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Humminbird HELIX 5 SI GPS vs Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 – Full Comparison

For the year 2017 Humminbird has improved most of the HELIX units, releasing new versions. The HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 (410230-1) is evidently the improved version of the HELIX 5 SI GPS (409640-1). There are several differences between these two Humminbird fish finders and in this post, we’ll try to outline them all.

HELIX 5 SI GPS 409640-1 – Short Description

The HELIX 5 SI GPS part number 409640-1 is one of the first HELIX fish finders released by Humminbird. It’s a 5″ diagonal unit, with a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V, featuring a 16-bit color display, and LED backlight.

This unit has three types of sonar, including Side Imaging, Down Imaging and DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire. It comes with the XNT 9 SI 180 T transducer, which has a transom mount and integrates a water temperature sensor.

Although the unit can use 50/83/200/455 kHz frequencies, the transducer can only support 83/200 kHz for DualBeam Plus, and 455 kHz for Side Imaging and Down Imaging.

The HELIX 409640-1 is also a GPS unit, featuring quite a fast and accurate internal GPS receiver. It uses the older UniMap chart base from Humminbird, which is the most basic charts pack available. However, the unit is compatible with various other superior charts such as Navionic Gold or LakeMaster charts… Read Full Review.

HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 410230-1 – Short Description

The HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 part number 410230-1 is actually an upgraded version of the 409640-1. It has the same 5″ control unit with a pixel resolution of 800H x 480V, TFT color, with LED backlight. Just as the previous unit, it’s equipped with a micro SD card reader for data transfer, updates, sonar recording data, or chart upgrades.

In terms of sonar, this unit has CHIRP sonar technology, which means that it can modulate the sonar pulse over a frequency interval rather than using just one frequency per pulse. This means that the images provided by the unit are clearer, with less clutter, and the targets are defined better.

The unit can use CHIRP for all three types of sonar, DualBeam Plus, Side Imaging and Down Imaging. It comes with the same transducer as the older unit, the XNT 9 SI 180 T which supports CHIRP.

In terms of navigation, this is also a GPS unit as its name suggests. However, it comes with the upgraded Humminbird Basemap charts, and also has the AutoChart Live software… Read Full Review.

The Differences

Although the differences between these two Humminbird fish finders aren’t many, there still are several. In this section of this post, we’ll cover each one of them, with a little bit of detail.

Sonar. Only the HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 model has CHIRP sonar technology. The older, HELIX 5 SI GPS doesn’t. As opposed to other 5″ units, such as the Lowrance HOOK-5, the HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 unit can use CHIRP for all its types of sonar. Instead of using only one pulse at 83 kHz, the system will modulate that pulse over a frequency range of 75-95 kHz, and respectively 175-255 kHz instead of 200 kHz. The same goes for Side Imaging and Down Imaging. Instead of 455 kHz, the pulse covers a frequency interval between 420-520 kHz.

Charts. Although both units have been initially released with the Humminbird UniMap charts, which was the most basic Humminbird chart packs, in the second part of 2017 Humminbird has released a software update which upgrades the charts of all the HELIX G2 units to Humminbird Basemap. This charts pack is now built-in all the GPS-equipped HELIX units (G2 and G2N), and packs data from LakeMasterĀ®, NOAA, and other trusted sources, providing a clear view of the underwater terrain and showing a wide array of points of interest. The new Basemap bundle covers more than 10,000 inland lakes showing contours, nav-aids, and POI. These charts also cover the entire U.S. coast using the NOAA charts as a primary source.

AutoChart Live. This feature is only available with the Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2. The older model doesn’t have it. AutoChart is a feature that uses the sonar and GPS information in order to reveal the depth contours of the body of water where you’re fishing. It’s quite a neat feature to have, as it gives you the possibility to use the most up to date depth contours, which can be vital for fishing and navigation. It’s pretty much a good reason to opt for the G2 unit.

Routes and waypoints. The HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 model offers the possibility to store 250 more waypoints than the HELIX 5 SI GPS. It can also store up to 47 routes instead of 45. Both units can record up to 50 tracks (20,000 points per track).

SmartStrike compatibility. SmartStrike charts are fishing charts which include an advanced search algorithm which helps you find key areas to focus your fishing efforts. They’re basically fishing charts that point out where the fish are biting. Only the G2 model is SmartStrike compatible.

This pretty much sums up all the differences between these two Humminbird fish finders. The table below shows the features of both units side by side.

Side by Side Comparison

Dimensions7.55"W x 4.64"H x 3.3"D7.55"W x 4.64"H x 3.3"D
Display5" diagonal
16-bit color
800H x 480V
LED backlight
5" diagonal
16-bit color
800H x 480V
LED backlight
Power Output (RMS)500 Watts500 Watts
Power Input10.8-20 VDC10.8-20 VDC
Power Draw615 mA615 mA
Micro SD
card reader
1 slot1 slot
SonarDualBeam Plus
Side Imaging
Down Imaging
CHIRP DualBeam Plus
CHIRP Side Imaging
CHIRP Down Imaging
TransducerTransom XNT 9 SI 180 TTransom XNT 9 SI 180 T
83/200/455 kHz83/200/455 kHz

CHIRP modulation
75-95 kHz
175-255 kHz
420-520 kHz
CartographyUniMapHumminbird Basemap
AutoChart Live
SmartStrike capable
GPSPrecision, InternalPrecision Internal
Routes, Waypoints, Tracks45; 2,500; 5047; 2,750; 50

Final Conclusions

On most sites, the Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 cost $50-$60 more than the HELIX 5 SI GPS. However, the extra features that it has, especially the CHIRP sonar, make up for this price difference. They’re both decent units, though, and if you’re interested only in the unit’s Side Imaging and Down Imaging, the older unit is not a bad choice. But overall, the newer, G2 fish finder and chartplotter is worth the extra bucks.

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