The HELIX 9 DI GPS shares plenty of similarities with the HELIX 7 DI GPS, only it offers several extra features, and of course, a wider screen. This unit actually replaces the old 959ci HD DI Combo unit, as it’s one of the newest units for 2016.
The HELIX 9 DI GPS features a 9-inch display, with the same 480V x 800H pixel matrix as the HELIX 7 series. However, this unit has a color grayscale of 65,000 colors, as opposed to the units of the smaller series, which only offer 256 colors. In other words, the screen featured by the HELIX 9 display offers superior imaging, for both sonar and charts. The unit is IPX7 waterproof which means it can handle splashes and drops. However it’s not a fully waterproof unit. Also, it features LED backlight, offering great readability in direct sunlight, being polarized sunglasses friendly.
In terms of connectivity, this HELIX unit supports both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183, as well as Ethernet. Plus, it comes with 2 microSD card slots, for upgrades, data recording and data transfer.
This unit features both DualBeam Plus sonar and Down Imaging sonar, using a DI dedicated transducer: the XNT 9 DI T, which comes with a transom mount. The transducer is included with the unit, just as for the other HELIX units, so your fish finder will be ready to use out of the box. This transducer is capable of four frequencies: 83/200/455/800 kHz. However, the unit can work with 50/200 kHz transducers, for deep water scanning.
For DualBeam Plus, the transducer uses two conical beams, 16° for 200 kHz , 28° for 83 kHz. For DI it also uses two beams, but these are razor thin, more like a scaner’s beam. These have angles of 45°/800 kHz, and 75°/455 kHz. The supplied transducer can also track water temperature, as it has a built-in temperature sensor. Also, the unit offers the temperature graph feature.
Selective Fish ID+, Real Time Sonar, Bottom Lock, SwitchFire and alarms of all kinds, are sonar-related functions included with this unit. It also supports Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind, but for that you will have to use a data chip card, as the unit cannot record and save sonar in its own memory. Last but not least, although this fish finder does not feature Side Imaging, it can use 360 Imaging with the specific transducer.
When it comes to navigation, the HELIX 9 DI GPS offers basically the same features as the HELIX 9 SI GPS. It offers an internal GPS receiver offering quick locks, and excellent accuracy. The unit comes with the ContourXD charts, which cover more than 3,000 U.S. lakes. It can however, use Navionics Platinum, Gold/HotMaps and LakeMaster maps. In fact, it’s also Auto Chart capable, giving you the possibility to create your own maps, as long as you use a LakeMaster charts chip. Also, on the list of included features, this unit can record up to 2,750 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks (20,000 trackpoints per track).
Last but not least, one of the innovations brought up by Humminbird with the HELIX 9 series is the wireless control. The unit comes with 7-key remote, which allows the operation of the unit from distance, for changing views, marking waypoints, adjusting zoom etc.