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Humminbird HELIX 5 Sonar PT

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HELIX 5 Sonar PT

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5"DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire1,500' NoNo

The HELIX 5 Sonar PT from Humminbird includes the same unit as the HELIX 5 Sonar that we’ve previously covered here. It’s a fish finder only unit which does not have any navigation functions. However, this is the 409710-1 part number, the one that comes with a portable kit and a transducer with a suction cup mount.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 5″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, 256 color TFT, with LED backlight
  • Sonar: DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire
  • Depth Capability: 1,500 feet (457 m)
  • Frequency and Coverage: 200 kHz / 20° and 83 kHz / 60°
  • Transducer: XPT 9 20 T
  • Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 10-20 VDC
  • GPS: No
  • Maps: No
  • Portable kit: Included

Sonar and transducer

As we’ve mentioned above, the Humminbird HELIX 5 Sonar PT includes a portable transducer – the XPT 9 20 T  model – which has a suction cup mount that allows its quick installation or removal. This transducer integrates a temperature sensor, while the unit can indicate the water temperature. Since the transducer is easy to install and remove, you can actually probe the water temperature a bit lower than the surface layer, for as long as the cable permits. The cable length is 15′ (4.5 m).

This transducer can operate at 200 kHz and 83 kHz, supporting both of the unit’s sonar frequencies. It uses two conical beams, 20° wide for 200 kHz, and 60° for 83 kHz. The unit’s sonar is DualBeam Plus, which means it can use both beams at the same time, and you can view them both in split-screen or even blended together.

With the included transducer, the depth capability of this Humminbird fish finder system can reach 1,500 ft. in fresh water, when using the 83 kHz beam. In salt water, the system’s depth capabilities may not be as great, but still, it should be able to scan depths over 800 ft.The recommended boat speed for the best imaging with a maximum of targets is up to 10 MPH. At greater speeds, the images tend to become blurry and the unit may skip targets or lose the bottom.

The HELIX 5 Sonar Portable is a sonar-only unit offers most of the standard sonar features. The first ones to mention are Fish ID+ and SwitchFire. Fish ID+ is a sonar function that replaces the suspended targets with fish icons (some of them may not be fish), each fish icon having its current depth displayed next to it. When Fish ID+ is on, you can also use the Fish Alarm, which has several settings; for example, you can set it up to sound when it detects only large fish, or any fish. There’s also a Temperature Alarm and a Depth Alarm.

SwitchFire actually a quick noise filter specific to Humminbird fish finders, a function which gives you the possibility to swap between two modes, Clear Mode and Max. Mode. Clear Mode eliminates all the clutter, keeping only the biggest targets on-screen, while Max. Mode brings all the sonar information on the unit’s display, giving you an idea of everything that’s directly under the boat.

Circular Flasher and Vertical Flasher (or Real Time Sonar – RTS) are two other functions available. The Circular Flasher view is best to use when ice fishing or when down-dropping. It puts the sonar information into a ring view; the outer ring shows the strength of each signal from left to right; the inner ring shows current depth. And finally, Real Time Sonar or RTS is a vertical flasher which can be displayed next to the standard sonar, indicating the most recent sonar information caught by the transducer.

Other functions include Structure ID, WhiteLine, Bottom View etc.

Control unit features and portable kit

To begin with, the HELIX 5 Sonar is a standard Humminbird fish finder, featuring a keypad navigation. It does not have touchscreen technology. However, even though it is a basic unit, it has a color display with a 256 color range. Its pixel matrix is 800 x 480 which means that the images are quite sharp and clear. The display has built-in LED backlight, which provides excellent readability even in direct sunlight. Also, the unit is IPX7 waterproof which essentially means that it can take water splashes, raindrops or snow.

Since this is a “PT” unit, it comes with a portable kit, which includes the case, a 12V 7AMP AMG battery and a charger for the battery. This battery should last for at least one day of fishing if fully charged.

As we’ve mentioned above, the HELIX 5 Sonar PT is a basic unit. It doesn’t have any NMEA or Ethernet ports. It doesn’t have an SD card reader, so it cannot be upgraded with charts or any navigation features. It also doesn’t support any advanced sonar features such as Side Imaging or Down Imaging.

The Pros

  • DualBeam Plus sonar, capable of 83/200 kHz;
  • Portable transducer XPT 9 20 T with suction cup mount included;
  • Temperature sensor incorporated in transducer;
  • 1,500 ft. depth capability;
  • Various functions included, such as Fish ID, Bottom View, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm etc;
  • IPX7 waterproof;
  • Color display;
  • Portable case included;
  • 12v 7 AMP AMG battery included;
  • Charger for battery included;
  • Fairly easy to install;
  • Affordable.

The Cons

  • No upgrade possibilities;
  • No Down Imaging.

Bottom Line

The Humminbird HELIX 5 Sonar PT is a sonar-only, portable fish finder. It includes a portable case, battery, and charger. It also comes with a suction cup transducer. It does not have any navigation functions (no GPS, no charts) and cannot be upgraded with any functions of this sort. It has only DualBeam Plus sonar and comes with a basic 200/83 kHz transducer. But nonetheless, it’s an inexpensive unit, perfect for in-land and even off-shore fishing, being able to scan depths up to 1,500 ft.

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