I'm debating buying one. I'm torn between this and a Garmin Striker.
Pros to the Garmin:
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.