The Standard Horizon CPF300i combines a moderately large high-resolution display screen with an integral 50-channel WAAS GPS receiver and a 600-watt sonar to make a highly capable piece of marine electronics gear.
This Standard Horizon combo will interface with an optional external GPS sensor if your installation requires something other than the internal sensor due to overhead structure that may limit the received GPS signal strength.
This Standard Horizon GPS combo package ships with the display unit, swivel and tilt mounting bracket, front panel dust cover, power/data cable, owner’s manual, and quick reference guide. To facilitate operation of the sonar you’d need to purchase one of five optional transducers.
Our test unit came preloaded with a world base map. Purchasing and installing a Jeppesen C-Map chart card for your area will yield more detailed cartography. I tested the unit with a C-Map Max card covering South Florida; it can also use C-Map NT+ cartography.
The CPF300i display unit is 10-inches wide by 5.6-inches high and 3.6-inches deep. For my review I temporarily mounted the display using the supplied plastic tilt and swivel bracket.
Connections are made on the rear of the display unit with twist-lock connectors. The power/data cable fit securely. This display unit is designed for flush-mounting with the supplied hardware.
The CPF300i will interface with a number of NMEA0183 devices. It has a three input/output port that can be set to high-speed when needed for use with an AIS receiver. This unit also has a video port and can connect to a compatible video camera or DVD player.
Screen Size and Viewability
The Standard Horizon CPF300i display screen uses landscape layout and measures 3.6-inches tall by 6-inches wide. This high resolution screen has 800 by 480 pixels and measures 7-inches on the diagonal.
Details onscreen are sharp and clear. Even when we looked at it from obtuse angles it remained bright and readable. Wearing polarized sunglasses has no detrimental effects whatsoever.
A quick press of the PWR button puts the screen brightness controls onscreen with bar graphs showing the current level selected. The joystick is used to choose one of six levels for brightness and one of 20 for contrast.
The Standard Horizon CPF300i has five color palettes to choose from; I used the Sunlight and Normal selections to view the screen in daylight. I rated the screen excellent for daylight viewability.
The night palette swaps bright colors for dark and makes viewing at night easier. Though the screen wont darken all the way to black it dims enough to work well for most helmsmen. Pushbuttons are backlit and the level changes as the screen brightness is adjusted. I used the Normal and Night palette to rate nighttime viewability of the CPF300I good.
No screen fogging was apparent in the display at anytime during our testing.
You’ll also find a couple other steering pages here. The navigation page uses several data boxes and compass rose to supply course and other info while the highway page uses a graphical road display, data fields, and a compass tape to keep you on course.
The Standard Horizon CPF300i uses six soft keys to bring common page specific functions to the user. For example, pressing any soft key from a sounder page will bring up options to adjust gain, frequency, range, noise rejection, and STC values.
For quite some time Standard Horizon has referred to waypoints as marks. Things are starting to change now as the list of user points is titled Marks/Waypoints.
To create a waypoint from the chart page you hit the Mark button. A new waypoint will then display onscreen and soft key options to edit, move, or delete the point will appear. To work with the newly created waypoint you’d simply press the desired soft key.
Edits are accomplished using a small data box while the chart page remains visible. The CPF300i has a dedicated GOTO 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 CPF300i can store up to 3000 waypoints and 50 routes.
A new route can be built from 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 CPF300i is rated to IPX5 standards. This makes the unit “splash proof”.
A single push of the dedicated MOB button on the CPF300i executes the man overboard function. This immediately displays the MOB waypoint onscreen in red and activates a visual warning onscreen that MOB is active. You’ll 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 you’ll see onscreen is the visual MOB alarm. You’ll need to switch to another page to get navigation data back to the MOB point.
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 CPF300i to be very fast. The chart must redraw though before you can select the next step and this took only about a second each time I pressed a zoom key. There was not noticeable change in redraw speed when a C-Map Max chart card was in use.
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. The majority of this information is was on the C-Map Max card so without it installed youll be severely restricted available information.
The Standard Horizon CPF300i 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. To maximize screen brightness for the daylight test conditions I set the sounder display to a white background.
After choosing Fishfinder from the Home page menu, you can select from a variety of display pages. Eight options are available 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.
Pressing the menu button from any sounder page brings up the fishfinder setup menu. You can choose a variety sounder setup options from here. 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 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 CPF300i sounder good for presentation and good for ease of use.
A large high-resolution display screen, easy operation, and a long 3-year warranty combine to make the Standard Horizon CPF300I a good deal for boaters looking for an value priced GPS chartplotter fishfinder combo unit.