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Thread: Bought a new HDS-7..Big Mistake!

  1. #1
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    Default Bought a new HDS-7..Big Mistake!

    I thought it was time to update electronics. I've been reading a lot on here and other places about Hummingbirds and all the problems people were having with the GPS part. Well, i was out Friday to a local boat dealership picking up some odds and ends when I saw the new Lowrance HDS-7. Boy, it sure looked nice plus one of the guys that works there showed me on the internet how the side scan was going to look when it comes out this fall. I was hooked. I already use Lowrance GPS's on my boat so I knew that Lowrance had somewhat of a grip on them and the salesman told me with the new High Definition antenna that updates 5 times a second, they where going to be extremely accurate. So I sheld out the money and put it on my boat. While opening the box, it had a slip of paper that said it needed a software update. That's right, straight out of the box and you need to update it. Well, after four hours of trying to get the program download from Lowrance (that's another story) and finally uploaded to my HDS-7, I was ready to play with it. That's when I found out that it doesn't recognize what type of transducer you have on it so you have to finger through the tons of menus to find out where to enter it. The owners manual that came with it was about as useless as tits on a boar hog. Finally got that entered and off to the water I go. Now, I started out using Ray Jefferson flashers and have used everything in between but I will tell you this....you better have a degree in PLC's or computer programming before you tackle this rascal. After spending the better part of the day on the water figuring out menus and settings I have come to the conclusion that I have wasted my money! The GPS section will not recognize the new fancy antenna and yes, I set up my NMEA 2000 cable correctly. If you get less than 10 feet of water, the depthfinder slows down tremendously no matter what frequency or ping speed you set it at. When you go to split screen, say chart on left and depthfinder on right, you can only adjust the screen on the left. You have to back out of that screen and go to another menu to load the sonar screen to do any adjustments and vice versa. Plus the temp displayed numbers take up half of the screen. Haven't found a way to adjust that yet. It looks like I have jumped the gun. I should have waited till these units have been out a year before I purchased one but I thought maybe this time, with all the technology out there, that Lowrance would finally get it right the first time. Well, this was an expensive lesson!
    The only way to have a good fishing spot is to make it yourself!

  2. #2
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    I purchased an HDS-7 several months ago and I'm very happy with it. It didn't take any more than 5-minutes to download and install the software upgrade when it came out and with the software upgrade the menus are very simple to follow. It's very easy to make adjustments including the size and location of the read-out numbers on the display. Don't confuse yourself with the owner's manual - you shouldn't need it beyond installation.

    The unit I purchased has a built in antenna so I don't have a network to fool with but IF the network is set up properly and powered properly there's no reason for the head not to pick up the receiver unless you got a lemon, which is entirely possible.

    Every Lowrance graph (several) I've owned before has had to go in for repairs at some point but they've always repaired or replaced them for me at no charge. Being on the water over 300 days a year I figure my electronics get a lot more use and exposure to the elements than the average fisherman's electronics do so I expect to need repairs now and then.

    Your "Big Mistake" may have been purchasing the unit at a local dealer where you probably paid way too much for it. I found mine on the Internet for just over $900 including shipping, which I think is several hundered under suggested retail.
    FISH ON!
    Jerry Blake

    www.BLAKETOURS.com

  3. #3
    jaxsprat is offline Crappie.com 3K Star General * Crappie.com Supporter
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    Real sorry to hear that. Been hoping they would give HB some competition, as I am one of those crabby 997 owners unhappy about their GPS system. I just think when you pay good big $$$$ for something that is supposed to work??? it should work. Hope U get things worked out.
    I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.....

    PROUD MEMBER OF TEAM GEEZER

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxsprat View Post
    Real sorry to hear that. Been hoping they would give HB some competition, as I am one of those crabby 997 owners unhappy about their GPS system. I just think when you pay good big $$$$ for something that is supposed to work??? it should work. Hope U get things worked out.

    EH?
    FISH ON!
    Jerry Blake

    www.BLAKETOURS.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Blake View Post
    I purchased an HDS-7 several months ago and I'm very happy with it. It didn't take any more than 5-minutes to download and install the software upgrade when it came out and with the software upgrade the menus are very simple to follow. It's very easy to make adjustments including the size and location of the read-out numbers on the display. Don't confuse yourself with the owner's manual - you shouldn't need it beyond installation.

    The unit I purchased has a built in antenna so I don't have a network to fool with but IF the network is set up properly and powered properly there's no reason for the head not to pick up the receiver unless you got a lemon, which is entirely possible.

    Every Lowrance graph (several) I've owned has had to go in for repairs at some point but they've always repaired or replaced them for me at no charge. Being on the water over 300 days a year I figure my electronics get a lot more use and exposure to the elements than the average fisherman's electronics do so I expect to need repairs now and then.

    Your "Big Mistage" may have been purchasing the unit at a local dealer where you probably paid way too much for it. I found mine on the Internet for just over $900 including shipping, which I think is several hundered under suggested retail.
    Jerry,
    I don't see how you could download the update in 5 minutes unless you have cable internet connection. The file is 334 meg. My DSL runs at 1.5 meg and it took overall about 45 minutes which included loading it onto the MMC/SD card. I tried downloading it off of the alternate address that Lowrance gives (because the first link they give wouldn't work) but the unit wouldn't recognize it when I put the chip in. I finally got it to download from the first link on the website after I updated Java but it took longer (45 minutes).
    As far as making the temp numbers smaller, I would love to know how. Also, does your depthfinder section scroll very slowley below 10 feet? How do you make adjustments (when your in split screen chart/sonar) to the sonar?
    The only way to have a good fishing spot is to make it yourself!

  6. #6
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    I have a H-bird 997 and have been very pleased with it. It has won me alot of money since I have had it. But I also run 2 other gps-sonar combos which are Lowrance on my boat.

  7. #7
    jaxsprat is offline Crappie.com 3K Star General * Crappie.com Supporter
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    Possumcop I have a H-bird 997 and have been very pleased with it. It has won me alot of money since I have had it. But I also run 2 other gps-sonar combos which are Lowrance on my boat.
    Yes, guess that was my fault puttin all my eggs in one basket so to speak. Guess this old man still got a lot of learning to do.......
    I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.....

    PROUD MEMBER OF TEAM GEEZER

  8. #8
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    if you want the sidescan you will have to pay extra for it also

  9. #9
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    Well I am just going to be happy with my LCX 27C on the front and my HB 1197 on the console and don't care what they come out with next. Not spending more to see a little better. Still have to interpret what you see and so what if it is a more clear unit at this point.

    Just my 2 cents and the other $4000+ I spent on the two I have is not going to change any time soon. I can see both as far as the GPS and have both so I don't care if the HB is a little slow and all I need is to get close in this lake since I have been fishing here since in opened in the late 1960's.

    Skip

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  10. #10
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    be thankful yours is working

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