Depth sounders/fathometers

are devices for safety and navigation, and had different displays than fishfinders. A basic fathometer may only show a digital indication of depth, not a “picture”

Fish finders

 must use a graphical display to show fish in relation to the surface and bottom.  They may also show characteristics of the bottom, such as hardness.

Data Fusion

With modern computerized chartplotters for data fusion, the plotter can show both depth and fishfinding displays, perhaps combined with radar and certainly position information from GPS.  Temperature information also can be fused into a two- or three-dimensional diagram.

Some fish finders/fathometers, even though they run on a dedicated computer, still can connect to your GPS and possibly other sensors.   

In the example on the right, you'll see the display from P-Sea's depth sounder, which can run on any modern Windows computer. It uses 1000 watt/dual-frequency black box depth sounder with bottom classification ability and A-Scope.  It also can read temperature  down to the 100th of a degree

Display Modes

Different standalone echo sounders, as well as chartplotters to which echo locators can talk, can display 2D or 3D, at different resolutions. Here's a WindPlot II example.


Most interconnections will be NMEA 0183
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