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My neighbor (fishing buddy) recently purchased the new hummingbird 997 side scanner and is having a hell of a time learning to use it. So far he's bought an instructional DVD on the unit, called customer service for assistance (who really doesn't know jack about their own products), and had his computer tech take a look at it. If anyone out there owns one of these units or sells them in their stores and wouldn't mind helping us out, could you please shoot me an email. It really sucks that he spent a lot of money on this unit and hummingbird has offered very little assistance.
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Here's a link to a users group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sideimaging/

They get into lots of discussion on these units, and have lots of images posted.

I am about to start my second season using the 797 SI. It is a similar unit, but has a smaller screen. Their instruction book lays out a decent explaination of the theory needed to understand the readings. It is well worth reading at least twice.

Also, my 797, so I assume the 997 has a function to select fresh or salt water. I got rid of a lot of clutter once I figured that out. It seems that you need to go from the default settings to the "advanced" settings to make a lot of the finer adjustments. They are great units though.
 
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