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Thread: CHIRP Fishfinders and Transducers

  1. #1

    Default CHIRP Fishfinders and Transducers

    For those that are interested Raymarine is coming out with a new CHIRP finder/transducer combo that looks, from the stuff on their website, like something pretty exciting. If you're interested in seeing it: http://www.raymarine.com/view/?id=6854.

    If what you'll see in reality is anything like what you see in the pictures on their site---especially their "Down Vision" imaging it looks like something I might be trying. Stay tuned.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  2. #2

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    Raymarine isn't on my "recommended" list for sounders. GPS, yes.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Raymarine isn't on my "recommended" list for sounders. GPS, yes.
    Why? I always love it when someone says something like that without saying why it is. That would make it a bit more helpful for anyone thinking of buying something. Please elaborate.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  4. #4

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    I stare at one for hours upon hours, and I wish I was staring at something else. I rate them at the bottom of the barrel. They are finicky and they don't mark kings as well as the other brands I've used. I'd not put my money towards anything "Raymarine", given me and my pards experiences.

    I always love it when someone recommends things he's never seen or used.

  5. #5
    Member Trakn's Avatar
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    Mutt I wonder what the price will be,,,CHIRP sounders are spendy I hope they got price down.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I stare at one for hours upon hours, and I wish I was staring at something else. I rate them at the bottom of the barrel. They are finicky and they don't mark kings as well as the other brands I've used. I'd not put my money towards anything "Raymarine", given me and my pards experiences.

    I always love it when someone recommends things he's never seen or used.
    Please don't bring it here, man. I'm trying to carry on a normal "conversation" about a subject I'm trying to learn about.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trakn View Post
    Mutt I wonder what the price will be,,,CHIRP sounders are spendy I hope they got price down.
    The newest Garmin 527xs which will be CHIRP compliant is quoted on the Garmin site as being $749. Of course then you have to add a CHIRP transducer which will run you about $1300 if you buy one separately such as an Airmar 265. But Garmin doesn't say on their website whether or not they'll be marketing a specific CHIRP transducer to go as a package with the 527.

    But it seems the Raymarine I mentioned in my first post looks as though it will be around $700 for the finder AND transducer together. That seems to me to be quite a deal. Take a look at that thread. One person there said it will be about $650 and someone else $700. Even at $700 it seems like something very worth considering.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  8. #8
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    Humming Bird is the top of the line why spend money on what some people call top of the line equipment. Or should I say you get what you pay for
    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I stare at one for hours upon hours, and I wish I was staring at something else. I rate them at the bottom of the barrel. They are finicky and they don't mark kings as well as the other brands I've used. I'd not put my money towards anything "Raymarine", given me and my pards experiences.

    I always love it when someone recommends things he's never seen or used.

  9. #9

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    270ti,
    What do you think is better than Raymarine? Furuno, Garmin, Hummingbird, Lowrance. I currently have a Lowrance and I feel pretty good about it when it comes to marking kings, bait, cod etc. Still getting better at tuning it in, but I like it so far. Just curious as I have a new boat and am looking into buying a new unit for it.

  10. #10

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    Furuno, JRC, Lowrance are the 3 I have the most experience with, other than Raymarine. I sport a Raymarine on my 19' skiff, which I fish extensively out of on my personal time.

    Raymarine Sounders suck. The freeze when switching from 200 to 50, and you get the dreaded "lost ping". So, I just run it on 200, which sucks over 100ft. They don't resolve balls of bait well at all... and leave a trail below the bait balls, making you wonder if it's a ball fo bait at all. Kings/cohos show up as little red slivers, in shallow water. Huge on the other brands. I can see em, but it takes focus. Furuno, Lowrance, and JRC shows me soooo much more, and the resolution is much better. I've also had experience with "big" Raymarine sounders too. Same. The chart plotter works fine though.

    If I could do it all over again, I'd have gone with Furuno. Kick myself almost daily for not. I'm interested in Simrad and Sitex too. Hard to move away from Furuno though, as I've had nothing but good luck with them in over 10 years of running fishing charters.

    I'm in the process of buying a bigger, commercial power troller. It's already rigged with Furuno radars and a sounder, and I'll upgrade with Furuno as it's got 90's technology, like most of the commercial boats.

  11. #11
    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Why? I always love it when someone says something like that without saying why it is. That would make it a bit more helpful for anyone thinking of buying something. Please elaborate.
    I love your use of tact...




    Everything that I read anymore suggests exactly what 270 is saying above is correct. Garmin make a great GPS and maps platform but their sounders are lacking (and I know first hand, I have a 546S with a Airmar TM260). I can mark bottom down to 1000'+ but it does tend to lock up a bit when I am cruising over 20 knots requiring a full reboot.

    A good source of information when it comes to sounders is (and yes, I know potbuilder recommends him a lot, but for good reason) Gil over at the Hull Truth Forum. I dont know anyone who has more knowledge on sounders and boat electronics in general than him.

  12. #12
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    I have been using the Simrad Chip NSO sounder for the last year and the difference between the chip with the high dollar transducer is well worth the money if you are a professional fisherman. I think mine would run about 5000 dollars retail. I have a friend who put the recreational model on his boat and he is nowhere near as happy as I am. I can see things I never thought I would see.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    I love your use of tact...




    Everything that I read anymore suggests exactly what 270 is saying above is correct. Garmin make a great GPS and maps platform but their sounders are lacking (and I know first hand, I have a 546S with a Airmar TM260). I can mark bottom down to 1000'+ but it does tend to lock up a bit when I am cruising over 20 knots requiring a full reboot.

    A good source of information when it comes to sounders is (and yes, I know potbuilder recommends him a lot, but for good reason) Gil over at the Hull Truth Forum. I dont know anyone who has more knowledge on sounders and boat electronics in general than him.
    Well, Ronster, I love it when people like you say things that don't make any sense. Talk about tact! LOL!

    I have been in contact with Gil a number of times in the last week and the things I've said are a result of those conversations by email and PM on the Hull Truth forum. So if you truly think Gil is a good source of information then I guess you'd be better off listening to me than 270ti. Because what I am saying here is directly coming from him.

    This is a direct quote from him on that forum when I asked him a direct question regarding traditional sounder/transducer combos vs. CHIRP: "For bottom fishing ..the transducer quality is the main aspect I consider...even the older analog units when fitted with the newer multi element transducers perform excellently.

    And that being said..the CHIRP system matched with its higher quality CHIRP transducer will be even better."

    And Gil sells a LOT of Garmins. He also sells a lot of Raymarine and actually recommended them to me. He doesn't sound like a guy that would sell something if he didn't stand behind what he sells. So I guess if you have a bone to pick about the quality of Garmin, or any of the other things I've passed on here, go pick that bone with him. He certainly "has more knowledge on sounders and boat electronics in general" than I do, as you say.

    You honestly take what one person (270ti) says as gospel!?!? Hmmm, let's go back and count how many people in this thread have said either Garmin or Raymarine aren't worth buying. OH!!! One! What makes him the be all and end all on what is good and what isn't!? Garmin and Raymarine are both major players in the fishfinder market. Especially Raymarine who is one of THE largest manufacturers of marine instruments. They've got to be doing something right or they wouldn't be in business. Just because one guy on one forum like this says he doesn't like them doesn't mean much to me. Especially when you consider the source.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  14. #14

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    BTW---for those of you that are interested I will be purchasing a CHIRP system as soon as Gil gets them in stock. I haven't decided yet on either the Raymarine Dragonfly, or a Garmin unit. I have discovered that Garmin is coming out with a number of CHIRP dedicated sounders. The 527xs and 547xs are decent looking "lower end" units, and they also will be selling a higher end unit in their 741xs that has a much larger screen than the 5xx units and slightly better capabilities. Of course it's a lot more expensive, too.

    I'll keep anyone that's interested posted here on what I decide to do and what I find when I start using it.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  15. #15

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    Also for those that are interested and believe Gil's word over mine. This is a quote from him on another thread regarding the Garmin/CHIRP debate. Remember, this is from someone that Ronster says has "more knowledge on sounders and boat electronics in general" than anyone which I would have to imagine means Ronster, 270ti or anyone else here.

    I quote: "From what I have seen over the last two years Garmin is totally committed to several levels of CHIRP in the recreational market.
    They are approaching the 721xs CHIRP design so that it will be extremely effective and user friendly...but still not break the bank.
    Garmin and Airmar have partnered in a CHIRP transducer system that will give the 721xs a cost effective transducer.

    CHIRP is the future of sonar....and Garmin now has two areas that may become the yardstick other CHIRP systems could well be measured by.

    This is going to be a VERY interesting year."

    Here's a direct link to that thread: http://www.thehulltruth.com/archive/t-481753.html.

    I forgot to mention earlier that the Airmar transducer that Gil was speaking of is the TM150M. It will be a "mid range" (thus the "M" designation) transducer and preliminary pricing seems to put it at about $299 from what I've read. That would put you into a decent CHIRP outfit teamed with the Garmin 527xs going for about $650 for a total price tag of about $950. Of course you could go with the Garmin 741xs with a larger screen, but it will be about $1300 or so I believe.

    Don't take it from me. Take it from the guy that knows it all!
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post

    You honestly take what one person (270ti) says as gospel!?!? Hmmm, let's go back and count how many people in this thread have said either Garmin or Raymarine aren't worth buying. OH!!! One! What makes him the be all and end all on what is good and what isn't!? Garmin and Raymarine are both major players in the fishfinder market. Especially Raymarine who is one of THE largest manufacturers of marine instruments. They've got to be doing something right or they wouldn't be in business. Just because one guy on one forum like this says he doesn't like them doesn't mean much to me. Especially when you consider the source.
    This is awesome.

  17. #17
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I agree that things will be going Chirp if half the stuff that is out is true. I was thinking about upgrading my marine network to this last year. I had the GSD 22 unit, and I was thinking about going to the GSD 26. Since I would need a new transducer as well as new wiring all the way, I made a half step and went to their new GSD 24 digital transducer. It is noticably better than the old unit, and since I could stick with the 1KW transducer I already had on the boat, it was a really easy, cost effective upgrade. I figured I would wait a few years until things sort out and the prices drop a bit.
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  18. #18
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Personally, I am really happy with Garmin. The interface is intuitive and with the marine network products, the integration is great. I have the G2 vision card, which allows me to be at the south side of Montague, and the plotter will plot a course all the way back to Whittier with one click. It knows how far I was to stay off the rocks and what is acceptable for depth, and chooses the best route based on this. Last fall I added the GHP10 autopilot. Once it was on the network, the plotter sees it and now when I tell it to plot a course, I get a new option asking if I want to engage the autopilot. I simply say 'yes' push the throttle up to 30 kts and let Garmin drive home. All they need now is a GPS driven alarm clock to wake me up in the V berth when I come into passage canal...
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Personally, I am really happy with Garmin. The interface is intuitive and with the marine network products, the integration is great. I have the G2 vision card, which allows me to be at the south side of Montague, and the plotter will plot a course all the way back to Whittier with one click. It knows how far I was to stay off the rocks and what is acceptable for depth, and chooses the best route based on this. Last fall I added the GHP10 autopilot. Once it was on the network, the plotter sees it and now when I tell it to plot a course, I get a new option asking if I want to engage the autopilot. I simply say 'yes' push the throttle up to 30 kts and let Garmin drive home. All they need now is a GPS driven alarm clock to wake me up in the V berth when I come into passage canal...
    Sounds like you really like the G2 vision card. Does it give you depth contours, or just sounding numbers? I have an older Navionics "Fish 'n Chip" that I absolutely love. It gives me full depth contours that are incredible. The only thing I find a bit disturbing about it is sometimes if I'm really close in to shore it will show me actually driving my boat across land. Fortunately I know the waters around here well enough to know where I should or shouldn't be. But the depth contours are really close to actual depths---when it says I am in 150' of water it will be close enough since it kind of depends on where we are in the tide cycle. The reason I ask is because my Navionics card is SD and the 547xs has a microSD card slot. If the G2 vision is better I might opt for that instead. That Navionics card is about 4 years old I believe.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  20. #20
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Here is the G2:



    vs. the standard bathemetry:

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