Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2
The HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2 is the new, improved HELIX 5 DI GPS. As opposed to the older unit, this one has CHIRP sonar, also being AutoChart Live capable. This post addresses the 410220-1 model, the one that comes with a transducer.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Screen: 5″ diagonal, color TFT with a 16-bit color range, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, with LED backlight
- Sonar: CHIRP Down Imaging, CHIRP DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire
- Depth Capability:
- 350 feet (106 m) for Down Imaging
- 600 feet (183 m) for DualBeam Plus
- Frequency and Coverage:
- DualBeam Plus: 455 kHz (420-520 kHz) / 16° and 200 kHz (175-225 kHz) / 28°
- Down Imaging: 455 kHz (420-520 kHz) / 75° and 800 kHz (790-850 kHz) / 45°
- Transducer: Transom XNT 9 DI T
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-20 VDC
- Power Draw: 615 mA
- GPS: Precision GPS, internal antenna
- Maps: UniMap
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 45; 2,500; 50 (20,000 trackpoints per track)
Sonar and transducer
As we’ve mentioned above, the HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2 410220-1 comes with the XNT 9 DI T transducer, the one that integrates a temperature sensor and basically supports all the unit’s frequencies. It has a transom mount, and 20 ft (6 m) of cable.
This unit is capable of three frequencies: 200/455/800 kHz. For DualBeam Plus sonar (2D) it uses 200/455 kHz frequencies, and due to the fact that it has CHIRP technology, the sonar pulse can be modulated between 420-520 kHz and 175-225 kHz. Also, for Down Imaging, the pulse modulation covers 420-520 kHz and 790-850 kHz. CHIRP sonar is superior to traditional sonar, due to the fact that it provides a better target separation, clearer images without clutter, and better depth penetration.
For 2D the supplied transducer uses conical beams, of 16° (455 kHz) and 28° (200 kHz). For this type of sonar, the system’s depth capability is 600 ft (183 m). Also, since the unit’s 2D sonar is DualBeam Plus, it means that it can use both its frequencies simultaneously, and you can observe the returns of both beams in split screen. The 2D traditional mode is great to use when looking for fish targets, as it points them out as arches (or fish symbols if you use the Fish ID mode). Also, its color coding offers a good idea about the bottom hardness.
For Down Imaging, the transducer uses thin beams, not conical, with angles of 45° (800 kHz) and 75° (455 kHz). As you can see, in DI mode, the system offers a better coverage. However the depth capability of DI sonar is only 350 ft (106 m). Down Imaging is a sonar mode great to use for observing structure, vegetation, and for understanding shapes better. Also, when used in split-screen with traditional sonar, it helps a lot in telling fish apart from structure.
As a little conclusion here, this unit is recommended for in-land fishing, as the system’s depth capability is reduced in saltwater. However, it should be able to maintain a bottom reading off-shore as well, if you don’t exceed depths greater than 300-400 ft.
Another aspect to be mentioned here is that the unit is compatible with various external sonar modules, such as 50 kHz Airmar CHIRP. Equipped with this type of sonar, its depth capability can be increased to 2,500 ft (762 m).
When it comes to vessel speed, the system should be able to maintain a bottom reading at speeds up to 30 MPH. However, the recommended speed range for the clearest images and the highest target detection rate, is 1-6 MPH.
There are several other functions available with this unit. For example, SwitchFire is a quick filter function, that gives you the possibility to quickly swap between Clear Mode and Max Mode. The Clear Mode view removes most of the clutter, leaving only the strongest targets and the bottom on screen. This way, you can focus on the bigger fish targets only. Max Mode offers a view with all the sonar information that the system was able to detect, thus you will be able to see more fish arches and other targets.
The Selective Fish ID+ is a sonar view that replaces the fish arches (or at least the sonar returns that are considered fish) with fish symbols. The depth of each fish symbol is displayed above it. The color of the fish symbols indicates the sonar beam that has caught them. For example, the fish detected by the 200 kHz beam will appear orange, while the ones in the 83 kHz beam will appear green. A Fish Alarm is also available with the Fish ID+ mode. This fish alarm has 3 settings. You can enable it to sound for Large, Large/Medium and All fish targets detected.
Sonar Recording is another useful function offered by the HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2. This allows the rewind of the sonar feed, giving you the possibility to review a specific spot if you want a second look, without returning to re-scan that place. This function requires a blank microSD card as support for the recording.
Bottom Lock and Real Time Sonar (or A-Scope) are also available with this unit. Real Time Sonar (or A-Scope) is a vertical flasher view, which appears in the right side of the 2D sonar view, and indicates the strength of the most recent sonar return. So, basically this function lets you know when a fish return is directly under the boat. Bottom Lock gives you the possibility to focus the bottom and a certain portion of the water column near it. This function places the view at a constant point in relation to the bottom, regardless of depth changes, which sort of “flattens” the contour, but on the other hand is more effective at showing fish targets that are close to the bottom.
Last but not least, a Circular Flasher functions is also available with this unit. This sonar mode puts the sonar information in ring-based diagram. The intensity of each sonar return is displayed in various colors on the outer circle. It’s a great function to use when ice fishing or for stationary fishing.
Navigation and charts
As the unit’s name suggests, this unit integrates a GPS system. It has an internal GPS module, offering quick fixes, and with an accuracy of 2.5 m. Fixes can be enhanced by WAAS, EGNOS and MSAS. The vessel’s speed is also covered by the GPS system. The unit can also store up to 2,500 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks, each track with up to 20,000 track points.
In terms of charts, the unit is equipped with the basic UniMap bundle, charts which cover the contiguous U.S. coastline, inland lakes and rivers at 30 m / pixel. As a general idea, they show what a regular GPS shows, such as lakes, ocean, streams, with the boundaries between land and water described accurately. These charts don’t offer super detail, however the unit is compatible with LakeMaster, LakeMaster PLUS, Navionics+, Navionics Platinum+ charts, and SmartStrike cards.
The HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2 is also AutoChart Live capable. AutoChart Live uses GPS and 2D sonar information in order to allow you to map basically any body of water, revealing its most up to date depth contours. Keep in mind though, that this feature can only use LakeMaster and Navionics charts as support, thus you’ll need a LakeMaster or Navionics card chip in order to use it. Also, the unit is compatible with Zero Lines chips, which offer zero line contours for most bodies of water in the U.S. and Canada.
Control unit features
The HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2 features a 5-inch display, 16-bit color, with a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V. This means it offers pretty clear, focused images for both sonar and charts. The display also integrated LED backlight, offering excellent reading possibilities even if the sunlight hits it directly, or if you’re fishing at night. The navigation through the menus and functions is done via the keypad on the right. This unit does not have touchscreen technology, such as the HDS-9 Gen2 Touch from Lowrance, for example.
The unit comes with a gimbal mount, but there’s also the option of an in-dash mounting kit. Also, in terms of connectivity, this Humminbird fish finder and chartplotter has a NMEA 0183 output and a microSD card reader with one slot, for charts upgrades, sonar recordings, snapshots, or software updates.
One more aspect to mention here is the unit’s waterproof rating. It’s rated as IPX7, which means that it can resist incidental water exposure such as rain, snow or splashes. It can even resists full immersions in fresh water, up to 1 meter and 30 min. However, salt water is best to be kept away from its connectors.
- DualBeam Plus sonar with SwitchFire and Down Imaging;
- CHIRP sonar technology;
- Powerful transducer (XNT 9 DI T), CHIRP capable and temperature capable, with transom mount;
- Depth capability up to 600 ft with the included transducer, great for in-land fishing, and even for shallow off-shore fishing;
- Multiple sonar functions available, such as RTS, Bottom Lock, Selective Fish ID+, Alarms etc;
- Sonar Recording and Screen Snapshot functions;
- Precision GPS with MSAS, ENGONS and WAAS enhancing;
- UniMap charts included;
- AutoChart Live ready, function that gives you the possibility to map or re-map any body of water;
- Trackplotting, routes and waypoints functions;
- 800 x 480 resolution, 16-bit color display, with LED backlight, providing clear images, easy to read even in direct sunlight;
- IPX7 waterproof;
- NMEA 0183 port;
- MicroSD card reader (1 slot);
- Upgradable internal software;
- Gimbal mount included;
- Fairly easy to install.
The HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2 is a fish finder and chartplotter from Humminbird, featuring DualBeam Plus and Down Imaging sonar with CHIRP, GPS, and UniMap charts. The box also includes the XNT 9 DI T transducer. It’s a unit recommended for fresh water fishing, but it should work in saltwater as well, if you don’t exceed 3-400 ft depths. Along with the CHIRP sonar improvement, it also has AutoChart Live, giving you the possibility to map any body of water revealing the newest depth contours. Its internal charts may not be the best, but the good news is they’re upgradable. It’s a system great for boats of all sizes. Thus, considering that it’s a CHIRP capable unit, comes with a transducer that covers all its sonar functions, has GPS and excellent charting capabilities, we can safely say it offers a decent price / value ratio.