| Links to the latest
SeaSonde software below:
Intel and PPC
download via email:
PPC (Power PC) Only
Request download via email:
Advisories: - After running Release4 installers
(Updating from Release3), please check/change
the Archivalist preferences before running the software.
installed will delete all but 7 days
worth of CSS files!! Alternatively, you can back up the Archives
- A bug has been found in the Wave
Model tools released in late 2005. Calculated "Wave Direction" measurements
are incorrect. The tool has been corrected
in Intel/PPC Release5 only. Cross Spectra can be re-processed
with the new tools
to obtain the correct measurements.
Note: CODAR Ocean Sensors, Ltd. no longer
supports Mac OS 9 software. SeaSonde OS
X software upgrades are free for all SeaSonde owners.
A Word on the New Intel Macs
and SeaSonde Compatibility
- By William Rector
CODAR Ocean Sensors
As you have probably already discovered, the
new Apple Macintosh computers now use Intel processors exclusively.
The Intel processor replaces the Motorola PowerPC (PPC) chip. This
is a dramatic change in hardware and it means that translation
software is required for older PowerPC programs to run on Intel
Macs. This translation software is called Rosetta and it comes
bundled with MacOS 10.4 and higher. Rosetta allows most (but not
all) of the older Apple applications to run on Intel machines.
All SeaSonde 10 Release 4 applications will run
under Rosetta except for SeaSondeAcquisition, SeaSondeController,
and SeaSondeAwgiii.kext (the USB driver). What this means is that
you can't use old SeaSonde software (that is SeaSonde10 Release4Update2
or earlier) on an Intel Mac to control your SeaSonde.
Our latest version of software, SeaSonde 10 Release 5 runs on
Intel OR PowerPC machines using a single set of applications.
Most of the SeaSonde applications have been updated to the Universal
binary format, which contains both Intel and PowerPC code. OS
X 10.4 (and higher) will automatically select which code to run.
OS X 10.3.9 will automatically run the PowerPC code. You can
tell if an application is Universal, Intel only, or PPC only
by selecting the application in the Finder -> then selecting
the menu command File -> Get Info and then look at the Kind:
SeaSonde 10 Release 5 available for download from SeaSonde.com. This release
is a true Universal suite of tools that will run seamlessly on all OSX SeaSondes.
Our latest software is available for download on http://www.seasonde.com/ in
the /Software folder
|COCMP Installs Nine
SeaSondes in Northern
During Year One
- By Regan Long
COCMP-SFSU and CODAR Ocean Sensors
In 2002, California passed two state propositions
allocating funds to monitor ocean surface currents off the coast
of California. As a result, the Coastal Ocean Currents Monitoring
Program (COCMP) was established to develop an HF radar network
and to deploy more than forty HF radar systems in California.
The radars deployed north of San Luis Obisbo belong to the Central
and Northern Coastal Ocean Observing System (CenCOOS) and radars
deployed south of San Luis Obispo are included in the Southern
California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS).
Prior to COCMP's inception more than a dozen CODAR
systems had already been installed in Southern California. Up
until now the coverage for California's coastline to the north
had been very sparse with only ten systems existing north of Santa
Barbara. The Northern coast constitutes the majority (approximately
70%) of California's 840 mile-long coastline. The existing radars
included three 12MHz SeaSondes around Bodega Bay, six 12MHz radars
on Monterey Bay and one 5MHz SeaSonde at Crescent City.
In COCMP’s first year of funding, nine CODAR SeaSondes were
added to the Northern California (CenCOOS) network.
These include four 42MHz systems in San Francisco
Bay and five 12MHz systems
off the California coast near the Golden Gate Bridge.
This has resulted in a contiguous string of HF
radars running from Bodega
Bay to Monterey Bay. Data from these radar networks
can be accessed at www.cencoos.org, www.cencalcurrents.org and www.norcalcurrents.org.
The growing HF radar network in northern California has already
proved its worth. The most recent installations near the
mouth of the Golden Gate were integral to the Safe
a NOAA/HAZMAT oil spill simulation drill conducted in the
Gulf of the Farrallones National Marine Sanctuary. The radars'
real-time mapping revealed a northward current flow during
the drift-card deployment test and the majority of the released
drift cards were found north of the Golden Gate Bridge as
predicted by the real-time radar data.
Several Long-Range (LR) HF radar installations are planned for deployment in
COCMP’s second year. The COCMP-Northern California team is focused on installing
long range radars between Crescent City and Mendocino to expand coverage of real-time
surface current maps off the "Lost Coast". In addition, LR SeaSonde
sites are being scouted near Point Arena and Half Moon Bay to extend the long
range coverage southward.
The entire COCMP HF radar network is expected to be completed in early 2008.
- By Hector Aguilar
CODAR Ocean Sensors
The "Tech's Corner" feature in this issue describes
some quick and easy bench tests that experienced SeaSonde users
can perform to diagnose transmitter problems. These diagnostic
tests can often resolve problems that would ordinarily require
the SeaSonde receiver and transmitter to be sent back to our
There are three components in the transmitter
that can affect the power output to the antenna. If any one of
them has failed or is compromised you will likely have no forward
power (signal) being transmitted. The primary components are
the 28 VDC Vicor power supply, the blanking board and the Kalmus
Tools you will need:
For these tests you will need a receiver chassis,
a transmitter chassis, a multi-meter, a dummy load (also referred
to as a dry load) and screwdrivers (flat bit and Phillips).
A NOTE OF CAUTION: Some of these bench tests
will require disconnecting wires or probing components with a
multi-meter while the hardware is plugged in. For safety, turn
off the transmitter while preparing for each test and turn it
on only when you are ready to take a reading. Always be aware
of the power's on/off status.
Also, before beginning any tests on a transmitter
that has an input signal from a SeaSonde receiver, please be
sure to connect a dummy load to the transmitter's "N" type
antenna connector (see photo below). Failure to do this could
result in significant and expensive damage which may require
replacement of the transmitter's amplifier.
The first step (with the power off) is to remove
the top covers from the receiver and transmitter chassis.
Dummy Load Attached to Transmitter Chassis
28 volt (Vicor) Power Supply Check:
Tools needed: Multi-meter with thin probes
With the transmitter turned on, probe the
two screws of the big blue capacitor (one probe on each screw)
to the Vicor power supply. Alternatively, you
can place the probes on the two brass nuts on the back (output)
of the Vicor power
supply. You should get a reading of approximately
28 volts DC. If the voltage is off by more than a volt or two
and the voltage
has been consistently low (or high) in your
diagnostic STAT files, then assume that there may be a power
supply problem and continue
to the next test. If the voltage is significantly
low (less than 18 VDC for example), this may be an indication
that the Kalmus
amplifier has failed and is "pulling down" the voltage
output from the Vicor. We will check this in the next step by
removing the "yellow wire bundle".
Tools needed: To test the DC voltage supply
to the amplifier, use a multi-meter with thin probes. You will
also need a medium flat blade screwdriver.
To test if the amplifier is receiving power
at all or if it is "pulling down" the voltage coming
from the Vicor supply, disconnect the yellow
wire bundle from the blue capacitor as shown
CAUTION: be sure to turn off the transmitter
before disconnecting this then turn it back on again.
Replace the screw on the positive post of the
capacitor and tighten gently. Set the receiver
to "pulse" mode
using your normal operational settings so that
a transmit signal is being sent from the receiver
to the transmitter. The transmit
drive cable and the serial control cable must
be connected and a dummy load attached. If
you have an oscilloscope you can measure
the small input signal on the transmit drive
cable where it attaches to the transmitter.
Turn on the transmitter and probe between the yellow wire
bundle that you disconnected from the capacitor and the negative
post of the capacitor as shown below:
The reading on the multi-meter should be around 28 Volts DC.
If the reading is lower than 28 volts by more than one volt
then there may be a problem with the Vicor power supply. If
the reading was previously ~ 18 VDC or less and is now reading
28 VDC with the wire bundle removed, then your Kalmus amplifier
If your power supply voltages are good and
you still are unable to transmit, the problem may be your blanking
board. First, do the obvious and check to be sure the serial
cable and transmit drive cable are in good condition and attached
then proceed with the test below. Note: If you have a newer
model transmitter, a blinking yellow light will indicate that
you are receiving a signal and the blanking board is functioning
Measuring the Vicor 28 VDC Power Supply
Yellow Wire Bundle Shown Disconnected
Measuring the voltage to the amplifier
| Test 3:
Blanking Board Check:
Tools needed: To test the blanking board, use
a multi-meter with thin probes. An oscilloscope can also be used
in lieu of the multi-meter.
To determine if the input signal is reaching
the blanking board, place the positive probe
(red in this photo) on the first wire terminal
lug (a.k.a. pin "10")
of the blanking board. Place the black probe
on the negative post
of the blue capacitor, the reading should be
approximately 1.4-1.5 volts DC. If it is not
and you're sure that the transmit drive
cable and transmit serial control cables are
in good shape, then you can assume the blanking
board has failed. Blanking boards
are user replaceable (for experienced users).
Remove the two chassis mounting screws and
unplug the board from its socket.
Replace with a new board and re-assemble. If
this solves the problem then you won't have
to return your SeaSonde transmitter
If the three major components are functioning
properly and you still believe your transmitter is not putting
out adequate power, you may want to conduct the test below to
measure the actual output at the transmitter.
Measuring the Blanking Board Voltage
Amplifier Forward Power Test:
Tools needed: To test the amplifier forward
power use the built-in wattmeter and/or an external wattmeter
like the one shown below. You will also need a medium flat blade
This test can be done onsite but it is more
convenient to do on the bench with a dummy load attached. If
the transmit chassis in question does not come equipped with
an built-in wattmeter then an external wattmeter will be required
similar to the one shown in the picture below:
First setup up the transmit and receive chassis
as you would in the field but without turning on the power to
the receiver or transmitter. Open SeaSondeController and set
the attenuation up to 10 dB.
The next steps will depend on whether you have
an built-in wattmeter or require an external SWR wattmeter. If
you have a built-in wattmeter (standard on SeaSondes shipped
after ~ July 2002) simply open the Transmit Monitor window in
SeaSonde Controller by going to the menu bar and selecting Control->Special
Controls-> Transmit Monitor as shown below:
This will activate the "Transmit Monitor" window and
will show the forward and reflected power measured where it exits
Slowly decrease the attenuation on the "Advanced Controller" window
by increments of 2 dB until zero attenuation is reached. Forward
power should increase as attenuation is removed until it reads
at least 40 watts at zero dB attenuation. If the forward power
displayed is more than 65-70 watts then attenuation should be
increased slightly in the "Advanced Controller" during
normal operation. This will increase the life span of the amplifier.
When the test is complete turn off the transmitter BEFORE removing
the dry load if the test was done on a bench.
For transmitter chassis that do not come equipped
Connect the external wattmeter in line with
the transmit antenna. Install the wattmeter as close to the transmit
antenna as possible to get a more accurate reading of actual
forward power at the antenna.
Make sure that the wattmeter is reading the
power traveling from the transmitter to the wattmeter and out
to the load (or the transmit antenna) before proceeding. Begin
decreasing the attenuation by increments of 2 dB making sure
the reflected power doesn't become more than 20% of the relative
forward power registered. At zero attenuation the forward power
should be 30-50 watts. When the test is complete turn off the
transmitter before removing the wattmeter and/or the dummy load.
These tests will help the operator to quickly
and easily identify a faulty component in the transmitter chassis.
Each test is designed to determine if power is reaching a specific
component and the values are normal. The last test determines
if the transmitter is producing power at the output.
For more information please contact:
This particular wattmeter can be found the
- By Hector Aguilar and Hardik Parikh
CODAR Ocean Sensors
Recently we have had several users ask what
they can do to assure a good antenna pattern measurement after
all the preparations have been made.
There are three hardware factors that are often
overlooked when preparing for an antenna pattern measurement
(APM) and these can affect the the quality of APM data. These
are 1) the antenna set used for the antenna pattern measurement,
2) the quality of the ocean ground and 3) the condition and charge
of the transponder battery.
1) Selecting an antenna configuration
Selecting the appropriate antenna for use on
the transponder is an important step for a successful antenna
pattern measurement. The type of antenna needed for an APM is
dependent on the operating frequency being used. The following
table provides recommended antenna whip lengths and hardware
needed. Failure to use anything other than the recommended antenna
configuration, could cause a weak (inadequate) signal return
from the transponder.
Note: A 12 MHz transmit head is used for 5 & 12MHz APMs conducted
from boats. The cable used to connect the head to the transponder
has an "N" connector on one end (connects to the head)
and the other end has a pigtail (i.e. two cables) with eyes soldered
onto the coax braid and center wire. The coax braid connects
to the side terminal with a 3/8" x 32 TPI bolt. The center
wire's eye is connected with a bolt to the
top of the transponder and the braided wire's eye is connected
to one of the side terminals
on the transponder. A continuity test and checks
for corrosion (on the cables connectors) should be done periodically.
do not have one these cables or if yours is
in poor condition, contact CODAR for assistance.
2) Transponder ground configuration:
When conducting a land based APM a two white whips, 8 feet in length, are threaded
into the side ports of the transponder. A transmit whip is also screwed into
the top of the lid. The horizontal whips on the side should provide enough
grounding for walking patterns. When the transponder is on a boat, a ground
wire of sufficient length to connect the transponder to the ocean is needed.
A weight or rigid metal rod is often used to keep the ground wire from lifting
out of the water as the boat moves. It is very important that during the
run, the ground wire is completely immersed throughout the entire arc; otherwise,
intermittency noise or loss of signal will occur as the wire bounces out
Transponder battery state:
A good transponder battery is also critical. If you experience a weak transponder
signal on one of your transponder runs you should consider the battery as a
possible cause of the problem. Unlike Nickel-Cadmium batteries, the lead-acid
used by our transponders does not like to be completely drained. A good practice
is to never allow the battery to run completely flat. If necessary, a spare
battery can be swapped in at the completion of the first arc.
Batteries should also be checked for proper voltage levels and should be replaced
if ever discharged completely or if they are over a year old. A voltage reading
on a fully charged battery below 12 volts is indicative of a bad battery that
should probably be replaced. Keep in mind that a battery is cheap when compared
to boat charges and personnel time.
The part numbers for two battery suppliers are listed below... or you can contactfor
Allied Electronic, Part Number: #621-1229
Powersonic, Part Number: #PS-1229
For a refresher on conducting a proper APM please refer to:
| CODAR Quiz
Now for a refreshing change after all of the
grueling technical reading!
We decided to add a little fun and a chance
to win "CODAR-Wear" by offering a quarterly quiz in
Rules of the game:
- You must be able to provide a valid SeaSonde
serial number (if asked) or be on our newsletter mailing list
in order to play the game.
- Only one entry per person is allowed
- CODAR employees are not eligible
- One winner will be drawn from all of the
correct responses submitted before December 31, 2006 at midnight.
Send your answer to (failure
to use this email address will result in disqualification).
The Fall Issue prize will be .... a very stylish
foul weather hat complete with "CODAR" logo
and now the question:
In what country is the city of Codar located?
More than one answer? ... be prepared to back
up your response with latitude and longitude.
If you have any questions,
please email us:
1914 Plymouth Street
Mountain View, CA 94043 USA
Phone: +1 (408) 773-8240
Fax: +1 (408) 773-0514