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Lowrance HDS-5/Insight/Navionics?

So yesterday I took the plundge and bought the Lowrance HDS5 GPS/Sonar combo unit with Enhanced US Basemap. While I am not looking for an immediate upgrade, I have some questions for anyone familiar with the unit.

I have read that the unit accepts the Navionics chip - the gold one but not the platinum once until Raymarine updates the software in April. Is there a chip specific to the northeast or do I buy all of America?

Is there an installation routine to run or do I just plug in the chip and it automatically displays?

Do I need additional hardware to use navionics, different cable or GPS antennae?

Alternative no Navionics would be using Lake Insight but I don't know if you can upgrade the Basemap unit to Lake Insight so if anyone knows about this process, help would be appreciated. Is it just a chip like Navionics or is there additional hardware or factory adjustments to be made?

I know I could contact Lowrance but have heard all the nightmares in dealing with them so I figured I would ask anyone experienced in this unit on this board before I go there.

Re: Lowrance HDS-5/Insight/Navionics?

I bought the HDS-5/GPS last summer. I'm running the Navionics Platinum Hotmaps region 7 on it. Thing works great.It comes on an SD card that you just pop in. The door is on the lower right side of the unit where it says HDS5. Just open that, put it in, start the unit and I believe under one of the menus(can't remember where, long winter) you choose the maps. The maps are very accurate but missing some markers. I have the LGS 4000 antenna for it because the unit is under my T-top but never did get to put that on last year because the unit worked well without it. Plan though to install it this year to see if it makes it more accurate.
Just bought the Stucture Scan unit for it so waiting for that to come and install it before iceout.
let me know if you need anymore info. Good luck with the unit.
Finaddiction (Dave S.)

Re: Lowrance HDS-5/Insight/Navionics?

Mike here is a web site that has alot of great info on the HDS units. I might answer some of your questions about this unit.

HDS units


Re: Lowrance HDS-5/Insight/Navionics?

thanks a lot for the feedback guys...great link for the HDS. While it may take me a little while to recover from this purchase and start looking at Navionics chips, I did browse the Navionics website and a few retailer sites and there appear to be several choices of navionics chips available with options like:
-entire US vs just East (I only need northeast)
-2D vs 3d
-Gold vs platinum

I'd like opinions on which card you use and if you feel upgrading gold to platinum or 2d vs 3d is worth it...which chip would you buy for your HDS and why?

I want to make an informed choice from consumers not bite on the manufacturers "pitch".