Author Topic: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?  (Read 2966 times)

Offline fishEH

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Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« on: Jan 29, 2018, 08:46 AM »
Getting ready to buy a sonar/flasher and the issue of target separation has come up. I understand the theory of it, but how much does it really come into play?
I was leaning towards a Helix 5 unit because it would be more versatile in that I could bring it on a fly-in or up to Boundary Waters. The one sticking point right now for me is the target separation is 2.5".
The other unit I was looking at was the Marcum LX-6s which has a target separation of .75".

If I go with the Helix will it pick up my jig and a fish coming in?

Offline hnd

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2018, 10:59 AM »
so this weekend, we were fishing out of town. its a basin bite, big schools of fish swarm around the basin and when they fill up your flasher,  you are fishing for the big fish and trying to avoid the small fish.  For some this is a normal bite, for others its not so target seperation can be important to you or it might not be. 

My buddy dropped his lx6 this weekend and it busted so he was left using an fl8.  His screen regardless of how low he turned his gain down was just a mess of fish.  Now he still caught plenty but it was harder for him to pick out the larger fish and fish for them in the water column.    now i'm a lx5 guy.  which is a higher end unit with really good separation so the comparison isn't really fair but is the reality.  what i was able to do was pick out larger marks.  while his fl8 showed what he thought was a large fish, on my lx5 it showed as 2 smaller fish just close together.   This allowed me to really pick otu the large red marks and fish them and while we both caught tons of fish, at times i was catching the larger fish out of the same schools.  when he had his lx6 he even had somewhat of an advantage on me as that thing is ridiculous.   

hopefully that makes sense.   
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Offline Figure ate

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2018, 11:40 AM »
I'm not buying the 2.5" target separation. I run a g2 CHIRP and with a jigging spoon I get 3 separate returns, Snap, spoon, and hook w/ bait. The entire combination of those 3 things is less than 2.5".

Somebody on a different post mentioned that none of the sonar manufacturers denote what depth and conditions their target separation is measured at.

Having been said, I've never thought target separation makes a huge difference as I start watching my rod tip before a fish gets up to my bait.

Edit: a picture of the snap, slender spoon,  and minnow head @8x zoom in 25 FOW with a helix G2 CHIRP.

 https://imgur.com/a/T6E3h

Offline markinohio

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 29, 2018, 01:41 PM »
Someone with all the toys should make a video!

I would REALLY like to see a comparison of the Helix G2 and Marcum LX6. Iíve been trying to decide between the two since the G2 came out. I too am skeptical about the listed target separationÖ.even on my Hook 5, in 30 FOW with 2X zoom I get two returns with a 1Ē spoon (lure & bait).

Offline ripnflutter

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 30, 2018, 07:58 AM »
I'm not buying the 2.5" target separation. I run a g2 CHIRP and with a jigging spoon I get 3 separate returns, Snap, spoon, and hook w/ bait. The entire combination of those 3 things is less than 2.5".

Somebody on a different post mentioned that none of the sonar manufacturers denote what depth and conditions their target separation is measured at.

Having been said, I've never thought target separation makes a huge difference as I start watching my rod tip before a fish gets up to my bait.

Edit: a picture of the snap, slender spoon,  and minnow head @8x zoom in 25 FOW with a helix G2 CHIRP.

 https://imgur.com/a/T6E3h
     if you marking 1 or 2 fish not a big deal. but when there's multiply fish 6,7,8 below is what hnd is talking about. your video just shows your snap,lure and bait. most electronics will show that.

Offline hnd

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 30, 2018, 08:40 AM »
yeah and at 8x zoom ,while impressive, thats not really usable.  what does it look like at 2x zoom?  4x? 

my comment isn't meant to be 1 unit is better than the other, just that target separation can be important in the right circumstance. 
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Offline markinohio

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 30, 2018, 08:59 AM »
Maybe Iím missing something? If the picture of the lure provided is not an example of target separation, what exactly is target separation? Other than the resolution constraints of the display, how would target separation be impacted any differently by 2 targets vs 100?

The Helix and the Marcum have the same Vertical resolution. Irrespective of target separation, they will require the same zoom to display the same size target/distance between targets.

Other than the information provided by the respective manufacturer, what is the evidence of a significant difference in target separation between the Marcum LX6 and Helix 5?   

Offline ripnflutter

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 30, 2018, 09:13 AM »
Maybe Iím missing something? If the picture of the lure provided is not an example of target separation, what exactly is target separation? Other than the resolution constraints of the display, how would target separation be impacted any differently by 2 targets vs 100?

The Helix and the Marcum have the same Vertical resolution. Irrespective of target separation, they will require the same zoom to display the same size target/distance between targets.

Other than the information provided by the respective manufacturer, what is the evidence of a significant difference in target separation between the Marcum LX6 and Helix 5?
    quote: Sonar resolution, or target separation, is the units ability to separate one target from another. For example, separating a fish from the bottom or one fish from another one close by. This is a function of the transmitters pulse width, or how long the transmit burst lasts. The shorter the burst the closer the sonar can separate two targets. The FL-12 series can separate targets within 3 inches or so on the 20' depth range. The deeper the range the longer the transmit burst, and thus, the separation increases.

Display resolution defines how small of a line the units display can draw. This specification is the one that probably affects the user the most. The better the display resolution the more detail the display will have. For example, the FL-20 can draw 525 individual lines around the display. When the range is selected to the 20 foot scale each line represents less than 1/2 inch. As the range increases the display resolution decreases.

A factor in target separation that often gets overlooked in the Hummingbird is the line segment width, even though they list it as 1 more line segment than the Vexilar, the individual segments are larger in width than the Vexilar is...this effects the separation and target ID. For the size of the displays on the Humminbirds if they tripled the segment count, it would have been much tighter, and far tighter in target ID.

Proper gain calibration in any flasher is critical to get the best seperation and target ID, so more often than not, that is the #1 determining factor in optimum target separation.

Be is 2.5" or 1/2", in any given situation proper user gain calibration will make the most significant impact on true seperation and Target ID.

Offline 3300

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 30, 2018, 09:35 AM »
Target separation is the distance between two objects within the sonar cone or beam, which a transducer and display can identify as two separate targets. The smaller the target separation, the clearer your readings will be. The higher the frequency, the better the target separation will be, as can be seen in the image of the 200 kHz diagram below.

www.fishtec.co.za/Sonar%20Principles.pdf

one of the key factors here is the ability of the display to draw a fine enough line to represent the separation.
for example, my retired hb ice55 draws a huge line for a jig.  some call it the blob line like other brands do. seems like the line was close to 4 feet using the screen s depth measurements indicator lines.

it would be nice to have a comparison section for those shopping for sonar.

here is my lx9. zoom is on the right column.


here is 8's g2 chirp

Offline ripnflutter

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 30, 2018, 09:36 AM »
so there's a lot of factors.... depth your fishing, a cone angle of  8 degree will give you a much tighter display/resolution , sensitivity/gain, target adjust not separation. i believe 20 degree is the lowest hummingbird offers on their g2. which might make it harder to dial in to the equivalent of a marcum digital series. but all that said i sure do like the looks and the year round set up. and the gps. could be my next electronic purchase.but then again if i wait a couple years that unit will be out dated just like everything else. lol

Offline ripnflutter

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 30, 2018, 09:47 AM »
First off, it's a picture not a video. I have plenty of experience with multiple fish and have zero issue differentiating outside of when school's of shiners move through. I don't see you offering any evidence of your claims so I don't see the point in your long winded hit piece.
cool. and i don't see yours either. my mistake it might be 15 degree.

Offline fishEH

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 30, 2018, 07:07 PM »
Do yourself a favor and shop by reliability and feature set. Everything else is a pissing contest no matter how much some people will deny it. Target seperation, power output, etc don't mean squat when your on the ice and your sonar is on the fritz. I'm an IL guy too, just a minute down the road from you, season is too short to be messing around sending a unit in for service.
No kidding!? You ever get out on Miltmore? That's my home lake so to speak. 

I ended up buying a Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS w/Navionics G2 from Bass Pro. Had about $250 in gift cards so that helped. I picked up the Marcum Lithium Shuttle for $210 shipped from FishUSA. Backordered the 1521 ice ducer for $72 shipped from Hodges Marine. I'm looking forward to getting it on the ice!

Offline fishEH

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 30, 2018, 10:53 PM »
I keep hearing that about the power cable.  I also saw Marcum makes an adapter cable. Does the battery not have two spade connectors like most batteries? Couldn't I just use the stock Helix power cable and run straight to the battery?

Offline 3300

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2018, 08:20 AM »
It's a sealed proprietary battery with no terminals. They are skinning people by charging $40 for a <$1 cable. When the battery goes bad in a few years you have to send the whole unit in and pay whatever service fee to have it "repaired".
not true. you can buy the battery for 130$ or send it in if you don't know how to run a screw driver and have them do it for you for an extra 10$.
https://shop.marcumtech.com/product/lithium-shuttle-battery-replacement/

marcum products don't need the adapter. it fits directly into the head unit.
the adapter cable is crazy priced tho.
https://shop.marcumtech.com/product/lithium-shuttle-power-adapter/

Offline fishEH

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 31, 2018, 09:30 AM »
Dang. Figures they'd have some proprietary nonsense. I found the adapter cable for $15 so I may get that. The shuttle arrives tomorrow so I'll open it up first and see if I can't work something out.  ::)

Offline matzilla

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 31, 2018, 09:48 AM »
Factors at play...

target acquisition - your sonar has the ability to acquire a target based on its size, shape, density, depth, water quality, current - there is a point where it can't "see" the target

target separation - the ability to display two acquired targets with x" distance between to one another. Think about this, they might claim 1mm target separation but never answer these questions: total water depth, depth of target, beam width, power, zoom, size of both targets, location of target in relationship to cone center line, and so on. The measurement isn't standardized and until it is, quoted target separation means nothing in relationship to sonar performance. Until manufactures state how they are deriving their target separation spec's - they mean absolutely 0. Folks can say Marcum this, Vexilar that, Humminbird this, Garmin that, etc. but you're honestly just bench racing meaningless specifications

resolution vs acquisition vs separation - you need to have resolution to display the target and its separation. 

You're better off comparing adjustable chirp (15-21* 130-250khz) to non chirp (fixed 50, 83, 200, 230, 455, etc khz) to panoptix - or bonded glass direct sunlight view-able display vs cheap display, or price, run time, weight, customer service, etc. etc. For folks sitting on the fence, trying to choose a sonar to use, don't get caught up thinking "omg this one has awesome target separation" when that choice might not offer the features to match your budget, fishing environment and style

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Offline 3300

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #16 on: Jan 31, 2018, 10:12 AM »
great summery matzilla. features are much more important than target separation specs altho important.

Dang. Figures they'd have some proprietary nonsense. I found the adapter cable for $15 so I may get that. The shuttle arrives tomorrow so I'll open it up first and see if I can't work something out.  ::)

here is what's inside so you can figure out how to add your wires before you get your unit.
(pict from a fellow shanty member.)


looks like the drain hole just above the battery would be an ideal access. or add one there. shouldn't bother the warranty. you needed more for your gimbal is all.

Offline fishEH

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #17 on: Jan 31, 2018, 12:22 PM »
Thanks for the pic WALKNDUDE! That helps out. The $15 adapter I found was the genuine Marcum one. I'll wait till I open up the bottom of the shuttle to determine if I want it or not.
I found a pic of the adapter in use. Man, that is some straight up booty fab if I ever saw some. If if I do run the adapter my plan will be to tuck it all in the bottom so its just the clean cable coming out to the Helix unit.
The replacement battery is 139.99 plus shipping both ways? Is that a joke? I mean, I think it's hilarious. $40 dollar cable, $140 battery and shipping on top of a 250 dollar shuttle. I see they have replacement chargers now for $45 as well. They are marketing it as a back up unit, that's ridiculous.

"Lithium Shuttle internal battery replacement. Your Lithium shuttle  will need to come in to our service department to have this service performed." per Marcum. It's the first sentence under the price on the product page.

So your battery goes out and all you have to do is pay up, mail the unit back, have them service it, mail it back and you're back on the ice. Sounds like fun. Or the charger goes and you just pay up(you also have to pay shipping both ways which isn't going to be cheap), wait for it to be shipped, and you're back on the ice. Best part is how do you diagnose if it's the charger or the battery when one goes on the fritz? you can't use a standard charger on these units, it has to be a load balancing Li charger and a voltmeter won't show a weak cell, It needs to be load tested.

This comment isn't aimed at you 3300, just playing devils advocate on a product that doesn't look like it was designed with the consumer in mind. It appears to me to be just the opposite.


Offline matzilla

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #18 on: Jan 31, 2018, 08:11 PM »
if thats a 12ah lipo it is most definitely worth $100+....it for sure looks like a lipo and not an array of lithium cells

for reference a 5.4ah lipo retails for $65 for a cheap no-name brand

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Offline 3300

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #19 on: Jan 31, 2018, 08:44 PM »
here is a pict of the battery from the same user who shared them with us.


some refer to them as soft cells.

Offline fishEH

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #20 on: Jan 31, 2018, 10:20 PM »
Wow, that's a fancy battery, LOL! When I think about it though $130 for a LiIon 12ah battery isn't that bad. A Milwaukee 9ah M18 battery is $150 to $170.
I'll check out the shuttle tomorrow when it arrives. I still might just grab a $35 Vexilar Pro Pack and Dakota Lithium battery. Trick it out with a RAM mount for the Helix and some other toys and it'd still probably be half the price of the Marcum shuttle......

Offline 3300

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #21 on: Feb 01, 2018, 12:24 AM »
no, it's a 140$ for the battery.   https://shop.marcumtech.com/product/lithium-shuttle-battery-replacement/


 i think your reading if you don't know how to change the battery you have to send it in and pay for return shipping on top of the 140$ for the battery.
10$ labor for marcum to change the battery if you don't know how to.

10% off for signing up on first purchase. using welome10 for the code.
you could always buy it when they run a sale in the off season and have them for when you need to replace one.

mattzilla just mentioned that 5.4 amp hour lipo is 65$ and it was a no name brand. that would be 120$ for an 10.8 amp hour and falls short of the 12 amp hour in the shuttle that maybe a no name brand in it that doesn't matter. so it is on par with the rest of the world.

if you can show us a better battery to use when this one needs replacing at a better price that would be great. it sounds like you know some thing we don't about buying them else where.
the dakaota battery is nothing like it.
if it's the lipo soft cell 12 amp hour 11.1 volt at a better price i will be game.

i spend 90$ for 3830mah Intelligent Flight Battery for DJI Mavic Pro  i have three of them and they only take so many charges and then the warranty is gone. it counts how many charges they have had tho.
that's 270$ for 11.5 amp hour.

hobbies and sports are not cheap.

Offline matzilla

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #22 on: Feb 01, 2018, 12:51 AM »
its a lipo (lithium polymer) not li-ion...but whatever, same stuff really. Its just funny that Marcum says its an Ion.  thats a 6 cell (6s) lipo, 6x3.7v = 22.2v total, maybe the regulate them down? Its hard to tell scale in the picture but that battery should be about 8" long by 3" wide and 2.5" tall - if not then its not a 12ah for sure

walkindude is right on, marcum likely buys the batteries at 20-50$ cost - they'll last anywhere from 100-400 cycles depending on A. how far you discharge it (it should have a low voltage cutoff, most graphs shut off around 11.9-10v anyway) and B. how decent the charger is (most cheap lipo chargers are garbage). I have some cheap mini lipos that didn't last over 50 cycles

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Offline 3300

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #23 on: Feb 01, 2018, 01:01 AM »
theses are marked as 11.1 volts. 12.5 volts charged and rested. they must be 1.85 volts each and 6 cells. they are supposed to get up to 1000 cycles.
some thing else about these batteries is not to leave them fully charged as it stress's them out. discharging them to 70 % is ideal for them. my dji batteries self discharge and are programmable for how long you want them to wait before they self discharge to 72% for you. i set mine to self-discharge after 10 days. heat is also bad for them.

the dakota batteries are 13.8v charged and rested. thinking they use the 18650 cells. samsung would be the premium battery to use like ridgid does in their battery packs.

so it would be nice to get in on a low price like marcum maybe getting them at, but i know they buy in the thousands to get a good price.

Offline fishEH

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #24 on: Feb 01, 2018, 08:39 AM »
Ebay? https://www.ebay.com/i/112769405860?chn=ps
Alibaba has them, if you want to order 1000!  :o

theses are marked as 11.1 volts. 12.5 volts charged and rested. they must be 1.85 volts each and 6 cells. they are supposed to get up to 1000 cycles.
some thing else about these batteries is not to leave them fully charged as it stress's them out. discharging them to 70 % is ideal for them. my dji batteries self discharge and are programmable for how long you want them to wait before they self discharge to 72% for you. i set mine to self-discharge after 10 days. heat is also bad for them.

the dakota batteries are 13.8v charged and rested. thinking they use the 18650 cells. samsung would be the premium battery to use like ridgid does in their battery packs.

so it would be nice to get in on a low price like marcum maybe getting them at, but i know they buy in the thousands to get a good price.

Offline Figure ate

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #25 on: Feb 01, 2018, 09:02 AM »
I'm seeing a lot of 12v lithium batteries on Alibaba. 20ah for $100, is this not a good battery? Am I missing something?

Offline ice dawg

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #26 on: Feb 01, 2018, 09:03 AM »
Not too important for some and huge for others. I don't consider it to be a big deal.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline 3300

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #27 on: Feb 01, 2018, 10:58 AM »
you are right! they changed it up. i was only looking for the battery cost for this thread and not reading the rest of the page. it used to be what i am saying and apparently they must have switched it up to making you send it in now.
as i have been saying was true, until recently. so thanks for pointing that out to me!

maybe some regulations on mailing the softcells. i will call them to see why it has been changed for sure.

retail on the shuttle is 250$ .
https://www.rapala.com/marcum/accessories/lithium-shuttle/MLS.html?cgid=marcum-accessories#id=10&start=3&cgid=marcum-accessories

but i still would like to hear where to buy a better battery/brand and at a better price because of your words make it sound like you know where to do this.

Offline winterbuddy

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #28 on: Feb 01, 2018, 11:17 AM »
I'm seeing a lot of 12v lithium batteries on Alibaba. 20ah for $100, is this not a good battery? Am I missing something?

Most are rated by totaling each cells capacity, not a true amp hour capacity based on the resultant battery. 

As a made up example, a 12volt 20ah rated battery could be made from 12  3volt 1.6 ah cells.   The resulant 12volt battery capacity would be 4x1.6ah, or 6.4ah. 

Offline fishEH

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Re: Target separation, how big of a deal is it?
« Reply #29 on: Feb 01, 2018, 12:14 PM »
but i still would like to hear where to buy a better battery/brand and at a better price because of your words make it sound like you know where to do this.

For $100 how bad can it be? :)
https://www.ebay.com/i/112769405860?chn=ps

 



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