Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight
The HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight is one of the best fish finders with SideScan technology that you can find within the $1,500-2,000 price range. However, just as the other Lowrance products, this one is also offered in various bundles, with or without the StructureScan transducer. So, depending on the package you opt for, the price will vary. The one that includes StructureScan also falls into this price range.
Still, to avoid any confusions, it’s a must to make it clear that in this post, I’m going to speak about the 000-11280-001 model number, which comes with the StructureScan transducer, the 83 / 200 kHz standard transducer and the Insight USA charts pack.
Product Details and Specifications
- Screen: 9″ in diagonal, 16:9, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, full color, with backlight and touchscreen technology
- Sonar: Broadband Sounder and StructureScan HD
- Depth Capability: 750 ft (229 m) for Broadband Sounder, 300 ft. for StructureScan
- Frequency and Coverage:
- 200 kHz (20°) / 83 kHz (60°) for broadband
- 455 / 800 kHz for StructureScan, 600 ft (183 m) coverage from side to side
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-17 VDC
- GPS: 5Hz Internal GPS Antenna
- Maps: Insight USA
- Routes, Waypoints: 200, 5,000
Apart from the main specifications of this unit mentioned above, there’s quite a lot more to tell about it. The head unit of this model allows the simultaneous view of four elements with the Split Screen function. Even though this unit offers a screen bigger only by two inches than the HDS-7 Gen2 Touch Insight, those two inches do matter. StructureScan returns, broadband sonar, charts or radar can be observed much better with the extra screen space. Evidently, the SideScan sonar can be stretched farther, and the fish returns will be easier to see.
Needless to say, like most advanced fish finder units, the HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight offers the possibility to record sonar or scroll back through the sonar returns to view certain targets. Waypoints can also be added via this function, and then reviewed in real time.
Fish ID and flasher sonar functions are also built-in the head unit. The fish ID can make the standard sonar returns more friendly, however not all the fish icons on the screen will actually be fish. The flasher sonar is great for ice fishing or down dropping while the boat is stationary.
The StructureMap function provides the possibility to overlap the SideScan sonar returns to the charts, obtaining a birds-eye view of the underwater structure, below and side to side from your boat. This way, you will get a much better picture of the underwater landscape, have a different view of the contour, and assess the position of structure, rocks, trees or whatever is underneath, in relation to your boat, or a specific location.
Depth contour shading is also possible or highlighting shallow waters. These functions are a great plus for navigation and finding fishing spots.
In terms of networking, this unit is NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 ready and can support up to two Ethernet ports. This allows information sharing between all HDS displays, for superior flexibility.
Even though the HDS-9 Gen2 Touch comes with a wide array of useful functions, there still is a lot of room for improvement. The 000-11280-001 package comes with the standard 83 / 200 kHz and LSS-2 transducers, but the head unit can also work with a deepwater, 50 / 200 kHz transducer. It’s not a CHIRP ready unit, but still, with a deepwater transducer and the right settings, you can get excellent returns fish and structure returns.
This unit is compatible with a wide array of mapping packs. Although the Insight USA built-in pack is pretty amazing, you can still add C-Map Max-N, Insight HD or PRO, TOPO and more. It’s also Insight Genesis ready, which offers the possibilities to create your own maps, upload data to your Insight Genesis account, add vegetation, retouch contour and modify bottom structure, and/or download data on your SD card and use when on the water.
GPS can be upgraded as well, with an external Lowrance Point-1 10Hz Antenna. An LWX-1 SIRIUS satellite radio and weather receiver, as well as AIS collision-avoidance system and SonicHub marine audio server, must also be placed on the upgrades list.
The unit is GoFree Wireless ready. This means you can export the sonar or chartplotter returns to a smart device, via a WIFI-1 Module and the GoFree app. This offers a lot of usage flexibility and comfort. You can actually check if the fish are biting, and the fish activity under the boat, while relaxing in your bunk, using a tablet or your phone. On top of this, the unit is also Cloud-enabled, so you can purchase and download any maps at any time, or use the Genesis database while you’re on the water.
The HDS-9 Gen2 Touch is video camera-ready, meaning that you can connect it to a video camera, and view the videos or camera sources on the unit’s screen. It requires a camera input cable though, which is sold separately. A viable choice in terms of cameras that work well with this unit, is a Marcum 625.
What’s Best About This Unit
You get StructureScan, broadband sonar, and quite a few other sonar features, which makes it an excellent fish finder. The box comes with two transducers, the LSS-2 and the 83 / 200 kHz one, so you won’t have to purchase one additionally. You get a fairly wide screen, which gives a superior view to the maps and sonar returns. You get touchscreen technology and a quality user experience. You get high precision GPS and the Insight USA map package, which covers a wide array of U.S. lake and inland waters, plus a great portion of coastal waters.
The HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight offers many upgrade possibilities. Maps, radar, superior GPS, weather receiver, satellite radio and more. It’s wireless ready and on top of that, you can connect it to a camera and see the camera source on the unit’s screen.
There really aren’t many drawbacks to speak about, when it comes to this unit. If installed and used correctly, it will become one of the greatest tools to have on the water. The only thing that might be a burden to some, is the rather steep learning curve. This is a high-tech product, and for a person who is less techy, it might take longer to learn how to use it.
The HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight is actually the best touchscreen fish finder and chartplotter that you can find at the moment, for a price lower than $2,000. It actually has an excellent price-quality ratio. It’s a device that includes a complete set of navigational and fish finding features, but it leaves more than a bit of room for upgrading, especially when it comes to radar, GPS, and maps. All in all, it’s a device that will become the eye of your boat, being a little bit addictive, as you won’t want to spend any moment on the water without it.