Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 54dv
The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 54dv released at the beginning of 2016 comes to replace last year’s model, the echoMAP 54dv. As its name suggests, the newer unit uses CHIRP technology, and the best part is that it can actually modulate the sonar pulse for DownVü as well, and not just for the traditional 2D sonar. Along with the better sonar, this new unit comes with several other improvements such as Quickdraw Contours, Multiple Depth Range Shading, NMEA 2000 connection possibilities and more.
In this post, we’ll try to offer as many details as possible regarding all the features and functions of this unit. But before that, one aspect must be clarified. This is the 010-01568-01 unit, the echoMAP CHIRP 54dv that comes with the GT23M-TM transducer, and the BlueChart g2 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 Sonar: 80-160 kHz 24°/13°
DownVü: 245-275 kHz 2° fore to aft / 51° side to side, 445-465 kHz 1.4° fore to aft / 29° side to side
- Depth Capability:
2D Sonar: 1,800 feet (548 m)
DownVü: 1,000 feet (305 m)
- Transducer: GT23M-TM (4-pin), for HD-ID and DownVü
- Power Output:
600 Watts (RMS) for traditional sonar
500 Watts (RMS) for DownVü
- GPS: 5Hz, Internal
- Maps: BlueChart g2
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks).
Sonar and transducer
As we’ve mentioned above, the transducer supplied with this unit is the GT23M-TM (4-pin), which comes with a transom mount. It also incorporates a temperature probe and has 30′ of cable. This transducer is capable of 80-160 kHz for 2D, and 245-275 kHz / 445-465 kHz for DownVü.
On the other hand, the unit itself is capable of 50/77/200 kHz frequencies for traditional 2D, but since it can use CHIRP, with the given transducer, it will be able to use Mid-Band CHIRP, the pulse being modulated between 80-160 kHz, with a conical angle between 24°/13°. This being said, you will benefit from crispier imaging and better target separation. In other words, fish targets will appear better defined. Even if they stick close together, you’ll see the fish arches separated, rather than a big lump on screen.
DownVü 455kHz View
With the given transducer and the power of CHIRP, the Garmin fish finder has a depth capability of 1,800 ft (548 m) for 2D, and 1,000 ft (305 m) for Dv. This being said, it is a unit quite suitable for off-shore fishing as well, not just for fresh water.
The unit supports dual-frequency sonar. This means that if you’re going to use a dual-frequency transducer, you will be able to view both 2D sonar returns in split-screen simultaneously.
For DownVü sonar, the unit also uses CHIRP, the pulse being modulated between 245-275 kHz and 445-465 kHz. Of course, the unit can still use the classic 260/455/800 kHz frequencies. The cones used for DownVü are thin, not conical, at angles of 51° and 32°, actually offering better coverage than 2D CHIRP, with the given transducer.
There are several sonar related functions that this unit provides. Among them we can number Split-Zoom, Split-Frequency, Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind, Circular Flasher, Bottom Lock, Data Graphs and more.
GPS and navigation
This unit features a fast and accurate, 5 Hz internal GPS/GLONASS receiver, offering position and heading updates 5 times per second. The speed of your vessel is also tracked
BlueChart g2 View
In terms of maps, the echoMAP CHIRP 54dv (010-01568-01) comes with the BlueChart g2 maps, which cover the coastal waters of the U.S. and Bahamas, including West Coast,
East Coast, the U.S. part of the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. BlueChart g2 also opens several functions. For example, there’s a Safety Shading option, via which you can designate up to 10 different depth ranges, and assign them to the depth contours, making it much easier to see target depth at a glance.
The charts also include currents, tidal stations, IALA symbols, and depth contours, pretty much all information included by NOAA charts. Fishing charts next to the base charts also feature bathymetric contour with less visual clutter. Also, BlueChart g2 offers quite a smooth transitioning between zoom levels, and an excellent continuity across chart
Quickdraw Contours View
The unit can 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.
One of the brand new functions added to the echoMAP CHIRP fish finders, is Quickdraw Contours. This function is pretty similar to the AutoChart Live function offered by Humminbird units, such as HELIX 10 SI GPS, for example. As its name suggests, it gives you the possibility to add depth contours to your maps as you navigate, based on the sonar readings. Thus, no matter what charts you use in your unit, there won’t be any corners of your favorite lake uncharted.
Control unit features and functions
As its name suggests, the echoMAP CHIRP 54dv is a 5-inch display unit. It features a square display, WQVGA, with a 480 x 480 pixel matrix. 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.
Speaking of cables, this unit comes with a different type of connection system. All cables plug into the mount, while the unit plugs into the mount via a multiple pin connector. There’s also a NMEA 0183 out on the mount, but the unit comean with a 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.
Given the connection system, the unit can easily be disconnected from the mount, if necessary. The mount is a simple, tilt-swivel type. However, the box also includes a flush mount.
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.
Finally, the box also includes a unit cover.
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. This technology is only available for units beginning with echoMAP CHIRP 7sv / dv.
Charts can also be upgraded, the unit being compatible with LakeVü HD Ultra or BlueChart g2 Vision. Auto Guidance is a function offered by the BlueChart g2 Vision charts. It actually opens several other functions for your unit. For example, it can search through the existent charts in order to create a virtual safe pathway, allowing you to avoid obstacles and obstructions such as shallow water, low bridges etc, on your routes.
- Superior clarity, target separation and target definition for traditional 2D sonar and DownVü, via CHIRP technology;
- Dual-frequency sonar;
- Transducer (GT23M-TM, 4-pin) included;
- Data graphs and other sonar functions;
- Sonar recording;
- Fast and accurate internal GPS;
- BlueChart g2 maps;
- Quickdraw Contours;
- Multiple Depth Range Shading;
- Compatible with various other chart types, such as BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra;
- Tide tables information;
- Supports AIS and DSC-capable VHF radio;
- Enhanced Auto Guidance capable;
- 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.
- 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.
The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 54dv is an excellent unit for both in-land and off-shore fishing, since it offers powerful CHIRP sonar for 2D and Dv, and superior depth capabilities. It’s versatile, easy to integrate in just about any boat grid, an excellent choice for kayaks or bass boats. It features an excellent set of charts, fast and accurate GPS, and the new Quickdraw Contours function, which basically allows you to map any lake or body of water which isn’t covered by the charts you’re using. It’s not exactly a cheap unit, but given the fact that it includes a pretty expensive transducer, and offers a consistent array of features and functions, this unit comes with an excellent price / quality ratio.