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I thought I would post a review on here of my recent purchase of a Lowrance Elite 7 HDI. I had researched finders/plotters for several months and finally made a purchase based on cost and effectiveness of the application. I'll post some of the information here that I hope you may find helpful.
Unit purchased from Digital Oasis with navionics gold charts for 689.00 with free shipping, which I found to be a pretty fair price from everywhere else I looked. Shipping took approximately 4 days.
Installation was made very easy (total time just over an hour), all i had to do was hook up my transom mount transducer and run the wires. The wires were a positive and negative hookup. There are actually 5 other wires that it comes with that do not need to be hooked up unless you are linking up with similar systems, which i am not.
First time use was fairly easy if you are decent with electronics, there are only a few buttons which makes navigating easy.
The transducer read is amazing for what I am used to. I have always purchased cheap units in the past from humminbird or a similar outfitter and have never really made a decent investment. I could literally see my jig bouncing up and down on bottom when you are fishing underneath the transducer.
I have used all three applications that the unit comes with including GPS/Chart, sonar and the downview scan that it comes with. I find that the factory settings seemed to work pretty well and I was able to tweak it a little bit more with the sensitivity so that there wasn't so much feedback in the water.
Downside - When i purchased the unit from digital oasis it did not come with a screen cover, which I didn't realize or I would have bought one. This is a necessary purchase that I will make in the near future.
I have only used the unit once so far for about 4-5 hours and am still learning about it, if you have any questions feel free to ask. If I find anything else interesting I will post an update.