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Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon

HDS-9 Carbon

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10 Hz internal
US Charts
from C-MAP

The Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon isn’t far different from the HDS-7 Carbon model. The main difference between the two units is the display. Evidently, the HDS-9 features a 9″ display but also has a richer pixel resolution than the 7″ unit.

The HDS-9 Carbon is one of the new Lowrance fish finders released in 2017. Just like its predecessors, it’s quite a versatile unit, featuring StructureScan, CHIRP 2D sonar, a powerful GPS and a set of detailed charts. This unit is sold in various bundles. In this post, we’ll address the 000-13683-001 part number, the unit that includes the TotalScan transducer.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Display: SolarMAX HD, 9″ diagonal, 16:9, 1280H x 720V pixel matrix, full color, with LED backlight and multi-touch technology
  • Sonar: 2D CHIRP and StructureScan HD, StructureScan 3D capable
  • Depth Capability:
    • 2D: 1,000 ft (304.8 m)
    • StructureScan: 300 ft (92 m)
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • 2D: 200 kHz (20°) / 83 kHz (60°), plus Med and High CHIRP
    • 300″ (91 m) on each side – 455 kHz SideScan
    • 100″ (30 m) on each side – 800 kHz SideScan
  • Transducer: TotalScan
  • Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 12VDC (10.8-17 VDC)
  • GPS: 10Hz Internal GPS Antenna
  • Maps: U.S. C-MAP Insight
  • Routes, Waypoints, Trails: 200; 5,000; 100 (10,000 per trail)

Control unit features

The Lowrance Navico HDS-9 Carbon is equipped with a SolarMAX HD display, 9-inch in diagonal, full color and with a rich pixel matrix of 1280 x 720. It’s also equipped with adjustable LED backlight, and features advanced anti-reflective coatings, providing clear 180° visibility, even if you wear polarized sunglasses. Needless to say, the unit features superior waterproofing, being able to withstand incidental water exposure without any problems.

An improvement over the older HDS and HOOK units brought by the Carbon series is the superior processor. This unit integrates a Dual-Core, High-Performance processor, delivering much faster redraws of the charts, a faster scroll rate, higher responsiveness for all applications and faster sonar updates.

The HDS-9 Carbon offers both keypad and touchscreen control. It has an intuitive interface, the navigation through the apps, and the usage of each app is straightforward.

When it comes to connectivity, the unit offers NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 support; it also has two Ethernet ports and a dual microSD card reader. On top of that, it has wireless connectivity. By using the Lowrance GoFree app and other onboard devices, you can download software updates, purchase charts or access the GoFree Cloud database for Insight Genesis custom charts.

The unit makes available two wireless diagnostic tools, the Network Analyzer and the Service Assistant. The Network Analyzer will notify you with regards to devices in your boat’s network that feature an out-of-date software, whole the Service Assistant allows you to send reports of networked devices to Navico Service for quicker resolution for technical problems.

Plug-and-play compatibility with various Lowrance performance modules is also included. Broadband Radar, SonicHub Marine Audio, Class B AIS, or other external modules like VesselView or MotorGuide Xi5 control are compatible with this Lowrance unit.

Navigation features

The Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon is equipped with an internal, 10 Hz GPS module, EGNOSS and WAAS capable, which provides fast and accurate fixes. Needless to say, the unit can provide latitude and longitude information. It offers the possibility to save up to 5,000 waypoints, 200 routes and 100 trails with up to 10,000 points per trail. Waypoints can be customized, a wide array of icons being available. Also, it’s much easier to mark a waypoint using touchscreen technology. Also, via GPS, the unit can calculate and show the speed of your boat.

A useful function for both navigation and fishing is StructureMap. This function offers the possibility to overlay the SideScan sonar with your charts, to benefit from a real-time view of the underwater structure and its precise location on the map.

When it comes to charts, this unit is equipped with a U.S. chart database from C-MAP. Although they’re not very rich in detail, they do cover more than 3,000 U.S. lakes, rivers and coastal waters, contours up to 1,000, providing the necessary navigation support. However, the unit leaves plenty of room for custom mapping. It’s compatible with Insight PRO by C-MAP, Navionics Platinum+, Lake Insight HD by C-MAP, C-MAP MAX-N+, Navionics+, Gold and HotMaps Premium, Fishing Hotspots PRO and more.

Sonar and transducer

The Lowrance Navico HDS-9 Carbon features two main types of sonar, traditional 2D CHIRP enhanced sonar and StructureScan. It’s also capable of SpotlightScan and StructureScan 3D, but in order to use these sonar applications, you need the adequate transducers. StructureScan 3D also requires the external module for this sonar technology.

This Lowrance fish finder is capable of three main frequencies for its 2D sonar – 50/83/200 kHz, and two frequencies for StructureScan – 455/800 kHz. The included TotalScan transducer supports only the 83/200 kHz frequencies for 2D, and both 455/800 kHz for StructureScan. This transducer is quite similar to the older LSS-2. It comes with 24′ (7.3 m) of cable and also integrates a temperature sensor.

The unit’s 2D sonar is CHIRP enhanced. In other words, the 2D sonar pulse can be modulated over a range of frequencies instead of just one, providing a better bottom lock, clearer images with less clutter, and a better target definition. With the included TotalScan transducer, the system can use Mid CHIRP and High CHIRP, the pulse modulation intervals being 85-145 kHz instead of 83 kHz, and 130-210 kHz instead of 200 kHz.

When it comes to StructureScan, with the included transducer, the unit can use SideScan and DownScan. The image above shows SideScan and StructureScan 3D in split-screen. However, as we’ve mentioned above, in order to use StructureScan 3D you will need the transducer for it. The included TotalScan transducer is not capable of 3D.

For SideScan, the side beams can extend up to 300′ (91 m) on each side of the boat, when scanning at 455 kHz, and up to 100′ (30 m) on each side of the boat for 800 kHz. The coverage of the DownScan beams is not specified, but the beams are wider than for the 2D sonar.

The TotalScan transducer is capable of scanning depths up to 300′ (91 m) when using StructureScan and up to 1,000′ (305 m) when using the unit’s 2D sonar. Also, the optimal speed for the sharpest images and the highest fish target detection is maximum 10 MPH. However, the system should still be able to track the bottom at speeds up to 35 MPH.

The unit offers several standard sonar features, just like the other similar Lowrance units, such as HOOK-9 or Elite-9 Ti. To begin with, it has Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind functions great to have on the water, as you won’t have to turn the boat around to re-scan a certain area. The recorded sonar can be used to create custom maps as well, via the Insight Genesis online application.

FishSymbol ID and FishTrack are also available. FishSymbol ID, as its name suggests, is a function that replaces the fish arches caught by the 2D sonar, with fish icons. FishTrack displays the depth next to each fish icon. These two functions are quite useful in case you’re not familiarized with the 2D sonar view, or you would like a second opinion from the unit itself, regarding a certain target.

Other standard sonar functions included are Bottom Lock, COLORLINE, Circular Flasher sonar view, fish alarms, depth alarm etc.

The Pros

  • CHIRP 2D sonar and StructureScan (DownScan/SideScan);
  • TotalScan transducer (83/200/455/800 kHz) included, capable of Mid and High CHIRP;
  • SpotLight sonar and StructureScan 3D capable;
  • 3,000 ft. depth capability;
  • 600 ft side-to-side coverage on SideScan;
  • Many standard fishfinding functions such as Bottom Lock, FishSymbols ID, Fish Track, Sonar Recording, Circular Flasher, alarms etc;
  • Dual-Core processor, two times faster than for the previous units, providing faster scrolling through applications, faster sonar updates, higher responsiveness etc;
  • SolarMAX HD anti-glare display, offering excellent 180° visibility;
  • Rich, 1280×720 pixel resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio;
  • Touchscreen and keypad control;
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use interface;
  • Wireless networking;
  • Two Ethernet ports;
  • NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 connectivity;
  • Dual MicroSD card slot reader for data backup and transfer;
  • Compatible with various modules such as Broadband Radar, SonicHub, SiriusXM Marine Weather and audio, DSC VHF and Class B AIS, Mercury VesselView etc;
  • High precision, 10 Hz internal GPS;
  • Built-in detailed U.S. charts from C-MAP;
  • Compatible with a wide array of custom charts, including Nautic Insight PRO and HD, Navionics HotMaps Premium, Fishing HotSpots Pro, Lake Insight PRO and HD, C-Map Max-N by Jeppesen, and Insight Genesis;
  • Autopilot functions via SmartSteer, for Xi5 trolling motors;
  • GPS and sonar overlay data possibilities, via Insight Genesis;
  • Available in 36 language packs;
  • Fairly easy to install.

The Cons

  • The manual doesn’t offer detailed instructions for all of the unit’s functions;
  • Touchscreen technology may also be seen as a downside, as you will constantly have to wipe the unit’s display clean if you’re handling bait, fish etc.

Bottom Line

The Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon 000-13683-001 is an advanced fish finder and chartplotter. It comes with the TotalScan transducer and offers 2D CHIRP and StructureScan sonar. It also has internal GPS and comes with the C-MAP base charts for the U.S. waters. It offers a wide array of connectivity features, including wireless networking. It’s an excellent unit for both saltwater and freshwater. And finally, even though it’s not exactly an affordable unit, it does offer excellent value for the price.


  1. I’ve had The hds Carbon I for close to 1 year with total scan transducer and it is a Fantastic unit. Unbelievable graphics, chirp is great. Networked with hds gen2 touch and xi5. Great set up and would do it again. The touch screen gets very hot even in the winter, this concerns me on the life of the unit, in the summer it is uncomfortable to touch.

  2. Can I use this unit for waters in Europe?

    • Yes, but you will need a card with charts for the EU waters where you’re fishing. A Navionics microSD card is a good choice for it.

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