ADVANCED NETWORKING | Touchscreen Control
Last Updated by NavGuy: 9/12/2023
Should you upgrade to a – GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch?
We take a detailed look at the specifications and get a couple of thoughts from some who already have.
The Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch – Is a pretty easy-to-use, simple-to-setup 12.1″ color, advanced all-in-one fully networkable Chartplotter/fishfinder with a touchscreen interface.
It comes with a 1kw CHIRP traditional sonar, CHIRP ClearVü/SideVü scanning sonar, and support for Panoptix LiveScope LVS12 sonar plus the full line of Panoptix all-seeing sonar transducers.
Preloaded charts and mapping include BlueChart® g3 charts and LakeVü g3 maps. Built-in Wi-Fi paired with the free ActiveCaptain app makes updates and chart upgrades pretty simple.
Garmin confused this model series a bit as the 1242xsv comes in 3 flavors. The touch and the keypad control models have the same features just one with a touch screen and the other with a keypad control and multifunction control knob. Also, the Touch comes with an HDMI out port the keypad model does not.
The GPSMAP 1242xsv Plus – announced in October of 2019 included a few new features focused on more integration capabilities like Garmin OneHelm™ which allows control of onboard systems directly from the screen.
It adds screen control and customization of crucial systems like lighting, stabilization, and digital switching to one master source.
Two other additions for the GPSMAP Plus series are enhanced J1939 port for engine integration and the processing power has been improved to provide a faster user experience across the entire network.
Chart redraw speeds will be faster and all other sensors like radar, sonar, and multimedia will benefit from the increased performance.
Garmin GPSMAP Touch – Comes in 3 screen sizes, features full scanning sonar capabilities, and supports Panoptix LiveScope. It also supports the new single-array LVS12, which delivers live scanning sonar images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around the boat in real-time.
The GPSMAP Touch family comes preloaded with both Garmin BlueChart g3 charts and LakeVü mapping. Upgrading to LakeVü g3 Ultra or BlueChart® g3 Vision is easy by using Active Captain or by using one of the two SD card slots.
Clear Screen and Bright – This is one of the first things you will pick up on with the GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch. The 12.1″ diagonal WXGA Color Touchscreen display measures 1280 x 800 pixels and is bright with an excellent viewing angle even in direct sun.
Built-in GPS – The 10hz GPS receiver acquires satellites quickly on startup and shows the exact location without much delay.
Network Capabilities – Easily share sonar data, Panoptix sonar, user data, waypoints, routes, radar, IP Cameras, and supplemental charts among multiple units.
NMEA 2000 | 0183 – Connect the Ultra to an autopilot, digital switching, weather, FUSION-Link audio system, media, VHF or AIS, and other sensors.
GPX Waypoints Transfer – If you have waypoints, tracks, or frequently used routes on another GPS, GPX is an easy way to transfer them to the 1242xsv Touch. GPX is an industry-standard software format for transferring GPS data (waypoints, routes, and tracks) to other devices.
Touchscreen navigation – Setting up the unit for how you fish or cruise is simple and adding custom screens and settings is pretty easy without having to do a deep dive into the manual.
You can add items, rearrange items on the home screen, and even change the background image.
Custom Pages – Creating custom combinations is easy. Set up a custom screen for fishing with a sonar split-screen with traditional on one side and clearvu on the other.
Set one up with a chart and sonar for cruising or one for finding structure using ClearVü and SideVü sonar only.
Creating a New Combination Pages – You have a choice between 7 different screen combinations and can customize each pane individually.
Built-in sonar capabilities – The GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch includes a 1kW CHIRP traditional sonar, ClearVü | SideVü scanning sonars, and supports the full line of Panoptix all-seeing sonar transducers, including the Panoptix LiveScope system.
Additional info on the Panoptix™ all-seeing sonar line.
Networked units can share their internal sonar with any other device connected to the network. You can choose what information is overlaid on the sonar screen; for example, radar, time of day, or GPS speed.
TRADITIONAL CHIRP SONAR – CHIRP sonar sends a continuous sweep of frequencies ranging from low to high, instead of sending just 1 single frequency at a time.
The 1kW CHIRP sonar sweeps a continuous range of frequencies, from low to high, in a single transmission. The information returned from each frequency in that transmission is then shown on the screen.
Since this continuous sweep of frequencies provides a much wider range of information, CHIRP sonar can 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 5,000 ft at 1kW, saltwater depending on the bottom type and water conditions.
Recording the Sonar Display – A very cool feature that allows you to record the sonar screen for playback on Garmin HomePort™ and review it later. I find it pretty valuable to be able to look over 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 it to the GPS to take a look at it the next time I’m on the water. See the image below.
To 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 playback 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 GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch gets sonar data, while you’re tracking bottom or fish, 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 the view is about from 2-3 screens wide.
The scroll speed will affect how you will have recorded. For example, if the GPS is set to a slower scroll speed in the sonar menu, the window of time the unit can rewind will be greater. If the device is set to its fastest scroll speed, you will see a smaller window of time within the sonar rewind.
If you see something 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 sonar is mainly used to identify the structure 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 the 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 whereas Structures are well-defined using ClearVü.
For fishermen and divers looking for structures 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 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, structures, 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 areas quickly.
Panoptix 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 GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch is, and a compatible transducer. The transducer plugs right into the Panoptix network port.
Panoptix Livescope Forward is a cool tool for scouting and fishing out ahead of the boat. You get live, detailed images of structure and fish out to about 200′ – even while the boat is sitting in one spot. A live sonar looks at fish moving toward or away from the boat.
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. Shows real-time moving sonar images of baitfish and large fish swimming below the boat and pinpoints distance left or right and their depths
Coastal Charting & Lakes Maps – The GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch comes preloaded with BlueChart® g3 coastal charts and LakeVü g3 inland maps, both with integrated Navionics data and Auto Guidance technology data for very detailed charts and mapping.
BlueChart g3 Charts cover the coastal U.S., including the East and West coasts, the Gulf of Mexico, and the U.S. and Canadian sides of the Great Lakes. LakeVü g3 inland maps cover more than 17,000 lakes with up to 1’ contours.
Upgrading charts is easy with the 2 SD card slots located on the front of the device or the Active Captain App.
Blue Chart g3 & LakeVü g3 features
Garmin 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.
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 at bottom structure for improved fishing charts and enhanced detail in swamps, canals, and port layouts.
Quickdraw Contours instantly creates personalized high-definition charts 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 on 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 Active Captain app from Garmin gives the GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch a connection for upgrading charts, maps, and access to 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 is available for both iPhone and Android.
Active Captain Features
Garmin launched a new trolling motor called FORCE that they developed for the freshwater market. It has a brushless motor and is said to be very quiet above and below the water. It can connect to the GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch wirelessly and be controlled by the Chartplotter.
8/2020 Update: As of July 2020 Garmin announced the 3 year Force warranty now includes salt water use.
It’s the first trolling motor to include built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional and Ultra High-Definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars.
FORCE Trolling Motor Features
The Garmin Marine Network allows the sharing of sonar, mapping, user information, Radar, and video cameras among multiple connected units. The NMEA 2000 network connectivity and NMEA 0183 supports connecting to autopilots, digital switching, weather sensor, media, VHF, AIS, engine monitoring, and a bunch of other sensors.
Digital Switching – The GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch can be used to monitor and control circuits when a compatible digital switch system is connected. For example, you can control the interior lights and navigation lights on the vessel. You can also monitor live well circuits.
A full digital switching system allows you to power up your boat while away from the dock, switch on pumps, and control lights — even underwater lights
Rear Connections Include –
Charting | Mapping
Fishfinder | Sounder
|Model||GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch|
13” x 8.9” x 3.1”
33.0 x 22.6 x 7.9 cm
|Display type||WXGA | Color Touchscreen|
10.3" x 6.4" | 12.1" diagonal
|Display resolution||1280 x 800 pixels|
|Display - Brightness||Not Available|
|Power consumption||3.0A | 12V|
|GPS Antenna||Internal or external NMEA 2000|
|GPS Receiver||10 Hz GPS|
|Mounting options||Bail or flush|
|Model||GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch|
|Accepts data cards||2 SD card | 32GB Max|
|Track log||50,000 points; 50 saved tracks|
BlueChart® g3 (coastal maps)
LakeVü g3 (inland maps)
|Model||GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch|
|Supports DSC - GPS Data / VHF||Yes|
|Supports FUSION-Link||FUSION-Link | FUSION PartyBus|
|Black Box sonar support||Yes|
|Planning Software Compatible||HomePort|
|App-Control Compatibility||Active Captain|
|Remote Input Device - compatible||GRID remote input device|
|Model||GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch|
|Transmit Power||1kw 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: 40-250|
|ClearVü | Down||CHIRP ClearVü | 260, 455, 800kHz|
|SideVü | Side||CHIRP SideVü | 260, 455, 800kHz|
|Forward View||Panoptix | LVS|
|Model||GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch|
|NMEA 2000 compatible||Yes|
|NMEA 0183 input ports||1|
|NMEA 0183 output ports||1|
|Marine Network Ports||2|
|Video input ports||1-BNC|
|Video output ports||HDMI Out|
|Other Ports||12 Pin Transducer|
|Model||GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch|
|SEE PRICE »»|
|Additional - 1||Sailing Features|
|Additional - 2||GARMIN METEOR™ AUDIO SYSTEM COMPATIBLE|
|In The Box||
GPSMAP 1242xsv Touchchartplotter
NMEA 2000 T-connector
NMEA 2000 drop cable (2 m)
8-pin transducer to 12-pin sounder adapter cable
Bail mount kit with knobs
Flush mount kit with gasket
Trim piece snap covers