Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 94sv
|echoMAP CHIRP 94sv|
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The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 94sv is an improved version of the older echoMAP 94sv. As its name suggests, this newer unit offers CHIRP sonar technology, and not only for its 2D sonar but also for its DownVü and SideVü. It comes with new features, such as Quickdraw Contours, Multiple Depth Range Shading, and also has Panoptix LiveVü sonar technology.
In this review, we will address the unit with the 010-01580-01 model number. This particular unit comes with Mid CHIRP transducer, and with the BlueChart g2 maps bundle.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Display: 9″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, WVGA color, backlit
- Sonar: Broadband CHIRP Sonar, Dual Frequency HD-ID, CHIRP DownVü, CHIRP SideVü
- Frequency and Coverage (with the supplied transducer):
- 2D CHIRP Sonar: 80-160 kHz 24°/13°
- DownVü CHIRP: 245-275 kHz 2° fore to aft / 51° side to side, 445-465 kHz 1° fore to aft / 29° side to side
- SideVü CHIRP: 245-275 kHz 2° fore to aft / 51° side to side, 445-465 kHz 1° fore to aft / 29° side to side
- Max. Depth Capability:
- Freshwater: 2,300 feet (701 m)
- Saltwater: 1,100 feet (335 m)
- Transducer: GT51M-TM transducer (12-pin)
- Max. Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- 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, this is the Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 94sv, the unit that comes with the GT51M-TM transducer. This transducer model is temperature capable, features 30′ of cable, a 12-pin connector, and comes with a transom mount. In case you’re wondering, a trolling motor mount for this transducer is not included with the box. This particular transducer is also referred to as the GT-51.
The GT51M-TM transducer covers a frequency range between 80-160 kHz for traditional 2D sonar. In other words, with this transducer model, your unit will be able to scan in Mid CHIRP, modulating the sonar pulse over this whole frequency range. However, the unit also offers the possibility to set up a specific frequency. Also, for traditional sonar, the unit is actually capable of various frequencies. It can actually scan at 50, 77 or 200 kHz or a CHIRP range adequate to these frequencies. However, for that, you will need a transducer to support these frequencies.
For 2D the transducer uses conical sonar beams with an angle between 13° and 24°, between 80 and 160 kHz.
When it comes to structure scanning sonar technology, this Garmin fish finder offers both SideVü and DownVü, sonar technologies similar to the SideScan / DownScan in the Lowrance units, or Side Imaging / Down Imaging in Humminbird units. It also uses CHIRP technology for these types of sonar, which basically offers an improved clarity of imaging, less clutter, and better target separation. The unit itself can support 260/455/800 kHz frequencies for Sv and Dv, or the adequate frequency ranges for each, depending on the used transducer. With the supplied GT51M-TM transducer, the sonar pulse can be modulated between 245-275 kHz and respectively 445-465 kHz. The sonar beam angles are thin for these types of sonar, but wider side to side. In other words for 245-276 kHz, the transducer will use a beam angle 2° fore to aft and 51° side to side, while for 445-465 kHz a beam angle 1° fore to aft / 29° side to side.
This Garmin unit has a maximum depth capability of 2,300 ft (701 m) for freshwater, and 1,100 ft (355 m) for saltwater. However, with the supplied transducer, its depth capability is a bit lower, only 1,800 ft (548 m) for 2D, 1,000 ft (305) for DownVü and 750 ft (228 m) SideVü. Also, for SideVü, the side sonar beams can extend up to 750 ft (228 m) on each side of the boat.
Along with the aforementioned sonar technologies, this unit offers several other sonar-related functions. Among them, we can count A-Scope, Fish Symbols, Circular Flasher Mode, and Sonar Recording.
The Flasher Mode sonar offers an abstract, circular view of the bottom, fish, and structure, which is more suitable for stationary fishing. A-Scope is also a flasher-type function but has a vertical layout, not circular. It is displayed along the right side of the full-screen 2D sonar view. This function indicates the most recent data caught by the transducer. Fish Symbols, as its name suggests, assigns fish icons to the suspended targets, making them easier to stand out in case you have trouble spotting the fish arches. But in this case, not all the fish symbols that will appear on screen will actually be fish.
When it comes to Sonar Recording, this unit does have this feature. It also gives you the possibility to rewind your sonar feed or transfer it to your PC via microSD card. The function does require a blank SD card to be inserted in the unit, in order to be able to save the sonar feed. Also, as a general idea, approx. 15 minutes of recording will take 200 MB of space. Recorded data can be seen on a PC via the free HomePort application.
The Garmin echoMAP 94sv offers a consistent array of navigation functions. To begin with, it’s equipped with a 5 Hz internal GPS, quite fast and responsive, which refreshes your position and heading 5 times per second. Via GPS, the unit can also provide information regarding the speed of your vessel. The unit can also stock up to 5,000 waypoints, and 100 routes. It features a trail function allowing you to record your trail in a breadcrumb manner, with up to 50,000 track points per trail. Trails can be converted to routes, and you can retrace them if you want.
When it comes to charts, this unit comes with the BlueChart g2 bundle. These charts cover the West Coast, East Coast, Canadian and U.S. sides of the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. They also include all U.S. charts for the entire coastline as well as NOAA charts. And finally, they offer IALA symbols, currents info, tidal stations and fishing charts with bathymetric contours. 2D and 3D views for these charts are also available.
Two important navigation-related features that this unit offers, are Quickdraw Contours and Multiple Depth Range Shading. Quickdraw Contours uses sonar information to reveal (and draw) the contours of just about any body of water that you scan. This way, you will benefit from the most up-to-date contours. It’s a function similar to the AutoChart Live supported by the top HELIX series units from Humminbird. Multiple Depth Range Shading gives you the possibility to assign a certain color each depth range, in order to see at a glance the depth you wish to choose for fishing or a safer path for navigation.
Also, in terms of navigation, this unit offers a series of SailAssist features. These include laylines, enhanced wind rose, heading and course-over-ground lines and true wind data fields. Gauge displays are designed to provide important, need-to-know information at a glance, including true and apparent wind angle, set and drift, true or apparent wind speed, horizontal graphs and a data bar with customizable data fields.
First of all, this Garmin fish finder and chartplotter offers “regular” menu and function navigation via the keys on the right side of the unit. It does not have touchscreen technology. The unit has a 9″ display, WVGA color, with a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V. The display is also LED backlit, which means it offers superior readability in direct sunlight or during night time fishing. The specified water rating is IPX7, which means it can withstand incidental water exposure and even immersions in fresh water.
A tilt mount with a quick-release system and a flush mount kit are supplied with this unit. The quick-release mount features a unified connector and connects to the mount, while the cables plug into the mount itself. The mount features an NMEA 2000 connector, Panoptix connector, and the regular 12-pin transducer connector. The box also includes a unit cover.
Last but not least, this Garmin unit features a microSD card reader with one card slot, which can be used for software updates, charts upgrades, data transfer and sonar recording.
Possible Upgrades and Other Capabilities
One of the most important aspects to mention here is that this unit also has Panoptix LiveVü sonar technology, along with its CHIRP Sv and CHIRP Dv. However, in order to use the Panoptix sonar, you’ll need a Panoptix transducer. Two examples of such transducers are the Garmin PS21-TM and PS31.
This unit is also capable of multiple frequency ranges, and can also work with various other transducers, such as the GT22HW-TM or GT23M-TM.
Although the BlueChart g2 maps offer excellent detail, at least for off-shore waters, there’s still room for better maps. In other words, you can always upgrade to BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra. These superior chart bundles also offer access to Enhanced Auto Guidance, which makes available several other functions. Enhanced Auto Guidance can calculate arrival times for your, or indicate the safest path to follow between two points of interest. It can also work with your autopilot system enabling it to follow the created safe paths or a specific depth contour.
The unit provides NMEA 2000 support for engine data, sensors, autopilot units, AIS, and can also display position data from DSC-capable VHF radio.
- CHIRP technology offering superior clarity, target separation and target definition, for 2D, SideVü, and DownVü;
- Dual-frequency sonar;
- Transducer GT51M-TM (12-pin) included;
- Unit compatible with the new, revolutionary Panoptix sonar;
- Data graphs and other sonar functions;
- Sonar recording and rewind;
- Fast and accurate internal GPS;
- Preloaded with BlueChart g2 charts;
- Quickdraw Contours function, for the possibility to add contours and customize your maps;
- 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;
- SailAssist features;
- Supports AIS and DSC-capable VHF radio;
- Quick disconnection (tilt-swivel) and flush mount included;
- Unit cover included;
- Easy to install;
- Straightforward, comprehensive operation.
- Only one microSD card reader. Other 9″ models feature two.
The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 94sv is a wide display fish finder and chartplotter, offering a consistent array of sonar and navigation functions. For sonar it has 2D CHIRP, DownVü CHIRP, and SideVü CHIRP, being also Panoptix LiveVü ready. Its charts, the BlueChart g2, cover the U.S. coastal waters, and this being said, the unit is great for off-shore navigation and fishing. In fact, it’s perfect for any medium or even larger vessels. Finally, this particular unit costs less than $1,300 and considering that the transducer is also included, it’s pretty safe to say that it offers an excellent value for the price.