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Old 18-01-2010, 15:47   #1
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Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

I have been looking for a forward looking sonar and I found two brands available so far: Interphase (made in the US) and Echo Pilot (made in the UK). I live in Canada.

Interphase: Manufacturer of Forward Looking Sonars, Navigational Chart Plotters, WAAS/GPS and Fish Finders A tech rep from Interphase recommended IScan 180se with two thru-hull transducers so as to avoid keel shadowing. Can switch between vertical and horizontal scanning, forward range 1200 ft, depth range 600 ft.

EchoPilot - 3d Forward Looking Sonar where FLS Platinum comes with a color display and FLS Gold comes with monochrome display. Vertical scanning only, sees 200 metres (600 ft) ahead of the boat.

While I read all I could find about these two products, I am looking for feedback from people who actually use these units. As this forum has members in Europe and North America, I am hoping to hear from both groups. All suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks to all.

Monica
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Old 18-01-2010, 19:26   #2
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I haven't had any experience with the EchoPilot but have had some issues with the Interphase. The screens seem to be very susceptible to damage from the sun so must be covered when not in use (had to replace one). I also had to replace a newish transducer which started giving a very weak signal. This unit is less than 3 years old but they may have improved things since then.It is an iScan V90
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Old 18-01-2010, 20:44   #3
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I have an Interphase SE 200-C. In shallow water I have about 100 feet of forward range, in deep water, possibly as much as a thousand feet forward. I have the input available on my Raymarine E 120 display as a video feed, as well as the Interphase display for the cockpit. The unit has twin transducers to provide 180 degree vision in horizontal mode. I am pleased with the service I have received from Interphase when I had a software issue with the unit integrating with the Raymarine. All was corrected to my satifaction. People who view the screen liken it to "underwater radar". Click on my "images" to see the transducer installation on either side of my minikeel.
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Old 30-03-2011, 22:26   #4
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

Hello, knowing this is an older thread, I wanted to respond to your question on forward looking sonar. We have had and used both the fls and the Bronze EchoPilot sonar and would not replace it with any other brand! Our Bronze was installed on our passport 42 with modified fin Keel and worked without fail! the FLS was on our power boat and also worked without failure. Not to say they can't, but we have had an excellent experience with both the product and service when we had questions on set-up. There is very little shadowing if the transducer is installed correctly on the hull. We sailed through the South Pacific with the Bronze and it helped us with the passages into the Atolls and through narrow channels encountered along the way. The nice feature about the EchoPilot is you do NOT have to drill 2 holes in your hull to have a reliable scan. The professional transducer is used for thick/steep angled hulls as we had, and the depth alarm is a nice feature. The EchoPilot products have been around for while and the reliability was greatly appreciated on a long extended cruise as we have had. Many boats we have seen have run aground while trying to navigate the shallows and because of the EchoPilot, we have never scratched a bottom! I hope this was useful, as we can't say enough about the product.
Fair winds
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Old 30-03-2011, 23:51   #5
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

I have the Echopilot Gold FLS with the bronze transducer located forward of my keel. I like having a second source of depth information, but I can't say that have been able to get any other useful information out of it. It "sees" less and less far ahead the shallower the water - that is, the more you need it. Or perhaps I have just not yet learned to interpret the data.
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Old 15-08-2012, 19:14   #6
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

How did you go with that dockhead any better results yet?

I am looking at one myself and looking at the transducer

I am seriously wondering what would happen if I made an epoxy block on the bottom of the hull and affixed a conventional fishfinder transducer facing forward instead of down?

Sure, I would have to turn my head unit on its side to give correct orientation and the numbers would be sideways, but I have a few Garmin echo 100's I bought for $30 each, so for the price I could live with a few quirks, especially if you still reckon it's not as good as it should be.
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Old 15-08-2012, 19:37   #7
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

Go for it! Money means more to you than effect, so enjoy the burn. Maybe several to enjoy the vertical and horizontal modes.
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Old 15-08-2012, 19:53   #8
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Money means more to you than effect
Bang for buck means more to me than money spent on poor results.

If you read dockheads post, he said he wasn't having an overly good result with his $2000 approx outlay.
My way of thinking was I could have an equally poor result for a lot less expenditure.
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Old 15-08-2012, 20:25   #9
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

G'Day all,

Well, I have posted on this subject repeatedly, and don't feel like typing the whole blurb again, so some searching might add some info.

In short, I have had Interphase Probes on my last two boats, starting in 1996. While thier performance may not quite equal the glossy brochure, it is indeed a useful tool for those who go into strange (to them) waters that may not be well charted. My current display unit is now 9 years old and has had no degradation. It lives under the dodger and is never covered additionally.

For CAtman: I'm not sure what you think you will see on the "horizontal fish finder", but I doubt very much if the info will actually be useful to you. The beam width of typical fish finders is far too wide to produce a meaningful return when so oriented. If it was that easy, every fishfinder mfg would offer that as an option, don't you think?

Cheers,

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Old 16-08-2012, 01:54   #10
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

Jim, it was more a thought than anything else as the plan will be if coming into a suspect area is to launch the tinny which has a sounder anyway and do a lap around and see what's there before bringing in the big boat.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:20   #11
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

This is a very interesting thread. I have a Catamaran and am interested in an early warning system for collisions of sleeping whales and semi-sub containers. Do these systems offer a solution perhaps? And, could I rig up a link via NMEA to steer a point of two off - for if a container collision is about to happen - whilst on auto pilot? thoughts?

cheers
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Old 03-10-2014, 14:41   #12
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

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Originally Posted by peteh007 View Post
This is a very interesting thread. I have a Catamaran and am interested in an early warning system for collisions of sleeping whales and semi-sub containers. Do these systems offer a solution perhaps? And, could I rig up a link via NMEA to steer a point of two off - for if a container collision is about to happen - whilst on auto pilot? thoughts?

cheers
Peter
G'Day Peter,

This question has been discussed at length in previous threads, but the short answer is "no". While the instrument is useful to the cruising yottie, it can not be relied upon for detecting floating objects at sea.

A bit of searching will bring up the older threads with lots of details on these sorts of subjects.

Sorry... I too wish it would work!

Jim
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Old 03-10-2014, 18:55   #13
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Re: Interphase vs Echo Pilot Forward-Looking Sonar

Peter, just look down at the bottom of this page for other threads on the subject.
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