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Blackhawkxp

Helix Summer Unit Conversion

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For those of you using your summer unit on the ice do you have any issues when fishing around others?  From what i have found in the limited research i have done it looks like it is kind of a mixed bag.  One guy says they are unfishable next to a Marcum/Vexilar and the next guy says he has no problems.  I am hoping Santa brings me the ice conversion kit for my Helix unit.  I figured it would be nice for a spare and to have the GPS in the truck when locating spots to fish.  Any advice or tips would be appreciated.  

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I can't tell you for certain, as I don't know if there is a difference in the unit between the summer and ice fishing versions. But my buddy has the Helix 5 Ice and I have a Vexilar F-18 - last winter mine seemed to be getting more interference than his when fishing next to each other. I do know we were both getting some interference at first, but he was able to adjust his settings a bit and then didn't have any problems.

I just picked up the latest model of the Helix 5 GPS G2 - it has an Interference setting you can set if you're fishing next to others and need it. Don't know if it works or not, as I'm still waiting for ice to get out here in the Metro.

Hope Santa comes through for you. If you have a GPS version and LakeMaster chip, it's sweet for ice fishing.

 

 

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I have a couple of Marcums and i figure when the wife comes with i would have another unit for one of us to use.  Like many i bought the helix 5 with the intention of dual purposing it.  None the less it will be useful for the GPS capability if the flashers don't play well.

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6 hours ago, Getanet said:

I can't tell you for certain, as I don't know if there is a difference in the unit between the summer and ice fishing versions. But my buddy has the Helix 5 Ice and I have a Vexilar F-18 - last winter mine seemed to be getting more interference than his when fishing next to each other. I do know we were both getting some interference at first, but he was able to adjust his settings a bit and then didn't have any problems.

I just picked up the latest model of the Helix 5 GPS G2 - it has an Interference setting you can set if you're fishing next to others and need it. Don't know if it works or not, as I'm still waiting for ice to get out here in the Metro.

Hope Santa comes through for you. If you have a GPS version and LakeMaster chip, it's sweet for ice fishing.

 

 

I am looking at that too. Lowrance has a new Hook2 unit just hitting the shelves as well and I have had Lowrance ice graphs for many years but the HB looks like it might be a better unit.

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I don't know anything about the Lowrance. Just really like having a GPS with map chip and flasher all in one unit. The ability to mark a spot so I can get back to it, instead of eyeballing it, is really appealing. Also like just dropping the transducer in the water and knowing the depth, instead of clicking the dials in 10 foot increments on my Vex. 

My only concerns is the one I got seems to be the first version with CHIRP technology - and first versions of any electronics usually have a few bugs. Also not sure if it will be as durable long-term as a Vex.  But I'm excited get on the ice to try it.

 

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I converted my helix 7 chirp to ice about a month ago. I’ve fished next to my vexilar FLX-28 with no interference. The generation 2 with the chirp technology offers a much improved ice unit than the generation 1 units. For the best results you need to download the newest update for your helix and have the new ice ducer. With this you get interference rejection and a much better target separation. The flasher mode is very sharp and easy on the eyes. You are also able to change the colors and background to your liking. Here’s a picture to see it in action. 

452184F0-75D3-47D3-AC25-5ED55D186E85.jpeg

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Now I’m convinced. I made a shuttle for my Helix but I couldn’t get the settings right until yesterday. Love it with no interference with a Showdown right next to it. Still need to get the ice ducer for it. 

73E4156B-A695-4C0F-BE58-CCF4ACB78B6B.jpeg

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I have the parts on order to get the unit set up for the ice.  I ended up buying a marcum lithium shuttle for my LX7 and then plan to mount the Helix on the shuttle that came with my LX7.  I am hoping to find walk-able ice in my area this weekend and hopefully the parts show up before then so i can give it a go.  I have the pre-chirp model of the helix so with a little luck i can get them to cooperate.

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I too am planning on rigging a Helix for the ice.  I have both an older generation 5 and and a gen 2 Helix 7 chirp.  So I would like to know if the gen 2 7 would be that much more advanced for using on the ice than the first gen 5 or would the 5 do the same job for me?  I am also trying to decide if I should but a carrier for it or make something.

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4 minutes ago, Big-Al said:

I too am planning on rigging a Helix for the ice.  I have both an older generation 5 and and a gen 2 Helix 7 chirp.  So I would like to know if the gen 2 7 would be that much more advanced for using on the ice than the first gen 5 or would the 5 do the same job for me?  I am also trying to decide if I should but a carrier for it or make something.

If i'm not mistaken i believe the older 5 and the new chirp use different transducers.  Assuming you are looking at purchasing the ice transducer.  In my opinion the Humminbird page is horrible.  They do not explain things very well in their descriptions.  Just an FYI that the ice pack they offer with the XL-9-20 transducer does come with the power adapter to hook to the battery but does not include the battery and charger.

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25 minutes ago, Blackhawkxp said:

In my opinion the Humminbird page is horrible.  They do not explain things very well in their descriptions. 

While I think they're product is good, I agree they lack in a few customer-friendly areas. As you say, the page is so technical you almost need a degree in IT to figure it out. They also don't provide a hard copy of the owners manual - at least not with the Helix 5 I just bought for ice fishing. I contacted Thorne Bros, where I bought mine from, and they said if you email Hummingbird/Johnson Outdoors they will mail you one. When I did that they said they don't have hard copies and you can get a PDF online or they come with a CD-ROM (mine didn't). I like using my phone for a lot of things, but not thumbing through a 260+ page manual.

Edited by Getanet

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34 minutes ago, Getanet said:

They also don't provide a hard copy of the owners manual - at least not with the Helix 5 I just bought for ice fishing

Here is a .pdf I found for my older Helix unit I am not sure where I downloaded it from but I know it was from the HB page:

HELIX_SONAR_and_DI_Operations_Manual.pdf

I dont dispute that these units can be a little difficult to setup and get dialed in. But I have found many tutorials on youtube that walk you through it and have been great learning all the menus and tricks that work well for others. A little bit of setup and once you get it working to suit your style of fishing they are great units.

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From what I understand,the new g2 chirp series is a big improvement over the prior generation helix unit in terms of interference rejection and sonar definition. By sending multiple bursts of sonar at different frequencies you get finer details and less clutter. You also need to use the newest generation ice ducer to get the most detail. 

 

I negotiated it to just under $550 which is quite a discount and it was in stock and in state so I should have it by the weekend.

 

I really like the new display as well. I have had lowrance units from day 1 but they don't have anything to compare to this at this price point. 

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Yes, I've found my manuals online. Maybe I'm too old school, but still would prefer an actual booklet to page through.  I've downloaded it to my phone - otherwise I would be SOL up north in many areas as I rarely get coverage up there (and I don't really complain about that - nice to get a break from technology).

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30 minutes ago, PurpleFloyd said:

From what I understand,the new g2 chirp series is a big improvement over the prior generation helix unit in terms of interference rejection and sonar definition. By sending multiple bursts of sonar at different frequencies you get finer details and less clutter. You also need to use the newest generation ice ducer to get the most detail. 

 

I negotiated it to just under $550 which is quite a discount and it was in stock and in state so I should have it by the weekend.

 

I really like the new display as well. I have had lowrance units from day 1 but they don't have anything to compare to this at this price point. 

That seems like a great deal on the 7.  I was happy with $450 for the 5 at the Ice Show. When I was shopping for my 5 I found a few online retailers selling it for around $430 with free shipping, but they were all based in Florida and I wanted to be able to take it back to a store if there were any problems. Plus something doesn't seem right about buying ice fishing gear from a store in Florida.

FWIW the prices I saw at the St. Paul Ice Show on the 5 was $450 from Reeds and Thorne Bros. $459 from Joes. Didn't check the Marine General booth.

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Do you guys with the newer CHIRP Models have any idea how long it will run on a full battery charge?  Never really fish in a situation where I wouldn't be able to recharge it overnight, but hopefully it could run all day without problems.

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Not sure but I do know that the GPS on the units is said to be a big drain on the battery. We checked to see if the GPS could be turned off and were told it could not.  The screen brightness on these units also has a big impact on battery life so the darker you can have the screen the better for battery life.

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Well, the package arrived yesterday and I got it put together last night. Overall impression compared to the lowrance is that this is by far a better unit.

 

Starting with the bag. The zippers and fabric are more heave duty and look to be able to stand up to much more use without problems.

 

The plastic holder- probably a wash between the two units but the HB has done some nice things with cord management that give it the nod. Also feels a bit more durable.

 

Now to the graph-

I live the display. It looks more sharp and more professionally designed than lowrance and to be honest I like the look better that the marcum lx units as well. Just personal preference.

The adjustments are more intuitive and overall after being a lowrance guy for a long time I can't find a single thing that lowrance did better.

IMG_20171216_093806002.jpg

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I downloaded and printed the manual. Worth it. It does so many things it would take years to fumble through to find shortcuts and fine tune without it. 

DD2048AC-00C3-4CD4-8892-8B98054697CF.jpeg

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I finally got out to try my first gen helix 5 this weekend.  Fished in 8 feet of water next to a lx5 and Lx7 in an otter lodge.  The flasher screen was not the best.  It was slow to react to my jig movement and i tried a few things to speed it up to no avail.  I switched it over to the graph and it was much better.  I am somewhat used to the graph as i use both on the LX7.  I didn't have any trouble with interference but i was only using the 200hz on the Helix.  It was definitely not in the same class as the Marcum considering the Marcum is a dedicated ice unit but as a dual use unit for the summer and winter it has lived up to my expectations.  I believe the new units will be much better in this regard.  Battery life was pretty good as i fished for about 15 hours on Saturday and i would say i had about 60% battery left.  Overall i am happy with the performance on the first outing.  I will chime back in when i get into some deeper water to compare the interference.

   

17036.jpeg

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Your review is pretty much the same as my experience with my first gen Helix 5.  As a dual purpose unit it does fairly well on the ice but its a step below the dedicated ice units out there.  I bought mine because I do a lot of fishing from canoes so wanted a portable unit and it excels at that.  The fact that it works decently on the ice was a bonus.  I do ice fish but not as often as I used to and not enough to justify the cost of a dedicated ice unit.

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