Arduboat Build for Mapping & Water Quality Monitoring

Hi Randy,

After several days of try and fail i’m in that situation:

  • Lowrance Elite 5 Ti with totalscan transducer.
  • Pixhawk with 915 Mhz telemetry and Ublox m8n GPS unit.

Actually, I can read Position and depth from Elite Wifi with Reefmaster LiveData through virtual com port., but I want to improve Position accurtacy with a RTK GPS unit.

Reefmaster 2.0 allows to separate “Position” and “depth” data fom two different ports.

I think In two possible ways:

  1. Serial output from Mission planner to a virtual port in nmea format. (It dosen’t works for me)

  2. Rtk unit connected via bluetooth to the elite 5 ti.

Maybe other solutions available as “antimattercrusader” found for his boat.

Thanks in advance


So I guess you’re talking about a setup where the flight controller (i.e. Pixhawk running AP) or ground station (i.e. Mission Planner) is providing a position to an external piece of software that’s then combining that position with the sonar data. I can’t really help with this… like I mentioned above, I’m hoping to extend APSync (running on an RPi3 or NVidia TX2) to be able to consume the “back scatter” data from the sonar and combine it with the vehicle’s position received from the flight controller… and for the moment, AP can record position and simple depth which can be relatively easily uploaded to ReefMaster as shown in this blog… but that’s as far as I’ve gotten I’m afraid.

… I see that on the MP’s Ctrl-F screen it’s got a “NMEA” button that outputs nmea messages… but I’ve never used it so I can’t really provide any advice on how that might work.

Hi Randy,

Thank you for your answer.
I’ve been watching the video of your low cost mapping boat. Very interesting!
I’m trying to do something similar but with Lowrance totalscan transducer (sidescan also) and a RTK GPS unit.
For the moment i’m stuck with the GPS nmea export, but I will inform of any update for your information.



Hi PauG,

i’m searching on Lowrance NMEA signal from my baitboat to shore options. Must admit when reading i have 50% of times a monkey with a simbal in my head :slight_smile:

i found this blog from somebody that managed to get M8N gps data into his lowrance and also RTK adjustment.

Hope this info helps.

Thanks for the link. I will take a look to it.

I am working on a boat, but focusing on down data (Airmar DT800, NMEA 0193), and have a Navio2 for the ArduPilot. It was easiest for us to have the sonar and a second GPS separated on its own Raspberry Pi, so we could move the data collecting to a kayak or other vessel (both just USB connections to the Raspberry). With GPS and Sonar both with ASCII NMEA messages, it was easy to merge the sonar and GPS messages for timestamp coordination. NMEA GPS are so cheap, it is easy to dedicate one for the timestamp.

@antimattercrusader do you still have the first design in 3D? I’m quite new, i wan’t to build almost something like the first model of your arduboat. Or do you still have A hull for sale?

I quite like the looks of the first model!

I came across this post whil looking for an option to integrate a mission planer option into my boat.

To get GPS and Sonar data into one file I just used a deeper pro plus fish finder. This teniis ball size device has an integrated GPS and can transmit the data via WLAN to a mobile device. Once done the file can be loaded into the cloud and the data is exported in a CSV file. Lat, Long, Deepth and Time from GPS.
For me this looked as the easiest way to get the data. If’m I’m running the boat to far off for the WiFi I simply place the mobile onto the boat and read the data later.

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Hi, what a wonderful project!
I’m looking at a cheapeast multibeam echo sounder. Doeas anybody have information abut brands, prices, etc?


I ran across this article while trying to decide which way to go. Although the discussion here barely sounds like english, I thought this might help someone.

Basically a Lidar/DEM/Deeper solution.


What’s your purpose of using multibeam echo sounder.

Hi, to make seabed map.


@antimattercrusader im very interested in buying one of these hulls from you message me price

Hi @PauG. I have the same interest in integrate the Lowrance Totalscan transducer (downscan and sidescan also) and a Emlid M2 module with the Pixhawk 2.1. I want to record the depht from the transducer and the position from the M2. Were you able to achieve integration? Thank you very much for your attention.