Lowrance Elite 4 HDI Install And Review

I wanted to replace my old Eagle 320c when I bought a new kayak so I went out and purchased a Lowrance Elite 4 HDI, I had read alot of reviews about them on American bass forums I had also seen some superb pictures on the Internet that highlighted its quality and uses. The unit retails at around £250 for the one I have which is the combined fish finder / GPS unit.

Lowrance Elite 4 Hdi Transducer

The box includes the fish finder unit, transducer, transducer mount, owner manual and a filter for the transducer. The filter is for use on craft with motors that could generate a magnetic field, so in our case (kayakers) this was not needed for the install.

My first job was to temporarily fit the unit to the kayak. As I didn’t know if it was staying or not, I used an existing mounting plate to mount the fish finder on, a bit bulky maybe but this was a temporary fit!

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Lowrance Elite 4 HDI Install Review

 

With the fish finder in place the next thing was to temporarily fit the transducer. The transducer on the DSI is not the normal or expected shape of other transducers I had come across. It is a lot thinner and cylindrical in shape and the size can be described as something in between a “C” battery and an “AA” battery. It does state in the manual that you should not “in hull” fit these transducers as it degrades the quality of the output picture. I had also read a lot of mixed reviews about the usual way of sikaflexing the transducer to the inside of the kayak, so for me it wasn’t an option; it had to sit outside of the yak.

I managed to secure the transducer in place with a scupper bung and a few tie wraps (remember it was temporary fit) and managed to secure my over run of transducer wire under my seat.

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Lowrance Elite 4 DSI Fish Finder / GPS – 1
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Lowrance Elite 4 DSI Fish Finder / GPS – 2
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Lowrance Elite 4 DSI Fish Finder / GPS – 3
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Lowrance Elite 4 DSI Fish Finder / GPS – 4

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The next job was to make up a battery in a waterproof box as well as fit a fuse and some connectors, I used a 12v 7amp battery and the recommended value automotive fuse. I got a box from my local supermarket and got to work. I often get asked about what power lead to use for the battery to the transducer. I use a “2 Meter IP68 Waterproof Connector Wire Cable Plug (Black 2 Pin) LED Flexible Car” if you do a search for it you will find it. I find them a lot less likely to fail than spade connectors; in fact I haven’t had one fail yet.

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So with everything temporarily now on the kayak it was time to take it out for a spin, I launched at Oxwich in May 2022.

The first thing that struck me is how easy the navigation buttons are to use with separate buttons for the fish finder, GPS map, GPS compass and a fish finder / GPS map mix. The menu buttons are easy to operate and all of the settings are easy to understand.

Once set up I ventured over to a wreck at Owlish to run the unit through its paces, the picture output from this unit is unbelievable. There are some images below unfortunately the quality of the screen capture is lower than that of the actual picture you see on screen, the capture looks grainy but as silly as it sounds, if you squint when you look at them it clears them up and gives you a better idea of what you see on the screen. The screen is also very easy to see in the sun.

The wreck and a shoal of mackerel in the top right of the screen (I know because we were catching them)

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More of the wreck

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Blatant fish in this one

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One of the local crab fisherman’s pots in the sand bed

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The compass is also useful when trolling or when sat at anchor, as of yet I haven’t used the maps as I don’t have them installed and have no intention of buying them, I already have a standalone GPS unit that I use.

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I’ve had one problem with the unit since my purchase and that was when water got into the unit through the poorly designed SD card slot cover. I was playing in the surf after a fishing session and the surf knocked the flap open and water got in. With the unit being rated IPX7 it is meant to be submersible. So once the unit was returned to the original retailer I had a no problem exchanging it for a new one, when I got the new one, I secured the flap with duct tape. In addition to this problem, the unit also scratches easy. My advice would be to get a screen cover similar to what you put on your smartphone to protect the screen. The unit comes with a no quibble 2 year warranty, and for the money, I don’t think you can ask for much more.

Lowrance Elite 4 Hdi Price

This unit is an amazing bit of kit and proves beneficial in finding locations that fish feed, obstructions under the water and the like. In hindsight if I were to buy this unit again I would go for the one without the GPS, for us in the UK the mapping options are limited and the unit is tied to Navionics so to have full UK maps on it, you’ll have to find £250. The stand-alone Lowrance 4 DSI Fish Finder retails at around the  £170 mark and, in my opinion, is a complete bargain at that price. I haven’t seen any other finder in the same price banding that produces the same sort of quality.

I have now permantly fitted the unit to the yak. I purchased an additional Lowarnce Scupper Mount, a Lowrance DSI Unit Ram Ball Mount and two Scanstrut Deck Seals to run the wire though and I will be keeping the unit until it dies.

The scupper mount provides a very tidy fit.

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The ram ball gets rid of the bulkiness of the mount base and the original fish finder base.

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And we also did video the days fishing here…

 

Lowrance Elite 4 Hdi Specs

Lowrance Elite-4 DSI 455/800khz –

Lowrance Elite-4 DSI 455/800 khz with unique new fishfinding imaging, precision GPS navigation and high-bright LED backlit 3.5 in/8.9 cm color display. The features you want at the price you need.

New, brighter LED backlighting
Exclusive TrackBack™ feature
DownScan Imaging (DSI) reveals easy-to-understand photo-like underwater detail
Easy-to-use menu page and menu controls
Simplified menu navigation
Quick-release tilt and swivel bracket
Accurate internal GPS antenna
MicroSD card expandability

Exclusive Lowrance DownScan Imaging displays crystal-clear photo-like views of the underwater worlds below the boat. No interpretation needed to see:

Thermoclines Exposed – clearly see the boundary layer between the lower cooler water and, upper warmer, oxygen-rich zone where fish hang
Fish Truly Revealed – Elite-4 DSI imaging leaves nothing to the imagination, clearly showing predator fish and baitfish schools
Bottoms Uncovered – you easily distinguish between hard and soft bottoms, as well as fish and structure on/near the bottom
Structure Disclosed – with photo-like views you can recognize all manner of structure at a glance, like bridge pilings, laydowns, ledges, drop-offs, vegetation, wrecks; no interpretation needed

Dual 455/800 kHz Coverage
Selectable 455 kHz sounding for wider and deeper sonar imaging coverage, with 800 kHz for enhanced viewing of targeted locations.

More Power (and Depth and Speed) to You
Elite-4 DSI fishfinders reach depths down to 200 ft./61 m, and show impressive bottom readings at boat speeds up to 40 mph.

Advanced Transducer
Slim new low-profile, high-speed, transom-mount, 455/800 kHz Skimmer® DSI imaging transducer with exclusive down-looking crystal and built-in temp sensor, and trolling motor-mount bracket option.

Precision GPS Position Accuracy
Internal accurate GPS for superior navigation guidance, even when mounted in-dash.

Multiple Map/Chart Options
Waterproof microSD media card slot accepts the most up-to-date mapcard options Navionics Gold worldwide.

Viewing Brilliance
Higher-resolution 3.5 in./8.9 cm backlit displays deliver unmatched displays deliver unmatched viewing brightness and detail at wider angles and bright sunlight.

Pick Your Favorite Color
Expanded sonar imaging display color palette choices offers optimum viewing for personal preference and water/light conditions.

Full Automatic or Manual

Elite-4 DSI is so advanced it’s easy to use, with automatic fine-tuning for the best sonar imaging picture possible after power-up.

TrackBack™ Into Sonar History
Enjoy immediate scroll-back of imaging sonar history to review covered areas and pinpoint spots (saves time and fuel trying to re-trace your path). With Elite-4 DSI, mark a waypoint at your cursor location with a simple press of a button.

Easy to Install and Use
Unique new keypad and quick-release bracket design offers easy installation, plus one-hand viewing adjustment, operation at-speed, and removal/reinstall.

Interface Beauty
Simplified menu with text and icons for faster and

DISPLAY
Display Resolution 320×240 (H x W)

SONAR / SOUNDER
Sonar Frequency 455/800 kHz
Sonar Output Power Max 2800W PTP, 350W RMS W
Sonar Depth Max 200 ft \ 61 m

GPS / NAVIGATION
Waypoint Storage 3000
Routes 100
Plot Trails 100

NETWORKING / CONNECTORS
NMEA Output 0183

TECHNICAL / ENVIRONMENTAL
Housing ABS molding
Waterproof Standard IPx7

Lowrance Elite 4 Hdi Power Cable

Power Supply 12 vDC
Input Voltage 10-17 V

OTHER
Cable 20ft.

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