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Old 24-10-2010, 18:41   #1
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Connecting Sonar to a Computer

I have a redundant sonar on my boat (from an Eagle plotter) and would like to connect this to my navigation software on the computer. I'm using OpenCPN.
Is this possible and if so how to go about it?

Would appreciate ideas, leads, links etc.

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Old 25-10-2010, 12:28   #2
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I have the same problem wiht my garmin GPSMAP 440s. I couldn't find how to connect this GPS with my computer

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Old 01-11-2010, 07:41   #3
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To hook up a gps or similar eqmnt to a computer, you must find the nmea out port.
For the garmin the output is wired into a multicore cable (according to the manual):
Here you should use the tx wire (blue) and ground (black) and connect it to the serial input (com) port of your pc.
This connector should be a 9pins connector, where the nr 2 pin is rx and nr 5 is gnd. (google for 9p sub-d or rs232)
If you set the nmea output to on and in most cases 4800baud, your pc should receive the data (check with hyperterminal, you should see strings like: $GPGLL...etc)
If you don't have a serial input on your computer, there are usb to serial adapters for sale...
Good luck
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:14   #4
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When you say Sonar, do you mean the fish-finder display data that shows you where the fishies are? If so, I have never heard of this data displayed on a computer.

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Old 01-11-2010, 08:44   #5
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Before it gets too confused, sonar and a depth sounding are two different things.

Depth Sounding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (detection of the bottom)

Sonar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (detection of objects in the water column) There are some simple sonars available for yachts.

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Old 03-06-2011, 15:36   #6
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Re: Connecting Sonar to a Computer

Seems like Hans is not following his thread anymore or doesn't get reliable web access from the Salomon Islands.

To recap, one cannot simply connect a sonar transducer from a fish finder to a computer or chartplotter (and it expect to "see" something useful).

The sonar device sends out a high voltage impulse every few milliseconds and waits for an echo. From that time difference it can calculate how deep the water is or display other objects that reflected the signal, like a school of fish.

A computer cannot generate those impulses nor make use of the reflected signal.

Fair winds,


SV Ti Mantra,
a 45' Roberts sloop registered in Sydney, Australia.
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