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Since Lowrance has released several units with CHIRP sonar technology, at least a few of their previous units, featuring traditional sonar have become a little bit obsolete. The Elite-7 Base Combo is one of them, that’s why it has been discontinued. However, this unit is still available with various retailers, and due to its discontinuation, you may find it for a nice discount. Nonetheless, it’s quite a capable unit, and like most fish finders in this category, it can be extremely useful on the water.
There are various bundles for this unit, including different or no transducers, and different map packages. This post focuses on the Lowrance Elite-7 HDI model number 000-10966-001. This means the box includes the Lowrance HDI Skimmer 83/200/455/800 transom but comes only with basic mapping.
Key Features and Specifications
- Screen: 7″ diagonal, 16:9, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, 16-bit color TFT, with adjustable backlight
- Sonar: Broadband Sounder and DownScan Imaging HD
- Depth Capability: 1,000 ft (305 m) for Broadband Sounder, 300 ft. (91 m) for DownScan
- Frequency and Coverage:
- 200 kHz (20°) / 83 kHz (60°) for broadband
- 455 kHz for DownScan, fore to aft. 4°, port to starboard 57°
- 800 kHz for DownScan fore to Aft 2°, port to starboard 38°
- Transducer: Transom, Hybrid Dual (HDI), number 000-10976-001
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-17 VDC
- GPS: 16-Channel Internal GPS Antenna
- Maps: Basemap
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100, 3000, 100 (10,000 points each)
To begin with, the unit is capable of multiple sonar frequencies. It supports 50/83/200 kHz for the traditional sonar, and 455/800 kHz for DownScan. It includes the HDI skimmer 000-10976-001 transducer which supports the 83/200 frequencies for 2D sonar, and 455/800 kHz for DownScan. It’s a plastic transducer featuring 20′ (6 m) of cable and an internal temperature sensor. A transom mount is included with it.
The transducer uses two conical beams for 2D offering a coverage of 20° @ 200 kHz and 60° @ 83 kHz. For DownScan, the beams are oval, between 2°-4° fore-to-aft, but 57° @ 455 kHz, and 38° @ 800 kHz side-to-side.
Along with the main conventional sonar, and DownScan Imaging, this unit also has two other sonar functions: Fish ID and Flasher. The Fish ID function shows fish echoes on the screen as fish icons. However, some of the returns may not be fish but suspended debris. There’s also an alarm for this function. The Flasher sonar function has great applicability to ice fishing.
An important function to be mentioned regarding the sonar is the TrackBack function. This allows you to review recent sonar history, to evaluate better certain returns, or mark waypoints. There’s also a Stop Sonar function which pauses the sonar on its current view.
Based on the sonar recording function, you can create, customize and use your own lake maps, via the Insight Genesis exclusive online service. Once you have your maps ready, created via the Insight Genesis app, you can download them to an SD card and use them with the Elite-7 HDI on the water.
The Lowrance Elite-7 HDI has an internal GPS receiver; it supports WAAS for correction and also has a GPS speed function. It can store up to 3,000 waypoints in its memory, 100 trails, (10,000 points each), and 100 routes.
This unit only has the base mapping package with global maps. These maps aren’t exactly of great detail, but that’s one of the reasons this unit comes at a lower price than others. It’s actually a unit meant for the savvy angler, who would want a unit that focuses on fish finding functions, rather than navigational ones. Anyway, when it comes to its navigational functions, one of the best aspects is that you can set up and save waypoints for the best fishing spots, which you can revisit later.
Control unit features
The unit features an 7-inch LCD display with a pixel resolution of 800H x 480V pixel matrix, 16-bit color TFT, and adjustable backlight. It is also IPX7 waterproof.
The Elite-7 HDI head unit allows the view of three applications simultaneously, in split-screen. For example, you can view DownScan sonar, standard sonar, and maps, at the same time. Since it’s a 7-inch screen, there’s plenty of space for all three views. However, you can always opt for only two views at the same time, in split-screen.
In terms of networking capabilities, this Lowrance unit is NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 capable.
Since the Elite-7 HDI has a microSD slot, various upgrades can be made. Actually, you might be able to save a couple of bucks by purchasing this unit, which only has base mapping, and it’s cheaper, and upgrade with different SD cards. This unit is compatible with Navionics Gold, HotMaps, Fish N’ Chip, Fishing Hot Spots, CMAP, Max-N, and Lowrance Insight PRO.
Although the unit is equipped with a high-sensitivity internal GPS, with WAAS correction, it can still be upgraded. This unit is compatible with the Lowrance Point-1 10Hz GPS antenna.
The unit is also compatible with deepwater transducers, of 50/200 kHz.
What’s Best About the Lowrance Elite-7 HDI
First of all, you get a medium-sized unit, with a 7-inch display, full color, DownScan and standard sonar, with the transducer for both types of sonar, included. It’s a unit without expensive mapping features but does come with the possibility to upgrade. It’s also compatible with Insight Genesis mapping, giving you the possibility to make your own maps, and share them with others.
Sonar recording is something that not all fish finders have. Not only this is the key function for making your maps with Insight Genesis, it’s also an invaluable function on the water, as it lets to review your sonar history, and assess better your fishing environment. The same goes for the waypoints and tracks functions, which are great for saving and re-visiting the best fishing spots you come across.
The basemap package this Lowrance fish finder unit comes with isn’t exactly the best. Still, you get enough detail for US lake and coastal maps. However, you can upgrade. And opting for this fish finder and a Navionics Fish N’ Chip, Platinum+ or Insight USA SD card, you can save some bucks.
The unit has been discontinued by the manufacturer, which means support is no longer provided for it.
The Lowrance Elite-7 Base Combo is a unit that focuses more on fish finding features, offering only basic navigational features. It’s GPS and BaseMap cartography pack are good enough to help you identify your position, set waypoints, routes, and tracks. On the other hand, though, it’s a medium-sized fish finder, with DownScan, which is a very neat sonar technology to have on the water. Its price is quite acceptable for what it can do. All in all, it’s a fine unit to have on your boat, to maximize your chances to locate the best fish.