Category Archives: SonTek HydroBoard

SonTek HydroBoard – Operate Equipment

In this package, an Acoustic Doppler Profiler is mounted on a floatable platform, which resembles a Boogie Board. Position is tracked using a GPS on the boat that communicates with a land-based station and is, therefore, capable of centimeter-accurate results. At least four transects are required for an accurate measurement.


  1. Set up tripod in alignment with cross section
  2. Install charged batteries and mount Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS on top of tripod
  3. Set up GPS in view of cross-section to be measured and make sure you have clear view of the sky
  4. Mount antenna on side of GPS

Floatable Platform

  1. Mount tracker on boat
  2. Mount Acoustic Doppler Profiler (ADP) on boat; be sure to set ADP to yellow line
  3. Mount Power Communication Module (PCM) and connect cables from antenna and ADP to PCM


The initial setup of the HydroBoard is done using a laptop connected to the ADP via Bluetooth connection.

  1. Plug in dongle (external Bluetooth adapter) to laptop
  2. Plug in power cord from dongle to laptop
  3. Press On/Off switch to turn on dongle
  4. Open RiverSurveyor Live
  5. Turn on power switches on ADP and PCM (GPS has two lights – power and GPS; (PCM has four lights – power, radio, RTK and GPS)
  6. Connect to River Surveyor on laptop
  7. Make sure Parani Bluetooth Connection is checked
  8. Press Connect
  9. Select S5 Unit
  10. Press Connect
  11. Bring up startup screen (goal: make all red lines turn green)
  12. Go to bottom of screen and perform System Test
  13. Dialog box opens; press Start
  14. Dialog box opens to verify system pass; press Close
  15. Press Change Site Information and input appropriate information (note: boat is R boat) – not all fields are required
  16. Press Compass Calibration; dialog box opens; press Start
  17. During calibration, a second person should pick up the boat and wiggle it back and forth
  18. Dialog box will indicate Pass if the calibration is successful (calibration score should be close to 10, a score of 9 is acceptable)
  19. Close window
  20. Press System Settings and set the following fields to these values
    • Transducer Depth – 0.24 (note: will change due to new board)
    • Screening Distance – 0
    • Salinity – (variable – use salinity meter to determine correct value)
    • Magnetic Declination – 12.5
    • Track Reference – bottom track
    • Depth Reference – vertical beam
    • Coordinate System – ENU
    • Smart Pulse – enabled
  21. Press Enter


Once the initial setup is completed, a handheld PDA is used to enter data and track progress of the ADP.

  1. Disconnect laptop Bluetooth connection and connect Blackberry Bluetooth (password: 1610)
    • Press soft key Start to get to Programs
    • Select River Surveyor Live
    • Search for unit
    • Press Connect when found
  2. Press Start System
  3. Press Start Edge
  4. Fill in parameters and press OK
  5. Deploy fins on HydroBoard and place unit in water
  6. Press Start Edge and wait until you get at least 10 samples at the edge
  7. Set bank and distance from center of HydroBoard to edge of water; press OK
  8. Pull HydroBoard across creek at a consistent speed and no faster than water velocity
  9. Once across the cross-section and after 10 samples at edge, enter distance and press End Edge
  10. Press End Transect
  11. For next measurement, press Continue
  12. Repeat steps 6-10 a minimum of four times