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Old 11-23-2010, 09:58 AM
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Default Lowrance DSI - First Impressions

This is what Lowrance / Navico say about their product:-
With the incredible new standalone Elite-5 DSI imaging fishfinder with chartplotter, you’re equipped with a technologically new way to look at finding -- and fishing -- hot spots…clearly… precisely…and especially affordably.

Picture-Perfect Fishfinding
Exclusive Lowrance DownScan Imaging™ innovation displays crystal-clear photo-like views of the underwater worlds below the boat. No interpretation needed to see:

Thermoclines Exposed – clearly see the boundary layer between the lower cooler water and, upper warmer, oxygen-rich zone where fish hangFish Truly Revealed – Elite-5 DSI imaging leaves nothing to the imagination, clearly showing predator fish and baitfish schools Bottoms Uncovered – you easily distinguish between hard and soft bottoms, as well as fish and structure on/near the bottom Structure Disclosed – with photo-like views you can recognize all manner of structure at a glance, like bridge pilings, laydowns, ledges, drop-offs, vegetation, wrecks; no interpretation needed

Dual 455/800 kHz Coverage
Selectable 455 kHz sounding for wider and deeper sonar imaging coverage, with 800 kHz for enhanced viewing of targeted locations.

More Power (and Depth and Speed) to You
Elite-5 DSI fishfinders transmit 4,000W peak-to-peak/500W RMS power with recently-tested depths* to 200 ft./61 m, and impressive bottom readings at boat speeds up to 40 mph. Optimum imaging speed of 8 mph and under.

Advanced Transducer
Slim new low-profile, high-speed, transom-mount, 455/800 kHz Skimmer® DSI imaging transducer with exclusive down-looking crystal and built-in temp sensor, and trolling motor-mount bracket option.

Precision GPS Position Accuracy
Internal, front-mounted, high-sensitivity 16-channel GPS antenna for superior navigation guidance, even when mounted in-dash. External antenna option available.

Multiple Map/Chart Options
Waterproof microSD media card slot accepts the most up-to-date mapcard options including Fishing Hot Spots® Pro USA and LakeMaster® in the U.S., and Navionics® Gold worldwide.

Viewing Brilliance
Higher-resolution 5 in./12.7, 480x480 pixel SolarMAX™ 256-color TFT displays deliver unmatched viewing brightness and detail at wider angles and bright sunlight. Adjustable fluorescent cold-cathode backlit screen and keypad for low-light or night angling.

Pick Your Favorite Color
Expanded sonar imaging display color palette choices offers optimum viewing for personal preference and water/light conditions.

Full Automatic or Manual
Elite-5 DSI is so advanced it’s easy to use, with automatic fine-tuning for the best sonar imaging picture possible after power-up. Advanced User Mode for full manual control of settings.

TrackBack™ Into Sonar History
Enjoy immediate scroll-back of imaging sonar history to review covered water and pinpoint spots (saves time and fuel trying to re-trace your path). With Elite-5 DSI, mark a waypoint at your cursor location with a simple press of a button.

Easy to Install and Use
Unique new keypad and quick-release bracket design offers easy installation, plus one-hand viewing adjustment, operation at-speed, and removal/reinstall.

Interface Beauty
Simplified menu with text and icons for faster and easier selections.
DISPLAY Display Size 5 in 127 mm
Display Resolution 480x480 (H x W)
Display Type 256-color SolarMAX™ TFT
Backlighting Fluorescent cold cathode
Backlighting Levels Adjustable screen/keypad
Languages Supported 23

Sonar Frequency 455/800 kHz
Transducer Type Exclusive Lowrance dedicated Skimmer® DSI imaging transducer; high-speed, low-profile with built-in water surface temperature sensor; transom or trolling-motor mounting
Sonar Output Power Max Peak-To-Peak 4,000 W / RMS 500 W
Sonar Depth Max 250 ft 76 m
Sonar Imaging Speed Up to 40 mph/64 kph tracking bottom (pre-release prototypical)
Optimum imaging <8 mph/<14 kph
Sonar Alarms: Fish, Max and Min Depth Yes
Depth Alarm Yes
Shallow Alarm Yes
Temperature Display Yes

GPS Antenna Type Internal high-sensitivity WAAS + EGNOS + MSAS (optional external antenna)
GPS Receiver Channels 16 channels
Background Map World reference basemap or (U.S. models) over 3,000 enhanced lake maps with depth contour and shoreline detail, plus coastal shoreline detail with offshore depth contours to 1,000 ft./305 m and spot depth soundings
Custom Mapping – (DrDepth)
Optional microSD media card format:
Navionics® Gold (U.S. & worldwide)
Waypoint Storage 3000
Routes 100
Plot Trails 100 retraceable plot trails/up to 10,000 points per trail
NETWORKING / CONNECTORS NMEA Output NMEA 0183 TECHNICAL / ENVIRONMENTAL OTHER Unique TrackBack™ feature offers immediate scroll-back to review multiple pages of sonar imaging history with cursor, plus mark/save waypoints to GPS memory for display and future return.

FishTec Review:-

I set the unit up next to an Elite-5 on a universal RAM mount.

The transducer* is small, neat and easy to mount anywhere. *This will be very popular amongst kayak and fishingski owners.

The first test I did was the “2lb Tennis Ball Test”. See this link –

The 2lb Tennis Ball Test


DSI:- On both 455 & 800kHz the dot / ball is clearly visible.

Bass hanging around some timber – DSI:-

Large Tree – DSI:-

Same tree on 200/83kHz:-

Several Palettes:-

Another large tree in deep water:-


Bass on top of sunken boat:-

Same as above with 83/200kHz:-

Brushpile on 83/200kHz:-

Same Brushpile on DSI:-

Create waypoint from DownScan Image:-

Chart/DSI Page with Waypoint and DrDepth Chart:-

Lowrance Elite-5 & Elite-5 DSI:-


The DSI is easy to install, simple to use with a quick four page selection and a dual frequency 455/800kHz split screen. This is a very unique feature not found on any other high frequency Imager. It enables you to view the wide coverage of the 455Khz and the more detailed target separation of the 800kHz on the same page.
I found it very easy to identify not only the structure, but the fish in and around the structure. This will make it extremely popular among anglers that want to spend more time fishing and less time fiddling with their electronics.

In fact, I found the DSI to be so effective, that I would be more than happy using the DSI on its own without the 83/200kHz conventional sonar next to it if I had to.
Quick and accurate waypoint capture is a breeze, allowing you to save your data to a micro SD card to view and backup on your PC later.

The high definition FishTec charts created with DrDepth load super fast with no lagging whatsoever and are bright and easy to read.

As far as price goes we do not have a figure, but if one had to follow the U.S sites and compare it to the latest prices being offered by Lowrance SA – we are all in for a very pleasant surprise.

So if the HDS with LSS-1 is not within your financial reach right now, but you still want the fish finding abilities of a true down looking high frequency life like imager at an affordable price, then the Lowrance DSI range is the perfect choice.

Availability – Early 2011
John Easton - Fishermans Guide to Sonar II

Last edited by Fishton; 11-23-2010 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:42 PM
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I hope to see a software change for the rest of us enableing us to split window and see 455/800 kHz DSI on our current units.
Capt. Ken Lahr
Reel Draggin' Tackle
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel Draggin' Tackle View Post
I hope to see a software change for the rest of us enableing us to split window and see 455/800 kHz DSI on our current units.
I doubt there will be an update to turn the Mark and Elite units into DSI units. there is more to it than simple software, its a completely different transducer as well.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:18 PM
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I gave it a try offshore this last weekend and was very impressed with its ability to differentiate between the different sizes of fish as well as its high speed abilities.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:23 PM
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When the video first started, I was wondering why mount the HDS at the bow, then about midway through I realized it was on a jetski. Made sense then.

My first vision was some poor guy hanging on at the bow trying to run the video without getting bounced off the bow.....
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:09 AM
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Default Elite 5 DSI Sonar Logging

Hello Fishton,

Can you please inform me about the Sonar Logging functionality of the new Elite 5 DSI system?
I'am very interested in this Elite 5 DSI system but I can not find the right information about the specific functionality called Sonar Logging.
I would really like to know if it is possible to save all the collected sonar data to the MicroSD card, so that this data later can be transferred to my computer.
When it is possible to transfer the collected sonar data from the Elite 5 DSI system to my computer, I'll be able to generate 3D depth charts with the program Dr. Depth.


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Old 06-11-2011, 10:12 AM
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I was on the water with a buddy who just purchased one of these units from West Marine.

The GPS portion was great.

The sonar portion, not so good. Ill go so far as to say it is either defective, or possibly installed incorrectly.

It showed depth just fine at all speeds. However the picture looked basically just like snow. A few dots along the bottom portion of the screen with no solid line or the likes to indicate where the bottom was.

We were in depths from say 10-50 feet.

When compared to the display/test mode screen were no where near that.

Thoughts? The trouble shooting guide is sparse and my Buddy feels there is limited programming that could muff it up this badly.

Thank You

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Old 06-12-2011, 10:58 AM
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Any chance of a couple of photos of the transducer setup Tommy?
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:58 AM
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And unfortunately there is no Sonar Logging John.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishton View Post
Any chance of a couple of photos of the transducer setup Tommy?
Ill see what I can do tonight.... heading over to my buds for one last shot at trouble shooting before calling Lawrance.

Ill try to get some screen shots of what I'm trying to describe.

I hope some how it's a display/color issue. By that I mean to say if the tranducer "see's" bottom
Wish us luck!
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:41 PM
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Default Lowrance DSI

I am too checking out my new DSI unit this spring. I am pretty impressed as compared to the 83/200 units. First problem I had was transducer location, but moved it and now can register depths at any speed. Still working on contrast and depth window settings. I guess that will come with practice. Fish arches are very small and hard to see even when zoomed in and on a drift. Only problem I have now with the DSI unit is that it loses bottom because of turbulence or when the crystal momentarily comes out of the water. Unit will not re-acquire unless I power off the unit and power back on. Even tried coming to a full stop. That did not work either. This could become a real PITA!
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:32 AM
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Thumbs down

I bought the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI last fall and have the following comments. The Chartplotter/GPS part works great. I really like the ability to mark a spot and return to it with precision. However, the high definition scan part is a big disappointment. I have yet to see any structure. Recently, I was in a heavily below water tree stump area and they did not even show up. Forget using this is a fishfinder. Mine simply does not work. I believe I have installed this product correctly even though there is virtually no operating instructions. What was Lowrance thinking?
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:35 AM
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I have had the Elite 5 DSI Gold for about 1 month now. I agree the manuals that come with the unit are CRAP and only discuss basic functions. However, there are plenty of support documents that can be downloaded from the Lowrance site. There is even a manual for proper transducer mounting and flush mounting the unit.

The unit was easy to install for me for two reasons: 1) I already had a Humminbird model on it from the previous owner and 2) Sea Pro has plastic flex for conduit for cabling and wires. So, install was almost a breeze. The tranducer is closer to the prop than I want, but it does not affect function except at high speeds...Makes it a little fuzzy on the surface.

After install, I programmed the thing for 20' or less for some inshore fishing. The programming was fairly straight forward, and the emulator on the Lowrance site was good to play with, but the unit was the same straight forward with the menus. I still want to touch the screen to make things work, but that is a product of the equipment at work.

Once tweaked out with the prescribed info in the other downloadable manual, the unit worked great right out of the box for shallow salt water. I then started some off-shore fishing trips going 3, 5, 9, 12 miles off shore, and I reprogrammed it for deep sea settings. Once you program the navigation a couple of times, it's easy. The hardest thing to do is get to a destination and remember to cancel nav before trying to program in a return waypoint. I even programmed in a ROUTE that worked supurb - It's not a lot of work if you keep your center of channel points as waypoints.

I really like the navigation screen and the alarms - Fantastic. The nav again is like my work - If you fly planes, this is like an eHSI with bearing and course. Even nav off the chart works well. The first two trips were odd since the nav didn't bring me over the structure - 80' tug and a 180' oil resupply ship. I have since learned that the MBT Diving coordinates are crap and done by the local folks to get people off the structures. I now run off the Florida and Alabama Reef Guide produced by the state. However, the DSI made short work of crappy coordinates. A quick rescue search pattern and found the tug. The 80' tug was so small in the 75' of water, but looked like a scuttled tug. However, the 180' resupply ship looked like a ghost ship in 92' of water - Perfect image. The mast was at 60', and you could see a perfect image from 60-90' - unbelievable. Anyway, parked right next to the ship, and fished away. For those struggling with the DSI, doenload the manual online...It talks you through the settings based unpon about 9 senarios of water type, depth, ect.

This unit has been perfect for this years Snapper season. I do like the Humminbird capability with the traditional sonar and DSI with ease of use, but the map issue and the Humminbird salt water issues. I went with the Lowrance, and the menus and such get better in a few short trips. Super pleased with the Gold and off-shore. The detail of the lakes is another issue - bit dissapointing. Anyway, there is not one catch all in this game! For $619 for the Elite 5 DSI Gold, you really can't go wrong.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:16 PM
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Great info here. One thing that I can't find or get a confirmation. I am about to install and noticed their is a optional speed sensor. Does this unit not tell you how fast you are going?

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Old 07-29-2012, 07:38 AM
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The built in GPS will tell you your speed naturally.

But if you had to buy the Elite4x for example (no gps) then a little paddle connected to the NMEA port will give you speed over ground. (SOG)
John Easton - Fishermans Guide to Sonar II
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:11 AM
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Ah ok. Thanks. I thought that, but was wondering why they ad that optional speed sensor. How accurate is he speed off the gps?
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:48 AM
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Any updates on personal experience with this unit?

Gander Mountain has it listed at $399 for Black Friday. It appears to include the 455/800 kHz transducer. Their list is $599; Amazon currently has it at $556; Cabelas $499.

The Amazon reviews are marginal - similar to discussed above, most agree the instructions are incomplete at best. Some people have trouble getting it to read on sonar, but perhaps that is due to the lack of instructions as well.

Amazon Amazon
Looking for a small, simple unit for my skiff, mostly for finding structure for freediving.

Alternatively West Marine has the Garmin 441s on sale at $350 (regularly $540) plus $70-125 for transducer.

One consideration is I would need to remove the unit from my boat for storage (theft prevention). How robust are the Lowrance cables and connectors for regular removal?

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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Do they have a thru hull or shoot through hull transducer.. i hate having screw holes in my transom!

1973 MAKO 20

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Old 03-21-2013, 07:23 AM
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Can you tell me what you made the plate out of that you mounted the two units too? I have a Fish Easy 320C & the Elite 5 DSI. Would like to mount them side by side on one ram mount.

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:48 AM
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My wife's old poly chopping board.
John Easton - Fishermans Guide to Sonar II
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