S500 Sounder

After connecting to the S500, you should see a screen that looks like this:

S500 Device Controls

These user items control the device settings.

  • Start and Stop enable or disable the sonar pinging.

  • Range can be set manually with the slider, or automatically by checking the Auto box. In Auto mode, the distance to the bottom (or other target) is determined by the device and range is continually adjusted to an appropriate distance to keep the bottom level centered in the display.

  • Ping Rate can be manually controlled. This setting specifies a maximum rate only. In general faster is better, but best achievable rate is typically limited by the time it takes for the sound pulses to go out to the specified range and for the echoes to return. 10 pings per second can be sustained out to about 65 meters, falling to about 7 pings per second at 100 meters.

  • Chirp can be enabled or disabled with the checkbox. Chirp can often give better distance resolution than mono-frequency pinging. It can also limit ping rate in certain circumstances due to computational overhead.

  • Record when checked causes all the ping data to be saved to the computer's hard drive. This is highly recommended. These files can be replayed later for subsequent inspection.

Clicking Advanced reveals the Speed Of Sound slider. You can adjust as appropriate.

The Power On Settings button brings up this dialog:

These settings determine the behavior of the S500 when power is turned on. Some applications require the S500 to begin operation before a user connects with SonarView. This behavior can be set up here. For compatibility with Blue Robotics Ping1/2, set Pinging ON and Full Profile OFF.

S500 Display Controls

These user controls adjust the display settings. These controls adjust how the sonar data is processed and displayed. These controls can be used "live" while the sonar is running as well as during the replay of saved sonar files.

  • Contrast and Brightness are roughly what they seem though the names are not to be taken literally. For strong signals, a high contrast setting works best, using the brightness to control how much of the weaker signals are imaged.

  • Integration: This controls how many consecutive pings are averaged to create the display. So at Integration = 1 there is no averaging. More averaging improves the image quality significantly but if there is a lot of motion it will cause some blurring and lag.

  • Range Boost: This adjusts the amount of "range compensation" applied to the signal. Settings toward the left "Near" end cause nearer echoes to be emphasized (1/R^0 range scaling), whereas setting toward the right "Far" end amplify echoes at further range more (1/R^4 scaling).

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