An update on the dropcamera system

Hi everyone. I’d like to share our more recent prototype for our low-cost deepwater camera system.

The system is a 4-inch aluminum tube with a gopro camera in from an Arduino Nano that controls the lights and the burnwire system (activated by the BR switch) which is a system similar to the ones by @WorkshopScience and @Paucam 's release systems. Buoyancy is provided with the subsea buoyancy foam which has been coated with epoxy. and they are all held together by a welded frame which also has the arm for the release.

The GoPro is connected to its own battery pack and the Arduino nano, lights and burnwire systems are currently powered by the BlueRobotics Lithium Polymer battery. We aim to do 4 hour deployments with this system and is limited to 450 meters due to the lights.

After extensive trial and error, we finally got a system that works and are very thankful for all the inputs given through the members of this (and many others) community forum.

Testing it at around 2 meters the release and the camera appears to have operated fine.
GX0100929 (1)

However, testing it at around 20 meters seems to have affected the burnwire release as, reviewing through the footage, the burnwire seems to have activated but did not snap the nichrome wire (do you think it would need more time burning? currently it will burn for 15 seconds before releasing). Our current setup for the burnwire is the High Power Cable which will be activated with the relay after a programmed amount of time which feeds to a 3d-printed module which is really just like a box where the wires are connected to pins which feed power through the attached nichrome wire.

This is what the module looks like opened. Do you think it should be filled with epoxy to waterproof the inside? Originally that was the plan but since it seemed to be working alright without, we thought it would be alright without but it could be the cause as well as to why it wasn’t working.

Also after the 20 meter deployment, after opening the tube we found that there was a leak but thankfully none of the electronics appeared to have been damaged. I’m currently suspecting that the leak must be most likely from the Burnwire WetLink penetrator (he High Power Cable + the WLP 8.5 HC) which did not seal properly even if we followed the instructions on how to ensure a proper seal with the guides. (I noticed that the one on the site says LC not HC, could that be the cause…?). It’s also quite difficult to get through the jacket without cutting through the thinner wires as well at least with the current tools we have at our disposal.

Would like to know what you guys’ thoughts are on this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. And also, all resources for the development of this setup will be made open access as soon as we get a system that works!