Author Topic: My Old Humminbird 798CIHDSI Blows Away My New Helix 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G3, Why?  (Read 112 times)

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Offline cat_in_the_hat

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After my trusty 798CIHDSI failed to power up this spring, I decided to avail myself of the latest technology and bought the newly released 3rd generation Helix 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G3. I studied the manual and watched innumerable YouTube videos. Last week I made two boat trips to practice with the Helix before fishing season got going. I used a trolling motor mount  XTM 9 HW MSI 150 T transducer.

I began to be concerned that I was not seeing much fish echo sign despite cruising around both lakes for the that express purpose. I recorded both trips and later at home spent hours reviewing them looking for good results but was confused how both lakes could be nearly devoid of fish.

This is the best Helix 7 Side Imaging picture in over four hours of recording in both Crystal and Lower Bolton lakes last week. Some scattered echoes found here and there at Crystal, at Bolton saw maybe four echoes in two hours. I had the settings generally default which matched YouTube recommendations. I sat for hours on the couch playing and replaying the recordings looking for the best shots. Below is Lower Bolton Lake where you can see my track as I was not fishing but simply hunting fish echoes. I am not even sure those two SI echoes to the left are fish:

This is the best Helix 7 2D Sonar Mega imaging picture in over four hours of recording in both Crystal and Lower Bolton lakes. We barely see the arcs of what are probably newly dumped hatchery truck trout that were released at the Crystal Lake landing 100 yards away the day before. Side imaging completely devoid of fish echoes:

Around this time I tried to power up the 798 for the umpteenth time and to my amazement it powered up. However no button worked except for the power button. This was similar to a previous trouble previously fixed. Dissassembled the 798, blew it out thoroughly with canned air, reassembled it and everything worked again.

Loaded Helix recordings into the 798, no improvement in the Helix views. Loaded a typical 798 Shenipsit Lake trip in 2017 (equipped with XTM 9 SI 180 T Compact Side Imaging 83/200 kHz transducer) recording into the Helix for comparison purposes. The imagery was simply spectacular. Here I was chasing a school of 9.5"-11" white perch. Compare the distinctive 2D sonar, down imaging, and side imaging fish echoes with the Helix imagery above. The first two pictures below are different views of the same point of the recording. Note how robust the fish echoes are:

This image includes the chart view showing my meandering track chasing after the perch:

In conclusion, this brand spanking new 3rd generation Helix as currently configured cannot find a fish in a barrel in comparison to the ancient 798. The Helix has spectacular Mega Imaging views of the bottom and all the debris there, which would be great if I was a salvager, but it is fish I am after. If I calculate correctly, the Helix Mega Imaging G3 is the 4th Humminbird generation after the 798. I expected a major quality improvement, not the spectacularly poor results.

I am hoping against hope that I am either making some serious operational error or the Helix is in some way defective. The joy of resurrecting the 798 from the grave is more than offset by the approximate $1000 hole in my pocket for the Helix, extended warrantee and extra transducer. I am looking for any advice or assistance. I plan further on on the water experimental recordings of the same targets with each unit and transducer independently to see if I confirm my preliminary results or more hopefully find out what I am doing wrong.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 04:37:38 AM by cat_in_the_hat »

Offline ezfishn

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What version software were you using on the new unit?

Offline cat_in_the_hat

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Software Update - HELIX 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G3 v. 1.940 installed as soon as unit unpacked two weeks ago

Offline rnvinc

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You're not the 1st user I've read that mention the new units show structure well  ... But fish not so much  ...

I still think my 1197 has better SI than my ONIX  ... but that's just my opinion  ...


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