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Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Old 03-13-2008, 01:18 PM
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Default Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Id be the absolute last person to ever consider a humminbird anything. They have a reputation for making cheesy WalMart style bottom machine with little fishy symbols on them.
That being said I thought Id poll the membership here and see if anyone had used the new side scan thing they have. I have a friend that swears by it and I have seen the images he has taken with it. (apparently you can take snapshots of your bottom view and even load them to your PC.) They are incredible! A respected custom boat builder here in town told me that the Hbird rep gave them a demonstration and they too agreed that this machine was really impressive.

Anyone else?

Im actually considering buying a Humminbird product.
Old 03-13-2008, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

I have it...love it....and wouldn't go back to solely conventional 2D sonar.
Old 03-14-2008, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

We have one on our boat, it works great in 50ft or less of water and 2ft or less seas; however, were planing on taking it off when upgrade the rest of our electronics, since 90% of our fishing is in over 160ft. If you fish inshore or the shallower artificial reefs I would definitely recommend one.
Old 03-14-2008, 02:55 PM
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Default RE: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Funny you should ask. I don't own one and like you normally don't think about Hummingbird as an option. As it happens I was at a Cabelas store a couple of days ago and stumbled across the HBird side scan model running in demo mode. It was definitely impressive - as a demo. Who knows what these things would do offshore though?
Old 03-14-2008, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

I did a sea trial last spring on a boat that had the 997?. Very cool, the owner said the side scan was good up to about 5 knots. It was like looking at a B/W video.
Old 03-14-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

I have a 997 and love it. There is a users group that came up with a file conversion program that let's you convert the record from your side imaging unit, take the card out and play it back like a movie on a pc. It's easy to miss something while the boat was bouncing and the sun was glaring. I use a $60K Klein side scan at work, the hummingbird gives a pretty respectable image.
Old 03-14-2008, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

The fishy images can be turned off so you get normal readings. I like the RTS (real time sonar) when I'm in the 2D mode. The side scanning is great for inshore trolling. I have the 797 with all the Navionics charts & really like it. If I had the room I would have gotten one with a bigger screen though.
Old 03-14-2008, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Love mine. Works great in 50 or less . Offshore it works but it has to be nice . I can mark reef balls off off Oak Island in 85 ft of water . Here is the best thing about the unit. You can scan on both sides of the boat 360 ft away or in 1 direction . You can scale that down if you don't need to cover that much ground . All right this is the great thing. Some body is fishing and you don't want to disturb them or get cussed out by riding beside them to see what they are fishing on or mark the spot. Well just ride beside them a 100 ft away Talk to them as you don't know what is going on . The screen does not show you immediately when it sees something . It comes up slowly so when you are out of hearing range you move the curser ove the picture that has come up . It freezes then run off away from everyone then move the course over the structure in the picture and hit mark. It will mark that spot as if you were sitting on top of it . If it is a wreck you can mark one end to the other with the courser . Coolest thing I've seen and bought for the boat other then the Autotether . Found 4 wrecks that even the local people don't know about. Living at the cape fear mouth to the ocean there is a lot of wrecks to be discovered. The depth finder is a long way from the olds you can split and look at 50 htrz and 200 hrtz on slit screens and the maps are pretty good. The lowrance maps are better though. CJ
Old 03-14-2008, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Interesting. have spoken with some others about it too and they say about the samething. Good in shallowish water, when its calm, at slow speeds. Not sure if Im sold there yet. Anyone else have any input. Im hoping to take a ride with one onboard down the road but for now Im just inquiring a lot.
Old 03-15-2008, 07:08 AM
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Default RE: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Like all electronic products, this sounds at a 'prototype' level. Pushed into production by 'corporate' to recoupe the research and development costs so far. Like "dual core" computer chips, the latest and the greatest. How about an operating system that doesn't crash, freeze, or need to be restarted or restored to operate properly first?

"In-shore only", "50 ft depth", "Calm Seas", "on the slow troll", "Lag time to resolve picture"................in a year or two those restrictions will be worked out and the unit will cost 30% less. Even if it washed down the boat I'd wait on this. Depending on the sales, if the Hummingbird enjoys good interest from the boating community for this technology, Garmin will build a better one.
Old 03-15-2008, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

I use mine in up to 100' of salt water, works great up to 10 mph. The last time out we were looking for structure, I found most of the spots with the sidescan, mark it, then use the 2d bottom machine. I have not had any of the "problems" mentioned.
Old 03-15-2008, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Humminbird's side scan is far from new. Back in the early 90s they had their wide eye & wide one fishfinders that had side scan transducers available. I think I still have one of those old transduces in my garage. They worked well. The newest generation of side scanning keeps getting better and has more detail. I don't see anything buggy like you find with a microsoft product that was rushed to market. I just did the online firmware update for it, so I'm curious about any improvements, but I can't say I was waiting for updates because there were things I did't like. Besides, it's cool to go out the inlet and see fish hanging out near pilings that are 100 feet away.
Old 03-15-2008, 02:22 PM
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Default RE: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Doug's Ambush - 3/15/2008 6:08 AM

Like all electronic products, this sounds at a 'prototype' level. Pushed into production by 'corporate' to recoupe the research and development costs so far. Like "dual core" computer chips, the latest and the greatest. How about an operating system that doesn't crash, freeze, or need to be restarted or restored to operate properly first?

"In-shore only", "50 ft depth", "Calm Seas", "on the slow troll", "Lag time to resolve picture"................in a year or two those restrictions will be worked out and the unit will cost 30% less. Even if it washed down the boat I'd wait on this. Depending on the sales, if the Hummingbird enjoys good interest from the boating community for this technology, Garmin will build a better one.
Doug,
I can see and mark livebottom at 120' 150 feet or more away, thats not in-shore. All SI, even with a towed fish is slow troll, so there is nothing wrong with the Humm operation in that respect. In rough seas, you have to travel into or with the seas or you get a slightly distorted picture due to the xducer hanging off the transom. You see the picture in real time, minus a couple of seconds, its not like its 15 seconds lagging, same as 2D sonar. Its not important to see it in real time because you can freeze the screen, cursor to whatever you want to mark, and then mark it. This isn't new, the 997 is 3rd generation, and Humm is making upgrades constantly, which you get for free by downloading. The 1197 recently came out but I understand its identical to the 997 except for a larger screen. Oh by the way, I've talked with Garmin about the possibility of a SI, and they say they aren't interested. If they were, it wouldn't be affordable to the general populus. I have a Garmin chartplotter on my boat, right beside the Humm, and the Humm is head and shoulders better in respect to sonar, but the Garmin nav is better, so its a tradeoff. I would like to clarify there's nothing wrong with the Humm nav, I've just been a Garmin user for so many years that I'm partial to the Garmin for nav. If you're a diver this is the greatest thing since sliced bread for finding livebottom, ledges and wrecks. I've dove our wrecks for years, so I know the layout and where debris is laying around the wreck. Not only can you see the wreck, but you can see the debris. The first time I used it while in the ICW traveling to the jettie, I met a dolphin, and the SI painted a beautiful picture of the dolphin, could even see the dorsal fin. Another great feature is being able to take snapshots or video while trolling, then playing it back at your leisure and being able to mark coordinates from the video using a nav history file. I would never, ever, go back to traditional sonar. There are 3 websites dedicated to the SI which has tons of great info for prospective buyers. This is the real deal, and its just going to get better.
Old 03-15-2008, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

The bassmasters winner was using a humingbird . That is how he found the trees were he was fishing and he new what coves had structure and ones that didn't . He said this on ESPN . Can see how this can be done . I went over a well know civil war wreck the ELLER for those around the capr fear . Every body said it was in 3 pieces It is a sold wreck. you can see the boiler and the shape of the wreck. Don't know how to load an image but if someone will PM me there address I'll send you the pic and post . Got more photos on the computer 2 .
Old 03-15-2008, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Ranger1 - 3/15/2008 4:22 PM

Doug's Ambush - 3/15/2008 6:08 AM

Like all electronic products, this sounds at a 'prototype' level. Pushed into production by 'corporate' to recoupe the research and development costs so far. Like "dual core" computer chips, the latest and the greatest. How about an operating system that doesn't crash, freeze, or need to be restarted or restored to operate properly first?

"In-shore only", "50 ft depth", "Calm Seas", "on the slow troll", "Lag time to resolve picture"................in a year or two those restrictions will be worked out and the unit will cost 30% less. Even if it washed down the boat I'd wait on this. Depending on the sales, if the Hummingbird enjoys good interest from the boating community for this technology, Garmin will build a better one.
Doug,
I can see and mark livebottom at 120' 150 feet or more away, thats not in-shore. All SI, even with a towed fish is slow troll, so there is nothing wrong with the Humm operation in that respect. In rough seas, you have to travel into or with the seas or you get a slightly distorted picture due to the xducer hanging off the transom. You see the picture in real time, minus a couple of seconds, its not like its 15 seconds lagging, same as 2D sonar. Its not important to see it in real time because you can freeze the screen, cursor to whatever you want to mark, and then mark it. This isn't new, the 997 is 3rd generation, and Humm is making upgrades constantly, which you get for free by downloading. The 1197 recently came out but I understand its identical to the 997 except for a larger screen. Oh by the way, I've talked with Garmin about the possibility of a SI, and they say they aren't interested. If they were, it wouldn't be affordable to the general populus. I have a Garmin chartplotter on my boat, right beside the Humm, and the Humm is head and shoulders better in respect to sonar, but the Garmin nav is better, so its a tradeoff. I would like to clarify there's nothing wrong with the Humm nav, I've just been a Garmin user for so many years that I'm partial to the Garmin for nav. If you're a diver this is the greatest thing since sliced bread for finding livebottom, ledges and wrecks. I've dove our wrecks for years, so I know the layout and where debris is laying around the wreck. Not only can you see the wreck, but you can see the debris. The first time I used it while in the ICW traveling to the jettie, I met a dolphin, and the SI painted a beautiful picture of the dolphin, could even see the dorsal fin. Another great feature is being able to take snapshots or video while trolling, then playing it back at your leisure and being able to mark coordinates from the video using a nav history file. I would never, ever, go back to traditional sonar. There are 3 websites dedicated to the SI which has tons of great info for prospective buyers. This is the real deal, and its just going to get better.
MmmmmK Ranger sounds good, if you say so. I've only had one Hummingbird 2D unit and it failed from water intrusion within the first year and it never did ping back info at a fast speed on plane, never went back as my lingering opinion was as EWFLA's original comment; "Wal-Mart Grade".......................

To be fair though, the HB unit I used was dated back to the early nineties if not the late eighties, and I installed the transducer myself on my Montauk and may have gotten interference from the chine turb. I turned to APLECO/Raytheon for sonar and Loran enjoyed immediate 100% satisfaction and both units have been operating flawlessly since 1995. I keep waiting for my Loran to die so I can swap over to a nice fancy-schmancy GPS NAV/Plotter/FF (but do carry a Garmin GPS Map 76 for safety/redundancy and have been keeping a GPS fix log of all my covert bottom spots). I haven't payed attention to HB's or anyone's tech developement since. I had heard of Side Scan before, but I thought this level of imaging was indeed new. I'm kinda an old fart. I still NAV by Loran C time differences and record bottom as Lat and Long by long hand in a note book and never bother to program those spots as waypoints, I just go to them bracketing the TD's. I don't consider my fish finder a 'fish finder', it's a 'depth recorder' and a 'rock finder'. The unit finds the rocks, the bait finds the fish. Anyhoo, my lay opinion was taken from the comments made in the thread already;

Abib - 3/14/2008 12:48 PM

We have one on our boat, it works great in 50ft or less of water and 2ft or less seas; however, were planing on taking it off when upgrade the rest of our electronics, since 90% of our fishing is in over 160ft. If you fish inshore or the shallower artificial reefs I would definitely recommend one.
FASTFJR - 3/14/2008 6:48 PM

I did a sea trial last spring on a boat that had the 997?. Very cool, the owner said the side scan was good up to about 5 knots. It was like looking at a B/W video.
O'Man - 3/14/2008 9:11 PM

The fishy images can be turned off so you get normal readings. I like the RTS (real time sonar) when I'm in the 2D mode. The side scanning is great for inshore trolling.
galebert - 3/14/2008 10:04 PM

Love mine. Works great in 50 or less . Offshore it works but it has to be nice .
So, based on that, I'm kinda still with EW here;

EWFLA - 3/14/2008 10:55 PM

Interesting. have spoken with some others about it too and they say about the samething. Good in shallowish water, when its calm, at slow speeds. Not sure if Im sold there yet.
Yours sounds a rave review. Do you sell them? Just kidding, if you don't maybe you could or should!

Thanks for the info capt.!



Old 03-16-2008, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Hey Doug,
I don't sell them, but I's shown several divers mine, and that sold a couple. Humm used to be the elcheapo wallyworld fishing equipment, but they've really stepped up to the plate in recent years and are putting out some great equipment. I think they are still primarily a freshwater manufacturer but they have crossed the line into saltwater and are doing a good job. Their primarly marketing, even for the 997 is freshwater, which is really a shame. An acquaintance of mine fishes catfish tournaments, for the big arkansas blues here in SC. He bought one and is astounded at the snags, trees, stumps, etc he finds now with the SI, then is able to mark this structure, nav to it and catch fish. It has paid for itself according to him. You realize I'm referring to shallow rivers and lakes, 40 to 60 feet, but it certainly works out in 120' of saltwater. Before I bought the 997, I only had the Garmin 498, and lots of times when marking livebottom on the 498 it looked real good, we would drop divers in and be very dissapointed in what we had found. Now with the 997 and the 498 operating together when I compare the Garmin to the Humm in 2D, there just isn't any comparison and its no wonder when using the Garmin sonar we dropped in on poor quality livebottom for diving. This unit is like most of our electronics, we only use a fraction of its capability. There is some info out there on another website that refer's to going back to an older model xducer, which is a lower frequency, and its supposed to dramatically increase the range and screen resolution in saltwater. I don't know if its for real, as I haven't seen any snapshots taken with the old vs new xducer for comparison, but I do know I can live with it the way it is. If the old xducer really improves the unit then Humm is doing a poor job of marketing the saltwater side of the unit.
Old 03-16-2008, 06:05 PM
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Default RE: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

Thanks bud, I have to go to Westmarine tomorrow for some incidentals and I'll see if they have one on display in demo mode. I'll do some digging and try to follow the developement of the HB with regard to Salt Water ops.

I suppose if you had a 'real' boat where your electronics are, for all intents and purposes, 'indoors' next to the binnacle you may get away with a unit intended for a less brine environment, but my boat? lol, If it isn't marketed as ' Marine Submersible' it has no chance on my console.

Anyhoo I may consider SI when my APELCO punks out. If nothing else my kids might like the, albeit black and white, 'cartoons'.

Cheers!
Old 03-17-2008, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Hummingbird side scan-The real deal?

What products out there that marine growth want grow on . Mine is in the water every other day . I do not leave my boat in the water , never had a problem with the brine water. I never herd of any transducer that avoids growth in any marine environment . The unit itself is water proof . Wash mine all the time .
Old 03-09-2010, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by galebert View Post
Love mine. Works great in 50 or less . Offshore it works but it has to be nice . I can mark reef balls off off Oak Island in 85 ft of water . Here is the best thing about the unit. You can scan on both sides of the boat 360 ft away or in 1 direction . You can scale that down if you don't need to cover that much ground . All right this is the great thing. Some body is fishing and you don't want to disturb them or get cussed out by riding beside them to see what they are fishing on or mark the spot. Well just ride beside them a 100 ft away Talk to them as you don't know what is going on . The screen does not show you immediately when it sees something . It comes up slowly so when you are out of hearing range you move the curser ove the picture that has come up . It freezes then run off away from everyone then move the course over the structure in the picture and hit mark. It will mark that spot as if you were sitting on top of it . If it is a wreck you can mark one end to the other with the courser . Coolest thing I've seen and bought for the boat other then the Autotether . Found 4 wrecks that even the local people don't know about. Living at the cape fear mouth to the ocean there is a lot of wrecks to be discovered. The depth finder is a long way from the olds you can split and look at 50 htrz and 200 hrtz on slit screens and the maps are pretty good. The lowrance maps are better though. CJ
hey galebert,

I'm thinking about getting a 798 SI. I mainly fish out of beaufort/bogue inlet and would be using the unit to scan the numerous nearshore reefs. I see from your post that you seem happy with your unit. How deep will the side scan perform? My max depth is in the 100-150' range and I have heard that the side scan option will "Wash out" at that depth. Does is produce a good image at the 85' depth range? Thanks for any advice/thoughts/suggestions! I'm just trying to get some opinions before I drop the change!
Old 03-09-2010, 08:01 PM
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It is also useful when trolling. very few people troll their lures more than 150' down even if the water is 2000' deep. With this unit, you can see fish 150' to either side from the surface down to about 150' deep, which is where you are targeting them anyway.
With this unit if you miss the school by 100 feet, you turn into it and the lures go right into the school. Without it, you would never have know there were fish there unless you happen to go directly over them
I bought one in 2005 - they are not new. I loved it. I just bought a newer used boat that has garmin fishfinder.. feels like it is retarded and I am fishing blind

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