Humminbird Fish Finder HELIX 7 CHIRP GPS G2 Review



The new HELIX 7 CHIRP GPS G2 fish finder and chartplotter system comes with a few improvements over the older HELIX 7 GPS. As its name suggests, its sonar technology uses CHIRP, and along with that, this new unit comes with the AutoChart Live software, also being capable of using SmartStrike fishing charts.

This unit doesn’t have Side Imaging or Down Imaging, therefore, it’s considerably cheaper than the HELIX 7 CHIRP SI and DI models. It’s capable of three standard sonar frequencies – 50/83/200 kHz and with the included XNT 9 20 T transducer, it can use the 83/200 kHz channels. Also, since it’s a CHIRP unit, the system can modulate the sonar pulse on a range of frequencies rather than just using one frequency. For example, the pulse is modulated between 175-225 kHz instead of just 200 kHz, and 75-95 kHz instead of only 83 kHz. This way, the unit offers a better target separation and clearer images.

The sonar beams are conical, with a coverage of 60° for 83 (75-95) kHz, and 20° for 200 (175-225) kHz. Also, its depth capability is 1,500 ft (457 m), but with a 50 kHz capable transducer, it can reach depths up to 2,500 ft (762 m). Several useful sonar-related functions are available with this unit. Among them, we can count Sonar Recording, SwitchFire, Real Time Sonar, Fish ID+, Fish Alarms, Depth Alarms etc.

This unit is a chartplotter. Thus, it’s equipped with a high-precision GPS, which can provide quick locks, with an accuracy of 2.5 meters. Via GPS the unit can also calculate your boat’s speed.

In terms of charts, this unit comes with the Humminbird UniMap pack. These charts don’t offer too much detail, but still, they cover the contiguous U.S. coastline, inland lakes, and rivers at 30 m / pixel, offering a pretty good picture regarding boundaries. You can also save up to 2,500 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks (20,000 points each) in the unit’s internal memory.

Along with the UniMap charts, the HELIX 7 CHIRP GPS G2 also has AutoChart Live, feature that allows you to record the depth contours of the lake you’re scanning. The unit can actually hold up to 8 hours of AC Live recorded data. However, if you use a Zero Lines microSD card, the recording memory is considerably increased. Also, in terms of charts, this unit can use LakeMaster Plus, Navionics+, Navionics Platinum+ charts, and SmartStrike cards.

Finally, the control unit is equipped with standard button navigation; it does not have touchscreen technology. Its display is 7″ wide, 16-bit color, featuring a pixel matrix of 800 x 480. It also has LED backlight and IPX7 waterproofing.

This unit does not have Ethernet, nor is it compatible with the Humminbird 360 Imaging transducers. It’s also not compatible with the wireless Humminbird remote control and dongle. However, it’s NMEA 0183 capable and integrates a microSD card reader with one slot. It comes with a gimbal, classic mount, but there’s also the option of an in-dash mount.