System diagram

The basic Simrad EK80 system comprises a computer, one or more transceivers, and the necessary transducers for the requested operating frequencies.


A. Display (the second display is optional)
B. Processor Unit (computer)
C. Ethernet switch
D. Transceivers (Wide Band Transceiver (WBT))
E. Transducers

The basic Simrad EK80 system consists of one transducer, one Wide Band Transceiver (WBT) and one Processor Unit (computer). Additional transceivers and transducers can be added to meet your operational and functional requirements.

Post-processing software applications may be provided from third party suppliers.

Installation drawings

Outline dimension and production drawings are provided in PDF and DWG formats. Use the link to open the drawings page in a new window.


A display is a required part of the echo sounder system. Any commercial display can be used provided that it meets the minimum requirements. You may wish to see many echogram channels simultaneously. A large display with high resolution is then useful. The echo sounder software supports all display sizes. The visual quality of the echogram presentations depend on the quality of your graphic adapter and display.

The display is not a standard part of the delivery. This is a commercial item that can be purchased locally.

Processor Unit

The Processor Unit comprises a single powerful maritime computer. It is provided as a standard part of the delivery. It serves several functions.

The Processsor Unit handles the advanced signal processing required to present the information on the display, and it allows you to control the echo sounder system. It provides the graphic presentation of the echograms and images that are created, it holds the menu system, it communicates with the transceiver, and reads information from the peripheral units. The Processor Unit is a marine computer using the Microsoft Windows® operating system. It is designed for rugged use, and placed on shock absorbers. The computer is based on a commercial design, but the software and hardware has been specified and assembled specifically to meet the scientific echo sounder requirements.

Ethernet switch

A high capacity Ethernet switch is a key component of the echo sounder system.

If you use more than one transceiver, a high capacity Ethernet switch is required. The Ethernet switch is used to connect each transceiver to the Processor Unit. The Ethernet switch is not a part of the standard scope of supply. This is a commercial item that can be purchased locally.

Transceiver Unit

The Transceiver Unit contains the transmission and reception circuitry for the echo sounder.

To do this, the transceiver computes and generates the electric signals sent to the transducer to form a transmission - a 'ping'. After each transmission, it will receive the echoes from the targets and/or the seabed. These are filtered and amplified, and then converted to digital format.

The Wide Band Transceiver comprises a rugged box providing all necessary transmitter and receiver electronics. The receiver is designed for low noise, and it can handle input signals spanning a very large instantaneous dynamic amplitude range. All targets are correctly measured. The transceiver operates within a large frequency band, and supports single frequencies, frequency sweep (chirp) and user defined wave forms.

The Wide Band Transceiver is designed for applications where performance is the top priority. It has four 500 W channels that can either work independently with single beam transducers, or together with a split beam transducer. The design is optimized for applications where power consumption and physical size is not critical, typically on board a fishing vessel, a research vessel or a platform with power and communication available through high speed ethernet cable.

The transceiver operates within a large frequency band, and supports single frequencies, frequency sweep ("chirp") and user defined wave forms.

A high quality Ethernet cable connects the transceiver to the Processor Unit. The distance between the Processor Unit and the transceiver can be extended up to maximum 70 meters. If a longer cable is required, cut it in half, and insert an Ethernet switch to provide buffer amplification.

If more than one Wide Band Transceiver is used, a small high capacity Ethernet switch is required to connect the transceivers to the Processor Unit.

The Wide Band Transceiver requires an external power supply offering 12 to 15 Vdc, minimum 5 A. The transceiver can also be powered by a large capacity battery. A  suitable power supply is provided with the delivery.

Other transceivers

The Simrad EK80 can also be set up with other transceivers than the Wide Band Transceiver (WBT).


The Simrad EK80 can be used with all our single-beam and split-beam transducers. In most cases, one split-beam transducer is used for each transceiver. We can provide a wide range of efficient and accurate transducers for scientific use. Several operational frequencies is available.


The transducer converts the electric energy generated by the transceiver to physical vibrations. These vibrations alter the water pressure, and create an acoustic pulse that is sent into the water. The acoustic signal is transmitted as a beam. The duration of the acoustic pulse, as well as its frequency and shape, are controlled by the transceiver. The direction and opening angle of the beam is controlled by the transceiver and the physical properties of the transducer.

After the transmission, the transducer works as a "microphone". It converts the water pressure created by the acoustic echoes to electric energy. These weak echo signals are sent to the amplifiers in the transceiver.


Note: The red protective coating is an vital part of the transducer. It is very important that neither this coating nor the internal parts of the transducer are damaged during the handling, installation or cleaning. Any holes and/or scratches in the transducer surface will allow water to penetrate the transducer. If a leak occurs, the transducer must be replaced.

The transducer must always be handled as a delicate item. Wrongful actions may damage the transducer beyond repair. Observe these transducer handling rules:

  • Do not activate the transducer when it is out of the water.
  • Do not lift the transducer by the cables.
  • Do not step on the transducer cables.
  • Do not damage the transducer cables, avoid sharp objects.
  • Do not handle the transducer roughly, avoid impacts.
  • Do not expose the transducer to direct sunlight or excessive heat.
  • Do not use high pressure water, sand blasting, metal tools or strong solvents to clean the transducer face.
  • Do not damage the outer protective skin on the transducer.