Updated Summer 2018
Have you ever wanted to view your BioBase EcoSound trip in even more detail? The trip simulator feature available on Lowrance sonar units is a great way to take a closer look at your trip for troubleshooting, or just to identify areas of interest for your next field day. First thing we recommend you do is to purchase an AC to DC power converter so you can run your Lowrance on a work bench or desk. That’s a lot easier than running off of a 12 volt battery that you’ll have to continually recharge. Once you get your unit’s power supply, we’ll walk you through how to view and replay your previously recorded sonar log in simulator on your Lowrance (it works on Simrad too).
Select the Sonar Log for Simulation
Figure 1. Begin on the home screen and select settings
Figure 2. scroll down to simulator
Figure 3. Turn on simulate, but make sure demo remains off.
Figure 4. Select the file that you would like to simulate. It is always a good idea to give your sonar logs descriptive names so they are easy to identify!
Re-record Logs to Recover Areas Lost to Corruption
Corruption in files often results in a trip being cut short after the point of corruption. Corruption often happens due to two causes: moving the transducer while recording sonar or incorrectly pressing the “Stop Sonar” button on the View screen while recording sonar. Sometimes, the data after the corruption may be salvaged by re-recording the portion of the trip lost after the corruption. This is not always the case, but it is usually worth a try!
Please note, the sonar log simulator in your Lowrance unit by default is set to a normal scroll speed; this can make the simulation process longer than it needs to be. Before recording the file, make sure to increase the scroll speed to max.
Figure 5. Select “Advanced”
Figure 6. Select “Scroll Speed”
Figure 7. Increase the scroll speed to “x 8”
Figure 8. Select “Advanced”
Figure 9. Select “Log Sonar…”
Figure 10. Name the sonar file, then select “Record”
Allow the file to record until it is close to the end of the file. Finish recording before the sonar log reaches the end of the trip:
Figure 11. After starting recording, select “Log sonar…” again to see time remaining. Select “Stop” about 30 seconds before the time remaining ends.
Upload the new file to your BioBase account. If the file does not process successfully, try re-recording again from further on in the file and observing for signs of corruption in the file.
Get a Deeper Look at Your Sonar Log
Now that you have set up your sonar log in simulation mode, you can use these settings to view your trip in more detail:
Figure 12. Sonar simulation with standard settings.
Figure 13. Adjust sensitivity setting to improve the appearance of the log. Turn sensitivity down to reduce excess noise in the sonar image. Turn the sensitivity up to brighten washed out logs.
Figure 14. Adjusting the colorline can also affect the appearance of the sonar log. Turn the colorline down to reduce excess noise in the sonar image. Turn the color line up to brighten washed out logs.
Figure 15. Turn on the depth line to see where the depth was measured. This can be a great tool when working in areas with soft, mucky bottoms. Consult this blog about how the depth line can help you correlate depth in BioBase with depth on your display.
Figure 16. Simulator can also be used to check for the presence of a second echo, indicating a hard bottom. This can be used to verify your BioBase composition data. Also note that the bottom was not tracked accurately on the right side of the image. BioBase’s algorithms cleansed out this inaccurate depth creating a better map!
Mark Waypoints for Use in BioBase or in the Field
Another useful feature that many BioBase customers love is waypoints. While you may know that you can collect waypoints on your Lowrance unit while on the water, did you know that you can also collect waypoints using simulator after you have returned from the field? This feature is great to mark areas you may have missed the first time around or to help mark areas for editing in BioBase or Arc GIS. To mark a waypoint using simulator, just follow these steps:
Figure 17. Tap on the screen on the area where you would like to place a waypoint. Don’t worry about getting it exactly right, you can move it around after the cursor appears.
Figure 18. Select an icon to represent your waypoint.
Figure 19. The waypoint that was set within the sonar log is now displayed on the chart.
For more information on how to use BioBase EcoSound visit our Support Resources page here – https://www.biobasemaps.com/SupportResources
The automated mapping platform, BioBase (www.biobasemaps.com) is a central pillar of Navico’s Sustainability Mission (https://navico.com/sustainability/biobase/) and we offer it for free to Environmental, Government, and Research Agencies.