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Terrova 80 iPilot or iPilot link? - Walleye Message Central
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2014, 03:33 PM
rattman rattman is offline
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Default Terrova 80 iPilot or iPilot link?

Hi Guys,
I've been lurking here for a while but I just registered and this is my first post.

I am ready to buy a new 16.5’ boat with walk through windshield- still considering Lund Rebel , Crestliner Fish Hawk and Alumacraft Competitor. Thus far, I prefer the Crestliner for its fishability with a fly rod but am not really seeking boat opinions. Has to be 16.5’ because a longer boat/trailer package would have too much width to make it through my garage door (big garage but narrow doors) and the boat must be stored at my home. I will be adding a 24v Terrova 80 with iPilot at the bow. I am considering adding 2 Humminbird 899’s (bow and helm) and am curious if the “link” feature would be a worthwhile addition to the Terrova.

If I added the “link” feature, I could network both 899’s to the Terrova using a 5 way Ethernet switch and this would allow full sharing of information between the units. However, to realize the full use of the “link” feature, a Lakemaster chip for the lake you are on is required. The “Follow the Contour” and “Contour Offset” features are lost if the lake has not been scanned by Lakemaster. In Colorado where I live, only three marginally popular fishing lakes (2 renditions of Lake Mary/Estes, Boulder Reservoir and Lake Isabel) have been HD scanned. Additionally, there are several marginally scanned lakes but this scanning is of questionable value for the “link” application and many lakes of interest to me here such as Spinney, Granby and 11 Mile are not even given a cursory scan by Lakemaster. The “link” feature allows for greatly increased storage of waypoints and tracks that I could record but, considering the yearly, extreme fluctuation of lake levels here, these waypoints and tracks would only be appropriate/valuable at a specific water level. With that in mind, the reduced storage capacity of the Terrova with iPilot but without “link” would not seem to be a detriment. I may fish some waters in WY, KS and NE that are fully scanned in HD by Lakemaster but this would be very infrequently. It would be especially valuable to hear the opinions from anyone who has the “link” feature and has fished lakes that have the extensive HD scans to see what their opinion might be for those lakes vs the lakes that are marginally scanned and/or not scanned at all by Lakemaster.

It would seem that putting an 899 on the bow without networking it to the helm 899 (through “link”) would be of questionable value since the transducer attached to the Terrova cannot utilize the side or down imaging features of that unit. The 899 is a 7” unit and I would like to maintain the detail and ease of reading a unit of that size so a compromise at the bow might be an 859ci HD Combo as a dedicated unit for the Terrova. In either scenario, the helm 899ci HD SI Combo unit will be connected to the transom mounted transducer (XNT-9-SI-180-T included with the 899) that will fully enable the side and down imaging features of that unit. If the “link” feature were added to the Terrova, the bow unit could share the side and down imaging abilities of the transducer on the transom with an 899 helm unit via the Ethernet connection. This information could not be shared if an 859 were mounted on the bow since it does not have SI or DI capability. Correct?

As a final thought, I am not particularly predisposed towards learning new technology (still use a flip phone) and would prefer to spend my time fishing rather than struggling to master the electronics. With that in mind, the idea of using 2 899s has appeal as I would not be required to learn the variations in functions of 2 different units. Not really interested in going to Lowrance for the electronics.

I flyfish for trout at about 50% of my fishing, pull lindy rigs and cranks for walleyes about 30% and cast for bass, walleye, wipers, etc about 20%. Chances are that I will increase my trolling with the new boat.

Any thoughts and comments are welcome. Thanks for your help.

Last edited by Juls; 03-24-2014 at 03:44 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2014, 03:45 PM
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2sac 2sac is offline
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Let me run this by you. Lakemaster has something available called Auto Chart. It will allow you to scan the reservoirs that you frequent and use those data with the Ipilot Link. You can attach an imaging transducer to the trolling motor and use that instead of the US2. As far as learning units. The only difference between the legacy units is the screen size and options(DI/SI). The functionality is the same
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Last edited by 2sac; 03-24-2014 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:49 PM
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Juls Juls is offline
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You can use this to mount the transducer you need to the trolling motor, so you don't have to be restricted to using just the US2.

http://www.humminbird.com/Products/AD-XTM-9/
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2014, 04:07 PM
jimmythegreek jimmythegreek is offline
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i run an 1850 sportfish here in NJ where theres no lakemaster avail at all. even the navionics platinums I have only have 3 major lakes w info, the rest are the state's survery map of lakes put on the card. 958 HD on bow and 998SI on console, no network. works very well, I mostly striper/walleye fish with it, and the 958 has great 2D sonar, better than the 998 anyday. I mostly run slow w big motor scanning to side and leave the terrova down using 958 in 2D and just spotlock over schools of fish or mark waypoint on 998 w sidescan and then goto them and hover w spotlock and downline to them. trolling is pretty easy w terrova without the link, Id rather control my unit anyhow, having the link would make me just sit there and do nothing waiting for a bite lol
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:16 PM
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pale ryder pale ryder is offline
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Get the link.
You are already getting and I-pilot and two humminbirds, for $300 more you can have the I-Pilot link.
With the link you can save 2500 way points, which are also anchor points, and 50 tracks that the trolling motor can follow in either direction, plus you can create routes that the TM can follow and you can move the cursor to anywhere on the screen and tell the TM to go there.
There is a lot more to the link than just follow a contour.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2014, 09:56 PM
rattman rattman is offline
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Thanks for the helpful replies.

I've read of the Lakemaster Auto Chart but, as mentioned, I'm not much of a tech guy so the effort required to become proficient with this feature would likely detract from my time on the water. Same deal toward fitting the Terrova with another transducer. I'm a flip phone guy.

I'm leaning towards the Terrova iPilot without "link" and adding a dedicated 859ci HD Combo on the bow to be used with the Terrova and a dedicated 899ci HD SI Combo in the cockpit hooked up to its compact transducer on the transom. Saves $310 on the Terrova, $400 for the 859 and $270+ for the Ethernet switch and extra rigging. Say $1000 total.

I can still "Record a Track" similar to "link." The limit of 6 memory tracks vs. 50 with "link" seems adequate to me considering the constantly changing water levels of the lakes that I fish. Seems that it might be a bit of overkill to keep tabs on very many tabs without the ability to label and alphabetize them for quick recognition. Maybe the touch screen units will provide a keyboard for this function. Same with the 2500 waypoints available through "link". You get 6 spotlocks which can be used as waypoints. Additionally you have the starting points and the end points of 6 tracks. Could these also be effectively used as 12 more waypoints?

Spot Lock appears to be the same without "link".

Copilot/Cruise appears to be the same.

Advanced Auto Pilot appears to be the same except that a spot on an HB graph can be designated for a destination. Without a Lakemaster card for that lake, I don't understand the value.

The key ingrediant that's missing seems to be that Lakemaster has been premature in offering a Western States chip and, since the lakes that I will fish most frequently are not charted, the additional cost of the "link" feature becomes questionable. If I do find a lake that has been HD charted by Lakemaster, will I be able to see my tracks, waypoints, etc. on the graph using the 859?

I am certain that either the 859 or the 899 units will be so far superior to the HB 565 I've used for the past 10+/- years that I will be dazzled by the increase in quality and sensitivity. I generally used the old unit for depth and some bottom detail and would often activate the fish alarm- which would indicate any of 3 sizes of Peppridge Farm Goldfish. I'll be ordering Jason's side imaging tutorial and know that I have a daunting amount of study ahead of me. Hey, it's my retirement boat!

If I have misunderstood or not fully appreciated the value of the "link" feature, please chime in.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2014, 12:11 AM
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2sac 2sac is offline
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I've had Ipilot since it was introduced. I purchased a larger Terrova(112lb) with Link over the winter and I added a SI transducer. Didn't take any brains. Just a TSS mount, a phillips screwdriver, wire ties, painters tape and clear silicone. Haven't been on the water yet.

If you haven't seen it, here's the Link owners manual. Might solidify your decision or change your mind. http://www.minnkotamotors.com/_docs/...al_revA-sm.pdf
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2014, 01:34 PM
rattman rattman is offline
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Thanks for that link, 2sac. It's difficult to simulate the operation of the whole system without having the remote and Humminbird units available for reference. It appears to have tons of potential but the lack of coverage by Lakemaster in my area seems to diminish the system. Has anyone who has gone from an iPilot Terrova to one with the link capability found that the additional features are an important addition or are they only a minor enhancement or seldom used?
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2014, 01:39 PM
Ozark Bob Ozark Bob is offline
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Default Get the link

For $300 get the link. I had ipilot from the beginning, loved it till I got the link. My lake is not HD on lakemaster. The ability to see your trails and spotlocks on the unit makes ipilot link way more useful than the ipilot which you are basically going by memory where they are. I have the Lakemaster chip, they told me it had 3' contours so I figured I was good to go. The problem is the 3' contour is computer generated(fantasy land). I don't use it. If it is not HD you will probably be disappointed. Navionics is great on my lake. I hope someday to have LM HD but till then, Link is king anyway. Bob
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