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Thread: Lowrance Elite 4 HDI questions

  1. #1
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    Default Lowrance Elite 4 HDI questions

    So I got a really good deal on a brand new elite 4 hdi for only $150, and tried it out this past weekend. It worked wonderfully, I was worried about the screen size when split screening the chart/sonar, but I think it's perfect. I have a couple questions though, to those using this unit, first, how do you measure your total trip for that day (from when you turned it on to when you turned it off)? Also, can someone give me a quick rundown, or point out a link, that explains the benefits of downscan vs traditional sonar? I found myself using the traditional sonar, but might go to the downscan if it's more than just a gimmick. I know side-scan has a lot of benefits, but I'm not sure about downscan. Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    I can help with the first part of your post. See below....


    Gps mileage instructions

    Those of us with the Lowrance FF/Gps combos this is the basic set up'

    hit the menu button twice
    go up to the setting menu
    go to trip calculator menu
    go to bottom of page and set threshold to 00mph (the threshold is preset at 5mph and only registers above 5mph) In a kayak you will never get any mileage reading unless you change this to 00 mph
    now go to top of page and reset trip
    now you are all set up to track your mileage
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavensDfense View Post
    I can help with the first part of your post. See below....


    Gps mileage instructions

    Those of us with the Lowrance FF/Gps combos this is the basic set up'

    hit the menu button twice
    go up to the setting menu
    go to trip calculator menu
    go to bottom of page and set threshold to 00mph (the threshold is preset at 5mph and only registers above 5mph) In a kayak you will never get any mileage reading unless you change this to 00 mph
    now go to top of page and reset trip
    now you are all set up to track your mileage
    Thank you! Maybe sometime this year I can come over to your side of the bay, and mark some spots with the FF...though if you're putting in 15-20 miles chasing bull reds or cobia, I may have to invest in a carbon fiber paddle, or just get a hobie.

  4. #4
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    Downscan imaging will give you a lot clearer image of structure where fish are likely to hang around. It will show fish but on the 4" screen they might be very small on the screen. Learning what to look for one can tell the possibility of different species by the depth of their location.
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  5. #5
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    Default

    I have an Elite -5 HDI and if the functionality is similar you're in for a treat. I say that facetiously. The information the unit provides is incredible but for me finding the right combination of buttons to push while I'm on the water to display the "overlay data" (i.e., viewing distance, speed, etc.) is frustrating. It's not user friendly in my opinion.

    Much of it is keyed in "settings" where you specify units in metric or the English system of distance. And don't forget to adjust for the drift factor. There's a way you can account for speed and distance of your drift before the unit records those measurements. Otherwise, your unit may not keep track of either.

    So...what I do is to sit in my garage with the unit on and the instruction manual in hand and adjust it to the settings I want because I know changing them on the water is difficult for me.

    You can reset the distance traveled after each trip to zero or you can keep a running total.

    I will say that changing page views is very easy and going to downscan is a simple one-button push among various screen page options. It's the one setting I can do easily on the water. However, the utility of downscan has been questionable for me. Normally, I'm in water less than 15 feet deep. I'm looking for variations in depth more than the clarity of what's under me. I normally use a split screen of the map and sonar. Only on very rare occasions have I actually seen fish on sonar before hooking up. The normal sonar screen is good enough for 99 percent of my use.

    The FF units most of us use are designed for power boats with numerous functions geared to that market. I've often wondered if there would be a market for FF with vastly reduced functionality and cost for kayakers. Presumably they would also be simpler to use.
    Mark

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavensDfense View Post
    I can help with the first part of your post. See below....


    Gps mileage instructions

    Those of us with the Lowrance FF/Gps combos this is the basic set up'

    hit the menu button twice
    go up to the setting menu
    go to trip calculator menu
    go to bottom of page and set threshold to 00mph (the threshold is preset at 5mph and only registers above 5mph) In a kayak you will never get any mileage reading unless you change this to 00 mph
    now go to top of page and reset trip
    now you are all set up to track your mileage
    Thanks for that tip! Mine was always showing crazy numbers so I took a round about approach by recording my trail then when I got home, created a route from the trail because routes show total distance. Should be much easier now.
    As Oldbayrunner mentioned, the downscan is great when you are over actual structure. It shows a clear picture of the structure where the regular sonar may just show a colorful blob.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post

    Only on very rare occasions have I actually seen fish on sonar before hooking up. The normal sonar screen is good enough for 99 percent of my use.

    The FF units most of us use are designed for power boats with numerous functions geared to that market. I've often wondered if there would be a market for FF with vastly reduced functionality and cost for kayakers. Presumably they would also be simpler to use.
    That's very true, I think the sonar will mainly help just locate large schools of fish, which I can drop a waypoint onto, and continuously troll through. It might help if I decide to do some livelining this year as well. And yes, I really agree there should be a kayak oriented fishfinder line, one that's most sensitive at lower speeds, with features geared towards kayak fisherman. Ideally, I imagine a unit that you can just turn on, select one of 3 pre-configured fishing modes (trolling, casting, jigging), and go. I'm really surprised this doesn't exist already, since kayak fishing has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years. Anybody know anyone that works at one of the major fishfinder companies? We should all do a collaboration on a new unit.

  8. #8
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    Also thank you everyone for all the other advice about downscan, etc.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwh View Post
    Thanks for that tip! Mine was always showing crazy numbers so I took a round about approach by recording my trail then when I got home, created a route from the trail because routes show total distance. Should be much easier now.
    As Oldbayrunner mentioned, the downscan is great when you are over actual structure. It shows a clear picture of the structure where the regular sonar may just show a colorful blob.
    No problem...I wish I could take full credit, but this was actually copied from a post a member posted years ago. I saved it in my iPhone notes and used it later on to see if it worked. It worked great and last year (even with unhooking my FF after each trip), it stored my mileage. I was able to see how far I traveled each time and got a cumulative mileage total for the season. Pretty cool to see how far you actually travel.
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