Humminbird HELIX 7 CHIRP DI G2
The HELIX 7 CHIRP DI G2 is one of the newest units from Humminbird for 2017. It’s basically the same as the HELIX 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2, but without the GPS and other navigation functions. In other words it’s a pure fish finder. However, as opposed to the older similar unit, the HELIX 7 DI, this one features CHIRP sonar, offering superior fish finding capabilities.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Display: 7″ 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: 10.8-20 VDC
- Power Draw: 850 mA
- GPS: No
- Maps: No
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: No
Sonar and transducer
First of all, the HELIX 7 CHIRP DI G2 is supplied with a transducer. The system comes with the XNT 9 DI T transom transducer, which also integrates a water temperature probe. The unit can display the temperature of the top water layer, however, it doesn’t have the temperature graph function.
This unit features two types of sonar, DualBeam Plus (2D) and Down Imaging. The 2D sonar is best to use if you’re scanning deeper waters; with the out-of-the box transducer, it can reach depths of 600 ft (183 m). However, if the unit is paired with a 50/200 kHz transducer, it can reach depths up to 2,500 ft (762 m). Also, since this type of sonar is “DualBeam Plus”, it means the the unit can use both 200/455 kHz channels simultaneously, and display both readings in split-screen.
The Down Imaging sonar, on the other hand, offers clear images, similar to the clarity of photos. It’s great for understanding shapes, structures and looking for places where fish might hide. On this type of sonar fish don’t appear as arches but as bright dots. The DI sonar is best used for freshwater, as its depth capability doesn’t reach lower than 350 ft (106 m).
With the supplied transducer, this Humminbird fish finder can use the following frequencies: 200/455 kHz for DualBeam Plus, and 455/800 kHz for Down Imaging. Also, as its name suggests, it’s a CHIRP unit, and can modulate the sonar pulse between 175-225 kHz, 420-520 kHz and 790-850 kHz. This CHIRP modulation leads to clearer images, a superior target separation, and a clearer bottom reading. Differently put, it offers a better chance to tell fish apart from structure and from each other.
For DualBeam Plus, the beams used by the transducer are conical, and don’t have a very wide coverage; the 455 kHz beam is 16° wide, while the 200 kHz one is 28° wide. On the other hand, for Down Imaging the side to side coverage is wider; the DI beams are not conical though, but very thin. Their coverage is 45° for 800 kHz and 75° for 455 kHz.
This unit offers several other useful fish finding functions. Some of these are: Selective Fish ID+, Real Time Sonar (RTS), SwitchFire, Bottom Lock, Circular Flasher and Fish Alarms.
Although it’s not a system designed specifically for ice fishing, this unit has a Circular Flasher sonar view, great to use on ice, or when down-dropping. 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.
The Selective Fish ID+ mode is only usable in 2D. It’s a function that replaces the fish arches with fish icons. The depth of each fish is displayed above its symbol. It’s a great function to use if you’re not familiar with the abstract 2D readings of the DualBeam Plus sonar. A Fish Alarm function is also available with the Selective Fish ID+ mode. This fish alarm has 3 settings. You can enable it to sound for Large, Large/Medium and All fish targets detected.
The Bottom Lock function 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.
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. 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.
Finally, Real Time Sonar (or RTS), is a 2D vertical flasher, available for the 2D sonar only, which indicates the returns provided by the most recent sonar pulse.
Control unit features and functions
The HELIX 7 CHIRP DI G2 features a 7-inch, 16-bit color display, with a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V. It also has LED backlight, offering excellent readability in direct sunlight of at night. The unit is also IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand incidental water exposure or rain.
In terms of connectivity, this unit is equipped with a NMEA 0813 output, but does not have a card reader. Thus, it’s not capable of sonar recording.
A gimbal mount is supplied with this system, but there’s also the option of an in-dash mounting kit.
- 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;
- 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;
- Gimbal mount included;
- Fairly easy to install.
- No sonar recording and rewind functions;
- No unit cover.
The HELIX 7 CHIRP DI G2 is a fish finder system which offers CHIRP DualBeam Plus sonar and CHIRP Down Imaging. It comes with the XNT 9 DI T which supports both types of sonar, and offers a maximum depth capability of 600 ft. However, with a deep water transducer, the system can reach depths up to 2,500 ft. To make sure there’s no confusion regarding this unit, it does not include GPS, charts or any other navigation functions; it’s a standalone fish finder. But nonetheless, since it’s a 7-inch, color unit, with CHIRP technology, and includes a decent transducer, it definitely offers excellent value for the price.