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Lowrance LMS525C DF Review

The Lowrance LMS525C DF is a chartplotter and 500-watt dual frequency fishfinder in one unit. It comes packaged with a transom-mount transducer and LGC-3000 GPS sensor.

This unit does have a built-in base map; however for detailed cartography a map card is required. Other models of this machine are available with an internal antenna and/or a single frequency lower-power internal sounder.

lowrance lms525c df gps fishfinder

Lowrance LMS525C DF

We mounted the Lowrance GPS fishfinder display using the supplied bracket. Electrical connections are all made on the back panel with color-codedtwist-lock connectors. Flush-mounting requires an optional kit.

The LMS 525C is capable of interfacing with Lowrance radar.

When installing this combo you’ll need to provide power to the display unit and a NMEA 2000 network because the GPS sensor communicates with the display using this protocol.

Screen Size and Viewability

We rated the square Lowrance display screen excellent for day viewability. It has three color palettes, normal, high contrast, and night. We tried both normal and high contrast for day viewing and found little difference between them. With a resolution of 480 x 480 it provided a clean sharp picture.

The screen darkens slightly when viewed at steep angles or when viewed from straight on with polarized sunglasses. When we wore our polarized glasses we noted that the screen darkens further when viewed at steeper angles. No screen fogging was apparent in the display at anytime.

Screen brightness can be adjusted to one of 11 levels by getting into the screen menu. Four levels of brightness control are available by successive presses of the Pwr/Lgt pushbutton. Nighttime viewability was rated excellent too.

Operation

Dedicated function keys for often used and important functions like working with waypoints, changing pages, and saving a man overboard position are all on the front panel of this Lowrance unit. Other operations are carried out by selecting an action through an appropriate menu. Normally a menu related to the displayed page will appear on the first push of the menu button.

Waypoints

A waypoint can be created by pressing the Wpt key twice. If the cursor has been moved off the boat position a waypoint will be created there, if not it will be created at the boat’s present position. Waypoint data can be changed by selecting the waypoint with the cursor and hitting the Wpt button once. The displayed menu box will also show a Go To the Waypoint option. Once you execute navigation to a waypoint, a course line is drawn to that point and user selected data concerning it will appear onscreen.

Routes

We built a route in the Lowrance LMS 525C DF by selecting the Route Planning page from the navigation menu. Once on this page you can name the route and add legs. To add a leg from the map page you select that option then cursor to the position, and then hit Enter. You can continue this procedure for each leg until you reach the destination. In our opinion, this was an easy procedure to use for route construction.

Odds and Ends

The man overboard function on the Lowrance is selected by pressing the Zoom In and Out pushbuttons simultaneously. Once done a man overboard position waypoint is created and the unit switches to a compass rose plus data box display page that provides navigation information back to the newly created point.

Generally we like the single action functionality, but we don’t like being taken off the chart page. You exit the man overboard function using the menu page and must delete created waypoints from the waypoint list manually.

Screen redraws on the Lowrance were lightning fast. However, with a chart card installed we’d expect updates to take a bit longer.

We tried North Up and Course Up chart orientation on the Lowrance during our test runs and found both worked fine.

This Lowrance chartplotter can store up to 1000 waypoints and 100 routes. Waypoints can be assigned one of 63 symbols and have names over 100 characters long. We love the ability to use long waypoint names, it helps cue you into the reason you saved an obscure point.

Fishfinder

The pages button is used to pick the sonar display mode. We reviewed the unit using a full screen display page with A-scope turned on.

lowrance lms525c df gps fishfinder

The Lowrance LMS525C DF fishfinder marked our three submerged targets perfectly after we fine tuned the gain manually.

Another useful display option is split screen with low frequency on one side and high frequency on the other. The normal sounder page and zoom can also be shown in split screen as can normal and navigation data. This unit has a 500 watt sounder built in with zoom capability but no bottom lock or shift.

During our initial sounder testing with the Lowrance set in auto gain it marked lots of noise in addition to our three submerged targets. We had to go in and manually lower the gain to clean up the picture and show our targets cleanly. Fine tuning with manual gain to enhance the picture is a normal procedure on most any sounder.

Zoom is easily changed from none to 2x or 4x on any sonar page by using the zoom in or out pushbuttons. Other common sounder settings like gain and depth are listed on the sounder menu page. Changing sounder frequency requires going into the sounder feature list and selecting 50 or 200 kHz. The Lowrance LMS525C DF fishfinder was fairly easy to operate and worked well.

We rated the Lowrance fishfinder good for both usage and presentation.

Final Thoughts

Razor sharp screen details and high ratings for operation combine with good sounder ratings to make this Lowrance combination chartplotter fishfinder an excellent choice for any boater.

This Lowrance LMS525C DF performed very well in our testing and carries a 1-year warranty.