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Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 53dv

ProductDisplay SizeSonarDepth
echoMAP CHIRP 53dv
echomap 53dv chirp - Garmin
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2,300' 2D,
1,100' Dv

The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 53dv is pretty much similar to the previous unit, the echoMAP 53dv. However, it comes with several improvements. And maybe the most important of them are the CHIRP sonar, and the Quickdraw Contours function. Even though it’s a small unit, it offers quite an impressive array of features and function, and in this post, we’ll try to cover them all in detail.

However, the very first aspect that requires clarification here is the part number of this unit. The echoMAP CHIRP 53dv presented here is the part number 010-01567-01, the model which comes with a transducer and the preloaded LakeVü maps.

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 DownVü
  • Frequency and Coverage (with the supplied transducer):
    • 2D CHIRP Sonar: 150-240 kHz 24°/16°
    • DownVü 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 ( m)
    • DownVü: 1,100 feet ( m)
  • Transducer: GT22HW-TM (4-pin)
  • Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
  • GPS: 5Hz, Internal
  • Maps: LakeVü
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks)

Sonar and transducer

As the name of the unit suggests, it’s a CHIRP unit, and it can use this sonar technology for both its 2D sonar and DownVü. It comes with the GT22HW-TM transducer, which 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.

With this transducer, the sonar pulse will be modulated between 150-240 kHz, so you’ll actually benefit from High CHIRP mode only, reliable at depths up to 800 ft (244 m). Considering that the sonar pulse is modulated over a range of frequencies with CHIRP, you will benefit from a superior target separation and less clutter. The sonar beam used for 2D broadband CHIRP is conical, and rather narrow, varying between 24°/16°.

For DownVü, with the supplied transducer, two frequency ranges are available: 425-485 kHz and 790-850 kHz. The sonar beams used for DownVü are very thin not conical, with angles of 50° and 30°. Now, considering that the unit uses CHIRP for DownVü as well, you will benefit

DownVü 455 kHz Imaging

DownVü 455 kHz Imaging

from a crispier structure and bottom contour, and understand much better what exactly is under the boat.

The unit can use standard (non-CHIRP) frequencies as well. It’s capable of 50/77/200 kHz for 2D, and 260/455/800 kHz for Dv, and with the supplied transducer it will be able to use the 200 kHz mode, and 455/800 kHz. Evidently, since it’s a dual-frequency unit, in case you will be using a different transducer, it can use two 2D frequencies simultaneously, and you can view the returns from both in split screen.

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

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 9 DI GPS. It’s a function that gives you the possibility to add contours to your maps, based on the depth readings of the sonar. This being said, no matter where you’re fishing, if that particular body of water isn’t covered by the charts you’re using, with this function you can write the contours on the spot.

As we’ve mentioned above, this unit comes with the LakeVü HD charts. These cover more than 17,000 U.S. lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. They also include points of interest such

LakeVü Charts

LakeVü Charts

as docks, boat ramps, camping spots, marinas, as well as interstates, highways, general roads and bridges.

One important, chart-related function to be mentioned here is the Multiple Depth Range Shading. Via this function, you can assign 10 different depth ranges, each one colored differently. This makes it much easier to see a target depth, and also help a lot with navigation.

Evidently, the echoMAP CHIRP 53dv features a fast and accurate, 5 Hz GPS/GLONASS internal receiver. This GPS module refreshes your position and movement 5 times per second, also making possible the reading of your boat’s speed.

Last but not least, 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 output 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 53dv 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 DownVü, dual-frequency in split screen, 2D and Dv in split-screen etc.

Upgrade Possibilities

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.

Since this echoMAP model can support various frequencies and is a dual-frequency unit, it goes without saying that you can pair it with a different transducer. It also supports Minn Kota and MotorGuide trolling motors with integrated transducers. However, it’s not capable of Panoptix sonar.

The Pros

  • CHIRP technology offering superior clarity, target separation and target definition, for both 2D and DownVü;
  • Dual-frequency sonar;
  • Transducer (GT22HW-TM, 4-pin) included;
  • Data graphs and other sonar functions;
  • Sonar recording;
  • Fast and accurate internal GPS;
  • Preloaded with LakeVü charts;
  • Quickdraw Contours;
  • 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;
  • 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 (at 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 53dv can server well for both fresh water or salt water fishing, due to its powerful CHIRP capabilities. It’s a versatile unit, easy to integrate into just about any grid, an excellent choice for small boats or kayaks. It includes a transducer and you won’t have to purchase one additionally. Offers 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/quality ratio.

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