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Old 04-21-13, 11:12 PM   #1
66KingFisher
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Default Humminbird 581i HD/DI....Quick review.

Well, as mentioned in another thread, we just purchased a new Humminbird 571i HD/DI to upgrade the $99 unit that came on our Basstracker pro16. Today was my 1st day on the water with the unit and my initial impression is "Wow"

Both Ron and I were very happy with the quality of the images shown on the screen, even though the unit is greyscale and not full color. But for $300 how can we complain? Ron did purchase a extra transducer for the trolling motor and switch that allows changing between the trolling motor ducer and the transom mounted ducer. That pushed the final cost + shipping to right at $500....Still not a bad deal IMO.

You can see in the photos, Ron mounted it dead center on the bow for our initial test....As of the end of today, we were very happy with that placement, and now we just need to mount the switch, and do some adjusting to the transom mounted ducer, since we noticed it throwing a heck of rooster tail behind the boat...lol We are both old guys with poor vision and even mounted on the bow we could both clearly see the screen and read the depth,speed and temp from the console seats as we ran across the lake full speed....Could we make out any details on the down imaging screen from the console seals?....NO, not really....We could see the bottom contour and large bait balls, but everything else is fuzzy looking....but, without looking thru our bifocals most everything is fuzzy anyway...hahaha.....Thanks to the built in GPS, we learned that our little Basstracker loaded with fuel,fishing gear and two old farts will run 29 mph into a stout headwind.....Not bad for just having 30hp.

Ron claimed the unit mounted relatively easy and once powered up for the 1st time everything worked flawlessly. Which pleased me since I had read a couple of bad reviews concerning the GPS not being about to locate a satellite or something along those lines....but our unit fired right up....Plug and Play.

Todays conditions had both overcast and very sunny skys, and I found the 5" screen easy to view from the front seat or while standing on the front deck, although glare was a issue at times, I suppose that can't be helped. Scanning thru the various screen views, I found I liked the split screen view the best during todays test...Sonar/DI....Menu navigation throughout the rest of the units functions was also fairly straight forward and didn't leave me scratching my head wondering what is what. For instance there was a default low water alarm that kept going off every time we got in 2ft of water or less...Since were cruising a large shallow flat, it didn't take long listening to the beeps before I found my way into the menu and shut off the alarm....no biggy...just took a couple of seconds and I didn't have to read a manual...lol

Ron and I both have got a lot to learn about the onboard mapping system,waypoints,routes/grids and what not, so I won't comment on any of that, other then to say that the UniMap system lacks alot to be desired as a map....The small lake we fished today just showed up as a very rough outline basicly...No detals,contour lines or anything, but the unit does have an SD card slot so the maps can be upgraded to something that looks more like a topo map. From what little research I did it seems a cheap card is $100 so that will have to be on our next wish list...

I was also pleased to find that we can record images to the SD card as well and replay them on our home PC....Can't wait to dabble with that...lol....But for now we are very happy with the unit on our first outing with it and we both look forward to really giving it a good workout scouting for deep water structure this summer. We were quite amazed with what we found just today.....
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Old 04-22-13, 01:06 PM   #2
bassboogieman
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Glad you're getting the hang of the Humminbird, the down image is a useful tool, but an FYI - the DI and SI images are only in monochrome, although you can change the one color depending upon light conditions or color preference. Those "color" views are in 2D or GPS modes only. Some day maybe, but not at this time. I am happy to see someone can see the screens ok while standing - I had a 798cSI and could not make head nor tail of the screens (when in split screen and it is always "split" in SI view) when standing up.

As for the map cards - be sure to check which lakes are included in your region, many of the small lakes are not, so don't waste you money by not making sure the lakes you are interested in are included on a particular SD card. You will also need a separate SD card to record screen shots, you can't take a screen shot on the map card.
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Old 04-22-13, 07:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassboogieman View Post
FYI - the DI and SI images are only in monochrome, although you can change the one color depending upon light conditions or color preference. Those "color" views are in 2D or GPS modes only.
The unit we got displays in grayscale only...in all modes...but I do understand what your saying about the DI and SI both displaying in a monochrome screen. I think just having the extra definition in the images helps the most, even without color.

Should we spend the bucks to get a map card it would only show up in grayscale also....about the only advantage for us would be having some contour lines and better lake detail. Maybe later on we'll run across a used map card for cheap on ebay or something...for now we'll keep using our paper map.
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Old 04-22-13, 07:55 PM   #4
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ooooohhhhhh lisaaaaaaaa, HONEY......KNOW WHAT I WANT FOR christmas?


GLAD OYU LIKE IT BUD. NOW HELP ME GET ONE FOR CHRISTMAS OK? but iw ant the COLOR model, hehehehe. i'll BE extra nice THIS YEAR.....promise !!!
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Old 04-23-13, 12:11 AM   #5
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John as much as I'd like to help ya with Lisa, your on your own there bud....I got my hands full with Rons wife once she found out how much he spent on more fishin stuff....I believe the conversation went something like..."$500!!!!.....I hope your selling the old one??"....."Well...Uh....We kinda need both"...."You need two fish finders??"....."Uh....well....yeah....See there's two guys on the boat, and we're both trying to find".....At which time she gave him "THE LOOK" and as all married guys know, the correct man response was to drop his head and move slowly but quickly towards the garage.

Hahaha....Seriously John this unit isn't bad for $300, but I fully understand wanting color....We could've had color for roughly the same money but none of those units had GPS....So we took the poor mans route and went with a b/w tv, but at least its a HDTV...lol.....Good luck buddy.
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Old 04-26-13, 08:57 AM   #6
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That looks like a really great unit, especially for the price. I enjoyed reading your first days impression. I'm glad to see you thought you could easily make out the screen images/info in sunlight with the mono screen. Good info to know.
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Old 04-26-13, 09:54 AM   #7
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The new "HD" versions have a brighter (LED?) screen that is much easier to read. And if anyone is looking at Humminbird electronics, I recommend you check this store for very good prices (sometimes w/free, FAST shipping), rebates, etc. I've bought from them and they are about the best I've found. http://fishfinders.factoryoutletstor...4111&chid=1600 I purchased my 898cSI HD from them, they shipped it free and I had it in two days (they are in NY so it really isn't that far, may take another day for those farther away than I am).
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Old 04-26-13, 02:00 PM   #8
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Told ya ,you could read it from the console,mine is an older wide paramount,the switch while an added cost more than pays for itself as back of boat and front not always same depth,just remember to switch it back to stern prior to taking off.
Here on ky lake I can straddle a ledge read better as father over with the front and farther back with the transom one and mine reads fine or did at speed moving it to another boat now.
Hint with sun glare tilt a tad more down when on plane still easy to read like depth,just cant tell a lot about structure unless its big,you can also get a visor that fits on the top,helps some as well.
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