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Humminbird ONIX8ci SI NT Combo

ProductDisplaySonarDepthGPSCartography
ONIX8ci SI NT Combo
onix8ci-si-nt-combo-01-feat
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8.4"
1024 x 768
DualBeam Plus,
SI / DI
1500' standard,
150' SI,
150' DI
34-channel,
Internal
TriFuel

Although it’s an older Humminbird fish finder and chartplotter, the ONIX8ci SI NT Combo still is a highly performant unit. It basically offers the same navigation and sonar functions as the ONIX8ci SI Combo, however, this is the NT (non-touch) unit. In other words, it doesn’t have crosstouch technology, and its operation is done via the keypad on the right.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 8.4″ diagonal, 16.7 mm Colors TFT, 1024H x 768V pixel resolution, with backlight
  • Sonar: Side Imaging, Down Imaging, DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire/Digital Signal Processing
  • Depth Capability:
    • 150 feet (45 m) for Side Imaging
    • 150 feet (45 m) for Down Imaging
    • 1,500 feet (457 m) on DualBeam Plus
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • DualBeam Plus: 200 kHz / 20° and 83 kHz / 60°
    • Down Imaging: 455 kHz / 75° and 800 kHz / 45°
    • Side Imaging: 455 kHz / 86° (x2), and 800 kHz / 55°, 480 ft. side-to-side coverage
  • Transducer: XNT 14 20 HDSI T (transom)
  • Max. Power Output: 1000 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 10-20 VDC
  • Power Draw: 2.5 Amp
  • GPS: 34-channel, internal
  • Maps: Humminbird TriFuel
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 200; 5,000; 50 (20,000 points each)

Sonar and fish finding functions

Like most combo units from Humminbird, the ONIX8ci SI NT Combo comes with a transducer. The transducer supplied with the unit is the XNT 14 20 HDSI T, a transducer that supports all the sonar technologies built-in the unit: Side ImagingDown Imaging, xnt-14-20-hdsi-t-transducerand DualBeam Plus. It’s also temperature capable and comes with a transom mount.

The control unit can operate on various frequencies, including 50/83/200/455/800 kHz. The supplied transducer covers the 83/200 kHz for DualBeam Plus and 455/800 for SI and DI. However, you can pair the unit with various other transducers, such as the 50/200 kHz for deep water use, in order to reach depths up to 5,000 ft (1,524 m). Also, this Humminbird fish finder is CHIRP capable, but its built-in sonar doesn’t have CHIRP technology. In order to use CHIRP sonar with this Humminbird fish finder, you will need an external SM3000 CHIRP Ethernet sonar module. This sonar module unit will increase the system’s depth capability to 10,000 ft. (3,040 m). But nonetheless, with the supplied transducer you should be able to scan depths up to 1,500 ft (457 m) in 2D sonar, and up to 150 ft (45 m) in SI and DI.

For the 2D traditional sonar mode, the transducer uses conical beams, with angles of 20° for 200 kHz and 60° for 83 kHz. It also uses Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to manipulate data, filter and reduce noise, and enhance the overall sensitivity of the sonar, in order to obtain clearer imaging. For Side Imaging, the transducer uses two thin side beams (not conical), with angles of 86° for 455 kHz and 55° for 800 kHz. These side beams extend up to 240 ft. (73 m) on each side of the boat. For Down Imaging, the beams are the same but scan directly under the boat.

Evidently, since it’s one of the top Humminbird units, it also has Sonar Recording, along with other sonar-related functions, among which we can count: Selective FishID+, RTS, Bottom Lock, SwitchFire and various alarms.

GPS, charts and other navigation functions

The first aspect to mention here regards the charts built-in this Humminbird ONIX unit. It comes with the TriFuel cartography, a charts bundle which has much more to offer than the ContourXD in HELIX 9 units, or the UniMap in the HELIX 7 units. The TriFuel charts pack open access to C-MAP, Navionics and Humminbird world-base charts. Each type of charts has its own specifics. For example, the included C-MAP by Jeppesen bundle gives you access to 2D and 3D charts in vector and raster formats. The Navionics charts offer global coverage in higher detail, including Nautical and SonarChart, and the 1-foot HD bathymetry map enriched with sonar logs. And finally, Humminbird mapping provides lake cartography.

The Humminbird ONIX8ci SI NT Combo features a 34-channel, internal GPS module, which can provide fast and accurate fixes within a radius up to 2.5 m. The unit can also stock 5,000 waypoints, 200 routes (with up to 50 waypoints per route), also having a trail recording function, being able to save up to 50 tracks (50,000 track points per each track).

AutoChart Live is one of the best navigation functions provided by this unit. It opens theautochart-live-view-01 possibility to map a specific body of water using information from the sonar to determine depth and contours. Data from the Side Imaging sonar can be overlayed onto the charts created with AutoChart for a different view of the underwater environment. Also, AutoChart Live maps are compatible with i-Pilot Link, so you can setup a course for a certain depth contour, and enable your Minn Kota motor via i-Pilot Link to follow that contour.

As we’ve just mentioned, i-Pilot Link and AutoPilot are two navigation features included with this unit. This means it can communicate with various motors, such as Minn Kota Ulterra, Terrova, and PowerDrive V2. It’s also HD Radar capable and AIS capable. You can connect an AIS unit or Radar antenna to the unit via NMEA 2000.

Control unit features and functions

First of all, the Humminbird ONIX8ci SI NT Combo features a bright color, 8.4″ HD display, with LED backlight, offering excellent readability in bright light or during night time. It has a pixel matrix of 1024H x 768V, offering crystal clear images on all applications. It’s also IP67 waterproof, which means it can resist incidental water exposure, such as rain, snow, or even immersions for a short duration, in freshwater.

Since this is an “NT” ONIX unit, it means its navigation through functions and menus is done exclusively via its keypad on the right. It does not have touchscreen technology such as the ONIX8ci SI Combo, this basically being the only difference between the two units.

The mount supplied with this unit is a Gimbal type, but there’s also the option of an in-dash mounting kit. A unit cover is also included.

In terms of connectivity, this unit is NMEA 2000 capable, also having an Ethernet port, and a dual microSD card reader which provides support for various charts upgrades, data transfer, sonar recordings or software updates. Having two microSD card slots is quite a plus, as you don’t have to continuously change cards if you use more than one.

Upgrade Possibilities and Other Capabilities

This unit can work with various other transducers from Humminbird, such as the 50/200 kHz one, for deepwater use. It’s also compatible with various external sonar modules, such as the SM3000 CHIRP, which offers access to superior sonar functions. It’s also 360 Imaging capable, being compatible with the Humminbird 360 Imaging transducer.

In terms of charts, this unit is compatible with Navionics Platinum, LakeMaster Plus, C-MAP 4D by Jeppesen and SmartStrike.

Just like the other units in the ONIX family, this model is Fusion-Link capable and IP camera capable. It offers interfacing possibilities for other FUSION devices, such as the 700 series or MS-RA205. Differently put, if you have such a radio device, you can control it directly from the ONIX unit, via Ethernet or NMEA 2000. Also, it can be connected to an IP Video Camera in order to watch the streamed video in a full-screen view, or in split-screen with other functions, such as sonar or charts.

The Pros

  • Side Imaging;
  • Down Imaging;
  • DualBeam Plus sonar with SwitchFire;
  • Powerful transducer (XNT 14 20 HDSI T), temperature capable and with transom mount, included;
  • Depth capability 1,500 ft (with the included transducer);
  • Multiple sonar functions available, such as Bottom
    Lock,RTS, Fish ID+ etc;
  • Sonar recording and screen snapshot functions;
  • Precision GPS with a wide array of channels;
  • TriFuel charts as base for the GPS;
  • AutoChart Live;
  • Trackplotting, routes and waypoints functions;
  • Wide, 8.4″ display,
  • IP67 waterproof;
  • Ethernet port;
  • NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 ports;
  • Dual microSD card reader;
  • Upgradable internal software;
  • Gimbal mount and unit cover included;
  • HD Radar, i-Pilot Link and AIS capable;
  • Fusion-Link capable;
  • 360 Imaging capable;
  • IP Video Camera capable;
  • Fairly easy to install.

The Cons

  • Does not integrate CHIRP sonar, but it is compatible with the external Humminbird CHIRP sonar module;
  • Not that easy for everyone to master completely. It’s after all a high-tech unit.

Summary

The Humminbird ONIX8ci SI NT Combo is fish finder and chartplotter unit that offers and an extensive array of sonar and navigation functions. It includes Side Imaging, Down Imaging, DualBeam Plus sonar with SwitchFire, a 34-channel internal GPS, and the TriFuel charts bundle. It also offers superior connectivity options as it’s equipped with NMEA 2000 and Ethernet ports. It’s an 8.4″ unit great for any medium and large vessel. It’s not exactly an affordable unit, but considering its consistent array of features and the fact that it comes with a $300 transducer, we can safely say that this Humminbird fish finder combo offers an excellent price/value ratio.

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