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Author Topic: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?  (Read 379 times)

gorf37

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I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« on: Jan 11, 2017, 02:14 PM »
Hi Guys & Gals,

Putting this here instead of the electronics forum, in hopes that more people will see it.

I only recently learned about AutoChart software, and it has me really excited.  There are essentially no bathymetry maps available for my area (Yukon, Canada).  Our department of environment does have some, but how useful are 10m contours in ice fishing?

I would love to buy a sonar/gps with AutoChart, and drive around all summer making maps, then use them to dial-in my ice fishing scouting and exploration.  I'm finding that there's almost too much information out there, the manufacturer's website seems to promise a lot with too little detail, and the many forum discussions seem to focus on the original release, complaining about firmware issues and the like.

Can anyone suggest a good place to get started understanding the options, and how it actually works in practice? 

Ideally, I would like to drive my boat around and store a full day's worth of bathymetry data, then go home and upload that data to my master file on my computer, which I can then download back to the sonar/gps for future trips, or just scroll around looking at the details and wondering where the fish are hiding.

Thanks for reading!

prospector

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 11, 2017, 03:42 PM »
 What fishfinder are you  thinking about buying?  P.m. me your cell phone number and I will shoot you a map that I did this past summer on the local lake by me just to show you the detail that it gives. Pretty impressive in my opinion.  I am using a helix nine on the boat and have actually rigged it up to be able to use ice fishing as well. Not perfect on ice but not bad either. With my fishfinder, there is no need to use a PC at all.
flash in the pan!

ErnieLearns

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 11, 2017, 03:54 PM »
'll Garmin Echomap, Humminbird Helix,  and Lowrance all have units that will do what you want.  I personally have Garmin and their custom mapping works well right out of the box when you add a blank micro memory chip.   I would imagine the other brands work well also.

gorf37

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 11, 2017, 04:46 PM »
I'm really not sure what sonar to buy, right now I have an old bottom of the line lowrance, and am not savvy at all about side imaging, dual transducers, options, features, shiny bits, etc.

My inexperience is what prompted the post, I'm hoping that I can digest people's recommendations and any recommended resources, then I'll know what the minimum is that'll do what I want, and I can start shopping for a suitable unit in my price range.

Drift Dodger

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 11, 2017, 06:37 PM »
gorf37, last Spring I was pretty much in the same boat as you (pardon the pun). For the exact same reasons you described, I was wanting a sonar capable of producing detailed contour maps of my own. With a limited budget and following extensive research of the different manufacturer's technologies, products, features, prices, etc. I settled on a Garmin EchoMAP model which supports the QuickDraw Contours mapping system. I am totally delighted with the unit's performance and functionality. The contour map detail is created directly to a common inexpensive (micro-SD) card and available for immediate use at no extra complication or cost ... doesn't require any proprietary (i.e. expensive) memory card and there is no need to upload/download to a computer or the Internet.

Please note there is currently no capability or software available to view these maps on a computer ... although there really is no need to. I removed the unit from my boat and rigged with a cigarette plug. I can power it up anywhere (such as on my living room coffee table) with a portable battery/booster ... or in a vehicle of course. I now drive right up to promising structure with complete confidence and drill holes. Saves a lot of exploratory ice flasher depth-shots and hole drilling.

The competing manufacturers are improving and/or introducing new products and features continuously. I suggest you check web forums and reviews comparing the various models ... scrutinize them yourself before making a decision on what best suits your needs and budget. Good luck and tight lines!


ElectricSlide19

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 11, 2017, 06:46 PM »
Check out these vids!  The videos by Doug are great to show you how to set it up and what not! The video by uncut angling is cool, well because it's uncut angling. Definitely an awesome feature and would be well worth it especially for unmapped Canadian Shield lakes

https://youtu.be/4_RQ-gZUaIg

https://youtu.be/SnswxU4rW68

https://youtu.be/Aq8NsoPAYes

Humminbird Helixs are the best bang for your buck right now for live mapping that only involves the sonar unit. It maps it straight to the unit chip, which is unlike Lowrance which requires you to have Navionics running on a tablet while in the boat. I would check those units out. I think 7" and up have the auto chart live feature

ErnieLearns

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 11, 2017, 07:52 PM »
Actually Gamrin Quick draw can now be viewed on the  computer but you have to be a little tech savvy to learn the new steps for this feature.  You can find more about it on their website.  It requires taking the micro card and uploading it.  It seems like they may be establishing a sharing community like Lowrance' s.

Kevin23

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 11, 2017, 07:57 PM »
Hi Guys & Gals,

Putting this here instead of the electronics forum, in hopes that more people will see it.

I only recently learned about AutoChart software, and it has me really excited.  There are essentially no bathymetry maps available for my area (Yukon, Canada).  Our department of environment does have some, but how useful are 10m contours in ice fishing?

I would love to buy a sonar/gps with AutoChart, and drive around all summer making maps, then use them to dial-in my ice fishing scouting and exploration.  I'm finding that there's almost too much information out there, the manufacturer's website seems to promise a lot with too little detail, and the many forum discussions seem to focus on the original release, complaining about firmware issues and the like.

Can anyone suggest a good place to get started understanding the options, and how it actually works in practice? 

Ideally, I would like to drive my boat around and store a full day's worth of bathymetry data, then go home and upload that data to my master file on my computer, which I can then download back to the sonar/gps for future trips, or just scroll around looking at the details and wondering where the fish are hiding.

Thanks for reading!

I would suggest the humminbird version. You just buy an autochart compatible unit, buy the autochart card for it ($150), and start mapping. Helix gen2 is compatible.

You do just as you said, drive around and it makes the map in real time on your screen. You don't even have to upload anything, just pop the card back in the unit and use it for ice fishing. If you want, you can convert it to regular mapping files with the online converter and use it in any GPS unit, even if it does not have autochart.

prospector

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 11, 2017, 08:24 PM »
 The helix nine comes with eight hours of internal storage. After that, I bought a card from Humminbird that should give me pretty much unlimited usage. I do agree that Garman is a better deal as far as not having to buy a special SD card for over $100.  A big reason I chose to go with Humminbird is because I want to get a Minnkota trolling motor next year that will work with it.
flash in the pan!

gorf37

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 11, 2017, 11:08 PM »
Thank you all for the replies.  These things are exciting!  Too bad there's a high cost of entry, but no wonder!

I can't justify the prop turning another inch until one of these is aboard - that gas money should be in the pot for the chart-plotter.

hnd

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 12, 2017, 08:43 AM »
autochart does just what you'd like it to do.  drive around (they prefer you pattern it) and then pop it into the computer and it spits out a chart. 

some bird products have autochart live.  where it will display the readings instantly on your graph. 

for ice fishing, the most handy thing on these bodies of water for ice fishing has been side imaging.  driving around a lake finding structure tagging it on side imagine, running over those tagged images with down scan and then marking the waypoint as ICE001 (my own waypoint identifying system) 

Clam Nitinol Spring Bobbers are Junk - Don't Buy

SpoonieLuv

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 12, 2017, 10:23 AM »
I believe the Helix 9s and 10s come with Autochart Live pre-programed. My 10 did anyway. Autochart live builds it right on the Helix, real time. It's awesome for Canadian waters and other bodies of water that have no mapping.

matzilla

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 12, 2017, 05:49 PM »
For best results use an external gps puck mounted as close to the transducer as possible, it makes a big difference

Catchin' Fish

prospector

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Re: I want to use AutoChart - But Where to Start?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 12, 2017, 06:07 PM »
For best results use an external gps puck mounted as close to the transducer as possible, it makes a big difference
Very interesting. Never thought about that gap  between the transducer and the unit. Sounds like I need to do some research!
flash in the pan!

 

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