The HELIX 10 DI GPS is one of the discontinued Humminbird fish finders but may still be available at certain vendors. It’s a fish finder and chartplotter combo equipped with the ContourXD charts, internal GPS and has networking features. For reference, this is the Humminbird part number 409970-1. Also, in case you’re wondering, one of the newer versions is the HELIX 10 CHIRP MEGA DI+ GPS G3N.
Key Features and Specifications
- Display: 10.1 diagonal, 65,000 color TFT, 1024H x 600V pixel resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, glass bonded, with backlight
- Wireless control
- Sonar: DualBeam Plus and Down Imaging
- Depth Capability:
- 350 feet (106 m) for Down Imaging
- 600 feet (183 m) on DualBeam Plus
- Frequency and Coverage:
- DualBeam Plus: 200 kHz / 28° and 455 kHz / 16°
- Down Imaging: 455 kHz / 75° and 800 kHz / 45°
- Transducer: Transom XNT 9 DI T
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-20 VDC
- Power Draw: 1.2 Amps
- GPS: Internal, Precision
- Maps: ContourXD (built-in), AutoChart Live
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 45; 2,750; 50 (20,000 points each)
One of the best features included by this new HELIX combo unit is the AutoChart Live. With this feature, you can basically map just about any uncharted body of water as you sail. Maps created via AutoChart can be overlayed with LakeMaster and Navionics maps, for extra details. Also, they’re compatible with i-Pilot link. In other words, the newly
created contour lines that you will map with this feature can be used as support for your autopilot function, in case you use i-Pilot Link and a Minn Kota motor. The unit has a memory of 8 hours of recording.
The unit comes with the Humminbird ContourXD charts, which offer contour lines for over 3,000 U.S. lakes, also including markers, interstates and major roads. The amount of detail offered by these charts isn’t extraordinary, there’s room for much better with this unit. However, even if you won’t upgrade your maps, the ContourXD should help you find most of the drops of bumps holding fish. There are various view options and other functions that you can use with the charts, such as various alarms, Bird’s Eye view etc.
As the name its name suggests, this unit has GPS. It features an internal GPS/WAAS antenna, very quick and precise, offering fixes within 2.5 meters. The speed of your vessel will also be measured via GPS. Also, the unit’s internal memory can store up to 2,750 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 trails (20,000 points for each trail).
Sonar and fish finding functions
To begin with, the HELIX 10 DI GPS features two types of sonar: DualBeam Plus and Down Imaging. It doesn’t use CHIRP for any of these types of sonar though. The unit itself is capable of using 50/83/200/455 kHz frequencies for 2D, and 455/800 kHz for Down Imaging. However, with the supplied transducer, the XNT 9 DI T model, it will only be able to scan at 200/455 kHz for 2D and 455/800 kHz for DI. In case you want to scan at greater depths, and use the 50 kHz frequency mode, you will have to purchase a 50/200 kHz transducer.
The XNT 9 DI T transducer supplied with the unit is a Down Imaging dedicated transducer. It means it works slightly different than the one supplied with the HELIX 10 SI GPS, for example. For DualBeam Plus, it uses two conical beams of 28° / 16° for 200/455 kHz. For Down Imaging, it uses thin beams, approx 1.5° fore to aft, but wider side to side. For 800 kHz, it uses a 45° beam for more detail, while for 455 kHz the beam is wider, with an angle of 75° for more coverage. As a general idea, this is a fish finder made for freshwater use, as with the supplied transducer it can only reach depths of 600 ft (183 m) in 2D, and 350 ft (106 m) in DI.
Even though the unit doesn’t use CHIRP technology, like the new Garmin Striker models, it still offers excellent target separation, up to 2.5″ in 2D. The standard sonar is actually great to use when looking for fish targets, while the DI mode is great for understanding structure, and telling apart fish from structure. For this, it’s actually best to use both 2D and DI views in split-screen.
The 2D sonar makes available several functions. Among them, we can mention SwitchFire, RTS, Bottom Lock, Selective Fish ID, Fish Alarms, and Split-Zoom. SwitchFire allows you to quickly alternate between the full sonar info on screen, to see more targets, and a clear mode, which eliminates most of the clutter and smaller targets, useful when looking for game fish. The Selective Fish ID function uses advanced signal processing to interpret targets, and actually assign fish icons to fish. The Fish ID view is great to use if you’re not certain about specific targets, so the unit will actually give you a second opinion, indicating if it’s a fish or not. Depth is also pointed out near each specific target. Also, various alarms are available with the Fish ID function. You can actually setup the unit to notify you if it detects a fish of a specific size.
RTS or Real-Time Sonar, a function also known as A-Scope (or Amplitude Scope), it’s a vertical flasher for the 2D sonar, which points out the returns in the most recent sonar echo. As its name suggests, Split-Zoom is a view that allows you to see your sonar in split screen, on one side using the normal view, and on the other panel to use a different level of zoom for the same image. And finally, via Bottom Lock you can set up your unit to maintain a specific distance from the bottom, regardless of depth, great to use when looking for bottom-feeding fish.
This unit also has Sonar Recording. This function gives you the possibility to record the sonar feed and even rewind it to re-view certain spots. This is quite a useful function as it can save you a lot of trouble. For example, you may not need to turn the boat around to re-scan a certain location, if you want a second look. Via recorded sonar, you can also mark waypoints on recorded areas.
Control unit features and functions
One of the best aspects regarding the new HELIX 10 DI GPS unit is its superior processor. It actually uses a processor 25% faster than the previous 1159ci HD DI Combo unit. These maps and sonar scroll faster.
As opposed to the older unit, this new HELIX model features a wider screen, 10.1-inch in diagonal, with an aspect ratio of, 16: 9 and 1024H X 600V pixel matrix. The unit is also LED-backlit, covers a 65,000 color spectrum, and has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can withstand rain, snow, and basically incidental water exposure.
When it comes to connectivity, this HELIX 10 unit features Ethernet, NMEA 0813 and NMEA 2000 outs. It also has a dual microSD card reader for map upgrades, waypoints, and sonar recording backup. It’s actually great that the unit can take two cards at the same time. For example, if you’re going to use a Navionics charts chip and a blank SD card for backup, you won’t have to swap the cards.
Last but not least, the unit comes with a gimbal mount, but there’s also the option of an in-dash mounting kit. The box also includes a unit cover.
First of all, the unit’s internal software is upgradable. All upgrades are free. Every time there’s one released, you can download it and install it via a blank SD card or cable.
The newest function though, introduced for fish finder and chartplotter combos by Humminbird is the wireless control. This unit does have this feature and is compatible with the small remote for wireless control, remote that incorporates 7 keys, which give you the possibility to navigate through menus, mark waypoints, change views etc, without touching the unit. The screen is wide and bright enough to provide a good view even from several feet of distance. Therefore, this particular function may save you a lot of trouble. The remote is only optional, though.
The unit is compatible with various other modules, such as AIS, HD Radar or Minn Kota or PowerDrive V2 motors via i-Pilot Link.
In terms of sonar, this unit is compatible with the Humminbird 360 Imaging. As opposed to the smaller models HELIX 7 DI GPS and HELIX 5 DI GPS, this unit can use a 50/200 kHz transducer and can be used for greater depths in 2D. Also, the unit can use 360 Imaging, with the required transducer.
For maps, this HELIX unit is compatible with Navionics Platinum+, Navionics Gold/HotMaps, LakeMaster charts, or you can use a ZeroLine SD card, which has a database of over 2,000,000 lakes at zero line contour, ready to be mapped via AutoChart live, also extending the recording time by a lot.
Different mounts are also available. For example, you can opt for an in-dash mounting kit, or a Balzout mount (not manufactured by Humminbird).
- DualBeam Plus sonar with SwitchFire;
- Down Imaging;
- Powerful transducer (XNT 9 DI T), temperature capable and with transom mount, included;
- Decent depth capability for fresh water;
- Multiple sonar functions available, such as RTS, Bottom Lock, Fish ID+ etc;
- Sonar recording and screen snapshot;
- Precision GPS with a wide array of channels;
- ContourXD charts as base for the GPS;
- AutoChart Live which gives you the possibility to map or re-map any body of water;
- Trackplotting, routes and waypoints functions;
- Wide 10.1″ display, with 16:9 format, and backlight;
- IPX7 waterproof;
- Glass bonded screen, glare-proof;
- NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 ports;
- Ethernet connection;
- Wireless control;
- Dual microSD card reader;
- Upgradable internal software;
- Gimbal mount and unit cover included;
- HD Radar, i-Pilot Link and AIS capable;
- 360 Imaging capable;
- Fairly easy to install.
- High-tech unit, may take some time to master completely.
The Humminbird HELIX 10 DI GPS is an excellent unit for freshwater fishing, but can also perform well in salt water, as long as you don’t go too far off-shore, to fish at depths of over 300 ft. Even though it doesn’t use CHIRP, it offers excellent sonar capabilities, and of course, some of the best features and functions in terms of navigation. The unit includes the transducer, so you won’t have to pay additionally for one, being ready to use right out of the box. It may not be the best choice for a kayak, but for any bass boat, or bigger vessel it should fit and serve perfectly. And finally, just like most other HELIX units, it’s a fish finder and GPS combo that offers excellent value for the price.