Side scan sonar boogie board - concept for search / recovery

I was inspired by some of the youtube channels - people using high tech fishing sonar, driving canoes or boats and search for vehicles underwater and infact solving many missing people cold cases.

My first proof of concept is boogie board, with older lowrance ethernet based fish finding units. Structure / side scan and other data will be transmitted back to shore.

The idea is a small autonomous craft can be launched to search a river or lake, and the human can safely stay on land and watch the side scan sonar and telemetry. Or perhaps even can be reviewed remotely using the cloud (or even AI)

I’ll use RTK gps for improved accuracy and repeatability.

After my proof of concept, I would like to build something more advanced, using the latest generation of sonar equipment (budget permitting of course)

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Very nice proof of concept!
Which motor setup are you using and which batteries do you plan to use?

I’m just using the cheap green thrusters from aliexpress. The real specs are a bit unknown but looking at youtube videos with them, they seem to have more than enough thrust for my little project.

I expect I’ll need to get some kind of weed guard.

This is my first RC DIY project, so I’m just guessing with what battery.I’ll need.

I’m starting with 4S 6200mah LIPO. I’m wondering if to use a different battery for the sonar gear to avoid noise / EMI. The sonar kit will be in a different box as I noted another builder had some issues with noise from ESCs to sonar readings.

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Thanks for the reply, much appreciated!
Please keep us updated of your project progress!

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Heres a little video of my rig. I was able to hack the lowrance to transmit full downscan and sidescan back to the ground station.

Heres some pics of the boat.

Learnt some lessons - 2.4ghz wifi doesn’t mix well with 2.4ghz RC controller. Tried disabling wifi channel hopping,and used fixed channel at opposite end of spectrum - didn’t work. Moved to 5ghz - seems fine for short range.

Any suggestions on 4g hardware ?

I have used UAVcast successfully on my boogie board rover over 4G LTE. UAVcast use to be a product that you had to pay for but the latest release is now open source and all the code is on github. There is another software out there (Andruav) that uses a cellphone for 4g telem and video but I have not used it.

How did you hack the lowrance to transmit back to ground station?
This is amazing!

I will write a detailed post about getting the full sonar data. DM me if you need something urgent.

My method seems to work for all lowrance HDS models, you need some kind of network link back to the base station. Eg wifi for short range, or 4g.