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Step onto soap box now: Defective out of the box. It had a small piece of loose manufacturing debris stuck between the inner and outer LCD screen. Bought from a smaller local shop that I knew didn't make much so I thought it best to resolve direct with Humminbird support instead of bothering them. This is where things started to go bad. Emailed support advising of problem, sent requested pics and suggested they sent me a new head unit and include a return courier waybill for the defective unit. Simple and would cost me nothing but a little down time. My suggested resolution was declined by Humminbird support. Was instead directed to local warranty facility in Canada. Was told I would have to pay shipping and should contact service facilities for repair costs on my 2 day old unit. (E-mails of course) The service facility (Mikes reel repairs Abbotsford, BC) told me one thing on the phone (super nice girl who got it) and after a 50 mile one way drive the next day, the story was very different from different staff, very disappointing and just plain rude from the staff member who was listening/commenting in the background while shaking her head like I was making up what I had been told the day previous. Left for return drive home with my still defective unit. (6 BBB complaints for Mike's and people don't involve the BBB unless they are pretty ticked off. Returned it to retailer who had me a replacement unit in 2 days and they couldn't believe the run around I had. If I had it to do again I would be looking at another brand. Awesome service from the guys at Sea Run in Coquitlam.
 

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Good to hear searun took care of you!
I had a similar experience with hummingbird over 25 years ago and vowed to never purchase another one of their products
 

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I have been doing business with mikes for years, top quality work and attitude, great people, I'm sorry to hear u had a bad experience in there , but there r always two sides to every story!! Cheers.
 

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but there r always two sides to every story!! Cheers.
25 years managing big box retail, I definatly understand the two sides of every story. I also understand the importance of carefully setting and properly managing customer expectation. Not everybody is going to get the same experience from the same business, but I'm glad yours has been good.

The Humminbird Helix 5 itself: Acquires GPS location pretty quick, sonar has a decent amount of controls for a unit of this price point, the split view is nice on the wide screen format (vs 4x3 format of my old). Those of us with aging eyes will have a hard time reading the tiny depth numbers on the contour lines. (reading glasses needed) I was surprised at how well it did maintaining depth readings while running at 30 MPH in the chuck (only tried to 130ft that day). The transducer mount is flimsy and should be improved. There were no clear instructions on how to properly setup the Navionics plus card that was included. If you follow the hummingbird manual, the card doesn't recognize, placing the card in a reader and you can see that regional files are loaded on it so you think it should be ready to go. You actually need to register and activate the navionics card online (with the card plugged into a reader) and then you can select the geographic area you want loaded. Problem solved and worked great after that.
Unlikely i'll need another sonar for a while. When I do, it will be a different brand.
 

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I have had experoiance with Hummingbird and was not impressed but it was low end, I think if you want a reliable saltwater electronic you need to spend the bucks
 

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Sea Run has always offered good service all the way back to when Brian opened it as Babcock's Fly & Tackle. Prices are not alway the cheapest but they are alway competitive and worth the value.
 

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25 years managing big box retail, I definatly understand the two sides of every story. I also understand the importance of carefully setting and properly managing customer expectation. Not everybody is going to get the same experience from the same business, but I'm glad yours has been good.

The Humminbird Helix 5 itself: Acquires GPS location pretty quick, sonar has a decent amount of controls for a unit of this price point, the split view is nice on the wide screen format (vs 4x3 format of my old). Those of us with aging eyes will have a hard time reading the tiny depth numbers on the contour lines. (reading glasses needed) I was surprised at how well it did maintaining depth readings while running at 30 MPH in the chuck (only tried to 130ft that day). The transducer mount is flimsy and should be improved. There were no clear instructions on how to properly setup the Navionics plus card that was included. If you follow the hummingbird manual, the card doesn't recognize, placing the card in a reader and you can see that regional files are loaded on it so you think it should be ready to go. You actually need to register and activate the navionics card online (with the card plugged into a reader) and then you can select the geographic area you want loaded. Problem solved and worked great after that.
Unlikely i'll need another sonar for a while. When I do, it will be a different brand.
The Helix are pretty good units from my experience with them. Too bad there was a defective one, but it happens. Re: the part about having to register and activate the Navionics card. There is a new one that is pre-loaded for Canada and is less expensive. It's the Navionics+ regions.

Here is the info on that:

NAV+CA: Canada


 Marine and lake charts


 One foot contours


 Canada and Alaska all in one


 3,400 lakes and growing


Get both saltwater and freshwater charts throughout the entire region. Includes full marine coverage and more than


3,400 lakes in Canada and Alaska, plus all of Puget Sound, Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake and Canadian waters of the


Great Lakes. Nautical Chart and SonarChart™ 1 ft HD bathymetry map are preloaded. Community Edits can be


downloaded along with daily updates for one year! Simply plug your card into your PC/Mac to get the most updated


charts from navionics.com. 16GB card and USB reader included.
 
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