Raymarine Dragonfly-4DV Sonar Review
Raymarine is a leader of marine electronics market-based in the UK and has a variety in its product line. Dragonfly is one of their best-selling series. And the Dragonfly -4DV sonar is the basic model of this series. It got a huge popularity for its cool features on an affordable budget. This unit can surely be listed on the best fish finder under $200.
Raymarine Dragonfly 4DV offers only DownVision sonar while using CHIRP technology to make this a powerful fish finder. Though the 4” little sonar fish finder doesn’t have a wide array of features, but still there is a lot to talk about the 4DV. If you are looking for a basic fish finder combined with some advanced technology, then you should know about this unit.
- Display: 4.3-inch diagonal, 480H x 272V WQVGA, optically bonded with LED backlight
- Waterproofing Standard: IPX-6 and IPX-7
- Sonar Type: CHIRP DownVision
- Frequency: 320-380 kHz/ 60° side-to-side and 1.4° fore to aft
- Depth Capability: 183m (600 ft.)
- Transducer: Transom CPT-DV (R70373)
- GPS & Maps: No
- Power Consumption: 3 W RMS at full brightness
Dragonfly 4DV Sonar: Your Underwater Viewer
The awesome thing of Dragonfly fish finders is its optically bonded display, and that made them damn good. Bonded means there is optical gel material between the screen glass and the LCD which withholds fog and gives an easier view in different angles. The resolution of the display is 480 in horizontal and 272 in vertical which is pretty good with LED backlight which helps to read in direct sunlight. What ‘s more exciting is its 24-bit color depth, which is comparatively better than the others of its price range. The control buttons are also easier to use as a gaming device.
Apart from the optically bonded display, Dragonfly 4DV unit’s display is IPX6 and IPX7 waterproof. Which means the display won’t be blur out in any weather even the reader can read well putting a sunglass on.
Sonar is an important aspect to look at while talking about a fish finder. This is the main technology of a fish or depth finder. Dragonfly 4-DV sonar fish finder comes with CHIRP DownVision sonar technology. Though it is a basic finder but its CHIRP enhanced DownVision is the main selling point of the Dragonfly series. The unit is only engineered with DownVision but not the dual frequency sonar, and it is not able to use the traditional 2D sonar view. However, you can have a range of frequencies between 320-380 kHz since it uses CHIRP sonar technology.
CHIRP Down Vision is a high technology to analysis the bottom contour. CHIRP sonar offers a greater degree of clarity than conventional transducers. The target separation is also superior. This unit can detect fish separate from the structure much easier.
The transducer that is supplied with the unit is a transom CPT-DV (R70373) transducer. The transducer uses a fan-shaped beam that creates 60-degree side-to-side angle and 1.4-degree fore to aft. Therefore, it provides a decent range of coverage. The 4DV has an excellent capability to reach the depth; 183m or600-feet. And it’s much enough from a small basic unit. Some of the fish finders available on the market struggle to track the bottom on a speedy boat. But this can take pretty clear pictures even while the boat has a speed up to 25 mph. The transducer has a built-in temperature sensor and comes with a transom mount and 4m long cable.
Some other important features that should mention here of this unit are Gain, Contrast and Noise Filters with manual and automatic modes. The Gain setting fine-tunes the echo strength at which an object is shown on display. In manual mode, you have an option to select a value from 0% to 100% and in auto mode; this will automatically adjust to suit the current condition. With the Contrast option, it mostly changes the signal strength edge for the strongest color or shading. Then again, the Noise filter option cuts the amount of clutter from the screen of the fish finder, varying throughout the gain of the water column. Here you can also adjust the noise filter from 0-100% manually, and it is set to 20% in auto mode.
Since the Dragonfly 4DV is a basic unit, it is not featured with NMEA outputs like the other models of Dragonfly series. Another downside of this unit is it does not offer GPS or cartography, so it doesn’t have any micro SD card slot too. The fish finder comes with swivel ball mount, joined cable and quick disconnection system. The battery is not included with the supplied box, but a 12-7 gel cell battery is all needed.
Features of the Raymarine Dragonfly-4DV Sonar:
- Affordable CHIRP DownVision fish finder
- Transom transducer included
- Photo like clear view with superior target separation
- 24-bit color bounded display
- Automatic Gain, Contrast and Noise filter option
Potential concerns to consider:
- Doesn’t offer traditional 2D sonar view
- No NMEA output system
The Raymarine Dragonfly 4-DV sonar fish finder is one of the few fish finders that offer CHIRP DownVision sonar technology in its price range. If you are a newbie or just an occasional angler, then this unit may suit you. There are more improved versions available in the Dragonfly series. The 4DV is capable of analyzing the bottom structure, shape and contour well enough. It helps to find and target the fish apart from the structure. I must say that it is a compact unit by its display, sonar technology and other features in your budget for using in freshwater, mounted on your small boat or kayak.