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Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N

ProductDisplay SizeSonarDepthGPSCartography
HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N

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12.1"CHIRP
DualBeam
Plus,
MEGA SI,
MEGA DI,
1,500'InternalHumminbird
Basemap,
AC Live

One of the 2018 Humminbird releases is the HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N. As its name suggests, this unit is capable of MEGA Side Imaging, but as opposed to the SOLIX 12 model, it only has keypad operation, and not cross-touch. Needless to say, it’s a versatile Humminbird fish finder and chartplotter, featuring three types of sonar, the Humminbird Basemap chart base and internal GPS. For reference, this is the Humminbird part number 410380-1.

Technical Details & Specifications

  • Screen: 12.1″ diagonal, 16-bit color TFT, 1280H x 800V pixel resolution, with backlight
  • Sonar: CHIRP MEGA Side Imaging, CHIRP MEGA Down Imaging, CHIRP DualBeam Plus
  • Transducer: Transom XM 9 20 MSI T
  • Depth Capabilities:
    • DualBeam Plus: 1500 ft (457 m);
    • Side Imaging: 400 ft (122 m) at 455 kHz and 125 ft (38 m) at 1.2 MHz;
    • Down Imaging: 400 ft (122 m) at 455 kHz and 125 ft (38 m) at 1.2 MHz;
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • DualBeam Plus: 200 kHz (175-225 kHz) / 20° and 83 kHz (75-95 kHz) / 60°;
    • Side Imaging: 86°x2, 800 ft side-to-side coverage at 455 kHz, and 250 ft side-to-side coverage at 1.2 MHz;
    • Down Imaging: 45° at 1.2 MHz, 75° at 455 kHz;
  • Power Output: 1000 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 10.8-20 VDC
  • Power Draw: 1.75 AMP
  • GPS: Internal
  • Maps: Humminbird Basemap
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 47, 2,500, 50 (20,000 points each)

Sonar & transducer

The Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N has three main types of sonar, these being DualBeam Plus (2D), Down Imaging, and Side Imaging. Evidently, as the unit’s name suggests, it supports MEGA Side Imaging, and also MEGA Down Imaging.

The included transducer is the XM 9 20 MSI T which supports all these types of sonar, also being capable of MEGA SI and MEGA DI. This transducer features 20 ft (6 m) of cable; it has a metallic transom mount, and also integrates a temperature sensor.

For Side Imaging, the system can use MEGA SI, at 1.2 MHz (1150-1275 kHz), which provides extra high-resolution sonar images with super detail. The side sonar beams extend up to 250 ft (76 m) on each side when using MEGA SI, while the depth capability is approx. 125 ft (38 m). The SI beams are very thin fore-to-aft, but each beam offers a maximum side-to-side coverage of 86°. You can also use regular Side Imaging for more coverage and better depth capabilities. At 455 kHz (420-520 kHz) or 800 kHz (790-850 kHz) the SI sonar can scan depths up to 400 ft (122 m), and the side beams can extend up to 400 ft (122 m) on each side for a total coverage of 800 ft. (244 m).

Just as for Side Imaging, for Down Imaging both regular and MEGA DI modes are available. MEGA Down Imaging operates at 1.2 MHz, with a CHIRP modulation of 1150 – 1275 kHz. Regular DI can be used at 455 kHz with a CHIRP interval of 420-520 kHz, or at 800 kHz (790-850 kHz). Similar to SI, the maximum depth capability of the Down Imaging Sonar is 400 ft (122 m). The beam used by the transducer are also thin, just as for SI, with a minimum coverage of 45° and a maximum coverage of 75°.

 

For DualBeam Plus, this Humminbird fish finder system is capable of 50/83/200 kHz, but the included transducer can only use 83/200 kHz (75-95 / 175-225 kHz). Its maximum depth capability is 1,500 ft (457 m). Since it’s DualBeam Plus sonar, both beams can be used simultaneously or even blended together. The SwitchFire feature is also available, offering a quick filter for maximum sonar information for all targets detected by the transducer, or minimum clutter so that you can see only the biggest targets.

Of course, the unit offers the full range of standard sonar features and functions. Among them, we can count Selective Fish ID+, Real Time Sonar, Bottom Lock, Structure ID, Circular Flasher, various alarms, Sonar Recording, and more. It also supports 360 Imaging Sonar and 50 kHz Low CHIRP sonar for a depth penetration up to 3,500 ft (1066 m).

Navigation features

As opposed to the older Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP SI GPS, this unit includes the new Humminbird Basemap. This chart base offers considerably more information and detail than the previous ContourXD map base. To begin with, it covers more than 10,000 U.S. lakes with 1′ depth contours and also covers the coastal waters. It shows depth markers, buoys, marinas, hazards, camping grounds, nav-aids, various points of interest, and more.

 

The unit is compatible with various premium charts as well. Since it has an SD card reader, you can upgrade its internal chart base to Navionics Gold, Navionics Platinum, or LakeMaster charts. It also supports SmartStrike fishing charts.

AutoChart Live is also an included feature. AC Live gives you the possibility to reveal and record the depth contours of any lake and save them in your unit. The unit can hold up to 8 hours of recorded contours, but you can always expand its recording base by a Zero Lines card. Also, since it’s a G2N unit, its AutoChart Live application also has the bottom hardness and vegetation features, allowing you to use various color codes for certain recorded contours.

The unit’s internal GPS system operates at 10 Hz. This being said, the unit can provide position updates 10 times per second. Due to this fact, the boat movement on the map is shown very smoothly, in real time. The GPS system can also provide enhanced position fixes via WAAS, MSAS, or EGNOS satellites.

Waypoint recording, route creating, and track plotting functions are also available with this unit. It can save up to 2,500 waypoints in its memory, and you can select various icons for each waypoint in order to make them more suggestive. You can save up to 47 routes with multiple waypoints per route, and you can also record up to 50 tracks, with up to 20,000 points per track. Each track can be converted to a route as well, so you can re-trace it anytime you want.

Last but not least, this Humminbird unit supports various external modules, including AIS, HD RADAR, external GPS, Autopilot or i-Pilot Link.

Control unit features

The HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N features a 16-bit color, 12.1″ diagonal display, with a pixel resolution of 1280 x 800, providing crisp imaging for the charts and sonar applications. It has integrated LED backlight with multiple settings, for a great visibility in direct sunlight or at night. Also, the unit is IPX7 waterproof, which means it is designed to withstand incidental water exposure and even complete immersions in freshwater.

As opposed to the SOLIX 12 unit, this one does not have touchscreen technology. It’s keypad operated. However, its interface is very easy to use, and all its internal applications are highly intuitive.

Needless to say, this Humminbird HELIX unit is highly networkable. It supports 5-port Ethernet switch compatible and also supports NMEA 2000. Therefore, you can easily pair it with various other boating instruments, or share information or transducers with other Humminbird units.

The unit has internal Bluetooth as well, so you can sync it with your phone or tablet for data streaming. Therefore, you can view smart notifications from your phone on your unit. Also, the Bluetooth connection allows it to be operated from the distance with the RC2 remote control (not included).

The bottom section of the unit’s keypad features two SD card slots (not microSD). This being said, you can use two chart cards at the same time, or a data card and a charts card, without the need to continuously swap them.

Finally, the standard Gimbal mounting kit and a unit cover are included. There is also the option of an in-dash mounting kit.

The Pros

  • MEGA Side Imaging and regular Side Imaging;
  • MEGA Down Imaging and regular Down Imaging;
  • CHIRP DualBeam Plus Sonar;
  • XM 9 20 MSI T transom transducer included;
  • Depth capability up to 1,500 ft with the included transducer;
  • 50/200 kHz capable;
  • 360 Imaging capable;
  • Multiple sonar functions available, such as SwitchFire, Selective Fish ID+, Bottom Lock, Mark Structure, Real Time Sonar etc;
  • Sonar Recording and Screen Snapshot functions;
  • Precision GPS with MSAS, EGNOS, and WAAS enhancing;
  • Built-in Humminbird Basemap;
  • Compatible with LakeMaster Plus, Navionics Gold/HotMaps, Navionics Platinum+, and SmartStrike charts;
  • AutoChart Live with Bottom Hardness and Vegetation features;
  • AIS, i-Pilot Link, Autopilot and Radar capable;
  • Trackplotting, routes and waypoints functions;
  • Large, 12.1″ display, with a 1280H x 800V pixel matrix, 16-bit color range, and LED backlight;
  • Bluetooth wireless control capable;
  • Ethernet and NMEA 2000 support;
  • IPX7 waterproof;
  • Dual SD card reader;
  • Upgradeable internal software;
  • Gimbal mount included;
  • Unit cover included;
  • Fairly easy to install.

The Cons

  • Does not support C-Map carts;
  • The RC2 Bluetooth remote is not included;
  • In-dash mount is not included.

Summary

The Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N is fish finder and chart plotter unit, featuring MEGA SI, MEGA DI, DualBeam Plus CHIRP sonar, GPS, Humminbird Basemap charts, and AC Live. It includes the XM 9 20 MSI T transducer but it is also compatible with 50/200 kHz transducers and 360 Imaging transducers. It supports Ethernet and NMEA 2000, and also has internal Bluetooth. It supports many external add-ons, including Radar, i-Pilot Link, external GPS, AIS and more. It’s a highly versatile unit, great to have on the water, perfect for a wide array of boats.

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