Author Topic: How can I output Digital Depth information?  (Read 6458 times)

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Offline RGecy

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How can I output Digital Depth information?
« on: March 29, 2009, 05:20:41 PM »
How can I output Digital Depth information?

The digital depth is output from any Fishing System unit over the NMEA interface once every second. This can be directed to a personal computer or laptop computer for real time depth recording. The AS-PC2 cable accessory is required to connect the computer to the accessory connector on the Fishing System. We recommend using Hyperterminal on the PC to capture the data. Hyperterminal is common on most Windows based PC’s. It can usually be found by clicking on the Start button and selecting Programs->Accessories->Communications->Hyperterminal.

Note: The default setting for NMEA output on your Fishing System unit is OFF. To turn the NMEA output ON, press the MENU key twice to bring up the main menu system. Use the RIGHT cursor key to select the Setup tab. Use the DOWN cursor key to select the User Mode menu. Use the RIGHT cursor key to select Advanced. Use the DOWN cursor key to select the NMEA Output menu at the bottom of the list. Use the RIGHT cursor key to select ON. Use the EXIT key to exit the menu system.

Hyperterminal will capture the NMEA messages, called sentences, as they are output from the Matrix and display them on the computer screen. Hyperterminal can also be setup up to save the captured sentences to a text file. You can then use Microsoft Excel to read in this text file using the comma delineated input feature to separate out the depth and offset values.

To use Hyperterminal:

1. Open Hyperterminal
2. In the Connection Description box, provide a name and select an icon for your connection session (ex. Fishing System depth). The setup for this connection session will be saved in the Hyperterminal folder under the name you provide so that it can be used again (skipping #3 and #4 below). Click the OK button.
3. In the Connect To box, select the port that the AS-PC cable is connected to (ex. COM1) by setting the Connect Using selection to the appropriate COM port. Click the OK button.
4. Under Port Settings for the port you selected, set Bits per second to 4800, Data bits to 8, Parity to None, Stop Bits to 1, and Flow Control to Hardware. Click the OK button. You should begin to see the NMEA data appearing on the computer screen.
5. To save the NMEA data to a text file, select Transfer on the Hyperterminal tool bar. Then select Capture text and provide a filename in the Capture text box that appears. Click the Start button. While the data is being displayed on the screen, it is now also being saved to the file you designated.

NMEA Sentences:

The following NMEA Sentences are output from all Fishing System units:

DPT – Depth
MTW – Water Temperature
GLL(*) – Geographic Position (latitude/longitude)
GGA(*) – GPS Fix Data
RMC(*) – GNSS Data
VTG(*) – Course Over Ground and Ground Speed
ZDA(*) – Time and Date

(*) – These sentences are related to GPS and do not contain any information unless a GPS receiver is connected to the Fishing System unit.

If a GPS receiver is connected to the Fishing System unit, then other NMEA sentences containing navigation and waypoint information will also be output by the Fishing System. For more information on the NMEA0183 specification, consult the website.

Digital Depth is embedded in the DPT sentence. Its format is as follows:



• d.d is the decimal depth value in meters relative to the transducer
• o.o is an offset from the the transducer to the surface.
• This Depth Offset can be programmed into the Fishing System unit under the advanced main menu system (see Fishing System User’s Manual for more details)
• hh is an automatically generated checksum for communications error checking
• - stands for “carriage return” and “line feed” which indicates the end of the transmitted sentence.

Water Temperature is embedded in the MTW sentence. Its format is as follows:



• t.t is the decimal temperature value in Celsius degrees
• hh is an automatically generated checksum for communications error checking
• - stands for “carriage return” and “line feed” which indicates the end of the transmitted sentence.

To use Excel to parse Depth data:

Microsoft Excel can be easily used to sort through the NMEA data in the text file and parse out only the Digital Depth and Water Temperature values. If GPS data is available, you can also use Excel to build correlate position, time and depth data.

1. Open Excel
2. Open the Hyperterminal text file containing the NMEA data saved from the Fishing System unit. From the File toolbar list, select Open. Change the Files of type box to Text Files. Browse to where the Hyperterminal text file you saved data to is, select it and click the Open button to open the file.
3. Using the Text Import Wizard, Step 1: Select Delimited. If you wish to start at a place in the file other than the beginning, select the appropriate row number. Click the Next button.
4. Step 2: Under Delimiters, select Comma and deselect Tab, Space, and Semicolon. Also select Other and put an ‘*’ in the box next to it. You will see in the Data Preview box that the data in the text file has been divided into columns. Click the Next button.
5. Step 3: There is no need to change the Column Data Format, so click the Finish button.
6. You will now see the NMEA data sentences broken up in to columns which can be manipulated many ways to arrive at the presentation you desire. We recommend at this point that you save the Excel file before proceeding.
7. To group all of the Depth sentences together, Water Temperature sentences together, etc., highlight all columns of data by clicking on the column A header cell, hold down the right mouse button and drag across all of the column header cells containing NMEA data. Under the Data toolbar list, click on Sort. For Sort By, select Column A and Ascending, then click the OK button. You will now see all of the DPT sentences grouped together as well as the other types of NMEA sentences. You can now eliminate columns other than the depth values or rows containing NMEA data you are not interested in, etc.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 09:38:56 PM by RGecy »
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