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EchoPilot


EchoPilot Brand Image

EchoPilot

EchoPilot is an innovative company that was founded back in 1969 and designs and manufactures a range of marine instruments for todays modern boat owner. They specialize in Forward Looking Sonar (FLS), but also have a versatile range of depth, speed and wind instruments. They have developed innovative products like a 3D side scanning sonar for small boats and a wreck finder for divers and fishermen which uses military mine hunting techniques.

FLS Technology - Forward Looking Sonar

Fls Technology Most vertical depth sound show a depth which is an average of what is behind the boat due to a delay, EchoPilot developed this FLS technology because they believed that most boat owners would prefer to see hazardous obstructions in front of them. FLS (forward looking sonar), works is "real time" and scans the whole forward view and updates the screen several time a second. The FLS displays a two-dimensional profile of the sea bed beneath and ahead of the vessel on a high resolution and daylight viewable LCD matrix, digital depth and shallow alarm setting are also displayed on the screen. When mounted close to the helm, the FLS system can provide all the necessary information, including:

  • Forward depth
  • Current depth
  • Speed
  • Distance
  • GPS position data
FLS can show the seabed three to five times the depth ahead when on a flat muddy bottom, and increases to eight or nine times if the seabed shoals upward, and more that this for a large target. While the FLS system is not designed to perform as a fishfinder (it is a collision avoidance device), it is able to pick up larger fish, including dolphins, and sometimes shoals of smaller fish. The FLS system can also be used to tell the foredeck crew when the anchor is about to break the surface.

  • FLS Platinum
      EchoPilot FLS Platinum
    • Color TFT Sunlight Viewable LCD
    • 200m Forward Range
    • Improved performance
    • Forward Alarm
    • Digital Depth
    • Speed Option
    • Built-in GPS Repeater
    • NMEA Compatible
  • FLS Gold
      EchoPilot FLS Gold
    • Sunlight Viewable Monochrome Display
    • 200m Forward Range
    • Forward Alarm
    • Digital Depth
    • Speed Option
    • Built-in GPS Repeater
    • NMEA Compatible
    • Repeater Option
  • FLS Silver
    • Sunlight Viewable Monochrome Display
    • 200m Forward Range
    • Forward Alarm
    • Digital Depth
    • Speed Option
  • FLS Bronze EchoPilot FLS Bronze
    • Sunlight Viewable Monochrome Display
    • Standard 110mm Square Case
    • 100m Forward Range
    • Forward Alarm
    • Digital Depth

    Where to Install the FLS

    Ultasonic signals travel well through solids and liquids but are greatly attenuated in air, therefore a stream of turbulence and air bubbles may limit the performance of FLS. However, if the system is placed in an area on the hull where there is a clear flow of water, then good results can be obtained even at speed. Deciding where to fit the transducer depends largely on the boat, a sailing boat would suit the transducer best alongside the keel, on a motor boat if it is shaft driven and twin screw then a position between the gear box and stern glad is appropriate, and on a stern drive vessel just in front of the engines will give good results. Keep inboard of the lower spray rail if possible and not down stream of other through hull fittings. Some "heel" port or starboard is acceptable, to a maximum of 5 degrees. In the fore/aft plane the transducer must be vertical. The transducer protrudes through the hull so that the transmitting face has a clear view forward. It is designed to break off cleanly, flush with the hull if it hits anything. The remains of the transducer are still in the skin fitting and so there is no risk of water ingress.

    Sidescan

    EchoPilot Sidescan EchoPilot's Sidescan 3D sonar is a natural progression from the FLS range, providing an even more detailed view of what is beneath and around the boat. Based on the original FLS hardware, the sidescan uses the same transducer and display; by orienting the FLS transducer to look sideways out from the boat means that time becomes the third dimension and as the vessel moves ahead a three dimensional view of the seabed is built up. A second transducer and changeover switch may be fitted to enable forward or sidescan mode to be speedily selected, or a single transducer can be turned to look in the desired direction.

    The Sidescan 3D is unique because it is able to provide a real time 3D picture of the seabed over such a large area; it covers an area of up to 150 meters away from the boat and has a maximum depth capability of 75 meters. This system can show 11250 square meters of seabed on a lattice of 240 points while traveling at 5 knots. The 240 point lattice is fine enough to show a detailed view of the terrain below the boat.

    The NMEA Interface allows the Sidescan instrument to accept and display GPS data, as well as being able to accept or output speed and depth to other instruments. It incorporates all the features of the FLS Gold, it is a 150 meter forward view FLS with a choice of 6 ranges from 20 meters to 150 meters ahead and from 10 meters to 75 meters down.

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