Salt Patrol Lowrance Electronics upgrade

With Lowrance introducing the new HDS High-Def System this past year my vessel Salt Patrol went through a major electronics upgrade this past spring. Here’s what we did and how we set the boat up with the new HDS Systems. First Salt Patrol was equipped with (3) Lowrance LCX-113C’s so positioning of the new HDS units was easy as they fit in the almost the same space. The next time saver was that the new units all use the same plugs, transducers cables; yellow Ethernet cables and NMEA 2000 red/black plug cables.

Most of the work involved changing out the LRA-4000 radar to the new HD Broadband Radar and installing the new Satellite weather/radio module.


HDS-10 Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter

I mounted two HDS-10 units on the dash and one on the back deck under the rear overhang. Displaying the finest of the new Lowrance fish finding and GPS navigation technologies with massive, high-definition 10.4”/26.4 cm Super VGA color viewing the new SolarMAX PLUS displays which render brilliant detail in sunlight with the best wide-angle viewing ever available, while advanced pure-white LED screen/keypad backlighting fully adjusts to zero-dim for night fishing.

The unique new FlyWheel dial and command soft keys give you easier and quicker control of Broadband Sounder fish finding and satellite navigation precision via the built-in 16-channel GPS+WAAS antenna.

HDS built-in cartography choices include Enhanced U.S. Basemap, or the amazing, life-like and new Insight USA with combined Inland and Coastal coverage (Americas) – Or Navionics World Background map (non-Americas). Plus, this HDS is now fully compatible with all Navionics chartcards including Platinum+, Platinum and Platinum HotMaps with two high-speed SD card slots. Thes units are fully ready to build your complete stand-alone or networked onboard system.

Sonar performance is some of the best I have ever seen. Whether in shallow water rivers or deep water offshore tuna fishing the HDS units are extremely impressive in locating fish. Here some screen shots taken off my boat.

HDS-10 marking bait in 28ft of water

HDS-10 marking bait in 200ft of water

HDS marking bottom in 1800 ft of water with standard 50/200 kHz transducer *Note how the HDS can display Sat. radio station info at bottom of display

The new HDS Units can run off the standard Lowrance transducers. Transducer setup on stern of Salt Patrol

Broadband Radar

Lowrance has introduced a revolutionary new radar system unlike anything else on the recreational boating market. Utilizing solid-state technology, this breakthrough technology provides superior target detection and separation, ease of operation, and a new level of navigational safety to a wide range of boats. Lowrance Broadband Radar sends a continuous transmission wave with linear increasing frequency (hence the term Broadband). The wave retains its frequency as it travels out and reflects back from any objects. Meanwhile, the transmitter continues to output an increasing frequency. The difference between the currently transmitted and received frequencies, coupled with the known rate of frequency increase, is the basis for precisely calculating a “time of flight” and target distance. Since FMCW constantly builds up radar return energy (vs. a single pulse), this system provides target detection superior to pulse radars while transmitting at far lower energy levels. Unparalleled Short Range Target Discrimination where it matters.

Lowrance’s Broadband Radar provides amazing target resolution, even at an unprecedented 1/32 nm range. Docks, channel markers, moored vessels and other critical targets are displayed with clarity and separation, for added confidence in close quarters. Broadband technology also eliminates the “main bang” of a pulse radar — the obscured “dead zone” immediately around the vessel — which interferes with close target detection. Lowest RF Transmission for Safe, Flexible Installation, Because Lowrance Broadband Radar transmits at 1/20,000 the power of typical pulse radars (emitting 10 times less energy than an average cell phone), the radome is safe to mount in locations never before possible. In addition, the lowest DC power draw of any X-band marine radar makes this system ideally suited for sailboats and other vessels with limited power.

No more waiting 2-3 minutes for a magnetron to warm up – 100% solid-state design provides Instant On capability. When darkness falls or the fog rolls in, you will always be ready.

Next was mounting of the new Lowrance Broadband radar dome and Satellite weather/radio receiver

Broadband radar dome, Satellite Weather/Radio module and LCG-4000 GPS receiver

The Broad Band Radar, Sat. Weather/Radio and HDS units tie into the Navico Expansion Port-1 with Yellow Ethernet cables

Broadband radar showing the Tacoma Narrows Bridges and vessel traffic at 1.5 mile range

Picture with Broadband radar overlaid on GPS map of Tacoma Narrows displaying vessel heading line

Broadband radar at 1/32 of a mile shows my wake behind the boat


Lowrance presents two industry firsts for HDS chartplotters: SIRIUS satellite high-res NOWRad radar and radio services via an affordable and integrated weather/audio module, AND the first SIRIUS® inland weather service … in addition to coastal coverage … in special SIRIUS U.S. subscription packages — Inland, Mariner and Voyager!

This compact weatherproof antenna is easy to mount, and provides weather display output to one or more HDS units via ethernet networking. Plus a standard 3.5 mm stereo jack easily interfaces with onboard sound systems when you include radio with your SIRIUS subscription for stereo-quality music and sports including NFL, NASCAR and college football broadcasts.

SIRIUS Inland Weather Service Package:

• Weather radar and lightning with high resolution

• 80 nm (92 mile) lightning and radial weather display to 10 nm (11.5 mile) limit from coasts

• Latest weather forecasting with icons and text for major U.S. cities SIRIUS Mariner and Voyager Weather Service Package:

• Cross-country weather radar and lightning with high resolution

• Sea-surface temperature with 2 km (1.2 mile) resolution

• Tropical storm and storm cell tracks • 0-3 or 0-48 hour forecast, wave height, wave period and direction

• Latest weather forecasting with icons and text for major U.S. cities

Weather display shows warm water line offshore via Sea Surface Temperature charts, wave direction and some thunder storms up in the mountains. The wave height is displayed in the Lat/Long box in low right of display

Buoy information can also be displayed. Note the storms on the Washington / BC border

LVR-880 DSC VHF+FM Fixed Mount Marine Radio 

The first with an FM radio and NMEA 2000 interface for Track-Your-Buddy. Plus other premium features in a new and exceptional 25W/1W DSC marine radio. This radio has changed the fishery for NW anglers. The old days of calling on the radio with secret verbal code to give your buddy your location to a hot spot is over. With the LVR-880 VHF connected to the NMEA system your position from the GPS is sent over the radios DSC. So now it’s ’Bob come over here, I’m on them.” No Lat/Long numbers, No I’m where we were yesterday as your current position is displayed right on your GPS plotter.

Want more? With the exclusive Lowrance Track-Your-Buddy feature you can track up to 3 of your fishing partners on your GPS at the same time via NEMA position polling. Hence with 2 radios on the Salt Patrol I can track up to 6 boats while fishing. Also redundancy is a key factor when running offshore for tuna.

Duel LVR-880 Radios with Track Your Buddy feature; both are tied into the NMEA 2000 network

NEMA Network

NEMA 2000 network tired into the stern of Salt Patrol

LMF-400 Multi-Function Gauge

With advanced multi-function, high-contrast round dot matrix gauges displaying graphic and numerical digital data. The NMEA 2000 data communications are certified and connect within an affordable, high-performance LowranceNET network to display real-time readings from an array of compatible electronic probes (E.P.s), like fluid level, temp, speed, and more! These can be installed anywhere to monitor many functions and are powered by the NMEA network.

LMF 400 tied into the NEMA 2000 network

So with the new HDS-upgrade I can fish anywhere and have the tools to locate fish and identify my position as well as see boats around me in any weather conditions.

So what’s next?

How about Lowrance Structure Scan.

Structure Scan view of a bridge at 67 ft.

Introducing the most incredible tool for improving fishing success ever devised by Lowrance, for all HDS displays.

With years of developing and testing, to make it right and make it more, Lowrance StructureScan sonar imaging takes fish and structurelocating to the highest level of viewing detail ever achieved.

It’s the first to give you full and phenomenal panoramic underwater sonar imaging with picture-perfect viewing. Scans left…scans right…AND for the first time, scans straight down from your boat! The whole, big picture with added extras to remove all guesswork. So you spend more productive time fishing.

For more information visit out test on the Structure Scan

Catching is still up to you.

Want to see what you have been missing, stop by the Team Lowrance boat when you see us at NW Salmon Derbies, tuna tournaments or local seminars and try out the new HDS System for yourself.

Capt. John

May 2012 Upgrades

Just completed a few electronics upgrades on the Lowrance Boat.

Removed the Broadband Radar and dropped in the new 4G Broadband Radar. It was simple install as I only had to change out the radar dome, everything else was the same.

4G Broadband Radar on Lowrance Boat

The new 4G Broadband offers all the features of the orginal Broadband with more range and its the only dome radar in the world to employ beam sharpening. Now you receive the benefits of unprecedented target separation from a radome, which allows you to see the sharpest images possible when you need them most. With 50% more true range than original Broadband Radar, you can see crystal clear targets at up to 32nm and inside strong storm cells at up to 17nm.

Structure Scan HD Control Box and Transducer

I also installed the new Structure Scan HD. Again it was swap out the box as the transducer bracket is the same and the power cord uses the same plug. The new transducer is a bit longer than the original unit so you need to check spacing around the outboards for clearance.

The Next Generation has crisp side-viewing detail takes you farther – with up to 600 ft of higher-resolution side-to-side coverage. It produces a higher level of definition straight down to deeper depths, with exclusive DownScan Imaging technology.

                                                                                                     Structure Scan Transducer mounted on the Lowrance Boat


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