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 Post subject: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 4
This summer I bought a new PA12 and it came equipped with a Lowrance Elite 4 dsi sonar. I really enjoy the kayak but the sonar unit is problematic for me. First off, I am used to seeing potential fish with the fish symbol or the arch image. This I can not get with this sonar unit. Secondly, the fish images are extremely small on the screen (not much more then a pinhead)! Why is this?

I contacted Lowrance but didn't find them very helpful at all. I usually just troll for Lake Trout in 30-80 feet of water. These are bottom dwelling fish often in the three to eight pound range yet I cannot really find them with this sonar! I pick up schools of bait fish okay and would in the past often see trout following these schools.

Any ideas about the sonar images?


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 Post subject: Re: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2094
Location: High Point, NC
It's a fairly new technology and will require time to mature. Also, these units do not have an auto-depth capability. So if you are set for say, 50 feet depths, and are in 25 feet of water, you only have half the screen working, unlike the standard units where the image enlarges to fill the screen at any depth. Thus, the image is tiny compared.

No doubt you've also noticed that the black background creates a terrible glare problem. I fashioned a hood to fit over my unit and it helps somewhat, but it's still not anywhere as easy to see and use as the more traditional units are.

However, when it's good, it's real good. The images are quite good, if you can get your nose close enough to view them.


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 Post subject: Re: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:33 am
Posts: 22
Location: Lakeshore, Ontario
This is the biggest reason that I switched to Humminbird 2 years ago. Their units show both the structure scan (Down Imaging) and traditional sonar in the same view. I remember the first time I used that specific veiw on Lake Michigan. There were big arcs of Salmon on the Sonar and a tiny dot on my Down Image.

I have found the Down Imaging most useful for seeing the type of structure on bottom.

The reason that fish are dots is that the Structure Scan or Down Imaging is only a slice thru the water where the sonar beam is a cone. If you look in any Humminbird manual that has the DI, it is explained very well.

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 Post subject: Re: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 4
Thank you both for your replies. I guess am am a bit wiser after your comments but what a disappointment the Lowrance DSI sonar is. I don't think most folks need extreme detail of the structure just that the structure is there. It is the potential fish hit that I am after like my Hummingbird sonar gave me. This Lowrance sonar is lacking. Also, why Hobie installs this type of sonar unit in its PAs beats me.


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 Post subject: Re: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:21 am
Posts: 62
Location: Portland, Oregon
newer units have the auto-depth feature. I don't know if you can update the software, but it would be worth contacting Lowrance. I had a unit replaced under warranty and the new unit came with auto-depth ranging.

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 Post subject: Re: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 4
I will inquire about the software upgrade even though they never mentioned that when I was talking to Lowrance. On an aside issue, I did post a reply to the other two responders but it doesn't appear on the forum. Shouldn't my replies appear there with other comments like yours? I can't even see where or how to contact the moderator to ask this question!


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 Post subject: Re: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 pm
Posts: 169
Location: vero beach, fl
im extremely surprised you are having trouble with the unit. i have been running lowrance units for 8 years on multiple craft and have always found them some of the most user-friendly. from the big HDS multi-use head units down to the little elite series. im not as familiar with the elite 4 series, but the systems should be basically the same.
the reason you dont see a little picture of a 'fish' or an 'arc' is basically because this is a 21st century machine. the DSI imaging should show as accurate picture of an actual fish, as can be seen. (the 4" screen and 320x240 res are big factors, though).
a school of bait should--in the best conditions, look like individual fish, and your large fish--trout or whatever it was, should look as much like a trout as possible. but, just as with any electronics, the best images are something to reach for, and may not be the every day results. i hate to say it, but it is the truth. the more time you spend with the unit, the more you will learn to 'read' the images. if you just want little fish pictures, you do indeed have a macbook air, when you wanted an etchasketch.
as far as firmware updates, check http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Software- ... re-Update/ from time to time.

cheers.
drew

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 Post subject: Re: lowrance sonar
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 4
Thx for your comments Drew. I will keep working with the unit next year (my lakes are now ice covered) and learn the new imagery.

E


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