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Badger_55

Going to buy a new sonar/gps combo, any tips?

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Badger_55

I plan to buy a a sonar/gps unit for my boat. I plan to move my vexilar up front to the bow and mounting the new locator in the back. I just don't know what I really want right now, I know I don't want to spend a grand on one but more like $500-$600 is more realistic. I have been looking at Lowrance quite a bit. I currently have a H2OC with a lakemaster chip in it. Does lowrance units accept Lakemaster or would I have to pick up the Navionics for it. I figured it would be nice to have the combo in the boat and have the handheld for ice fishing.

Also whats the difference between the external gps and the internal gps?

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walleyewild

All Lowrance units will take the Lakemaster chip, so you don't have to buy the nav chip unless you want to. I have both a 337 and 25c with external antenna's they lock on fast and are very accurate on the structure. When Lowrance came out with the internal antenna there were some bugs but I believe they have worked out the issue's. Go with the largest display you can afford you won't be disapointed.

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PerchJerker

I think the 500 series from Lowrance would be a good way for you to go. As walleyewild said you can use a LakeMaster (or Nav) chip in the lowrance units.

I have external antenna units. Advantages are that you can mount the antenna in the best spot to get a clear, unobstructed view of the sky - downside is you have more mounting, wiring, holes to put in the boat, etc. Internal antenna units are quicker and easier to mount, although you may have issues getting a good signal, due either to the unit itself or your mounting location. If it's out in the open on a console you should be fine, if it's under a windshield you may have some issues, if it's inside an electronic compartment you probably won't get a signal.

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mr walleye

Lowrance is the way to go. you can use the chip you have in it.

also the units with the internal antenna are a lot better than the first ones that came out.

Like walleyewild said go with the largest unit you can afford.

you already have a chip so that saves you $100 bucks.

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Dale Rueber

I have a Lowrance 522C (internal antenna) and I love it. If you get one with the internal antenna you can get an ice pack for it and use it ice fishing.

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PerchJerker

fyi for those who aren't aware of this already .......

........ getting the largest screen is not always the best way to go.

It may be the best for you, but some things to consider that might help prevent buyer's remorse ......

1. Vertical resolution is important, you probably want the most vertical resolution (highest number of pixels) you can get. I'm not talking about horizontal pixels, I'm talking about vertical pixels. You may be looking at larger units that don't have as many vertical pixels (but of course have more horizontal pixels), this is probably not a good thing.

2. Consider where and how you're mounting the unit. Multiple units can be a problem with larger units, in-dash can be a problem with larger units, even tight consoles and windshields and enclosed electronics compartments can be problems with bigger units.

3. Bigger units are heavier and result in more stress, and mounting systems like RAMS can slip down or even break under the stress of large units bouncing in big water.

4. If you're looking at combo units, consider getting two smaller units instead of 1 larger unit. Depending on what you're looking at, you may be better off regarding pricing and/or total screen area by going with 2 smaller units (one for sonar, one for gps) instead of 1 larger combo unit.

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harvey lee

I also have a 522c with an internal antenna and have not had one issue with it. Its a very good unit and looks to be within your budget.

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LMITOUT

For the price range you mentioned, a 520c would be right up your alley. I run the MN Lakemaster chip in a H20 in the winter and move it over to the 520c in the summer. Works great. I have been impressed with the 520. The clarity and brightness is very good. It's a 5" screen so using split screen for GPS/Sonar can get a little crowded but it's doable.

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walleyewild

I believe the vertical resolution on my LCX 25c is 640 pixels.

For me mounting side by side wasn't an option, but when Cabela's had the 25c on sale last fall for 699.00 I couldn't pass it up.

Vertical Pixels are where it is at for resolution and if I could afford a 113c hd, I would have it in my boat.

The option is still there to mount the handheld next to the 500 series locator as well.

I was just saying that the larger display is much easier to see when moving at faster speeds then the smaller 5" displays.

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mamohr686

Perchjerker makes a lot of good points. The more vertical pixels, the better the screen resolution. What's the point of having a 50" plasma tv if your just going to use it for an atari? I really like the big screen on a gps with mapping software, thay way you can see lots of detail even when your zoomed up. I don't really care about a huge sonar screen, I would rather concentrate on what's going on now, rather than seeing some fish or structure that I've already gone over a long time ago. Lots of pro fisherman use seperate gps and sonar units, or they will use the same unit on both the bow and stern so if one goes down they can move it to either location. You also may want to check out ebay, you can find used large screen depthfinder for a good deal or new ones for about $100 less.

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Chode2235

If you are interested in the 522, be sure to check out Reeds sale on the 334. Practically the same thing, only you cant hook up weather radar, for a lot less money.

I went this route and got the 334, it is a wonderful unit.

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delcecchi

different screen also. The 5xx series has a newer "solarmax" screen. That said, I like my 334 pretty well.

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snapjigger

I just bought the 500C by Eagle. It is the color unit with external gps and sonar. It also takes the lakemaster chips.I seen Cabelas had it on sale for $449.00 but did a little looking and Reeds had it for $419.00 so printed the ad and Cabelas matched the price.. Only been down to redwing 1 time so far but it works awsome. The only diffrence I could see in the Lowrance was the power 2400 vs 1500 and $200.00 more...

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