The HELIX 12 series also includes a unit without Side Imaging and Down Imaging, and this is the HELIX 12 CHIRP GPS. This unit comes with the standard XNT 9 20 T transom transducer, which is also temperature capable and features a transom mount. In case you’re wondering, the unit can use its CHIRP modes with this transducer. Since it’s a 200/83 kHz transducer, the unit will be able to use its High and Medium CHIRP modes, the pulse being modulated on a 75-95 kHz for Med. CHIRP, and 175-225 kHz for High CHIRP.
The supplied XNT 9 20 T transducer uses conical beams for scanning. For 83 kHz it uses a beam angle of 60°, while for 200 kHz a narrower one, of 20°. Since it features DualBeam Plus sonar, it can use both beams simultaneously, and you can view the returns in split screen.
The unit is 50 kHz capable, being compatible with the 50/200 kHz transducer for extreme depth. It can also use the optional CHIRP transducer for an increased modulation range and at lower frequencies, being actually able to scan at frequencies between 28 kHz and 250 kHz, and reach depths of 3,500 ft. With the supplied transducer, the maximum reachable depth is 1,500 ft.
Although it does not have Side Imaging, nor Down Imaging, this unit is capable of using Humminbird 360 Imaging.
In terms of navigation, just like the other HELIX units, this one features a precise, internal GPS which provides fast position fixes within 2.5 meters. It has the ContourXD charts built-in, charts that cover more than 3,000 U.S. lake maps with contours, also pointing out other information such as U.S. lights, markers, major roads, and interstates. But most importantly, this unit features AutoChart Live, function that gives you the possibility to create your own custom contours, and actually map whatever lake you want, adding the newest contours to your charts. It also can store up to 2,500 waypoints, 47 routes and 50 tracks (with up to 20,000 points each).
This unit is compatible with various superior charts, such as Navionic Platinum Plus, Navionics Gold/HotMaps and LakeMaster Charts. It does not support C-MAP charts by Jeppesen though. It’s also AIS, HD RADAR and i-Pilot Link capable. And in case you’re using i-Pilot Link, the autopilot can actually follow the newly created contours with AutoChart Live, so you can focus on fishing rather than navigation.
Finally, as the name of the unit suggests, it features a 12.1″ display, with a pixel matrix of 1280H x 800V, with LED backlight, and glass bonded. Just like the HELIX 9 and 10 units, it features a faster processor than the previous 900 and 1100 series. The unit comes with a gimbal, quick-disconnect mount. The box also includes a unit cover.
For networking, it offers NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, Ethernet connectivity, and a dual, microSD card reader. It’s also compatible with the new Humminbird Bluetooth remote, which allows you to control most of the unit’s functions from distance. The remote is not included though.