Garmin echoMAP 94sv
The Garmin echoMAP 94sv is pretty much a complete unit, in terms of sonar and navigation capabilities. Although it doesn’t offer CHIRP, it does offer some of the best sonar technologies available, such as SideVü and DownVü. It’s a classic unit, without touchscreen technology, pretty much similar to the 999ci HD SI Combo from Humminbird.
Since Garmin offers this multifunction display with and without transducer, it’s important to clarify that this post refers to the bundle that includes a transducer. So, to be clear, this is the unit with the model number 010-01392-01.
Details and Specifications
- Screen: 9″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, color TFT, with auto adjusting backlight
- Sonar: Dual Frequency, SideVü and DownVü
- Frequency and Coverage:
- standard sonar: 200 kHz / 10° and 50 kHz / 40°
- DownVü sonar: 260 kHz / 2°x51°, 455 kHz / 1.4°x29°
- SideVü sonar: 260 / 455 kHz, up to 750 feet on each side of the boat
- Depth Capability:
- 1,500 feet (457 m) for standard sonar
- 1,000 feet (304 m) for DownVü
- 750 feet (228.6 m) for SideVü
- Transducer: Transom GT41-TM (12-pin), standard sonar, DownVü and SideVü
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Consumption: 11W
- GPS: 5 Hz, Internal
- Maps: U.S. BlueChart g2
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 tracks)
To begin with, this unit offers a large 9-inch display, with high-contrast color and keypad. The display uses automatic backlight adjustment, to provide a clear view in direct sunlight, or during night fishing. The display unit is IPX7 waterproof, meaning it’s resistant to spills and can withstand incidental water exposure or immersion up to 1 meter, for up to 30 minutes.
One of the best aspects regarding the echoMAP 94sv multifunction display is the mounting system. The cables plug directly into the mount, not into the unit, so in case you want to remove the display unit from the boat, the task is easy, you don’t have to disconnect cables.
The unit features one microSD card slot, for data backup, or access to various maps. It also offers an NMEA 0183 port, which gives you the possibility of an easy system integration on your boat. It also supports AIS and can display position data from DSC-capable VHF radio.
When it comes to fish finding functions, first of all, this unit offers dual-frequency standard sonar,
Garmin GT41-TM Transducer
DownVü and SideVü. The GT41-TM transom transducer included, supports all these sonar technologies. For standard sonar, it will operate at 50/200 kHz with a maximum depth of 1,500 ft. The 200 kHz transducer beam is pretty narrow, 10° wide, but does offer a pretty clear view especially for shallow waters. On the other hand, the lower, 50 kHz frequency offers a more powerful depth-wise, and wider beam, of 40°.
For DownVü and SideVü, this fish finder uses thin beams, between 1.4° – 2.0° fore to aft. and 29° to 51° wide. DownVü offers photo-like clarity imaging for what’s directly under the boat, at depths up to 1,000 ft. in fresh water. SideVü offers the same photo-like clarity imaging as DownVü, supplying an above view side-to-side from the boat, stretching up to 750 ft. on each side. Although Garmin specifies that this unit’s SideVü is capable of scanning depths up to 750 ft., it might be a bit of a stretch though, side view imaging sonar typically provides the best quality imaging at depths up to 300 ft.
The transducer supplied with this unit features a built-in temperature probe. This being said, the display unit can indicate water temperature, also offering a temperature graph function.
A few other sonar-related functions of the echoMAP 94sv are Bottom Lock and A-Scope. Bottom Lock focuses on sonar returns close to the bottom, a great feature to use if you’re looking for catfish, for example. A-Scope is a vertical flasher available in full-screen sonar mode, displayed on the right side, function which expands the most recently received sonar data, enabling it easier to see.
However, one of the most useful sonar-related functions of this unit is sonar recording. This function gives you the possibility to record your sonar feed and review it later or to scroll back through it, in for a quick review of a certain spot. Sonar recording requires a data microSD card to be plugged into the unit, as it cannot be saved in the unit’s memory. However, the recording typically doesn’t occupy much. In general, about 15 min. of recording should take up to 200 MB on your card.
The best part about the echoMAP 94sv when it comes to navigation is its preloaded charts pack BlueChart g2. This charts package covers the coastal U.S. and Bahamas, Gulf of Mexico, East Coast, West Coast and the U.S. side of the Great Lakes. Differently put, it includes basically eveything available on NOAA charts. BlueChart g2 provides a very smooth transitioning between zoom levels and superior continuity across chart boundaries. It also makes available 2D and 3D (over the bow) map views, while the fishing charts included feature bathymetric contours with less visual clutter.
The contours on the maps can be shaded via the Safety Shading function, in order to ensure safer navigation. On top of that, this unit features Enhanced Auto Guidance, which instantly searches through your maps to create the safest pathway for your routes. Hazard points can easily be reviewed on your calculated path, and your autopilot can be synchronized with the Auto Guidance app, in order to follow the course set by it. The Garmin echoMAP 94sv offers the possibility to store up to 5,000 waypoints and up to 100 routes, and 50 trails containing 50,000 trail points each.
Of course, the unit is compatible with various other chart packs, which can be uploaded to the unit via microSD card. LakeVü HD Ultra, LakeVü™ HD, or BlueChart g2 Vision are some of them.
This unit also offers tidal, current and celestial information. Via BlueChart g2, you can view information provided by different tide stations, or current stations, regarding tide height, or current speeds. The celestial information function gives you the possibility to know the correct sky view location of sun and moon, and plenty of info regarding sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, moon phases etc.
Last but not least, the Garmin unit incorporates a very precise and responsive, 5 Hz internal GPS, with a 5 times per second refresh. To maximize precision, the unit’s GPS uses GLONASS correction.
Although in terms of sonar and navigation features and options this unit is pretty much a complete one, it still has a few drawbacks. For starters, it does not offer NMEA 2000 connectivity. And second of all, it only has one microSD card slot. Therefore, if you want to record sonar, and use a different charts pack than the preloaded BlueChart g2, you will have to swap cards.
The Garmin echoMAP 94sv is a classic layout unit, providing some of the finest sonar and navigation features available. It’s actually a unit with a great price/quality ratio. For less than $1,300 you get a 9-inch diagonal display, SideVü, DownVü and standard sonar, BlueChart g2 maps, a fast and accurate GPS and many other features. It’s a unit that will considerably improve the quality of your fishing, and your situational awareness on the water.