Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Networkin' with Dave (or Dave the IT Guy)

I have to admit that technology is really starting to wear me down!  My first cell phone was in 1990, what they called a bag phone.  It sat on the front floor of the car, with a rather large device stuck in the trunk and an antenna coupled through the back window.  Wow, a phone I could use in the car, just like at home, a simple 10 key number pad and a send button.  Fast forward to 2011, I have owned a Blackberry now for 2 years and trust me, I still haven't figured out how to really use it to it's greatest potential.  That will probably never happen.  Well, it's time for me to upgrade my depthfinder/gps on the back of my Ranger 620T.  Working with Bill, we have done some horse trading and I am finally ridding myself of the reliable Genetron for something a little more technical, a Lowrance HDS-10.  It came with Structure Scan/Side Imaging which can literally scan the bottom up to 500 feet either side of the boat.  Included is a down scan feature that more clearly identifies objects under the water, such as those sunken Spanish galleons in the middle of Mille Lacs.  Adding to the mix, Lowrance has a Sonic Hub made by Fusion, which is the same manufacturer of my current stereo system.  Along with my front depth finder, a HDS-5, they can all be magically hooked together via cables, software, and sweat to talk to each other.

So it goes like this........... The HDS 10 is the basic display and also serves as the main "server" in my new boat network.  The Structure Scan/side imaging module consist of a oblong shaped transducer that is feed into what appears to be an Ethernet Hub.  My HDS 5, in the front of the boat is connected to the hub via a 25 foot Ethernet cable.  From the Hub is another Ethernet cable that plugs into the HDS 10.  Now the Sonic Hub is really a NEMA2000 network device.  NEMA 2000 is a communications protocol and consists of a network tree of parallel connected devices that can communicate with the server (HDS10).  Because I have a factory glassed in, thru the hull transducer, I see that the boat had been pre wired with a NEMA 2000 based water temperature sending unit.  This makes sense as most water temperature sensing is done at the externally mounted transducer, so with a thru the hull transducer a separate temp sensor was installed.  So, I have this branch looking network assembly that has a cord to power the network, a temp sensor port, a Sonic hub port, and a cable going out to the HDS 10.  All of these cables crisscrossing my boat will allow me to switch displays on my front and back HDS units to track each other, I will be able to observe the structure scanning on both units simultaneously, as well control my stereo system via the depth finder screen.  This will allow me to change songs, channels, volume from both units, which is much better than kneeling down to adjust everything.  The unit comes with an Ipod dock and can be plugged into a Sirius Radio, which in turn can display the latest radar weather reports on the HDS10.  Uffda!

The real problem will be simply trying to learn every menu, option, configuration, setup and I am sure few thousand combinations of all you can do with the system. Just interpreting the Side Imaging displayed what it all means will be a challenge in itself. I had a tremendous amount of confidence in the Genetron as I could anchor in 20 feet of water, put a 1/8 ounce jig with a leech on, drop it off the back of the boat all while watching it fall to the bottom, move up and down, and get hit just like winter fishing with a FL20. I am sure it will take a bit of getting used to the new system and I only hope it is as good as what I am replacing. Here is a picture of what the display of the side scan looks like. Of course this technology has been the rave for a few years now, started by Bottom Line (now Humminbird), I can see it will take a lot of trips this year to finally figure how to interpret what the transducer is looking at, not that I am complaining . Sort of feels like a new episode of Sea Hunt!  This weekend has snow in the forecast for the Saturday morning, hopefully the last.  I have committed to spending both Saturday and Sunday taking a Motorcycle Riders Safety Course, a 16 hour classroom and riding skills class at a local motorcycle dealership.  I guess we are never too old to learn the right way to do things.  Next week is Easter then maybe a chance to get on the water and try my new network out, if I get it installed by then!


Anonymous said...

Side imaging was created by Bottom Line . Humminbird acquired the rights through a takeover. Thank god because the Bottom Line side imaging was garbage.

AK Keith

Dave Anderson said...

Keith, Thanks for the correction as I don't want to look totally stupid! Correction made. When are you heading back?

Jeff King said...

Man, I'm impressed. Not only would I not be able to run that stuff but I don't think I could even explain it like that.....But I am in the market for a new depth sounder/fish finder, what brand do you think?

Anonymous said...


Did you lose your landing net? I thought that was the only depth finder needed on the Kenai?


Leaving Friday should be in Slowdotna by Tuesday.

Jeff King said...

Well its all part of the show don't ya know...and I like the water temp deal, King salmon as you well know bite best at 54.25 degrees. I got a humminbird that fogs up, can't even keep out water.

See you in slowdotna soon...