Lowrance Broadband Sonar, demo impressions
Now that you know how I got the screenshots, here are examples of Lowrance’s new networkable Broadband Sonar as seen on the HD (hard drive) version of a GlobalMap 9200C. (The 9300c HD, oddly, doesn’t seem to be listed as a current product?) The full 800×600 screen above gives you some sense of the scene as we exited Miami looking for deep water and fish. (Yes, the Lowrance radar was running, but possibly wasn’t tuned, and certainly looked a lot better in the harbor at slower speeds.) What you can’t see is the dinky transducer (this one, I think) that was hung on the stern of the 330 World Cat demo boat (with, yeeha, twin 300 hp Suzukis). Remember that the LBS premise is amazing performance with only 250W of peak-to-peak power, “a whisper instead of a shout” as Navico likes to say.
Apparently bigger, better transducers will help an LBS capture more detail, but it did pretty darn well with just that $100 pinger. We didn’t have time to do much fish finding out there, but we did get to see how well LBS held bottom even at speed and in auto mode. I’d gotten my PMY mate Patrick Sciacca to come along with me because, as a guy with a fishing problem, he’s spent a lot of more time than I have staring into fishfinder screens. He’s already blogged about his amazement. The screen below, bigger here, was taken further out than we got but with the same setup. The blocks of color show it auto-scaling its way into deep water, and note how the sensitivity control shows “bias”, which means that what you’re actually doing is increasing or decreasing whatever sensitivity that wicked smart black box chooses as conditions change. Also you can see on the title bar that this sonar was being recorded, and I know from their MIBS booth that Lowrance has all sorts of other recordings. They’d be wise to put some of the footage on their LBS Web page, because they really seem to have developed a truly different way of doing sonar.