Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 55cv
The echoMAP CHIRP 55cv is one of the new fish finder and chartplotter units released by Garmin for 2017. It’s pretty much identical to the last year’s echoMAP CHIRP 55dv, only DownVü sonar is now called ClearVü. Also, to be clear, this is the Garmin part number 010-01818-00, the one that includes a transducer, and comes with the Canada LakeVü HD 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: 1,800 feet (548 m)
- ClearVü: 1,000 feet (305 m)
- Transducer: GT22HW-TM (4-pin), for HD-ID and ClearVü
- Max. Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS) for ClearVü
- GPS: 5Hz, Internal
- Maps: Canada LakeVü HD
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks).
Since it’s an echoMAP unit, the 010-01818-00 is equipped with a fast and accurate internal GPS, which operates at a frequency of 5 Hz, being able to update your position up to 5 times per second. Also, the unit can indicate your vessel speed by using the GPS data.
In terms of charts this unit is pre-loaded with the Canada LakeVü HD charts bundle. These charts cover more than 13,500 lakes, of which more than 4,800 are HD lakes with 1-foot contours shore to shore in Alberta, British Columbia, Trent Severn Waterway, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Plus, these charts offer various other details including highways, bridges, interstates, marinas, docks, camping grounds, fishing spots etc.
On the other hand, this Garmin unit is compatible with various other chart bundles, including U.S. LakeVü HD, BlueChart g2 Vision or U.S. LakeVü HD Ultra, or with the Canada LakeVü Ultra. 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.
This unit also has the Quickdraw Contours function, which uses the 2D sonar and GPS information in order to draw the depth contours of the lake in which you’re fishing. This way, even if your local lake is not covered by the LakeVü charts or the charts you’re using, you can still benefit from the latest, most up-to-date contours by using this function.
Another navigation-related function is Shallow Water Shading. This allows you to color code some of the depth contours in order to view at a glance which is the safest path to sail.
Last but not least, the unit can indicate your vessel speed by using the GPS data. The unit can save up to 5,000 waypoints, and 100 routes. It can also save up to 50 tracks, or 50,000 track points in total.
Sonar and transducer
The Garmin 010-01818-00 comes with the GT22HW-TM (4-pin) transducer, which has a transom mount, also integrating a temperature sensor. This unit also supports various other transducers than the one supplied. For example, you can pair it with the GT20-TM, or the GT21-TM for example. But in case you’re going to opt for a different transducer, you might need a cable adapter. The unit features a 4-pin connector.
The control unit can operate at three frequencies for its 2D traditional sonar, these being 50/77/200 kHz, while for ClearVü it’s capable of scanning at 260/455/800 kHz. However, with the included transducer, it can only use High Wide CHIRP, modulating the sonar pulse between 150-240 kHz when using its 2D mode.
For ClearVü, the system can use two CHIRP ranges, these being 425-485kHz and 790-850 kHz. CHIRP pulse modulation delivers images with less clutter, a better separation between fish targets, and between fish and structure.
For 2D, the beams used are conical, with angles between 14 and 26 degrees. Conversely, for ClearVü the system uses thin beams, not conical. For 455 (425-485) kHz the beam is 50° wide, while for 800 (790-850) kHz, the beam is slightly narrower, of 30°. These beams don’t exceed 2° in fore-to-aft, being more like the beams of a scanner.
Depending on the transducer you will be using, this unit can reach depths up to 1,800 ft (548 m) for 2D and 1,000 ft (305 m) for ClearVü. But the supplied transducer has slightly lesser depth capabilities, being capable of only 800 ft (243 m) in 2D, and 500 ft (152 m) in Dv. This is still not bad for a small unit, meaning that you should be able to use it for off-shore fishing as well, as long as you don’t go for deeper waters. Also, the recommended boat speed for scanning with this unit is between 1-6 MPH. The unit should be able to maintain a bottom reading even at higher speeds, but in general, the higher the speed, the fuzziest the images.
Just like the other similar units, the Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 55dv features several useful sonar functions for its 2D sonar. These are Fish Symbols, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, A-Scope, Bottom Lock and a few others. Also, the unit offers the capability to record the sonar history and rewind it, if you want to have another look at a particular spot that you have scanned. To use sonar recording and rewind you’ll need a blank microSD card to be inserted in the unit as support for the recorded data.
Control unit features and functions
One of the first aspects regarding the control unit is its power output. This unit is actually capable of 500 W (RMS) / 4,000 W (PTP) power output. However, the transducer has its limitations. Its transmit power is 250 W for 2D and 350 W for Dv. So, differently put, the unit’s maximum depth capability is 1,800 ft. but with this transducer, you’ll get a max. depth capability of 800 ft. (as we’ve mentioned above).
As the name of the unit suggests, it’s 5″ display unit. It features a square display with a pixel matrix of 480H x 480V. Evidently, the display is color (WQVGA), also featuring LED backlight. Also, it’s IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand incidental water exposure, such as rain, or splashes.
This unit is NMEA 2000 and 0183 capable, also featuring a microSD card slot, for charts, data transfer, and sonar recordings. And finally, it comes with two mounts, flush and classic tilt/swivel, the box also including a unit cover.
- Fast and accurate internal GPS;
- Preloaded with the Canada LakeVü HD charts;
- Compatible with various other charts, such as BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra;
- Multiple Depth Range Shading;
- Quickdraw Contours;
- Enhanced Auto Guidance capable;
- Tide tables information;
- 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 and sonar history rewind;
- Supports AIS and DSC-capable VHF radio;
- Quick disconnection (tilt-swivel) and flush mount included;
- NMEA 2000 and 1083 compatibility;
- Easy to install;
- Straightforward, comprehensive operation.garmin-echomap-chirp-55downvu-02
- Manual may not be specific to the unit, but for the whole series of units, and some of the instructions may not apply to this one.
The Garmin echoMAP 55dv is an excellent GPS / fish finder combo for just about any small boat. It uses CHIRP technology for both its types of sonar, traditional and ClearVü, and comes with a CHIRP transducer. It also features the Canadian LakeVü HD charts, but it’s also compatible with various other chart packs from Garmin. It has excellent depth capabilities and can be used successfully in both saltwater and freshwater. In all, it’s a fishfinder and navigation system with a decent price/quality ratio.