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Your Thoughts Lowrance HDS-7?

Old 08-19-2011, 05:45 PM
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Default Your Thoughts Lowrance HDS-7?

Wanting to purchase a new chartplotter/fishfinder for my new boat, wondering what anyone has to offer on this unit, all feedback appreciated.
http://www.lowrance.com/Products/Mar...-Chartplotter/
Old 08-19-2011, 05:55 PM
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Go for biggest display you have room for/can afford. I got the HDS-10 and love it!!
Old 08-19-2011, 05:57 PM
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If money is not too high a concern, checkout the Simrad NSE and NSS series. NSS is physically like the HDS product housings, but has touch screen. Wish I could've waited, I may have gone with Simrad....they are both Navico brands.
Old 08-19-2011, 06:02 PM
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Can you also have either one or the other on the screen, for instance just view the chartplotter or just view the finder?
Old 08-19-2011, 06:46 PM
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On the HDS, you can have one mode take over the whole screen, or you can have two vertical panels with any combo of modes, and there's even an option for moving the splitter between the panels, and I think the latest bios update even adds an option for 3 panels, 2 on the first row, and a full width 3rd panel on the 2nd row.

I too am looking at the HDS series. Torn on the HDS7. Seems like almost $280 extra just for 2" extra of screen and still no shortcut buttons across the bottom. I don't think there's any other improvement on the HDS7 over the HDS5. The only other plus of the larger HDS10 that I know of is just the extra buttons at the bottom but then that is too much $$$$ for what I really need.
Old 08-19-2011, 06:50 PM
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I agree that almost 300.00 is not worth the two extra inches, i am also considering the 5'. These are nice because they are radar capable later on.
Old 08-19-2011, 07:08 PM
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I have the HDS7, big difference in screen size from the 5, look at them side by side, worth the extra $300.
The built in insight USA chartography is great.
Old 08-20-2011, 05:33 AM
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The size difference between HDS-5 and HDS-7 screens are not 2", but 1,4". HDS-7 has a 6,4" screen.

HDS-8 is my preferred model of the HDS range, 8,4" screen with the same resolution as HDS-10, 800x600. Function buttons below the screen and two SD slots.
Old 08-20-2011, 07:08 AM
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I guess it just depends on what it's being used for.

I just have a hard time justifying an extra 3" of screen for an HDS8 and some buttons for over TWICE the cost of an HDS5. For that I one could buy TWO HDS5's and have them side by side. Shortcut buttons would be nice though......

I notice on fishing boats, one is usually standing farther away and so there is definitely a benefit to having a larger screen. I'm just doing this for a bow rider and most times I'm using it, I'll be sitting right in front of it and it will be right there.

I've looked into the A57D, and that's tempting, with the $450 rebate, basically a 6.5" screen with shortcut buttons for basically the same price as an HDS5. But it seems like it's an old model with an older, only 256color screen.
Old 08-20-2011, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by happyfirst View Post
I guess it just depends on what it's being used for.

I just have a hard time justifying an extra 3" of screen for an HDS8 and some buttons for over TWICE the cost of an HDS5. For that I one could buy TWO HDS5's and have them side by side. Shortcut buttons would be nice though......

I notice on fishing boats, one is usually standing farther away and so there is definitely a benefit to having a larger screen. I'm just doing this for a bow rider and most times I'm using it, I'll be sitting right in front of it and it will be right there.

I've looked into the A57D, and that's tempting, with the $450 rebate, basically a 6.5" screen with shortcut buttons for basically the same price as an HDS5. But it seems like it's an old model with an older, only 256color screen.
I have not looked at those, who is giving the rebate?
Old 08-20-2011, 05:36 PM
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I have an HDS 7 Insight with Structure Scan on the bay boat, and an HDS 10 with Structure Scan on the ProKat. The 7 is a very nice unit, and I think well worth the extra money over the 5. I would have loved an 8, but BOE had a much better price on the 7 last year. I have added a fuel-flow sensor, and that is a huge improvement over the boat's gas gauge. The 10 is a fabulous unit, but the 7 is very, very useful on a bay boat.
Old 08-20-2011, 05:57 PM
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Love my HDS-7, great starts and is a breeze to use. The extra 2 inches make a huge difference also. I don't use mine for a fish finder though, no comment on that.
Old 08-20-2011, 06:56 PM
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I had an HDS-5 last year and upgraded to an HDS-8. Yes everything above the 5 costs more, agreed.

But let me tell you, the 8 is twice the unit of the 5. Don't worry about the specs on screen size, you have to see them side by side to know the difference. The shortcut keys on the 8 and the 10 cut your scrolling time in half, which the 5 and 7 do not have.
Old 08-21-2011, 08:09 AM
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To compare screen size it is useful to compare the difference in square inches and then compare the percentage of increase provided by the larger screen for the percentage of price increase.

My previous boat had a 10 inch screen on a unit bought on close out from BoatersWorld.com. My new boat has a nice 7 inch touch screen Garmin. I wish I had my 10 inch screen back but my budget says no.
Old 08-21-2011, 01:44 PM
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My space wouldn't allow the 10" so I went with HDS-8's. Of coarse bigger would be nicer with any electronics display but the 8 has been awesome and I have no need to go to the 10. But I wouldn't want it smaller; I run 2 8's via Ethernet and have structure scan / radar networked to both. I honestly don't know how this set up could be better. Beyond all the capabilities of each unit, should one quit working, I'm still fishing and enjoying the water with the other.

If your space and/or budget allows an 8, that's what I would go with.
Old 08-21-2011, 01:51 PM
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I agree with the Hds-7 is worth the extra over the five. I opted for (two) Hds-7 with Insight so I could run structure scan and fish finder on one and radar and chartploter on the other. You can get two Hds-7 almost for the price of one Hds-10. I like having the two units because it will show me everything I have at one time. When fishing, I simply run structure scan on one unit and Depth/fish finder on the other unit. And yes, structure scan is worth the money. Imo, the hds-5 is not worth the money if you are going to split the screen.Call jim at Boemarine, he will more than likely have a great deal for you.
Old 08-21-2011, 02:03 PM
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Heck, you can get two HDS7s for almost the price of the HDS 8. I have HDS5 on my bassboat and HDS7 on my bayboat. I think the 7 has better resolution and is a major step up if you are running in split screen mode. I don't think the HDS8 is worth the upcharge over the HDS7, but some people seem to like the soft keys.
Old 08-21-2011, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by shemstreet View Post
Heck, you can get two HDS7s for almost the price of the HDS 8. I have HDS5 on my bassboat and HDS7 on my bayboat. I think the 7 has better resolution and is a major step up if you are running in split screen mode. I don't think the HDS8 is worth the upcharge over the HDS7, but some people seem to like the soft keys.
I ruminated over getting a 7 for half a year and finally broke down and did the 8 and do not regret it. Display size means a lot, especially if you are splitting screens. The soft keys are just a big bonus. I put the SonicHub on and love the entire package !
Old 08-21-2011, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dahlbebop View Post
Call jim at Boemarine, he will more than likely have a great deal for you.
Thanks, hadn't checked the site.

Comparing base models, base maps, with transducers:

HDS5 to HDS7 is +$230
HDS7 to HDS8 is +$685 !!!!! Wow.!!!

Maybe I spring for the HDS7. No way on the HDS8. I played with the HDS8 and the shortcut keys really weren't that helpful. I won't have radar or weather so one of them was already useless. Could they be re-assigned to another function? Ah, doesn't matter. No way would I pay for the 8.
Old 08-21-2011, 02:52 PM
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Think about this for a moment. If i were running just one screen on my hds-7, that screen is larger than the hds-10 when it is in split mode. Just pointing this out, because it depends alot on how you will be using them. With the dual set up I have, I can run radar,chartplotter on one, while on the other run fishfinder and structure scan. Even if you are just goiing to buy a single unit now, you may want to add to the system later. Like I stated earlier, you can probably get two hds-7 for the price of a hds-10 or maybe even the price of a hds-8. I chose two screens over one. Also what this does, if one unit stops working, you have a backup. Not only could I not afford larger models, I didn't have the room for them. The short keys are surely nice but definately not needed. Just my .02

To answer your question, you can split these any way you want to when setup. It depends on wht you have setup in your system. You can run just the depth finder, split it with chartplotter or just run the chartplotter. If you ever add radar or sidescan you can split them as you please.

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