Lowrance GPS Systems
Lowrance GPS systems began production in 1957 when a fisherman by the name of Carl Lowrance and his two sons designed the first high frequency sonar to be used specifically for fishing and boating. Forty five years later, Lowrance Electronics Inc remains one of the leading manufacturers of SONAR and GPS instruments. Marine specific units aside, Lowrance also design and manufacture aviation equipment, automotive equipment and outdoor products. Lowrance GPS systems are compatible with a number of different software packages, including MapCreate, IMS Fishing Hotspots, FreedomMaps, Navionics and Hotmaps.
Initially, Lowrance concentrated all their energy on producing marine products such as transducers, sonar units, flashers, graph recorders and GPS receivers. Marine products remain their specialty and today their range of marine GPS systems is one of the largest in the world. The LCX-104C and the LCX-18C, LCX - 19C and LCX-20C are all integrated units that combine sonar with GPS/WAAS capabilities. All of these units feature a dual frequency option and color screens. Models in this range are priced at between $1000 and $2500, depending on features. The LCX-18C is the cheapest at approximately $1000, while the LCX - 104C is the most expensive at around $2300. By contrast, models such as the LMS- 480M, LMS-480MDV, LCX-17M and LCX-15MT feature monochrome display panels and incorporate fewer additional features. These models are priced at between $500 and $1000.
Compact mountable Lowrance GPS systems include the M68C S/Map, M68i S/Map, M56 S/Map, and M56i S/Map. All of these units combine sonar and GPS capabilities; some also incorporate built-in hydrographic mapping. The M68C S/Map and M68i S/Map feature full color display screens, while the M56 S/Map and M56i S/Map have monochrome display screens. The M68C S/Map IceMachine is a unique sonar and GPS device designed specifically for ice fishing. The M68C S/Map also features hydrographic mapping and comes in a resilient package that is able to endure even the toughest of nature's onslaughts. The M68C S/Map, M68i S/Map, M56 S/Map, and M56i S/Map are priced at between $300 and $400, while the M68C S/Map IceMachine costs closer to $500.
The Airmap 500, Airmap 1000 and Airmap 2000C are portable handheld GPS units designed by Lowrance GPS specifically for use in the air. All Airmap systems combine GPS/WAAS capabilities, with the Airmap 1000 and 2000C both featuring extra-large screens that are able to display a wealth of information including altimeter and groundspeed readings. The Airmap 2000C takes clarity one step further by also featuring a full 256-color display. Airmap units are priced at between $500 and $1000, with the Airmap 500 costing substantially less than the Airmap 2000C.
Lowrance manufacture three different automotive GPS systems. The iWAY 500C and iWAY 100M models are both manufactured for road driving, while the GlobalMap Baja has been designed to withstand the shock of off-road driving. The iWAY 500C features GPS/WAAS capabilities, a full color touch screen, turn-by-turn voice directions, detailed maps and a built-in MP3 player. The iWAY 100M is a pocket-sized model with a compact monochrome display screen. The iWAY 100M also feature GPS/WAAS technology and visual and voice guided navigation. The iWAY 500C and iWAY 100M are both priced at around $1000. It is instantly apparent that the GlobalMap Baja is a far more rugged piece of equipment than the iWAY 500C and the iWAY 100M. The GlobalMap Baja is both shock proof and waterproof and features a monochrome screen and protective casing. The unit sells for around $400.
Both the GlobalMap and iFINDER ranges have been created specifically for outdoor use. iFINDER units have been designed specifically as handheld units and are therefore more compact and lightweight than GlobalMap models. All units in the GlobalMap and iFINDER ranges are fully functional, waterproof GPS/WAAS receivers. Units like the GlobalMap 3300C, GlobalMap 5000C, GlobalMap 6000C and GlobalMap 7000C all feature full color screens, while the GlobalMap 4000M, GlobalMap 4800M and GlobalMap 4900 models have high definition monochrome display screens. Color screen models retail for between $500 and $1600. The GlobalMap 3300C costs around $500 and the GlobalMap 7000C around $1600. By contrast, the monochrome models retail for between $400 and $700. The ordinary iFINDER features GPS and WAAS mapping as well as Multi-Media Card capabilities. The unit costs in the region of $150. Specialist models such as the iFINDER Map&Music and iFINDER PhD also include barometric altimeters and built-in MP3/Ogg Vorbis music files. The iFINDER Hunt also features gaming specific software that can be used for geocaching. The iFINDER Hunt costs approximately $300, the iFINDER Map&Music sells for around $400, while the iFINDER PhD is the most expensive at around $450.
Lowrance manufactures a number of high quality street, topographic and fishing maps. They also produce a map of Europe and a world reference map. MapCreate maps come in CD-ROM format while FreedomMaps are preloaded onto memory cards of various sizes for instant use. IMS WorldMap Mini Cartridges can be used to add more detail to built-in base maps, while Navionic Chart and Fishing Hotspot maps are designed specifically for use on the water. The majority of MapCreate maps and FreedomMaps retail for under $100, while Navionic and Marine maps are slightly more expensive at between $100 and $200.
To visit the official Lowrance website click here.