For a 5-inch unit, the Simrad GO5 XSE is quite a versatile fish finder and chartplotter. The unit itself is basically the same as for the Simrad GO5 XSE TotalScan (000-12675-001) that we’ve already presented here. However, this is the 000-12452-001 part number, the one that includes an HDI transducer, not the TotalScan transducer.
Key Features and Specifications
- Display: 5″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, 16:9 aspect ratio, WVGA color TFT, with adjustable LED backlight
- Sonar: 2D CHIRP, StructureScan (DownScan)
- Depth Capability:
- 1,000 ft (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar
- 350 ft. (106 m) for DownScan
- Frequency and Coverage:
- Broadband CHIRP:
- 200 kHz (22°)
- 83 kHz (52°)
- 455 kHz – fore to aft 2.8°, port to starboard 56°
- 800 kHz – fore to aft 1.6°, port to starboard 32°
- Broadband CHIRP:
- Transducer: HDI Skimmer
- Power Output: Max 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 12 vDC (10-17 vDC min-max)
- Power Consumption: 900 mA @ 13.5 V
- GPS: 10 Hz internal
- Charts: Worldwide Basemaps
- Waypoints: 10,000
Sonar and transducer
As we’ve mentioned above, this Simrad fish finder is the part number 000-12452-001, the system that includes the HDI skimmer transducer. This transducer is capable of operating at 83/200 kHz frequencies for 2D Broadband CHIRP sonar, and at 455/800 kHz for DownScan imaging. The unit itself is also capable of SideScan sonar and ForwardScan sonar, but with the included HDI skimmer transducer these types of sonar are not available. In order to use SideScan you will need a TotalScan transducer (not included), while for ForwardScan you will also need a different transducer. But nonetheless, with the included HDI transducer, you will still be able to use Mid Range CHIRP and High Range CHIRP, and DownScan sonar.
The included HDI transducer integrates a temperature sensor; thus, the unit can read the topwater temperature. There’s also a Temperature Graph function which gives you the possibility to see the variation of the water temperature over a certain area you scanned, a function that can be useful if you’re looking for topwater currents. This transducer has 20′ (6m) of cable.
With the HDI skimmer transducer, this Simrad fish finder system is capable of scanning waters up to 1,000′ (305 m) for 2D and 350′ (106 m) when using DownScan. The system should be able to maintain a bottom reading at speeds up to 55 MPH, however, for the best quality readings and the maximum amount of targets it is recommended to scan at speeds up to 10 MPH.
The transducer uses conical beams for the 2D Broadband sonar. Their coverage is approx. 52° @ 83 kHz and 22° @ 200 kHz. For DownScan, however, the beams are very thin, similar to the beams of a scanner. Their coverage is approx. 56° side-to-side and 2.8° fore to aft @ 455 kHz, and 32° side-to-side / 1.6° fore to aft @ 800 kHz.
Needless to say, the Simrad GO5 XSE HDI includes most of the standard sonar features. Among them, we can count Overlay DownScan, Sonar Recording, Fish ID, Fish Alarms etc. Within the paragraphs below, we’ll provide a bit of detail for each one of these features.
Fish ID is a function similar to Selective FishID+ of the HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS, or most other Humminbird fish finders. It’s a function that assigns fish icons to the suspended targets caught by the sonar beams, or to the targets that may be interpreted as fish. Of course, not all of the targets that will have a fish icon will actually be fish, but the advantage here is that each fish icon will have its depth close to it. This should give you a better picture of the position of every target in relation to the boat and the bottom.
Overlay DownScan, as its name suggests, allows you to overlay the DownScan imaging view over the 2D broadband sonar view. This can help you understand better the positioning of fish targets in relation to structure.
A-Scope is a vertical flasher that appears next to the 2D sonar view. It indicates the real-time echo of the sonar or differently put, the information caught by the most recent sonar echo. Bottom Lock, as the term suggests, allows you to keep the sonar view close to the bottom, or at a certain range from the bottom, a feature that may be quite useful when looking for bottom feeders
This unit also has Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind functions. If you record the sonar feed, you can later rewind it and review one or more fishing spots, without the need of turning the boat around to re-scan those areas. Also, the sonar recordings can be saved on a microSD card and used with Insight Genesis for custom maps.
This Simrad unit comes with a worldwide basic chart base also referred to as Worldwide Basemaps. These charts don’t offer exceptional detail but do provide the necessary support for navigation and awareness on the water. But fortunately, the unit is a fully customizable chartplotter and supports a wide range of cartography options, including charts from C-MAP, Navionics, Insight and Insight Genesis.
Needless to say, the unit is equipped with a fast and accurate 10 Hz internal GPS receiver. Therefore, you will get position updates ten times every second, which makes this system ideal for fast-moving boats. The boat’s position on the map is tracked smoothly, in real-time, without jumping from point to point. Needless to say, the unit can show your current coordinates or the coordinates of a certain waypoint you mark and save. The unit can also calculate the speed of your boat by using the GPS data.
The TripIntel feature is also important to mention here. It’s a function designed for power boaters, displaying key information needed to plan a safe journey. It also helps you make smart decisions regarding the fuel range overlaid on charts, gives you access to current and tide levels information, it shows a detailed history of your previous trips, including other safe routes you took, how the boat performed etc.
The Simrad GO5 XSE HDI can save up to 10,000 waypoints offering a decent palette of icons for them. For routes, the system includes support for Navionics Autorouting and C-MAP Easy Routing. As for tracks, the unit is set to automatically track and draw the vessel’s movement on the chart panel. The recorded tracks can be saved and converted to routes, to re-use.
Control unit features
To begin with, this Simrad unit has a 5″ diagonal LCD WVGA color display, with a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V. Needless to say, it has adjustable LED backlight (1200 nits), allowing an excellent view and reading of the on-screen data from sharp angles, even in direct sunlight. Its waterproofing is IPX7 standard, meaning that it can withstand incidental water exposure without a problem.
As opposed to the Lowrance Elite-5 Ti fish finder which is quite similar in terms of specs to this unit, the Simrad GO5 XSE does not have any keypad. All the commands are done via touchscreen just as for a tablet. It does have a very straightforward and highly customizable interface, which renders it really easy to use.
SonicHub®2 & Bluetooth® Audio Integration are included features. Thus, the unit gives you the possibility to stream music from Bluetooth devices, play MP3 files from a USB flash drive, or listen to the SonicHub 2’s built-in AM/FM radio. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi module and provides direct access to GoFree cloud services, including map downloads, software updates etc.
When it comes to connectivity features, this unit has an NMEA 2000 port and a microSD card reader (with one card slot), for chart updates or data transfer and backup. It doesn’t have Ethernet, but via an NMEA network, it can connect to various other equipment such as outboard and inboard engines, speed heading, temperature sensors, fuel level and flow meters, AIS units, etc. It also allows you to create custom digital instrument displays, condensing a lot of information of the most crowded dash while keeping a clean look.
- CHIRP 2D sonar and DownScan;
- SideScan capable;
- ForwardScan capable;
- HDI skimmer transducer included;
- 1,000 ft. depth capability (3,000 with a 50/200 kHz transducer);
- Fast chart updates, fast navigation through menus;
- Easy to use, intuitive interface, with touchscreen technology;
- Super-bright display, excellent readability;
- Various sonar functions, such as DownScan Overlay, Bottom Lock, A-Scope, Fish ID, Sonar Recording, etc;
- High precision, 10 Hz GPS;
- Compatible with a wide array of custom charts, including Nautic Insight PRO and HD, Navionics HotMaps Premium, Fishing HotSpots, Navionics+, Lake Insight PRO and HD, C-MAP MAX-N, and Insight Genesis;
- TripIntel™ and Cruise Charting view;
- GPS and sonar overlay data possibilities, via Insight Genesis;
- AIS capable;
- MicroSD card slot reader for data backup and transfer;
- NMEA 2000 connectivity;
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity;
- Simrad SonicHub®2 & Bluetooth Audio Integration;
- Easy to install.
- Touchscreen technology may also be a downside for a fish finder, as you’ll have to constantly wash your hands if you’re fishing, or constantly clean the display.
- The transducer only has a transom mount.
The Simrad GO5 XSE 000-12452-001 is a fish finder and chartplotter combo which offers a wide array of navigation and sonar functions, including 2D CHIRP broadband sonar, DownScan sonar, 10 Hz GPS and the Worldwide Basemaps. It’s also capable of SideScan and ForwardScan. It comes with the HDI transducer which allows you to use DownScan, High and Med CHIRP. It has mid-range depth capabilities, making it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater use. It offers excellent networking possibilities via NMEA 2000, also having a Wi-Fi module for GoFree connection and Bluetooth connectivity. In all, it’s a versatile unit, perfect for a wide range of boats.