Submitted by M.Lenz and Y.Rancourt, Collections Assistants
This week we’ve been working in an area known as the Radio Room, which happens to contain quite a lot of . . . depth sounders?! While we puzzle over a possible storage area name change (Depth Sounder Room doesn’t have quite the same ring to it), here’s a bit of what we’ve learned about these multi-tasking machines.
Manufactured in 1967, this echo sounder bounces ultrasonic waves off the seabed, schools of fish, or other underwater features. The information received by the machine is recorded on a roll of paper that navigators can consult to “see” how deep the water is, if there are potential hazards, and the location of nearby fish.
This sounder also uses echoes to determine depth. Instead of using a roll of paper to record this information, it uses a flashing a neon light to signal any depth changes. Though the paper record of later sounders were more accurate and easy to read, these flashing echo sounders were a welcome safety measure in their time.