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Lowrance StructureScan Review

The Lowrance StructureScan system uses an LSS-1 black box sounder and proprietary transducer to add automated side and down scanning capabilities to HDS-series Lowrance MFDs.

A single multifunction transducer provides both side and down scanning capability. Up to 500 watts of power can be sent out by this transducer using one of two different frequencies.

lowrance lss-1 black box sounder

Lowrance LSS-1 Black Box Sounder

When using the lower, 455 kHz, output the system provides clear sharp side scanned images out as far as 250 feet to the left and to the right as well as down scanned images to a maximum depth of 300 feet.

Switching to the higher, 800 kHz, output further increases image definition while sacrificing some distance in range.

The LSS-1 module is housed in a box approximately 8.5-inches by 7.5-inches with a depth of 2.4-inches. The black box is actually dark grey and is designed to be mounted on the flat surface of a bulkhead or deck.

Power is supplied to the two StructureScan components through the Lowrance LSS-1 black box. It operates on 12-volts DC only and normally draws less than one amp.


Once installed the Lowrance StructureScan system is easy to operate and use. It can be displayed full screen or in a second window. Up to four windows total can be displayed on an HDS-8 or HDS-10, two of those windows can display StructureScan data. Small screen HDS units display up to two windows total. StructureScan requires the HDS display unit to have software version 2.5 or higher.

When a StructureScan window is active pressing the menu key will bring up the StructureScan menu. Here you can select one of eight color palettes and select display options like surface clarity, noise rejection, flip the left/right view, and turn on range lines.

Lowrance StructureScan Specifications

Transmitter Power (Watts RMS)500
Frequency (kHz)455 / 800
Transducer Used for TestStructureScan
Scanning CapabilitiesSide / Down
Auto Depth RangingYes
Scanning Range 455kHz (feet)250 – Each Side, 300 – Down
Scanning Range 800kHz (feet)150 – Each Side, 100 – Down
Optimal Scan Speed10 mph
Communication to MFDEthernet
WaterproofSplash Proof
Warranty Period (Years)2

Most adjustments are made using soft keys. Here you can change contrast, range, frequency, and modify the view. View can be set to display left or right only, both left and right, or down.

There really are no other adjustments to make, gain is set automatically. You can even set the unit to auto range so that is handled for you too. Lowrance has made this system very easy to operate.

At Sea Testing

On-the-water testing was conducted using both a Lowrance HDS-10 and Lowrance HDS-8. My first look at the Lowrance StructureScan system was conducted aboard a Lowrance test boat in the Gulf of Mexico.

We made dozens of passes over discarded concrete bridge pilings sitting randomly on the bottom in 20 to 30 feet of water. I can tell you—this is where StructureScan shines.

The onscreen images of the bottom structure here looked almost three-dimensional. Schools of bait also showed up very well onscreen. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with the image display and ease of operation.

lowrance structurescan displayed on hds-8

Here is StructureScan data displayed full screen on a Lowrance HDS-8. You can see two clearly defined pillings that rise vertically off the bottom as well as some rocky bottom structure passing off the left side of the test boat.

lowrance structurescan displayed on hds-8

This is the same area from a slightly different perspective with down view in the left window. Target definition is slightly lower using low frequency output.

Back in the Florida Keys testing continued with the temporary installation of the StructureScan system and an HDS-8 display on our Seacraft test boat.

Dozens of passes over submerged structure and alongside vertical pilings were made. I found the system to be very good at displaying large and small hard structure both under the boat and more importantly off to the side where normal bottom-scanning sonar would not see it.

However, there are some limitations. One thing you won’t see with this system are large prominent fish arches, not because the system can’t see the fish but rather because of the high frequency used to show such high definition in structure.

Like we have done with almost every other sounder we’ve tested we did made passes by our ping pong ball test rig that simulates submerged fish. The system did pick up the balls and show them onscreen, problem was the system is so accurate the small balls show up small onscreen and can be hard to spot. This really isn’t a limitation as long as the user is aware.

The Lowrance StructureScan system provides easy to use side scanning capabilites and is a great add-on to any Lowrance HDS-series MFD.

Buy the Lowrance StructureScan system here.

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