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The Garmin Echomap 93 and 94 chirp series have performed well for me. Garmin is reasonably priced and very easy to use. Like you, I fish Erie and Ontario, and mainly troll. I don't know about Garmin customer service, as I've never had issues. I use sideview and downview occasionally, but most of the time I rely on the chirp mode............. Been a Garmin fan for years. 

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If going with Garmin you will want the 93 series which comes with Lakevu maps where the 94 series comes with ocean maps. For HBird you're looking at the Helix 7/9, if you walleye fish you maybe interested in SI/DI or even MEGA SI/DI depending on how much you use the imaging. For Ontario trolling imaging isn't really needed. You can save money and go with the 7" version of either but I would recommend staying with the 9" if you plan to use imaging. Garmin comes with better maps from the factory imo but HB has the better imaging capabilities.

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big consideration also is if you want to network units together. the garmin 73 and 93 aren't net workable. belive the same with the helix series. they all make them that are just next jump up in price.

.

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18 hours ago, nhjim said:

big consideration also is if you want to network units together. the garmin 73 and 93 aren't net workable. belive the same with the helix series. they all make them that are just next jump up in price.

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You can Network ECHOMAP units together. You CAN'T network an ECHOMAP with a GPSMAP. You also can't install Radar down the road and use an ECHOMAP. Whatever you do DON'T get CHIRP sonar. Stick with a 50/200 or 83/200 transducers. I an drop ship whatever you want. We sell a ton of Garmin and Humminbird at Krenzer Marine. You can't go wrong with either.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

What's the problem with chirp? 

And can't you select a singular frequency to use instead of using the entire transducer spectrum?

Edited by Traveling Circus

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39 minutes ago, Traveling Circus said:

What's the problem with chirp? 

And can't you select a singular frequency to use instead of using the entire transducer spectrum?

 

CHIRP transducers have half the cone angle as traditional ducers. 50khz ducers are 45* cones. CHIRP ducers are at best 30* and most times less than 25*. They are also 3 times the money and all you get is a crisper image. If you're bottom fishing/jigging then it's a great ducer, but for trolling it's not ideal.

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My advice to the OP is to research chirp before you dismiss it.  Like Rick says, If you do any perch fishing or jigging, you will appreciate the detail. I haven't found the reduced cone angle at 50 kHz to be a game changer while trolling, and at 200 kHz it's even less. 

 

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3 hours ago, Triumphchaos83 said:

What about getting an airmar transducer.  How are they hear a lot of people rave about them

 

They make great transducers, but the ones that come from these MFD manufacturers are just fine.

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Are you planning Autopilot in the future? if so look at Lowrance as they offer the cheapest package  for adding autopilot ( outboard and Motorguide xi5) the trolling motor offers anchor lock I bought 2 HDS9 Carbons. GPS antenna integrated Audio networking and autopilot ( cable steering) $4500 last year. This is more that you are looking for but i started with that question and was very disappointed quickly at the small screen. too much information ti fit sonar and chart on at the same time. I will say if Hummingbird had a reasonable Autopilot that would have been my first choice. their screens are really clear and offer mega imaging SSandDI  

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Here are some pics of lowrance hds9 carbon with split screen showing fish in riggers, on bottom, thermocline, swimming down, waypoints. I haven’t been disappointed with the size of the screen and you don’t need to split it. I run it on medium chirp.IMG_4561.JPGIMG_4551.JPGIMG_4338.JPGIMG_4554.JPG


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I use 1 hds 9 for navigation and autopilot and the other for sonar except my split is horizontal as i fish bottom.

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I have a Helix 7 G2N with SI and can't seem to find my cannonballs.  I was using an 8lbs pancake and 10lb cannon flasher.  Are there specific settings you should be using on the Helix 7 or do I need to move to 12lb weights?  Thanks for the help.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Fusco said:

I have a Helix 7 G2N with SI and can't seem to find my cannonballs.  I was using an 8lbs pancake and 10lb cannon flasher.  Are there specific settings you should be using on the Helix 7 or do I need to move to 12lb weights?  Thanks for the help.

 

 

 

Are you using the stock transducer?

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Go into settings and make sure switchfire is on Max mode and make sure you're trolling on 83khz.

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Thanks,  so when I change the 2d Chirp Display Frequency from High to Medium it shows 75-95 kHz on the bottom left of the screen.  I will try these settings as the switchfire was also on clear mode.  There are so many settings on this thing I need to take a course lol.

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Yes, medium Chirp. 

 

Problem with Chirp technology is the cone angle is smaller than traditional sonar.

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