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Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 53cv

ProductDisplay SizeSonarDepth
echoMAP CHIRP 53cv
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800' 2D,
500' Dv
US LakeVü,

The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 53cv is basically the same with the echoMAP CHIRP 53dv released at the beginning of 2016. However, they had to change its name due to certain reasons. Differently put, the former DownVü is now called ClearVü.

The echoMAP CHIRP 53cv is small unit, featuring traditional 2D and ClearVü sonar, both CHIRP enhanced. Also, this review addresses to the unit with the 010-01798-01 part number, the one that comes with a transducer and the U.S. LakeVü charts.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 5.0″ diagonal, 480H x 480V pixel resolution, WQVGA color, backlit
  • Sonar: Broadband CHIRPS Sonar, Dual Frequency HD-ID, CHIRP ClearVü
  • Frequency and Coverage (with the supplied transducer):
    • 2D CHIRP Sonar: 150-240 kHz 24°/16°
    • ClearVü CHIRP: 425-485kHz 2° fore to aft / 50° side to side, 790-850 kHz 1° fore to aft / 30° side to side
  • Max. Depth Capability:
    • 2D Sonar: 2,300 feet (701 m)
    • ClearVü: 1,100 feet (335 m)
  • Transducer: CV22HW-TM (4-pin)
  • Power Output:
    • 600 Watts (RMS) for traditional sonar
    • 500 Watts (RMS) for ClearVü
  • GPS: 5Hz, Internal
  • Maps: U.S. LakeVü
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks).

Sonar and transducer

The echoMAP CHIRP 53cv is can use CHIRP sonar technology for both its 2D and ClearVü. It comes with the CV22HW-TM transducer, which is the ClearVü version of the GT22HW-TM. This transducer features a 4-pin connector, and both transom and trolling motor mounts. It comes with 20 ft (6 m) of cable and integrates a temperature sensor, the unit having a temperature log and graph function. 2d-clearvu-sonar-split-screen-53cv

The unit itself is capable of 50/77/200 kHz frequencies for 2D and 260/455/800 kHz for ClearVü. However, with the supplied transducer, the unit will be able to use only High Wide CHIRP for 2D, modulating the sonar pulse between 150-240 kHz. For ClearVü the transducer covers the 455/800 kHz frequencies, the system being able of the following CHIRP pulse modulation: 425-485 kHz and 790-850 kHz. Now, considering that the system modulates the sonar pulse over a range of frequencies, rather than just one, the images formed on screen are more focused, present less clutter, and provide a better target separation. In other words, if one of the transducer beams hits a group of fish targets that are close together, it’s more likely to actually see the targets individually, rather than just a big dot on the screen.

The sonar beam used for 2D broadband CHIRP is conical, and rather narrow, varying between 24°/16°. But on the other hand, the ClearVü mode offers better coverage, its beams being much wider, 50° for 455 kHz (425-485 kHz) and 30° for 800 kHz (790-850 kHz). The ClearVü beams are not conical though; they’re razor thin, only 1-2 degrees fore to aft. As opposed to the 2D mode, ClearVü is a sonar technology best used to observe structure, shapes and the contour of the bottom, as it provides photo-like images.

The unit’s sonar is dual-frequency, which means it can use two 2D frequencies simultaneously, and you can view the returns from both in split screen. But since this transducer covers only one 2D channel, in order to use two, you’ll need to pair the unit with a different transducer. Nonetheless, you can use both 2D and ClearVü modes simultaneously, and observe them in split-screen. This unit is not Panoptix capable though.

The system’s depth capabilities go up to 2,300 ft (701 m). But that’s for freshwater, and if you pair it with a 50 kHz capable transducer. With the supplied transducer, the system can scan waters up to 800 ft (243 m) for 2D, and 500 ft (152 m) for ClearVü.

Like the previous echoMAP 5 units, this one also offer several sonar-related functions, such as Sonar Recording, Sonar Rewind, Bottom Lock, Flasher, Data Graphs and more.

One last aspect to be mentioned here regards the vessel’s speed required, in order for the unit to provide optimum imaging. It should be able to offer bottom readings at speeds up to 30 MPH, but the optimum speed for crisp-clear images is between 1-6 MPH. At higher speeds images will become fuzzier.

GPS and navigation

The unit comes with the LakeVü HD charts for the U.S. waters. These cover more than 17,000 U.S. lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. They also include points of interest such as docks, boat ramps, camping spots, marinas, as well as interstates, highways, general roads and bridges. Differently put, they’re great charts for inland fishing. They also offer the Shallow lake-vu-hd-22Water Shading function, which allows you to designate a minimum depth, in order to see at a glance the safest paths for navigation, or the desired depth for fishing.

One of the newest features introduced with the new echoMAP CHIRP series is the Quickdraw Contours. This is a function similar to the AutoChart Live offered by the Humminbird units, such as the HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2. It uses the 2D sonar information to determine and draw the contours of a specific body of water. Thus, whether or not your favorite lake is covered by the unit’s built-in charts, you can actually map it yourself, and benefit from the most recent contours. The charts that you create with QuickDraw contours are yours to keep, but you can also share them with the QuickDraw Community or Garmin Connect.

This unit is compatible with various other charts, such as BlueChart g2, or BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra. These last two chart packs also make available the Enhanced Auto Guidance function, which instantly searches through the charts to offer the safest virtual paths between two points of interest. It also gives you the possibility to calculate arrival times, or in case you’re using a Garmin autopilot system, it can follow a safe Auto Guidance route.

The echoMAP CHIRP 53cv features a fast and accurate, 5 Hz GPS/GLONASS internal receiver, which refreshes your position and movement 5 times per second. Using the GPS system, the unit can also monitor and indicate the speed of your vessel.

This unit an save up to 5,000 waypoints, and 100 routes. It also 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.

Control unit features and functions

First of all, the unit comes with a cover, flush and tilt/swivel mounts. When it comes to the tilt/swivel mount, the unit can easily be disconnected from the mount, if necessary. All cables plug into the mount, while the unit plugs into the mount via a multiple pin connector. There’s also an NMEA 0183 out on the mount, but the unit comes with an NMEA 2000 adapter cable (4-pin female, to 5-pin male) as well, so you should be able to integrate this unit without much hassle into your boat’s grid if you use NMEA 2000.

The transducer connector features 4-pin. Thus, in case you would like to use a different one, which comes with an 8-pin connector, you will have to use an adapter, which is also included.

The echoMAP CHIRP 53cv is a 5-inch display unit. It features a square display, WQVGA, with a 480 x 480-pixel resolution. It’s IPX7 waterproof, which means its cables are secured pretty tight into the unit, the screen is sealed well, and the unit can basically withstand rain, splashes, and even immersion, up to 1 meter.

This unit does not feature wireless connectivity, but data can be transferred via cable, or via microSD card. The microSD card reader features one slot.

There are various image combos available, but as opposed to other models, you can only benefit from two-panel views. In other words, you can choose to view your charts and ClearVü, dual-frequency in split screen, 2D, and cv in split-screen etc.

The Pros

  • CHIRP technology offering superior clarity, target separation and target definition, for both 2D and ClearVü;
  • Dual-frequency sonar;
  • Transducer (GT22HW-TM, 4-pin) included;
  • Data graphs and other sonar functions;
  • Sonar recording;
  • Fast and accurate internal GPS;
  • Preloaded with US LakeVü charts;
  • Quickdraw Contours;
  • Shallow Water 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;
  • 8-pin transducer to 4-pin sounder adapter cable included;
  • NMEA 0183 outs, and NMEA 2000 adapter included;
  • Unit cover included;
  • Easy to install;
  • Straightforward, comprehensive operation.

The Cons

  • Manual is not specific to the unit, but to the whole category of echoMAP CHIRP units (atechomap-chirp-53cv-02 least for now). So, you’ll have to sort of pick out the information related to this particular unit.

Final Word

Even though it’s a rather small, 5-inch unit, the Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 53cv can serve well for both fresh water or salt water fishing, due to its powerful CHIRP capabilities. It’s a versatile unit, easy to integrate in just about any grid, an excellent choice for small to medium boats. It comes with a CHIRP capable transducer, so you won’t have to purchase one additionally. It’s equipped with a quick and accurate GPS system, detailed maps and the possibility to create your own maps, with the Quickdraw Contours feature. All in all, it’s a unit with an excellent price / value ratio.


  1. Thank you very much for the information. Very helpful. I bought two one by my helm and one for the trolling motor.

  2. Manual does not state if the Flasher feature is real time like a flasher only unit or if it has a slight delay like some other brands.

    • Most types of flasher sonars are made for ice fishing, and they’re real time. I think this applies to the Garmin flasher feature too.

  3. How do you buy the Garmin 53 CV which is pre-loaded with Canadian lakevu maps.

    • That’s the Garmin echoMAP 55cv. It’s the same unit, but with the Canada LakeVü.

  4. I have the 43cv and I love it. I just happened to stumble across this review and had a question. Does the flasher require a different transducer to work effectively? I understand a wider cone would be preferable, but I’ve spent my fishing budget for the year! 😛

  5. Will the lake map automatically pop up when I get on the water

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