LOWRANCE LSS-1 StructureScan

by Capt. John N. Raguso

 

Reproduced courtesy The Fisherman Magazine

 

Lowrance has introduced an interesting piece of marine electronics for 2010: their new LSS-1 StructureScan black box module.

BLACK MAGIC

The LSS-1 StructureScan sonar imaging module is next generation technology for Lowrance High Definition Systems (HDS) and has raised the performance bar in fish-finding operations. It is the world’s first to off er anglers a new dimension in sonar technology, with “picture-like” underwater displays, combining sidetoside plus straight look-down images for full panoramic viewing of the bottom down under your keel. It’s like having your own underwater camera to tell you where the fi sh and structure are relative to your boat, not just in the classic straight up and down mode, but side-to-side too.

 

The innovative Lowrance StructureScan features a combination of SideScan and an exclusive new DownScan Imaging technology. SideScan provides full-screen left and right side-viewing with extra crisp detail of up to 480-foot wide swaths of underwater coverage that displays structure and fi sh targets, as well as their imaging-scan shadows. The new DownScan Imaging feature allows anglers to see submerged detail directly beneath their boats, providing a complete underwater picture in a screen format that is easy to interpret. With revolutionary on-screen display versatility, anglers can merge Lowrance side and down sonar scans in split-screen to view wide-area surveys and highly-defi ned detail. Anglers can also compare DownScan Imaging with 2D sonar images in split-screen display to better distinguish fi sh from structure. The new LSS-1 delivers the highest underwater defi nition ever achieved with crystal-clear views in shallow and deep, freshwater or saltwater, even at speeds up to 30 mph.

 

SPLIT PERSONALITY

Based on Lowrance’s aff ordable, plug-and-play, onboard, high-speed Ethernet network, the LSS-1 StructureScan sonar imaging module is an optional add-on that easily networks with up to three onboard HDS displays to share SideScan, DownScan and 2D sonar imaging for boat-wide underwater surveillance, each with independent control. I have been getting some hands-on experience developing a feel for this technology on the winter boat show circuit over the past few months and the StructureScan is really amazing. The new StructureScan really helps you “see” like a fish to help you find fish.

 

I have learned from fi rsthand experimentation that the StructureScan requires a little bit of training to use it to its maximum potential, but most savvy anglers should be able to fi gure it out in less than 15 minutes working the controls themselves. The first significant changeup for traditionalists is the fact that the side scan image screen does not move from right to left as in the classic “lookdown” 2D mode, but instead the screen rolls from top to bottom, which is the same direction that you are driving your boat. This new Lowrance technology also allows the user to do a three-way split screen with the underwater images. Specifi cally, the user can choose the aforementioned side scan that rolls top-to-bottom, the traditional 2D look that moves from right to left, plus the exciting new DownScan image, which is similar to the 2D’s right-to-left scroll, but the image it presents off ers signifi cantly more detail.

 

For example, one of the screen shots on the simulator program was a large vertical underwater tree with multiple branches. On the classic 2D mode, it looked like a big red blob. However, the DownScan image showed a completely different picture, one with considerably more clarity that distinguished between and separated the different tree branches. By viewing the DownScan Imaging with 2D HDS sonar picture simultaneously in split-screen, you’ll remove all doubt and see underwater images in more of a classic “look-down” mode like never before. Comparing the two helps you learn to “read” 2D sonar displays with much greater accuracy. This technology will prove to be a MAJOR plus for wreck anglers looking for potential hotspots on their fave piece of bottom. One other feature that I learned from my hands-on product demonstrations was the ability to run the sonar and the chartplotter at the same time; pass over a potential hotspot; then use the reverse scroll feature of the HDS machine to “track back” on both images in an historical timeline; and then punch the Save button to lock it into your unit’s memory. As an added benefit, combine this new StructureScan fish-finding tool with additional cutting-edge features available with Lowrance’s HDS displays, such as built-in 2D Broadband Sounder, Insight mapping, compatibility with Navionics TurboView cartography, Broadband Radar and SIRIUS weather solutions, and the results are amazing. Never before has so much capability been available in a relatively compact all-in-one package.

 

The fully-waterproof LSS-1 module has an MSRP of only $699 and comes with a rugged, low-profi le, dual-frequency 455/800 kHz panoramic imaging transducer that is easy to install, plus off ers multiple mounting locations. The transducer also features a built-in temperature sensor and operates in tandem with any 50/200 kHz HDS 2D sonar transducer without cross-talk interference for display clarity. Like all Lowrance products, the LSS-1 StructureScan sonar imaging module is protected by a two-year limited warranty. If you still need a little coaxing to get more excited about this new StructureScan technology, check out Lowrance’s website for a super cool instructional video. For more information, call 800-324-1356, or visit www.lowrance.com.

 

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