Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS
The SOLIX series includes some of the newest Humminbird sonar and chartplotter combo units for 2017. There are four SOLIX models so far, two SOLIX 12 and two SOLIX 15. The one that we’re going to address in this review is the Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS 410390-1, the one that does not have MEGA imaging.
This unit comes with standard 2D CHIRP sonar, Humminbird and Navionics base maps. Of course, just like most other Humminbird units, the transducer is included with it.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Display: 12.1″ diagonal, color TFT with a 16-bit color range, 1280H x 800V pixel matrix, with LED backlight
- Sonar: CHIRP DualBeam Plus
- Frequency and Coverage:
– 83 kHz / 60°
– 200 kHz / 20°
- Depth Capability: 1,500 ft (457 m)
- Transducer: Transom XNT 14 20 T
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10.8-20 VDC
- Power Draw: 2.5 Amps
- GPS: Internal
- Charts: Humminbird mapping
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 50; 10,000; 50
Sonar and transducer
To begin with, the Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS comes with the XNT 14 20 T transducer, the one which used to be included with some of the older ONIX and ION units. It’s a dual beam transducer with a transom mount, which also integrates a temperature sensor.
As the unit’s name suggests, its sonar is CHIRP enhanced, which means the system can modulate the sonar pulse over a range of frequencies rather than emitting a one-frequency pulse. This results in imaging of superior quality, a better separation between fish targets or fish and structure.
The included XNT 14 20 T is an 83/200 kHz transducer, but does support the unit’s CHIRP sonar and can modulate the pulse to vary in a frequency range between 75-95 kHz and respectively 175-225 kHz. In other words, with the included transducer the system can use High CHIRP and Med CHIRP. The transducer uses a conical beam with a coverage of 60° for the 83 kHz frequency, and 20° for 200 kHz.
The unit’s sonar is DualBeam Plus. This means you can use both sonar beams simultaneously and compare them in split screen. Evidently, the SwitchFire function is also present, this being a type of quick filter, which allows you to quickly alternate between a Max. Mode (which shows all the sonar information on-screen), and a Clear Mode (which removes most of the unnecessary clutter, focusing on fish targets). The SOLIX units have Cross Touch technology and feature an adjustment bar at the top of the display which offers quick access to the SwitchFire function and color palette for the sonar.
SwitchFire Clear Mode
SwitchFire Max Mode
The system’s depth capability with the included transducer is 1,500 ft (457 m) with an output of 500 Watts (RMS). However, the Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS unit can also support 50/200 kHz transducers and achieve a 1,000 Watts (RMS) power output, which results in a much greater depth penetration, up to 3,500 ft (1,066 m).
The SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS unit is also 360 Imaging capable. This means it can use a 360 Imaging deployable transducer (not included), in order to scan the underwater environment all around your boat.
Just like the Humminbird HELIX 10 CHIRP GPS G2N, the SOLIX 12 model has the Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind functions. But in order to use them, you will need a blank SD card as support for the recording. This also stands for the Screen Snapshots. When rewinding sonar you can save waypoints and check them out later.
This Humminbird fish finder offers several other useful fish finding functions, among which we can count Selective Fish ID+, Depth Alarm, Fish Alarm, SwitchFire, RTS, Bottom Lock and more.
The SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS includes two built-in chart sources, by Humminbird and by Navionics. You can only use one chart source at the time. The Humminbird charts focus on showing depth contours and depth ranges, which makes them great to use for fishing. Conversely, the built-in Navionics charts offer a lot of information highly useful for navigation, such as navaids, marine, land icons and a wide array of points of interest.
Humminbird Charts View (SOLIX)
Both unit’s built-in chart sources are highly customizable. However, they’re still limited compared to premium charts. For example, a LakeMaster chart SD card offers more information with regards to lakes and inland waters than the Humminbird chart source, while a Navionics Platinum chart SD card has much more features such as aerial photographs, satellite view etc. In terms of charts, the unit is compatible with Navionics+, Navionics Platinum, LakeMaster, SmartStrike, and ChartSelect.
Navionics Charts View (SOLIX)
The Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS includes the AutoChart Live feature which uses the GPS receiver and the 2D transducer information in order to draw detailed depth contours for the lake or river where you’re fishing. The unit’s internal memory can store up to 8 hours of contours recording. However, if the unit is equipped with a Zero Lines microSD card, which is specifically designed to serve as support for AC Live, the unit’s recording possibilities will considerably increase. Also, just like the other G2N units, the AutoChart Live feature of this particular unit has two extra capabilities, these being vegetation and bottom-hardness mapping. In other words, it gives you the possibility to color code various parts of the lake or reservoir where you’re fishing, depending on the vegetation density or the structure of the bottom.
Evidently, this Humminbird unit is equipped with a fast and accurate internal GPS receiver, capable of fixes augmentation via WAAS, MSAS or EGNOS. The unit’s memory can stock up to 10,000 waypoints, 50 routes, and 50 tracks, with up to 20,000 points per track. And finally, it can support various external modules, including i-Pilot Link, HD RADAR, and AIS.
Control unit features
The SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS features a Cross Touch display, which means you can navigate through its menus and use its functions either by touchscreen (as in a tablet or smartphone) or via the joystick and keypad on the right. As opposed to most tablets, the Cross Touch display uses a few extra commands, such as two finger swipe and two finger tap for several functions. For example, with a two-finger tap, you can quickly swap between 2D and 3D chart views.
As its name suggests, the unit has a 12-inch diagonal (it’s actually 12.1″), with a pixel matrix of 1280H x 800V, offering a lot of work space for its functions. Needless to say, the display is TFT color with a 16-bit color range. It’s super-bright offering 10 settings of LED backlight in order to deliver perfect visibility in direct sunlight. Glare is almost inexistent for this type of display, while the images on-screen can be viewed clearly even from sharp angles.
The unit is wireless control ready, being compatible with the Humminbird Bluetooth remote control. This remote control has 7 dual-action buttons, offering the possibility to use various functions on the unit from distance, such as marking a waypoint, taking a snapshot, navigating through menus etc. The remote is not included, though.
The SOLIX 12 unit offers superior connectivity possibilities. It features an NMEA 2000 port, an NMEA 0183 port and an Ethernet port. On its front, it has a dual SD card reader (not microSD), which you can use for premium chart cards, a Zero Lines card for the AutoChart function, or a blank cards for sonar recordings, snapshots etc. Having a dual slot card reader you won’t have to swap cards all the time if you use more than one.
The box includes the classic Gimbal-type mount and a unit cover. However, there is the option of an in-dash mount (not included).
- CHIRP DualBeam Plus Sonar;
- Powerful transducer (XNT 14 20 T), CHIRP and temperature capable, with transom mount;
- Depth capability up to 1,500 ft with the included transducer, and up to 3,500 ft. with a 50 kHz transducer;
- Multiple sonar functions available, such as SwitchFire, Selective Fish ID+, Bottom Lock, Mark Structure, Real Time Sonar etc;
- Sonar Recording and Screen Snapshot functions;
- Precision GPS with MSAS, EGNOS, and WAAS enhancing;
- Built-in charts by Humminbird and Navionics;
- AutoChart Live with Bottom Hardness and Vegetation features;
- Trackplotting, routes and waypoints functions;
- Wide, 12.1″ display, with a 1280H x 800V pixel matrix, 16-bit color range, and LED backlight;
- AIS, i-Pilot Link and Radar capable;
- Bluetooth wireless control capable;
- LakeMaster, Navionics, and SmartStrike capable;
- NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000 and Ethernet ports;
- IPX7 waterproof;
- Dual SD card reader;
- Upgradeable internal software;
- Gimbal mount included;
- Unit cover included;
- Fairly easy to install.
- The Bluetooth remote control is not included.
- Not capable of WeatherSense.
The Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP GPS is an advanced chartplotter with superior CHIRP sonar capabilities. It includes charts from Navionics and Humminbird, a fast and accurate internal GPS, and comes with the XNT 14 20 T transducer. It has a large, 12.1″ display with Cross Touch technology and wirelessly controllable. It does not have Side Imaging or Down Imaging, but you may not need these sonar features, so, this model is quite a bit cheaper than the one with MEGA SI. It’s an excellent unit for inland and off-shore fishing, networkable with various other boating tools such as AIS, RADAR etc, a perfect fit for a professional fishing boat.