The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum

Go Back   The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Marine Electronics Forum
Search

Notices

Random Quote: No matter where you go there you are
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-12-2013, 11:19 AM
  #1    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Westville, KZN, South Africa
Posts: 453
Default Lowrance Elite-7 HDI - First Impressions

The Elite 7 is a quite a nice range 'filler', where it incorporates conventional 2D sonar (200/83kHz) with high frequency (455/800kHz) DownScan Imaging. This is a good idea, because until now you would have had to go all the way to the HDS range, or buy two seperate Elite displays in order to get the benefit of both technologies. For all the specs and marketing details you can visit the Lowrance website.

The first thing I thought when I bought the unit was "Why not include the suncover and the transducer in the box as a single one time purchase?"



The Elite-7 is a great looking display and just feels like a high end quality device. The screen is the same wide format as the HDS7 Touch with a full 7" display and not just 6.4" like the HDS7 Gen1 and Gen2. The only sad thing is ... still no EXIT button!



The back of the display is very simple and has the standard plugs like the HDS and HDS Touch units, but remember there is no sonar sharing due to the lack of an Ethernet network. You can however network to other Elite7 and HDS models to share GPS receiver and Waypoints. And once again a quality look and feel to the device is very pleasing.



Fitting the transducer was an absolute dream because I already had the skimmer bracket fitted to my boat, so I simply removed the HST-WSBL and bolted the new Elite-7 transducer straight to it. In hindsight I should have just slid the DSI transducer off and slid the Elite7 straight on because it is exactly the same slide on mounting. I do however need to re-arrange the transducer brackets so they can all fit better. Thank goodness for my transom saver block.



The power up time of the unit is quite long, but the brightness and vibrant colours of the screen when it starts up, hit you with quite a blow. I found the same thing when I got my first Touch unit, very sharp and vibrant colours when compared to the older HDS Gen 1 & 2. The resolution of this unit is fantastic, at 800x480 compared to the older HDS7 units of only 640x480, it makes a huge difference.



It took some time to acquire position the first time it started up, but seemed to be a bit quicker after that. I then popped my micro SD card with the local LCM (Lowrance Chart Maps) of Inanda Dam in, and was shocked to see how quick they loaded and did not cause the unit to crash. This is a major pain in the rear with the new Touch units at the moment, but hopefully will be sorted out soon enough. The contours are fine and the text is sharp, the only problem is that you can't zoom in close enough. An extra two zoom levels are required at least.




The page menu is also greatly improved from the Elite-5 range, offering a host of new options.




I have been nagging Lowrance for a 3-way vertical split since the first HDS came out. So when the Touch came out with this option I was over the moon, and now the Elite7 has it too! But hold on, the Elite7 has something the Touch does not ... you can adjust these 3 vertical panels to suite your application - just awesome. I look forward to the Touch getting this option.




The result is more chart room, and a little less for the two sonar panels. The wide format of the 7" screen and the extra horizontal pixels make this a great option.






Then it was time to put the Elite-7 up against the HDS9 Touch with StructureScanHD and see how the DownScan compares.

Elite-7 HDI



HDS9 Touch


Pretty close in my oppinion, but still nothing like the good old LSS-1, still the best DownScan I have ever seen, especially on 800kHz.

The target seperation on fish holding tight to standing timber is also VERY good on this Elite-7 HDI, as seen in this screenshot. Without DownScan you would have been hard pressed to identify that arc in the 200kHz as a fish and not another brach.




I only bought this unit this morning, and got to fit it and try it out this afternoon for the first time, so I'm sure there will be a lot more to find out about this unit - but for now ... I love it!
__________________
Fisherman's Guide to Sonar by John Easton www.fishtec.co.za
Fishton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 01:54 PM
  #2    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miami
Posts: 443
Default

Great review, thanks.
istriker22 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 02-12-2013, 03:16 PM
  #3    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: georgetown/charleston
Posts: 459
Default

nice.. keep us posted with how it goes and how u like it.
ive been pretty set on a new hds7 touch. but its always an option.
sc_shark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 03:40 AM
  #4    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Westville, KZN, South Africa
Posts: 453
Default

I think a LOT of bass anglers will go with an HDS Touch at the console, then network to the Elite-7 on the bow.
__________________
Fisherman's Guide to Sonar by John Easton www.fishtec.co.za
Fishton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 09:05 AM
  #5    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Palm Beach County
Posts: 1,569
Default

Really nice. how does this unit compares to the HDS-5 Gen2? I mean other than size. Can this one do structure scan? Networking engine data? Checking if I should upgrade. Tks.
Pioneer180 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 09:12 AM
  #6    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 6,275
Default

Had a look at Elite-7 HDI at a shop today, impressive unit for the price. I tried the rescaling of three vertical windows which my HDS-7 Touch can't do.

With the simulated data I got much better DownScan results using the brown scale palette compared to the blue.

HDS-5 has since the introduction been the best selling combo unit over here, I'm quite sure Elite-7 will take over that position. For those with a limited budget looking for one unit doing everything Elite-7 is a perfect match. Half the screen for charts, the rest split between 2D sounder and DownScan.
abbor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 09:15 AM
  #7    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Westville, KZN, South Africa
Posts: 453
Default

No SideScan
No Engine Data
No SonicHub
No Sonar Networking
No StructureMap
__________________
Fisherman's Guide to Sonar by John Easton www.fishtec.co.za
Fishton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 09:30 AM
  #8    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,044
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishton View Post
No SideScan
No Engine Data
No SonicHub
No Sonar Networking
No StructureMap
With a lot of the nos on the sharing, why would bass anglers stick one up front since you can't network it with the one in the back?
stiletto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 09:44 AM
  #9    
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 13
Default

NMEA 2K to share GPS source and Waypoints
mduncan62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 10:40 AM
  #10    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Westville, KZN, South Africa
Posts: 453
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
With a lot of the nos on the sharing, why would bass anglers stick one up front since you can't network it with the one in the back?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mduncan62 View Post
NMEA 2K to share GPS source and Waypoints


Plus you still going to have 200/83 and 455/800 DSI off the trolling motor.
__________________
Fisherman's Guide to Sonar by John Easton www.fishtec.co.za
Fishton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 11:26 AM
  #11    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Palm Beach County
Posts: 1,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishton View Post
No SideScan
No Engine Data
No SonicHub
No Sonar Networking
No StructureMap
Ouch! Thanks. I already use 3 middle ones of those 5.
Pioneer180 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 12:30 PM
  #12    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,044
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishton View Post


Plus you still going to have 200/83 and 455/800 DSI off the trolling motor.
Is there a benefit to having a second transducer on the trolling motor instead of sharing the same sonar data? I can see benefit to sharing the same data with 2 anglers, one at each screen. Sorry for my bassfishing ignorance!
stiletto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 01:55 PM
  #13    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OBX
Posts: 1,093
Default

when shooting down, especially in shallow-ish waters, you want to know what's at the bow and not 17-20 ft behind you.
__________________
2004 McKee Craft Marathon 196cc
stowaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 07:19 PM
  #14    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Westville, KZN, South Africa
Posts: 453
Default

+1
Fishton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 08:01 AM
  #15    
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Default

Just a heads up for those of us with the Navionics Gold cards that came with these units earlier this year. When you signed up with Navionics there was a 1 year free update program for the card but as of now (Aug 2013) those cards are no longer supported by Navionics and the update process does not work. Bit of a disappointment but the chip still works and my latest update was the end of March so should be pretty well set at least for a while. Over $200 for the newest Gold chip though
Jerry Anton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 11:19 PM
  #16    
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Corpus Christi TX
Posts: 62
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Anton View Post
Just a heads up for those of us with the Navionics Gold cards that came with these units earlier this year. When you signed up with Navionics there was a 1 year free update program for the card but as of now (Aug 2013) those cards are no longer supported by Navionics and the update process does not work. Bit of a disappointment but the chip still works and my latest update was the end of March so should be pretty well set at least for a while. Over $200 for the newest Gold chip though
That's lame. Mines less than 2 weeks old and I had not even tried to update it yet.
To make things worse I have an elite 5 gold in the box for another boat.
lazyP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 07:27 PM
  #17    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: georgetown/charleston
Posts: 459
Default

their hasnt been any recent updates on my navionics gold chat yet.. the whole navionics chat is a crap shoot.. its so wrong its almost funny. ive crossed areas in my bay it shows as islands and at low tide im in 9-10feet of water. glad i dont rely on the chat for much but marking way points.

i have done 1 update on my elite7 at this point. but havnt bothered with it much with it to notice a change.

i really wish their was a way to import waypoints to my elite7..
sc_shark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2014, 09:54 AM
  #18    
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: FROZEN TUNDRA - Titletown- Green Bay
Posts: 220
Default

Fishton, thank you for the excellent review.
I am contemplating purchasing an Elite 7. To be used primarily as a companion unit to an HDS5 Gen 2 on my salmon boat (Lake Michigan) and possibly as a stand along unit on my walleye boat.
Now that you've had more time to use it, what are your thoughts on the Elite 7 now?
Tundra Troller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2014, 10:55 AM
  #19    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Jacksonville, Al
Posts: 141
Default

Great review!
I have the HDS GEN 2 and structurescan module and LSS-2 and I'm pretty content with it and have had no problems at all with my setup for the past few years.

If I upgrade, all I need to buy is the Lowrance Elite-7 CHIRP Fishfinder/Chartplotter Gold Combo - No Transducer. According to the Elite manual, these units CHIRP will work with any of the 50/200 or 83/200 t/m xdcr's. So all the CHIRP technology lies withing the MFD and not the xdcr. Althought I could upgrade to the 50/200 HDI t/m for a little better 3d picture.

If I can find someone to buy my HDS GEN 2 unit (no accessories) and my old LMS 337 cd df I have I'd almost pay nothing for the Elite 7 lol I can get it now for $566
__________________
Greg @ Anniston Marine
Trynhooker
1997 Trophy 2002WA
'99 Yamaha SX150TXRX
Trynhooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2014, 11:04 AM
  #20    
Admirals Club
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,113
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trynhooker View Post
If I can find someone to buy my HDS GEN 2 unit (no accessories) and my old LMS 337 cd df I have I'd almost pay nothing for the Elite 7 lol I can get it now for $566
Here are Elite 7 HDI refurbs for $479 shipped:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/parts-fo...-specials.html
__________________

MARINE ELECTRONICS- TRANSDUCERS SALES
PM me or Email: travis.g@sbcglobal.net 1-800-925-0341
Feel free to contact me for any help & assistance. ...Gil Travis

VISIT MY FORUM for SALES & SPECIALS plus FYI TOPICS:
http://www.thehulltruth.com/semperfifishing-135/
semperfifishing is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 



©2009 TheHullTruth.com

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0