Lowrance GPS Guide
Lowrance HOOK Series
HOOK™ fishfinders and chartplotter/fishfinder combos
For Any Angler, Anywhere… we introduce the HOOK™ series of fishfinders,
chartplotters and combos.
HOOK models represent a radical approach to the basics. No gimmicks. No skimping
or shortcuts. Just the basics the way they were meant to be: reliable, well-made
and perfectly suited to your lifestyle. All at a price that's honest and makes
The essential features from our legendary leadership in marine electronics are
built in to every HOOK model. The brightest displays, the easiest-to-use
interface, the quick-release bracket and multiple mounting options, as well as
CHIRP sonar for the best target separation and minimal clutter.
fishfinder/chartplotter displays are a revolutionary step forward for the
marine electronics industry. Technology is not slowing down. Are you keeping
up? HDS Gen3 is a bottom machine that goes well beyond finding.
HDS Gen3 gives
birth to an exclusive new interface that allows you to fully control functions
through either multi-touch or full key pad operation depending on user
preference and on-the-water conditions.
3D - By adding StructureScan®
3D (available separately) you'll be able to see underwater terrain and
fish-holding structure in a high-resolution, 180-degree, three-dimensional
view beneath your boat. StructureScan 3D is powered by a multi-beam sonar
technology that not only produces picture-like, three-dimensional views, but
also boosts the performance of StructureScan HD imaging - providing
a side-scanning range up to 600 feet on each side of your boat
Separation - This hi-tech
generation advances the award-winning Lowrance® target separation by combining
simultaneous use of cutting-edge CHIRP sonar technology and our widely-held
StructureScan™ HD or
StructureScan 3D sonar imaging
to produce unparalleled views of fish holding near the bottom and around
Screens - In order to better
replicate the underwater home where fish live and how you interact with the
display, Lowrance has developed and specially tuned a visibly better screen
delivering better definition of sonar returns, dynamic dimensionality in menu
elements and a layered, strong and subtle color scheme for striking on-screen
Interface - To drive the
latest in electronics technology the HDS Gen3 benefits the angler by turning out
the fastest HDS® ever. Those keys are made for pushing. And, we know it is
important for you to feel how the touch screen functions. A remarkably fast
processor ensures that HDS Gen3 will perform the way you fish.
Integration And System Control -
The advantages of new technology don’t stop there. Total control of
trolling-motor, outboard motor and entire electronics system is now achievable
in one integrated HDS system. Lowrance SmartSteer™ allows seamless switching
from electric-steer trolling-motor and outboard pilot steering. Add-in any NMEA
2000® certified device and available engine interface cables or Lowrance data
sensors for a professional-level system that is effortless-to-install and
Enhancing your time on-the-water, GoFree™ wireless download and upload of maps,
new software and cool new fishing apps extends your control into a cloud enabled
digital shopping experience.
Lowrance HDS Carbon Series
Ready for Battle.
New Lowrance® HDS Carbon units feature ultra-clear SolarMAX™ HD multi-touch
displays with high-bright LED back lighting and advanced anti-reflective
coatings to create wider viewing angles suitable for any lighting condition.
Loaded with a dual-core, high-performance processor, HDS Carbon delivers faster
redraw speeds and quicker response times to easily power CHIRP sonar, Dual
Network Sounder, StructureScan® 3D, StructureMap™ and future high-powered
fishfinding upgrades. HDS Carbon features integrated wireless and Bluetooth®
connectivity that supports the most advanced marine technology, including a
Network Analyzer that notifies users when new software is available, and a
Service Assistant that transmits a detailed network report directly to technical
support for custom hands-on assistance.
What's New With HDS Carbon
HDS SolarMAX™ HD displays with greater resolution and a wider range of viewing
High-performance dual-core processor for smoother navigation and faster sonar
Dual-Channel CHIRP Sonar – coming soon*
Dual Sounder – cover more water and mark fish targets more clearly from a
network of CHIRP sonar transducers
*will require a dual-channel CHIRP sonar transducer
Lowrance HDS Carbon Navigation advantages:
Internal GPS antenna –
with 10Hz position update rate provides ultra-accurate trails, smoother chart
performance and maximum position accuracy. Supports WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS
Precision-9 compatible ─
the Precision-9 Compass supplies accurate heading and rate-of-turn information
to Lowrance® autopilot, radar and navigation systems over an NMEA
2000®connection. With an internal array of solid-state sensors constantly
measuring motion and orientation on nine axes, the Precision-9 also provides
pitch and roll data to compatible equipment.
Extensive mapping options –HDS
Carbon includes built-in C-MAP Basemap charts for Coastal and Inland US
waters, a world background reference map, and compatibility with the most
expansive selection of cartography on the market. Mapping options include
Insight Genesis™, Insight PRO by C-MAP, Lake Insight HD by C-MAP, C-MAP MAX-N+,Navionics®
and more. Visit GoFreeMarine.com for details.
InsightGenesis™ custom maps –
Make your own maps using recorded sonar logs, upload data to an Insight
Genesis® account, view secure custom chart detail online, add optional custom
color layer, vegetation and bottom-hardness overlays and download to a microSD
card for use on the water. Plus, you can also share custom maps with the
global Insight Genesis Social Map community.
Multi-view and chart sharing –
View two charts simultaneously, in 2D or 3D perspective view, with independent
control, range and overlay capabilities. Plus, get the maximum from your chart
card purchases.Buy one map card and view it on all Ethernet networked HDS
Gen3, HDS Gen2 Touch or Gen2 displays.
Dual microSD card slots
Lowrance HDS Carbon Sonar advantages:
Built-in CHIRP Sonar –
Dominate with greater sensitivity, improved target resolution and superior
noise rejection for clearer, easy-to-see bait fish and game fish targets.
Delivers multiple CHIRP and Broadband Sounder frequencies from a single
StructureScan 3D ─
Integrated support for StructureScan 3D Imaging, which allows anglers to see
fish, structure and bottom contours in a stunning, three-dimensional view that
gives them a better understanding of where fish and structure are located in
relation to their boat. Requires optional StructureScan 3D module and
Dual network sonar Views allow
for covering more water and seeing mark fish targets from a network of CHIRP
sonar transducers. Watch sonar views from bow-mounted transducer and the
in-hull or transom-mounted transducer at the same time on the same display.
Simultaneously view CHIRP Sonar with StructureScan® 3D or StructureScan® HD to
get the best possible view of fish and structure, below and to the sides of
Built-in support for StructureScan® HD imaging –Enjoy
picture-like, 180-degree views of structure and fish below your boat. Requires
optional StructureScan® HD transducer.
Built-in, award-winning Broadband Sounder™ –
Display and mark game fish, bait fish and structure at higher speeds and at
greater depths - from one to more than 3,000*feet.
TotalScan™ transducer ─
Use the optional, all-in-one TotalScan™ Skimmer®transducer for Broadband and
CHIRP sonar, plus StructureScan® HD with SideScan and DownScan Imaging™. This
optional transducer simplifies installations by allowing anglers to get all
their sonar with only one transducer install.
StructureMap™ capability –
Use live or recorded StructureScan® 3D and StructureScan® HD logs to create
stunning underwater images of lakes, rivers or seafloor. StructureMap can be
viewed as an overlay, and toggled on and off to provide the ultimate in
situational awareness in relation to both chart and bottom detail.
DownScan Overlay™ technology
overlays DownScan Imaging™ onto CHIRP Sonar or Broadband Sounder™ returns.
TrackBack™ to review and
save key hot spots- Scroll-back thru sonar or StructureScan® HD imaging
history to review structure or fish targets and pinpoint the location with a
SpotlightScan™ Sonar ready –
optional add-on delivers a new level of angler-controlled surround-scanning
view to provide picture-like images of key fishing areas.
Lowrance Elite Ti Series
The Best-Selling Series of 2016 Just Got Bigger.
Introducing new Lowrance® Elite Ti widescreen displays, the Elite-9 Ti and —
even bigger 12.1-inch — Elite-12 Ti. Leading innovation and affordable pricing
make the Elite-Ti Series the clear choice for serious anglers. A big-league
processor — the fastest in its class — outperforms all challengers.
With more viewing options than any competitor, Elite Ti models come standard
with CHIRP sonar across more frequencies, exclusive and instant TrackBack™ sonar
history recall and compatibility with the TotalScan™ all-in-one Skimmer®
transducer, providing CHIRP and StructureScan® HD with SideScan and DownScan
Imaging™. All Elite Ti models use proven high-resolution imaging frequencies —
both 455 and 800 kHz — for StructureScan HD, DownScan Imaging and DownScan
Overlay™ for super-fine, incomparable detail. Only StructureScan HD imaging
makes available the widest side-scan range in fishing. With a max range of 300
ft. to each side of the boat, Elite-Ti is easier to use, eliminating multiple
passes. You will spend less time idling and more time fishing with Elite Ti.
Superior networking features including NMEA 2000® (excluding Elite-5 Ti) and
wireless connectivity that not only delivers notifications about new software
updates, but allows you to download new software directly to the display, for
the Elite Ti and all connected NMEA 2000 devices. Elite Ti features onboard
Service Assistant and Network Analyzer Wi-Fi service tools, enabling you to send
system reports, screenshots and software version information directly to
Lowrance Customer Service. Wi-Fi also connects you to the GoFree® Shop, allowing
you to upload sonar data or download custom maps from your Insight Genesis™
account. Bluetooth® wireless capability enables control of C-Monster® controlled
single- or dual- Power-Pole® installations directly from the Elite-Ti
The Elite Ti Series features a clean, rugged design. Just what you would expect
from Lowrance. Matching great performance and exceptional features with
What Is GPS?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space age navigational system that
can pinpoint your position anywhere on the globe, usually within a few yards
or meters. This amazing technology is available to everyone, everywhere, day
and night, and best of all, at no cost for use of the navigational data. GPS
uses a constellation of 24 satellites in precise orbits approximately 11,000
miles above the earth. The satellites transmit data via high frequency radio
waves back to Earth and, by locking onto these signals, a GPS receiver can
process this data to triangulate its precise location on the globe.
GPS operates 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, and can be used
worldwide for precise navigation on land, on water and even in the air. Some
of its many current applications include: boating, fishing, hunting, scouting
on land or from the air, hiking, camping, biking, rafting, pack trips by
horseback, hot air ballooning, general aviation, snowmobiling and skiing,
search and rescue, emergency vehicle tracking, 4 wheeling, highway driving and
a host of other outdoor activities where accurate positioning is required.
How GPS Determines Your Position
GPS uses satellite ranging to triangulate your position. In other
words, the GPS unit simply measures the travel time of the signals transmitted
from the satellites, then multiplies them by the speed of light to determine
exactly how far the unit is from every satellite it's sampling.
By locking onto the signals from a minimum of three different satellites, a
GPS receiver can calculate a 2D (two-dimensional) positional fix, consisting
of your latitude and longitude. By locking onto a fourth satellite, the GPS
can compute a 3D (three-dimensional) fix, calculating your altitude as well as
your latitude/longitude position.
In order to do this Lowrance uses a 12 parallel-channel receiver in all of its
current products. Three of the channels lock on to satellites for
triangulation. Another channel locks on to a fourth satellite for 3D
navigation, which lets the unit calculate altitude in addition to latitude and
longitude. These four channels continuously and simultaneously track the four
satellites in the best geometrical positions relative to you. The additional
eight channels track all other visible satellites, then add this data to the
data from the original four satellites. The unit then over-resolves a
solution, creating an accuracy-enhanced reading. The additional channels also
ensure reliable, continuous and uninterrupted navigation, even in adverse
conditions such as valleys or dense woods.
GPS was conceived in the 1970s, and is controlled by the United States
Department of Defense. Although GPS was initially envisioned for military use,
the Government realized early on that there would be numerous civilian
applications as well. Subsequently, the Department of Defense (DOD) created
two transmission codes; the P code (Precision code) for military use, and the
C/A code (Civilian Access code) for civilian use.
The highest accuracy levels were to be reserved for the military so as to
prevent hostile enemy attacks against the U.S. using our own navigational
system. However, once in operation, the civilian GPS receivers using the C/A
code proved to be more accurate than the DOD had intended. Consequently, the
military developed a system for randomly degrading the accuracy of the signals
being transmitted to civilian GPS receivers. This intentional degradation in
accuracy is called Selective Availability or S/A. This reduced the civilian
GPS accuracy levels to being within 100 meters or less, 95% of the time.
However, typical accuracy for most users averaged between 20 and 50 meters the
majority of the time. You could easily see the effects of S/A on a GPS
receiver when you were not moving. Typically, there would be random movements
in speed, altitude and position readings, along with slow position "wandering"
on the plotter trail. This was easily seen when you were on a .1 or .2 mile
zoom range and not moving. For example, while parked at the dock in your boat,
you would see unexplainable changes in your digital speed readings up to a few
miles per hour, even though you were not moving.
Plot of position accuracy using standard Lowrance GPS receiver
(stationary). Note the differences in scale. 5.5 hour period immediately prior
to shutoff of selective availability 8 hour period immediately after shutoff
of selective availability longitude meters | longitude meters
Effective May 2, 2000 selective availability (S/A) has been eliminated. The
United States Department of Defense now has the technology to localize the
control system to deny GPS signals to selected areas. It is not often that
your electronics products increase in value after you've purchased them. Now
boaters, aviators, drivers, hikers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts of all
types can locate their position up to ten times more precisely (within 10 to
20 meters) and navigate their way through unfamiliar terrain. Anglers can now
return to their favorite spot on a lake or river instead of just their
favorite area. A Lowrance GPS receiver in combination with advanced technology
of today's GPS management will take you anywhere you want to go.
The decision to allow civilians so much accuracy in location information
was finally made because GPS is continually playing a more important role in
the lives of people around the world - it's becoming a national utility. GPS
is the global standard in navigation because it is completely free of charge
to the public.
Differential GPS (DGPS)
Differential GPS, or DGPS, has been developed to improve GPS accuracy to
within a few meters. DGPS was originally initiated by the U.S. Coast Guard to
counter the accuracy degradation caused by Selective Availability. Even with
S/A now eliminated, DGPS continues to be a key tool for highly precise
navigation on land and sea. DGPS technology adds a land-based reference
receiver – located at an accurately surveyed site – to the other GPS
components. This non-moving DGPS reference station knows where the satellites
are located in space at any given moment, as well as its own exact location.
This allows the station to compute theoretical distance and signal travel
times between itself and each satellite. When those theoretical measurements
are compared to actual satellite transmissions, any differences represent the
error in the satellite's signal. All the DGPS reference station has to do is
transmit the error factors to your DGPS receiver, which gives the information
to the GPS receiver so it can use the data to correct its own measurements and
The two most common sources of corrective DGPS signals currently are: (1)
Coast Guard, land-based beacon transmitters, broadcasting the data at no
charge to the public, covering all coastal areas and much of the inland USA as
well; and (2) FM radio sub carrier transmissions available both in coastal and
inland areas, but limited to paid subscribers. In order to receive DGPS
correction data from Coast Guard beacon transmitters, a mobile GPS unit
requires a separate beacon receiver. And to receive FM sub carrier DGPS
signals from local subscriber radio stations, the GPS unit requires a separate
FM receiver, normally the size of a pager. Naturally, your GPS unit must have
the capability to both receive and process DGPS data.
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)
GPS is plenty accurate for route navigation, but the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration has special need for aircraft traffic control that go beyond
basic GPS. The FAA has a plan under way to boost GPS performance even further
with its Wide Area Augmentation System, or WAAS. This GPS add-on will include
a time control element that will help airliners fly closer together while
avoiding collisions. In addition to carefully spacing airplanes along travel
corridors, WAAS will eventually make instrument landings and takeoffs more
accurate as it replaces existing aviation navigation systems.
Non aviators can use WAAS signals to make their GPS navigation even more
accurate. However, WAAS has some limits you should know about.
First, the U.S. government has not completed construction of the WAAS
system, so it is not yet fully operational. The ground stations are in place,
but only a few of the needed WAAS satellites have been launched.
WAAS can boost the accuracy of land GPS navigation, but the system is
designed for aircraft. The satellites are in a fixed orbit around the Equator,
so they appear very low in the sky to someone on the ground in North America.
Aircraft and vessels on open water can get consistently good WAAS reception,
but terrain, foliage or even large man-made structures frequently block the
WAAS signal from ground receivers.
You'll find that using your GPS receiver without WAAS is both easy and
amazingly accurate. It's easily the most accurate method of electronic
navigation available to the general public today. Remember, however, that this
receiver is only a tool. Always have another method of navigation available,
such as a map or chart and a compass.
GPS Navigation 101 Power
To turn on your Lowrance GPS unit, press the PWR key. Read the
message which appears on the screen, then press the EXIT key to erase it. Your
Lowrance GPS unit is now ready for use. To turn your Lowrance GPS unit off,
press and hold the PWR key for three seconds. A countdown until shutoff will
appear on the screen.
New GPS Receiver Initialization
When your unit is turned on for the first time, it does not know
where it is, the date or the time. To initialize a GPS unit is to basically
tell the receiver where it is, what the date is, and what the time is. This
allows it to know which satellites should be overhead, so it can start
searching for them to lock onto them. When a new GPS receiver is first
powered-up, even if it is not initialized, it can still determine its position
after a few minutes. It will however, achieve a much faster satellite lock-on
if it is initialized.
To lock onto satellites, a GPS receiver must first find them. If you simply
turn on the GPS receiver and wait, it may take more than two minutes to find
and lock onto the appropriate satellites. That's referred to as a cold start.
In contrast, when initialized by the user, the GPS receiver typically takes
only a few seconds to lock onto the satellites. The GPS receiver should have a
clear view of the sky during initialization.
Initialization requires that you provide the GPS receiver up to 3 pieces of
- Your approximate present position in latitude/longitude;
- Your approximate elevation, or altitude: and
- The current local time and date. Normally, initialization is necessary
only once, provided each subsequent time the GPS receiver is turned on it's
within approximately 300 miles of where it was last turned off. Regardless
of which start up method is chosen, initialization or cold start, once the
GPS receiver has achieved satellite lock on, it will typically begin
tracking much faster the next time it's turned on, often within seconds.
The Satellite Information Screen
A simplified screen displays this satellite information by putting it
into a graphical format (see screen). For each of the 12 channels a SAT number
(satellite number) is shown along with a bar graph showing the relative
strength of the signal. A circular overhead view of the satellite position in
the sky is above this information. The center of the circle corresponds to a
satellite position directly overhead. The edges of the circle are at the
horizon. The top of the circle is North. If the satellite number is
highlighted, it is being tracked and data is being measured from it. The
display also shows the EPE (estimated position error) in feet or meters. This
will be in the upper right hand corner of the screen once it locks on. This is
an estimate of the accuracy of your position. It depends on the geometry of
the location of the satellites tracked, and other factors.
The vertical bar on the bottom of the screen is the battery life left (on
portable models only).
Saving Waypoints in Memory
A waypoint is a position you wish to save and return to later. GPS
receivers typically offer two methods to store waypoints in memory: 1. The
Quick Save method, which uses the coordinates from either your present
position, or those from the cursor position in the plotter mode. In this
method, the waypoint is automatically identified with the next available
waypoint number in the list; 2. The View & Save method, which lets you pick
the specific waypoint number under which you want to store the new waypoint.
You can also name the waypoint during the same procedure.
Using GPS to Navigate to a Waypoint
There are three basic methods you can use to navigate to a waypoint: 1. If
it's already stored in memory, the waypoint can simply be recalled and the
unit instructed to navigate to the waypoint; or 2. If it's determined from a
navigational chart or communicated by some other means, the waypoint can be
entered using the unit's keypad, then navigated to; and 3. On the plotter, the
cursor can be used to pinpoint the location of a waypoint, then the unit
instructed to navigate to the cursor position. All three techniques employ
easy-to-understand, on-screen menus, guiding the user through every step.
Straight Line Navigation
GPS products use what is called "straight line" navigation. The units, when
commanded to navigate to a waypoint, draw a straight line from their present
position to the destination waypoint. The straight line represents the
shortest, most direct route to the waypoint.
One very important point must be made about "straight line"
navigation: It does not take into account any obstacles in the path
(on land, in the air or in the water). Consequently, it may be necessary in
some situations to record interim waypoints that alter the course to navigate
around obstacles. These additional minisegments of the journey will each
represent straight line routes. New GPS users should be cautioned to take
these considerations seriously, and to never rely solely on a single
Using a Route to Bypass Obstacles
Since GPS products use straight line navigation, it is necessary to
use a waypoint at each place you need to turn when you are navigating around
an obstacle such as a cliff, or navigating down a highway or river channel. By
connecting each of these waypoints in a chain, you form a "Route". This
provides the automatic capability to navigate through several waypoints in
order, without having to manually recall another waypoint in the unit. Once
programmed into a GPS unit, a route provides the option of navigating forward
through the waypoints, or navigating in reverse in order to go either
direction through the route.
Using Plot Trails to Find Your Way Back
One of the most important features in a Lowrance GPS unit is the ability to
display, save and navigate plot trails. This is the feature that allows you to
retrace your steps or repeat a journey at a later date, and it's especially
useful when navigating in roadless areas. A plot trail is a line plotted or
drawn on the screen tracing the path you've taken, from your starting point to
your present position.
A plot trail appears on your GPS screen as a line that flashes once per
second, for easy viewing. Your GPS plots a trail by placing a position marker
dot on the screen every three seconds as you travel. (This can be adjusted
from one dot per second to one dot per 30 minutes, or you can update your
trail by distance instead of time.) With menu commands, you can save, recall
and navigate a trail (forward or backward) just as you would a route.
Navigation steering information is provided in either a compass rose display
(with an arrow pointing out the correct travel direction) or as a dotted line
on a unit's map display. Or, you can skip the navigation commands and simply
retrace your path following the flashing plot trail on the map display.
GPS NMEA Interface with Other Electronics Devices
NMEA is an abbreviation for the National Marine Electronics
Association, the group that establishes the data protocol and wiring standards
for the marine electronics industry. As previously discussed, some GPS units
can receive DGPS data from beacon and FM receivers. GPS receivers must also be
able to send standard positioning and navigational information to a variety of
listener devices such as charting instruments, autopilots and others. Most
quality built GPS products permit their users to select from two different
NMEA data protocols that transmit data output sentences. The first protocol is
NMEA 0180, which is reserved strictly for sending steering information,
primarily to marine auto pilots. The second protocol, NMEA 0183, sends
latitude/longitude position, steering, speed and other navigational data.
Depending on the specific GPS product, these NMEA protocols are in code
versions 1.5 and/or 2.0.