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Author Topic:   Forward Looking Sonar from Garmin: Panoptix
bluewaterpirate posted 02-11-2015 09:28 AM ET (US)   Profile for bluewaterpirate   Send Email to bluewaterpirate  
Coming to the Miami Boat Show: Garmin Panoptix. Garmin covered the food chain with regards to compatible devices.
Hoosier posted 02-11-2015 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Hmmm. Interesting. In reading the description of the installation options I wonder how it would work if mounted (epoxied) into the bow cutwater. It'd be in the water at displacement speeds and out of the water on plane. There have been times that I'd really would have liked to see what was ahead of the boat.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-11-2015 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Garmin has developed their own line transducers so I wouldn't be surprised to see a thru hull in the near term. Ben E has a good article on Panbo.
jimh posted 02-12-2015 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What does this product do?
bluewaterpirate posted 02-12-2015 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Forward looking sonar that gives you display of actual realtime fish movement in the water column. Interesting technology. See Garmin video.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-17-2015 12:43 ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Here's a much better video of the system's capabilites and functionalities. Thanks to Mike at International Marine.
jimh posted 02-17-2015 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The demonstration (linked above) shows a very narrow beam scanning transducer in use.
Hoosier posted 02-19-2015 09:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
The key to a sucessful forward looking sonar is beam width. You need a narrow beam to avoid surface clutter. I think one could cobble together a forward looking sonar out of a contemporary imaging sonar, like the Lowrance Elite HDI or Raymarine Dragonfly. Those sonars have a very high frequency (455/800 kHz) transducer that has a narrow beam.
jimh posted 02-20-2015 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I wonder if the GARMIN uses some sort of phased array in the transducer to accomplish the narrow beam width and scanning function. What is the physical dimension of the transducer?
bluewaterpirate posted 02-20-2015 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Here are some pictures (PIC1/PIC2/PIC3) of the transducer which is also the sonar itself. Everything is housed inside this transducer. (Thanks to Mike at International Marine.) It's about 6 inches in length and 3 inches in width.

Remember Garmin purchased Interphase about two years ago what we're seeing is some older and current technologies married together to give the consumer Panoptix. Panoptix uses a multi-beam transducer that utilizes phased-array scanning sonar technology. It uses [altitude heading and reference sensors] that provide information in three-axes.

jimh posted 02-20-2015 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This Garmin technology does not, apparently, actually rotate the transducer to create the scan--is that right?

I recall some other forward-scanning SONAR products that needed to mechanically rotate the transducer to create the coverage they presented, in a way that a classic RADAR antenna is rotated. But, like modern RADAR antennas using phased arrays, I think this Garmin must be using multiple elements in the transducer and accomplishing the beam steering by varying the phase of the applied signal (on transmit) or by apply phase shift in the demodulation of the signal (on receive) to extract directional information.

Considering the use of digital processing chips in software-defined radios that operate at hundred of Megahertz, it must be not all that expensive to implement a great deal of signal processing in the digital realm at SONAR frequencies these days, so there is hardly any limit on what could be done in the electronics to enhance these devices.

What does this rig cost? For a discussion of a new product, it seems like there has been no mention of cost at all so far.

bluewaterpirate posted 02-20-2015 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
It is a fixed array. The cost is $1499.
jimh posted 02-20-2015 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
At that price, you all will have to depend on getting any firsthand comments from Tom. It's out of my price range.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-20-2015 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
There are quite a few of these units pre-sold it's interesting technology but waiting to see the application in the offshore environment. With that said I know for a fact Garmin is already working on the second generation they're already into the 2nd generation of SideVu and DownVu.
jimh posted 02-21-2015 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It seems quite unusual that all of the electronics and signal processing is contained inside the transducer. The cable that runs to the transducer must contain power for the electronics and some sort of signal output. I also assume there must be some sort of control signals to be passed to and from the device. I also assume this Panoptic transducer interoperates with only certain Garmin displays. Are there any details about the cabling used between the Panoptic device and the display device?
bluewaterpirate posted 02-21-2015 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
The list [at the linked page, you must change the presentation by selecting the tab SUPPORTED DEVICES] of compatible devices is quite extensive--24 to be exact. There are two cables that service the transducer.
bluewaterpirate posted 05-04-2015 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Update and first impressions:

[The Garmin Panoptix™ PS30 Down Transducer ] is heavy but not overly so, and has two cables, one for power (15-feet) and one to connect to the MFD (30-feet). I find it interesting the power cord is 15-feet shorter than the tranducer connection cable.

Instructions and all the hardware comes in the box--not rocket scientist stuff. You have eight screws to fasten the bracket to the transom. Here are some pictures as it came out of the box.

I attached the transom mounting bracket using the screws that came in the box. jpg~original jpg~original Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_20150428_194158939_HDR.jpg~original

First look underway in Pamlico Sound

DownVu SideVu Traditional Displays

The reason I post this display is to set-up the first Panoptix display: Garmin%207610%20GT51%20TM%20install/03MAY15_1354_00.png~original

In this Paniptix display you can see the boardwalk pilings to port that could be seen in the Down/SideVu display. In addition you can see fish around my Whaler. Garmin%207610%20GT51%20TM%20install/03MAY15_1354_01.png~original Garmin%207610%20GT51%20TM%20install/03MAY15_1345_00.png~original

Overhead display: Garmin%207610%20GT51%20TM%20install/03MAY15_1346_01.png~original

Live view display: Garmin%207610%20GT51%20TM%20install/030515_1258_00.png~original

All Panoptix functions are controlled by the MFD's software package. Panoptix is backward compatible with other Garmin units. I have a 7610sxv and 741xs both can control all of the sonar functions of all the sonars.

I'm in the process of putting together a voice annotated video explaining the functionalites and what you're actually seeing in each display. There is value in the technology but it's up to the user and best to use it. I'm using the PS30 version that is transom mounted and does not have the forward looking display as does the trolling motor version. Spray is going to be an issue for the PS30 when running over 20 mph. I found that the transducer has to be stowed parallel to the transom.


jimh posted 05-05-2015 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The presentation of the SONAR data is quite interesting. I suspect it will take some time to become familiar with the presentation and interpretation of the echoes. I still find it quite amazing that all the SONAR electronics are in the transducer assembly. Thanks for sharing the images from the new Garmin Panoptic SONAR.

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