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Author Topic: Hummingbird 917c vs Lowrance LCX 27c  (Read 5468 times)

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motocross269

Hummingbird 917c vs Lowrance LCX 27c
« on: August 01, 2007, 10:13:43 PM »

I am glad you guys started this child forum I am just about ready to plunk down some hard earned cash on a gps unit.

Has anyone been using humming bird units?? I really like the looks of their screen display. 
It seems like most guys run Lowrance and I am just curious on what the benefits may be of one over the other.
It has pretty much come down to these two units with my budget constraints.
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Slipkey

Re: Hummingbird 917c vs Lowrance LCX 27c
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 12:11:03 AM »

Motocross,

Either of those two units are going to make you happy, however in the choices between the two, IMHO the Lowrance wins on GPS features and the Humminbird wins on the sonar technology.

The Humminbird sonar operates on a dual frequency/dual beam sonar which is going to give you great separation of objects in the watercolumn and increased bottom definition, especially in deeper water situations.  For deep water structure fishing that's a really nice system.  The Humminbird is probably going to be better in split screen Sonar/GPS mode because of the wider screen.

The LowranceNET network system is really slick and allows you to share waypoints between other LowranceNET capable units.   Since Lowrance is so popular it's also much easier to find third party tools and software that write into their file format.  It can tough to find tools that transfer into the Humminbird format.

Both units have the following features:

- Ability to accept Navionics HotMaps Gold and Premium Chips:  (Both use the SD format so you can use the same chip between Lowrance and Humminbird). 

Humminbird offers a 917 Combo NVB which gives you built in Navionics charts.  Lowrance has HD models available with built in Fishing Hot Spots and Nautic Path charts.   The Nautic Path charts are electronic versions of the NOAA charts so for the Great Lakes they cover everything and contain a ton of detail - sometimes more than the Navionics charts.

- WAAS (more info):  which greatly increases your positioning accuracy.  This is especially huge when structure fishing with your electronics.   Once the WAAS signal is aquired it takes your margin of error from meters down to a few feet.   It also makes waypoints you mark more accurate.

Hope that helps and good luck in your search.
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motocross269

Re: Hummingbird 917c vs Lowrance LCX 27c
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 12:55:32 AM »

Thanks..Tell me about EZODs.  I have never heard of them, but I checked out your prices and they seem competitive.
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BryanP

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Re: Hummingbird 917c vs Lowrance LCX 27c
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 12:38:09 AM »

I can chime in on the Humminbird, as I'm the sales rep for MI.

Humminbird has network system called Interlink, and its very simple to install and use.  Basically, it's a small black box that connects to a single GPS antenna, and has leads that connect to your 2 GPS units.  It allows you to share waypoint information between the units (save a waypoint on 1, it automatically transfers it to the other unit).  The Interlink also has its own internal memory.  The best part is it only costs about $100.

I'm not quite sure what Slipkey means by :

"Since Lowrance is so popular it's also much easier to find third party tools and software that write into their file format.  It can tough to find tools that transfer into the Humminbird format." 

Humminbird has its own PC software (like Garmin and Lowrance) which can be downloaded for free from Humminbird.com, and it's very easy to convert Lowrance and Garmin waypoints to Humminbird format.  It literally only takes minutes.  All you need is an SD card and a card reader.  In addition to Humminbird PC, HB is compatible with "third party" mapping software Navionics Navplanner and Fugawi that allows you to plan routes, plot waypoints, etc from your PC just as you can with Lowrance.

On the sonar, Slipkey is correct.  HB uses what is called "Dual Beam Plus" on most of their units.  Dual Beam uses 20 degree and 60 degree cones simultaneously, and gives you 1' of bottom coverage for every foot of depth.  A standard 20 degree cone (on the Lowrance) only gives you 1/3 of your depth in bottom coverage.  On the HB you can run both the beams simultaneously, or you can select either the 200kHz 20 degree cone or the 83 kHz 60 degree cone to run separately.  The 917c can also be upgraded to an optional QuadraBeam transducer which gives you 2 times your depth in bottom coverage.

Another very useful HB feature allows you to pause the sonar screen and cursor back to an object (hump, tree, school of fish, etc...), place the cursor on that object, and save it as a waypoint without having to turn the boat around and "re-find" the structure.

Regarding map cards, the nice thing about Navionics is they do a lot of their own lake surveys, so they're much more up to date than some of the NOAA charts out there.  I know they had a number of survey boats up on Grand Traverse last summer, so look for 1' contours on the Bay in the near future.  They also added HD (1' contour) maps on a ton of northern MI lakes. 

Slipkey, I'm curious as to why you feel the Lowrance GPS is superior?  Are there certain features they have that HB doesn't?  I thought HB had their bases covered, so I'm interested in hearing if there's something missing.

I'll be fishing the Wonderland event, so feel free to stop by and say hello!
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Slipkey

Re: Hummingbird 917c vs Lowrance LCX 27c
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 06:03:41 PM »

I'm not quite sure what Slipkey means by :

"Since Lowrance is so popular it's also much easier to find third party tools and software that write into their file format.  It can tough to find tools that transfer into the Humminbird format." 

Humminbird has its own PC software (like Garmin and Lowrance) which can be downloaded for free from Humminbird.com, and it's very easy to convert Lowrance and Garmin waypoints to Humminbird format.  It literally only takes minutes.  All you need is an SD card and a card reader.  In addition to Humminbird PC, HB is compatible with "third party" mapping software Navionics Navplanner and Fugawi that allows you to plan routes, plot waypoints, etc from your PC just as you can with Lowrance.

Bryan,

Please don't misunderstand, I'm not slamming the Humminbird by any means.  I think it's a great unit and I applaud the innovations in sonar technology that Humminbird keeps coming up with year after year.

In speaking of third party tools I'm speaking of software not made by the manufacturer like:

- Ozi Explorer
- Google Earth
- GPS Babel - a Popular free GPS file format conversion utility

Fugawi Marine ENC, as of version 4.0, and Global Navigator do support Humminbird using the Fugawi Data Exchange process for waypoints instead of native handling of the file format.  This does make the data less portable, though, and there are also some limitations on what and how the data is transferred between the two in comparison to the native types. 

(As a side note, I'd love to see the major GPS manufacturers eliminate proprietary data formats altogether and standardize their data file handling to an open format like the GPX - this would make life easier for everyone)

None of this is on the shoulders of Humminbird in any way.  It just has to do with long-term popularity of Lowrance GPS products and the format.

On the other hand, the Anglers Genie does read and write the Humminbird format so there are definitely tools available, outside of what the manufacturers offer - and on that, I should definitely stand corrrected. :)  I wasn't aware of support in the Navionics product, and that's very cool as well.

I might also add that I think it's great that someone from Humminbird is answering questions in the GLB forums!

You may certainly feel free to contact me offline or PM me as well.  I'd love to hear more about the Interlink system when it becomes available (September, right?).  I believe we sell quite a few of your products every year...    ;)
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BryanP

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Re: Hummingbird 917c vs Lowrance LCX 27c
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 07:02:29 PM »

Slipkey,

Actually, Interlink is available right now.  Originally, it was slated to be available in Sept, but they got it ready early.

I didn't take your comments as slamming HB by any means.  I just like to hear about where we might be missing the boat somewhere, as far as features, etc...

FWIW-The HB waypoint format is .gpx, and I think you'll see compatibility with more and more mapping software in the future.  The people at Johnson Outdoors are committed to making HB number one in marine electronics, and in the 3 years JO has been involved they've made huge strides toward that goal.

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