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Sonar and Transducers

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NEW Active Imaging

See structure and cover with a new level of refined detail and at a range unmatched by any other structure imaging technology with Active Imaging™ sonar. The high-level clarity, target separation and detail of Active Imaging will help you find more fish by making it easier to quickly identify fish-holding structure like rockpiles, standing timber, weedbeds, ditches and drop-offs – all at a greater distance from your boat. Get the best of CHIRP sonar and DownScan on one screen with the exclusive FishReveal™ Smart Target view that helps you easily recognize fish from structure and cover on high-detailed DownScan images. Active Imaging is available in 3-in-1 (CHIRP, SideScan and DownScan) and 2-in-1 (SideScan and DownScan) transducers.

StructureScan® 3D Imaging

The latest in Simrad sonar technology, StructureScan 3D imaging scans underwater terrain and fish-holding structure to create a high-resolution, three-dimensional view beneath the water. As well as making it faster than ever to locate structures and changes in bottom layout, 3D imaging makes it possible to examine those features in detail without venturing beneath the water.

The view offered by StructureScan 3D is like a virtual underwater camera and show where features lie in relation to your vessel. You can also choose to pan, tilt and rotate the virtual camera manually in ScanTrack™ control mode, to explore your surroundings from any angle you choose.

StructureScan® HD Imaging

StructureScan HD combines high-frequency DownScan and SideScan sonar imaging technologies to create a picture-like view beneath the water, great for finding submerged structure and changes in bottom layout. By providing a panoramic view out to the side of your boat, StructureScan greatly reduces the time it takes to find fish-holding structure, promising anchorages, and other underwater features of interest.

In addition to StructureScan’s top-down perspective, DownScan overlay combines downward-looking imagery with the output from your CHIRP sonar, painting structure in striking detail while reliably picking out individual fish targets. StructureMap overlays SideScan imagery on your display’s chart page, offering a detailed view of submerged structure as it relates to your position.

The specialised StructureScan HD transducer offers selectable 455 kHz operation for maximum imaging range, and 800 kHz for maximum imaging resolution. 

ForwardScan® Sonar

This forward-looking sonar provides a clear two-dimensional image of the bottom in front of your vessel, allowing you to navigate shallow or poorly-charted waters with a greater degree of safety.

ForwardScan offers:

  • A maximum forward view of 8X your current depth
    e.g. at 3m (10ft) depth, see up to 24m (80ft) ahead
  • A nominal forward view of 4-5X your current depth
    e.g. At 3m (10ft) depth, see 12-15m (40-50ft) ahead

ForwardScan output can be viewed as a solid 2D rendering of the bottom ahead of your vessel in sonar view, or integrated with the heading line on your display’s navigation page as colour-coded segments representing deep, medium and shallow water. This provides constant awareness of the depth ahead, and allows easy comparison of measured and charted depths.

The specialised ForwardScan transducer operates at 180 kHz to reduce interference with traditional 200kHz echosounders. It connects to the StructureScan port on Simrad NSS evo2 displays, and on SonarHub™ sounder modules. In order to use both StructureScan and ForwardScan sonar simultaneously, two sonar modules are required; on NSS evo2 systems with built-on sonar, this means just one external sonar module, plus the built-in StructureScan port.

Simrad Broadband Sonar (50/83/200 kHz)

This essential sonar technology is great for tracking depth, finding schools of baitfish, and displaying predator fish in the water column directly beneath your boat. Broadband sonar offers a traditional side-on echosounder view, with ‘fish arches’ formed as fish pass through the downward-facing sonar beam.

Broadband sonar relies on sonar 'pings' and echoes on a single frequency, dictated by your choice of transducer. Most transducers are designed to operate at one of the frequencies below, while 'dual frequency' transducers let you select either of two supported frequencies to best suit your current situation.

Available frequencies include:

  • 50 kHz (Low Frequency)
    High power, ideal for bottom tracking in deep water
  • 83 kHz (Medium Frequency)
    Wide coverage area, useful when searching for structure or tracking bait in shallower water
  • 200 kHz (High Frequency)
    High resolution, for the greatest image quality and easy fish tracking in shallow water

The Simrad Broadband Advantage
The more power a single-frequency echosounder can put behind its ping, the stronger the echoes received from the bottom and other submerged targets. That should mean greater depth penetration, and better target detection. However, more power also means more noise in the image – making it harder for you to identify targets on screen. Simrad Broadband sonar uses less power, but varies its ping in a way that actually puts more energy into the water overall. This means greater image quality, with less image noise than conventional single-frequency sounders.


CHIRP sonar is a powerful bottom-tracking and fish-finding tool. By continuously sweeping through a range of frequencies, CHIRP exceeds many common limitations of single-frequency broadband sonar. While it produces the same side-on echosounder view, CHIRP offers substantially less noise and greater target separation – for example, the ability to discern individual baitfish within a school, or to see multiple closely-spaced game fish that may appear as one target on a broadband sounder.

As with broadband sonar, CHIRP transducers are available in a range of frequencies to suit different depths and applications. Simrad SonarHub™ modules and NSS evo2 displays are also capable of delivering CHIRP functionality using conventional single-frequency transducers, allowing easy and cost-effective retrofit of CHIRP technology into vessels currently wired for broadband sonar.

  • Low CHIRP
    Accurately track the bottom in deep water (compatible with 50 kHz single-frequency transducers)
  • Medium CHIRP
    Greater resolution than Low CHIRP, with minimal loss of depth penetration (compatible with 83 kHz single-frequency transducers)
  • High CHIRP
    High resolution, for the greatest image quality in shallow water (compatible with 200 kHz single-frequency transducers)

Dual-channel CHIRP transducers, exclusively compatible with the Simrad BSM-3 Broadband Sounder module, are able to sweep two frequency ranges simultaneously. For example, this offers the ability to scan the upper water column in high resolution with High CHIRP, while at the same time employing Low CHIRP for superior bottom tracking.

Know what lies ahead

ForwardScan provides forward-looking, two-dimensional sonar views of the bottom ahead of your boat. In shallow, unfamiliar, or poorly-charted waters, ForwardScan is a powerful defence against running around, and an invaluable tool for locating secure sites to drop anchor.

Fish like a pro

Whether searching deep for swordfish, mid-range bait balls or wrecks holding big snapper, the Simrad S5100 Sounder upgrades your fish-finding ability. This high performance CHIRP sonar module features three fully independent sonar channels, delivering high-resolution images of true simultaneous coverage of up to three different depth ranges without losing bottom depth tracking.

Designed for every requirement

From all in one TotalScan technology to the three-dimensional images of StructureScan® 3D, we offer something for every angler, on any budget. We have all the options to complete your ultimate fish-finding system, with a variety of transducers and sonar options all designed to help you find more fish.

Mounting Options

Transducers act as both a powerful speaker and a sensitive microphone, transmitting sonar signals into the water and listening for echoes returned from the bottom and other submerged targets.

Most transducers must be exposed directly to the water in order to function; common installations involve mounting through a hole drilled in your hull, transom-mounting below the waterline, or external mounting in a specially designed keel or hull pocket. Alternatively, solid fiberglass hulls permit the use of in-hull tank mounted or ‘shoot-thru-hull’ transducers, which are mounted on the inside surface of the hull and fire a sonar signal straight through to the water below.

Your boat’s hull type will determine the transducer mounting styles available to choose from. Selecting the right style then means finding your ideal balance between transducer performance, vessel performance, installation cost and complexity.


Thru-Hull Tilted Element

These transducers mount through a hole drilled in any fiberglass, metal or wooden hull, with the outside of the fitting flush against the exterior hull surface. Inside the fitting, the transducer’s active elements are permanently tilted to match your hull’s deadrise, ensuring the sonar beam is aimed straight down. The flush-mount design of these transducers allows for smooth water flow over the hull, meaning less drag and minimal effect on boating performance. However, tilted-element transducers may be susceptible to performance loss due to external factors.


Thru-Hull with Fairing

These common transducers are mounted on a stem that passes through a hole drilled in any fiberglass, metal or wooden hull. The transducer protrudes beyond the hull surface, secured inside a fairing block cut to adjust for hull deadrise while allowing the smoothest possible water flow. Thru-hull transducers with a fairing block tend to offer the most reliable and accurate sonar performance. However, drag caused by the protruding transducer can negatively affect boat speed and fuel efficiency. Stainless steel transducers are recommended for metal hulls, and bronze transducers for wooden hulls; either type may be installed in a fiberglass hull.


In-Hull Tank Mount

Only suitable for solid fiberglass hulls, in-hull or "shoot-thru-hull" transducers don’t require a hole to be drilled for installation. The transducer is mounted in a liquid-filled tank inside your vessel, bonded to the inner surface of the hull, and transmits sonar signals through the hull without direct exposure to the water. Great for trailer boats, there’s no external hardware to be damaged during trailering, launch and retrieval. In-hull mounting means no added drag, and thus no impact to your boat’s speed or fuel efficiency. Expect reliable sonar performance at high speed, as water isn’t constantly moving over the face of the transducer. However, transmitting and receiving through the hull limits maximum sonar depth and fish-finding capabilities compared to thru-hull, transom, or other in-water installations.


Chest Mount

Chest mount transducers are installed inside a small box attached to the outside of your vessel, with the active face and sides of the transducer exposed to the water. A small hole must be drilled in the hull to allow the transducer cable to enter via a stem or stuffing tube. Most commonly used aboard offshore commercial vessels, this fully-external mounting style has the greatest impact on vessel performance and is unsuitable for high-speed powerboats.


Transom Mount

Transom mount transducers are affixed to the stern of your vessel, where smooth water flow is passing off the transom. This mounting style offers the simplest installation and maintenance, without requiring any holes to be drilled beneath the waterline. Installed on a bracket, the transducer can be easily adjusted to compensate for transom angle; many brackets also allow the transducer to be folded up and out of the way for safe trailering. Designed for smaller outboard and inboard/outboard boats, these transducers are well suited to planing hulls. Installed in the proper location, transom-mounted transducers can offer high reliability with minimal effect on vessel performance.


Pocket/Keel Mount

These transducers are installed within a small custom pocket in your vessel’s hull or keel, flush to the surface. Though retrofit installation is possible, these transducers are most commonly mounted in vessels where a suitable pocket is supplied pre-cut by the boat builder. Pocket or keel-mounted transducers provide reliable and accurate sonar performance, with some impact to boat speed and fuel efficiency. As a common alternative, thru-hull transducers with a fairing block deliver comparable sonar performance and vessel impact.

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