Portability Options for Your Lowrance

We recently sent out a mailer to our subscribers letting them know about the portability solutions that we have come up with.  Within minutes we received photos and details from many of our customers about how some they have used a little ingenuity to mount their Lowrance units on unique water craft.  Below we have a photo gallery of images that could help you design your own portable setup.  Of primary importance, however, is a mount that minimizes cavitation (air bubbles) directly under the transducer (e.g., surface noise) and maintaining a correct angle on the transducer.  See recent blogs on this topic. The preferable solution is to permanently mount separate transducers following DIY guidance like shown here on each survey craft and just move the Lowrance Elite or HDS display from boat to boat.  But if the job calls for a fully portable mount, we can help!

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Replay, Review, and Re-record Your Trip with the Lowrance Simulator Tool

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. We’ll walk you through how to view your EcoSound trips on your Lowrance:

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Helpful Lowrance Hints: Depth Tracking

We promote BioBase as an automated “easy-button” solution for creating aquatic maps, but unfortunately, mobile acoustic data collection is not something you can push a button and forget about and expect perfect results.  Like using most other sophisticated instrumentation, users need to monitor that the instruments are performing as expected and sometimes make adjustments if they aren’t.

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BioBase 3 Step Process: Important Details!

A primary strength of BioBase EcoSound is its simplicity and that is reflected in the easy 3 step process of “Collect,” “Upload,” and “Analyze” (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The core process of EcoSound depicting the 3 Steps of “Collect,” “Upload,” and “Analyze.”

But there are many strategies that users can employ that will ensure that they will get the best EcoSound outputs possible.  We’ll focus on several questions under each of the three categories

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Transect Design: Consideration of Scale

One of the most frequently asked questions by BioBase EcoSound users is, “how far apart should I space my transects for creating maps?”  Although as always, the most appropriate response is: “it depends,” we still offer solutions below that cover the most common use case scenarios.  We thank our partners at NC State University Department of Crop Science for contributing useful data from Waccamaw Lake in North Carolina USA.

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New Polygon and UPI Treatment Tools

One of the most popular features of BioBase is the polygon tool that allows users the ability to trace out areas of their maps for detailed calculations of mapped attributes (e.g., area, depth, water volume, aquatic vegetation statistics).  Until now, users could not use the same polygon on multiple trips.  That has changed and now any polygon a user creates in any trip will be available in all trips to that waterbody!  Now, users can monitor change to aquatic habitat within specific areas of interest (Figure 1).  Further, users can upload and overlay waypoints within polygons, and thus inform the composition of the polygon area (e.g., aquatic plants, substrate composition, muck depths, reefs, etc.)
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Choosing and Installing your Lowrance Transducer

The transducer connected to your Lowrance echosounder plays a critical role in producing quality map outputs.  Fortunately, the mechanics of producing quality hydroacoustic signals has been honed by 57 years of research and development by engineers at Lowrance.  Still, users play an important role in optimizing outputs by selecting the correct transducer and installing it correctly

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NCSU Launches Aquatic Resources Mapping Forum!

“I want to map stormwater retention ponds for my municipality, how should I mount my Lowrance unit?” “Can you estimate aquatic plant biomass from BioBase outputs? If so, how?”  Questions like these from a growing global BioBase user base can now be answered by other experienced colleagues.  North Carolina State University’s Aquatic Weed Science Program has recently launched an Aquatic Resource Mapping Forum designed to support a user community of broad interests related to mapping Aquatic Habitats.  “…this forum is designed to foster a community of individuals who share a common interest (Aquatic Mapping and Monitoring) and to provide a forum for that community to discuss various aspects of the science and ask for help when needed,” noted Dr. Brett Hartis, NCSU Aquatic Extension and Research Associate and moderator of the forum.  We strongly encourage anyone with an interest in aquatic mapping to sign up for the forum and subscribe to email alerts for Topics that interest you.*

 

Go to http://aquaticmapping.prophpbb.com/  and sign up for a free account.  To subscribe to Topics, click on a Topic and scroll down to the footer.  Click “Subscribe Forum”.  The text will then switch to “Unsubscribe forum” which will indicate you are subscribed to get email alerts each time someone posts.

 

Know more about how BioBase works: Operator Guide Updated

How far apart should I space my mapping transects?  How do I delete data? What does “point” and “grid” mean in reports and data exports?  Answers to all these questions and many more can be found in the full BioBase Operator’s Guide in the Support & Resources section in your BioBase account.

The Operator’s Guide was recently updated with descriptions of new features and includes more detail about how to optimize BioBase outputs, system specifications, and various how-to descriptions.  To ensure you get the best possible outputs in BioBase, we recommend giving this guide a full read prior to implementing surveys.

Platypus Offers New Opportunites in Pond Mapping

Researchers Paul and John Scerri and their team at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an autonomous vehicle called Platypus that can be used for a wide variety of aquatic applications.  One application we see customers struggle with is mapping small ponds.

Platypus getting fitted with a Lowrance HDS and transducer

Recently, the Platypus development group teamed up with Tim Wood at Aquatic Edge Consulting and Contour Innovations to test the use of a Platypus for sonar data collection and bathymetric and vegetation mapping of a pond.  They rigged up the autonomous vehicle with a small Lowrance HDS 5 and sent it into the waterbody.

Getting the data collection process going and testing while on the water

 

A close-up view of Platypus

They quickly acquired the data set recorded to their SD card, uploaded the .SL2 files to their account at www.BioBase.com and within minutes all of their files were done processing and could be merged into a full map.  The pond map output looks great!

You can check out a video of the operation here: Platypus in action

Platypus gathering sonar data for BioBase

Customers were happy, no one got wet, and the results speak for themselves.  Great job guys!

If you have an innovative way of collecting data for processing with BioBase, let us know and we’d  be happy to help!