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Old 03-17-2017, 04:39 PM   #1
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Default Furuno CHIRP upgrade: Dff1(b260) v. Dff1-uhd (b265LH)

As the title states, I upgraded my Furuno system on my Conch27 to Chirp and I'm providing my thoughts and pictures:

System: Furuno NN3D with DFF1 connected to an Airmar b260 transducer in a fairing block.

Upgraded system: Furuno NN3D with DFF1-UHD connected to an Airmar b265HL in a fairing block.

I was very happy with my old system, but after hearing all of the rave about Chirp, I decided to make the switch. It was a pretty easy switch, just needed to make room for the bigger footprint of the DFF1-UHD and swap out the transducers-- the b265 drops right into the same fairing block. Constant pressure from a car jack helped release the 5200 on the old transducer.

The following pictures show the performance of the old system-- it did much better in deep water than the Chirp system. All of these pictures were with AUTO settings on-- I never had to "tune" the system.

Marking bottom in 2400ft no problem
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Good detail
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Good reading at 25 knots
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Snapper in 700ft
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I can't post anymore pictures so I will comment below with the Chirp pictures. In sum, I'm regretting making the switch to the DFF1-uhd CHIRP. It is doesn't pick up well in really shallow water (less than 5 feet), which is important in S. Fla with an inboard. The AUTO settings are also terrible with the Chirp unit. The Furuno techs have told me that the Chirp system will require "tuning" whereas the old set-up was better on the AUTO settings-- this is a HUGE PIA most of the time. The Chirp system is also worse in deep water >500 ft. Again, the Furuno tech told me the Chirp system will not perform as well as the old system in deep water because the frequencies "disperse" more in the water. This is a big negative because I do a lot of swordfishing and deep dropping. I'm still hoping that I'm doing something wrong or that its a setting issue. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:48 PM   #2
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Chirp pictures below for comparison. I don't have any in deep water because I've been busy, but my dad has used it for deep dropping and he keeps telling me to put the old transducer back in. He also went nighttime swordfishing and the machine wouldn't mark the thermocline on auto settings?

The black area at the top of the screen in shallow water is annoying and did not do that before- I get why its there, but shouldn't it shift up (if that makes sense)? setting issue?
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On the reef in the keys. There is a lot of clutter for such slow speeds and this was with me messing with the gain. It barely marked the fish on the bottom in auto mode.
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The target separation that Chirp is most famous for is best displayed in this picture, but it took a lot of "tuning" and there is a lot of noise on the screen.

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Thoughts?
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:22 PM   #3
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Furuno did the initial testing with airmar when airmar were working on the CHIRP transducers and I believe it was primarily with the x265 series transducers and DFF1-UHD sounder module. I doubt both Furuno and Airmar would have been happy to stop testing/development if the results were as you're showing - in fact, both companies touted CHIRP systems as giving improved deep water results.

Something is wrong here, maybe it's the NN3D?? Someone posted on here recently with a 600W Garmin GT51 reading well past 1500' and that is only a 600W transducer.

As far as the Furuno tech talking about 'frequencies dispersing' I'm not sure what they're actually getting at & sounds a bit wishy-washy to me.

You should be able to select a fixed frequency to see if that gives you better results at depth but you shouldn't have to with that system.

Your best bet might be the furuno forum to see if anyone has the same combination with NN3D and compare notes.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:34 AM   #4
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That's why I keep thinking it's setting issue.
I had 2 furuno techs tell me over the phone that the chirp unit will not do as well as the old set-up in deep water, which doesn't make sense to me. I'm not blown away by this system, especially for the price to upgrade.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laythewood View Post
That's why I keep thinking it's setting issue.
I had 2 furuno techs tell me over the phone that the chirp unit will not do as well as the old set-up in deep water, which doesn't make sense to me. I'm not blown away by this system, especially for the price to upgrade.
I made a pretty similar switch when I went from a DFF1 and M260 on my old boat to a DFF1-UHD and paired B175 low and high tilted element through hulls on a new boat. My expectation was that the new setup would be a lot better since not only did I have the latest and greatest CHIRP black box, I was also going to directly shooting through water without 2" of glass at the keel as with the M260.

In fact my experience was not a lot different than what you saw. The CHIRP setup had visibly better discrimination for fishing in relatively shallow water down to 300 feet or so using the high frequency. There wasn't all that much difference looking for bait mid water in 100-500 feet with low or high. The deepest I get is usually about 1400-1600 feet at the canyons. Both units showed bottom okay in low frequency but the CHIRP unit was not really any better in terms of detail. That's presumably where the through hull transducer should have made the most difference versus the M260. I can easily see that if I had been using an M265 instead, the CHIRP performance might actually have been worse as you have experienced.

If I had to do it over again with the second installation, I would have gone to the DFF3 black box, which allows fixed frequency selection across a range. I think that unit would have done much better since it is like the FCV 1150, which works really well. Sometimes newer is not better. Furuno was adding features to the DFF1-UHD such as the bottom discrimination that I never found all that useful and it may have been at the expense of basic fish finding.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:39 AM   #6
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I have both a DFF3 with a R309 and a DHH1-UHD two transducers a B265LH and a B175HW. I feel that each is better in a different situation. The chirp is extremely good in moderate depths in the high frequencies in both transducers but again each is better suited for a type of fishing. The DFF3 is outstanding in deep and very, very good everywhere. The problem is really based on what you are fishing for and what cone angles are best for that type of fishing. For example, when fishing for giant tuna on the hook, and trolling, the wide chirp is outstanding. Last year I threw a beer bottle top to see if I could see it and I tracked the dam thing down to 120 meters - 370 feet. Tuna were very clearly seen going after my bait. The chirp unit does require fine tuning and definitely things improve with experience in manual operation. Suggest you write in the Furuno forum and place pictures there as their people are very good and happy to help.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:24 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. Originally bought the DFF3 and was going to get a 3k transducer, but decided the retrofit wasn't worth it and got lured in by the Chirp claims.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:35 PM   #8
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I hope you can figure it out. Personally I think the clutter is unimportant and just seems to be a side effect of saltwater and chirp, I mean it's not like it's hiding a fish in there.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nomans View Post
Furuno was adding features to the DFF1-UHD such as the bottom discrimination that I never found all that useful and it may have been at the expense of basic fish finding.
You may be right with your hunch - a post from one of the Furuno guys on their forum:

Quote:
The Chirp range on the DFF1-UHD is fixed. The concept of a variable Chirp has been in our minds for a long time. The ability to slew the sounders "Chirp" range to better match the transducer is being tested along with a variable bandwidth control to improve interference rejection. The biggest part to this is trying to create a variable algorithm for all the different output power/frequency/beam width combinations for the ACCU-FISH and Bottom Discrimination modes.
That was from 2014 so disregard the bit about currently testing.

In the same post, he also mentions this:
Quote:
At this point the DFF1-UHD internal diplexer is centered on two frequencies 50 (30-70Khz) and 200 (175-225Khz). Besides changing the software the internal components would need to be changed.
This doesn't match the frequencies of the B265LH (I'm assuming this is what OP has and not the LM variant) which are 42-65kHz and 130-210kHz. The low band looks OK but it doesn't fit so well for the high band which will be operating on reduced bandwidth/resolution and not making the most of the transducers capability.

Another thing I wasn't aware of was the fact the DFF1-UHD doesn't have fixed frequency capability like the other brands have (even in their built-in sonar units), so OP please disregard my previous comment about trying fixed frequency.

Previously I'd thought it was somewhat of a benchmark CHIRP unit but after looking a bit deeper, it seems like Furuno dropped the ball somewhat with the UHD module.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZFish View Post
You may be right with your hunch - a post from one of the Furuno guys on their forum:



That was from 2014 so disregard the bit about currently testing.

In the same post, he also mentions this:


This doesn't match the frequencies of the B265LH (I'm assuming this is what OP has and not the LM variant) which are 42-65kHz and 130-210kHz. The low band looks OK but it doesn't fit so well for the high band which will be operating on reduced bandwidth/resolution and not making the most of the transducers capability.

Another thing I wasn't aware of was the fact the DFF1-UHD doesn't have fixed frequency capability like the other brands have (even in their built-in sonar units), so OP please disregard my previous comment about trying fixed frequency.

Previously I'd thought it was somewhat of a benchmark CHIRP unit but after looking a bit deeper, it seems like Furuno dropped the ball somewhat with the UHD module.
Yes, unfortunately I think the marketing pressure to have a recreational CHIRP product may have overcome the traditional Furuno engineering-driven product development. It is hardly comparable since it costs 5-6X as much, but Furuno can certainly turn out a fantastic CHIRP box as shown by the new FCV1900. A friend of mine got one for his large sportfishing boat. It is astoundingly good in terms of ability to show detail and has almost infinite tuning capabilities.

It was a little surprising when I got a Furuno TZT2 display with a built-in non-CHIRP sounder for my small boat which has a cheap B60 transducer and realized that it was just about as good in water less than 150 feet as the much more expensive DFF1-UHD with a high performance transducer.
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