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Joined: 12:58am - Jul 11,09
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Post Posted: 09:55pm - Nov 28,10 
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I have a 2280 winners which is new to me (this season). Have been viewing your posts weekly trying to absorb the wealth of info you guys deliver. Thank you very much for your input and advise given on this site it has been unbelievable. This is our first year on the big pond and I have been getting acquainted with my boat and all of the approaches to fishing salmon. I have a gramin which gives me speed. GPS and enables me to track my course, but is very lacking in marking fish. I also have a temp on one downrigger ball. I want to purchase a great fish finder but do not have much experience with them. I don't mind spending money if it is worth it. This is a family project and everyone is on board. Looking for your advise. What do you use?

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Joined: 06:23pm - Apr 7,08
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Location: Naperville, IL __ Boston Whaler Conquest w/twin Mercs

Post Posted: 10:09pm - Nov 28,10 
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Hands down the furuno 620. Its easy to use and furuno hands down makes the best fish finders.

HTR

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Joined: 04:24pm - Jul 6,07
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Location: DuPage County, IL

Post Posted: 01:31am - Nov 29,10 
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I used to have nothing good to say about Lowrance, until this year. They have some impressive units, product quality seems to be much better, and their customer service is vastly improved. They gave me a great deal on an upgrade to a newly-released Lowrance unit when I sent my Eagle SeaCharter in for repair (out of warranty); that helped me to change my tune. But the units speak for themselves.

For example, the HDS series is pretty awesome: Two-year warranty, excellent dual-frequency sonar, versatile GPS with decent built-in maps out of the gate. It supports RADAR, SIRIUS weather, and electronic sensors like fuel flow, fluid temp, engine interfaces, etc. You can hook multiple units together via NMEA-2000 and/or Ethernet and they can share things like waypoints, transducers, GPS antenna receivers, etc.
I have a fuel-flow sensor attached to my HDS unit, and it can give me GPH, MPG, range, and fuel level. I don't have confidence in my normal gas gauge, and now I don't have to guess any longer about how much fuel I have left.
I am looking forward to getting the Structure Scan add-on unit so I can do side scan and down scanning.
I'm also thinking of getting a portable kit so I can use it for ice fishing, since it has great flasher-type options.

I have also heard many good things about the new Humminbird units with side scanning. They may be an even better value than Lowrance, although not as expandable. It seems that Humminbird and Lowrance are the least expensive overall.

This is only my opinion based on my own experience, so for those Raymarine, Garmin, and Furuno owners, please don't beat me up.

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Joined: 01:58am - Jul 3,05
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Location: south chicago/NWindiana

Post Posted: 08:09am - Nov 29,10 
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Generator Man
what model Gramin do you have ?

before you go out and buy any thing else try this

go into the set up menu take your Gramin off of automatic gain
set it between 60 and 75% gain play around with it a little
I think you will be pleasantly surprized how well the Gramin will work
On all current models The factory auto gain settings are tuned for salt water and if you leave it like that a Gramin unit in the auto gain mode here on the great lakes it leaves a lot to be desired wont make fish well at all
i usually turn my gain up till i start to see some clutter on the screen then turn it down a bit lave it there
marks fish great can track my cannon balls
here you can see the split screen 50/200 mhz (my favorite)
if fish are there they will show up on one screen or the other
there is a ball of bait on the bottom and you can see the cannon balls tracking just above it

good luck fill the box
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Joined: 03:53pm - Sep 30,07
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Location: Lemont, IL

Post Posted: 08:01pm - Nov 29,10 
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What model is that Frank?

Mike

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Location: south chicago/NWindiana

Post Posted: 09:25pm - Nov 29,10 
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garmin model 5212

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Great lakes and In shore salt water
After its all said and done.... ITS ALL ABOUT THE FUN!

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Post Posted: 10:17pm - Nov 30,10 
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I don't have the model in front of me (its on the boat in storage). It is a small unit that can be removed easily by pressing a button and than pulling out of holder. I have tried every setting from auto to manual mode and it doesn't pick up very much. It came with the boat and I have no history on the unit. I feel its time for a new investment

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Location: south chicago/NWindiana

Post Posted: 07:57am - Dec 1,10 
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generator man
don't let the size fool you
Gramin has not yet made any thing but high end fish finders to date
soon they will. The eco series is comming out this year its a introductory level fish finder
But back on the one you already have If it don't show fish the transducer is probably broke or not installed properly

all transducers are fragile they have a glass element in them one good wack with a board or any thing else in the water will crack the element inside often a small crack will (internal not visible from the outside) will kill its ability to pick up suspended objects it will still show bottom thats it or if its a thu hull and there are some bubbles in the epoxy or in the hull laminate the same result will accrue
you don't have a cheap throw away unit it may just need a software update or some thing simple

Just because it has a bigger screen don't make it better for any thing but old guys like me with bad eyes
If you get to down town chicago take you model number and stop by THE GARMIN store and talk to those guys down there
Or you are welcome to stop by MY store i can call garmin for you to get you dialed in
Hate to see you throw away some thing that may just have a small problem
I have seen lot of guys with small problems buy units that end up being inferior to what they already had in some cases similar to yours
We sell and service all brands so its not like we only deal in garmin i can sell you any thing you want but i can tell you this i have limited time to spend on the water and feel like my garmin is well worth the expense making the most out of the time i get to spend out there chasing fish There is a garmin on my personnel boat and for now or until i see some thing that works better would make the same choice again

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Great lakes and In shore salt water
After its all said and done.... ITS ALL ABOUT THE FUN!

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Joined: 05:58pm - Jul 3,04
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Location: Wood Dale

Post Posted: 01:52pm - Dec 1,10 
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GM,

Put me in the camp that likes Furuno and Garmin. My boat currently has a Garmin chartplotter and a Furuno sonar, both of which are over 10 years old. My only complaint is that the fishfinder screen is a CRT (TV tube) and is hard to see in the sun. When I eventually need to replace the fishfinder, I will look at Furuno first, but Garmin will be what I compare against. Equally important as the screen is the transducer. A properly mounted transducer is critical to good performance of any sonar. Do it right, or have it done by someone like Frank.

As far as reliability, I have owned 6 Garmin products (4 GPS and 2 fishfinders - still own 3 of them) and the only issue I've ever had was that I had to do a system reset on one of them once. And they all get used (abused, actually) alot. Good Luck with whatever you decide.

Jerry
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