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Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy MAX DI

ProductDisplaySonarDepthGPSCharts
Fishin' Buddy MAX DI

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3.5"DualBeam,
Down Imaging
600' 2D,
320' DI
NoNo

The Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy MAX DI is a standalone fish finder, featuring DualBeam sonar and Down Imaging sonar. To make it clear, this unit does not have GPS, charts or any other navigation features, nor is compatible with any. It’s only a fish finder.

The unit itself is basically the same as the PiranhaMax 197c DI. However, the whole system includes a telescopic shaft on which the unit is mounted, and a clamp with a ring to serve as support for it. The system comes with the DI transducer. Also, this is the newer model, the 410060-1.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 3.5″ diagonal, color TFT with a 256 color range, 240H x 320V pixel resolution, with LED backlight
  • Sonar: DualBeam (2D) and Down Imaging
  • Depth Capability:
    • DualBeam: 600 feet (183 m)
    • Down Imaging: 320 feet (97 m)
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • DualBeam: 200 kHz / 28° and 455 kHz / 16°
    • Down Imaging: 455 kHz / 74°
  • Transducer: XNT 9 DI T
  • Power Output: 300 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 12 VDC
  • Power Draw: 220 mA
  • GPS: No
  • Maps: No

Sonar and transducer

Although the part number of the transducer is not specified, this unit basically comes with the same DI transducer which is supplied with the PiranhaMax 4 DI and the older unit PMax 197c DI. It’s the XNT 9 DI T, a transducer that also integrates a temperature sensor. However, it does not come with its transom mount, being attached to the telescopic shaft.

The unit itself has two types of sonar: DualBeam (traditional 2D) and Down Imaging. It’s capable of two frequencies for DualBeam, these being 200/455 kHz, and one frequency for DI, which is 455 kHz. In case you’re wondering, this unit does not feature CHIRP sonar technology such as the HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2. But still, it does offer an excellent target separation and decent imaging for both 2D and DI. Also, since its 2D sonar is only DualBeam, not DualBeam Plus, the unit can only use one frequency at the time, so you won’t be able to view the returns of both beams simultaneously.

For DualBeam, the transducer will use two cone-shaped beams, with a coverage of 28° for 200 kHz and 16° for 455 kHz. Conversely, for Down Imaging, the beam used is thin fore to aft, but wider side to side, with an angle of 74°, thus offering more coverage.

The system offers excellent depth capabilities for a small unit. It can reach 600 ft (183 m) when using the DualBeam sonar, and 320 ft (97.5 m) with Down Imaging. The recommended boat speed for the clearest images and best performance is between 1-6 MPH, though. At higher speeds, images may become blurry.

Unfortunately, this unit does not have the SwitchFire function and does not record sonar. But does, however, have the Selective Fish ID+, three types of alarms, and the Structure ID functions.

Selective Fish ID assigns fish symbols to the suspended targets. In other words, the fish will be represented by small fish icons rather than the raw sonar arches, each fish icon having its depth shown next to it. However, the Fish ID+ can also be misleading, as it may erroneously interpret various other targets such as debris or suspended vegetation, and give them fish icons. But still, it’s a function great to have, especially if you’re not familiar with the raw sonar view.

The unit’s three alarms are Fish Alarm, Battery Alarm, and Depth Alarm. For the Fish Alarm, there are 3 fish size options such as “Large, Medium and Small” and you can choose one of them or all so that the unit will sound when it detects a fish that corresponds to the setting. The Battery Alarm sounds when the battery voltage is equal or less than the menu setting. The Depth Alarm will sound when the depth is equal or less than the selected value.

Structure ID is a function that represents the weak returns as light pixels, while the strong returns will be darker. And finally, there’s also a WhiteLine function which highlights the strongest sonar return in white, resulting in a more distinctive bottom contour.

Control unit and mount

The Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy MAX DI features a color display with a 256 color range, 3.5″ diagonal, with a pixel resolution of 240H x 320V. It has LED backlight with 5 levels of brightness which considerably improves its readability in direct sunlight.

It also has a decent waterproofing, but it when in contact with saltwater, it’s recommended to be immediately wiped with a dry piece of cloth, as salt may eventually corrode the connectors.

The unit itself comes with a tilt-swivel mount, which is modified to attach to the included 24″ (61 cm) pole. The pole is telescopic, its bottom part with the transducer can extend for an extra 12″ (30.4 cm) if needed. The package also includes a clamp with a ring which serves as a support for the unit.

Last but not least, the unit requires 8 AA-type batteries (alkaline recommended), which are not included.

The Pros

  • DualBeam and Down Imaging sonar, supporting 200/455 kHz for 2D, and 455 kHz for DI;
  • Transducer included;
  • 600 ft max. depth capability;
  • Various functions included, such as Fish ID, Bottom View, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm etc;
  • Telescopic pole arm and clamp for easy installation;
  • You don’t have to drill holes in the hull of your boat;
  • Color display;
  • Easy to install;
  • Affordable.

The Cons

  • The unit may jump and wobble in its support ring at higher boat speeds;
  • No unit cover;
  • No upgrade options.

Summary

The Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy Max DI is a sonar only fish finder, featuring DualBeam sonar and Down Imaging. It’s capable of scanning depths up to 600 ft, which means you can also use it off-shore if you remain in the shallow waters. The unit comes with the required Down Imaging transducer, a telescopic pole for it and a mounting clamp, which is easy to install on most fishing boats. With a little improvisation it can also be mounted on a buoy for ice fishing or stationary fishing. In all, it’s a versatile fish finder, offering excellent value for the price.

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