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Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

Old 10-11-2008, 10:22 AM
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Default Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

Give me some opinions please I'm replacing a Garmin 160 that I bought off Ebay and got screwed on. Bought it last winter, powered it up after recieving it but never put the boat in the water until 6 months later only to find out it needs a new transducer so I think.

Looking for a new combo and trying to make my mind up on one of these three. I have heard not so good things about Garmin bottom units so I'm not to sure about them. I have a Garmin e-trex and a Garmin 176so I'm a lot more familiar with the Garmin lines than I am with the Lowrance. I can pick the Lowrance up at Boaters World for $600 but I'll still need a transducer for it. A local Garmin dealer has the 540 newly factory overhauled units for $600 which is about $300 off the price of a new one. He's also got the 498 factory overhauled for $475 about a $100 off what he was selling them for when they were discontinued. Both the Garmins come with the normal factory 1 year warranty. I would rather go with the Garmin units to get more bang for my buck but I don't want to be left with a POS. These are going to be used in Saltwater inshore and an occasional near shore.

One of the guys I fish with has the 540 and complained quite a bit about the sounder part of the unit and told me to stay away from them until I followed him back from the landing one trip and I pointed out that his transducer wasn't mounted perfectly level. He had never checked it before and it was mounted at the dealer angled out to the starboard side. Once he corrected that little problem I haven't heard him complain about it again but I have heard others complain about their Garmins.

I'm don't want to get screwed again what are your thoughts
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

Jim at BOE has the Lowrance 527C IGPS W/ TM DF transducer, internal GPS antenna for $646 and free shipping.

He has the Garmin 520S DF transducer and built in antenna for $646 with free shipping.

Choose a unit you like and get a map chip that works for you. Jim at BOE.com is very knowledgeable and would be my choice
even if his price was slightly higher.





Steve
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

boe.com is pulling up financial stuff, sure its boe


Nevermind found it on the board, boemarine.com
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

http://www.byownerelectronics.com/store/home.php is the correct site. I bought my lowrance lms 520c, transducer, radar, network , and fuel flow sensor from him, great service. One thing I would add is that I am planning on adding a second display, lowrance x515c df, so that I can have chart and radar up at same time along with giving me a stronger sounder and dual frequency. The lms 520 c comes with the transducer and gps antenna along with the network backbone. Very easy to install. I like the garmin stuff except it uses allot of space inside the boat and I didn't have enough room for all of it.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

Bush Hawg, Got in a hurry sorry for the confusion.


Steve
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

Here is a pic of the lms520 installed on a ram.



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Old 10-12-2008, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

lorenbennet, I am using the RAM swing arm double stacked with two heads, lower LCX 26CHD for gps and the upper LCX 25C for sonar.
This enables me to rotate the top unit towards the bow so I can see the sonar screen while fishing there. My boat was lacking a good
place to mount electronics similar to yours. The RAM mount isn't pretty but it works very well.



Steve
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:39 AM
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Default RE: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

If you can find a Garmin 498c, I think you'll find it to be a good combo unit and it would likely be the best deal. Lowrance has some really good prices too.

I have a review of the Garmin 545s posted here: http://www.marine-electronics-review...rmin-545s.html
Is is basically the same machine as the 540 sans the screen resolution. The report should give you a good overview of the unit.

You'll also find a full review of the Garmin 498c here: http://www.marine-electronics-review...rmin-498c.html

The Lowrance has higher screen resolution when compared to these two units. I have not tested the exact model you listed but have reviewed the LMS-522C DF and will be posting a review on this one soon. If you want to see it now send me an email or contact me through the website and I'll try to get it to you.

I think screen resolution is a very important component on these small screen combo units. There is so much detail to see when you split screen with a fishfinder and map page you need all the pixels you can get.

Since some combo units come with a transducer, cartography, etc. and some don't make sure you compare prices for whatever total package of gear you're looking for.

In my humble opinion, the difference between a Garmin combo sounder and any other brand of combo unit sounder you might get will not be noticeable in the environment you'll be using the unit.

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Old 10-12-2008, 08:38 AM
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Default RE: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

The screen resolution is why I went with lowrance. After going to boatersworld and westmarine to look at display models I settled on the 520c. Budget and function were major issues for me. Also ease of installation and setup was very nice. Did it all myself. As I read every review I could find, I still needed to get my hands on them to check them out. The lowrance unit is very bright even in direct sunlight. You can see from my pics that I choose to install it as close to my face as I could so as not needing a larger display. PS research took over a year before deciding. ;?
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

I started this tread lead more towards getting the Garmin, I was about to pull the trigger on the 540 today but now seems I'll get more bang for my buck with the better resolution from the Lowrance. I mainly chase after Trout, Reds, Cobia, and shrimp. I'll be looking for bottom structure and finding shrimp pods on the depthfinder. Dual frequency will not be needed as the deepest waters I'll see will be around 75'.

I know with the Garmins I won't need to buy any extra maps, I already have the blue chart for the 498 in my 176 and the newer ones come preloaded with what I need. How about the Lowrance do they come with detailed preloaded maps?
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

They do come with a base map that is not bad, I did buy the fishing hot maps and also the California offshore map for cruising offshore. My suggestion is to go to the lowrance site and look at the maps that are available and see if that will suit you. The base map has allot of info including most lakes and roads including most marine facilities. Like anything once you get it you will find yourself adding stuff as you go. I added the radar and fuel flow after I bought the main unit. (can you say tax return) Again the best way to compare the maps is looking at both units running in a store in demo mode and compare.
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

jenkinsph - 10/11/2008 10:15 AM

Jim at BOE has the Lowrance 527C IGPS W/ TM DF transducer, internal GPS antenna for $646 and free shipping.

He has the Garmin 520S DF transducer and built in antenna for $646 with free shipping.

Choose a unit you like and get a map chip that works for you. Jim at BOE.com is very knowledgeable and would be my choice
even if his price was slightly higher.





Steve


When I put these two units up as examples I tried to pick units with basic mapping to make an
apples to apples comparison. I think you can get both units with single frequency transducers
if you don't wan't the dual frequency upgrades. If you already have mapping for the Garmin
that may be an important factor.

I can tell you my observation that for inland use the Lowrance LCX 28CHD has excellent
mapping for the entire continental US. I fish mostly in New Mexico which isn't the most popular
place for boating and the detail of the lakes is better on my base map than on the Navionics
South chip in most cases. If I am on a popular lake then the chip provides more info such as
contour lines ect. When I bought the LCX 26C HD I was starting from scratch and had few map
choices to choose from and has worked out very well. A year later I bought the LCX25C with
the base map and use it for a separate sonar screen primarily, and as a backup gps. The newer
LCX28CHD has a slightly brighter screen and 30 gb hard drive as opposed to mine with 20 gb.




Steve
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

Went by Bass Pro today and checked out the units. I'm back sold on the Garmin, better mapping and based off the simulator I could tell alot of difference in the 2 on sonar.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Lowrance 520c / Garmin 540s / Garmin 498c

If you can find a 498, go with that. Decent sounder, the Bluechart G2s are built in, and for the $$$, you can't beat it.
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