NMEA Depth sensor display in QGC


I’ve been searching, but haven’t found an answer for this: Using Qgroundcontrol on to interface with BlueOS and an external flight controller (ardupilot). The boat sonar is providing depth to the flight controller as a rangefinder. Mission Planner shows 2 variables that are updated with the depth information: sonarrange and rangefinder1. sonarrange is ideal since it shows the proper values in meters.

When looking at the available values in Qgroundcontrol, neither of these is explicitly available. There is a RangeFinderDist, under Vehicle, but that doesn’t seem to correlate to a specific rangefinder value.

Is there a way to get Qgroundcontrol to report SonarRange value?

Hi @dev,

If you’re using our Ping Sonar and you have MAVLink distances turned on in the BlueOS Ping Sonar Devices page, you should be able to receive those in QGC via the DistanceSensor / RotationPitch270 option in the telemetry widget:

That said, that has nothing to do with NMEA, and I haven’t heard of SonarRange before, so while that may be a custom MissionPlanner name for that variable, it may also just not be what you’re asking about. If that’s the case, please clarify what kind of sensor you’re using, and how it’s connected to and configured within your vehicle :slight_smile:

Hello @EliotBR,
Thanks for the information, but in this case I am not using a Ping Sonar module. I am using a chart plotter configured to output depth VIA NMEA 0183 into one of the Pixhawk serial ports as described here: Lowrance Elite Ti2 Sonar — Rover documentation

Once the sonar is active, then the SonarRange value appears in the Status listing of values in MissionPlanner, showing the depth in meters.


Hmm, I’m not clear on what MAVLink message is being used to determine that, so I don’t know if it’s one that QGC is already set up to handle.

I’d recommend looking at the MAVLink Inspector and seeing whether there are DISTANCE_SENSOR or RANGEFINDER messages being received, and if so whether that includes details that will help you determine which QGC telemetry widget configuration will allow you to display it. If you’re unable to find the messages then you can try looking for sonarrange or similar, and/or provide a .tlog file for us to try looking through.