Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 44dv
Most of the newer Garmin models released in 2016 are CHIRP sonar capable. Even the smaller units can actually use CHIRP for both 2D and DownVü. The echoMAP CHIRP 44dv does not make an exception. And as opposed to the older echoMAP 44dv, the newer model also comes with a few other improvements, one of them being the Quickdraw Contours function.
Before we proceed with the description of this particular unit, the main aspect to be specified is the unit’s part number. This is the 010-01564-01 unit, the one that comes with transducer and the BlueChart g2 maps.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Screen: 4.3″ diagonal, 272H x 480V pixel resolution, WQVGA color, backlit
- Sonar: CHIRP 2D, CHIRP DownVü
- Frequency and Coverage:
- Standard: 200 kHz / 15° and 77 kHz / 45°
- DownVü: 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)
- DownVü: 750 ft (228.6 m)
- Transducer: GT20-TM (4-pin), for HD-ID and DownVü
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- GPS: 5Hz, Internal
- Maps: BlueChart g2 (coastal U.S.)
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks).
GPS and navigation functions
As we’ve mentioned above, one of the new functions available with this unit when it comes to navigation, it the Quickdraw Contours. This particular function gives you the possibility to actually map any body of water, revealing its depth contours. It uses the
BlueChart g2 View
sonar information in order to determine depth, and with this function, you’ll basically have the most up-to-date depth contour information in your unit.
Along with the Quickdraw Contours function, the unit comes with the BlueChart g2 charts. These cover the coastal U.S. waters, in other words, West Coast, East Coast, Canadian and U.S. sides of the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. These charts also include all U.S. charts for the entire coastline as well as NOAA charts. BlueChart g2 maps pack also offers several other features. For example, there’s a Shallow Water Shading function which gives you the possibility to assign a safe (or desired) depth and shade out all other depths shallower than the selected one. Also, there’s the Multiple Depth Range Shading, which allows you to assign up to 10 different colors for different contours, in order to see a certain depth at a glance.
BlueChart g2 also covers IALA symbols, tidal stations, currents information, and fishing charts with bathymetric contours, with less visual clutter on display. Also, they offer 2D and 3D charts views.
Evidently, the echoMAP CHIRP 44dv is a GPS unit. It features an internal, 5 Hz GPS/GLONASS antenna which refreshes your position 5 times per second, in order to also indicate your vessel’s speed more accurately.
And finally, in terms of navigation functions, this unit can save up to 5,000 waypoints, and 100 routes. It has a trail recording function, allowing you to save 50,000 track points and up to 50 tracks. Evidently, you can convert tracks into routes, add waypoints to them and retrace them.
Sonar and transducer functions
First of all, this particular unit comes with the GT20-TM transducer, the one with the part number 010-12087-00, just as the echoMAP CHIRP 43dv. This transducer is temperature capable, comes with both transom and trolling motor mounts, it features 20′ (6 m) of cable and a 4-pin connector.
The control unit is capable of 50/77/200 kHz for 2D sonar, and 260/455/800 kHz for DownVü. However, with the supplied transducer, it can only use the 77/200 kHz
CHIRP 455 kHz view
frequencies for 2D, and 455/800 kHz for Dv.
As the unit’s name suggests, it features CHIRP sonar technology, and for 2D it can use Medium CHIRP and High CHIRP, but it can also use CHIRP for DownVü. In fact, for Dv it’s capable of a pulse modulation between 435-475 kHz and 800-840 kHz. The modulation intervals for CHIRP 2D are not specified. CHIRP is actually quite a sonar enhancement, as for 2D it provides a better target separation. In other words, if the sonar catches a group of fish that are close together, you have a higher chance to actually see the arches separated, rather than one big dot. Also, structure and bottom shapes appear better contoured, and the images feature less clutter.
With the traditional 2D sonar, the transducer uses two conical beams, with angles of 15° for 200 kHz, and 45° for 77 kHz. For DownVü, the beams used are very thin fore-to-aft, but wider side to side. For 455 kHz, it uses a 2.5° / 53° beam, while for 800 kHz the beam is narrower and thinner, of 1.6° / 29°.
Even though this is a small unit, with the supplied transducer the unit is quite capable when it comes to depth penetration. You can actually scan depths up to 1,900 ft (579 m) in 2D and 750 ft (228 m) in DownVü with it. Also, given the built-in charts of the unit, we can safely say it’s not a bad choice for off-shore fishing.
There are several useful functions available with the 2D sonar of this unit, including A-Scope, Fish Symbols, Bottom Lock, Fish Alarms etc. This unit also has Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind. However, in order to record sonar, you will need a data memory card inserted into the unit. Also, 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. Being able to rewind sonar is actually quite helpful, as it can save you a lot of trouble and fuel. For example, if you want to review a specific spot, you won’t need to turn the boat around and re-scan that specific area. Instead, all you have to do is just review the sonar history.
Control unit features and functions
This unit features a small display, with a 4.3″ diagonal and 480V x 272H pixel resolution. The display is WQVGA color, and also features LED backlight, which means it offers excellent readability in direct sunlight or during night time. It’s also IPX7 waterproof, which means it can take incidental water exposure such as splashes, rain or even short immersions, with no problem.
This unit is NMEA 0183 capable, and also features a microSD card 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.
First of all, 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. Also, since it’s a unit capable of 6 frequencies, various other transducers can be used with it, such as the GT22HW for example.
- CHIRP technology offering superior clarity, target separation and target definition, for both 2D and DownVü;
- Dual-frequency sonar;
- Transducer (GT20-TM, 4-pin) included;
- Data graphs and other sonar functions;
- Sonar recording and sonar history rewind;
- Preloaded with the U.S. BlueChart g2 maps;
- Quickdraw Contours;
- Fast and accurate internal GPS;
- Multiple Depth Range Shading;
- Compatible with various other chart types, such as
BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra;
- Enhanced Auto Guidance capable;
- Tide tables information;
- Supports AIS and DSC-capable VHF radio;
- Quick disconnection (tilt-swivel) and flush mount included;
- NMEA 0183 connector;
- Easy to install;
- Straightforward, comprehensive operation.
- Manual is not 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.
The Garmin echoMAP 44dv is an excellent unit for both saltwater and freshwater, but since it comes with the BlueChart g2 maps, it’s best used for off-shore navigation. Since it’s not a big unit, it makes a great choice for any small boats, including kayaks, canoes etc. And finally, considering the impressive amount of features and functions, CHIRP technology, and the fact that the package includes the transducer, it’s safe to say that it offers excellent value for the price.