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Should I upgrade to a – Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 73sv?
We take a detailed look at the specs, look at a couple reviews from some who already have and compare the Plus to the UHD and Ultra.
The Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 73sv – Is an easy-to-use, easy-to-setup 7″ color chartplotter/sonar combo with a keyed-assist touchscreen.
It has very clear CHIRP traditional sonar, CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonar plus adding panoptix is as easy as simply adding a transducer no black box needed.
Instantly create custom fishing maps on-screen with 1’ contours with built-in Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours mapping.
It comes preloaded with LakeVü g3 charts with integrated Navionics data for over 17,000 US lakes plus built-in Wi-Fi® to pair with the free ActiveCaptain app.
Easily share sonar, waypoints and routes with other ECHOMAP Plus 7” and 9” units as well as ECHOMAP Ultra 10” and 12” units.
ECHOMAP Plus Series – Comes in 4 screen sizes and features more powerful sonar capabilities, preloaded Garmin g3 charts and mapping, and built-in Wi-Fi® for access to the Garmin Active Captain marine app.
Excellent Clarity and Sunlight readability
This is one of the first things you notice with the ECHOMAP Plus 73sv. The screen is bright and has an excellent viewing angle even in direct sun.
Keyed assist touchscreen – The 7″ screen uses touchscreen navigation along with a keypad with 4 quick access shortcut keys to assign to the active screen when held. The Shortcut button opens the assigned screen when pressed.
Built-in 5Hz GPS receiver – The 5hz GPS receiver acquires satellites within about 30 seconds on start up and shows exact location pretty quick.
TouchScreen navigation menu – Setting up the ECHOMAP Plus 73sv for how you fish or cruise is Garmin simple and adding custom screens and settings is pretty straight forward.
You can add items and rearrange items on the home screen and even change to background image.
Custom Pages – Creating custom combinations is easy. Setup a custom screen for fishing with sonar splitscreen with traditional on one side and clearvu on the other.
Set one up with chart and sonar for cruising or one for finding structure using clearvu and sidevu sonar only. Then assign up to 4 custom screens to the shortcut keys for quick access.
Creating a New Combination Pages – You have choice between 7 different screen combinations and can customize each pane individually.
Built-in sonar capabilities – Includes a 500W CHIRP traditional sonar, ClearVü/SideVü scanning sonars and support the full line of Panoptix all-seeing sonar transducers, including the Panoptix LiveScope system.
Addtional info on the Panoptix™ all-seeing sonar line.
TRADITIONAL CHIRP SONAR – Instead of sending just 1 single frequency at a time, CHIRP sonar sends a continuous sweep of frequencies ranging from low to high.
The ECHOMAP Plus 73sv has a 500W CHIRP sonar that sweeps a continuous range of frequencies, from low to high, in a single transmission. The returns from each frequency in that transmission are then interpreted and showed on the screen.
Since this continuous sweep of frequencies provides CHIRP with a much wider range of information, CHIRP sonar is able to create a very clear, high-resolution image.
As you can see above, you get far greater target separation and more defined arches than you would with standard 50/200 kHz sonar. The maximum working depth is about 2,300 ft @ 77kHz, freshwater and 1,100 ft @ 77kHz, saltwater.
Max depth very is dependent on water bottom type and other water conditions.
Recording the Sonar Display – Very cool feature that allows you to record the sonar screen for playback on Garmin HomePort™ and review at a later time. I find it pretty valuable to be able to look over the the recording from the day and mark any spots that i what to check out in more detail.
As I play it back, I can stop and drop a GPS mark on something interesting and upload to the GPS to take a look at next time I’m on the water.
Start Recording – Insert a memory card into the card slot. From a sonar view, select MENU > Record Sonar. Garmin says 15 minutes of sonar recording uses approximately 200 MB of space of the inserted memory card but i recorded several hours and only had a 980mb file.
An individual recording automatically ends after it reaches 4 GB in size. You can record sonar data until the card reaches capacity.
Note: Before you can play back the sonar recordings, you must download and install the Garmin HomePort™ application and record sonar data onto a memory card.
Sonar History Rewind – As the ECHOMAP Plus 73sv records sonar you can go back and see what you previously went over by just tapping the screen and scrolling back. The amount of sonar history available to scroll back and view is about from 2-3 screens wide.
The scroll speed will effect how you will have recorded. For example, if the GPS is set to a slower scroll speed in the sonar menu, window of time the unit can rewind will be greater. If the device is set to it’s fastest scroll speed, you will see a smaller window of time within the sonar rewind.
If you see some thing good that you just marked, rewind the history, tap the screen and drop a waypoint on it to save it. The best honey holes are often found when moving from one location to another.
ClearVü SONAR – ClearVü scanning sonar is mainly used to identify structure scanning sonar and gives you a nearly photographic image structure below the boat.
With ClearVü, you see structure, submerged objects, and fish separation more clearly.
Instead of a cone-shaped beam like traditional CHIRP sonar, ClearVü scanning sonar sweeps a narrow beam of very high-frequency (455 or 800kHz) from side to side, producing “slices” that are combined to create very detailed images.
Fish are easily identifiable on Traditional View with CHIRP where as Structures are well defined using ClearVü.
For fishermen and divers looking for structure like wrecks, reefs, log piles and other underwater natural and man made features, ClearVü is a great tool.
SideVü SONAR – SideVü is a high frequency sonar that gives a true to life view of structures and targets on the either side of the boat. Like ClearVü, SideVü scanning sonar sweeps a narrow beam of very high-frequency (455 or 800kHz) out to the side, producing “slices” that create very detailed images.
You see a crystal clear image that makes it easy to identify wrecks, structure, rocks and even fish that are stacked up next to or above them.
The distance you can scan out to the side depends on the depth but can be usable out several hundred feet which is excellent for covering and searching lots of area quickly.
Panoptix Livescope – Panoptix all-seeing sonar is pretty amazing sonar technology. It gives us the ability to see all around the boat in real time and in 3 dimensions.
Panoptix shows highly detailed, easy-to interpret live scanning sonar images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around your boat in real time, even when the boat is stationary.
Images are so clear, that Garmin says with a little practice, we might be able to identify species!
Both LiveScope Forward and LiveScope Down modes are included in one transducer and are available with either transom or trolling motor mounts. To use Panoptix sonar, you need a compatible chartplotter which the ECHOMAP Plus 73sv is, and a compatible transducer.
Panoptix Livescope Forward is cool tool for scouting and fishing out ahead of the boat. You get live, detailed images of structure and fish out to about to 200′ – even while the boat is siting in one spot.
Panoptix LiveScope Down gives us live scanning sonar images of structure and swimming fish in awesome detail below the boat up to 200′ out from the transducer.
Garmin LakeVü g3 – The ECHOMAP Plus 73sv comes preloaded with the latest LakeVü g3 cartography for very detailed, clear and concise charts and maps for over 17,000 US lakes.
Upgrading charts to BlueChart® g3 Vision is easy with the microSD card slot located on the front of the device.
Garmin’s Auto Guidance technology – shows a suggested route to a destination, based on specs that you enter in the device like draft, and vertical height restrictions.
Note: Auto Guidance – *With Vision or Ultra chart upgrade.
Depth Range Shading – is shown in high-resolution for up to 10 depth ranges, so you can see your needed depth at a glance by color.
Shallow water shading – allows for shading at a user-defined depth to give a clear picture of shallow waters to avoid based on your own draft.
Detailed Contours – 1′ contours that provide a more accurate look of bottom structure for improved fishing charts and enhanced detail in swamps, canals and port layouts.
Quickdraw Contours instantly creates personalized HD maps with 1’ contours and depth labels for any body of water as you fish.
When Quickdraw Contours records data, a colored circle surrounds the vessel icon. This circle represents the approximate area of the map that is scanned by each pass. Quickly see where you have been.
The screen shows maps being created instantly in real-time. Easily add labels, mark timber, brush piles, favorite fishing spots and anything you want to remember on your map for the next trip.
Improve Your Saltwater Maps & Uncover unknown areas – Many areas have no map detail. With Quickdraw, you can create maps that show you depth contours clearly labeled on the screen. You also can improve your existing maps that show locations of underwater mountains, drop offs, crevices or wrecks.
The maps are all yours – tailor them to fit your needs. Keep the data for yourself, or share maps with others in the QuickDraw Community on Garmin Connect .
You can view Garmin Quickdraw Contours in a combination screen or as a single view on the map. The amount of saved data depends on the size of your memory card, your sonar source, and the speed of your boat as you record data.
You can record longer when you use a single-beam sonar. It is estimated that you might be able to record about 1,500 hours of data onto a 2 GB memory card.
When you record data on a memory card in your chartplotter, the new data is added to your existing Garmin Quickdraw Contours map, and is saved on the memory card. When you insert a new memory card, the existing data does not transfer onto the new card.
Connected Boating App – The free all-in-one ActiveCaptain app gives your ECHOMAP™ Plus 73sv a powerful connection for upgrading charts, maps and access the Garmin community.
Wherever you are, you can have unlimited access to your cartography, purchase new maps and charts, and access the Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours Community.
Active Captain Features
Garmin SailAssist – Special preloaded sailing features such as laylines, enhanced wind rose, heading and course-over-ground lines, true wind data fields and tide/current/time slider.
For sail racing, there are pre-race guidance, synchronized race timer, virtual starting line, time to burn and lay line data fields.
Garmin ECHOMAP Plus… UHD or Ultra
Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 73sv | Help & Support
Garmin ECHOMAP Plus Software Updates
Rear Connections Include – 1-Power Connection, 1-NMEA 2000 Connection, 1-12 PIN Sonar Connection and 1-Network/Panoptix Port.
Quick-Release Mount – The mount features both tilt and swivel capabilities to provide a great viewing angle. Cables plug directly into the mount, for quick installation and removal at the end of the day.
Charting | Mapping
Fishfinder | Sounder
|Model||ECHOMAP Plus 73sv|
9.8" x 5.5" x 2.0"
25 x 13.9 x 5.1 cm
|Display type||WVGA | Key-Assist Touchsreen|
6.1"x3.4" | 7.0" diagonal
|Display resolution||400 x 800 pixels|
|Display - Brightness||Not Available|
|Power consumption||1.5A | 12V|
|GPS Antenna||Internal or external NMEA_2000|
|GPS Receiver||5 Hz GPS|
|Mounting options||Bail or flush|
|Model||ECHOMAP Plus 73sv|
|Accepts data cards||1 microSD card | 32GB Max|
|Track log||50,000 points; 50 saved tracks|
|Preloaded Maps||LakeVü g3 + Navionics | 17,000 Lakes|
|Model||ECHOMAP Plus 73sv|
|Supports DSC - GPS Data / VHF||Yes|
|Black Box sonar support||No|
|Planning Software Compatible||No|
|App-Control Compatibility||Active Captain|
|Remote Input Device - compatible||No|
|Model||ECHOMAP Plus 73sv|
|Transmit Power||500W Traditional | 500W SideVü/ClearVü|
|Dual-frequency (50/200 kHz) sonar capable||Yes|
|Dual-Beam Sonar (77/200 kHz) capable||Yes - 50/200 | 77/200 | 83/200|
|CHIRP sonar technology||CHIRP: 50-250|
|ClearVü | Down||CHIRP ClearVü|
|SideVü | Side||CHIRP SideVü|
|Model||ECHOMAP Plus 73sv|
|NMEA 2000 compatible||Yes|
|NMEA 0183 input ports||1|
|NMEA 0183 output ports||1|
|Marine Network Ports||1 Panoptix|
|Video input ports||No|
|Video output ports||No|
|In The Box||
ECHOMAP Plus 73sv with LakeVü g3
Tilt mount with quick release cradle
Additional ECHOMAP Plus 73sv manuals from Garmin: