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SUPER BRIGHT SCREEN | KeyPad Control
Should you upgrade to a…
Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S?
We take a detailed look at the specifications and get a couple of thoughts from some who already have. This is a long one so be prepared.
The Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S – Is a pretty easy-to-use, simple-to-setup color, Chartplotter/depth sounder with a keypad interface and a built-in 10Hz GPS/GLONASS GPS Antenna.
The 12″ Optically Bonded LCD screen is very bright at 1500 nits and has a resolution of 1280×800. Its primarily geared towards the inland and coastal cruiser that needs an excellent navigation device with depth sounder capability.
It comes with a Single channel High CHIRP Sonar, a quad-core processor, and the Raymarine LightHouse Sport operating system for ease of use and a pretty snappy response.
Maps and charting include support for a wide range of options including Raymarine LightHouse NC2, Navionics, and CMAP. Raymarine RealBathy and Navionics SonarChart Live are also supported for creating custom charts and maps.
The element is radar-ready and supports the Raymarine Quantum Series Radomes, which connect using wifi. It also supports AIS target overlays, autopilot integration, and sailing instrument displays using NMEA200 and SeaTalkng.
The Element series can’t be connected to a network but 2 Element displays can be linked together on SeaTalkng and can Sync waypoints.
Element displays are Raymarine’s chart plotting/fishfinding displays for budget-conscious boaters who don’t need the touch screen, networking options, advanced features supported by MFDs running LightHouse 3 and LightHouse II software like the Axiom series.
The Element S units add further savings to those who don’t advanced fishfinder capabilities within the display like the Element HV series have.
The Raymarine Element S comes in 3 screen sizes 7″, 9″, and 12″ and includes a high CHIRP sonar depth sounder. They can be bracket mounted or surface mounted.
The Raymarine Element comes in 2 basic flavors, the S and the HV. The charting options are the same on each model but the big difference is in the sonar.
The S series is primarily a very capable navigational display with basic sonar. It comes with a 100W Single-channel High CHIRP Sonar with a maximum depth range of about 900′.
The HV Series on the other hand is a serious CHIRP Sonar fishing finding a machine with GPS and navigation.
The Element HV includes 1.2 megahertz HyperVision that does take inland and coastal sonar to a new level of precision. It adds DownVision, SideVision, and RealVision 3D.
Element’s HyperVision lets you view structure and target fish in super high resolution.
1. Waypoint – Place a waypoint at your vessel’s position.
2. Home – Press to display the Homescreen.
3. Menu – Open Homescreen menus and App menus.
4. Directional pad To navigate Homescreen and menus.
5. Back – Move back one page.
6. OK — Confirms menu selections, opens context menus.
7. Minus (Zoom / Range out)
8. Plus (Zoom / Range in)
9. Quick Launch 1 / 2 / 3 | Opens the assigned app page.
10. Power – Power on/Power off | Shortcuts menu | Power off
1. Position/fix details – Shows position coordinates. Select the area to view fix accuracy and to access position settings.
2. Supply voltage – The Voltage reading is colored Red if the current supply voltage is lower than the value specified in the Low voltage alarm setting.
3. Status area – Displays system time, count down/up timer, and sonar ping status. Select the area to set count down / up timer, time zone, and to set daylight savings.
4. App page icons – The Homescreen is made up of 3 pages that can each contain up to 6 app page icons. Selecting an app page icon opens the relevant app page.
To view a different Homescreen page, keep pressing the Directional pad’s Left or Right buttons until the Homescreen page changes. You can identify which Homescreen page is being shown using the indicator bar, located above the Routes & Tracks icon.
5. Waypoints – Select to view the Waypoints list.
6. Routes & Tracks – Select to view the Routes and Tracks lists.
7. Settings – Select to view the display’s Settings menu.
Lighthouse sports software – You can get the latest updates and see new release features for Lighthouse sport here.
Though the Element 12 S is not a full network device, it can link up to compatible components using NMEA200 and SeaTalkng for added information and WiFi to connect to radar.
Currently, 9/2020 – Raymarine has not yet announced the introduction of a smartphone/tablet app for use in conjunction with Element displays.
Wi-Fi – 802.11 b / g / n
Bluetooth – Element has Bluetooth, but Raymarine has not yet introduced any LightHouse Sport features that will use Bluetooth communications.
Raymarine – 9/14/2020 – “Whilst the Element series does have Bluetooth enabled, this is for a future app.”
Supported NMEA2000 Networking
SeaTalk ng – is an interconnection bus for Raymarine products. Small diameter cable connectors are used throughout the system to make installation easier.
There’s a wide range of cable lengths, all with molded plugs, so there is no need to cut or splice cables. Spur cables connect individual SeaTalkng products to the SeaTalkng backbone.
An example SeaTalkng system is provided below. Connection to a network provides the display with data from other connected devices.
1. EV-1 heading sensor.
2. RS150 GNSS receiver.
3. Wind vane transducer.
4. SeaTalkng ® spur cables.
5. iTC-5 converter.
6. SeaTalkng ® 5-way connector block.
7. DeviceNet to SeaTalkng ® adaptor cable.
8. DeviceNet connection on display’s power / NMEA 2000 cable.
10. Element™ display.
11. SeaTalkng/NMEA 2000 VHF DSC Radio (GPS/GNSS position data)
12. DeviceNet connection to vessel’s engine management system.
14. SeaTalkng ® power cable (connects to vessel’s 12 V dc power supply).
15. SeaTalkng ® backbone cables.
Here is a list of NMEA200 and SeaTalkng items that can be added for complete functionality.
► EV-1 Heading sensor – EV-1 enables vessel heading data to be available, regardless of vessel movement.
► Evolution™ autopilot system – Evolution autopilot enables navigation data to be sent to a compatible autopilot controller.
► ECI-100 – An ECI-100 enables the display of compatible engine data. For further information on compatible engines refer to: p.21 — Compatible engine systems
► VHF radio – Provides position data to a compatible VHF radio.
► RS150 GNSS receiver – Connecting an external GNSS/GPS receiver can provide more accurate position tracking. If the internal antenna is being blocked.
► AIS700 / AIS650 / AIS350 – Connecting compatible AIS hardware allows AIS targets to be tracked in the chart app.
► iTC-5 – Analog transducers connected via an iTC-5 enable the display of transducer sensor data (depth, speed, wind, water temperature, etc.) in data boxes and the dashboard app.
Note: Transducer calibration is not supported by the display and must be performed on an appropriate SeaTalkng ® instrument display such as the i70S multifunction instrument display.
► Airmar NMEA 2000 smart sensors – Connecting an Airmar smart sensor transducer such as an ST800 smart TRIDUCER Multisensor that offers the depth, speed, and temperature or the P79 depth dual-frequency, depth only unit can add additional sonar capability.
► Compatible engine systems – An ECI-100 engine gateway (E70227), engine data for up to two compatible engines can be displayed. The following engine systems are supported.
► Third-party tank level sensors – Standard compatible third-party NMEA 2000 tank level sensors enable the display of tank level sensor data.
Data can be displayed for:
Rear Connections –
Built-in sonar capabilities – The Element 12 S includes a built-in Single channel 100W High CHIRP sonar. It’s not very powerful but does have a maximum depth range of about 900′. Not a fish finder but reasonable depth sounding capability and sufficient for cruising and keeping you off the bottom.
RealBathy | Custom Charts – Create precise personal bathymetric/contour charts in real-time using Raymarine’s RealBathy feature. This cool feature gives you the ability to make your own customs chart with 1′ contours without the need for a Navionics subscription.
RealBathy™ requires compatible LightHouse NC2 charts and a MicroSD card with sufficient free space to record depth and bathymetry data.
RealBathy is designed to overlay on any type of cartography (including the base world maps) with logged sonar data.
Pretty handy for getting very accurate custom maps in an area that the charts don’t show detail. Waypoints can overlay auto-map.
When using RealBathy, new contour lines are drawn in real-time on the screen based on your transducer’s depth readings. Color shading is used to reflect depth, with the darkest shade signifying the shallowest area. The sonar data is recorded to the inserted memory card.
The 3 Steps for using RealBathy and building your own chart.
1. Insert blank microSD card.
2. Choose the LightHouse chart.
3. Enable RealBathy option.
4. Start Mapping
Compatible radar scanners – The Element 12 S display includes Wi-Fi which can be used to connect wirelessly to the following radar scanners:
• Quantum™ Q24W (E70344)
• Quantum™ Q24C (E70210)
• Quantum™ 2 Doppler Q24D (E70498)
The Radar app allows you to configure a Guard Zone alarm which is triggered when an object is located within the specified guard zone area. The Range rings, the bearing ring, and a VRM/EBL can be used to identify a target’s range and bearing in relation to your vessel.
The Radar app can be displayed on fullscreen and in split-screen.
AIS targets can also be displayed and tracked in the Radar app, however, Element displays do not support tracking of radar targets or doppler features. That is a limitation of LightHouse™ Sport.
Radar modes – The Radar app provides preset modes that can be used to quickly achieve the best picture depending on your current situation. Only Radar modes supported by your Radar scanner are shown.
WEATHER – Weather mode optimizes the Radar display to help identify precipitation, useful for helping determine weather fronts.
OFFSHORE – Offshore mode takes into account high levels of Sea clutter so that targets are still visible, useful when navigating in open water away from the coast.
COASTAL – Coastal mode takes into account slightly higher levels of Sea clutter that are encountered out of Harbor areas. This mode is useful when in open water but keeping to coastal areas.
HARBOR – Harbor mode takes into account land clutter that is typically encountered in a Harbor so that smaller targets are still visible. This mode is useful when navigating in a Harbor.
Raymarine Quantum Radar Review – Here is a pretty in-depth review done by Practical Boat a few years ago of the Quantum radar up against the RD418D traditional radar and some additional images next to an open array.
The Element has charting support for Raymarine LightHouse NC2, Navionics, C-MAP Essentials, C-MAP 4D MAX+, and is compatible with all charts listed on the Raymarine Chart Store.
Waypoints, routes, and tracks may be transferred to the Element displays via microSD card using a GPX file produced by a navigational planning application supporting the GPX waypoint/route/track file format.
Here are a few highlights of LightHouse NC2, Navionics Nav+, and CMAP.
Raymarine Lighthouse NC2
Raymarine LightHouse Charts is a library of digital map products from Raymarine and leading map makers like Standard Mapping and CMOR.
The new LightHouse NC2 North American nautical chart offers high-quality mapping combined with fishing intelligence from Fishing Hot Spots.
Some features include:
Superior Navigational Charts – Color-shaded bathymetric charts. Displays buoys, hazards, and navigational channels. Includes tidal height stations.
Points of Interest – Marinas, boat ramps, and access points. Fuel docks, parking lots, and restrooms. Campgrounds, parks, and facilities.
Local Fishing Intel – Fishing Hot Spots with GPS Coordinates with expert-verified, local fishing tips, submerged structure, and bottom composition and researched waterbody descriptions.
RealBathy Personal Sonar Mapping – Create your own bathymetric charts with live sonar mapping and further improve the accuracy of existing charts. Improved tidal data with RealBathy™ tide offset and account for real-time water levels and local fluctuations.
Excellent Coverage Area (North America) – Contiguous U.S., the Great Lakes, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Bahamas.
See – Raymarine Lighthouse NC2 for the latest coverage area.
Navionics+ is available preloaded in the Element series and fully downloadable versions. It offers wide coverage areas around the world but chart updates are subscription-based.
In North America, Navionics+ includes marine and lake charts, all with SonarChart 1ft HD contours, throughout the US and Canada, plus a growing list of more than 22,000 inland lakes.
Navionics charts are excellent with accurate and thorough maps of oceans, lakes, and marine areas. Create your own maps with SonarChart live, sync your waypoints and routes with the Navionics Boating App or get to your next destination with Dock-to-dock auto-routing.
Navionics recently was bought out by Garmin so you do have to wonder how the Raymarine ~ Navionics connection will hold up going forward.
Nautical Charts – Navionics+ is a pretty robust chart resource that has been trusted by boaters worldwide for a long time.
SonarChart – HD Bathymetry Maps that reflect ever-changing conditions.
Community Edits – Localised chart data contributed by the Navionics Community
C-MAP Charts – C-MAP has been a leader in professional and leisure digital nautical charts are well known for accurate
and easy-to-understand chart products, including C-MAP Essentials and 4D-MAX+ premium marine charts.
Feature list for CMAP 4D MAx+ include:
Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S | Help & Support
Raymarine Forums – Great source for user info and technical questions
Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S | Software Updates
TheHullTruth – ELEMENT Conversation by a couple new users
TheHullTruth – Raymarine Element 9 vs. Lowrance Live 9
Charting | Mapping
Sounder | Sonar
|Model||Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S|
14.1"x 8.5" x 2.4"
35.7 x 21.5 x 6.2 cm
|Display type||WXGA | Color Keypad|
|Display resolution||1280 x 800 pixels|
|Display - Brightness||1500 Nits|
|Power consumption||2.1A | 12V|
|GPS Antenna||Internal or external NMEA 2000|
|GPS Receiver||10 Hz GPS/GLONASS|
|Mounting options||Bail or flush|
|Model||Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S|
|Accepts data cards||1 microSD card | up to 2TB|
|Track log||10,000 points; 15 saved tracks|
Raymarine LightHouse NC2
Navionics | C-MAP Essentials
C-MAP 4D MAX+
|Tide Tables||Yes | With Chart Card|
|Model||Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S|
|Radar compatible||Yes | Quantum|
High CHIRP | 200kHz
|Supports DSC - GPS Data / VHF||Yes|
|Black Box sonar support||No|
|Planning Software Compatible||Navionics|
|Remote Input Device - compatible||No|
|Model||Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S|
|Transmit Power||100W | High CHIRP|
|Dual-frequency (50/200 kHz) sonar capable||No|
|Dual-Beam Sonar (77/200 kHz) capable||No|
|CHIRP sonar technology||200 kHz|
|ClearVü | Down||No|
|SideVü | Side||No|
|Model||Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S|
|NMEA 2000 compatible||Yes|
|NMEA 0183 input ports||No|
|NMEA 0183 output ports||No|
|Other Ports||9 Pin Transducer|
|Model||Raymarine ELEMENT 12 S|
|SEE PRICE »»|
|Additional - 1||Sailing Features|
|Additional - 2||Supports CPT-S transom and thru-hull transducers|
|In The Box||
Element 12 S display
Surface mount gasket
Trunnion knobs x2
Surface mount stainless steel fixings x4 (M4x40 machine screw, M4 flatwasher, M4 lockingnut)
Power / NMEA2000 cable (includes 1.5m (4.92ft) power lead and 0.5m (1.64ft) NMEA2000 lead).
Additional – ELEMENT 12 S manuals from Raymarine: