ReefMaster Sonar Viewer - Quick Start

The ReefMaster Sonar Viewer is simple to use, with a range of powerful features which are described in more detail elsewhere in this user guide.

This quick start guide gives a very brief introduction to loading and viewing your first sonar log file.


Running the Sonar Viewer

Select the ReefMaster Sonar Viewer application in the Windows start menu, or double-click the ReefMaster Sonar Viewer application icon on your Windows desktop.


Configuring Sonar Viewer Settings (optional)

Note that although using the correct settings improves the accuracy of the displayed sonar file, none of the settings are mandatory - good results can be achieved with default settings for most sonar files, and it is very easy to adjust settings and re-import a sonar file using new settings if required.


1. Language

The ReefMaster Sonar Viewer is available in English, Dutch, French and German. By default, the language used is the same as the installed operating system. If required, a specific language can be selected from the drop-down list. Changes do not take effect until the Sonar Viewer has been restarted.


2. Transducer location

If your transducer is located away from your GPS antenna (or GPS/Sonar unit, if it has an internal antenna), then enter the relative position here. For example, if your transducer is 1m directly behind your unit, enter 1m in the forward/aft field, and choose aft from the forward/aft drop-down list. Transducer location only affects the display of side-scan sonar in the map view.


3. Water type (Humminbird only)

For Humminbird sonar logs only, the water type (salt or fresh) and approximate temperature are used when calculating depth. You should select between salt and fresh using the drop-down list, and enter an approximate temperature if known - somewhere within 5 or so degrees is accurate enough. These settings are not used for Lowrance sonar logs, and can be ignored.


4. Display settings

Display settings are optional - choose the units you would like to see depth, distance and speed shown in. The GPS format setting applies both to the way GPS positions are displayed and the format in which they are entered when editing waypoints.


All settings are saved and restored when the sonar viewer is next run.


Loading a Sonar Log File


Click the Browse button to bring up an open-file window:



Locate the sonar file that you want to load, select it and click Open (or double-click the file in the list). The file will start loading, and a progress window will be shown. Once the file has loaded, the sonar log file is displayed in the main view.

Once a file has been viewed, it is added to the recent files list from where it can be opened with a single click. To browse a directory that has been recently used, click the directory in the recent folders list.


Using the Sonar Viewer


Drag any of the bars (overlaid in red, below) that separate the displays to adjust the relative size of the map and sonar viewer, and the individual sonar channel views (to drag, click and hold with the left mouse button, and move the mouse to resize the view):



Each separate display area has its own control panel, the exact contents of which vary depending on the display type. All control panels contain options for brightness, contrast, colour palette and noise reduction:



To open the control panel for a display area, hold the mouse pointer in the bottom-left corner of that display:



Sonar channels can be turned on or off and arranged within the sonar viewer area by using the sonar channel selector panel. The sonar channel selector is shown when the mouse pointer is held towards the bottom right of the sonar viewer display:



To turn a sonar channel on or off, click the channel within the channel selector panel.

To arrange the sonar viewer channel display, drag a channel to another position using the left mouse button to swap positions with that channel.


The mouse mode affects the action of the left mouse button. Change mouse modes by clicking within the mouse mode panel, which is displayed in the header bar at the top of the sonar viewer window (the header bar will show automatically when the mouse is held towards the top of the window). The back button at the far left of the header bar (1) will return you to the load file window, whilst mouse modes (2) can be chosen from select, zoom, move, drop waypoint and measure:



Navigate the display in the map and sonar channel views by zooming in and out with the mouse wheel, or dragging with the mouse in move mode (the default).


Double-clicking with the left mouse button inside a sonar channel display resets the sonar limits so that they fit the window size.


Use the right-mouse button to bring up a menu anywhere within the sonar viewer, for quick access to functions including; loading another sonar or waypoints file, creating a waypoint or saving a waypoints file. The right-button menu also contains undo and redo functions which can be used to restore actions such as deleting or moving of waypoints:



Application layout, sonar position and playback can be controlled using the sonar control bar:




1.Toggle map/sonar display visibility.

2.Click the image snapshot button to take a snapshot of the current display, which can be saved as a file or copied to the computer's clipboard.

3.Sonar playback controls; stop, start and playback speed.

4.Use the sonar position slider to move quickly through the sonar file.