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Old 15 February 2012, 06:49   #1
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two HDS-5 vs one HDS7?

hi all,
for the price of one Lowrance HDS-7 plotter/sounder, I can buy TWO HDS5 units - one 5x fishfinder, one 5m chartplotter

Am I crazy to think this is a good idea?

They are afterall basically the same price, and I like having dedicated plotter/sounder (boat is used for diving) as more often than not I'm using both functions at once.

imagine if I placed the two HDS5 side-by-side on the console,
I'd get (if my maths are correct):
  • 480x960 effective resolution (up from 480x640)
  • 9x18cm screen area vs 9.7x13cm: 28% more screen area (162cm2 vs 126cm2
  • =higher resolution and more screen area when using plotter and sounder at once: 8% increase in horizontal dpi
    (9x9cm at 480x480 for each HDS5 display, vs 9.7x6.5cm at 480x320 when splitscreen on the HDS7)
  • =more screenroom to display other NMEA2000 instrumentation onscreen.
  • dedicated controls and quick access to controls for both.
  • redundancy - if one unit dies, at least the other is working
  • no faffing about switching/setting up display splits

I'd lose:
  • screensize and resolution when only using one instrument (plotter OR sounder)
  • console space (two sets of buttons/bezels) - two HDS5 are 14cm wider than one HDS7, but 2cm shorter - so they could be stacked one on top of the other??
  • screen height (admittedly only 7mm!)

here come the questions:
What else would I lose by going for two HDS5?- is there any fancy integration between sounder and plotter in splitscreen mode on the HDS7 I would miss out on?

Would NMEA2000 instruments cope with two head units on the one network(I guess so)?

Would I lose or gain with this arrangement if I upgraded to StructureScan package? E.g. if the structurescan was displayed on the sounder screen, would you still be able to mark points on the sounder and have them appear on the plotter?

Would this new StructureMap thing work correctly if the LSS was plugged into the sounder?

Would you perhaps sack off the either instrument for one from a different manufacturer?

looking forward to your feedback.

Steve
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Old 15 February 2012, 09:33   #2
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Hi

I have a garmin plotter 550 and a garim colour fish finder. I use them for the same purpose (diving, freediving). I am glad that I did not go for a combined unit. I need to be able to see both at the same time. There is also the question of redundancy. My plotter was giving bother for a while which was sorted by Malthouse. I was glad to have the fish finder as it allowed me to use the boat. I would not have been in a position to do so otherwise.

TSM
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Old 15 February 2012, 10:49   #3
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I like your thinking!

These things all run NMEA 2K, so all the data is available all the time all round the network. Just remember only one of them needs the NMEA power wired up!

Not sure about the positional stuff on the fishfinder, but I bet it has an option in the "overlay" (assuming they still call it that) list to put Lat / Long on screen should the plotter die.

Over to the "new tec" bods for the structure scan stuff......
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Old 15 February 2012, 12:38   #4
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The structure scan works better the larger the screen, I sold my HDS 5 after a few months and upgraded to an HDS 7 (larger was too expensive).
You can link both units together via ethernet and have the sounder or screens displayed on either. I have two 7" units and wish they were larger.........
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Old 15 February 2012, 17:41   #5
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crikey - two 7"! Don't think my console space or wallet stretches that far.

Did you get two multifunctions units or go for dedicated sounder/plotter models?

I see that there is only 30 quid difference between the sounder-only HDS-5x and the combined sounder-plotter HDS-5, so I might as well get one multifunction unit and one plotter-only unit....

You say you can display the sounder or plotter on any of the available displays - do you know if this is only the case if both units are multifunction? I can see that the structurescan image you could display on the plotter-only version as it's a separate black box.
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Old 15 February 2012, 17:53   #6
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My main plotter is a plotter only but using the ethernet cable connecting the two it can display full sounder data from the other combined unit which has a sounder.
The Structure scan displays on whatever HDS you want.
All the gauges and screen have overlays showing releant data to proof against failures, only a full loss of electrical power wiould stop the really important info being displayedsomewhere and I have a double battery system!
not that I am paranoid or anything...........
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Old 22 February 2012, 06:18   #7
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Thanks Bruce for the info. one more query with this layout - do you need a chart card in both units or does the charts display transfer across the ethernet too?
cheers
Steve
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Old 07 March 2012, 15:01   #8
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I've got a 5 and a 7 - both combo units. I use the 5 for the chart and the 7 split screen for the sounder and Structurescan. For the difference in price, I'd get 2 combo units and have the redundancy in case one failed.
You only need a chart card in one. Put an empty card in the other and you can record the sounder or Structurescan data to look at later.
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Old 09 March 2012, 09:58   #9
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I wish we had gone for the HDS8 as a starter unit, 2 card slots plus a bit more functionality with the softkeys, but it was all extra money. The 5/7 combo sounds a good compromise. You get 2 card slots so can log and have mapping working, like alot of things ribby the compromise is often space available or money available.
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