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cashcrews

Garmin or Lowrance GPS/Sonar Combo units

Question

cashcrews

Does anyone own the combo GPS/Sonar units manufactured by either Lowrance or Garmin? I'm thinking about buying one and would like to hear positive/negative comments from owners of these units.

Cashcrews

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MNBIGBEAR

I have a Lowrance LMS-240. I love it. Its really easy to use and the sonar is crystal clear. You can also use the map chips and plug them in to overlay depth contours right on your screen. I know with my unit there are not too many chips that work but they have come out with newer models like the LMS-332 (color monitor) and the LMS-480, which is just like mine but with higher resolution and most of the new chips work with them. Some them have as much as one foot contours! That there is enough to make me think about getting one of the newer units. I dont know too much about the Garmin units but I love my Lowrance. Hope this helps.

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musky hunter

I just bought an LMS332C. It has amazing capabilities, but I am far from competent on the gps side. These things do have a learning curve.

Lowrance does have an on line emulator for all of their current models that you can download for free, which is a good thing to practice on. I spend an hour at my computer figuring out the just the sonar features. The gps is going to take a little more time but I want to be good at it.

I love the lake map chips you can get. I have the Navonics great lakes chip. And the new screen is great. But I also heard that Lowrance has a backlog of 32000 units, so I must not be the only one who likes the LMS332C.

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buzzsaw

I'm sure I'll like my LMS 332c I'll be out on the lake soon.

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bassin

you need to run power to the GPS module as well. Thats why you are getting that message.

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bkft

bassin, How do you go about that? I don't think the install guide said anything about having two power cables, but I'm having the same problem. The GPS won't lock on.

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buzzsaw

bump

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Fish Head

Cashcrews- I have a lowrance 18c and a 332c. I love the lowrance units and I would strongly recommend them.

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bassin

I work for Lowrance. It's also in the Manual. It says something like if the GPS module is not hooked up to a NEMA 2000 network than it needs to be powered directly to the battery. Also note that it will always draw power from the battery, ALWAYS. Its a very small amount that shouldnt drain your battery but if its an issue you can run it thru a switch.

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mudman

I just bought the LCX 17 SWEET!!!!! compatible with the navigonic premium chip! nothing but lightening can stop me now!! blush.gif

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letsfishjeff

I have the Garmin 168 never had any problems. Its easy to use. Mine you have to load the hotspots maps. I would get another Garmin if I ever had to.

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PerchJerker

I've had 2 Lowrance sonar/gps combos and they've both been awesome. I've also got a Garmin handheld GPS that I really like, but I'll be sticking with the Lowrance combo units for my boat.

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buzzsaw

Bassin, Whats the Nema 2000 network??

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Captain B.R.K

I just bought a LMS-332c unit and was working on installing it last weekend. Will complete the project this weekend.

I sure hope I was doing it correctly........3 cords came with unit.

(A)1 for the sonar feature

(B)1 for the network capabilties (has 3 plugs)

©1 to run from the gps unit to the 1 for the network

capabilities

WHICH in turn the (B) and © cord hook together leaving one of the plugs just hanging.

confused.gif

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bkft

How do you power the GPS module in addition to the unit when the only cord coming out of the module is the network cable that connects to the "Y" cable, which if you're not using a NMEA network, connects only to the unit itself? I reread my manual last night and from what I can gather, it says you don't power it seperately. Don't mean to be a troublemaker, but that's just what my manual says.

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bassin

If your not using the NMEA network then you must power the the GPS module directly to the battery. Red wire to positive and the black and shield wires to negative. Also, make sure the fuse that comes with it is installed as well. One for the sonar power source, and one for the GPS. Page 37 of the manual describes this. Most people will not be using the network and need to wire the module as described above. It gets a little more confusing when using the network. Its kind of like the network you use for your computers at the office. You can use one GPS module and network it to run multiple units. You can't share information between the units but you can use the same GPS module. Which, if you had two GPS-sonar units, would save you about $240 becasue you don't need the second module. The other use for the network, and isnt available yet, is to get information from your motor sent back thru the network to your Lowrance unit. Lowrance is ready for this, most of the motor companies are not. The technoligy is there for them, its just not one of their priorites at the moment. Its just a matter of them making time to do it. I've been told some time in 2006 it should be fully functional.

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bassin

oops sorry BKFT-

My first answer there may not have been very clear to what you asked. Yes, the only cord coming from the GPS module plugs into that long "y" adapter that came with the unit. It has one plug that goes to the unit, one that goes to the GPS module, and one that is capped off. Then you have all those exposed wires hanging off the other end. There should be two sets of Red/Black. Those are the wires that will power the unit, and the other set(red/black) will power the GPS module. The other colored ones(I believe they are blue, yellow, and orange. Or something to that affect) are your data cables that you don't need at the moment to run your sonar or GPS. Those can be taped, or capped off.

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bkft

Bassin,

Just tried your suggestion and it works perfectly. Thanks and sorry if I sounded doubtful. Just a little confused reading the manual! smile.gif

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Superduty

It's a pretty simple fix. Just find the red/black power cord for the gps module and hook it into the same power source that runs your main unit. Use a switch if you think the small constant power drain will cause you problems. I just installed a LMS-480. Had the unit powered all week without a switch and my outboard still started just fine in 36 degree weather this morning.

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bassin

No problem bkft. Glad you got it up and running.

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