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Connecting Your Boating App to HDS Gen3 GoFree WiFi Device

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If you are using a Lowrance Gen3 HDS GPS/Sonar then you are capable of recording sonar in the Lowrance default formats which are SLG and SL2.  By order of Navico, Navionics is restricted from processing those formats for use within SonarChart™.  Connecting your mobile device via GoFree WiFi (or Digital Yacht SonarServer) is the best way to contribute sonar data to SonarChart as well as take advantage of SonarChart Live, a real-time contour creation tool within Navionics Boating aps.

To begin viewing SonarChart Live on your mobile device using HDS Gen3 GoFree Wireless connection you will need:
  • Navionics Boating application (from version 7.5.1 for iPhone and iPad, and 4.4 for Android)
  • GPS/Sonar combo chartplotter with NMEA 0183 output  
Open your mobile device settings and select GoFree Wifi, then open the App.

If that doesn’t work, first, be sure you have the password.  This is the Network key found in SETTINGS > WIRELESS on the Unit.
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Tap on the “INTERNAL WIRELESS” part of the box.
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You will now see the NETWORK KEY.  This is the password to your GoFree.
If you do not see the GoFree in your Wifi list on the mobile device, there is another preliminary step. 
Chances are you either do not have a Lowrance HDS Gen3, or you have one set to CLIENT MODE.  This means capable of connecting to a hotspot / internet. 
You need to change to ACCESS POINT MODE (this is the factory default).
Go back to WIRELESS inside the SETTINGS menu.  
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Now you will see the below, where the unit is set to internal wireless.  Now go back to the above steps and get the NETWORK KEY you need for a password and you should see the name below “HDS GEN3” etc. in your WiFi list on the mobile device.
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Now open the app after connecting and you should see the depth widget and SonarCharts Live.

If you do not see a SonarChart Live snake begin to draw with the depth window visible, you might wan to check to verify that your plotter is outputing the right data through GoFree.  To do this:

Access the system Menu found on the bottom Left side.

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Next, Press "NETWORK" --> "NMEA 0183" --> "SERIAL OUTPUT"  Should be set to ON. 

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Within this Tree, press "GPS" and be sure "ZDA" is checked.

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Press "SONAR" and be sure the "DPT", "DBT", and "MTW" are checked.

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Now your plotter is ready to output the correct data and your GoFree should be broadcasting the data needed for your mobile application to use.

How to create SonarChart™ Live 
Close any apps that may have used the compatible device’s Wi-Fi. Connect your mobile to the Wi-Fi of the device, then open the Navionics Boating app. A new map is created instantly on-screen as you move across the water. Adjust color and transparency with Menu>Map Options>SonarChart Live Settings. In case your logs don’t appear on the process status page, close the app and reopen it.

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