Raymarine's new Dragonfly combination GPS Chartplotter Fishfinder has some distinct and very useful features. The small unit is a standalone fishfinder which comes with the transducer and costs just $650. No need for any networking. You can use this one Chartplotter to navigate to fishing grounds and then target the fish up to 600 feet of depth using CHIRP the latest in Sonar technology.
First the small screen has fantastic resolution and brightness. The Raymarine Dragonfly has a VGA resolution with 1500 nits on a 5.7″ screen. If you are like me and do know what nits are see the video below to see how the screen looks.
Other important features.
- Navigation; built-in 50-channel GPS
- Charts; Navionic's Charts including Great Lakes Hotmaps.
- CHIRP Sonar Technology; We discuss this in more detail below
- IPX6 and IPX 7 waterproof and submersion standards
- Flush mount available
- Quick release swivel bracket included. Thule lock available for added security.
- MSRP/MAP Price; $649.99
2013 NMMA Innovations awards; Raymarine's Dragonfly won the electronics top spot against 14 of the hottest new electronics on the market.
A new species of sonar
View the world beneath your boat with the photo-like clarity of CHIRP DownVision™ sonar, the first high-resolution imaging sonar for anglers to use CHIRP technology. Dragonfly's dual channel CHIRP technology lets you explore structure and target fish like never before. Dragonfly comes complete with Raymarine's exclusive new dual-beam CHIRP transducer.
- Photo-like imagery of bottom structure using CHIRP DownVision™
- CHIRP powered Dual Channel sonar; view high resolution CHIRP DownVision structure imagery and target fish with CHIRP sonar simultaneously
- Supplied complete with perfectly matched dual beam CHIRP transducer
- Fast response temperature sensor built into the transducer
- Built in 50-channel GPS sensor with fast-acquisition technology
- Available with industry leading, Navionics charts included on microSD
- Uncomplicated user interface simplifies display choices and menu options
- Ultra-bright 1500 nit optically bonded sunlight display for maximum readability in all conditions
- Tilt/swivel quick release holster with optional locking core for added security
CHIRP Sonar Technology
So what is CHIRP and what does it do for me? CHIRP stands for “compressed high intensity radar pulse”. CHIRP is also known as spread-spectrum or SST. CHIRP is a form of Broad Band Sonar as we will explain. So three terms for the same thing that provides; better resolution and distinction between objects close together.
How does CHIRP differ from Sonar
Sonars and depth finders send a ping out on 50 kHz, while Fishfinders send out a ping on 200kHz. Think of pings in submarines when they get detected by a surface ship. These are single frequencies which bounce of an underwater object and are then heard back by the sonar transducer. There are dual frequencies Sonars with the 50kHz reaching greater depths and the higher 200kHz frequencies showing more detail. Sonar pulses can be quite long and targets that are closer together than the length of that pulse are not going to show up separately by the Fishfinder.
CHIRP or SST Sonars modulates the pulse so the ping sent by the transducer sweeps between a range of frequencies, say 170 to 230 kHz for example. That modulation, (the pulse sweep between two frequencies) is called the bandwidth, hence “broadband sonar.” CHIRP is not new and has been used in Military applications for many years, but with the cost of chips coming down rapidly we find them appearing in recreational boating applications.
What are the benefits
Targets that are closer together will show up separately and much more defined than with traditional Sonar. See the screen shots for an idea. Another benefit is CHIRP sonar requires considerably lower power than traditional fish finders with 2 kW and 3 kW output.
For a CHIRP system to work you need a specialized transducer plus a display control head that can recognize and display CHIRP signals. Most manufacturers have CHIRP including Garmin and Simrad.
CHIRP Sonar Technology
Raymarine's engineers have come up with their own new Fishfinder the Dragonfly
Dragonfly uses CHIRP technology to maximize the sonar performance. But what Raymarine has done is incorporate two sonars in one. The Sonars are DownVision and The Fish Targeting Sonar.
This is Raymarine's version of a Dual frequency sonar but using CHIRP technology.
RDragonfly's DownVision sonar sends very high frequency signals in a fan-like shape.
Downscan or what Raymarine's calls DownVision means it can show almost picture like image of what is below the boat.
Fish Finder Sonar
Dragonfly's Fish Targeting Sonar sends signals in a traditional cone shape
CHIRP sonar 170-230kHz
high-resolution fish targeting sonar channel.
Dual Channel CHIRP - Two Sonars In One
Dragonfly is built with two discrete CHIRP sonar channels. The first is the ultrahigh-resolution DownVision channel and the second is a high-resolution fish targeting sonar channel.
View each sonar channel independently or switch to dual sonar split screen mode for the ultimate in underwater intelligence.
For maximum performance, Dragonfly is supplied complete with Raymarine’s exclusive CPT-60 dual element CHIRP transducer.
Engineered to be a perfect acoustical match to Dragonfly’s CHIRP sonar, the CPT-60 is equipped with an ultra wide fan shaped beam for a wide view of DownVision images. The CPT-60 second element provides a conical shaped beam for imaging fish targets, ensuring you will never miss any of the action below your boat.
Card Format Micro SD
US Coastal Charts plus
Display Type: LED backlit, sunlight-viewable
Ultra-bright 1500 nit optically bonded sunlight display
Screen Size: 5.7"diag.
Screen Resolution: 640 x 480 pixels
Display Viewing Angle: 70° left/right/top, 45° bottom
Optional Cartography: Navionics Silver, Gold and HotMaps on microSD cards
Dimensions: 6-7/16"W x 5-11/16"H x 2-3/4"D
Data Interface: Transducer Port
Receiver Type: 50-channel internal GPS
Voltage: 12V (10.2-15.6V DC)
Included Accessories: Transducer, flush-mount kit, Quick release bracket, silicone-rubber sun cover, power cable
Sounder Frequencies: ClearPulse CHIRP sonar 170-230kHz/DownVision: 320-380kHz
Maximum Depth: Traditional CHIRP sonar: 1,200'/DownVision: 600'
Transducer: Transom-mount included
Waterproof Rating: IPX7
Warranty: One year
Pros; Cheap, size, standalone, screen brightness, new sonar technology
Cons; Inability to network, no touch screen
You can use the flush mount (right) if the situation requires or the standard swivel mount.
Available retailers now MSRP/MAP Price; $649.99