Marine Electronics Forum - Opinions of Raymarine FF track history? Thinking about their new CHIRP system

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wugubob
03-23-2012, 11:49 AM
I do a lot of deep saltwater fishing and have tried Garmin (non-chirp), Lowrance HDS, and now have a Furuno 585. Out of all them, Furuno is by far the best as far as me believing what I see on the screen.

Was thinking about the new CHIRP systems and saw the new Raymarine MFDs yesterday. Looked nice. Was wondering if you have any opinions about Raymarine's past history in FF quality. Don't want to put $5K+ in a system and later regret it.

Thanks for any opinions.


Pez Vela
03-23-2012, 12:28 PM
My experience has been that the quality of Raymarine's DSM300G black box sounder module (in use on my boat for going on 4 years) is excellent when it is working properly. Whether it works properly or not depends (among other things) upon which MFD it is connected to, and whether the software interface between them is any good. I purchased the newly released C120W MFD along with the sounder module in early 2009, and it wasn't until early 2011 that Raymarine released its final software updates to solve the interface problems which plagued my set-up. So then, for nearly 2 years, I operated the FF in the beta version of their software. During this time, the units were both returned to Manchester several times, and the original sounder module was eventually replaced. While hardware problems were suspected in many of these units (and were apparently common) the bottom line (pun intended) was that there were software glitches that needed to be fixed. I do not intend to pick on Raymarine, because I'm of the impression that my experience is not uncommon in the world of marine electronics. I have come to believe that early adopters of new products and technology in the marine electronics field need to be prepared for a few bumps in the road.

rarebreed
03-23-2012, 12:59 PM
I have a gen 1 C120, DSM 250, coupled to a B256 1KW ducer. I installed the system in the fall of '04 and it still impresses me to this day. I have been fortunate to not have had any of the DSM problems. I would definitely recommend raymarine sounders to anyone.
Maclin


The Hat Island Pirate
03-23-2012, 01:25 PM
I do a lot of deep saltwater fishing and have tried Garmin (non-chirp), Lowrance HDS, and now have a Furuno 585. Out of all them, Furuno is by far the best as far as me believing what I see on the screen.

Was thinking about the new CHIRP systems and saw the new Raymarine MFDs yesterday. Looked nice. Was wondering if you have any opinions about Raymarine's past history in FF quality. Don't want to put $5K+ in a system and later regret it.

Thanks for any opinions.

Ask your self the following questions;
I am no longer happy with my Furuno 585 because of ? (Product failure, screen size ect..)
I am no longer locating and catching fish.
Will spending 5K help you catch more fish or would it be more beneficial to put that money into the fuel tank and maximize the use of your current equipment to its full potential (better transducer, use of all features included with current equipment).

I am personally holding off on CHIRP as I think in the next couple of years the technology will get better and less expensive with more options for the consumer to choose from. I currently have an E80 with a DSM 300 and a Garmin 4212 with a GSD22. The Furuno DFF1 is what the DSM 300 is to Raymarine. The DFF1 and the Furuno 585 have all the same features except that 585 is a stand alone fish finder.

semperfifishing
03-23-2012, 01:42 PM
I do a lot of deep saltwater fishing and have tried Garmin (non-chirp), Lowrance HDS, and now have a Furuno 585. Out of all them, Furuno is by far the best as far as me believing what I see on the screen.

Was thinking about the new CHIRP systems and saw the new Raymarine MFDs yesterday. Looked nice. Was wondering if you have any opinions about Raymarine's past history in FF quality. Don't want to put $5K+ in a system and later regret it.

Thanks for any opinions.

How deep do you fish and what transducer are you now using on your FCV585?

wugubob
03-23-2012, 02:27 PM
How deep do you fish and what transducer are you now using on your FCV585?

I'll either fish at around 400-500 feet for certain snappers which the Furuno 585+TM260 I have now works well at.

But when those snappers aren't around, I have to go for deeper red snappers who live around 700+ feet so typical drop is around 750-850 feet. At those depths, I feel that the Furuno 585 is at its limits as far as actually marking fish (showing bottom is no problem).

Hoping CHIRP might help in that situation as finding fish can be time consuming at those depths.

hiroshi808
03-23-2012, 03:35 PM
I do that type of fishing as well, do you mind sharing some pictures on your furuno 585 at 400-500ft with fish marks?

I have the same set up as well.. Trying to tune it

Maybe a 295 would be good! Maybe hold off on chirp for couple of years, until the prices reduces.

The Hat Island Pirate
03-23-2012, 04:32 PM
Fishing at depths below 300 feet I will generally use the bottom lock mode or use the zoom mode to focus in on the water column I am fishing. I use a TM260 for bottom fishing in 500 plus feet and do not have a problem marking fish on the bottom as long as I do what I mentioned above. I figured this out one time fishing off the coast of Washington in 800' of water and the range on my FF was set at 1000'. I was not marking anything on the screen until I started zooming in on areas of the water column I was interested in. The deeper you go, the width and height of the pixels (screen resolution; the more pixels the better) on the screen increase in numerical value. As an example lets say If at 100' depth the width and height of a pixel is worth 2'W x 1'H then it could be assumed at 1000' they could equal 20'W x 10'H. It would take an extremely large target to be noticeable on the screen at 1000' unless you use the zoom or bottom lock functions. You will still have to use the same functions if it is a CHIRP or non CHIRP system.

The Hat Island Pirate
03-23-2012, 06:37 PM
Something else came to mind that I like to use is a feature called color gain (Raymarine) or as Furuno calls it color erase. It gives you control over how target colors are represented on the screen. You can use this feature to dial out the weaker signals (color) when manually turning up the gain. On a dark blue screen, white (weakest signal) which is usually background noise along with light blue, then green and onto the stronger signals (colors) which are darker in color (yellow,brown and reds). When you choose this function a color bar will usually appear on the screen showing the colors that are represented depending on what color of screen background you are using. I use a dark blue screen and will crank the gain up until I start to see a white/ light blue background noise then use the color gain (erase) to slowly diminish the appearance of the background noise thus getting the maximum signal into the water with minimal distortion. This has never affected my ability to locate bait balls. You do not want to abuse this to much as to wipe out the stronger (dark) signals. I find this very helpful when fishing deep depths.

PS; Garmin finally added a color gain (erase) feature on their new GSD24 and GSD26.

wugubob
03-23-2012, 09:34 PM
Thanks, I always use the bottom lock feature. That said, maybe it is better if I waited to see what Furuno's supposed stand alone CHIRP turns out to be.

The Hat Island Pirate
03-23-2012, 11:39 PM
Wugubob, according to the Furuno website they have CHIRP in development but have not given a release date. You have an excellent FF and transducer set up. There are guys on this forum who have Garmin products that they use as chartplotters and radars, but buy the Furuno 620 or 585 to use as a stand alone fishfinder. So that has to say something about the Furuno 585. When you go to sell your 585, I do not think you will have much of a problem.LOL



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