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  • GPS Sounders

    I am shopping for a GPS Sounder. I am trying to learn as much as I can before I make a purchace. I have some basic questions.I am looking at Garmin, Hummingbird, Lorance, and Eagle. What is the relationship between Lorance and Eagle? Are they the same company?I've been taking a hard look at the Garmin 178 with internal antenna. I have a smaller Garmin GPS III and it's antenna seems to do a pretty good job. Is the internal antenna on the 178 and similar models suficcient or should I only consider external antenna? Can the Garmin with the internal antenna be hooked up to an external antenna? I would love to hear from someone who has experince using one of these units.Are there other units besides Garmin that offer the internal antennas.If you had around $700 to spend, would you buy a Garmin, Hummingbird Matrix, or something else?Thanks,Tom Travis

  • #2
    Re: GPS Sounders

    I would get a Lowrance/Eagle sonar and a Garmin GPS, Tom.If I had to settle for a single unit it would be Garmin.Good luck.
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    • #3
      Re: GPS Sounders

      Lowrance and Eagle are the same company. The Eagle brand tends to be more value oriented while the Lowrance brand units tend to have all of the bells and whistles. The garmin 178 with internal antenna is a nice unit. As long as you don't mount it under a roof, the internal is fine. To the best of my knowledge (which is not saying much...), only Garmin offers fixed mount units with internal antennas. That said, I would spend your $700 on a Lowrance LMS 332 combo gps/sonar. It has an external antenna (all Lowrance/Eagle units do). It has a great screen a good gps and a good sonar. It can also use Lowrance or Navionics map cards. For freshwater maps, it is hard to beat Navionics Hotspots premium maps. Humminbird seems to be producing better units these days, but I think you are better off with a Lowrance/Eagle unit.

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      • #4
        Re: GPS Sounders

        Lowrance!!!!!!!!!!!.lee

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        • #5
          Re: GPS Sounders

          My boat is only a 16 foot fishing boat and small motor. I do not have a top and space is limited. A GPS sounder is way overkill but I do want the capability of being able to troll along a creek bed or shelf. I will look at that Lowrance 332. I wish they had a single chip that would cover all the places I like to fish, Wisconsin, Lake Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Florida (fresh & some salt water). With the Navtronics chips, it looks like I will need three of them! I was thinking the unit could also be used in my car which is another reason I like the idea of an internall antenna.

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          • #6
            Re: GPS Sounders

            I have another question. These units talk about 400 or 500 watt transducers. Does that mean that it pulls that much out of the battery? Should I worry about these things draining my battery?Thanks,Tom Travis

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            • #7
              Re: GPS Sounders

              No they don't Tom. The signal is pulsed and the pulse is quite short. My 600 watt unit for example, consumes less than 5 amps (60 watts). Ineed, the LCD backlight may use more power than the amplifier behind the transducer!Amir

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              • #8
                Re: GPS Sounders

                I have a Garmin GPSMap Sounder 188 with an external antenna - it's easy to use and performs superbly with the WAAS system giving it accuracy to within 10 ft. The fish-finder and sounder part work well using the standard transom mounted transducer. I have a 85amp hour battery and have drift fished for over eight hours - the voltage dropped from 12.8 down to 12.2 but the motor started no problem. Caught a few nice Flathead that I would never have found without the FF - I think Garmin stuff rocks and the 178 uses a similar (if not the same) chip as the 188 with the option of internal or external antenna!
                TABS 580 Ocean Series - Sold!
                Yamaha F115 - Sold!
                Holden Rodeo LT crewcab ute - still going strong.

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                • #9
                  Re: GPS Sounders

                  Thanks for the input. I've been bidding on a Lowrance LCX-104C unit that seemed "tood good to be true" only to find out that the seller is someone hijacking user ID's and ripping people off. I've been reporting him but he keeps reappearing under different seller ID's. Be careful shopping on e-Bay and don't buy anything outside their structure. I've learned a lot about GPS Fishfinders this week and hope to have one soon.

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                  • #10
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                    Re: GPS Sounders

                    Unless you purchase a unit from Lowrance with a Hard drive you will have to purchase your maps. But once you have them you get free updates. it's called marketing. I purchased a LCX26C HD and it has all the maps in it. But then this is my first GPS unit, so I would have to purchase any maps I needed now I have the whole USA interior lakes and costal areas. I live in Iowa so that would tell you how much I need the costal maps. I like Lowrance, the main reason is the customer service. My nickles worth.lee

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