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Building a custom topside controller

I know a couple people have voiced an interest in building a custom topside controller for their BlueROV2. I’ve been designing and building topside controllers for our ROV simulators for over 10 years and thought I’d share a few tips to those just starting out:


Feel free to post any questions you might have.


Very nice unit

Hi Paul,

Can you list the functions of each component on that controller, or post a higher res pic so I can read the labels?


@PacNW - The controller in the link was built for a client to work with our working class ROV simulator, so it has quite a few functions that aren’t relevant to an ROV like the BlueROV2. We’re designing a new controller that will work with both our observation class ROV simulators and the BlueROV2 ROV. I’ll post more information as it becomes available.

Ok, thanks.

Here’s a preview: http://marinesimulation.com/rovsim-surface-control-unit/

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Thanks for posting that, looks nice. My controller is going to be more like the first one though, two 3-axis sticks, thumbwheel, rotary encoders for lights and gains, etc. I’m building an 8-thruster version plus trying to anticipate future tooling such as a gripper or line cutter. Still interested in the functions of that other controller, just trying to learn from what other’s have done…

There is no support for this at the moment. It is on the todo list, however.

Thanks Jacob. I’m looking forward to the revamp of the control scheme in QGC. I will be using the Leo Bodnar USB interface so the encoders will simply act as up/down joystick buttons I believe.

Or this one: http://iflysims.com/16_Rotary.html

Just finished building the first of our Mark 4 hand controllers: http://marinesimulation.com/rovsim-surface-control-unit/

hi @paul-unterweiser

Please can you share the link to those buttons? are those buttons self reset with light?

I´ve been really saerching for something similar.


Hello Paul. Do you have a price for the Mark 4?

@luisgamez - All buttons / switches are momentary on, normally off.

@canman172 - Contact us via email to: info@marinesimulation.com

Check out the 3D model of our ROVsim Surface Control Unit mk4 (click to view in 3D):

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Just finished building a variation of the Mark 4 Controller with a “mini” hall effect joystick: