Monday, April 25, 2016

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

Updated March 23, 2017

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:

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. 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! 

To re-record the lost data, first determine how many minutes of data were successfully processed. You can do this by loading the depth data table in the analyze/edit view of your BioBase trip and looking at the time stamps. Next, follow the steps above to simulate the trip that has been corrupted. Set a timer for the number of minutes that were successfully recorded. You can allow your Lowrance unit to simulate while you do other things, as long as you return to it after the timer has finished. When the timer has finished, see if you can see any signs of corruption in the sonar log. If you can, wait until the sonar log shows a good clear signal, then begin recording as you normally would:

 Figure 5. Select "Advanced"

Figure 6. Select "Log Sonar..."

 Figure 7. 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 8. 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 9. Sonar simulation with standard settings.

Figure 10. 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 11. 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 12. 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 13. 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 14. 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 15. Select an icon to represent your waypoint 

Figure 16. The waypoint that was set within the sonar log is now displayed on the chart.

To learn how to upload a waypoint layer on BioBase EcoSound click here