Pros & Cons
- 2D CHIRP
- Dual-Frequency sonar
- Down and Side Imaging
- XHS 9 HD SI 180 T transducer
- Very bright 12.1” display
- Wireless control
- Fast internal GPS module
- Preloaded ContourXD charts
- Numerous connectivity options
- Capable of 360 Imaging
- Unit cover + gimbal mount
- Not suitable for beginners
|Specifications||Humminbird HELIX 12|
|Type||Down and Side Imaging|
|Sonar||Dual-Beam Plus and CHIRP|
|Transducer||Transom XHS 9 HD SI 180 T|
|Display (size, resolution, backlit, color)||12” 16-bit TFT screen, 1280 x 800 pixel matrix , LED Backlight|
|Dimensions||W x H x D - 14.86" x 8.83" x 4.25"|
|Depth Capability||- Dual-Beam Plus: 1,500ft - Si and Di: 150ft|
|Frequency||- Dual-Beam Plus: 83/200 kHz - Di: 455 kHz - Si: 455/800 kHz|
|Power Output||1,000W RMS|
|Power Input||10-20 VDC|
|Routes, Waypoints, Tracks||2,500 waypoints, 47 routes (up to 50 waypoints), 50 trails (20k points per trail)|
|MicroSD card slot||Yes|
Humminbird Helix 12 has a 12” 16-bit TFT screen, which is the largest display within the HELIX series. The display is glass-bonded and LED backlit with a pixel matrix of 1280 x 800. These features allow you to read imaging results even in direct sunlight or during nighttime fishing. HELIX 12 does not have a touchscreen functionality and is operated by the keypad on the right side of the unit.
The unit’s waterproof rating is IP-X7, which means it can handle rain and accidental water splashes. Also, you can immerse it completely in 3.3ft of water for up to 30 minutes without any negative consequences. Having said that, it has not been tested against the entry of dust, dirt, and similar outside influences.
Sonar & Transducer
One of the most important things to point out when it comes to this unit is the fact that it uses CHIRP only for 2D scanning and NOT for Down and Side Imaging. The provided transducer model is XHS 9 HD SI 180 T that comes with a temperature sensor, transom mount, and 20” of cable. This transducer is capable of covering Medium (75-155 kHz) and High CHIRP (130-250 kHz), so you have to purchase a more powerful upgrade if you wish to cover Low CHIRP (28-75 kHz) as well. This will also allow you to scan up to 3,500ft instead of 1,500ft, which is the limit of the provided model. Its Di and Si ranges are around 150 and 240ft, respectively.
If you opt to use standard sonar scanning instead of CHIRP, the provided transducer will utilize conical beams at 60° for 83 kHz and 20° at 200 kHz. Since we are talking about a dual-frequency (DualBeam) sonar, you can run both beams simultaneously and observe the results in the Dual Screen mode. The main unit can also cover 50 kHz, but you have to upgrade the transducer in order to hit that level. However, utilizing the unit’s CHIRP capabilities will result in better target definition/separation as well as less clutter on your screen.
When it comes to Side Imaging, the device can hit both 455 and 800 kHz with the provided transducer. The beams used for this type of imaging are fan-shaped, thin, and angled at 86° for 455 kHz and at 55° for 800 kHz.
HELIX 12 also comes with all the traditional sonar features, including Fish ID+, BottomLock, Real Time Sonar, Sonar Recording/Rewind, SwitchFire, and numerous alarms.
Humminbird Helix 12 features a built-in GPS/GLONASS module as well as preloaded ContourXD maps. This package covers more than 3,000 lakes in the US, including contour lines and other important info like channels, drops, markers, lights, and major interstates and roads.
The device can store up to 2,500 waypoints, 47 routes (with up to 50 waypoints), and 50 trails (with up to 20,000 points). You can also convert your trails into routes in order to add waypoints, re-trace, and more.
One of the main navigational features offered by Humminbird Helix 12 is definitely the AutoChart Live function. Apart from creating your personal maps, you can also overlay them with LakeMaster or Navionics charts and even Side Imaging recordings for maximum spatial awareness. All your charts will be compatible with I-Pilot Link, which means you will be able to follow them on autopilot if you have a Minn Kota motor. The unit’s internal memory can store up to 8 hrs. of recordings.
Humminbird Helix 12 comes with an abundance of networking options, including NMEA 0183/2000 ports, a dual microSD card reader, and an Ethernet port. However, note that the device does not feature Wi-Fi connectivity and cannot use Bluetooth for wireless control with your phone or similar devices. Having said that, you can upgrade it to feature wireless control.
What's In The Box
- HELIX 12 Si GPS
- Transom XHS 9 HD SI 180 T
- Gimbal Bracket
- Unit Cover
Humminbird Helix Series Overview
In this Humminbird Helix series overview, you can check out some of the most important features of other models from the series to determine if any of them is a better fit for your needs.
Humminbird HELIX 12 is one of the best representatives of this impressive series of fish finders. It comes with the CHIRP tech, which makes it a great choice for off-shore trips, and can also provide you with high-detail Side and Down Imaging in freshwater (up to 150ft). It also features excellent navigational capabilities with high-precision GPS, AutoChart Live, and impressive charting options. If we add a pretty decent transducer and numerous networking options, we would say the price of this unit is more than justified. Finally, since we are talking about a rather large device, it is not an ideal choice for kayaks and other small vessels.