We all know how traditional marine fishfinders work. They operate at discrete frequencies – typically 50 and 200 kHz, they use relatively short-duration transmit pulses, and they work in conjunction with traditional narrow-band sonar transducers.
On the flip side, CHIRP (compressed high-intensity radar pulse) transducers offer a whole new world of finding fish. They are designed to automatically sweep through an entire range of frequencies with no adjustment necessary. It’s now possible for customers to install one transducer and have the ability to simultaneously fish the popular frequencies of 28, 38, 50 and 200kHz – as well as every frequency in-between. This results in unprecedented visibility of targets in the water column in both shallow and deep water. Improved target definition and clarity, as well as the ability to find targets within “noise” at high speeds, provide anglers with true game-changing fishfinder performance.
So now you’re wondering, how do CHIRP transducers “sweep” a frequency? CHIRP consists of a precise sweep pattern of many frequencies within a long-duration transmit pulse from a CHIRP enabled sounder, so the equivalent sound energy transmitted into the water is 10 to 1,000 times greater than a conventional marine fishfinder. The echo energy returning to the transducer, vastly superior to that generated by a conventional transducer, is then processed by the fishfinder’s DSP (digital signal processing) computer and displayed in ultra-sharp detail on the sounder display.
The combination of a CHIRP sounder, a Chirp Broadband transducer, and the fishfinder’s DSP technology results in:
- Dramatically increased fish and bottom detection
- Superior depth capability
- Significantly enhanced performance at speed
Only CHIRP ready fishfinders using Airmar CHIRP Broadband transducers can operate as a CHIRP fishfinding system. CHIRP-ready fishfinders currently available include Garmin’s GSD 26 spread spectrum fishfinder and Simrad’s BSM-2 broadband sounder. By the end of 2012, it is estimated that all major marine electronics manufacturers will incorporate CHIRP technology into their products.
Featuring Unique Transducer ID® Technology
Included in all of Airmar’s CHIRP Broadband transducers is the unique Transducer ID® feature, which measures and stores the operating details for each transducer. This enables the fishfinder to automatically configure itself and communicate with the transducer that is attached. The embedded microcontroller continuously monitors operating temperatures inside the transducer, allowing the fishfinder to dynamically adjust its power to maintain maximum performance and transducer life. The transducer’s profile can be presented on the display showing beam width coverage as a function of frequency. Stored data also assists with troubleshooting, warranty or any required information about the transducer.
Airmar’s complete line of twenty-four (24) CHIRP Broadband transducers are available in seven (7) different mounting options to accommodate almost any hull design, which should be carefully observed to adhere to the manufacturer’s warranty.