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on September 21, 2010
I purchased this in August 2010 excellent delivery time, The 898cSI is great sonar unit wished I had purchased earlier. My one recomendation would be to study the manual and fimilarize your self with settings and operation in the simulation mode this will save you lots of time on the water. Don't forget to register with Hummingbird I received my unit and there were updates already available which I updated as soon as I installed the unit. Make sure to reset defaults before and after updates are installed.
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on July 1, 2010
I've had this unit for nearly two months now. The side imaging is amazing! It can go out to 250 feet on either side of the boat. The shallower you are, the less side range you get, so at about 40 feet, I get all 250 feet to either side.

I found may new wrecks in the Tampa area, and one of them actually looks like a patina photograph when looking at it with side imaging. Absolutely amazing!

The video out means that you can hook this thing up to any TV, I tried it, and it works. what comes out of the video out connection is a replica of the screen, I wish I could select what to display on it, such as the map, sonar or side imaging, but that's not the case. I'm thinking of hooking this thing up to a 14-16" flat screen to get better details.

The detail of the side imaging is amazing, I can clearly see abandoned crab traps at the bottom.

The basic map that comes with it is, hmm.. not as good as expected, so I shelled out the $200 for the Navionics Platinum card, and now it's like using Google Earth with detailed bottom contours.

having this unit on my boat actually makes me glad that my Lowrance fell apart!

Two drawbacks, hence the 4 stars. There are preset buttons on the front (3 or 4) for quick access to pre-programmed screens, I could use a few more, and the screens (i.e. half map/half sonar) cannot be mixed and matched, you get what you get so If I wanted a screen broken down to sonar and map on one side, and side imaging on the other, I'm basically out of luck. The unit is software upgradable, so hopefully Hummingbird will make that functionality available someday.
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on April 26, 2010
Controls are intuitive - easily used with very little instruction. The displays are clear and easy to read. The detail on the side and down imaging is impeccable. I trolled into an area with multiple stick-ups, looked at my down-image and it appeared just like a forest below me!

The transom-mount transducer cracked after our first use on a wooded KY lake - even with the break-away mount in place. I have already ordered a new one. If this continues, I will downgrade my rating. I mounted the transducer as high as functionally possible on the transom, right at the idle-speed waterline, so it should not have cracked that easily.

Overall this is an excellent unit. I would suggest you go out to the internet and extensively research the use of side and down imaging, as the instructions that came with the unit were mostly sales pitches and not practical applications of the new technology. That said, I will still buy another Humminbird when the time arises.
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on March 20, 2011
The other reviewers have covered the main points well, but my first time on water experience was frustrating. Side imaging views lacked detail-- everything was flat. (I was on water with many sunken trees.) No water temp appeared, tho by searching the internet I may have discovered that answer.

This poor experience was, I think, caused by two main things-- lack of an on-water manual and inability to use the simulation mode effectively. The unit did not come with, nor apparently is one available from Humminbird, a home power supply converter, so how are you supposed to hook this unit up at home to use the simulator? I am very reluctant to use just any power supply and/or cables. I do hope someone has some suggestions.

The images were at first too dim to see at all but eventually I managed to diddle with enough settings (again no manual!) to see some images. The normal sonar eventually showed a decent image, tho still not as good as my Humminbird 345c.

I hope I'll be able to give a higher rating later-- but for $1400 I certainly don't feel like I gotten anywhere close to my money's worth.

Update: Up to four stars since I got to where I can see the screen by changing the palette to what appears to be an oddball color combination & the use of a sun shield. (btw, a night colors option, like car GPS systems, would be a nice option.) I did get the sonar display tuned to the point that it is excellent. However, decent images on the SI and good images on the DI continue to elude me. I'm still not seeing any of those nifty images the ads show (and once again-- yes there are plenty of targets in waters I'm fishing on).

I'll keep at it and report if I've had any more success.
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on April 24, 2011
I already had a Humminbird 997 and decided to upgrade my front system from another brand name. I could not use my 997 because it did not have ethernet capabilities so I put it on my pontoon boat. I ordered directly from Humminbird but was told (after a week of waiting on the back order) that it would be another 8 weeks. They advised me to go to Amazon.com and I recieved my two units in 1 day! The units needed the upgrades but if you register them on line with Humminbird you instantly get these to down load on an SD card. I especially like the two SD card slots. Really satisfied with these units but I was used to running my 997 si down imaging unit. I agree with the others that a manual should be sent instead of just the CD disc. It would be nice to have a hard copy for the boat without having to print out all those pages.
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on January 13, 2013
I discovered to late that the backlight is inadequate. The CCFL backlighting this model features is worthless in daylight,that becomes a major factor when using the unit for DI/SI imaging. Humminbird is aware of this and replaced the unit with a 898c HD si, this new unit features led backlighting which is 50% brighter. When i purchased the unit I had looked at a 798 Hd si. I assumed the backlighting was the same.I sent the unit back to humminbird, they replaced the lens,upgraded the firmware and sent it back. Still could not read imaging in daylight.
Called customer service,explained my grief, they said I should not have an issue and sent a return label,it was sent back to me with "no problems found". Apparently I am on my own, I can't afford another 15 bills for the one that I can see, I just hope someone reads this and doesn't make the same mistake I did,Good luck happy fishing.
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on June 28, 2015
Purchased this unit two years ago. We fish leaded Jigs for salmon. In the last 20 years, I've never owned an even cheap fishfinder that we could not see our jigs on the screen. You guessed it, Poor clarity of what's under the boat with the Humminbird 858C HD DI and never can see the jigs and difficult to even identify fish, let alone fish species. I've been advised that a transducer upgrade could help the crispness but alas, nothing is available for the Humminbird. It also has a problem when powering up the unit. As you're navigating through the screen options, the screen often goes black. Shutting back down and restarting numerous times before we're able to use the unit is not uncommon. Don't waste your money on this unit. I will never own another Humminbird. They simply are not built to accommodate upgrades, better transducers, and the underwater clarity is terrible.
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on March 19, 2011
.Works great but with no paper manuel very difficult to use.From a previous review I should have purchased the largest screen as per a recommendation.
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on May 1, 2013
Best investment I've made for my boat. Huge screen and lots of great features. Super easy to use and looks great. Thanks for the great product.
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on December 31, 2014
My 898csi hd 7 works well under 8 knots. Any faster and is useless. Have replaced transducer after drilling several positions in the stern. Have now been asked to send the whole head unit back after 9 months of being treated like its my fault. So Ill be without for 4 weeks while it gets tested. Not happy with something that wont even give the sea bottom at 15 knots.
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