The Elite FS 7 is one of the Lowrance fish finders released in 2020. It is available in different bundles with different transducers (or no transducer) and maps. As opposed to the older Elite 7 Ti2, it comes with two major improvements. One is the new chart platform, the C-MAP Contour+, the other is the compatibility with the ActiveTarget Live sonar. We’ve already covered the 000-15688-001 that comes with the Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer, so in this post, we’re going to address the Elite FS 7 part number 000-15696-001, the one that includes the classic HDI skimmer transducer.
Key Features and Specifications
- Display: 7-inch diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, full-color, with LED backlight, and multitouch technology
- Sonar: Active Imaging 3-in-1, ActiveTarget ready, StructureScan 3D ready
- Transducer: HDI Skimmer 000-10976-001
- Frequency and Coverage (with the included transducer):
2D CHIRP: 83 kHz (52°) / 200 kHz (22°)
DownScan: 455 kHz (56°) / 800 kHz (32°)
- Depth Capability (with the included transducer):
1,000 ft. (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar
300 ft. (91 m) for DownScan
- Supply Voltage: 12VDC (10.8-17 VDC)
- GPS: 16-channel, 10 Hz internal GPS
- Maps: C-MAP Contour+
- Routes, Waypoints, Trails: 100; 3,000; 100 (10,000 per trail)
- Networking: Ethernet, NMEA 2000, Bluetooth, WiFi
Sonar and transducer
The Lowrance Elite FS 7 has built-in Active Imaging 3-in-1 sonar, and supports ActiveTarget live sonar as well as StructureScan 3D. This being said, you can always pair it with an Active Imaging, ActiveTarget, or StructureScan 3D transducer. However, this particular unit comes with the classic HDI skimmer 000-10976-001 for standard CHIRP and DownScan only.
The included HDI skimmer transducer comes with a transom mount and 20 ft. (6 m) of cable with a 9-pin connector. It also has a built-in temperature sensor. For standard CHIRP sonar, this transducer uses conical beams with a coverage of 52° @ 83 kHz and 22° @ 200 kHz. The maximum depth range of the CHIRP sonar with the included transducer is 1,000 ft. (305 m).
For DownScan, the transducer uses two thin oval beams. Their coverage is 56° @ 455 kHz, and 32° @ 800 kHz. The maximum depth range that can be achieved by the DownScan sonar with the included transducer is 300 ft. (91 m) when using the 455 kHz beam.
The unit offers a wide array of standard sonar features. The list includes Fish ID, A-Scope, Bottom Lock, FishReveal, Circular Flasher, Sonar Zoom, Sonar Recording, various alarms, and more. One of the most important features is, of course, FishReveal. This feature gives you the possibility to bring the fish arches caught by the 2D CHIRP sonar into the DownScan view, in order to see the fish arches better in relation to structure, vegetation, and the bottom.
All the Lowrance Elite FS units are pre-loaded with the new C-MAP Contour+ charts, and the Elite FS 7 000-15696-001 makes no exception. This chart platform offers coverage for the inland and near-shore coastal areas of the continental United States, Hawaii, and Bermuda. It offers high-resolution 1-foot contours for over 8,900 U.S. lakes. These charts also show various points of interest with improved icons, as well as custom depth shading.
Of course, the unit supports various other premium charts. The list includes Navionics+, Navionics Platinum+, Navionics Gold, C-MAP MAX N, C-MAP MAX N+, and more.
This Lowrance chartplotter also has its own bathymetric mapping feature – Genesis Live. This application uses the GPS data and the 2D sonar data to reveal and record the depth contours of the lake that you are scanning. This being said, you can create custom fishing maps, with the most up-to-date contours. You can also share them with the C-MAP Genesis community. It’s also important to mention that if you will be using a Navionics+ card, you will also be able to use the Navionics bathymetric feature – SonarChart.
The StructureMap feature is available with this Lowrance chartplotter as well. With StructureMap, you can overlay recorded imaging from the SideScan sonar on the map. It also has a live mode which shows the SideScan imaging history as a trail behind the boat on the map. However, the Structure Live map mode does not save any data. Also, for the Genesis Live application, contour recordings require a microSD card to be loaded into the unit.
Needless to say, the unit has internal GPS. Its internal GPS receiver features 16 channels and has a 10 Hz operating frequency. This means it can provide position updates 10 times per second. The unit also supports EGNOS, WAAS, and MSAS, and has waypoint creation, track recording, and route creation features. It offers the possibility to save up to 3,000 waypoints in its memory, 100 routes, and 100 trails. Each trail can have up to 10,000 points.
Last but not least, the unit also supports Radar. The list of supported Radar modules includes 4G, 3G, Halo20, Halo20+, and Halo24. It also supports Outboard Pilot, Ghost trolling motors, Motor Guide Xi3 & Xi5, AIS data, and Weather SiriusXM via WM-4.
Control unit features
The Lowrance Elite FS 7 HDI Contour+ features a 7″ color display with a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V. It has adjustable LED backlight for improved readability in direct sunlight and at night. It combines keypad navigation with touchscreen navigation and offers a very easy-to-use interface. It is also IPX7 waterproof, which essentially means that it can withstand incidental water exposure.
The unit comes with the standard Lowrance Elite tilt mount, but a flush mount is also available (not included). The box also includes the Elite 7 FS sun cover.
Like all the previous Lowrance Elite models, the FS 7 offers multiple networking possibilities. To begin with, it has NMEA 2000 and Ethernet ports so it can easily be connected to an already existent boat grid or interlinked with various other boating instruments such as AIS units, VHF units, Halo Radar, and more. WiFi and Bluetooth are also available. The wireless connectivity offers the possibility to sync your Elite FS 7 chartplotter with your smartphone or tablet via the Lowrance app. This allows you to easily get software updates, download charts, upload charts created with Genesis Live, auto-routing, data backup, and more. You can also take control of your chartplotter remotely with your smartphone.
Last but not least, the unit features a microSD card slot that can use cards up to 32 GB. Thus, you can load your unit with charts from Navionics or C-MAP, or with a blank data card for recordings and data backup.
- Supports Active 3-in-1 sonar;
- Supports ActiveTarget live sonar;
- Supports StructureScan 3D sonar;
- HDI transducer included (for High/Med CHIRP & DownScan);
- 1,000 ft. depth capability with the included transducer;
- Various sonar functions, such as FishReveal, Bottom Lock, A-Scope, Fish ID, Sonar Recording etc;
- Built-in C-MAP Contour+ charts;
- Genesis Live for bathymetric real-time mapping;
- StructureMap for SideScan sonar overlay;
- 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;
- Fast chart updates, fast navigation through menus;
- High precision, 10 Hz GPS;
- Autopilot functions via SmartSteer, for Xi3 & Xi5 trolling motors;
- Radar support;
- Waypoints, routes, and trackplotting functions;
- Easy to use touchscreen navigation;
- Super-bright display, excellent readability;
- WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity;
- MicroSD card slot reader for data backup and transfer;
- NMEA 2000 connectivity;
- Ethernet connectivity;
- GPS and sonar overlay data possibilities, via Insight Genesis;
- Standard swivel bracket mount included;
- Unit cover included;
- Available in multiple language packs;
- Fairly easy to install.
- To use Genesis Live you need a microSD card as support;
- In-dash mount not included.
The Lowrance Elite FS 7 HDI Contour+ is a fish finder and chartplotter that offers 2D CHIRP and DownScan sonar, 10 Hz GPS, C-MAP Contour+ charts, Genesis Live, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, superior networking capabilities, and a wide array of other features. It includes the HDI skimmer transducer for High/Med CHIRP and DownScan. Although it includes charts for the US inland waters, it can also be used off-shore if you opt for other premium charts. It’s a versatile fishing and navigation tool, offering excellent value for the price.