Gå til hovedinnhold

Lowrance HDS Gen 3 and software 18.2

Nothing gets an otherwise patient and calm angler appear like a human firecracker than when a softwareupdate on their marine electronic causes issues. Let us take a look at what you can do yourself with softwareupdates generally, and SW 18.2 for HDS Gen 3 specifically.

Lowrance Gen 3 (right) on 18.2 and doing great.

Lowrance, like all the other major brands in marine electronics, tend to have a two-year cycle on their top-end units. Meaning that two years after a generation HDS has been launched, it will be discontinued, but during those two years, there are typically several software-updates made available to enhance functionality, provide new functionality or simply fix issues in the original software. This generally means that after two years (give or take a few months), there will be no new softwareupdates coming for a specific unit. For Lowrance HDS Gen 3, the last softwareupdate was 18.2. Full name of the latest software is 18.2 60.1.142, pay attention to those last three digits, as we will get back to those.

For those of us that remember HDS Gen 1, most will probably agree that that specific generation was most likely updated past what the hardware in the unit could handle. With all the new features added to Gen 1, especially after Gen 2 was launched, Gen 1 units became noticeably slower than they were on older softwareversions. We in Team Colibri applaud new features on our units, and always keep our units updated in order to get the most out of our units. At the same time, there is a reason why a new unit are "beefed up" on processor and memory every generation passing. That reason is to ensure the new generation handles the new features well. On one side of it we like to see the outgoing generation updated to a point where it has (more or less) the same features as the new generation, but on the other hand, one has to see those features up against the general performance of the old unit.

Lowrance HDS Gen 2

Could it be that Lowrance made a similar "mistake" with HDS Gen 3 and softwareversion 18.2, updating Gen 3 past the capabilities of the units hardware? What is known is that some Gen 3 units work well with 18.2, while others does not. My own HDS Gen 3 has no issues with 18.2, but I have seen several others that do. The only way to know if your Gen 3 will work well with 18.2, is to try. In that regards, here are some recommendations from us in Team Colibri for 18.2 on Lowrance HDS Gen 3:

  • Do a hard reset after the update. Save waypoints (NOT settings on this one) and do the hard reset. (Not a soft reset, not restore defaults - do a hard reset.)
  • 18.2 closes the door on ethernet with older units and modules. If your Gen 3 is on 18.2, you need all other units or modules in the ethernet to be on 18.2 or higher software. Therefore, you cannot keep your LSS-module or your HDS Gen 2 Touch or older units in ethernet with a Gen 3 once the Gen 3 is updated to 18.2. If you want ethernet with older modules or units, stick to 7.0 on the Gen 3.
  • Since 18.2 is though on the Gen 3, you will get more issues with 18.2 than 7.0 if your install is a bad one. Make sure you have good voltage to the unit, and the best way to check that is to bring up input-voltage as a screen-overlay on your unit. With a fully charged lead-based battery and nothing else in the boat running, you should see 12,4-12,7V on your units overlay.
  • 18.2 has been revised from Lowrance several times and the current version ends with 142. Make sure you are on the latest version of 18.2.

If all of the above checks out as OK, and you still have issues, revert to 7.0. Download the 7.0-update to a memorycard, and run it as a "new" update just like you are used to. You can also start the 7.0-update manually, press Pages and go to Files/ Storage-Memorycard in the menu on the left side, press on the update and start it. Again, I highly recommend to do a hard reset when reverting to older software, just remember to save those waypoints first. 

In this case, you do not want to save and re-import settings. The 18.2-software changed the source-settings in the HDS, so by re-importing your settings after the hard reset, you might very well re-import an issue and that can be time-consuming to sort out. 

How to update software?

Two methods, both require you to have a SD Micro memorycard of maximum 32GB, formatted to FAT32. You can use a smaller card, meaning one with less memory/ space, in most cases I use memorycards of 8 or 16GB as they are cheap and memorycards do not last forever. Most Micro SD memorycards are sold with an SD-adapter, as most laptops with a memorycard reader takes the SD-size and not Micro SD. The Micro SD places inside the SD-adapter:

Micro SD and SD adapter.

The two ways are by laptop, or by WIFI directly to your unit. I always recommend laptop, as that tends to have less sources for error. You can download the update (as well as manuals) for your unit from https://downloads.lowrance.com/:

Use the drop-down menu, find your specific type of unit, and download the update. The update is ready to go on the memorycard. (This changed at some point, a few years back you had to unzip the downloaded file, but now days they are good to go for the memorycard after downloading.)

Find your unit in the list.

From there you click on the softwareupdate, download and place it on your memorycard. I recommend using Chrome for all your web browsing.

Place the memorycard in your unit and power up the unit. A pop-up will appear asking you if you wish to run the update, follow the on-screen information. Once the update is done, I recommend deleting the update from the memorycard. You can do that directly on the unit by pressing Pages-Storage (Files)-Memorycard and highlighting the update-file and deleting it.

Using WIFI is the other option, again you need a memorycard. This video by Lowrance explains how to do it. 

How to do a hard reset?

Hard reset, not a soft reset and not "restore defaults". A hard reset does not delete the software in the unit, but it does delete all user-settings and everything saved by the user to the unit`s internal memory like screenshots and sonarlogs.

  1. Save waypoints to a memorycard or the Link-app. 
  2. Turn your unit off.
  3. Press and hold both zoom-buttons (+ and -).
  4. While holding Zoom, press and release Power.
  5. Keep on holding Zoom until you hear a loud blip or see the background-map.

Keep in mind that the hard reset deletes all user-settings, but not software. A hard reset does not harm your unit in any way. The point of the hard reset is to clear out any leftover remains of the old software, as well as clearing the internal memory on the unit for all user-created files. This helps on speeding up the handling of the unit, as well as preventing any issues related to old software and old settings that might not be supported by the new software. A typical example is user-settings for data from different sources, where the new software might be using a different source. By doing the hard reset, and then setting up your settings again, you see right away if a source has changed.

How do you know which software you unit is on?

That (and a bunch of other info) is found in the About-menu. That menu is found with Pages-button/ Settings/ System/ About.

Softwareversion in the About-menu

In the screenshot from my HDS Gen 3 above, you see "Version - 18.2" and the "Software - 60.1.142" which is the full name of the software the unit is using. 18.2 points to when the first version of that software was released (2 meaning it was the second major update that year, and 18 meaning it was launched in 2018). Lowrance often makes smaller changes to these updates, and the last digits in the full software-name tells you which version you are on. ....142 is the latest version of 18.2 and is the one you want on your HDS Gen 3.

Where can I find the older software?

7.0 was the software before 18.2, and that can be found through this link if you need to revert back: ftp://software.lowrance.com/HDS_Gen3-7.0-59.1.86-Standard-1.upd

Lowrance HDs Gen 3 on SW 18.2 using Genesis Live.


  1. Thanks for a great article :-)
    I have an issue that the map software keeps changing source when I switch screens. It jumps to "demo" or something else that I have not chosen as default, this meaning that the map is actually now snowing rocks and dangerous parts where I drive. I have noticed this with later updates, really crazy and quite irritating. Lowrance support seems to think its ok but I believe its dangerous.
    Ill try and downgrade my version to something old again...

    Thanks guys!
    Cheers / David

    1. Thanks David, always nice to hear that our scriblings from the far north can help out!


Legg inn en kommentar

Populære innlegg

What is the difference between Lowrance HDS and Lowrance Elite HDI

Ever since the Elite 7 HDI came on the market I have recived a lot of questions regarding the difference between the HDS-range and Elite HDI. In this article I will try to list most of the differences, seen from a keen anglers point of view. This also means looking at most of what Lowrance has to offer, but I'm sticking to models sold today and models I personally would recommend. The three main model-series, plus the newcomer Elite CHIRP. HDS Gen 2 , true multi function displays (MFD) with button-operation and screensize from 5" to 10,4". HDS Gen 2 Touch , true multi function displays (MFD) with touchscreens and screensize from 7" to 12". Elite HDI , "stand alone", ie not ment for networking besides VHF and AIS. Button-operation and screensize from 4,3" to 7". Elite CHIRP , as Elite HDI but with CHIRP-sonar and faster processor in adition. Screensize 5" and 7".   HDS Gen 2 Units from this series are seen while fishing

What is the difference between HDS Carbon and HDS Live?

Here we go again, a new generation of the Lowrance HDS. And with that Facebook and the different forums are flooded with questions referring to the difference between the new and the old. So what is the difference between Lowrance HDS Live and HDS Carbon?

What is the difference between HDS Gen 3 and HDS Carbon?

Whenever a completely new model or a rewamp of an existing model comes out, we get the same question: "What is the difference?" Lowrance HDS Carbon Previously I have written a few articles about the differences between some of the (now historic) Lowrance-models: What is the difference between Lowrance HDS and Lowrance Elite HDI? What is the difference between Lowrance HDS Gen 2 and HDS Gen 3? This time we will take a look at the difference between Lowrance HDS Gen 3 and the brand new Lowrance HDS Carbon that was released 15. december 2016. We will look at the technical stuff, and try to translate that into what it will mean when out on the water. Lowrance HDS Gen 3 HDS Carbon is actually the fifth version of the popular HDS-series. Before it came HDS Gen 1, HDS Gen 2, HDS Gen 2 Touch and HDS Gen 3. HDS Gen 2 Touch marked a new area of how Lowrance run their model-updates, since it was released shortly after HDS Gen 2 and the two lived alon

What is the difference between Lowrance HDS Gen 2 and HDS Gen 3?

The cyclus in which models change have become shorter and shorter. Is there any real difference between them anymore? When I started out in this game most people would say that their sonar should stay onboard for 8-10 years before they would even consider upgrading it. Everything with less then 5 years on it was considered "new". But as with all things containing a circuit-board, development has been ever accelerating and we are now down to a two or three year cycle between model-changes. I belive that this is to the consumers advantage, but is "the new" always better then "the old"? In most cases the answer to that question is "yes", but it`s up to you to decide if that difference is big enough for you to spend your hard earned cash. Technically it is easy to spot the differences, but whether you will notice it out on the water is a more subjective mather. In this article I will try to look behind the marketing, and point to the actual diff

What is the difference between Lowrance HDS Live and Elite Ti2?

Lowrance as a brand of marine electronis is well known to all anglers, but the differences within their range of different models seem to cause quite a few questions out there. Here we will try to outline the difference between Lowrance HDS Live (top end) and Lowrance Elite Ti2 (middle range). Lowrance Elite Ti2 vs Lowrance HDS Live (photo; lowrance.com) As usual, we will start with the tech and then try to translate those technical aspects to practical differences while out on the water. Hardware - housing, screen and connections. The screen and housing on Elite Ti2 is the same as on the previous Elite Ti, and again more or less the same as on HDS Gen 2 Touch. (The memorycard-door and mounting-bracket is different from HDS Gen 2 Touch.) This is by no means new stuff, and compared to the more advanced housing and screen on HDS Live, Elite Ti2 is starting to show its relative age. However, with that in mind it is worth noting that when looking at the competition, several of