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Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 45cv

ProductDisplay SizeSonarDepth
Capability
GPSCartography
echoMAP CHIRP 45cv

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4.3"2D CHIRP,
ClearVü
CHIRP
1,900' 2D,
750' Dv
5Hz,
Internal
Canada
LakeVü HD,
Quickdraw
Contours

At the beginning of 2017 Garmin has issued a new series of fish finder and chartplotter units, to replace the ex-DownVü ones. The DownVü technology has now become ClearVü. Although the new ClearVü units are quite similar to the last year’s Dv units, the ClearVü technology does offer slightly wider imaging than DownVü.

In this review we’ll address the echoMAP CHIRP 45cv. To be clearer regarding this unit, the part number reviewed here is the 010-01817-00, which is a fish finder and GPS system, comes with a transducer and includes the Canada LakeVü HD charts.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 4.3″ diagonal, 272H x 480V pixel resolution, WQVGA color, backlit
  • Sonar: CHIRP 2D, CHIRP ClearVü
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • Standard: 200 kHz / 15° and 77 kHz / 45°
    • ClearVü: 455 kHz / 2.5° (fore to aft) x 53°, 800 kHz / 1.6° (fore to aft) x 29°
  • Depth Capability:
    • Standard: 1,900 (579 m)
    • ClearVü: 750 ft (228.6 m)
  • Transducer: GT20-TM (4-pin), for HD-ID and ClearVü
  • Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
  • GPS: 5Hz, Internal
  • Charts: Canada LakeVü HD
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks).

Head unit features

The echoMAP CHIRP 45cv is a 4-inch display unit; to be more specific, its display has 4.3″ diagonal and a pixel matrix of 480 x 272, evidently with a vertical layout. This means that you can only view charts or sonar in split-screen format in a 2-panel display, with images one on top of the other. The unit also has LED backlight which make its readability excellent at night or in direct sunlight. It’s also IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand incidental water exposure such as splashes or rain.

As the attached photos suggest, the navigation through the menus and functions is done via the keypad under the display. This unit does not have touchscreen technology.

In terms of networking, this unit is NMEA 0183 capable, but also features a microSD card reader with one chip slot, for data transfer, sonar recording, or charts upgrades.

Finally, the unit does not come with a cover, but the box does include a classic, tilt and swivel mount.

Sonar and transducer

The echoMAP CHIRP 45cv is one of the Garmin fish finders with CHIRP technology for both its types of sonar. This means it provides clearer images, with less clutter and a better focus on targets. Target separation is also superior. In other words, if the transducer beam catches a group of fish that are close together, you have a better chance to see their individual arches, rather than a big lump of color. 

The transducer that comes with the Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 45dv is the GT20-TM (4-pin) model. This transducer features 20′ of cable, and integrates a temperature sensor, the unit being temperature capable. The box includes two types of mounts for this transducer: transom mount and trolling motor mount.

This Garmin combo can actually use CHIRP for both types of sonar, 2D and ClearVü. Evidently it can use its CHIRP modes with the supplied transducer. With this transducer, the unit can use two frequencies for 2D, 77/200 kHz. In other words, it’s capable to use Medium CHIRP and High CHIRP modes. The sonar pulse modulation is not specified for Mid and High CHIRP, but evidently, it’s somewhere in an interval around 77 kHz and 200 kHz. The unit is also capable of 50 kHz frequencies and Low CHIRP, but in order to use this mode, you’ll need a 50/200 kHz transducer.

For ClearVü the unit is capable of 260/455/800 kHz, and with the GT20-TM transducer, it can use the 455/800 kHz frequencies. With the supplied transducer, the unit can achieve a CHIRP modulation for ClearVü between 435-475 kHz and 800-840 kHz.

The beams used by the transducer for the 2D sonar are conical, offering a coverage of 15° for 200 kHz and 45° for 77 kHz. For ClearVü, it uses thin beams, not conical, more like the beams of a scanner. However, these beams have wider angles, 29° for 800 kHz and approx. 53° for 455 kHz.

In terms of depth capabilities, this Garmin depth finder can offer a bottom reading up to 1,900 ft (579 m) in 2D, and up to 750 ft (228 m) in ClearVü. This being said, it’s a unit that can serve you well off-shore, as well as in freshwater.

Other useful sonar-related functions that this system can offer are Fish Symbols, A-Scope, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, Bottom Lock etc. But one of its best features in terms of sonar is the Sonar Recording function. This unit allows you to record and rewind the sonar log, in case you want to have a second look to a certain spot, which is quite a plus as you won’t have to turn the boat around to re-scan that particular area. As a general idea, approx. 15 minutes of recording will take approx. 200 MB on the memory card, and you can continue to record until the recording reaches the maximum capacity of the card.

Navigation functions

One of the newest functions introduced by Garmin last year is the Quickdraw Contours, function that allows the unit to draw the contours of the body of water where you’re fishing, based on the 2D sonar information. The 010-01817-00, even though it’s one of the smallest Garmin units at the moment, it still does include this function. Therefore, even if your local lake isn’t covered by the LakeVü HD charts, you can reveal its contours by using this function or simply re-draw contours in order to benefit from the newest, most up-to-date ones.

Since it’s an “echoMAP” unit, it does include a GPS system. It’s equipped with a 5 Hz GPS antenna, which updates your position up to 5 times per second, also measuring your boat’s speed. The unit can save up to 5,000 waypoints, and 100 routes. It can also save up to 50 tracks, or 50,000 track points in total.

Last but not least, this Garmin fish finder comes with the Canada LakeVü HD charts. These cover more than 13,500 Canadian lakes, including the Trent Severn Waterway, the Great Lakes and many more others in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Yukon province. More than 1,600 of the lakes covered by these charts are in HD detail, with 1-foot contours. And on top of that, these charts offer various other details, such as general roads, interstates, highways, bridges, docks, marinas, camping grounds, fishing areas, boat ramps etc.

Upgrade Possibilities

Since it’s a dual-frequency unit, and it’s capable of operating at 50/77/200 kHz for 2D, and 260/455/800 kHz for Dv, it can, of course, be paired with various other transducers, such as the 50/200 kHz or the GT22HW-TM transducers. But in this case, you may need a cable adapter.

This unit is compatible with LakeVü HD, BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra, or with the LakeVü HD Canada. The LakeVü HD Ultra and BlueChart g2 Vision make available the Enhanced Auto Guidance feature. This feature gives you the opportunity to use several useful functions. For example, it can instantly search through the charts to offer the safest virtual paths between two points of interest, it can also calculate your arrival times or enable your Auto Pilot to follow a safe route.

The unit also supports AIS, and can display position data from DSC-capable VHF radio.

The Pros

  • CHIRP technology offering superior clarity, target separation and target definition, for both 2D and ClearVü;
  • Dual-frequency sonar;
  • Fast and accurate internal GPS;
  • Preloaded with the Canadian LakeVü HD charts;
  • Compatible with various other charts, such as BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra;
  • Shallow Water Shading;
  • Quickdraw Contours;
  • Enhanced Auto Guidance capable;
  • Tide tables information;
  • Transducer (GT20-TM, 4-pin) included;
  • Data graphs and other sonar functions;
  • Sonar recording and sonar history rewind;
  • Supports AIS and DSC-capable VHF radio;
  • Quick disconnection (tilt-swivel) and flush mount included;
  • NMEA 0183 connector;
  • Easy to install;
  • Straightforward, comprehensive operation.

The Cons

  • Manual may not be specific to the unit, but for the whole series of units, and some of the instructions may not apply to this one;
  • Unit cover not included.

Summary

The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 45dv is a small, but inclusive unit, offering dual-frequency CHIRP 2D and CHIRP ClearVü imaging sonar. It’s a GPS unit and comes with the Canadian LakeVü HD charts as support for navigation, thus it’s a unit intended for in-land fishing. However, due to its impressive depth capabilities, it can also be used for offshore fishing. Since it’s a small unit, it might not be the best choice for a bigger vessel, but it’s perfect for small boats, kayaks, canoes etc. It’s not one of the most affordable unit, but considering the whole amount of features that it offers, and the fact that it comes with a transducer which costs more than $100, it’s safe to say the whole package stands up to its price.

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