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  1. #1

    Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    Looking for some user advice – the good the bad and the ugly

    My fishing varies from estuary, to bay and near coastal to about 100m deep – I may venture wider and deeper in the future.

    I have the opportunity to purchase a 1 year old new in box Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon Sounder/GPS Chartplotter -with 3D Structure Scan Transducer (the transducer has had some limited use) for a nice price -about 60% of new price. I know the seller and it’s a genuine sale.

    For the same price I could get a Hummingbird Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3 with card or Garmin Echomap plus 9 (up rated transducer to GT 51) and change or an Axiom 9.

    I am hoping to get some user reviews about the performance of the Lowrance unit or a smaller screen unit with the 3D structure scan and how it stacks up against the newer offerings above. The big screen is enticing just because it is big – it is not the most important feature – unit performance is.

    My fishing varies from estuary, to bay and near coastal to about 100m deep – I may venture wider and deeper in the future

    I would appreciate any user advice.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Ausfish Bronze Member Ah Me Ting's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Tweed Coast, Northern NSW

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    What boat is it going in?

    What's the helm area set up like?

    Where, how, do you plan on mounting it?

    Why?

    If a tiller steer, a 12 might be a bit big and 'hang out' into internal space a bit too far.

    If a side console, do you have room to mount it? And will the screen be easily visible from fishing position vs driving position?

    If a cabin / cuddy cabin type boat, can it be seen from where you will be fishing vs driving position viewing angle.

    Toys are great. Shiny new electronic toys are awesome! But, sometimes practical reality needs to be considered first.

  3. #3

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    Hi - good thoughts

    It's going on a cuddy cab and will be mounted on a bracket

    I have cut some corflute to give an idea of the size when at the helm.

    The space is likely to be there to mount either - from the corflute cutouts the 12 looks big and its 99mm thick - possibly overpowering

    " am I getting carried away with the size - when for the same size I get a generation later."

    steve

  4. #4
    Ausfish Bronze Member Ah Me Ting's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Tweed Coast, Northern NSW

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    Ok, so if space ok and viewing angles ok (for both fishing and driving) then my next thought would be warranty.

    Have you researched warranty and repair costs?

    Then, for me, it would be a question of technology between the options.

    What does each do better, or different?

  5. #5

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    There are no repairs done on Lowrance product or anything else from the Navico stable. At 5 years old it's throw away. Up until 5 years out of warranty they run an exchange at a cost deal.

    Screen size is king for sidescan but Navico longevity can be a bit of a lucky dip.

  6. #6

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    id buy a carbon 12 in a heartbeat if the price was right (as screen size is gold imho ) and if i had the space to fit it on the boat ( i have both a hds 9 gen 3 and a hds 7 carbon with total scan plus 3d SS all linked by ethernet and nema 2000 ) but then i am used to lowrance although not all that impressed with their back up and as scottar says no service facility is a bummer so they are throw away when they give up the ghost ( but most are pretty much throw away after 5 years anyway as the tech / systems have rocketed ahead by then) and frankly their updates are a PIA as some often have a bug still in them - dont know much about the hummingbird but i believe they are easily as good as lowrance -so depends what you used to using and what you like - 6 of one half a doz of the other maybe

  7. #7

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    Patrol50 - Many thanks for your insights

    how did you find the Lowrance Carbon performance in varying depths of water?

    From Moose's comments in other threads the hummingbird is the current 'bees knees' - and I guess that is the bench mark - if performance is close - the large screen will win me over - if there is a significant performance gap then it is likely to be the Hummingbird - unless I find the garmin a better user fit

  8. #8

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    i find the carbon fine (as is the gen 3 also frankly ) but i only really fish the bay now days - SS 3 d is very good in shallow water and i dont really use it in any deeper water and just have on normal sonar and downscan when running around in deeper areas

    does everything well that i need in the bay and other reasonably shallow areas i sometimes go to but if your going to 100 m depths offshore then maybe furuno or raymarine or simrad are worth looking at


    cheers

  9. #9

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    Hi Patrol

    thanks
    stevet

  10. #10

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    I think we have seen some interesting hill climbs in marine electronics "consumer level" recently. with most brands offering rather powerful complete models that have CRAZY amounts of features and options "of which i think is awesome!/ however. i go on a lot of boats and a good chunk of them stick just a decent sounder and an easy to use gps.. with side imaging thrown in. so with that in mind there is something to said for good "simpler" systems.

    Humminbird g3 is a surprisingly good shallow waters system. Hbirds have always been market leaders with high frequency imaging. thats cool everyone is pretty aware of that. Mega imaging plus does push it a bit further by really increasing its range. but the big surprise for me was how much of an improvement over the previous model the traditional sonar has become. what they dub "dual spectrum chirp" with its Low 1q transducer produces some very sharp very nice fish returns in that 100-120m range. i was very impressed

    Moose

    Marine outfitting solutions
    www.moosemarine.com.au

  11. #11

    Re: Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon - with Structure Scan or Helix 10 Chirp MSI GPS Gen 3

    Hi Moose

    Thanks being in NSW I will call after the Boat show rush.

    stevet

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