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Old 04-21-13, 11:12 PM   #1
66KingFisher
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Mena,Arkansas
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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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