The Industry Standard in Depth Sounder Test Sets

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The DSTS-4A Depth Sounder Test Set uses digital signal processing to bring new levels of accuracy and ease of use together for your benefit. Equally at home in the engineering lab, repair shop, or production line, the DSTS-4A fills all the requirements to test and calibrate today's sophisticated depth sounders.

dsts-4a photo

[Features] [Additional Information] [Specifications] [Options for the DSTS-4A] [Calibration]


More About the DSTS-4A

By design, the DSTS-4A dramatically shortens the time spent repairing and calibrating sonar systems. Technicians and engineers know how important it is to view all the pertinent data on one screen. A two by twenty-four character super-twisted LCD display gives you complete information on the depth sounder under test. Data on the depth sounder under test is logically presented. The top line of the display shows the incoming pulse parameters; specifically, the frequency, pulse width, pulse period, and the pulse voltage. The second line displays the outgoing pulse parameters, frequency, width, and depth. You always know what you are measuring without reaching for a switch. And, with digital signal processing, what you see is accurate to the last digit.

Depth units may be set for feet, fathoms, or meters. Calibration is based on 4800 feet per second for feet and fathoms, and 1500 meters per second for metric.

Options include an RS-232 port, built-in rechargeable batteries, and a broadband balun for use with depth sounders that have balanced outputs.

Using the DSTS-4A is easy! Connect it to a depth sounder's transducer port. Read the pulse output frequency, width, amplitude, and period. Check the receiver sensitivity by adjusting the reply echo amplitude. You now know the exact condition of the sounder. That's all there is to it! Reply echo frequency tracks the input frequency, so you don't have to bother setting it. The exclusive Auto-width mode tracks the incoming pulse width on a pulse-to-pulse basis. This is very important, as many depth sounders use varying pulse widths for noise rejection and ranging. If the received echo doesn't track the transmitted pulse, the depth sounder may reject it. Auto-width mode insures that the depth sounder gets a realistic copy of its transmitted pulse.

For more sophisticated tests, the echo frequency, depth, and width are variable over the entire range. The Fish Echo feature generates an additional reply echo preceding the bottom echo. The DSTS-4A turns the fish echo on and off for selected numbers of input pulses. This is very useful when evaluating a depth sounders ability to detect fish or small objects above the bottom. Individual toggle switches increment or decrement the outgoing pulse parameters for the bottom and fish echoes. There are no complicated keyboards or arcane procedures to remember.

A scope trigger output occurs ten microseconds before the reply pulse is generated, so you can track the reply echo as it passes through the various stages of the receiver.

The DSTS-4A has three internal load impedances, and an external load position. The external load position connects to the front panel banana jacks. You can now use a custom load without difficulty. The internal loads are parallel resistor-capacitor combinations with the following values:

  1. LOW 330W and 4700 pF in parallel.
  2. MED 560W and 1000 pF in parallel.
  3. HIGH 2200W and 470 pF in parallel.


Parameter Range Resolution Accuracy
Input frequency 2.9 to 999.9 KHz 0.1 KHZ ± .02% ±100 Hz 1
Input width 202 to 20,000 uS 1 uS ± .02% ±2 cycles
Input period 10 to 9999 mS 1 mS ± .02% ±1 mS
Input amplitude 50 to 2500 Vp-p 10 Vp-p ± 5% ±10 Vp-p
Min input level 303 Vp-p N/A ± 10 Vp-p
Output frequency 2.9 to 999.9 KHz 0.1 KHZ ± .05%
Output width 10 to 20,000 uS 100 uS ± .02%
Output depth 1 to 999.9 ft/mt/fa 0.1 unit ± .02%
Output depth X 10 1 to 9999 ft/mt/fa 1.0 unit ± .02%
Output level 10 to 350,000 uV 1-2-5 steps ± 1.5 dB 4
Vprop ft, fm 4800 to 5000 f/s 1 unit ± .02%
Vprop mtrs 1460 to 1530 m/s 1 unit ± .02%
Power requirements: 10-15 VAC or 12-18 VDC @ 120 mA nominal.
Size and Weight: 10" W by 7"D by 4.5"H. Shipping Wt. 6 Lbs.
1 - Specified for input pulse widths greater than 99 microseconds
2 - Input pulse must contain at least 6 cycles.
3 - At 50 KHz. Approximately 200 Vp-p at 500 KHz.
4 - At 500 KHz


BAL-550, Balanced to Unbalanced Line Converter.

BAL551B BalunThe BAL-550 connects a depth sounder with balanced lines to the DSTS-4A. Three universal binding posts accept the balanced line (two wires and a shield) from the depth sounder. The unbalanced and isolated output is a BNC connector. A large ferrite core gives the BAL-550 a usable frequency range of 10 KHZ to 1 MHZ. If you are testing larger sounders, a BAL-550 makes the hook-up easy and foolproof. The BAL-550 rejects noise pickup and properly loads the depth sounder's transmitter. Receiver sensitivity and output voltage measurements are more accurate using the BAL-550.
  • Maximum input voltage:2500 volts peak-to-peak maximum.
  • Frequency range1:20 - 700 KHZ ± 1dB. Usable from 10 KHZ to 1 MHZ, at reduced power
  • Input connectors:Universal binding posts for shield and balanced line. Standard BNC output.
  • Construction: Cast aluminum case with baked epoxy finish.
  • Size and weight 4.5 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches (11 x 9 x 3.5 cm). 1 lb (.45 Kg)
1 Measured using 600W load and source impedance. Flatness over 10 kHz-1 MHZ range is ± 2 dB.
Serial Control Options:

RS-232 Interface without Reply Level Control RS232-BI-DIR
RS-232 Interface with Reply Level Control EAB
Electronic Attenuator Upgrade for RS232-BD (DSTS-4A/2) EAB/2U
Electronic Attenuator Upgrade for RS232-BD (DSTS-4A/3) EAB/3U

Control all DSTS-4A functions such as depth, width, fish echo, frequency, etc. Reply level control option has 0.3 dB resolution and 76 dB range. Read the input pulse voltage, frequency, width, period, and DSTS modes. Commands are simple, "d1347" sets the depth to 134.7 units, "E" turns on the fish echo, "e" turns it off, "I" reads input pulse data, etc.. The serial data format is 9600,8,N,1, and cables are supplied with a DB-9 female connector for direct connection to any PC.

Please note that both the above RS-232 control options function identically with one exception:
The EAB has an electronic attenuator to control the reply echo amplitude, whereas the RS232-BI-DIR does not. Existing DSTS-4A units with RS-232 options are easily retrofitted for reply amplitude control with the EAB/2U or EAB/3U upgrade package.
Internal Rechargeable Battery Pack, BP-4A

The BP-4A will power the DSTS-4A for up to 5 hours of continuous use, and charges automatically whenever the DSTS-4A is connected to an external power source.

Wall Transformers
  • Replacement Wall Plug Transformer (110 VAC), 200-001
  • Optional 220 VAC Wall Plug Transformer, 200-002

Please E-Mail edisales@bbginc.com or telephone (757) 366-9211 (within the USA) for more information on EDI's product design services.

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EDI Electronic Devices, Inc.
1708 South Park Court, Chesapeake, VA 23320. Phone (757) 366-9211

Cat DSTS4A/3 01/98

Copyright 1998-2017, BBG, Inc.
1708 South Park Court
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
(757) 366-9211 USA