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northstar 951xd,any good?

Old 10-15-2008, 02:46 PM
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Default northstar 951xd,any good?

i recently bought a 27'eastern with an older northstar 951xd chartplotter.anybody familliar with this unit?any opinions would be appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: northstar 951xd,any good?

old a little slow but over all a very good unit ...may need to be updated
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: northstar 951xd,any good?

I had one for over 10 years.... great unit but it needs something (new mother board?) to take the new Large navionics chip. The update costs about 300$... which is not worth it to me... I just picked up a 952xd that is alot better because of color and is already capable of taking the Large chart (You can find a 952x or xd for around 600$). Back in the day it was the best. Navtronics in York can update the software for you if you gps isnt running right. It needs the 4.20 software. Has something to do with the satillites The 952xd i just got needed the update, Prob....why I got it so cheap.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: northstar 951xd,any good?

I had the 951 for 10 years, just replaced it with a Garmin 4208 last month. Good unit, I still use it as a back-up. You do need to get the software update - Northstar lists all their dealers by geographic area, and many of them can do it - I found a guy who did it for $35, Northstar wanted $75, as I recall, and had a 3 week turnaround. The reason for the update is that the unit only is programmed to look for 32 satellites, and number 33 was launched this spring, so the unit gets confused, and only sporadically gets a satellite fix when #33 is in view.

No color, but not a big deal for me. My major complaints (I fish, don't cruise), was that you had to scroll through all the waypoints to get to the one you wanted (can't search by name), and the closest you can zoom in is about 130' per inch on the screen, which is not good for someone who fishes wrecks. The Garmin, even the old ones, zoom in to about 20-30' per inch of screen.

If you decide to get rid of it, do the software update and sell it on ebay - they still are very popular.
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: northstar 951xd,any good?

i asked the former owner if he had trouble with satelite lock on.he said not at all.noticed though that the unit has an old version chip in it.which i'm assuming, has not been updated to accept the newer larger maps.which if this is the case, is 350.00 to have performed.in your opinion,is it worth it?i fish small humps,not wrecks,so thats not really a problem.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: northstar 951xd,any good?

I used the sonar and maps to identify the small humps I fish - never thought about the Northstar for that, but I do have the chip which is 10 years old, so it may not have much detail. At 130' per inch of screen, I don't know how useful it would be with a new chip anyway. You may be able to get a better idea at their website, or at a boatshow, or at a dealer who has the new chip.

You will likely have a problem with the new satellite. Mine just lost the signal for less than a minute at first (only when the satellite was in view - which for me in NJ only happened every few weeks). Then later in the summer, it lost the signal for an hour or more - I talked to Nortstar, and they said the reaction of the unit to the new satellite was fairly unpredictable. If you go offshore, I would carry a backup GPS if you don't have the upgrade.
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