Eye4Software Hydromagic

  Hydrographic Survey Software

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Generic inclinometer plugin for Hydromagic

The generic inclinometer plugin, can be used to decode serial data from an inclinometer sensor without the need to have a dedicated plugin. In this generic plugin, you can define the data format which is expected to be received from the sensor. This plugin should allow you to use virtually any inclinometer sensor which outputs ASCII or NMEA0183 data over a serial connection, like RS232 or RS485 (with a RS485 to RS232 converter), or over a network connection, like Ethernet or WiFi.

By defining a header, an angle value offset, an angle value length and an optional scale, you should be able to decode data from almost any single or dual axis inclinometer sensor. Hydromagic Dredging is shipped with three generic inclinometer plugins, so you can configure up to three sensors (the amount needed for a backhoe excavator).

NOTE: Some inclinometer sensors support the so called "Polling Mode". Make sure that your inclinometer sensor devices is in "Continuous Output Mode" when it is used with this plugin. Please refer to the sensor's user manual on how to switch between the modes (if supported).

Loading the generic inclinometer plugin for Hydromagic

To load this plugin, open the preferences window by selecting "Preferences..." from the "Options" menu. In the window which appears, select the "Devices" tab. Next click the "Add..." button.

the devices tab in the preferences dialog
Select the "Devices" tab in the "Preferences" dialog.

A list of available plugins will be displayed. In this list, select one of the "Hydromagic Generic Inclinometer" plugins, and click "OK" to load and display the configuration dialog.

select one of the Generic Inclinometer plugins
Select one of the "Generic Inclinometer" plugins and click "OK".

Configuring the generic inclinometer plugin

Serial or Ethernet Communications

First you must configure the serial or Ethernet communication with the inclinometer sensor. This plugin supports incoming data over a serial port, Ethernet or WiFi. For more information on this, please see the General information on using plugins document.

Configuring the data format

In this example we will show an example on how to configure a custom data format. Most sensors output the axis direction, a sign (+/-) and the angle value. Below is a sample ASCII output:

Output of the TE Connectivity P-Series Inclinometer.

    ACS360 SC
    SW01.86 HW05 R01
    B2 P2 M64 P10
Output of the Posital Fraba Tiltix Inclinometer.


The header field is used to check whether the data line contains the data we need. For instance, if we use a dual axis sensor and we only want to read the vertical value, the angle values are prefixed by "X=" or "Y=" by most sensors. In this case we can enter "X=" or "Y=" in the header field, depending on which angle we want to use. When this field is empty, each data sentence is parsed.

Example of a dual axis ASCII output sentence
Example of a dual axis ASCII output sentence.

Angle Value

Now we need to tell the software where the actual angle value is in the data sentence. Please note that this only will work when the angle is sent as an ASCII (readable) value. Also note that the characters are zero indexed, which means that the first character is at index zero ("+" = 0, "2" = 1, "1" = 3 etc..).

The angle value starts at index '0' and is '6' characters long in our first example (the sign also counts as a character), and '5' characters long in the second examples. So we enter '0' as "Value Offset" and '5' or '6' for the "Value Length" setting. For the value length, always count the number of digits including the sign (+/-) and decimal dot (.).

Scale / Units

Use a scale only when the angle is not in degrees. For instance, when the anle is in hundreds of degrees, use 100.

Configure the generic inclinometer plugin
The Generic Inclinometer plugin configuration window.

Unloading the generic inclinometer plugin

To unload the generic motion sensor plugin, open the preferences window by selecting "Preferences..." from the "Options" menu. In the window that appears, select the "Devices" tab. Next select the "Hydromagic Generic Inclinometer" plugin and click the "Remove..." button.

Unload the generic inclinometer plugin
Plugins can be unloaded using the "Remove" button.