrance ready thing.
Scanstrut has awesome connectors for running wires. Not cheap but man they are nice. I have an older Hobie so I had to drill.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:43 pm 
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Location: Vernonia, Or
Good info. I'm going to be putting an Elite 5x HDI in my Revo13. The Scanstrut deck and bulkhead cable seals range from a 16mm (5/8) to 40mm (1 9/16) hole size. Might be able to expand the through hull hole.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:24 pm 
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The Lowrance 4 dsi connector must be different. Mine would have been a tight fit but I turned it sideways to the hole and it fit through..Just. By turning it 90 degrees to the hole I was able to nullify the "knobs on the mounting ring.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:58 pm 
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Hi I'm intending to get the elite 5 HDI as well. May I know which cable or connector you had issues with? Would it be the data cable?

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Was it the data connector and cable that you had issues with?am looking to purchase one of these units and other reports seem to make out that the data cable and connector were the issues but they could be cut, with the wire capped off since they are basically redundant.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:52 am 
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benjychan wrote:
Was it the data connector and cable that you had issues with?am looking to purchase one of these units and other reports seem to make out that the data cable and connector were the issues but they could be cut, with the wire capped off since they are basically redundant.


I believe that the problem cable connector was the one with two wires passing through it, power and data. The cable to the transducer barely fit through the backing nut but was okay. I'm not at home right now so I can't verify that for certain.

Since I didn't intend to use the data cable I thought about cutting it off close to the terminator but that still would have been a tight fit to try and squeeze it into a single through hull, and the idea of water entering the cut-off cable end convinced me not to go that direction.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:56 am 
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Joel_T wrote:
Good info. I'm going to be putting an Elite 5x HDI in my Revo13. The Scanstrut deck and bulkhead cable seals range from a 16mm (5/8) to 40mm (1 9/16) hole size. Might be able to expand the through hull hole.


Yep, that should do the trick. Besides the installation I'm really happy with the Elite 5x HDI. It's very cool to be able to see the downscan and sonar images together. I've also found the standard maps included with the GPS to be very accurate for our ponds on Cape Cod. Once things thaw out we'll see if it's as good in the saltwater.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:11 am 
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Thank you so much for the pictures mate. It made things very clear! I will probably go the same route as you and cut another hole in the hull *shudder.. Haha. I really don't get the need for such a huge connector though - couldn't they have used the same one as the elite 4 dsi??


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:32 pm 
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Actually the leads fit easily. Put the transducer connector through the hole, then put the power cable through backwards so you don't have to push both connectors through the hole.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Thanks For clearing that Up HOGMAN!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:54 am 
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I installed the Elite-7 HDI in my 2014 Pro Angler 14 and was able to run the cables without modifying them. I did find it difficult to push them through the pre drilled holes but with a little force they fit. You definitely need to spend a few minutes thinking things through before you start running the cables. It's easy to miss a part like a nut and then have to back everything out to start again. Make sure you put all the pieces together in the right order first.

Sent from my Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Just to make sure before I buy my elite 5 hdi, there is a way to install without drilling any holes? Does anyone know if there is a video out for this ff?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Mattska wrote:
Just to make sure before I buy my elite 5 hdi, there is a way to install without drilling any holes? Does anyone know if there is a video out for this ff?


The consensus seems to be that you can get away with using the single Hobie through-hull fitting if you are very handy. The trick is to run the Lowrance Power+Data cable from the HDI display head back to your battery, and the transducer cable from ducer to display head. That solves the problem of the "Fat" connector. The remaining issue is fitting all the cables into a Hobie rubber insert and the through-hull fitting. I couldn't make that part work, but others say it can be done. Worst case, a second through-hull fitting makes it easy.

So, you may be able to avoid drilling any new holes, but you'll still need a set of long arms to tighten those backing nuts!

Rest assured tho, the HDI is a *really* great tool, well worth the trouble.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:10 pm 
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GrouchyOldMan wrote:
Mattska wrote:
Just to make sure before I buy my elite 5 hdi, there is a way to install without drilling any holes? Does anyone know if there is a video out for this ff?


The consensus seems to be that you can get away with using the single Hobie through-hull fitting if you are very handy. The trick is to run the Lowrance Power+Data cable from the HDI display head back to your battery, and the transducer cable from ducer to display head. That solves the problem of the "Fat" connector. The remaining issue is fitting all the cables into a Hobie rubber insert and the through-hull fitting. I couldn't make that part work, but others say it can be done. Worst case, a second through-hull fitting makes it easy.

So, you may be able to avoid drilling any new holes, but you'll still need a set of long arms to tighten those backing nuts!

Rest assured tho, the HDI is a *really* great tool, well worth the trouble.


Agree, reaching that backing nut was a huge pain in the ass, I could just get my finger tips there. Find a friend with really long, skinny arms.


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