Raymarine Element Review 7HV, 9HV, 12HV

2019 Raymarine Element Review (7HV, 9HV, 12HV)

The Element series fills a long empty need in Raymarine’s lineup. The Element units provide high detail megahertz imaging, CHIRP sonar, live mapping capabilities, and directly compete with the Humminbird HELIX, and to a lesser extent Garmin EchoMAP Plus units. Our Raymarine Element review will break down the specs and features so you can determine if this is the right fish finder for you.

Raymarine Element Series Overview

Head Unit:
Raymarine Element 7HV Review Hypervision
Best Value
Raymarine Element 9HV Review Hypervision
Raymarine Element 12HV Review Hypervision
Display:
7" (800 x 480)
9" (800 x 480)
12" (1280 x 800)
Transducer:
HV100
HV100
HV100
HyperVision (MHz):
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth:
Live Mapping:
Head Unit:
Raymarine Element 7HV Review Hypervision
Display:
7" (800 x 480)
Transducer:
HV100
HyperVision (MHz):
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth:
Live Mapping:
View on:
Compare at:
Best Value
Head Unit:
Raymarine Element 9HV Review Hypervision
Display:
9" (800 x 480)
Transducer:
HV100
HyperVision (MHz):
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth:
Live Mapping:
View on:
Compare at:
Head Unit:
Raymarine Element 12HV Review Hypervision
Display:
12" (1280 x 800)
Transducer:
HV100
HyperVision (MHz):
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth:
Live Mapping:
View on:
Compare at:

*Last updated 2019-05-27 at 05:05 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Tech Specs & Important Features

  • 3 Popular Sizes – The Element series is available in the three most common and popular sizes for recreational fishing boats. There are a small boat and budget-minded 7” (7HV), a midrange 9” (9HV), and the premium big screen 12” (12HV).
  • Bright 1500 Nit Displays – Element fish finders feature a very bright 1500 nit LCD display, that is easily readable both at an angle and in direct sunlight. The 7HV and 8HV have 70° side viewing angles, while the 12HV has a better screen overall with 89° side viewing angles. The screens are non-touch, just like the Helix units.
  • Intuitive Keypad Control – The keypad layout is nothing fancy but has everything clearly laid out, with easily understood icons. Home and Menu stand above a four-directional key, and below are Back and OK, and + and -. The bottom row contains 3 buttons to save your favorite views for quick access. Finally, they prioritized the Waypoint button, giving it an orange color and prominent location at the top. This is an extremely intuitive layout and an improvement over the Helix. Big orange waypoint button.
  • Quad-Core Processors – With all the sonar and mapping capabilities on these units, there better be some horsepower behind it to make it all run smoothly. A laggy updating screen is very annoying. The good news is the Element runs on a speedy Quad Core processor to handle the HyperVision imaging and intensive graphics of 3D RealVision.
  • LightHouse Sport OS – The Elements run a base version of the LightHouse operating system, specifically for fishing, without the more advanced navigational and system functions.
  • 2 Rear Connectors – On the back panel are two round IP67 rated connectors, a 15 pin for Sonar and an 8 pin for Power + NMEA2000. A simple and effective layout when compared to the 5 possible connectors on a Helix.
  • Connectivity – The Element has several connectivity options, with onboard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NMEA2000, and optional SeaTalkng networking with an A06045 adapter cable.

Transducer & Sonar

  • All-in-One Transducer – The HV100 transducer is a beast, performing All-in-One sonar functionality for the unit. It houses sonar crystals for HyperVision, SideVision, DownVision, RealVision (3D), and CHIRP sonar. It has a big round 15 pin connector, which is nice and secure when mated to a unit, but I’m sure it’s a pain to fish through the gunnels of a fiberglass boat. The overall size is 8 inches long x 2-¼ inches wide x 1-⅝ tall, meaning it’s larger than the Helix MEGA+ transducer.
  • HyperVision 1.2MHz Imaging – The marketing screenshots for HyperVision are impressively detailed and sharp, with one minor problem – they don’t show the range on the images. While they are advertising a 100ft range per side, it’s impossible to say what the range is on the images. Could be 100 feet, could be 40. While in comparison, the Helix MSI G3N has plenty of side imaging screenshots showing a range of 150 feet up to 200 feet in some situations.
  • Long Range 380kHz SideVision/DownVision – The standard imaging frequencies for the HV100 transducer is 380kHz, a good amount lower than the standard 455kHz most anglers are used to. Presumably, the crystals inside are dual frequency and the balance was found to be 1.2MHz and 380kHz. The range for SideVision is an impressive 300ft per side, while DownVision boasts a massive 600ft depth range.
  • CHIRP SonarThe 2D sonar operates in the 200kHz range, but there is no info on the frequency bandwidth. We can assume it has a 60 kHz bandwidth centered on 200kHz like the Axiom series.

Mapping & GPS

  • Multiple Mapping OptionsElement units will have the option of the Raymarine LightHouse NC2 charts with Fishing Hot Spots, Navionics, and C-MAP. Most freshwater anglers will probably want to go with Navionics.
  • Raymarine RealBathy – The name may sound funny, but Bathy is short for bathymetric. Bathymetric is the measurement of underwater depth, hence the funny sounding RealBathy name. Name aside, this is the live mapping function for Raymarine units that allows you to create personal, custom contour maps of your favorite lakes and fishing spots.
Raymarine RealBathy Personal Maps
Map uncharted waters with RealBathy

What’s in the Box

  • Trunnion/Gimbal bracket and mounting hardware
  • Surface/Flush mount kit and mounting hardware
  • Unit sun cover
  • Power / NMEA2000 1.5m (5ft) cable
  • Documentation/User Manual
  • Mapping (optional)
  • HV-100 Transducer with 6m (20ft) cable
  • Transom transducer bracket and hardware
  • Cable P-clips and hardware
  • Escutcheon plate and hardware

Is a Raymarine Element Right for You?

  • Great Looking MHz Imaging – HyperVision imaging looks pretty awesome judging by the screenshots. The images posted to date as the closest in quality to Humminbird MEGA so far.
  • All-in-One Transducer – Not only do you get the latest HyperVision imaging, but you get standard Side and DownVision for greater depth and range. In addition, you have the RealVision 3D functionality and wide spectrum CHIRP 2D sonar all in a single transducer install.
  • Live Mapping – Custom map making is all the rage now, and Raymarine is jumping in the pool with RealBathy.
  • Great Connectivity – With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in out of the box, that takes care of a large percentage of anglers. Those wanting a more extensive network on their boats can easily extend with a SeaTalk adapter cable.
  • Big & Small – There are only 3 Element sizes compared to 5 HELIX models, but those three sizes fall into the perfect categories. The 7 HV works on any smaller boat, kayaks, and more. For bigger bass boats and deeper pockets, you can enjoy a 9 or 12-inch screen. ONce you go 12 you will not want to go back.
  • Price – The price of the 12 and 9 are comparable to the HELX 9 and HELX 12 MSI+ G3N, but the 7HV is several hundred dollars more than a HELIX 7 MSI G3N.
  • Single MicroSD Slot – Memory card slots cost money, but this is a somewhat disappointing trend. The lone card slot is where your mapping chip will go, and you’ll have to use some other method, such as apps or Wi-Fi to pull your screenshots from the unit.

Bottom Line: The Raymarine Element has everything a boater could want out of a fish finder. Sharp imaging, CHIRP traditional sonar, 3D, custom live mapping, powerful processors, and screen sizes for any budget. Our recommendation is the Element looks like the best alternative to the HELIX and worth your consideration if you’re looking to upgrade.


*Last updated 2019-05-27 at 05:05 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 comments