Changing Communications Interface on the Ping360

By Kevin

Introduction

The Ping360 sonar is a mechanical scanning sonar. You can see echoes from objects like ropes, walls, dock pilings, rocks, shipwrecks, boats, and any other structures or objects that reflect sound waves. With that, you have reference points to navigate from, regardless of water visibility, and you can locate important features in the water quickly.

One of the unique features of the Ping360 is the ability to have user configurable communications interface types by changing a few wires around. This guide will show how to configure a Ping360 for USB or RS-485 communications.

Ping360 is shipped with the USB configuration by default.
Ethernet communications are planned, but not supported as of the last update of this guide.
If the Ping360 is changed over to Ethernet communications, DO NOT plug it into a computer via the USB connection, it will damage the transformer on the Ethernet configuration.

Parts and Tools

You Will Need

Separate the Ping360 Body

To remove the Ping360 body halves, you will need the following tool:

  • 1 x Penetrator wrench

1. Remove the plastic cord retaining the two body halves together.

Ping360 Cord

2. Using a penetrator wrench, loosen the blue penetrator just enough so that the air can be equalized.

Ping360 Wrench

3. Gently slide the two halves apart. Avoid opening the Ping360 with too much force that the wires are ripped out.

Ping360 Open

Ping360 Processor Board Overview

  • The following image shows the different interface port locations:

Ping360 Protocol Port Locations
Ping360 is shipped with the USB configuration by default.
The LED port is unused.

Processor Board - USB Configuration

  • Move the 4-pin JST-GH plug to the “USB” configuration port.

  • Ensure the plug firmly clicks into the receptacle.

Ping360 USB Configuration

Processor Board - RS-485 Configuration

  • Move the 4-pin JST-GH plug to the “RS485” configuration port.

  • Ensure the plug firmly clicks into the receptacle.

Ping360 RS485 Configuration

Reassemble Ping360

1. Gently slide the upper head assembly onto the base with the blue penetrator loose so air can escape.

Ping360 Body Alignment

2. Slide the plastic cord in its channel to hold the two halves together.

Ping360 Cord

2. Using a penetrator wrench, tighten the blue penetrator so it is “hand tight”.

Ping360 Wrench

Wiring Connections

Connections - USB Configuration

You Will Need

  • 1 x 4-pin JST-GH to 4-pin JST-GH adapter PCB (included with Ping360)
  • 1 x 4-pin JST-GH to USB-A adapter (included with Ping360)

1. Connect the power wires (red and black wires) into open screw power terminals (11-25VDC).

Ensure the power wires are correctly installed (positive and negative) before the device is powered on. Ping360 does not have any reverse polarity protection and the Processor Board will be damaged if powered incorrectly.

2. Plug the JST-GH to JST-GH inline connection board into JST-GH connector coming from the Ping360.

3. Plug the JST-GH to USB-A cable into the other end of the JST-GH to JST-GH inline connection board.

4. Plug the JST-GH to USB cable (USB side) into a computer.

Ping360 Wiring USB

Connections - RS-485 Configuration

You Will Need

  • 1 x 4-pin JST-GH to 4-pin JST-GH adapter PCB (included with Ping360)
  • 1 x 4-pin JST-GH to male header pin adapter cable (included with Ping360)
  • 1 x 4-pin JST-GH to female header pin adapter or 2 x 0.1″ male-female jumper wires (not included)

1. Connect the power wires (red and black wires) into open screw power terminals (11-25VDC).

Ensure the power wires are correctly installed (positive and negative) before the device is powered on. Ping360 does not have any reverse polarity protection and the Processor Board will be damaged if powered incorrectly.

2. Plug the JST-GH to JST-GH inline connection board into JST-GH connector coming from the Ping360.

3. Plug the 4-pin JST-GH to male header pin adapter into the JST-GH to JST-GH inline connection board.

4. Plug the male header pin adapter into an unused twisted wire pair on the tether.

5. Plug a 4-pin JST-GH to female header pin adapter or 2x 0.1″ male-female jumper wires into the corresponding unused twisted wire pair coming from the FXTI tether pigtail.

6. Plug a 4-pin JST-GH to female header pin adapter or 2x 0.1″ male-female jumper wires into the RS-485 TX/RX pins on the RS485 side of the BLUART.

7. Plug the BLUART into a computer using a Micro-USB to USB-A cable.

Ping360 Wiring RS485

Troubleshooting

USB Configuration

1. Ensure the power and data wires are correctly plugged into their respective ports (POWER, USB) on the Ping360 processor board.

2. Ensure the power wires are correctly installed (positive and negative) into the power source. Ping360 does not have any reverse polarity protection and the Processor Board will be damaged if powered incorrectly.

3. Ensure the JST-GH connectors are plugged firmly into their receptacles. There will be a mechanical “click”.

4. Check to make sure you have the most recent stable release of Ping-Viewer.

5. Contact [email protected] for further troubleshooting recommendations.

RS485 Configuration

1. Ensure the power and data wires are correctly plugged into their respective ports (POWER, RS485) on the Ping360 processor board.

2. Ensure the power wires are correctly installed (positive and negative) into the power source. Ping360 does not have any reverse polarity protection and the Processor Board will be damaged if powered incorrectly.

3. Ensure the JST-GH connectors are plugged firmly into their receptacles. There will be a mechanical “click”.

4. Try reversing one of the header pin connectors.

5. Check to make sure you have the most recent stable release of Ping-Viewer.

6. Contact [email protected] for further troubleshooting recommendations.

Authors

Kevin

Kevin is the Applications Engineer at Blue Robotics. He has a love for marine robotics and explorations and was one of Blue Robotics' first Kickstarter backers in 2014! Since then he's joined our team and helps fellow explorers around the world use Blue Robotics products to accomplish their missions.