SounderSuite-USB Software FAQ

Below is list of frequently asked questions about our SounderSuite-USB Software Package.

If you have a question and you do not see it answered here, please contact us.

  1. What is the SounderSuite-USB software package?
  2. What are the system requirements for the SounderSuite-USB package?
  3. Do I need software to control my Echosounder?
  4. What kind of files will an echosounder record?
  5. How do I display and print the data I have recorded?
  6. What is the format of the ASCII data files?
  7. What is the format of the binary echogram files produced by EchoControl?
  8. How do I configure the serial ports?
  9. Can I configure the datalogger serial output?
  10. How is GPS data recorded?
  11. Can raw input strings from GPS, heave, NMEA or other sensors be recorded as received?
  12. How is heave data recorded?
  13. My SEG-Y recording option is greyed out. How do I activate this feature?
  14. The GPS is connected and I have confirmed the baud rates match but EchoControl still states GPS unavailable. What else do I need to do?

1. What is the SounderSuite-USB software package?

Knudsen SounderSuite-USB is the free software package provided with the Sounder and Chirp
systems that includes applications for controlling and recording the data from Knudsen echosounders, as
well as for viewing and printing of data after your survey.

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2. What are the system requirements for the SounderSuite-USB software package?

The system requirements for the SounderSuite-USB software package are as follows:

SupportedOperating Systems: Windows 8
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Computer H/W:(based on Win7) 1GHz (or faster) 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1GB RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit)
70 MB Free Hard Drive Space (for programs only, extra space required for data storage.)


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3. Do I need software to control my Echosounder?

Yes. The echosounders come with SounderSuite-USB, a software package of programs for control and recording of data files. These programs communicate with the echosounder through a USB interface. PostSurvey, the program for displaying and printing recorded data, does not need an echosounder to be installed on the system to operate. The EchoControl Client/Server programs provides access to all of the normal echosounder control functions (such as gain, power, range and phase etc.) through a graphical user interface familiar to Windows users. EchoControl Client/Server also provide a scrolling, real-time echogram image presentation similar to the printed record on conventional echosounders.

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4. What kind of files will an echosounder record?

The EchoControl Client/Server, used to control the echosounder, will record data in Binary “echogram” files (.keb) and fully configurable ASCII data files (.kea). SEG-Y and XTF recording is also available on request for most frequencies. The EchoControl program can record all 4 data file types simultaneously allowing the user a wide range of options for interacting with third party survey software.

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5. How do I display and print the data I have recorded?

The PostSurvey program will read echogram data from .keb files, .sgy files and .xtf files recorded by the EchoControl Client. PostSurvey also allows users to print the data to any Windows printer including ink-jet printers and laser printers.

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6. What is the format of the ASCII data files?

The ASCII file format is user configurable. One record is written to disk for each ping. Each record is an ASCII character string consisting of comma-delimited data fields. Each record is terminated with CR, LF. The EchoControl program includes a control box which permits the user to select the data fields to be included in this record, from a list of more than 20 choices. These include typical data such as the digitized depth values for each frequencies, latitude and longitude (if the echosounder is connected to a GPS receiver), heave (if a heave sensor is connected) and time. Other choices include a user-defined preamble string, record number, sound speed, and draft.

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7. What is the format of the binary echogram files produced by EchoControl?

The binary echogram files contain the raw data records. Each record contains a complete echogram (the 3200-byte envelope of the received acoustic signal) for each frequency, plus several dozen bytes of additional information, including digitized depth values, control settings, latitude and longitude, time, and heave. The details of this format are available to users. This format can be stored in a compressed format if storage space is limited. Compression can cut the overall record size by 1/2 or more.

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8. How do I configure the serial ports?

The EchoControl Client/Server permits the user to assign devices (i.e., heave sensors, GPS receivers, etc.) to PC serial ports and to set baud rates and communications parameters for these ports.

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9. Can I configure the datalogger serial output?

Yes. The same ASCII record formatting capability described in question 6 above is available for the datalogger output data. The record format can be configured with EchoControl Client/Server.

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10. How is GPS data recorded?

All GPS latitude and longitude values received by the echosounder are converted to 64-bit double precision floating point values upon receipt, and are stored internally in this form. Binary envelope records include latitude and longitude in this 64-bit format. ASCII data files may also include latitude and longitude fields (if selected by the operator), in the form of ASCII strings denoting degrees, minutes, and fractions of minutes to six decimal places.

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11. Can raw input strings from GPS, heave, NMEA or other sensors be recorded as received?

No and yes. The EchoControl program does not have this capability at present, although it will probably be added at some point in the not too distant future. The datalogger serial output can be programmed to retransmit properly terminated ASCII strings received on other COM ports (loop-through). These strings are interleaved with the serial output data strings produced by the echosounder, on a first come, first serve basis.

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12. How is the heave data recorded?

Heave (using the TSS sign convention) is one of the parameters included with each ping in the KEB data record, and recorded to disk with binary envelope data. It is also one of the parameters available for incorporation into the ASCII data records and the datalogger serial output data.

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13. My SEG-Y recording option is greyed out. How do I activate this feature?

The ability to record is a feature available in the Chirp series echosounders. Before you can start the to record the echogram in SEG-Y format you will need to select the Carrier Data type (raw, filtered, or detected).

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14. The GPS is connected and I have confirmed the baud rates match but EchoControl still states GPS unavailable. What else do I need to do?

In order to start acquiring the GPS information into SounderSuite-USB you will need to initiate the transmit sequence.

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