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Humminbird ONIX8ci SI Combo

ONIX8ci SI Combo
humminbird onix8ci side imaging gps
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1024 x 768,
DualBeam Plus,
1500' standard,
150' SI,
150' DI

The ONIX series of fish finders and chartplotters was released by Humminbird before the HELIX 9,10,12 units. But even though they’re older, they still offer several extra features over the HELIX units, such as cross-touch technology (button and touchscreen operation), superior built-in charts, or IP camera support. However, they’re also a bit more expensive.

The ONIX8ci SI Combo is a unit that offers a pretty impressive array of features and functions for both navigation and fishing. It’s a unit with Side Imaging and Down Imaging, plus DualBeam Plus traditional sonar. It can also support CHIRP sonar modules connected via Ethernet. It comes with the TriFuel charts and evidently integrates precision GPS. Also, to avoid any confusion, this is the Humminbird 408860-1 model, the CT (cross-touch) unit, not the NT (non-touch) one.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 8.4″ diagonal, 16.7 mm Colors TFT, 1024H x 768V pixel resolution, with backlight
  • Sonar: Side Imaging, Down Imaging, DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire/Digital Signal Processing
  • Depth Capability:
    • 150 feet (45 m) for Side Imaging
    • 150 feet (45 m) for Down Imaging
    • 1,500 feet (457 m) on DualBeam Plus
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • DualBeam Plus: 200 kHz / 20° and 83 kHz / 60°
    • Down Imaging: 455 kHz / 75° and 800 kHz / 45°
    • Side Imaging: 455 kHz / 86° (x2), and 800 kHz / 55°, 480 ft. side-to-side coverage
  • Transducer: XT 14 20 HDSI T (transom)
  • Max. Power Output: 1000 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 10-20 VDC
  • Power Draw: 2.5 Amp
  • GPS: Internal, Precision
  • Maps: Humminbird TriFuel
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 200; 5,000; 50 (20,000 points each)

Control unit features

This Humminbird unit features an 8.4″ HD display, full color, with a pixel matrix of 1024H x 768V. The display integrates LED backlight which offers better readability of the on-screen data even in direct sunlight or at night. The display and connectors are IP67 waterproof, which means they can withstand incidental water exposure such as rain and even immersions in freshwater.

As we’ve mentioned above, this unit is the CT model, the one that offers both button and touchscreen navigation through the apps.

Speaking of connectors, this Humminbird fish finder unit is equipped with Ethernet and NMEA 2000 connectors. It also features 2 microSD card slots, for chart upgrades, software updates, sonar recording, or data transfer. The fact that the unit has two slots for microSD cards is quite a plus, as you don’t have to continuously swap cards in case you use more than one.

This unit is FUSION-Link capable, offering interfacing possibilities for other FUSION devices, such as the 700 series or MS-RA205. Differently put, if you have such a radio device, you can control it directly from the ONIX unit, via Ethernet or NMEA 2000.

Just like the ONIX10ci SI Combo, this smaller version is IP camera compatible. You can connect it to an IP Video Camera in order to watch the streamed video in a full-screen view, or in split-screen with other functions, such as sonar or charts.

The mount supplied with this unit is a Gimbal type, but there’s also the option of an in-dash mounting kit. A unit cover is also included.

Navigation features

Like all other ONIX Combo units, the Humminbird 408860-1 integrates a 34-channel GPS module, which offers fast and accurate locks, within 2.5 m. It is capable of storing 5,000 waypoints within its internal memory, and up to 200 routes (50 waypoints per route). It also features a trail recording function, being able to record and save up to 50 tracks with up to 20,000 points per each track. Trails can be converted to routes though, and you also get the possibility to add waypoints to them if necessary.

This unit comes with the TriFuel cartography, which is quite superior to the ContourXD charts supplied with the HELIX 9 SI GPS for example. The charts deliver exclusive access to C-MAP, Navionics and Humminbird world-base charts. Each type of charts has its own specifics. For example, the included C-MAP by Jeppesen bundle gives you access to 2D and 3D charts in vector and raster formats. The Navionics charts offer global coverage in higher detail, including Nautical and SonarChart, and the 1-foot HD bathymetry map enriched with sonar logs. And finally, Humminbird mapping provides lake cartography.

i-Pilot Link and AutoPilot are two navigation features included with this unit. This means it can communicate with various motors, such as Minn Kota Ulterra, Terrova, and PowerDrive V2. It’s also HD Radar capable and AIS capable. You can connect an AIS unit or Radar antenna to the unit via NMEA 2000. autochart-live-view-01

AutoChart Live is one of the best navigation functions provided by this unit. This function offers the possibility to map a specific body of water using sonar information to determine depth and contours. Data from the Side Imaging sonar can be overlayed onto the charts created with AutoChart for a different view of the underwater environment. Also, AutoChart Live maps are compatible with i-Pilot Link, so you can set up a course for a certain depth contour, and enable your Minn Kota motor via i-Pilot Link to follow that contour.

In terms of charts upgrades, this unit is compatible with Navionics Platinum, LakeMaster Plus, C-MAP 4D by Jeppesen and SmartStrike.

Sonar features

The ONIX8ci SI Combo offers three types of sonar: Side Imaging, Down Imagi, g and traditional DualBeam Plus sonar. It’s also 360 Imaging capable, but for this type of sonar it requires the 360 Imaging transducer. Speaking of transducers, like most other Humminbird units, this one is supplied with one. It comes with the XT 14 20 HDSI T xt-14-20-hdsi-t-transducertransducer, which supports all the unit’s sonar applications, except 360 Imaging. It also integrates a temperature sensor, and mount supplied with it is transom-type.

The control unit can operate at 50/83/200/455/800 kHz. However, the transducer covers only the 83/200 kHz channels for DualBeam Plus sonar, and 455/800 kHz for SI and DI. In case you want to scan deeper waters, up to 5,000 ft. (1,524 m) you’ll need a 50/200 kHz transducer. Also, the unit is compatible with the SM3000 CHIRP Ethernet Sonar module, which increases the unit’s depth capabilities up to 10,000 ft. (3,040 m)

The unit’s built-in traditional 2D sonar is DualBeam Plus. This means that the unit can use both 83/200 kHz channels simultaneously. You can observe them both in split-screen. For this type of sonar, the transducer uses conical beams, with angles of 20° for 200 kHz and 60° for 83 kHz. It also uses Digital Signal Processins (DSP) to manipulate data, filter and reduce noise, and enhance the overall sensitivity of the sonar, in order to obtain clearer imaging.

For Side Imaging, the transducer uses two thin side beams (not conical), with angles of 86° for 455 kHz and 55° for 800 kHz. These side beams extend up to 240 ft. (73 m) on each side of the boat. For Down Imaging, the beams are the same, but scan directly under the boat.

Humminbird Side Imaging View

When it comes to depth capability, with the supplied transducer, this unit can scan depths up to 1,500 ft (457 m) in 2D sonar, and up to 150 ft (45 m) in SI and DI. Differently put, SI and DI are sonar technologies best used for freshwater. They’re also best to use when scanning for structure, or fish hideouts, as they offer a much clearer picture of the underwater environment than the traditional sonar mode.

Last but not least, there are several other sonar related functions that this Humminbird unit does offer. Among them we can count, Selective FishID+ , Real Time Sonar, Bottom Lock, SwitchFire, and Sonar Recording.

The Pros

  • Side Imaging;
  • Down Imaging;
  • DualBeam Plus sonar with SwitchFire;
  • Powerful transducer (XT 14 20 HDSI T), temperature capable and with transom mount, included;
  • Depth capability 1,500 ft with the included transducer);
  • Multiple sonar functions available, such as Bottom
    Lock,RTS, Fish ID+ etc;
  • Sonar recording and screen snapshot functions;
  • Precision GPS with a wide array of channels;
  • TriFuel charts as base for the GPS;
  • AutoChart Live;
  • Trackplotting, routes and waypoints functions;
    Wide 8.4″ display,
  • IP67 waterproof;
  • Cross-Touch technology, allowing navigation via touchscreen and/or buttons;
  • NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 ports;
  • Ethernet port;
  • Dual microSD card reader;
  • Upgradable internal software;
  • Gimbal mount and unit cover included;
  • HD Radar, i-Pilot Link and AIS capable;
  • Fusion-Link capable;
  • 360 Imaging capable;
  • IP Video Camera capable;
  • Fairly easy to install.

The Cons

  • Does not integrate CHIRP sonar, but it is compatible with the external Humminbird CHIRP sonar module;
  • Not that easy for every one to master completely. It’s after all a high-tech unit.


The Humminbird ONIX8ci SI Combo is a pretty complete unit when it comes to sonar and navigation functions. It offers Side Imaging, Down Imaging, DualBeam Plus sonar with SwitchFire, a 34-channel internal GPS, and the TriFuel charts bundle. It also offers superior connectivity options as it’s equipped with NMEA 2000 and Ethernet ports. It’s an 8.4″ unit with cross-touch technology, great for any medium and large vessel. It’s not exactly an affordable unit, but considering its consistent array of features and functions, we can safely say that this Humminbird fish finder and chartplotter stands up to its price.

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