Helix 5 options

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jmoschetti45
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:58 am

Helix 5 options

Post by jmoschetti45 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:14 am

I'm debating buying one. I'm torn between this and a Garmin Striker.

Pros to the Garmin:
Bigger screen
Better(?) transducer (CHIRP)

Pros to the Helix 5:
SD card for logging sonar (everyone wants to see the side imaging...I'm the first one in the group to bite the bullet on getting one)
GPS for charts
More transducer options

Now, I have a bunch of questions....

I see it has a COM port, which from what I've googled is NMEA-0183. My radio (Standard horizon) outputs GPS and AIS data via it's NMEA-0183 out. Can the AIS data be fed into the Helix to show up on the charts?

Transducer wise, it comes with a XNT 9 SI 180 T. I've read somewhere that the XHS 9 HDSI 180 T produces better images. Can the Helix 5 use it for any noticeable benefit? This may not be noticeable on the 5" screen, but that ties into the next question. Or are there any better transducer options that aren't too much more of a price increase?

Can it save sonar images to the SD card? It'd be nice to plug the card into the laptop at the end of the day and review.

Can the standard sonar be set to not run at 200KHz? I have a depth finder at that frequency. Now, I'd be willing to forgo the depth finder if the Helix can get an accurate depth reading at higher speeds (30-50kts). Worst case I can just switch between the two units depending on boat use.

If it helps any, this is a multi-purpose boat. Occasional fishing (10%), water skiing and wake boarding (50%), exploring smaller inland lakes/diving (40%---why I really want the SI capablility). So I'm trying to find a unit that would cover all my needs.

Wayne P.
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Helix 5 options

Post by Wayne P. » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:33 pm

There are nine Helix 5 models. Evidently you are considering the Helix 5 SI GPS.

It has a single microSD card reader. You can either use it for a map card OR a blank card for recordings and snapshots.

You can view the recordings on your computer with a third party software. HumViewer or DeepViewFV and some others, I just use those.

Snapshots are .png picture files. Your computer should have a picture viewer software that will read them.

You can use the COMM port to hard wire an external GPS antenna. That's pretty much it.

Yes you can get sharper images with the HDSI transducer. ANY SI unit can that comes with the Compact SI transducer.

No, it uses 200 kHz all the time for the depth readout. You can turn on 83 kHz if you want.

If you install the transducer so it can give you depth at speed, it will.

You would need a more sofisticated Helix to do AIS, at least a Helix 9. Look the models up on Humminbird's website and look at the feature icons for each one on the right side of the panel.
Wayne Purdum
Charlottesville, Va.

jmoschetti45
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:58 am

Re: Helix 5 options

Post by jmoschetti45 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:37 pm

That answers all the important questions. Thanks!Helix it is.

One last thought, I see humminbird has a "trade in" program for transducers. Can I just call them to order it with the HDSI instead of having to send the original one back in and have them send me the HDSI?

Wayne P.
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Helix 5 options

Post by Wayne P. » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:28 pm

No, you will only get the standard transducer that comes with each model in the box.

There is an EXCHANGE program.

You contact them after you get the unit and arrange for the exchange.

The HDSI transducer is about $85 more including shipping to you.

You have to send your transducer to them and they receive it before the exchange one is sent to you IF it is in stock.
Do not open the transducer mount package in the box.
Wayne Purdum
Charlottesville, Va.

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