CHIRP stands for “compressed high-intensity radar pulse” and differs from traditional sonar in that it uses a sweeping pattern of many frequencies with a long duration transmit pulse. It allows CHIRP fish finders to operate at a low and high frequency range, as well as a low and medium frequency range to bring back a much more consistent — and accurate — return.
Airmar’s CHIRP transducers are larger than traditional ones, because they work by employing more broadband ceramics in the housing. Airmar offers four types of CHIRP transducers: in-hull, transom-mount, through-hull and small-boat. Within those, it offers three levels of transducer, based on the number of ceramics inside.
The core transducer features one big and seven small internal ceramics. The hardcore transducer features one big and 15 small ceramics. The elite transducer features one big and 24 small ceramics. Prices range from $750 for the basic small-boat CHIRP transducer to more than $4,500 for the highest level — the one that’s going to hold bottom at 16,000 feet.
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