Author Topic: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?  (Read 3156 times)

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Offline bfisherman11

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Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« on: July 27, 2016, 04:36:35 PM »
My dad has offered to upgrade my 560 Hummingbird depthfinder to something with GPS and lake mapping. I see a lot of resorts in MN that have used Lowrance units. Not that familiar with them. Like my HB... Am more familiar with HB anyhow, ha. My gut says the HB Helix 7 DI GPS-Chartplotter w/Navonics might be the right unit for me. Price wise it is anyhow, don't want my dad spending too much $. I mostly fish the US side of Rainy and also Kab. Mostly all MN fishing.

Really want a good depthfinder/fish finder and good lake mapping.

What do you all like and how does it work on Rainy lake (hope not too specific?



Thanks,

Bill


Offline afaust

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2016, 05:12:07 PM »
I love my helix 5.... but if i would have to do it over again, just by mentioning the mapping, id go with the helix 9, especially since you are already looking at the 7.... main reason, autochart live.  i want to buy autochart for the pc to do the mapping, which adds 200-250$ (here where i am), and with that you will end up in the helix 9 price range, with autochart built in (as far as ive read). Just my opinion... then you create your own charts of whatever lake you want, and dont need navionics at all.

Allan

Offline bfisherman11

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2016, 09:00:48 PM »
Looking at costs, maybe I would be better off with the SI  5 with a map chip and GPS.  I think that would be more in my budget.

Would that unit do it?

Thanks

Offline afaust

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2016, 10:59:09 PM »
Looking at costs, maybe I would be better off with the SI  5 with a map chip and GPS.  I think that would be more in my budget.

Would that unit do it?

Thanks

I have a 5 SI GPS model, and in my opinion (you have to make your own choice, and whether this helps or not is up to you), I wouldn't go less than the SI GPS model... Where you have 2d, flasher, DI, si, and a gps on it. I love mine, and wouldn't give it up. As mentioned earlier, if I'd do it over, I'd go for the nine, just because of autochart live... I.e. Live mapping as you drive your boat. A consideration is the map chip and autochart is another option. The map chip (in the case of HB) will have maps of your area... In my case, sadly, no Canadian maps from HB (except the Great Lakes I believe, but for me, that is useless). Other option is Navionics, which has good info on it, I'm just not a fan of how they update, but that is my personal gripe with them (I don't find I should pay for data that I'm sending them to update their maps, but I do understand nothing would get done otherwise). Other consideration, get the biggest screen you can afford... So if it's a five, so be it... Bigger the screen, more visibility, easier to read.. (Not that it is hard to read, but think of it as a cell phone vs a 7" tablet vs an iPad... Personal choice is there as well)... Hope that helps

Allan

Offline bfisherman11

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 09:27:54 AM »
Allan, Thank you very much. I got a lot of help from your post!

I need to look into the Autochart to see how it applies to me. I was already planning on the Nav chip or Lakemaster. At this point I need to go to a Cabelas or BassPro and put my hands on a unit to see the mapping it comes with.

Really appreciate the help.

Bill

Offline EzyEric

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2016, 11:57:40 AM »
I recently purchased the Helix 7 SI GPS.  I also agree and wish I got the 9 as i want to Autochart and it would be so much easier if I could do it live.  Also you would be surprised how small things become when splitting 7" widescreen display with GPS on one side and sonar(or side imaging) on the other.

Given you budget and lack of need for Autochart I would compare 5" and 7" in store and see what I mean about screen size.  I cannot imagine if I was on 5".

Offline afaust

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2016, 12:37:34 PM »
Bill,

I hope you get the unit you want, but I just want to mention something by what you said... About the "seeing what mapping it comes with".

The units do not come with any mapping.... If you have an avionics chip, you can see the lakes, rivers and depth charts as on the navionics web apps (do a search online). If you have a lake aster chip, you should see the lakes from the area of the chip (not sure about more, since I've never seen one, and won't because they have no Canada lakes).
As for autochart, there are 3 versions, autochart, autochart pro, and live. Autochart and autochart pro take your sonar recordings and create depth charts that you can then use on your sonar to see the depth charts of where you have been.... This is done by taking your recordings to your home PC and doing it in the comfort of your own home, and then transferring this data back to your SD card and back to your unit.
Autochart live on the other hand (available on the helix 9 and up) is just that, live... It creates the depth charts as you are boating, live on the lake you are on.... The more you travel, the more your depth chart will improve.... Right as you are fishing, not the next time you are on that body of water.... As mentioned by Eric, see the 3 in store, and look at the difference....we both would have preferred the live autochart.... And if you pay for autochart separately, the 2-300$ it costs for the software is the difference in price from the 7 to the 9... Just something to think about...

Allan

Offline bfisherman11

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2016, 12:39:37 PM »
Well, I ordered a Helix 7 SI with GPS and got the Navonics + chip (US and Canada). If what I see on the Navonics site is what my chip will have on it, I see all the lakes I fish. Even a small lake in WI. Sure hope these lakes are preloaded. That will be cool.

I was looking at Cabelas and had a 10% off coupon (in store). I looked at Amazon and got what is normally at Cabelas $699 for $619. Also got the Navonics for $135 ($199 @ Cabelas)

Those prices were too good to pass. Even with my 10% off at Cabelas I could not beat that deal. Total with free shipping was $754.

Did I do good?

Thanks,
Bill

Offline afaust

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Re: Upgrading Depthfinder to Combo suggestions-Helix7?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2016, 05:50:43 PM »
Hi Bill,

To be honest, only you will be able to tell if you did well or not.... You have a helix 7 SI GPS.. Great unit... You shopped around to get a better price for both the navionics and the helix.... That is good too.
As for being happy, as I stated,if I had to do it over, I'd get a nine.... But I'm completely satisfied with my 5, and that is what is most important. If you are happy with you purchase, that is what counts.

Allan


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