Garmin echoMAP 52dv
For this year, Garmin has discontinued several of their fish finders, one of them being the echoMAP 50dv. However, a few other models took its place, including the Garmin echoMAP 52dv, and echoMap 54dv. This post will focus exclusively on describing the new echoMAP 52dv, which is available since February 2015.
This small, 5-inch unit falls into the $500 price category, offering quite an important array of features, along with the down imaging sonar technology (or DownVü). Therefore, if you’re interested in a small, capable unit, with down imaging, standard sonar, and GPS, a unit that won’t burn a hole in your bank account, here’s what the echoMAP 52dv from Garmin can do for you.
Details and Specifications
- Screen: 5″ diagonal, 480H x 480V pixel resolution, color TFT, LED-backlit
- Sonar: Dual Frequency HD-ID, DownVü
- Frequency and Coverage: 200 kHz / 15° and 50 kHz / 45°
- Depth Capability: 2300 feet (701 m) for freshwater, 1100 feet (335 m) for saltwater, 754 feet (230 m) DownVü
- Transducer: Transom GT21-TM (4-pin), for HD-ID and DownVü
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Consumption: 7.1W
- GPS: 5 Hz, Internal
- Maps: Worldwide Basemap
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100, 3000, 20000 points (50 tracks saved)
One of the most important things to be mentioned about this unit is that the one described here does come with the GT21-TM (HD-ID and DownVü) transducer, being the model number 010-01382-01. The 010-01382-00 is the one without the transducer. Also, this unit does not support SideVü, therefore if you would like a unit with this sonar technology, you might want to opt for a Garmin echoMAP 72sv or 95sv.
The transducer does have a temperature sensor built-in. Therefore, the unit can track water temperature, also providing features such as temperature graph and log. These functions allow you to see the temperature variations from a fishing location to another, locate currents, or simply pick the spot with the right temperature for the fish to bite.
On the other hand, this unit makes a great choice for down dropping or still fishing, as it has down view sonar technology, offering photo-like clarity for the underwater environment under the boat, at depths up to 754′ (230 m). DownVü imaging allows you to distinguish much better between structure and fish, than traditional sonar. For example, if there are trees or vegetation under the boat, you will see the fish as bright colored dots among the vegetation.
On top of that, the standard sonar view can scan waters up to 2300′ (701 m) deep, which is pretty much impressive for such a small unit.
One of the very useful functions that you will get with the echoMAP 52dv is sonar recording. This function allows you to save sonar data on a microSD card, in order to show your friends, or review later, or simply to quickly rewind it, to see a point that you might have missed. You can upload the recorded sonar on your PC later via an SD card adapter, in order to attach to maps or use in different other applications.
When it comes to navigation features, Garmin is always at the top. Needless to say, the echoMAP 52dv packs quite a few extremely useful navigation functions. First of all, it includes a very precise, 5 Hz internal GPS, with 5 times per second positioning and heading refresh. The GPS is GLONASS enhanced, a feature with enables it to acquire satellites up to 20% faster.
The unit can store up to 5000 waypoints, and up to 100 routes, while via the Enhanced Auto Guidance (available with BlueCharts), it can help you create the safest route possible, over your given waypoints. The tracklog function creates the possibility for you to record your course, the unit also being able to save up to 20000 trail points, and up to 50 tracks.
One of the best navigation-related features offered by this plotter, especially for the bluewater anglers, is the tide station information function. This allows your unit to lock onto various tide stations in your area, to read information regarding tide height, and when the next tide high and low will occur. Celestial information regarding sunrise, sunset or moonrise, is also a function offered by the echoMAP 52dv.
This unit does not have any preloaded, superior charts pack. As it is, you will have to use the worldwide basic map function.
Finally, the head unit of this fish finder and chartplotter offers several features which need to be mentioned here. For starters, the screen has IPX7 waterproofing, which means it’s immersion resistant, in fresh water up to 1 m (3 feet), for up to 30 minutes. The unit comes with a flush and quick-release mount. In other words, the cables of the unit plug directly into the mount of the unit, making it easier to disconnect the head unit, and take it with you, if it’s the case. It features one NMEA 0183 port and one microSD card slot. Also, the box includes a unit cover.
To begin with, the Garmin echoMAP 50dv has an upgradeable software. When available, upgrades can be done via the microSD card. The unit is also compatible with various other transducers, through-hull or trolling.
AIS is an available upgrade for this chartplotter and fish finder combo. An AIS module will enable the unit to provide information regarding nearby vessels. Also, it supports Minn Kota and MotorGuide trolling motors with integrated transducers.
But one of the most important upgrades that you can have for this Garmin unit, is the BlueChart g2 Vision. Along with the enhanced maps provided by a BlueChart g2 Vision SD cart, you will also benefit from several other extremely useful functions, such as Auto Guidance, high-res imagery with navigational charts overlayed, 3D views, such as MarinerEye or FishEye, navigation, and fishing mode charts.
If what you’ve read so far about this unit was basically a plus, this product comes with its share of drawbacks. First of all, it has no NMEA 2000 connectivity. Second, it does not have wireless connectivity like other models in the Garmin 50 series, (Garmin echoMAP 50s, for example).
Also, it does not support Garmin BlueChart Mobile and Garmin Helm.
The Garmin echoMAP 52dv offers just about everything an angler should expect from a small unit, down imaging fish finder. Along with the dual frequency sonar, DownVü and the excellent depth capabilities of this unit, you also get a powerful GPS and quite a few other indispensable navigation functions. All in all, it’s a unit that offers an excellent price/quality/capability ratio, an investment you won’t regret.