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Lowrance GPS Detailed Maps Available?

Old 01-31-2011, 02:03 PM
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Default Lowrance GPS Detailed Maps Available?

I have a recently acquired Lowrance LCX-18C GPS. This is a discontinued unit. It came with the "MapCreate" Series 6 CD, the LEI MMC/SD Card Reader, and a MMC/SD Card (though there is room for two in the unit).

The unit was previously used primarily in Florida. The map it has for my area has very little detail. I fish primarily inshore saltwater to freshwater with the boat it is mounted on- I'd like to have some detail all the way up to the upper lakes down to the coastal areas-



This is the area I fish mostly. My old dead Garmin unit would stop showing map detail about halfway to Moncks Corner on the Cooper River, which was really inconvenient while fishing at night. But I also fish out at Edisto Beach occasionally.

I went to the Lowrance website and tried to update my card with the update software, but it's telling me I don't have Java Runtime on my computer, which I just downloaded.

Basically- I'm wondering if there is a MMC/SD card or download available which will give me more map detail in my area. This is what I'm getting now-


No, I don't have an airboat

Thanks everyone
Old 01-31-2011, 02:27 PM
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I believe that the Navionics Gold series charts will be your best bet, but will be fairly expensive. Their better Platinum charts are not supported by your unit.

I'm not certain, but I don't think just updating the firmware will get you any increased map detail.
Old 01-31-2011, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for the Replies

Originally Posted by tcm View Post

Still a fine sonar.
So... are you saying it's not a good GPS?

I've never heard of Navionics. I checked out their website, and my unit is compatible with some stuff-



I'm thinking that the lakes chip might serve me further inland?? What does the 3XG and FISH-G mean? And what are the differences between the cards (GOLD-XG, FISH'NCHIP, CLASSIC, HOTMAP, ETC). Maybe I should just give them a call.

Thanks again
Old 01-31-2011, 05:54 PM
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For the marine areas, I'd bet a NauticPath chart chip will work. It works on every Lowrance with a SD slot I've tried. They have quit making them, but you can do a search on eBay and still buy one. For just over $100 you get the entire US coastal area, with nautical chart detail as good as anyone else's charts - a MUCH better deal than Navionics, if all you want is the charts. You'd probably have to get a seperate chip for the lakes/inland areas, but I think that's true of almost every maker's chips.
Old 01-31-2011, 06:31 PM
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That's interesting. I've tried NauticPath charts in a Lowrance LCX-26C, several iFinder H2O handhelds - color and B & W, a LMS 525 and an Eagle Fish Elite 480. The same chips worked in all of them, so I had assumed they were probably all compatible. I did get one NauticPath chip that didn't work in either of two H2O units, but by swapping the chips between the units I determined the chip was defective. I sent the chip back and the new chip I received as a replacement worked in both units.

So the NauticPath chip works in the new HDS units? That's good to know. I'm kind of surprised because the HDS wasn't made until after they quit making the NauticPath chips, right?
Old 01-31-2011, 07:13 PM
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Thumbs up NauticPath charts

Originally Posted by tcm View Post
Navionics doesn't like to hear this but the NauticPath card is just as good as the Navionics Gold.
And it could be bought new for around $70.
You are absolutely right about that and it is amazing how few people know it. The NauticPath Charts are exactly the same as the Garmin charts - both on cards or preloaded, and have the same detail as the chart cards for Standard Horizon/Navman, too. I've run my H2O side by side against a Garmin 172C, 178C and 498, as well as a Standard Horizon CP150 and a NavMan 5100. The bottom soundings, coutour markings, areas where the chart coverage stops, etc. are exactly the same on all of them. For the price and coverage, the NauticPath kicks butt on every one of them.

As a matter of fact, I recently bought an extra H2O and NauticPath card for it as a backup to my first one, because they are discontinuing the NauticPath cards and I think the H2O, too. There is nothing in handhelds that compares to that combination, especially for the price, in my opinion.
Old 02-01-2011, 03:14 PM
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So - Lamen's Question -

Say I was searching on EBAY/elsewhere for a discontinued NauticPath card compatible with my unit, how would I differentiate between the new and old cards?

I ask because when I searched for Navionics cards, I got so many returns and it was very confusing.

Thanks guys
Old 02-01-2011, 04:35 PM
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Marsh Mallowe,
I just went looking on the Lowrance site to see if your plotter was compatible with NauticPath. Here's what they listed:
NauticPath™ USA Marine Electronic Charts are compatible with AirMap® 1000, AirMap® 2000C, AirMap® 500, GlobalMap® 3300C, GlobalMap® 3500C, GlobalMap® 3600C iGPS, GlobalMap® 4000M, GlobalMap® 4800M, GlobalMap® 4900M, GlobalMap® 5200C, GlobalMap® 5300C iGPS, GlobalMap® 5500C, GlobalMap® 6500C, GlobalMap® 7200C, GlobalMap® 7500C, GlobalMap® 8200C, GlobalMap® 9200C, iFINDER Expedition™ C, iFINDER Explorer®, iFINDER® H2O, iFINDER® H2O C, iFINDER® Hunt, iFINDER® Hunt C, iFINDER® Map&Music, iFINDER® PhD, iFINDER® Pro, LCX-110C, LCX-112C, LCX-20C, LCX-25C, LCX-27C, LCX-37C, LMS-330C, LMS-332C, LMS-334C iGPS, LMS-335C DF, LMS-337C DF, LMS-339C DF iGPS, LMS-520C, LMS-522C iGPS, LMS-525C DF, and LMS-527C DF iGPS. Products may, however, require a free software upgrade.

The listing comes from this site:
http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/...uthicPath-USA/

I'm sorry if I mislead you. I thought I had a better solution for you, but it now appears the NauticPath charts will probably not work with your unit.

As for what TCM said about a pre-2004 version of NauticPath, I had never heard of that until yesterday. So, maybe he has something there. All I can go by is what worked for me and the listing on the Lowrance website. I will note TCM said NauticP:ath worked on his HDS unit and that's NOT on the list above - so you never know.

The NauticPath literature I got with my chart card, which says copyright 2006, states that it will work with "select" 2004 and newer Lowrance units, then refers you to the Lowrance site, where I got that list above.

Wish I could give you something more positive. Good luck with getting something to work.

One last alternative: It won't help you with the LCX 18, but right now Bass Pro Shops is selling the Eagle Fish Elite 480 for $209. It is a 5 inch screen Black and White chartplotter/sonar that DOES work with current NauticPath cards (I've tried it). This is a very good deal if you were content with a B & W unit. You could still use your LCX 18 for the color sonar and use the Fish Elite as a full screen 5 inch B & W chartplotter.

Sorry, that's about the best I can suggest.
Old 02-01-2011, 05:55 PM
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This whole thing is getting a little hard to decipher. TCM's link says the LCX-18 WILL read NauticPath. The link I gave doesn't include the LCX-18, but does include the LCX-20 - the very next model, I think. We think the list I gave is all post 2004, so the LCX - 18 wouldn't be on it anyway. Then there is supposedly the difference in NauticPath charts made before and after 2004, but the NauticPath info I've seen makes no such distinction.
My guess would be since the link to the LCX-18 itself says it will read NauticPath, then the NauticPath will work. But, there is really no way to know before you get the card and put in in the unit.
By the way, the Fish Elite 480 I have doesn't say it will take the NauticPath chart, either, but it reads it fine. I think the 480 is old enough to be on the list, too.
Old 02-01-2011, 06:11 PM
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If you click on the last link TCM provided, scroll down the page and click on the link to the software updates for the LCX-18, it says "What changes are made in this update?
Fixed problem with the MMC reader not reading older Lowrance formatted cards"

So even if you got a newer NauticPath chart and the LCX-18 couldn't read it, the software patch might allow it to read the newer card. However, it may be you can't load and run the software patch because your computer won't run a program from 2004. ;?
Old 02-01-2011, 07:40 PM
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Its worth a shot to try the NauticPath (I've used mine in my iFinder H2O, LCX 26 and now both of my HDS's. Love it. Get one off ebay. If it doesn't work, sell it on ebay. You'll only be out shipping.
Old 02-02-2011, 11:40 AM
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why would you intentionally buy a 5 year old chart? And TCM is correct, I would absolutely argue that there is no comparison when compared to Navionics, especially when matched against 4-5 year old discontinued technology.

Just in case you think I'm just pulling a sales job...

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2006/0...k_problem.html

I'm always surprised that so many satisfied users missed this "minor" content oversight. There are other differences which have been noted here on THT.

Why skimp trying to save $100 considering your investment, and the fact that the quality of the chart has a LOT to do with keeping that investment safe?

Your LCX-18 will run the MSD/16XG-2 just fine. It covers the entire East Coast and is eligible for free updates for a year from registration.

Really though...I'm pretty surprised that some users here on THT would advise you buy a discontinued chart product that is about 5 years out of date. It's a CHART guys. All other issues aside, I would think EVERY boater would be best advised to own a current chart, no matter who makes it.
Old 02-02-2011, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tcm View Post
Calm down!
Old 02-02-2011, 06:23 PM
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Well, I don't know about that rock, wherever it is, or whether it isn't showing because someone turned off the feature (as one of the commenters suggests). What I DO know is I have run boats for the past 6 years using NauticPath, both doing ecotours in the FL Keys and running graduate students to the Barrier Islands of VA's Eastern shore. I've had the Lowrance H2O running NauticPath in my hand while running different boats with Garmin 172C, 178C, 498C and 440 chartplotters mounted on the dash. Every detail of the charts on the NauticPath is exactly the same as on the Garmins. Of course I don't sell Navionics charts for a living.
Old 02-02-2011, 06:49 PM
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I have Navionics for my iPhone and haven't noticed any differences in charting between the Navionics and Nauticpath for Tampa Bay or the Keys.

Also, I checked the link Jeff gave. That link explains that the rocks actually do exist on the NauticPath (Jeff, did you even read your own link?) but the original poster had his machine set up wrong. Just to make sure, I checked my NauticPath chip. Sure enough, all the rocks were there. I guess "6 year old" data isn't so bad after all.

Last edited by G8RDave; 02-02-2011 at 07:05 PM.
Old 02-02-2011, 08:20 PM
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Marsh--I don't know anything about the Lowrance mapping software, but I do know the exact "dead spot" area you are talking about on the Cooper River between Moncks Corner and North Charleston. I have it on my new Garmin 6208 with a 2010 G2 Vision chips (and the built in charts), and I also had it on my Northstar Explorer 660 with a C‑Map NT MAX chip for the Charleston area.

My reason for telling you this is that both of those chips use NOAA maps as a basis for coverage. If whatever chart you are looking for also uses NOAA maps, there won't be any coverage with them either. As far as I know, there are no NOAA maps past the area of the Tees, and up the Cooper River West Branch and into the lake.The closest I have come with coverage near there is the Garmin Inland Lakes chip and the older Fishing Hotspots (for Garmin only) that shows some detail on the Tail Race Canal and into lake Moultrie. The rest of the route is a vague outline of water (with none, sparse, or just plain incorrect depth readings) that when traveling it, often places your course lines on land and in the rice fields!

Good luck.
Old 02-03-2011, 10:31 AM
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Marsh, I just looked at the area you are talking about. Both NauticPath and Navionics have a blank section just north of the swing bridge. But, Navionics picks up about 1.5 miles north of that and runs all the way to the lake. NauticPath does not pick up again. Go to Navionics.com and download their maps for your computer ($25). That way you'll know exactly what it offers.
Old 02-03-2011, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff@Navionics View Post
why would you intentionally buy a 5 year old chart? And TCM is correct, I would absolutely argue that there is no comparison when compared to Navionics, especially when matched against 4-5 year old discontinued technology.


Why skimp trying to save $100 considering your investment, and the fact that the quality of the chart has a LOT to do with keeping that investment safe?
$100 is still a lot of money to a lot of people. Not every boater here has the money to run out and buy a new HDS10 with all the fixings and a couple of Navionics Platinum cards to go with it.

Your attitude has really put me off from wanting to purchase any Navionics products in the future.
Old 02-03-2011, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff@Navionics View Post

Your LCX-18 will run the MSD/16XG-2 just fine. It covers the entire East Coast and is eligible for free updates for a year from registration.
The information I've gathered, along with the Navionics compatibility chart tells me to go with a MSD/16XG-3. ??

Originally Posted by G8RDave View Post
Marsh, I just looked at the area you are talking about. Both NauticPath and Navionics have a blank section just north of the swing bridge. But, Navionics picks up about 1.5 miles north of that and runs all the way to the lake. NauticPath does not pick up again. Go to Navionics.com and download their maps for your computer ($25). That way you'll know exactly what it offers.

The indescribably generous gentlemen (ClassicAquasport Moderator) who flat out gave me this functioning unit actually sent me some screen shots of the areas I'm interested in. I see clearly the area of the swing bridge and upriver- thats from the Navionics card. I honestly never knew a GPS could plot so much detail. I'm pretty excited


Thanks Guys- This whole thing has been confusing, but turns out the easiest thing to do was call Navionics . Considering I never knew either Navionics or NauticPath even existed prior to this thread, you all have been a great help.
Old 02-03-2011, 04:55 PM
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Good luck Marsh Mallowe,
I was trying to tell you about a really good inexpensive marine chart (NauticPath). But I have no idea how far inland NauticPath charts go, as I haven't used them in inland areas.
Joe is giving you some very useful information about coverage in the area you navigate and G8RDave has given you some good advice about loading the charts onto your computer to see what the coverage is.
The other thing I could suggest is to go to your local electronics dealer and ask if he will let you look at the chart on a display in the shop. Don't know if they'd do that, but it's worth a try. You might have to buy one chart for inland areas and a different one for the coast. Try to find out exactly what you'll need before you start buying charts. The charts can easily run $150 each and if you are navigating in both inland and coastal areas, you'll need at least 2. That's why I like NauticPath so much - one $100 card does the whole U.S. coastal area.
Good luck with whatever you do.
dboyd351

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