Jump to content
  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Blackhawkxp

Helix Summer Unit Conversion

Recommended Posts

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.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • WOW!  More wow to come.  😎
    • Great looking plots and Set-ups! My early season clover plots are doing very well! This weekend I will work on the fall brassica plots, have 3 small ones, about 1/2 acre each to put in. Can't get to them with a tractor so will be doing the tilling with a walk behind garden tiller. Going to be a ton of work but this rain will be great to soften up the ground. I will also be sliding a few portables around and I need to finish to more enclosed permanent stands. I usually do all this stand work in April/May but this past spring I just did not get to it...
    • Nice! I will put a few out this weekend.....
    • Next up was installing the floor. We went with 3/4” marine grade plywood. I also coated both sides and all edges with a water sealer just to be sure.    After installing the plywood floor we put the furring strips in and ran the wiring.    Each wire goes back the front wall where I made a little panel. The front wall has an opening for a 55” TV that sits flush in the wall. The little squares above and below the tv opening are for in wall speakers.  This is half of the wires the other side of the panel has the other half.  This is all the positive wires coming through the front wall and behind the panel. I forgot to take a picture of the back of the panel after I cleaned it up and put the negative wires through.  Here is a picture of the front of the panel while I was booking everything up. All the positive wires on the left and negative on the right. My wiring is a lot different than most shacks. I’ve never made a panel like this before so I didn’t really know what to order. The terminals that the wires go into are called din rail terminal blocks the snap onto a little piece of aluminum called a din rail.  Later I found stackable ones that would have saved space but I like how it turned out. Each terminal block has a slot in it where you can put a jumper. So everything that was going to be on one switch would be jumpered together. Things on a different switch would be jumpered and so on. The terminal blocks have a hole on the top where one wire comes in and gets screwed down to hold it and there is the same on the bottom. So once the terminal blocks are jumpered to things you want on the same switch you only need one wire out the bottom. Things that were ran off of the switch went out the bottom and over to the relay board. You do the same for each thing you want to run off a different switch just run a wire to a different relay. The long green rectangle thing on the right is a relay board. Our house has 12 light switches not all of them are used yet but they can be so I bought a relay board with 12 spdt relays. The green square on the left is an arduino which is basically like a mini computer chip that you can program. I’ll explain more once I get to what our switches look like. The bottom right of the panel is for the trailer lights and brakes and all the stuff that hooks up to the truck.  I eventually replaced these normal terminal blocks with the din rail style.  Here is the wiring panel all finished up.  The reason for using all the relays and arduino was so I could use this light switch and eventually be able to control everything from a smart phone. In the fish house we have 2 of these switches which each have 6 buttons on them. Each switch has a set of cat 5 cable running to it. One set is connected to the atduino board and sends a signal saying the button was pressed.  The other cat 5 wire is to send a signal to turn on and off a little light next to the button when it is pressed   Here is the back of the switch. So basically how it works is the arduino has pins on it that can send or receive signals it also has pins that can send 5 vdc or 3vdc. So one wire from the arduinos 5 v pin hooks up to the back of the switch where it says sc (switch common 5v coming in). A different wire connects a different arduino 5 v pin to the terminal that says pc (pilot common which is just the little lights next to the buttons). So when a button is pressed a brief 5 v signal is sent from the arduino to the switch which goes through board on the switch and to the wire terminal that is for that button the signal is then sent back to a digital pin (receiving pin) of the arduino on a digital pin. The arduino has to be programmed to receive different signals on the pins you want. Once the arduino sees that a button was pressed it sends a signal over to the relay board saying a button was pressed close the relay that corresponds to that button. When the relay closes it allows the 12v to go to whatever you want to turn on. The nice thing about how this system works is everything can be changed in a matter of minutes. Say I wanted to have the ceiling lights be on button 4 instead of 1 you just have to change a couple of numbers in the code and plug the arduino into your computer and upload the updated code. I’m sure I lost most people right away and I’m not sure if anyone else would even want to do something similar but If so you can message me and I can try and explain it better. Before this I’ve never done anything like this so I had to learn all of this online and how to write little bits of code and do all that which was fun but also frustrating at times since I didn’t have anyone to go to with my questions.  Not sure If this video will work or not.  4B8EE058-806B-4BF6-8DD8-8FC76BE46BD0.MOV  
    • Everything is going strong now. Been making salsa for the last week or so, have been doing abt's with the jalapenos,  thinking on letting them go red to spread it out a bit. The early girls are kicking em out but the big boys have a bit. Canned two jars of pickles with more coming down the pipe, but I'm gonna hafta start grilling some zucchini,  can only make so much bread.    Bell peppers seem to be running a little on the small side, starting to change colors but was hoping for some better sized ones for stuffing. Snap peas did good out of the gate but are trailing off already,  ya gotta love this time of year!!
    • juicy or freeze dried?
    • Most of the state has been experiencing sunny, warm, and beautiful summer days. The forecast predicts some rain over the next day or two, but otherwise it looks like warm temperatures and clear days and nights. Canoers at Mays Ledges at the Brule River State Forest.These mild and sunny days have been great for canoeing and kayaking and many river water levels are moderate and perfect for paddling. The lower Wisconsin Rivers is running just about normal for this time of year, with many sandbars popping up.Much of the state has been hovering at moderate fire danger this week, which means, in the right place, wildfires can happen. Nearly 60 wildfires have occurred across the state in July, mostly caused by fireworks or sparks from equipment. .
    • Looks to me like a great fishing cart...mount some pole holders on the sides and a cup holder for your beverage and life is good!!🎣
    • i still have some from 2016, most from last year yet but i like to stay ahead. how do they say it........i like to let them MELD!!!!!!!!!😁 that was a 1/2 bushel, smaller batches makes it not so over whelming. especially on a work nite. 
×