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How good is the Raymarine E7D Sonar?

Old 05-06-2013, 10:22 AM
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Default How good is the Raymarine E7D Sonar?

How would you rate the sonar of the Raymarine E7D? Better than, worse than.....?

I'm getting ready to replace the older Garmin on my McKee Bay Classic and have been considering the E7D. I'm also waiting to see one of the new Garmin 741xs

I fish primarily in-shore in South Louisiana and the bigger lakes and bays. It is rare if I'm deeper than 20 - 30 feet, and generally it's less than 10.


Old 05-06-2013, 10:46 AM
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Considering that you fish in less that 30' of water ...and "Generally it's less than 10' " have you looked a the new Raymairne Dragonfly?

For a $650 unit hard to beat.

And I would think that the 741xs with the CHIRP transducer would be a bit costly for your fishing that leaves the e7d .

Last edited by semperfifishing; 05-06-2013 at 12:32 PM.
Old 05-06-2013, 11:29 AM
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I'd second the suggestion of looking at that new Dragonfly unit. However, keep in mind that it is a dedicated fish finder, and will not network with anything else, nor does it appear to be "expandable" in any way. The video footage and screen shots I've seen appear to be very compelling.

But, you asked about the e7D specifically, so I am assuming you are looking for more of an MFD than a dedicated FF. Therefore, let me share my experience with you (you can search for my other threads here about the e7 unit, about which I have written quite a lot).

It will of course depend on the type of transducer you are using - I liken it to the situation where you can buy a $50,000 stereo system, but if you hook it up to a pair of $19.95 Radio shack speakers, you will get $19.95 quality sound regardless of your $50,000 investment....

That being said, the e7D offers some very nice features in a small foot print. The quality of the image is much better than the previous generation of Raymarine digital sonar devices that it replaced on my boat. I can hit the same spots now and see a LOT more detail than before, using the same B744V through-hull transducer. I've also compared it to my friend's 5-year old Garmin unit and the e7 refreshes faster and provides clear marks where his produces "fuzz". The auto modes work great out of the box, but you can switch them off easily and fine tune the image. The ability to display the screen on an iPad is a very cool bonus - I keep an old iPad 1 on the boat in a PVC bag just for hanging off the transom while we are fishing so that I can see the bottom without having to run into the pilot house every few minutes.

My favorite feature is the ability to EASILY mark spots you see and have them show up on the chart plotter as waypoints. Even if you went past them a minute ago, you can touch the rock pile you see on screen and "poof" you have a way point marked that you can then easily edit later to give it a name (or delete if if you find its not holding fish).

My only complaint about the e7D is that it seems to be VERY (I mean VERY) sensitive to voltage fluctuations. I run a dedicated separate house bank with two optima blue group 31 batteries. I also isolate this bank from my starting bank with a VSR from BEP marine. Even with this, when I re-start the engine after a drift, about 30% of the time it will freeze my FF display on the e7D (not the chartplotter, just the FF display). It requires a tedious process of resetting the sonar, then resetting the transducer. I've posted a youtube of this here (keeping in mind this is the setup for my boat, someone else might have a different transducer):

I completely re-wired my boat to ABYC standards over the winter, and after that process I was dismayed to find I was still having problems with the FF locking up. I've done some trouble-shooting since, and I think there may be some leakage across the VSR, which I need to finish diagnosing. If it turns out to be the case, then I am getting a slight voltage drop to the house bank (we're talking something like 0.2 volts here, folks!) that I'm assuming is causing the FF to lock up.

So, bottom line, a great unit, I'm very pleased with it except if you install one, be VERY scrupulous about how you wire it up. Use a dedicated circuit, isolate it from your starting battery or any other intermittent loads (like pumps, etc), and you should be good.
Old 05-06-2013, 11:30 AM
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Default E7d

I have an E7D and so far am very pleased with the performance but I'm still learning all the features it has to offer. Offshore maps are great and well worth the $$. Wayne
Old 05-06-2013, 02:16 PM
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I have had one for about 6 months now. It replaced a Furuno Vx2 system with the DFF1 black box. I like the E7D alot. Very compact unit with internal GPS too. I used it for spearfishing in 60 to 70 feet of water and marks structure just as good if not slightly better than the Furuno. Slightly more structure definition I would say. I have it hooked to an airmar B60 through hull ducer.

I have not experienced any of the electrical issues that were posted above.

Last edited by 23Dorado; 05-06-2013 at 02:27 PM.
Old 05-06-2013, 08:38 PM
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Thanks everyone for your comments. The DragonFly looks good, but I can't get past the inability to hook up the radio. I could live with a 5" screen so maybe I need to take a look at the Garmin 547xs.


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