The Standard Horizon CPF180i integrates chartplotting capabilities with an internal 50-channel WAAS GPS receiver and a 600-watt fishfinder.
This Standard Horizon GPS combo can use an optional external GPS sensor. On an installation where overhead structure might limit GPS signal reception adding an external antenna would be the appropriate choice.
This chartplotter fishfinder combo ships with display unit, mounting bracket, front panel cover, power/data cable, owner’s manual, and quick reference guide. You’ll also need to purchase one of five optional transducers to complete the package.
Our test unit featured a preloaded base map. More detailed cartography is available for display by purchasing and installing a Jeppesen C-Map chart card. We tested the unit with a C-Map Max card covering South Florida; it can also use C-Map NT+ cartography.
The compact Standard Horizon CPF180i display unit measures 7-inches wide by 4.2-inches high and 3.3-inches deep. For my review I mounted the display using supplied plastic tilt and swivel bracket.
Connections are made on the back panel with twist-lock connectors. We found the power/data cable fit securely. The display unit is designed for flush-mounting with supplied hardware.
The CPF180i will interface with other NMEA0183 devices. It has a single input/output port that can be set to high-speed for use with an AIS receiver. An additional output port is also supplied. This one could send navigation data to a VHF radio.
Screen Size and Viewability
The Standard Horizon CPF180i display screen measures 3-inches high and 4-inches wide giving it a landscape layout. Resolution is a middling 320 by 240 pixels. On the diagonal the screen measures 5-inches.
When I looked at the CPF180i from severe side angles the screen remained bright and readable. Wearing polarized sunglasses has no detrimental effects other than a slight darkening of the screen due to the sunglass tint.
The Standard Horizon CPF180i has five color palettes to choose from; we used the Sunlight and Normal to view the screen in daylight. No screen fogging was apparent in the display at anytime during our testing.
A quick press of the PWR button puts the screen controls into view with sliders showing the current settings. Brightness can be adjusted using the joystick to one of 6 levels while contrast has 21 levels of adjustment. I found a mid-position setting best here. The Normal and Night palette gave good results for nighttime viewing. Slight screen darkening at steep viewing angles was noted at night.
From the main menu you can select navigation pages including chart, chart/fishfinder, a data and compass rose page called navigation, highway, or one of a number of specialty pages.
Specialty page selections include celestial, GPS status, Find Services, and NMEA data display. Since the unit has a built-in fishfinder there is, of course, a full page display option for sonar data.
In Standard Horizon parlance waypoints are referred to as marks. To create one from the chart page you hit the MARK button. The waypoint will then display onscreen.
To work with the newly created waypoint youd move the cursor over the point and select an action.
Edits are accomplished using a small data box while the chart page remains visible as the background. The CPF180I has a dedicated Go To pushbutton, pressing it lets you navigate to the cursor or a waypoint.
Waypoints are identified with names up to 10 characters in length and with one of 16 symbols. The CPF180i can store up to 3000 waypoints and 50 routes.
Building a route with the Standard Horizon CPF180i is easily accomplished on the chart page by pressing the dedicated Route pushbuttonthis lays down the starting waypoint. Each successive leg is added by using the joystick to move the cursor to the next waypoint position then hitting the Route key once more. It is that simple.
Odds and Ends
According to my sources at Standard Horizon the CPF180i is rated to IPX5 standards. This makes the unit “splash proof”.
A single push of the dedicated MOB button on the CPF180i executes the man overboard function. This immediately displays the MOB waypoint onscreen in red and activates a visual warning onscreen that MOB is active. Youll need to have the appropriate data boxes displayed onscreen to get bearing and distance information back to the MOB point. Should you execute MOB from the sounder page or any other page all youll see onscreen is the visual MOB alarm. Youll need to switch to another page to get navigation data back to the MOB point. Not a great system in my opinion./p>
Pressing the MOB button from the man overboard mode lets you choose another MOB point or deletion of the first. If you choose delete, then follow up with a push of the clear button to erase the data and point.
While ranging the chart page in or out multiple steps I found chart redraw speeds on the CPF180I to be very fast. Installing a C-Map Max chart card didnt appear to slow things down at all.
Tide data, port services, and a variety of other information can be found by placing the cursor over an area of interest and pressing the Find pushbutton.
This Standard Horizon unit is capable of producing up to 600 watts of output power from its integral sonar. For my testing, I used a 50/200 kHz transom mount DST151 transducer supplied by Standard Horizon.
After choosing Fishfinder from the Home page menu, you can select how to display the sounder data.
There are eight options including full page sonar using high or low frequency, a dual frequency page, high or low frequency combined with zoom, or high or low combined with a chart view.
There is also an automatic full page, this one sets high frequency for shallow water and low for deep.
Once you’re on a sounder page hitting the menu button brings up the fishfinder setup menu. Here you can choose a variety sounder setup options. This unit has all the features youd expect from a modern top-quality fishfinder including two auto gain modes, adjustable noise filters, A-scope, zoom, shift, and bottom lock.
Two common functions are accessible without going into the setup menu. The zoom keys allow easy range changes while a press of the Enter button brings up a short onscreen menu that allows quick gain adjustments.
All full-screen sounder pages have a row of data boxes on top of the display screen that uses up about one-quarter of the already limited vertical screen space. Though the data in these boxes can be changed the boxes cannot be turned off or removed from the sounder view pages.
In my opinion this fishfinder has plenty of features, was fairly easy to operate, and worked well presenting bottom, fish and test targets during the review.
I am going to rate the CPF180i sounder good for presentation and good for ease of use.
A good screen, easy operation, and a long 3-year warranty combine to make the Standard Horizon CPF180i a best buy for boaters looking for an inexpensive GPS chartplotter fishfinder combo unit.