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Old 20-12-2017, 13:23   #1
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Transducer questions

So, I am buildinng am OPENCPN box for my new-to-me sailboat, and first thing out - I need to add a transducer... If I understand correctly, I can hook the transducer straight up to a serial input on my computer, as long as it is NMEA compatible.

I have a transducer already that came with a Vexilar Sonarphone. Could I use that or should I look at purchasing a different brand/model?

Once I do, I guess it a matter of figuring out the pinout/wiring, right?

Any help is appreciated!
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Old 20-12-2017, 16:43   #2
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Re: Transducer questions

You'd get a more definitive response, if you provided links to the equipment, specs and data sheet. Garbage in ---> Garbage out.
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Old 21-12-2017, 00:43   #3
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Re: Transducer questions

volkswatson..
If you've a USB connection it's easy. Just connect, add it in OCPN connections tools-tab and use Dashboard to view a corresponding instrument.
If it's just a wire for serial communication you've to give more details.
Transmitted NMEA messages.
Serial protocol, RS232, RS422 etc..
Wire coloring for TX (,RX) and COM
If the above seams OK you can buy a serial to USB converter. (Unless you don't have a serial port on your PC. Rather rarely these days.)
Good luck
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Old 21-12-2017, 00:48   #4
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Re: Transducer questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkswatson View Post
So, I am buildinng am OPENCPN box for my new-to-me sailboat, and first thing out - I need to add a transducer... If I understand correctly, I can hook the transducer straight up to a serial input on my computer, as long as it is NMEA compatible.

I have a transducer already that came with a Vexilar Sonarphone. Could I use that or should I look at purchasing a different brand/model?

Once I do, I guess it a matter of figuring out the pinout/wiring, right?

Any help is appreciated!
I have seen these things before "Vexilar Sonarphone" they are basically fishfinders with wifi to a smart phone using Android or IOS app.

What are you expecting to achieve by trying to link it to OCPN on a PC? Depth? There are no fish-finder display functions within OCPN.
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Old 21-12-2017, 02:42   #5
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Re: Transducer questions

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, volkswatson.
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Old 21-12-2017, 08:46   #6
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Re: Transducer questions

Mainly just trying to obtain depth and temp. I realized after I posted that it won’t work.

Does anyone have any other transducer or cheap Finder options?
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Old 21-12-2017, 09:10   #7
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Re: Transducer questions

There are Garmin depth sensors with direct NMEA0183 (serial) output.

Has been mentioned in another thread sometime ago by Petter5.
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Old 22-12-2017, 05:05   #8
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Re: Transducer questions

Garmin 010-00702-01 works great. Depth & temperature.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/26513
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There are Garmin depth sensors with direct NMEA0183 (serial) output.

Has been mentioned in another thread sometime ago by Petter5.
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Old 23-12-2017, 08:06   #9
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Re: Transducer questions

Does anyone know how the transducers work?

It would be great to free ourselves from proprietary vendors, and develop a free depth sounder. I already have great success with my autopilot.

This depth sounder could be modified easily by users to work at various depths, or applications. Also I would like it for drone survey sailboats that can map areas out autonomously.
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Old 23-12-2017, 12:35   #10
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Re: Transducer questions

Sean, its basically a coil with some damping. When Sound Labs in Groton was first developing it for the Navy, they found toilet paper was the perfect dampner, learned that at Parsinnen's burial (headed that division) from stories told then.

https://www.google.com/search?q=tran...iw=761&bih=514
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Old 23-12-2017, 16:20   #11
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Re: Transducer questions

I was actually hoping that there was a project going for something like this. It seems like there are AIS, Chartplotting, and even some satellite systems for weather, but I haven’t found this piece of my DIY puzzle. Wish I had the background for sonar.

On another note, I did contact velixar, there is no NMEA out unfortunately. However, in a different vein I did discover that I could use my iPhone as a gps/compass if the one attached to my Raspberry flakes out.
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Old 23-12-2017, 20:13   #12
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Re: Transducer questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkswatson View Post
On another note, I did contact velixar, there is no NMEA out unfortunately. However, in a different vein I did discover that I could use my iPhone as a gps/compass if the one attached to my Raspberry flakes out.
Depends on what you intend to use the compass for. I doubt it would work very well for an autopilot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
Sean, its basically a coil with some damping. When Sound Labs in Groton was first developing it for the Navy, they found toilet paper was the perfect dampner, learned that at Parsinnen's burial (headed that division) from stories told then.

https://www.google.com/search?q=tran...iw=761&bih=514
So building the transducer itself isn't difficult. I even have one from a unit with broken head.

My question is, how to drive it, and how to detect depth with it. I imagine that you drive it with X number of pulses at 250khz (or whatever the resonant frequency of the transducer is), then wait for a return signal. Would I then use a band-pass filter and just measure how long it takes for the return signal, and repeat this to get many readings?

Does anyone know of a working schematic for this?
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Old 23-12-2017, 21:12   #13
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Re: Transducer questions

Sean, this sounds about right to me, but I don't know for sure. Wish Parssinen were still around.

Schematics, but just wiring. Piezo ceramic is used generally.
Gemeco | Wiring Diagrams

Gemeco | CHIRP Wiring Diagrams

Take your pick... hope it helps

https://www.google.com/search?client....0.1Fvc4_fHc1I

http://airmartechnology.com/uploads/...k_intro_lr.pdf

(1) Flashlite sounder: aprox $100 and works well. We have two that have done a good job for several years.
(2) Fishing float/wristwatch display: aprox $100 and with a little casting rod it beats jumping into the dingy every time you need to "find out which way the deep water went". It works well and some of them can interface with Humminbirds Matrix series sounders, the feature is called "remote sonar".
(3) DIY: 20 years ago national semiconductor's analog device catalog/application notes listed a chip (LM1812) Ultrasonic transciever that could be used for depth sounding. It needed a transducer of course and a minimum of discrete components to output someting that you could interpret as distance/depth.
Here is a link that is less than 2 years old that uses that same chip.
Seems that NS no longer lists the chip on thier web site, but data sheets are available on the web and the chip may still be floating around.

http://robotics.ee.uwa.edu.au/theses...AUV-Nguyen.pdf

Datasheet:
http://www.alldatasheet.com/datashee...SC/LM1812.html


Here is another possibility:
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...ojpp51as.alice

You've probably seen these:

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...87#post1303287

http://www.ybw.com/forums/archive/in.../t-306796.html

Understanding transducer specs
http://www.airmartechnology.com/uplo...ifications.pdf

Arduino sonar. NOt good enough under h20, but basics



Ultrasonic Transducers
https://www.maxbotix.com/

https://www.maxbotix.com/SelectionGu...de-Outdoor.htm

https://www.maxbotix.com/downloads.htm

King Tide --- Good
http://kingtidesailing.blogspot.com/...device-to.html

https://envirodiy.org/ultrasonic-water-depth-sensor/

The ultrasonic sensor is Maxbotix MB7389. Maxbotix makes a variety of different models, but this one is specifically made for outdoor water level measurements. The sensor has TTL serial output so it is very easy to integrate it with one of our Arduino-based loggers. It has a resolution of 1 millimeter, internal temperature compensation, and can measure anything between 30 centimeters and 5 meters.

https://www.maxbotix.com/Ultrasonic_Sensors/MB7389.htm
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Old 23-12-2017, 21:46   #14
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Re: Transducer questions

https://community.particle.io/t/proj...r-mb7040/17971

http://www.instructables.com/id/Meas...asonic-sensor/

https://diyhacking.com/ultrasonic-ar...vel-indicator/

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projec...-liquid-level/
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