Software to convert Humminbird SONAR files into MATLAB data files
This page provides links to download a MATLAB executable GUI program called: HumConverter, that converts Humminbird data files (.dat, .son and .idx) into MATLAB data files (.mat). Humminbird sonar files consist of:
*.DAT files which contain basic information about the sonar, time, position and sonar settings. It does this on the first ping, so the time and position refer only to the instant the recording is initiated;
*.SON files which contain the 8-bit sonar data (echograms);
*.IDX files (1 per SON file) which contain indices of successive pings in the corresponding SON file;
Once HumConverter is installed and started, users then selected the Humminbird model number (it supports 1199, 798, 898, 998, 1198); where the location of the .dat and .son files are; choses the maximum number of pings per .mat file; and, then clicks to convert either a single file or a folder of files. The HumConverter program saves separate .mat files for the different transducers/channels. The saved .mat filename is: DatFilename_SONfilename_SON_pXX.mat, where XX is the partition number, i.e. for the first set of files this is 01, then if files have more pings than the set Packets per file then the files with be split into 01, 02… until all pings are read. For instance, for the Humminbird 898 with a .dat filename: R00001.DAT and corresponding folder with B000.SON (for the 83 kHz channel), B0001.SON (200 kHz channel), B002.SON (455/800 kHz port channel) (455/800 kHz starboard channel) files containing 6000 pings (and a maximum Packets per file of 5000), will create 2x four mat files, the first set containing pings 1 to 5000 being: R00001_B000_SON_p01.mat, R00001_B001_SON_p01.mat, R00002_B001_SON_p01.mat, R00003_B001_SON_p01.mat; then pings 5001 to 6000 in files: R00001_B000_SON_p02.mat, R00001_B001_SON_p02.mat, R00002_B001_SON_p02.mat, R00003_B001_SON_p02.mat. There are quite a few unused fields (where the variable is called spare) in the Humminbird files, which the user can decide not to save by ticking the “Remove Unused fields”. If the .IDX files are missing (e.g. loss of power can cause the file not to be closed properly when being logged), it might be possible to retrieve some of the data by ticking the “Always find packets manually” box. Ticking “Save errors” creates a file listing errors if there were problems in the conversion process. It will work without a .DAT file, the only major issue is that the converted times will be based on the time the file was last modified.
- Parnum I.M., Ellement T., Parsons M.J.G., and Tecchiato S., (2017). Using recreational echo-sounders for marine science studies. In: Proceedings of ACOUSTICS 2017.