Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2
The HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 comes to replace the old model HELIX 5 GPS. As its name suggests, the new model features CHIRP sonar, evidently offering superior fish finding capabilities. On top of that, it’s also has AutoChart Live, and the best part, it costs a bit less than the older model (at least for now). To avoid any confusion regarding the unit that we’re going to present here, its model number is the 410210-1, it comes with a transducer, and features the UniMap charts.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Screen: 5″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, 16-bit color TFT, with LED backlight
- Sonar: CHIRP DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire
- Depth Capability: 1500 feet (457 m)
- Frequency and Coverage:
- 200 kHz (175-225 kHz) / 20°
- 83 kHz (75-95 kHz) / 60°
- Transducer: Transom XNT 9 20 T
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-20 VDC
- GPS: Internal
- Maps: UniMap
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 47; 2,750; 50 (20,000 points each)
Sonar and transducer
The HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 is capable of 50/83/200 kHz, but the transducer that comes with it is the XNT 9 20 T, and supports only the 83/200 kHz frequencies. Thus, in order to use the 50 kHz mode, you will need a 50/200 kHz transducer.
The unit is equipped with CHIRP sonar technology. Therefore, it can modulate the pulse generated by the transducer over a range of frequencies, in order to provide superior target separation, better imaging with less clutter, a better bottom lock and superior depth capabilities. In CHIRP mode, the pulse will actually be modulated between 175-225 kHz instead of 200 kHz, or between 75-95 kHz instead of 83 kHz. The transducer uses conical beams with angles of 60° and respectively 20° for these frequencies. These two frequency intervals are actually close to Med CHIRP and High CHIRP. But if you opt for a 50/200 kHz transducer, the unit will be able to modulate pulse between 28-75 kHz and 130-250 kHz.
This unit does not have Side Imaging, nor Down Imaging, only traditional 2D sonar. However, its sonar is DualBeam Plus, which means you can scan the water under the boat with both sonar beams at the same time. The fish arches, structure and other objects caught by the sonar beams will differ in color depending on which beam hit them.
The supplied transducer integrates a water temperature sensor, therefore the unit can track the temperature of the top water. With the supplied transducer, the system’s depth capability can reach 1,500 ft. (457 m), while if you opt for the deep water transducer, its depth capability will increase to 2,500 ft. (762 m).
There are several other functions available with this unit. To begin with, 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.
SwitchFire and Circular Flasher are two other important sonar features.
SwitchFire is actually a quick filter, which 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 Circular Flasher 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.
Last but not least, Bottom Lock and Real Time Sonar (RTS) are two functions also available with this unit. 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. 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.
Since its one of the most affordable units in the Humminbird HELIX series, the HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 comes with the most basic charts pack as reference for its GPS. It has the UniMap 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, but in case you don’t need an advanced navigation tool, they’re more than enough. A 3D chart view is also available for this unit. It’s called Bird’s Eye View for Humminbird, function which gives you a 3D view of your location, with a point of view above and behind the boat. This evidently enhances the situational awareness.
The unit’s charts can be upgraded though. It can use LakeMaster, LakeMaster PLUS, Navionics+, Navionics Platinum+ charts, and SmartStrike cards.
As we’ve mentioned above, the unit is also AutoChart Live capable. However, this feature only becomes available if the unit is equipped with a LakeMaster or Navionics charts chip, as it cannot use the basic UniMap charts. 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. With a given LakeMaster or Navionics chip, the unit can record up to 8 hours of mapping data. 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.
Needless to say, the unit 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.
Last but not least, the unit can save up to 2,750 waypoints, 47 routes, and 50 tracks, each track with up to 50,000 track points.
Control unit features
First of all, this unit has a classic, button navigation and operation. It does not have touchscreen technology like the ONIX8ci SI Combo for example. It has a small, 5-inch display, with an 800 x 480 pixel layout which provides quite some surface to work with, especially in single view. It also features a 16-bit color range, also incorporating LED backlight.
The waterproof rating of this unit is IPX7, which basically 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.
The unit comes with a gimbal-type 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.
- DualBeam Plus sonar with SwitchFire;
- CHIRP sonar technology;
- Powerful transducer (XNT 9 20 T), CHIRP capable and temperature capable, with transom mount;
- Depth capability up to 1,500 ft with the included transducer;
- 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 GPS G2 is a fish finder and chartplotter from Humminbird, featuring DualBeam Plus sonar with CHIRP, GPS, UniMap charts and the XNT 9 20 T transducer. It’s one of the most affordable chartplotters from Humminbird at the moment. 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, for both salt water and fresh water. Therefore, 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.