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Croydon

Sounder And Transducer Set Up For Gamefishing

22 posts in this topic

Hi folks,

I'm looking for a bit of advice regarding a new sounder/transducer set up for my boat. I have a 560C barcrusher, which I use for game fishing as well as inshore reef fishing for snapper, kings and the like. I currently have a Raymarine DS500X sounder which is great but becomes less reliable once you get out to 100 fathoms and more.

I have an independent GPS which I'm happy with so I'm looking at a Lowrance HDS-5X sounder but upgrading to a 1kw transducer. In particular the airmar TM270W or the TM260, but I have a couple of concerns.

Both transducers are around 4kg and 26cm long. Is this too big to hang off the back of a 6m tinnie??

Both are 50/200kHz but run different beam angles. The TM270W has a 25deg beam width at both 50 & 200kHz, which would be great for bait/game fish but how will it go with bottom definition inshore and out at the shelf? The TM260 runs 19 and 6 deg angles, which is more of a compromise but not as suitable for the game fish. There is a fair price difference between the two as well.

Just wondering what your thoughts were before I shelled out the cash. Thanks........

Dave

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croydon

I don't think you will have any trouble with the wider angle beams the 200kHz is good for 300m of depth my X126 is go for 1500m on the 50kHz, and has the wider beam .

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Hi folks,

I'm looking for a bit of advice regarding a new sounder/transducer set up for my boat. I have a 560C barcrusher, which I use for game fishing as well as inshore reef fishing for snapper, kings and the like. I currently have a Raymarine DS500X sounder which is great but becomes less reliable once you get out to 100 fathoms and more.

I have an independent GPS which I'm happy with so I'm looking at a Lowrance HDS-5X sounder but upgrading to a 1kw transducer. In particular the airmar TM270W or the TM260, but I have a couple of concerns.

Both transducers are around 4kg and 26cm long. Is this too big to hang off the back of a 6m tinnie??

Both are 50/200kHz but run different beam angles. The TM270W has a 25deg beam width at both 50 & 200kHz, which would be great for bait/game fish but how will it go with bottom definition inshore and out at the shelf? The TM260 runs 19 and 6 deg angles, which is more of a compromise but not as suitable for the game fish. There is a fair price difference between the two as well.

Just wondering what your thoughts were before I shelled out the cash. Thanks........

Dave

forgive if im wrong but i thought the maximum output on that sounder was 250 watt,if so you will be wasting your money on that transducer for that unit,as you will only get 25% of what the trannie can give you

i beleive with that tranie you would require the probracket(furuno )which looks like this

post-5893-126960840253_thumb.jpg

this transducer is the tm 258(ITHINK)same size as the 260only the 260 is thicker

if im wrong disregard,and ive been wrong before ,ask my wife,lol ,just didnt want you to throw away your cash

ok just had a squiz on the net and there appears to be two versions,the one ive seen online comes with its own bracket,and the one ive seenfrom a rep has the probracket attached,but same specs none the less

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Hi Mr Magoo,

Thanks for the reply. You may well be right and it's something I have to check into some more. But from what I've been reading (and it's hard to sort the good oil from the hype) is that it's difficult to compare broadband signal processing with conventional analog sounders as the sensitivity of broadband is so high it uses significantly less output power. I had a look at the specs sheet and maximum output power is 250W which is equivalent to 30,000W analog. Which I hope means the HDS-5 can run the 1kw transducer and provide the results I'm after.

Unfortunately for me, I don't know my jigawatts from my killer-watts and trying to get an unbiased straight forward answer from anyone who sells them is difficult (other than Huey as he's been very helpful). Just means more research and asking lots more questions before I spend the money. But thanks again for the reply, it's given me something important to think about. Much appreciated......

Dave

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Hi Mr Magoo,

Thanks for the reply. You may well be right and it's something I have to check into some more. But from what I've been reading (and it's hard to sort the good oil from the hype) is that it's difficult to compare broadband signal processing with conventional analog sounders as the sensitivity of broadband is so high it uses significantly less output power. I had a look at the specs sheet and maximum output power is 250W which is equivalent to 30,000W analog. Which I hope means the HDS-5 can run the 1kw transducer and provide the results I'm after.

Unfortunately for me, I don't know my jigawatts from my killer-watts and trying to get an unbiased straight forward answer from anyone who sells them is difficult (other than Huey as he's been very helpful). Just means more research and asking lots more questions before I spend the money. But thanks again for the reply, it's given me something important to think about. Much appreciated......

Dave

1 kilowatt is a thousand watts,i beleive there having you on,have heard companies say 2000 peak to peak but the real figure is the 250 watts,dont know what the peak to peak figure means ,it impressed mee on my old unit,but at the end of the day it was only 500watts

not enough for what ive wanted

i have a furuno,and it is truly awesome,ive used a raymarine 12 inch 1kw unit cant remember the model,awesome too,but big dollars

there both digital units

also been in a boat that had the top of the line lowrance,broad band etc etc ,great images

by the way your current raymarine DS500X unit is 500 watts and its digital

cheers arman

Edited by mr magoo

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1 kilowatt is a thousand watts,i beleive there having you on,have heard companies say 2000 peak to peak but the real figure is the 250 watts,dont know what the peak to peak figure means ,it impressed mee on my old unit,but at the end of the day it was only 500watts

not enough for what ive wanted

i have a furuno,and it is truly awesome,ive used a raymarine 12 inch 1kw unit cant remember the model,awesome too,but big dollars

there both digital units

also been in a boat that had the top of the line lowrance,broad band etc etc ,great images

by the way your current raymarine DS500X unit is 500 watts and its digital

cheers arman

Thanks Arman, I tend to think your right. It's a bit hard to believe the figures and the hype. That's why I'm asking around for peoples 'real world' experiences. The Raymarine Unit is an excellent sounder and operates well but is not upto what I want and does not have any other transducer options other that what it has now. I'm still undecided and quite open to other brands. The Furuno may be the other way to go. Thanks for your help it's good to see what other peopel have found and are happy with. Thanks again.......

Dave

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Hi Arman,

Got an email back recently from a retailer of airmar transducers. His opinion was that I would get an improvement in performance with the 1Kw transducer but could not exploit it's full potential with a 250kw sounder no matter the brand. Looks like I have to rethink my chioces. Glad you brought it up, much appreciated.........

Dave

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Croydon,

I have Lowrance HDS8's on board with a 1kw B260 airmar trandsucer, which is through hull fairing block, to be honest I wouldn't recomend buying a HDS5 for what you want to do, you will need at least a 7 and prefferably an 8. I run three on board, two on the helm and one networked and interfaced via ethernet to a tower. The image is sensational for the money, it's as good as you get in my opinion, the only time I have seen better is when people have spent tens of thousands on Navnet and the likes. To get any sort of definition between bait balls and fish in depths to and around 100FA you are going to need a 1kw transducer and a descent head unit. I have seen the bottom in up to 500FA on 50KH no problem and mark marlin on bait balls as well.

Just save for a little longer and get the HDS8, you will regret it if you don't.

Any thing else you want to know just ask.

Andrew

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Hi,

I second the HDS8. Just replaced the sounder and GPS on my boat with the HDS8/Combo and spent a week fishing Port Stephens. Awesome bit of gear. I had every intention getting the Furuno 585 but the HDS unit clarity, sharpness and definition is brilliant. Dead easy to use. In the end it is your decision, good luck.

Cheers,

Rabs

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Croydon,

I have Lowrance HDS8's on board with a 1kw B260 airmar trandsucer, which is through hull fairing block, to be honest I wouldn't recomend buying a HDS5 for what you want to do, you will need at least a 7 and prefferably an 8. I run three on board, two on the helm and one networked and interfaced via ethernet to a tower. The image is sensational for the money, it's as good as you get in my opinion, the only time I have seen better is when people have spent tens of thousands on Navnet and the likes. To get any sort of definition between bait balls and fish in depths to and around 100FA you are going to need a 1kw transducer and a descent head unit. I have seen the bottom in up to 500FA on 50KH no problem and mark marlin on bait balls as well.

Just save for a little longer and get the HDS8, you will regret it if you don't.

Any thing else you want to know just ask.

Andrew

Thanks Andy and Rabs, much appreciated. Other than the screen size between the HDS 5 and 8, are there any other differences which make the 8 more suitable? I only ask because I'm limited in size due to the units mounting position in the boat. I also have a separate gps which does everything I need it to do. Just not sure which way to go as yet. Thanks again guys......

Dave

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Hi Arman,

Got an email back recently from a retailer of airmar transducers. His opinion was that I would get an improvement in performance with the 1Kw transducer but could not exploit it's full potential with a 250kw sounder no matter the brand. Looks like I have to rethink my chioces. Glad you brought it up, much appreciated.........

Dave

no problem mate ,thanks for the thanks all the best with the new unit what ever it is,there are a lot of quailty units available these days

cheers arman

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Mate did u ever purchase another sounder and if so what did u go for..... i also have a ds500x and i also have the same problem as you when game fishing.... waiting for my divorce so i can spend some of my own money for a change and have been thinking of the hds units as well... does anyone have one with just the standard transducer and if so can u effectively mark marlin on bait balls or is the 1kw the only way to go? Anymore feedback appreciated.....cheers..Paul

Edited by payatz

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Mate did u ever purchase another sounder and if so what did u go for..... i also have a ds500x and i also have the same problem as you when game fishing.... waiting for my divorce so i can spend some of my own money for a change and have been thinking of the hds units as well... does anyone have one with just the standard transducer and if so can u effectively mark marlin on bait balls or is the 1kw the only way to go? Anymore feedback appreciated.....cheers..Paul

Hi Paul,

No haven't purchased a new one as yet. Still doing some research and waiting on a reply from Lowrance about a few questions. I'll let you know if/when I do.

Dave

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Mate did u ever purchase another sounder and if so what did u go for..... i also have a ds500x and i also have the same problem as you when game fishing.... waiting for my divorce so i can spend some of my own money for a change and have been thinking of the hds units as well... does anyone have one with just the standard transducer and if so can u effectively mark marlin on bait balls or is the 1kw the only way to go? Anymore feedback appreciated.....cheers..Paul

I have a hds7 on a new 640c , I have trouble reading past the 300m mark on the standard tranducer and will be upgrading to a kw very soon. As much as I really like this sounder it has just turned 12 months old and has been sent away with manufactury faults which I am very angry and suprised with. Anyone else had problems with the hds's ?

Josh

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I have a hds7 on a new 640c , I have trouble reading past the 300m mark on the standard tranducer and will be upgrading to a kw very soon. As much as I really like this sounder it has just turned 12 months old and has been sent away with manufactury faults which I am very angry and suprised with. Anyone else had problems with the hds's ?

Josh

G'day guys,I bought a HDS 7 with the standard 200/50 transducer last year and was only getting about 200 fathoms out of it.I rang the guys at Navico who were great and super helpfull.The sounders are all set up with a generic input for the transducer.If you go to the menu on the sonar set up and press it twice there will be a function that says transducer,click on this and it will have all the different transducer models.On the back of the plug where the transducer plugs into the sounder there is a tag with a code.I matched mine up and was getting 400 fathoms.Other than this the sounder has been great.Also had a mate look at it and if you adjust the sensitivity it makes a big difference picking up bait schools and fish.A 1kw transducer is $1340,too much cash for me at the moment.Good luck.

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Hi Dave, thought i would give you my info on the TM270W, i have a 6m (Aluminium) Cairns Custom Craft,150 e-tec, Cuddy Cabin. My sounder is a Furono FCV585 with a 600W transducer and now have recently bought the TM270W transom mount Transducer, i loved the 600w Transducer but was struggling with the deeper waters of the shelf it would read well upto about 90m but but deeper than that and it lost it's clarity. so after 4 yrs of using a 600w I took the plunge and bought the 270,

I got it sent over from the USA from Blue Herron marine who were good to deal with and after doing the usual customs declaration stuff received it after about 4 wks of ordering (held up in customs for 3).

I took it out of the box and was blown away how big it was and thought i need a bigger boat ! or at least a bigger transom bracket so of i went to see Marcau at Cairns Custom and within an hour had a transom mount 4 x bigger than the original one just to be on the safe side.

After installing it as you do with by the instructions and changing the settings to accept the 1kw transducer we waited for the wind to drop and we went out for a fish it was blowing 10-15 knots so no fishing of the shelf but went into the 53m marks i have and to be honest at first couldn't see

much difference and was a bit disappointed, at around 25 knts we were losing the bottom, i had fish id on and no fish appeared like with my 600w. we caught plenty of fish but that was more down to the good fishing spots and not the 270 and was considering putting the 600w along side the 270 and plug in and out when needed.

Then my fishing mate (lucky) had a friend up from Sydney who was a wizz a electronics stuff especially Transducers he came round to the shed and immediately dropped it by 25mm well below the hull line and set the unit to factory defaults and that day went out again, we decided to go out of Deeral an hour south of Cairns and to new fishing grounds where i had no marks at all.

It was a gentle breeze of 5 knts so we headed out towards the shelf, immediately coming out of the estuary i opened her up WOT 37 knts and was blown away that the Transducer was reading clear as day, ok it was flat calm almost glassing out but it definitely got my mouth watering, after getting to around 70m started to do some prospecting and this is where the wide beam came into play found a 3m drop off (quite easily) dropped the anchor and spent the next few hours pulling up a good mixed bag of Red Emp, Rosy Jobs, Maori sea brim, large hussers, flowery cod etc the fish id wasn't working

but the arches were and I started to reeducate myself on reading a sounder, we upped the anchor and went hunting for Coral trout, found a reef around 35m and the arches of fish and bait appeared before my eyes, positioned the boat on a bit of a drop off of about 45m and pulled in 9 trout within an hour and other stuff like a big Spanish Mack with a floater out back.

I have been out again since and when my anchor winch stuffed up we did some trolling around and found some excellent looking marks which i will return to another day, i now fully recommend the TM270W and if your sounder is as good as a Furono FCV585 sell your kids and go out and get one!

Go get em.

OJ

Hi folks,

I'm looking for a bit of advice regarding a new sounder/transducer set up for my boat. I have a 560C barcrusher, which I use for game fishing as well as inshore reef fishing for snapper, kings and the like. I currently have a Raymarine DS500X sounder which is great but becomes less reliable once you get out to 100 fathoms and more.

I have an independent GPS which I'm happy with so I'm looking at a Lowrance HDS-5X sounder but upgrading to a 1kw transducer. In particular the airmar TM270W or the TM260, but I have a couple of concerns.

Both transducers are around 4kg and 26cm long. Is this too big to hang off the back of a 6m tinnie??

Both are 50/200kHz but run different beam angles. The TM270W has a 25deg beam width at both 50 & 200kHz, which would be great for bait/game fish but how will it go with bottom definition inshore and out at the shelf? The TM260 runs 19 and 6 deg angles, which is more of a compromise but not as suitable for the game fish. There is a fair price difference between the two as well.

Just wondering what your thoughts were before I shelled out the cash. Thanks........

Dave

Edited by OilyJohnny

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Hi OJ,

Thanks for the reply. I'm glad your happy with the new transducer/sounder set up. In the end I bought a FCV585 and TM260 transducer. Couldn't be happier, getting great bottom readings at speed and sounding out schools of fish at 500m is not a drama. All in all a great combination. Best of luck up north.........

Dave

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Thanks Dave i meant to say 585 to! getting my 625 and 585 mixed up. i haven't been to deep with it yet waiting for the the wind to drop out

Good luck

OJ

Hi OJ,

Thanks for the reply. I'm glad your happy with the new transducer/sounder set up. In the end I bought a FCV585 and TM260 transducer. Couldn't be happier, getting great bottom readings at speed and sounding out schools of fish at 500m is not a drama. All in all a great combination. Best of luck up north.........

Dave

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Good one Dave, congrats on the new gear. I have the same setup and am very pleased with it. I have owned the HDS system also and rated the screen on the HDS better, but I believe the 585 is more sensitive in the detail it picks up under the boat. It just doesn't look as colourful as the HDS system. I have been playing with the gain on the unit and it makes a big difference once you get the hang of it. My 585 is networked with a 10" furuno navnet gps/sonar unit too which is great if you want to mark fish or structure and pick up the sounder data on the stored point.

Cheers

Errol

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G'day Erroll,

Yep very happy with the unit. It's taken a bit of time to get use to and I'm still learning to drive it, but gets better all the time. Don't tend to use auto too much anymore and I definitely get better results. I've networked mine with a furuno gp700f and use the sounder to mark spots. Much more accurate than the gps alone. It's a real bonus when trolling and you find a good looking area, takes me straight back every time. Good luck for the summer, can't wait to see some blue water. It's very green and cold down here at Batemans Bay.

Dave

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Thanks Dave. I hope the new gear lives up to the expectations. Can't imagine it won't. Yes, we have all been wondering when things are going to change for the better. After the bluefin bonanza here, things have been very quiet. I am up to Port Stephens this weekend but the weather up there looks worse than Sydney! We seem to have largely missed the yellowfin altogether here. Fingers crossed.

Cheers

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