July 20th, 2009  |   ( 2 comments )

Lowrance Structure Scan (Side Scan) with Down Scan…WOW

Lowrance  HDS-10 Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter

Update 9/2/2009: Where to Buy

I’m working on a complete price comparison for the Lowrance HDS Sonar/GPS Combos but it’s not quite ready to post yet. So far it looks like West Marine has the best deal with the 10% off coupon code ([offer expired]). Amazon also has a good price. I’ll post the full price comparison very soon. Here are the sites I recommend:

I’ve been waiting for the new Lowrance side scan sonar units for a long time. Some of my friends have the Humminbird Side Imaging units and they are great, but I’m glad I waited for the Lowrance. The video below is the latest I have seen on the new Lowrance units, which should be release any day now (as of July 2009). This new video shows the AMAZING DOWN SCAN feature. With this unit you get side scan views, normal Lowrance-quality 2D color graph views and now you also get the new down scan view. You can even see them all at once on the same screen with the 3-way split screen. This is incredible!

These great new features are actually add-ons to the existing Lowrance HDS systems. You just install the new transducer and plug the new module into the Ethernet port of your HDS. How cool is that? I haven’t heard much about how much these add-ons will cost (~$500?), but it’s nice to know that you can just plug it into your unit. And you could potentially replace or upgrade the HDS or the StructureScan separately. Here are the current Lowrance HDS models that should be compatible with the new side scan bolt-on:

  • HDS-10 – 10.4″ Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter – around $2,300-$2,550 at BPS [ BPS Link ]
  • HDS-8 – 8.4″ Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter – around $1,700-$1,950 at BPS [ BPS Link ]
  • HDS-7 – 6.4″ Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter – around $1,000-$1,250 at BPS [ BPS Link ]
  • HDS-5 – 5″ Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter – around $650-$800 at BPS [ BPS Link ]
  • HDS-5x – 5″ Fishfinder – around $550 at BPS [ BPS Link ]
  • prices as of 8/2009 and do not include the StructureScan add-on component

I like the way the side scan images roll down the screen, so it’s very easy for anyone to understand where you are. Your boat is at the top of the picture and you are seeing what is just in front of your boat at the top and what you have already passed over at the bottom. It looks like the down scan view will move right to left like a traditional 2D sonar graph view.

Please leave a comment below to tell us what you think of this new product from Lowrance.


Video: Lowrance StructureScan with Barry Stokes

This video features Barry Stokes as he takes you through the high points of the new HDS add-on features. Lowrance is trickling these videos out to build the excitement and enthusiasm. I think it’s working!!

Video Highlights

  • 1:00 – description of how the side viewing image appears on the screen (top to bottom)
  • 1:40 – great example of side image sonar as the boat crosses over some iron pipes on the bottom of the lake
  • 2:10 – demo of the down scan view
  • 3:15 – demo the scroll-back feature which lets you go back to see something in history and mark a waypoint
  • 5:00 – Barry shows the 3-way split screen with side scan, down scan and traditional 2D color sonar all showing on the same screen. A great chance to see what you have been missing with 2D technology.
  • 5:50 – brief overview of the installation of the sonar distribution module and the new structure scan transducer

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Video: Lowrance StructureScan Preview 2

Here’s the previous StructureScan preview video. It has some nice examples of underwater boulders – great sonar “shadows”. No mention of down scan on this one, must have still been super secret.

2 comments to Lowrance Structure Scan (Side Scan) with Down Scan…WOW

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