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Manual Range vs. Auto Range on a Sounder

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Manual Range vs. Auto Range on a Sounder

Old 07-15-2013, 08:06 AM
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Default Manual Range vs. Auto Range on a Sounder

If the Range option on one sounder was limited to "Manual Range" and the Range option on a competing brand was limited to "Auto Range", which brand would you choose and why---

In modest depths (0 to 150 feet) I'm wondering why one would even have to consider using Manual Range. Is it strictly a deep water application where you have a whole lot of water column to shift through?
Old 07-15-2013, 08:31 AM
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I can only speak to Simrad/Lowrance which I have tested. When using them in Auto depth mode, they constantly change the pulse length. Changing pulse length modifies the amount of power but also the resolution of the unit (in non-CHIRP units; see http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...explained.html). Setting the same depth manually, forces a fixed pulse length so performance is more predictable, albeit requiring manual adjustment as conditions/depths change. It is like having manual controls on camera vs all automatic.
Old 07-15-2013, 08:43 AM
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I'm a depth sounder dummy and am still getting used to mine; a Standard Horizon, but I have mine set to auto, and on Lake Erie (comparatively very shallow), it is always changing ranges. Especially thru the bay areas, I couldn't figure out why my display was going ape at first. I may just set the range manually at 50' and forget about it.
Old 07-15-2013, 08:44 AM
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I would pick "manual range" without question because having the depth display jump around whenever it wants to makes me go nuts. It's not only the depth of the water column, 150' in your example, but the rate of change in depth which may produce wildly changing ranges in the auto mode. No thanks.

Originally Posted by IcutMetl View Post
on Lake Erie (comparatively very shallow), it is always changing ranges.
Now there's a case in point.
Old 07-15-2013, 09:21 AM
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If you're fishing a bottom where the depth goes from 0-50 feet auto mode is useless. If you're fishing an edge of the continental shelf where it goes from 150 to 2000 in 100 feet auto mode is a big help. Or maybe it's just me that thinks that.
Old 07-15-2013, 11:18 AM
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I agree Van ... deep water is the once place where auto depth can be used.
Old 07-15-2013, 01:27 PM
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I think it depends on the age of the gear and the area of usage. With older gear 'manual' gave you much better control of the rendered images. With today's gear I think the 'auto' mode functions equally to the manual mode without the added exercise. AUTO for me.

Edd
Old 07-16-2013, 02:37 PM
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Manual - make full use of all those pixels you paid for. Most units show a large chunk of bottom taking up the bottom 1/3rd of your screen when in auto. That leaves little resolution for the actual water column. I rarely look at the whole water column anyway & prefer to use manual depth & shift (upper & lower limits) to look at the column of water I want to view. That way a fish return will activate more than 1 or 2 pixels giving you a better chance of deciphering what you're looking at.
Old 07-16-2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by codking2000 View Post
Manual - make full use of all those pixels you paid for. Most units show a large chunk of bottom taking up the bottom 1/3rd of your screen when in auto. That leaves little resolution for the actual water column. I rarely look at the whole water column anyway & prefer to use manual depth & shift (upper & lower limits) to look at the column of water I want to view. That way a fish return will activate more than 1 or 2 pixels giving you a better chance of deciphering what you're looking at.
Old 07-17-2013, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by pdog View Post
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