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C-Max Sonar Simulation Mode - 27


This driver can be used to interface to a C-Max CM2 Digital sidescan sonar.
It can be used to read sonar data into Qinsy and to control the operational parameters of the C-Max Sonar.
For the latter task the driver is equipped with user interface.

The sonar is interfaced to the Qinsy computer via a USB port.
When the sonar is interfaced for the first time, Windows will recognize it and ask for the driver.
Make sure to install the driver correctly. The latest driver files (INF,SYS,DLL) will be made available by the manufacturer.

NOTE: If USB driver is not (correctly) installed then the Qinsy sidescan driver will not operate properly.

Optionally the driver can operate in simulation mode for testing purposes; this will only work if the sonar system is not connected to the computer.
If the simulation mode is selected the driver will generate a staircase-like sonar signal.

Driver Information

Driver C-Max Sonar (Altitude)
C-Max Sonar Simulation Mode (Altitude) 
Interface Type - Driver Class Type USB / with U/I 
UTC Driver (question) - Input / Output Input  Executable DrvL3Kleinsocket.exe
Related Systems
Related Pages

Interfacing Notes

The C-Max topside unit (STR) should be connected to the Qinsy PC through the USB port.
The USB driver should be installed properly.

If the USB cable between C-Max and Qinsy is too long, it's possible that the data becomes intermittent.

Database Setup


The C-Max fish supports only two channels at the same time.
Make sure to define two channels, one with orientation port and one channel with orientation starboard.
The driver will assign the data based on the orientation.

Sound Velocity

The C-Max works internally with 1500 m/s.
If you select the sound velocity from unit then 1500 m/s will be used.
For better accuracy it is wise to enter the user defined sound velocity.

Note that ranges reported in the sidescan display will be slightly different from what is setup in the driver.
This is because the driver assumes 1500 m/s while the display uses the user defined sound velocity so this affects the calculated slant range of the sonar.


The Controller starts the driver when going online.
The driver retrieves its last saved windows state from the registry on startup.
On startup the driver will try to connect automatically to the STR.
The connection process can take up to 30 seconds so be patient.

While the connection process is in progress the Status Info window will show the "Waiting For Connection..." message continuously.
If the system is not detected at all then this message will be generated endlessly.

The driver window looks as follows:

Sidescan status

The active/standby buttons reflect the current status of the Sonar system.
The user can activate pinging by pressing the Active button; the Standby button will command the sonar state in an idle state.
In C-Max terminology not pinging is referred to as "Muted".

Status Lights

These status lights give the user insight into the status of the driver to STR connection.


If bright red then a connection is established to the STR, if not lit at all then the driver cannot make a connection. In the latter case check USB connection and/or USB driver status (Windows Configuration Panel).

Ping   This led lights up whenever a valid Sonar packet is decoded.

Active    This led lights up when the sonar is in the active mode (=pinging, not muted).


This control shows the current settings of the sonar system (if connected).

If user changes a setting then a message is sent to the STR with the new configuration, normally the new setting will be accepted by the STR but if a setting is denied for some reason then the previous setting is visible again.

For more details on the settings refer to the C-Max Sonar documentation.


Select operating range and frequency.
The number of ranges reported here depends on the fish type and the frequencies it supports.

Shallow Mode

Enable this option if fish flies close to the seafloor, the sonar will internally start is gain curves at the ping time.
Altitude is disabled.

Hold Gain + Manual Gain

Enable the hold gain option to switch auto-gain mode off and set a fixed gain curve.
The manual gain can be change with the up/down spin buttons. Note that manual gain can only be entered when gain is held.

Force Altitude

Pressing the up spin button will send a command to the fish that tries to relock the altitude on a return that is shallower then the current lock-on.

Pressing the down spin button will send a command to the fish that tries to relock the altitude on a return that is deeper then the current lock-on.

If the spin button is depressed continuously then the respective command is continuously sent to the fish.

Status info

This list shows the history of the system/connection status. Every time a major event takes place it is reported here together with the local time.


The last decoded ping number is shown here.

Decode Altitude

It is possible to decode the altitude information reported by the sidescan sonar.
To do so add an "Underwater Sensor" system to the database and select system "C-Max Sonar (Altitude)".
Add an Altitude Observation, set units to Meters.

In an alphanumerical Display or the Observation Physics Display one can see the actual value of the altitude.
The altitude can also be selected an the altitude source for mosaicking in the Controller.

Note: altitude will be compensated for user defined sound velocity.

Drivers IO Notes

CMAX : Sets the driver in C-Max mode.

SIMU: Places the driver in simulation mode, no actual connection to sonar system is then required.