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Advice on Best Standalone Fishfinder Upgrade

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Advice on Best Standalone Fishfinder Upgrade

Old 02-21-2021, 09:38 AM
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Default Advice on Best Standalone Fishfinder Upgrade

Hey folks!

I have a 35' Evans Deadrise (Chesapeake-Style) that is currently outfitted with older electronics. I love the GPS and Autopilot that I currently have and they work flawlessly so I'd like to keep them. That being said, my old SI-TEX CVS106MkII has bit the dust and I want to upgrade to a new standalone fish/depth finder.

Current setup is the SI-TEX CVS106MkII Sounder w/Thru-Hull two-function transducer (wide/narrow beam), Garmin GPSMAP 225, and Raymarine ST5000+ Autopilot. GPSMAP and Autopilot are NMEA'd together.

The problem that I'm having is I can't seem to find a good standalone Fishfinder that doesn't come with other options I don't need. I don't need/want a multi-unit; I'd rather just have a good quality, color sounder without GPS, chartplotter, etc. I'm a bit out of touch with the latest and greatest technologies, and speaking to the "help" at West Marine only leads to more dead ends. Topping it all off, it seems that once I find a unit that I somewhat like, I can't find a compatible thru-hull transducer, which is a requirement for my setup.

Any advice on a good standalone fish/depth sounder and compatible thru-hull transducer is highly appreciated! Most of my adventures are limited to the Chesapeake and Pax/Potomac river.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:46 AM
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Look at Simrad S3009 with a B285HW transducer.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by drumminboater View Post
Any advice on a good standalone fish/depth sounder and compatible thru-hull transducer is highly appreciated! Most of my adventures are limited to the Chesapeake and Pax/Potomac river.

Thanks in advance!
How many pins does the transfer have?

furuno FCV588 or smaller 628 if you only have a 600w transducer is still a staple. If you want a wide screen i use a 1971f
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:20 AM
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Look at a Furuno FCV 588 and a B260 transducer... or a thru hull B164,

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Old 02-21-2021, 04:57 PM
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Stand-alone fishfinders exist but are not commonplace and typically priced at or above combo units. I would guess your Sitex is a 120khz unit, so for comparable performance, I would go with a medium band chirp transducer. I would not let the presence of a chart plotter or network functionality cause you not to purchase a particular unit.

If you want to replace your unit with identical, pm me, Iím fairly certain we acquired a 120khz sitex unit during a buyout last week, just canít remember if itís a Mkii or original 106
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:26 PM
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I'll have to take a look at where the transducer cable couples with the long-run cable going to the unit. The end that connects to the transducer wide/narrow beam switch box is 8 pins (7 around the circumference and one in the center), but it also includes pins for the speed sensor wheel.
Old 02-21-2021, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
How many pins does the transfer have?

furuno FCV588 or smaller 628 if you only have a 600w transducer is still a staple. If you want a wide screen i use a 1971f
I'll have to take a look at where the transducer cable couples with the long-run cable going to the unit. The end that connects to the transducer wide/narrow beam switch box is 8 pins (7 around the circumference and one in the center), but it also includes pins for the speed sensor wheel.
Old 02-21-2021, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Max@MaxMarine View Post
Stand-alone fishfinders exist but are not commonplace and typically priced at or above combo units. I would guess your Sitex is a 120khz unit, so for comparable performance, I would go with a medium band chirp transducer. I would not let the presence of a chart plotter or network functionality cause you not to purchase a particular unit.

If you want to replace your unit with identical, pm me, Iím fairly certain we acquired a 120khz sitex unit during a buyout last week, just canít remember if itís a Mkii or original 106
I'd love to replace with the same unit since I really know how to read this unit and it worked extremely well for many years, but I'm not 100% sure that the problem is with the unit - it could just as well be the transducer. It works sporadically, but will sometimes quit reading altogether and autorange doesn't work. I can sometimes dial the gain and range in to make it work, but more often than not, especially in water less than 10ft, the screen goes blank. It only works somewhat when the Wide/Narrow transfer switch is set for a narrow beam. Wide beam gives nothing whatsoever. I've bypassed the switch to test but then nothing works.

Ultimately, it's time for an upgrade with a new unit and transducer.

At this point, I guess I'm comfortable with buying a combo unit, but one that focuses primarily on sonar and just has other features as a bonus.
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:54 PM
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Furuno fcv588 and be done with it. You wonít be disappointed
Old 02-21-2021, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 85okhai View Post
Furuno fcv588 and be done with it. You wonít be disappointed
I've looked at that unit a few times.

Only issue I have is that it looks outdated compared to many of the other models - for example, the image quality is subpar compared to Garmin units that are priced nearly 50% less than the Furuno.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by drumminboater View Post
I've looked at that unit a few times.

Only issue I have is that it looks outdated compared to many of the other models - for example, the image quality is subpar compared to Garmin units that are priced nearly 50% less than the Furuno.
The Garmin Striker Vivid 7 and 9 seem like they might work for you. Pure sonar, no chart plotter but seems to have a good image.

Humminbird has the Helix 5 but the bigger Helix all have a chart plotter built in it seems.

But if you do not mind the chart plotter built in the Helix might be worth looking at.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:35 PM
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Or you could do the fcv1150
Old 02-22-2021, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 85okhai View Post
Or you could do the fcv1150
For the Chesapeake Bay? That unit is for professional deep sea fishing boats... and is very expensive.

At his depths you will get greater detail out of the $600 Striker anyways.

Last edited by GregMachy; 02-22-2021 at 08:02 PM.
Old 02-23-2021, 02:20 AM
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Interesting?
Old 02-23-2021, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by GregMachy View Post
For the Chesapeake Bay? That unit is for professional deep sea fishing boats... and is very expensive.

At his depths you will get greater detail out of the $600 Striker anyways.
Agreed. I don't want to cheap out, but then again, it is a 30 year old boat we're talking about, with most everything original. Eventually I'm sure I'll have to do some overhaul work and that'll likely be the time when I'll spend the big bucks on all-inclusive electronics. For now, I'm just looking for an affordable, solid and reliable sonar to keep me off of the sandbars and spot some fish.
Old 02-23-2021, 05:53 AM
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For the bay you only need a 600w unit. The Furuno FCV628 would be perfect and likely would work excellent with your existing transducer. (assuming you have a dual frequency 50kHz/200kHz transducer.. wide cone 50, narrow cone 200) You may just need an adapter cable or will have to cut and splice a connector.

Furuno still has the best fixed frequency units on the market and you really do not need CHIRP for the bay. I currently have CHIRP but my older fixed frequency Furuno was marked everything the current CHIRP unit does. You may get better clarity with CHIRP but you dont miss any targets with the Fixed frequency Furuno.
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:45 PM
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Both the CHIRP transducer and the CHIRP sonar you are using have some limitations compared to the best. A B175H-W (or B285HW which is the best mounting style for a 35' boat) combined with a sonar both supporting CHIRP and also any fixed frequency within the transducer bandwidth is superior to any 50/200 kHz CW system in the waters the OP will be fishing. The sonar has to use very short pulse lengths to get the best possible resolution. As most of you probably have seen I have documented exceptional performance from such a system. I've been running such setups for 7 seasons.
Old 02-24-2021, 08:49 AM
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Abbor You have posted some nice clean professional screen shots of your system but as a fisherman/charter your images fail to show a lot of things that mean a lot to our fishing, such as difference between bait and game, water breaks, bottom density changes . The screens are often loaded with arches but they are all the same size (only larger as they get deeper per cone size) and same density for the most part. Given the shots you posted, even with a fixed tone system you are fishing that location and not missing that there are fish there on the sonar.

Selecting individual frequencies isnt a big deal to me. I much prefer to run in full auto fishing mode and get the info I need so I can focus on other things than adjusting the sounder for good performance. Gain is about all I want to adjust quickly at times. We generally only fishing less than 120' of water on suspended fish mostly. The OP is local to me and wants to keep his current transducer per his original post. I know the fishing he is interested in.

Don't get me wrong CHIRP offers better clarity of the return. However I dont think it gives an advantage and not worth spending tons more money for the technology when it can be spent on other things that will actually improve the fishing game (better radar, stabilizing binoculars, higher quality fishing gear, etc.). From an old thread: CHIRP vs Fixed Frequency
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
Look at Simrad S3009 with a B285HW transducer.
The S2009 might be an option too. Straight sonar with networking ability. CHIRP and a nice tall screen for roughly $1K.
Old 02-24-2021, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
Abbor You have posted some nice clean professional screen shots of your system but as a fisherman/charter your images fail to show a lot of things that mean a lot to our fishing, such as difference between bait and game, water breaks, bottom density changes . The screens are often loaded with arches but they are all the same size (only larger as they get deeper per cone size) and same density for the most part. Given the shots you posted, even with a fixed tone system you are fishing that location and not missing that there are fish there on the sonar.

Selecting individual frequencies isnt a big deal to me. I much prefer to run in full auto fishing mode and get the info I need so I can focus on other things than adjusting the sounder for good performance. Gain is about all I want to adjust quickly at times. We generally only fishing less than 120' of water on suspended fish mostly. The OP is local to me and wants to keep his current transducer per his original post. I know the fishing he is interested in.

Don't get me wrong CHIRP offers better clarity of the return. However I dont think it gives an advantage and not worth spending tons more money for the technology when it can be spent on other things that will actually improve the fishing game (better radar, stabilizing binoculars, higher quality fishing gear, etc.). From an old thread: CHIRP vs Fixed Frequency
This is pretty accurate. I had a Furuno TZT2 on my boat and added a Hummingbird Helix. The Helix was pretty much only for side scan in shallower water. I used the Furuno most of the time for down scan.

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