View Full Version : Lowrance HDS 7

10-12-2009, 10:54 AM
Thinking about buying a new Lowrance HDS 7 Graph/Fishfinder. Does anyone know if this is a good unit. Thanks in advance Retired.

old sea ranger
10-12-2009, 11:56 AM
Great unit but wait. It will soon have side finding

10-13-2009, 02:04 AM
Thanks for the info. But I think the side view is just a change in the transducer. I may be wrong on that. I found the HDS-7 on the internat for alittle over $ 1.000 plus no sales tax. So I want to buy before the tax law changes. Retired

old sea ranger
10-13-2009, 07:07 AM
Fishermans Warehouse has no sales tax sales. You get to take your unit in for free software upgrades. You need this once a year.

10-13-2009, 11:57 AM
I've read good things about the unit when it is working, but pray you don't ever need customer service from Lowrance. Read some user reviews about the HDS on basspro. It might even be a good idea to buy the unit from basspro because they have a good return policy.

Full Monte
10-14-2009, 05:56 AM
I have one. Used it this season. Works very well. I just wish I could understand all the menus and submenus. You can download any software updates from the Lowrance site without taking it into a store. I wish I could figure out how to make the depth numbers larger on the screen.

10-14-2009, 07:43 AM
I have one.*... ...* I wish I could figure out how to make the depth numbers larger on the screen.

I had the same problem so I brought mine in FW Manteca and was instructed how to use it.
You have a FW in San Jose so I'd recommend bringing your unit in and have them show you....it's a free service ;).

10-14-2009, 10:41 AM
I have the HDS7 myself. So far It's been what I expected and in some ways better. You do have to study the manual or get experienced advice if you want to undstand all the menus and adjustments. The image clarity is great so far. The Structure Scan is an add on to the standard unit. No need to wait to buy the unit. It consists of an additional transducer and a black box all connected by ethernet. Easy as far as I can tell. I can tell you that calling the customer service number can be frustrating due to long hold times but they answer fairly quickly by email. Some of the early units had a problem with water intrusion due to a manufacturing problem but those have supposedly been corrected. I would make sure whoever you buy the unit from is easy to get a hold of in case you have warranty issues or tech questions. I had some issues when I first put mine in but those ended up being installation issues and user error. The unit restarted every time I started the boat. I put in a dedicated circuit and that problem was solved. I also didn't know to press the exit button when the unit first started up to show you current postion on the nav chart. It kept showing me in my driveway where I powered up the unit for the first time. I also didn't know that if you push the menu button twice you get a different menu. That's when I found the rest of the settings I was looking for.

On a side note. Don't be fooled by the extra wide cone angles/coverage they boast. It turns out there is a technical difference between cone angle and coverage are. The terms get used in an inconsistent manner as well. I'll put the link in for the whole document but the main points are as follows.

Cone angle = the area where the sonar return is within -3db.
When operating in the 200 kHz frequency the cone angle is 20. When operating in 83 kHz the cone angle is in the range of 40-44.

Coverage area = area where fish can be detected. If the sensitivity is turned up enough the unit will be able to detect fish ouside the cone angle.
The field of view for each frequency is 60 for the 200 kHz and 120 for the 83 kHz.This means that the fish detection angle is 60 even though the cone angle is only 20 and 120 even though the cone angle is only 40-44

I can post up links to more in depth info if anyone would like me to. This one is fairly short.

http://primus.lowrance.com/support/resultDisplay.do?gotoLink=627&docType=1000&context Id=363%3A627.778%2C33.140%2C564.778&clusterName=Cl usterPublic&lang=english&docset=%2FDocuments%2FSon ar&contentId=79c880d5-35aa-453d-bae8-8c20bbedd9ce&responseId=135ccbe2cfd4f608%3A1fe88d% 3A1245531b905%3Ace7&groupId=4&answerGroup=10&score =789&page=http%3A%2F%2Fprimus.lowrance.com%2Ficr%2 FSonar%2FDualSearch.htm&result=26&excerpt=When+ope rating+in+83+kHz+the+cone+angle+is+in+the+range+of +40-44%26amp%3B%23xba%3B.+The+field+of+view+for+each+f requency+is+60%26amp%3B%23xba%3B+for+the+200+kHz+a nd+120%26amp%3B%23xba%3B+for+the+83+kHz.&question= cone+angles&resultType=5000#Goto627

10-14-2009, 11:09 AM
This post should be moved to the marine electronics forum

10-14-2009, 11:32 AM
I have one.* Used it this season.* Works very well.* I just wish I could understand all the menus and submenus.* You can download any software updates from the Lowrance site without taking it into a store.* I wish I could figure out how to make the depth numbers larger on the screen.

I'm trying to remember what I did. I remember having to have the sonar on the left if you're using a split screen. I think what you're looking for is called Data Overlay. There will be 4 size options. Start looking on page 12 of the owners manual. The size is mentioned on page14. If that isn't what you're looking for I'll put my unit back on the boat and take a look for myself and get back to you.

The Manual

10-15-2009, 03:05 AM
Thanks for all the info. My old unit is LC 17 and I still do not know all the different stuff it will do. But I still want a new color graph. I am one of those people that hate reading a manuel. Retired.

10-15-2009, 09:36 AM
This is my first color fish finder and it's way easier to see especially in the daylight. From what I hear the LCX17 is a good unit but color is nice.

Once you get the HDS unit set up the first time you shouldn't have to do much except use it. It's fairly easy to change what's being displayed and if you're just using the fish finder it's pretty much the same as most other fish finders. You'll want a couple of trips to get used to it like any new toy.

10-15-2009, 10:25 PM
Great unit but wait. It will soon have side finding

This is wrong!* Structure Scan will be available soon, but as a 'Black Box add-on and the cost is +/- $600. I can find nothing at Navico that indicates this is going to be an integral part of the HDS units. Maybe the next production run, but they're not committing. I hope they do better with Structure Scan than they did with Broadband as a black box.

BFWIW....If the wallet can stand it, get the 8 or 10. You have the soft-key advantage and I think you'll like that. And by all means, order your unit without a transducer, then upgrade to an Airmar. You might as well get the entire Out-Of-Body sonar experience :D

But to answer your question.......YES, they are great units.


10-16-2009, 05:53 AM
Thanks for the info. Were do you get the Airmar transducer ? Retired