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Lowrance HDS-9 Live No Transducer

HDS-9 Live

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10 Hz,
US Enhanced


Lowrance has released several new fish finder units at the beginning of 2019, and the HDS-9 Live is one of them. As its name suggests, it supports LiveSight sonar. It’s also a chartplotter and offers a wide array of navigation features. For reference, this is the Lowrance part number 000-14421-001, the one that does not include a transducer.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Display: SolarMAX HD, 9″ diagonal, 1280H x 720V pixel matrix, full color, with LED backlight and multi-touch technology
  • Sonar: Active Imaging 3-in-1, StructureScan 3D, LiveSight Sonar capable
  • Transducer: Not included
  • Depth Capability: Depends on transducer
  • Frequency and Coverage: 50/83/200/455/800 kHz
  • Power Input: 10.8-17 VDC
  • GPS: 10 Hz, 16-channel
  • Maps: C-MAP U.S. Enhanced Basemap
  • Routes, Waypoints, Trails: 100, 3,000, 100 (10,000 per trail)

Sonar features

Just like the other HDS Live units, the HDS-9 has built-in Active Imaging 3-in-1 sonar, offering 2D CHIRP sonar, DownScan, and SideScan. It also supports StructureScan 3D, and the new Lowrance LiveSight sonar technology which offers real-time sonar coverage, giving you the possibility to view the movement of the fish as they attack your lure, and even the movement of the smallest lures.

As we’ve mentioned above, this is the 000-14421-001 unit which does not include a transducer. It supports the full range of Lowrance transducers, though, including the Active Imaging 3-in-1, Active Imaging 2-in-1, the older HDI Skimmers, the TotalScan, and more. Evidently, since it’s a Live unit, it also supports the new LiveSight transducer. It’s important to mention that this unit does not require the LiveSight PSI-1 sonar box in order to use LiveSight sonar as it has the LiveSight technology built-in. You just need the LiveSight transducer for it. The Lowrance Carbon units, however, do require the external sonar module and the transducer in order to use LiveSight.

This Lowrance fish finder supports a wide range of frequencies, including 50/83/200/455/800 kHz. Depending on the transducer you will choose, the beam coverage and depth capabilities will vary. As a general idea, the Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer has a depth capability of 1,000 ft (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar, and up to 300 ft (92 m) when using DownScan.

Needless to say, the unit offers the full range of standard sonar features, including A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Circular Flasher, Overlay DownScan, Sonar Recording, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, Fish ID, and more. It also has the new FishReveal feature, which allows you to combine the 2D CHIRP sonar with the DownScan sonar for a better view of the fish arches in relation to structure. Also, the Enhanced Surface Clarity lets you see more fish right under the surface.

Navigation features

To begin with, the Lowrance HDS-9 Live is equipped with an internal 10 Hz GPS receiver. This means it provides position updates 10 times per second. It offers position enhancement possibilities via WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS, and also has a GPS alarm and a GPS speed function.

The unit can store up to 3,000 waypoints in its memory. It also has route creation and trackplotting functions. It can record up to 100 trails with 10,000 plot point per trail and can save up to 100 routes in its memory. Each trail can be converted into a route, so you can add waypoints to it and customize it.

In terms of charts, this Lowrance unit has the US C-MAP Enhanced Basemap platform, which offers more detail and information than the regular basemap for the Elite-9 Ti2 or the HOOK2-9. Not only that it offers inland coverage with 1-foot contours for more than 4,000 U.S. lakes, it also offers coastal coverage including Hawaii and Alaska. This unit also has a broad chart compatibility. It supports C-MAP MAX-N, C-MAP MAX-N+, Navionics Gold & HotMaps, Navionics+, Navionics Platinum+, Nautic Insight Pro and HD, and more.

Just like the new Elite Ti2 units, the Lowrance HDS-9 Live includes the new Genesis Live mapping feature. This application uses the 2D sonar and the GPS data in order to reveal the depth contours of the lake or body of water that you’re scanning and add them to your map. Therefore, it gives you the possibility to create your own custom maps with 1/2 ft contours, and also offering control over contour density, depth shading and more.

StructureMap is also available. This feature is up to a point similar to the Genesis Live but involves the SideScan sonar. Thus, in order to use it, you will need a SideScan capable transducer such as the Active Imaging 3-in-1 or the TotalScan transducer. This feature overlays the recorded side scan over the current map, offering a view of the underwater environment in relation to your position and various other points of interest.

SmartSteer is also a feature supported by this unit. This feature offers autopilot and other functions for MotorGuide Xi5/Xi3 trolling motors; however, this requires MotorGuide PinPoint Gateway. It provides control for Power-Pole anchors. It can also show data from an AIS unit. Plus, the unit has an internal Radar application which means it can show data from an external Radar module, including 4G (Broadband), 3G (Broadband), Halo24 (Pulse Compression Dome Radar), Halo 3’/4’/6′ (Open Array Pulse Compression Radar).

Control unit features

The Lowrance HDS-9 Live features a 9″ display, with a pixel resolution of 1280H x 720V. It’s a SolarMAX type display with LED backlight which offers a clean and crisp view of the sonar, mapping and other applications in direct sunlight and through polarized sunglasses. The unit is also IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand incidental water exposure and even immersions in freshwater up to 1 m.

The included mount is the standard Gimbal model. The box also includes a unit cover and an in-dash mounting kit.

Just like the last year’s HDS-9 Carbon, this unit features a keypad assisted touchscreen display. In other words, it responds to all touchscreen commands just as any tablet; however, it also has the side keypad which allows you to navigate through and launch all the functions. It also has a highly intuitive and customizable interface; you can pin to its homepage the most used applications for ease of access.

The unit is equipped with a high-performance, dual-core processor. This being said, scrolling through the map or through the recorded sonar history, creating waypoints or using any of the functions will result in a quick and smooth response, without any lag.

The HDS-9 Live offers superior networking features. To begin with, it has Ethernet and provides NMEA 2000 support. Thus, it offers plug-and-play possibilities for various boating instruments, such as Broadband Radar, Class B AIS, SiriusXM Marine Weather and audio, SonicHub2 Marine Audio etc. Plus, it has both Bluetooth (4.0) and WiFi (802.11b/g/n) for wireless connectivity. Via Bluetooth, you can control Power-Pole Shallow Water anchors, or take control of the unit with a LR-1 remote. The WiFi connection allows you to sync your unit with your tablet or smartphone in order to benefit from smart notifications, backup the unit’s data on your smart device, or download charts and software updates through the LINK App.

The unit also has a dual microSD card reader. Therefore, you can use a charts card and a data card simultaneously.

The Pros

  • Active Imaging 3-in-1 sonar;
  • StructureScan 3D sonar;
  • LiveSight sonar;
  • Various sonar functions, such as DownScan Overlay, FishReveal, Bottom Lock, A-Scope, Circular Flasher, Fish ID, Sonar Recording etc;
  • C-MAP U.S. Enhanced Basemap included;
  • Genesis Live feature for depth contour recording;
  • StructureMap feature included;
  • Compatible with a wide array of custom charts, including Navionics Gold, Navionics+, Navionics Platinum+, C-MAP Max N, C-MAP Max N+, Insight Pro and Insight HD.
  • High precision, 10 Hz GPS;
  • Autopilot functions via SmartSteer, for Xi5 trolling motors;
  • Waypoints, routes, and trackplotting functions;
  • Easy to use touchscreen navigation;
  • 4-panel view presentation possibilities;
  • Super-bright display, excellent readability even through polarized sunglasses;
  • Dual-core processor for high responsiveness;
  • 8.0 GB of internal storage;
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Dual microSD card reader for data backup and transfer;
  • NMEA 2000 connectivity;
  • Ethernet connectivity;
  • Supports AIS, Radar, SiriusXM Marine Weather and Audio systems, and SonicHub 2 audio servers;
  • Gimbal bracket mount included;
  • Suncover cover included;
  • Available in multiple language packs;
  • Fairly easy to install.

The Cons

  • A transducer is not included;
  • The Genesis Live feature requires microSD card support.

Bottom Line

The Lowrance HDS-9 Live offers LiveSight sonar, Active Imaging 3-in-1, and StructureScan 3D support. It has internal GPS, the C-MAP US Enhanced Basemap, Genesis Live, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, superior networking capabilities, and a wide array of other features. It does not include a transducer but supports all the Active Imaging transducer, the LiveSight transducers (without an external sonar hub), and various skimmer transducers including the old HDI models. It’s a versatile unit for both inland and off-shore navigation and fishing, perfect for a wide array of boats.

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