Category Archives: Field – Operate Equipment

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

SonTek FlowTracker – Operate Equipment

  1. Press yellow power button to turn unit on
  2. Press Enter to get to main menu
  3. To begin a measurement, press 3 (Start Data Run)
  4. Press 1 (Name), input name using SiteMonthDay format (e.g., 800A0806) and press Enter  **this represents a change from the normal naming convention because the FlowTracker only allows 8 characters for the site name – this will be corrected later during the data transfer phase**
  5. Press 2 (Extension), input the two-digit year (e.g., 15) and press Enter
  6. Press 9 (Accept name)
  7. On next screen, press 1 (Site), input name using SiteMonthDayYear format (e.g., 800A080615) and press Enter
  8. Press 2 (Operator), input  initials of hydrographer (e.g., TL) and press Enter
  9. Press 9 (Start)
  10. On next screen, press Enter
  11. Place meter in water away from obstacles and press 1 (Run Test) to perform the Automatic QC Test
  12. If starting transect at Right Edge of Water, press 4 (REW/LEW) to toggle to REW
  13. Press Set Location, input tagline distance at edge of water (usually right side) and press Enter
  14. Press Set Depth, input depth reading (usually 0) and press Enter
  15. Move to first vertical, input tagline distance and depth using steps 13 and 14
  16. Set meter to 0.6 depth of vertical and press Measure
  17. Review error messages and press Enter to move to next
  18. When error messages are complete, Press 1 (Accept) to move to next vertical
  19. Repeat steps 15 – 18 for each vertical along remainder of cross-section
  20. When finishing edge of water is reached, press 1 (End Section) twice
  21. Review error messages and press Enter to move to next; press 1 (Accept) to move to QC screen
  22. Press Enter to move to discharge calculation screen
  23. Presss (Calculate Discharge) twice
  24. To save measurement, press 0
  25. Press yellow power button to turn unit off

JBS AquaCalc Pro+ – Operate Equipment

  1. To turn unit on, press On/Off
  2. To start a new measurement, press the 2 (Sections) key
  3. Select a blank section by pressing appropriate numbered key
  4. Press the New softkey
  5. To enter new Site ID, press 1 (SID), enter name in SiteMonthDayYear format (e.g., 776a072015) and press Enter
  6. To change meter type, press 3 (Meter), select proper meter (default is Standard so make sure to switch to Pygmy, if applicable)
  7. Press Enter to get to beginning of measurement
  8. Water Edge appears on screen. Press (Distance) to input tagline distance at edge of water (usually right side) and press Enter
  9. Press New Vertical, input tagline stationing and press Enter
  10. Press 6 (Stream Depth), input depth reading and press Enter
  11. Set meter to 0.6 depth of vertical and press Measure on keypad (Time will start counting upwards and then reset after first revolution is recorded; Time will stop counting after first revolution beyond 40 seconds)
  12. Repeat steps 9 – 11 for each vertical along remainder of cross-section
  13. When finishing edge of water is reached, press New Vertical and then Enter
  14. Press Edge, which will automatically default depth to 0
  15. To save measurement, press Menu
  16. To turn unit off, press On/Off