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Raymarine DSM30 Review


Raymarine DSM30 Black Box Sounder

The Raymarine DSM30 black box sounder is designed to provide fishfinder data to Raymarine C-series and E-series multi-function display units.

It uses digital technology to continually monitor and adjust a number of parameters making the onscreen picture cleaner and more accurate when compared to older analog machines.

This 600-watt dual frequency sounder module is housed in a box that measures approximately 10-inches by 7.5-inches with a depth of 2.5-inches. The black box is actually grey and is designed to be mounted on the flat surface of a bulkhead or deck.

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The unit is waterproof to IPX7 standards, meaning it could be submerged to 1 meter for 30 minutes without damage. The DSM30 will only operate with a 12-volt DC power supply.

Sounder Features

This bottom machine’s feature list includes some standards like auto and manual depth ranging, zoom, bottom lock, and water temperature. As well as a number of more sophisticated elements like three different modes of full-color A-scope and shift.

When coupled to either a C- or E-series display a rotary knob will be available for gain adjustment. This is rare feature on black box units coupled to a chartplotter display.

Zoom on the DSM30 is very capable with 2X, 3X, 4X, and user adjustable options. Bottom lock is also user adjustable in depth and presentation.

We accomplished our Raymarine DSM30 black box sounder review using a C120W display unit and a supplied P66 transom mount transducer. We mounted all this gear on our Seacraft test boat for in the water testing.

raymarine dsm30 black box sounder

Here is Raymarine DSM30 black box sounder data displayed on a C120W. You can clearly see our test targets at 20-, 10-, and 7-foot depths on both the high frequency window on the left and the low frequency on the right. The three most prominent fish arches shown by the wide beam of the 50 kHz display, aligned vertically, are from our test targets.

During our in the water testing the DSM30 marked all three of our submerged test targets fairly well using in all three auto gain settings. The higher the gain the better the view was of our test targets. To get the best result we adjusted the gain manually using the rotary wheel on the C120W trackpad.

It is important to note here that having a rotary knob to adjust the gain setting makes the unit that much easier to operate and use successfully.

Our best images of the test targets were obtained by adjusting the range, shift, and gain settings to optimize the view below. In addition to painting our test targets well the DSM30 did a good job showing bottom contours and a few fish that swam under our test boat. We rated the sounder excellent for presentation.

Raymarine DSM30 Specifications

Maximum Power (Watts RMS)600
Frequency (kHz)50 / 200
Transducer Used for TestAirmar P66
Auto Depth RangingYes
Manual Depth RangingYes – 22 steps
GainAuto / Manual
Zoom2x, 3x, 4x, Range
Bottom LockYes
Warranty Period (Years)2

Sonar can be viewed full screen or in a variety of split screen modes. The Raymarine DSM30 has four sounder page presets that allow the user to setup specific views based on their preferences.

Preset pages can be quickly changed with a double press of the respective soft key. This brings up other soft key options to choose from. It has all the features you’d want in a fishfinder including dual frequency capability, A-scope, zoom, shift, and bottom lock.

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Commonly used sounder adjustments like gain and depth range are handled using soft keys. Other sounder functions like zoom, bottom lock, or A-scope are also found and adjusted using soft keys. Pressing the menu button while on an active sounder page will bring up the fishfinder menu. We found the DSM30 easy to operate and gave it a good rating for usage.

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