Humminbird Fish Finder HELIX 9 Sonar GPS Review



The HELIX 9 Sonar GPS is the HELIX 9 series unit which lacks DI and SI, using only 2D sonar. But apart from that, this unit is quite similar to the other units of the series. Therefore, in case you don’t want to spend on additional sonar features, but would still like a 9″ unit, here’s what this HELIX model can do.

First of all, the control unit is ready to use as a fish finder right out of the box, as the transducer is included. The XNT 9 20 T transom transducer is actually the one supplied with the box. This transducer can scan at two frequencies, 83/200 kHz, using conical sonar beams, of 60°, and respectively 20°. The control unit however, is capable of 50 kHz, and can work with a 50/200 kHz transducer, for depths up to 3,000 ft. The 83/200 kHz scans only up to 1,500 ft. Also, even though this unit doesn’t have Side Imaging or Down Imaging, it does support 360 Imaging.

The transducer features 20′ of cable, and includes a temperature sensor. Thus, the control unit can track temperature, also offering the Temperature Graph function.

The unit uses DualBeam Plus sonar, allowing you to use both frequencies at once and view them in split screen, with various levels of zoom. It also has the SwitchFire function, which makes available a quick shift between the maximum sonar information on screen, and minimum clutter.

Various other sonar related functions are offered by this unit, such as sonar recording, sonar rewind, RTS, bottom lock, FishID+, several types of alarms etc.

For navigation, this unit features internal GPS, and the ContourXD professional charts pack, which cover more than 3,000 U.S. lakes. The unit is capable of Navionics Platinum, Gold/HotMaps, and LakeMaster charts though. It can also use AutoChart, via a LakeMaster chip, feature that opens quite a series of other functions, such as creating your own maps, or modifying the ones already existent, and you can overlay them with 360 Imaging in case you also use this type of sonar technology. Maps created via AutoChart are i-Pilot Link compatible, and therefore you can always follow routes on these maps with i-Pilot Link. Speaking of routes, this unit can store in its memory up to 45 routes, and up to 2,750 waypoints. It can also record up to 50 tracks in a breadcrumb manner, each track incorporating up to 20,000 trackpoints.

The control unit itself comes with quite an array of notable features and functions. To begin with, just like the other units of the series, this one is equipped with a better processor, offering faster sonar and GPS refresh, than the older 900 series units. It also features a 9-inch display, 1-inch wider than the previous unit, 959ci HD Combo, with a 480V x 800H pixel resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, backlight and IPX7 waterproof (meaning it can withstand splashes). The unit excels in connectivity capabilities, as it features Ethernet, NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 ports. It’s also compatible with AIS, external radar and i-Pilot Link.

Similar to the other HELIX 9 series units, the Humminbird HELIX 9 Sonar GPS includes the wireless control feature. The unit comes with the 7-button remote, which allows you to control most of the functions from distance, without touching the unit.

Finally, this unit’s software is upgradable, also featuring 2 microSD card slots, for sonar recording, waypoints, data transfer etc.