Lowrance Elite-4X CHIRP
The Elite-4X CHIRP is one of the small units available from Lowrance beginning with December 2014. It’s a sonar only fish finder, which comes at a very affordable price, but offers some of the best sonar technologies: CHIRP and DownScan Imaging. Along with the power of CHIRP technology, and the clarity provided by the DownScan imaging, you will also benefit from several extremely useful functions with this unit. So, here’s what it can do for you.
Technical Detail and Specifications
- Screen: 4.3″ diagonal, 480V x 272H pixel matrix, 16-bit color TFT, with adjustable backlight
- Sonar: Broadband CHIRP and DownScan
- Depth Capability: 1,000 ft (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar, 300 ft. (91 m) for DownScan
- Frequency and Coverage:
- 200 kHz (20°) / 83 kHz (60°) for broadband
- 455 kHz for DownScan, fore to aft. 4°, port to starboard 57°
- 800 kHz for DownScan fore to Aft 2°, port to starboard 38°
- Transducer: Transom, number 000-10976-001
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-17 VDC
- GPS: No
- Maps: No
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: No
About sonar and transducer…
To make things clearer, this post refers to the Lowrance Elite-4X CHIRP, with model number 000-11807-001, which does include a transom transducer. This transducer can support both the DownScan sonar and the CHIRP sonar. It also incorporates a temperature sensor, enabling the unit to provide information regarding the water temperature of your current fishing spot.
Although the unit is capable of covering 50/83/200 kHz frequencies, the transducer it comes with, the 000-10976-001 model, supports only 83/200 kHz. Therefore, the unit will only be capable to scan in CHIRP Sonar High Range Mode (200 kHz), and CHIRP Sonar Med Range Mode (83 kHz), with a maximum depth capability of 1,000 ft. (305 m). In order to use the CHIRP Sonar Low Range Mode (50 kHz), you will have to purchase a transducer that can support this frequency. But nonetheless, the transom transducer this unit comes with is DownScan capable, and you will benefit from both 455/800 kHz modes for this type of sonar technologies.
Now, in case you’re not aware what CHIRP and DownScan can do for you, here’s a short explanation. CHIRP is a more powerful sonar technology than the standard one, although imaging is similar. It emits a modulated sonar pulse, rather than a single frequency one, leading to a better filtering of the noise, and a better target separation. Therefore, fish, vegetation, and structure is are easier to distinguish. On the other hand, DownScan offers crystal clear quality imaging, similar to the one of a photo. However, it’s not capable of depths higher than 300 ft. Also, one of the most important aspects about the Elite-4X CHIRP is that it uses Advanced Signal Processing, meaning that its sonar is a bit smarter, filtering out unnecessary noise.
This unit is not a chartplotter and does not have (nor is capable of) GPS. However, it has several other sonar-related functions that can be very useful on the water. First of all, it has a function named DownScan Overlay, which allows you to overlay the DownScan imaging into the CHIRP imaging. This gives you a better idea about the shapes and sizes of fish, structure, and bottom. Another function to be mentioned is the Fish ID. Via Fish ID, the sonar returns interpreted by the unit to be fish will be displayed on the screen as fish symbols. Also, there’s the TrackBack function, which is basically sonar recording. This function allows you to save sonar, and scroll back through it to review certain sonar returns, fishing spots or fish. It also gives you the possibility to compare the fish you have caught with their image on sonar, to be able to identify them better on screen.
About the head unit…
The transceiver (or the head unit) is pretty small, with a 4.3″ diagonal display, pretty much the size of your average smartphone. But the screen is big enough to see the fish, the bottom and the structure or vegetation that pass under your boat. You can also view both sonar returns, CHIRP and DownScan, simultaneously in split screen.
The Lowrance Elite-4X CHIRP, although it has a waterproofing rating IPX7, which specifies that the unit can be submerged in water up to 1 meter, it’s not exactly waterproof. Therefore, keep it dry, or use a unit cover.
In terms of connectivity, this unit is NMEA 0183 capable, having one output ready for this type of networking.
- CHIRP 2D sonar – capable of scanning higher depths, better target separation, and images with less clutter;
- DownScan imaging sonar – great for observing and understanding structure and bottom;
- DownScan Overlay – function that allows the combination of the 2D CHIRP and DownScan sonar;
- Unit capable of using five frequencies, 50/83/200/455/800 kHz;
- Transducer for 83/200 kHz (2D CHIRP), and 455/800 DownScan – included;
- Sonar recording (the TrackBack function);
- NMEA 0183 connectivity;
- Unit cover included;
- Great for small boats and kayaks;
- Easy to install;
- Excellent price/quality ratio.
- The hard copy of the manual supplied, is not extremely helpful;
- Even though this is quite a capable fish finder, it does come with one downside. This would be the vertical layout of the screen. Even though it comprises enough detail, and points out fish accurately, and easily distinguishable, some anglers may be more comfortable with a horizontal layout, similar to a Humminbird HELIX 5 DI unit.
The Elite-4X CHIRP from Lowrance is actually one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest fish finder with CHIRP technology and down scanning imaging that you can find at the moment. Even though it’s a small unit, it’s quite capable at finding fish. It’s a great choice for any small boat, and for any angler who wants sonar performance, without paying extra for GPS functions.