These new gps depth finders are not user friendly at all. A lot of guys don’t buy them because they are intimidated by them, or they buy them and don’t know how to use them and by default they probably won’t work without making changes. For instance the depth might be set for 400 feet by default and so it won’t work if your fishing less than 400′ because you won’t see the bottom, you only see a bunch of clutter mess on the screen. Trying to learn how to use this while it’s in the boat can take years to absorb it all and trying to do it in an awkward position makes it about impossible. And if all that isn’t enough, the ones I have don’t even have their own manual, it is a shared manual with other models so a lot of things are different. Guys are making videos to show people but even that isn’t easy to absorb. I like to learn while sitting at my desk on the computer and read the manual there but since it’s not really for my model it is frustrating. I paid $1000 for these and these are the smaller models. I would bet most fisherman don’t know how to use their units and just leave it at factories settings or make minimal adjustments. Just another expensive fishing product made by companies out of touch with what fisherman really want or need. So if you have a gps depth finder that isn’t working well, try changing the transducer setting and make sure the depth is on auto.
Edit 4/20/2014: I’m still struggling with these units. What we have is a bunch of junk we don’t need that makes these units so expensive. They are not designed for fresh water fisherman, they are designed for ocean vessels and ships. The things we do want are left out of these smaller models, like sound for fish, fish icons, ease of use.
I found out some things since my last trips out. One, if you mess with it in the garage when you go out expect it to be pretty worthless until you reset everything you changed.
If you can’t see the bottom or the depthfinder isn’t showing much of anything:
1. Make sure the depth is on auto. Why this isn’t default or why they even offer to change the depth setting other than auto is ridicules and designed by some china man sitting at a desk.
2. Check the contrast if you can even find it. Its in there somewhere buried and if it isn’t set at 50% your unit is worthless. Why this isn’t default or why they even offer to change the depth setting other than auto is ridicules and designed by some china man sitting at a desk.
If your unit insists on fighting you over trails and routes, your not alone. Instead of being simple to use, it is very complex and doesn’t make a lot of sense. Expect to spend a few hundred hours trying to make sense of it all and forget trying to use it in a boat unless its sitting on a dashboard. If I had a dash board I would probably have a more expensive unit to begin with, so again they are out of touch with who these are designed for. I don’t have a ship, I have small fishing boats. I also noticed menus change depending on how you have these routes set. If you have one displayed by checking a box deep inside the menus, your menu will change and more things will show that you may have never seen before. How frustrating that is to see while bent over on your fishing deck.
Obviously these units aren’t tested out by fisherman. I am reminded of windows vista, working with junk. I am so tempted to throw these in the water and if they hadn’t cost so much that’s where they would probably be.