Fish Finder Reviews
lowrance hds 12 gen 2 touch

Lowrance HDS 12 Gen 2 Touch Fish Finder Review

Lowrance’s HDS-12 touch fish finder is the next step to to making fish finders and smartphones compatible with each other. While they are not yet able to be synced together, the touch screen technology on the HDS-12 touch and smart phones is undeniable.

The HDS-12 touch is the largest screen size available in the touch series of HDS fish finders. It boasts features that the original HDS units(link) do not have, but it is mostly the same unit.

lowrance hds 12 gen 2 touch review

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Key features of Lowrance HDS 12 Gen 2

  • Built-in StructureScan HD sonar imaging, with the award winning Lowrance Broadband Sounder, and also with DownScan Overlay and Lowrance’s TrackBack feature.
  • Personalized or built-in Insight mapping and optional Navionics charts. View both at once in 3D perspective view, plus StructureMap,
  • Broadband Radar and SIRIUS weather overlay capability.
  • SolarMAX PLUS display for superior sunlight and wider-angle viewing.
  • Dual Ethernet port and two full-sized SD card slots and video-camera input.

Arguably the best new feature of the HDS-12 touch is the built in StructureScan. In past HDS units, a separate LSS box would need to be purchased and installed, but that step can be removed for a more simple setup. With the StructureScan built into the HDS touch fish finders, the price of these units is higher than older versions, but fewer components most often leads to fewer problems.

The ease of use with touch screen will be very similar for those who are used to touch screen smart phones. Changing screen layouts and the size of layouts is very easy and intuitive to help make it easy for first time users, as well as experienced users. If you feel uncomfortable with touch screens, do not worry as it will become second nature before long. Lowrance has designed the touch screen to be effective in cold and wet weather. Fingerprints should not be a problem with their design either.

If you enjoy using underwater video cameras, The HDS-12 has a port in back for easy installation and viewability right on your new fish finder. This would provide a much larger screen than many of the underwater cameras available.

How To Install Lowrance HDS 12 Touch Fish Finder

Though it is easy to use. Before using, you have to install and mount it. And of course, before using any kind of technology; first of all, you should explore all the features of the touchscreen. Inside the box, you will get everything needed, mounting and installing instructions, cutting templates and hardware.

StructureScan HD Transducer Installation

Lowrance HDS 12 Gen2 Touch has the StructureScan HD built into it. However, you will need an angler in order to connect this StructureScan HD transducer connector to the unit or install a new StructureScan HD transducer. This StructureScan HD transducer will give you an opportunity of seeing 180 degree view of fish, cover and structure below the boat. This very StructureScan HD transducer can be mounted in the following three locations:

  1. Transom mount: If you mount your Lowrance StructureScan transducer to the lower transom area, you can do bottom tracking when up on boat. If you mount transducer to transom, it will increase drag to the boat.
  2. Step mount: Then, the Lowrance StructureScan transducer can be mounted to the step part of the boats transom. This area is considered to be protected. It eliminates any drag from the transducer and can be adjusted to keep it parallel in the water.
  3. Jackplate mount: And finally, Lowrance StructureScan transducer can be installed also onto a boat’s jackplate. If you do this, drilling holes in the boats hull will be eliminated. Jackplate protects the transducer when the boat is on plane. However, this option has one drawback; the unit cannot track bottom when the boat is on plane.

Power Connection

Lowrance HDS 12 Gen2 unit is designed to be powered by using 12 V DC electricity. Every unit has protected to resist under volatage, over voltage and reverse polarity. So, the power cable has two discrete cables coming from the connector. The thicker cable, which consists of red and black cables, is the supply power to the unit. The yellow cable is to be utilized to remotely power on for certain expansion modules, like the StructureScan or Broadband radar. A circuit breaker with the same fuse rating should always be connected to the DC power cable.

Sonar Transducer

Lowrance HDS 12 Gen 2 is sold with or without a transducer. This sonar can be mounted on a trolling motor or upside boat transom of a boat. The main advantage of installing this transducer is that it allows the unit to have a bottom signal when the boat is up on plane. Here are the guidelines for attaching the transducer:

  1. First, you must insert the ratchets in the “A” bracket.
  2. Then, you can slide the transducer into bracket. You can temporarily slide the bolt into the transducer’s bracket
  3. Finally, you should hold the transducer assembly opposite the transom. Make sure you make it parallel to the ground. It means, the “A” position has been correct.

Sonar Transducer can be mounted by shooting thru the hull. However, this is not preferred way of installing a Lowrance sonar transducer. It is stated that there can be a signal loss because echo signal must pass the fiberglass hull


While mounting Lowrance HDS 12 Gen 2 Touch, the location is important. So, you should find the correct location before drilling holes. If the unit is exposed to temperatures, the unit may malfunction. Find select a location, from where it can easily be reached.

Also, take into consideration keeping the unit away from magnetic compass. Also keep the unit safe from any kind of excessive shock or vibration. HDS-12 Gen2 Touch System is able to be mounted both with flush and bracket way

lowrance hds 12 gen 2 touch review

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Final Note

For the best in fish finder technology, the HDS-12 Gen 2 Touch is what you need. Simply purchase the unit, install your transducer and main unit, and imaging and sonar will be ready to go.