Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Daze Off

Lowrance Expert?

34 posts in this topic

I am going to set up a new Lowrance network of electronics in my boat this spring linking two Sonar/GPS units (at least) and have visited both Cabela's and Gander to browse and ask questions. In both cases I found the sales people to be unable to answer my questions.

Can anyone recommend someone at a local retail outlet who really knows their stuff regarding the above? Local is the Cities in this case.

Thanks,

Daze Off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried asking your question(s) hear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or looking at the NMEA manual on Lowrance's website? It's very good, easy to follow, and setting up the system is pretty simple - it's basically just a straight line with some jumpers to the units.

Fire away if you have questions, I am pretty familiar with the networks and have done a few.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep this is the place to ask questions. Perch is a expert in my opinion. I have a simple network in my boat as well. Ask your questions I am sure one of us can help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, here we go then.

I am planning on putting an LCX - 27c on the console and a LMS-520c on the bow of my Lund Explorer 1675 single console.

Here's what I think I know - with the Lowrancenet conection I can use a single puck for GPS for both units but I can still run seperate transducers - one on transom and one on trolling motor. Hence I will get different sonar images and the same GPS coordinates. I will be able to create a waypoint from either location that will be visible at both locations. If this is true, I can purchase one of the units w/o the GpS puck and save $$$ - presumably more than I would spend on the cables/connections/plugs, etc. to network these units????

I own the Lakemaster chip for MN - I can use this in one of the units but it will only be visible on that unit. I will need to purchase an additional one to have it on both units. Correct? Could I run the Lakemaster chip on one unit and say, the Navionics Hot Maps chip, on another? What would that do to waypoints, etc.?

I've heard some stuff about issues with interference between the two units and with the trolling motor (MK 12v 55# - not digital and does not have universal transducer). Any truth to that and if so, what is the "fix"?

What specific "parts" (cables/connectors/plugs, etc) do I need to set-up this network?

Are there other issues that I should be asking about but am not smart enough to ask about?

I think that is everything...

Thanks for your willingness to help out this electronically challenged angler...

Daze Off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have almost the same setup as you are speaking of except I've got the LCX-28cHD but that shouldn't matter.

Unfortunately the boat manufacturer did all the rigging so I cannot give you much detail on the wiring specifics. The units will operate much like you described with independent transducers and sharing of waypoints. The one thing that surprised me was that I could see the lake contours on my 520 (which is on the bow) and the Lake Master chip was inserted into my LCX-28! I thought that wasn't possible beforehand. So, yes you could buy the stripped down 520 and save some cash and not double up on the GPS package accesories that you'll be getting with the LCX-27 and then put that money towards the networking equipment.

I also have one GPS antenna and that is networked between the two. On the bow is a Minn-Kota PD with Universal Sonar 2 which already has the temp sensor built in for the bow locator, but I believe I could choose to have it look at the aft temp sensor if I wanted to since it is in the network but haven't tried it yet. Only had the boat on the water once so far so it's all new to me yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dan - hope that is true of the 27c too - that I can see the lakemaster chip in one unit from both.

Daze Off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really you can see the chip in both. That really suprises me!!! Because i talked to one of the guys i know at Lake Master and he said that you Cant and shouldnt be able to see them on both??!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll double check when I get home because I didn't spend a lot of time with the bow graph, but I turned on the 520 and saw lake contours. I scrolled up to another lake and it also showed the Lake Master contours. I was surprised myself based on what I've been reading about networking units.

This evening I'll post after I check it again if what I said was correct or if I was just dreaming. grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea let me know what you find!!! cool.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be way more information than you need, but here goes. Setting up a network has a lot of variables as far as options and consequently cost. Some of the network components are fairly cheap and others are rather spendy, but depending on what information you want to get out of it, you don't have a choice but to set up the whole backbone to install fuel flow meters, extra speed and temp probes, or engine system monitors for Evinrude, Yamaha or Suzuki. Lowrance has two differant color coded networks out there right now as they switch everything over from the old blue network connections to the new red network. On the other, if all you need are a unit on the dash and one on the bow that will share waypoints, it is a fairly simple little network to set-up. You will not experience a great cost saving this way over having two complete units, but you can share waypoints. The mapping chip data should not be able to be shared over the network. That is not to say it won't be, but it shouldn't be able to. Lowrance could very easily have all this information available across the whole network, but it is proprietary information for the particular chip manufacturer and they are not allowed to transfer that data beyond the unit it is installed in. That is not to say it doesn't happen. MOST guys would benefit more in the long run from having two complete units. This set-up has the benefit of giving you a back-up system of the extra GPS module and network cable with terminators, already set-up in the boat in case any part of the primary system would go down on the water. It is also considerably cheaper to buy the units complete than to have to piece it together later. Make sure to weather-proof and use dilectric grease on all network connection that might get exposed to the elements, and install any GPS module a minimum of three feet from the Lowrance units themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got home and turned on the bowmount locator (LCX-520c) and I was not dreaming. The lakes have contours! I scrolled around to all the lakes that the Lake Master chip has contours for in this area and they are all there.

Like I said, I was surprised too as I understood that waypoints could be shared along with some other digital data from the other locator but not maps.....but I've got'm! I was thinking before I got my boat that I'd have to either get another chip or continuously swap the chip back and forth depending on what type of fishing I was going to do at the time. Problem solved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure but I think the 520 has a new and improved background map in it, which includes some contours in the base map.

Try taking the chip out of your 27/28 and see if you still see the contours on your 520. Or pan around to a high-def lake like Mille Lacs with your 520 and see if it looks the same on your 520 when you have the chip in your 520 vs. when you don't have the chip in your 520.

With the new software updates, waypoints that you set while on the network will be saved/displayed across all units on the network. But waypoints that you have in 1 unit's memory will not be displayed on the other units unless you copy them over on a card, or reset them on the network.

Daze - Sounds like you already have a good understanding of the network, I think you are pretty much right on with everything you said re: needing 2 transducers, being able to use multiple chips, etc. This is a high level answer about the parts you need, but if you look at the manual on-line (I'm guessing you have already) you'll be able to figure it out for sure.

- a t connector for each head unit and puck, and maybe one for a power connection if you want to go that route

- a male and a female terminator for each end of the network

- a network cable that runs from your bow to your console

- possibly some short network cables if you can't get the t-connectors close to the units

One nice thing about the network is you can always expand by adding more T connectors and cables whenever needed.

If you're buying new units they should come with some of the network parts you need already, so I would think it would be cheaper than going with 2 gps antennas.

If you can wire in a power switch to the network or if you already have switched power, tie into that. The gps puck will always draw current, as will some of the other sensors that you might want to add later, so being able to cut the power when not in use is pretty important. I either leave my on-board charger plugged in when not on the water, and/or flip my main circuit breaker.

Hope this helps, good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm baffled now. Doesn't matter if the chip is in the 28 or not....still maps showing on both units and they're detailed too. Plus, the maps of the little local lakes are still showing and those are what came on the Lake Master chip. I powered each unit off and turn back on without the chip and still contours. The 520 doesn't have all the street data since that's been pre-loaded in the 28 with the HD, but the lake maps are there. I didn't try the chip in the 520 though.

I also checked the ML map and it's identical on both graphs...with the chip or not! I've had the chip in my H20 and they concur.

confused.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh. I see on Lowrance's website that the 520 (and I'm assuming the 28 as well) come preloaded with over 3000 lakes across the country. Those little lakes around Hutch are on the list so they must have used Lake Master's database. Hmmmm.

So is my chip even loading or what's the deal? Can you color the contours to specific depths or is that only on the Navionics chip? When I go to "browse files" it shows the LM chip there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK. Did some reading in the instruction manual (why do that?) and found how to load the LM chip. Now I get the little icon that flashes which indicates that it's accessing the chip and now I can see the enhanced maps such as ML.

The thing that made this confusing is that even with the LM chip loaded, the lake maps that aren't enhanced appear to be the same as the lake maps that come preloaded on the 28 and 520. The first time I checked out any lakes on the graph was after I already had inserted the chip and assumed that it was loaded because I didn't know that the graphs come with lake maps included. There are no lakes around here to indicate otherwise since the maps for the lakes around here are identical on both the chip and the graph. Plus, I would have never guessed that they would have included these little, out of the way lakes on the graph. Pretty nice of them!

Now, I would say this...if you have no plans on fishing those lakes that are "enhanced" or can settle for the generic contours which come pre-loaded on the 520 and 28, then you can save some cash on a mapping chip.

Either way, since I don't fish those enhanced lakes very often I could definitely live without the chip during the summer. I do need it for ice fishing though when I use the H20.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only posting this so LMITOUT doesn't have 4 in a row grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol.

Time to start a new run!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess they finally decided we spend enough money on these units maybe they could give us some maps. That is the one think I wish you could do is share the chips but I haven't been able to do that. Maybe someday they will have an update that takes care of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was think about this all night when i was out with some friends and was going to ask you LMITOUT to take the chip out and see if it has build in contour maps. But you already did that. Sweet... Thanks for doing some looking into guys and getting the right information out there cool.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I researched these particular graphs but skimmed right by the GPS portion of the specs since they've been fairly vanilla from the factory with the same ol features.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good information guys, but I have another question. I am getting a couple of lcx 27's in the next couple days and wasn't planning on networking them orginally. Both of my units came with the gps module and I plan on primarily using both of them on the tiller console side by side with one unit being my sonar and the other being my mapping unit. The unit that I use for sonar will be just used for sonar....no gps module will be hooked up to it. My other unit will be used for mapping and a backup sonar in case my main sonar unit goes down. I also purchased an extra power cord that I will wire into the bow along with a gps module. I plan to use the mapping unit from the console on the bow so that I will have all of my gps coordinates with me and so I don't have to switch the chip out every time I fish from the bow. This sound like it will work? From what I have read here the network cable will be supplied with the two units to network the two together in the console area. This way my coordinates will go to each unit. As far as wiring goes, I plan on wiring in a 4 block fuse panel. that will be under my console for easy access. Can I run my power switch between the battery and the fuse panel for both my units and my marine radio instead of having them all on seperate switches?? As far as the wiring goes I just run the power for both to the fuse panel and both of the nmea 2000 wires to the battery as well?? I think I am on the right track here, but am just trying to confirm before I start installing. Thanks for any help!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your units will only share waypoints that you set when the units networked. Any wapoints you set when at the bow will need to be transferred to the other unit via the chip.

Why not run a network cable to the bow, then your units could be networked at either location. I have my boat set-up this way with one unit that I share between my kicker and my bow, both locations networked as well as the units on my console. You could sell your 2nd module or keep it as a backup (they fail too).

You are fine switching off the power to your fuse block, many boats come with a master power switch or breaker that does the same thing.

You may get interference between your vhf and your sonar or gps if they're wired to the same fuse block. I have my vhf hard-wired to my starting battery with an in-line fuse near the battery. This is generally considered the best way to go for a vhf.

Run your nmea power wires to the switched fuse block, that's what you really need to power down since the gps module is powered through the network and is a constant drain as long as the power is on. You can connect them on the same wire connector / buss as your head unit's power if you want. You only need to connect 1 set of nmea power wires but you can connect both if you make sure they are to the same 12 volt power supply only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much perch....I think I will do exactly what you have said. One other quick question....will I have interference between the two graphs when I am using one for mapping and one for sonar??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing!!! If I only connect one of the nmea wires to the power source I would have to have them all networked right?? And if I do run them both they have to be connected to the same battery or the same fuse block?? Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0