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Fathom X video freeze, five second lag

(Dale) #1


I had a video transmission failure yesterday. Working at a remote site, I found that I had intermittent loss of video signal, and lag of upwards of four five seconds, and digital compression artefacts. ROV control signal and feedback was still working. (Tested lights, helming commands and camera up/down) The ROV could be operated, but no useful video. The mission was scrubbed.

I’ve just tested back on the bench. Same faults as in the field. Connecting directly to the board by ethernet, all good. Swapped out tether to a test cable, issues persist. Swapped out topside Fathom X to my remaining spare, faults rectified. That’s two Fathom X boards I’ve had die, or part fail.

I’m presuming that something has happened to the board, dropping the available bandwidth or data transmission rate to below a rate that can support the video stream.

Lesson learned: don’t leave your spare Fathom X back in a vehicle when working 30nm away on a boat.

(TCIII) #2


The topside Fathom X runs quite warm and should have at least minimal ventilation when being run over an extended period of time.


(Dale) #3

Thanks TC. I’ve emailed support, might be time to buy the FXTI…

Most of my recent work has been shallow water harbour work, so I’ve kept the X board either in a plastic box, or sitting out on my bag. Might be salt or something else that got the last one. I had a good look over all the solder joins with solder stand and magnifying glass, nothing sticks out.

(TCIII) #4


I believe that BR does a good job with the quality of the Fathom X topside transceiver, but heat build up is the enemy of most electronics and the Home Plug Module does run quite warm as it does draw the majority of the current on that board.


(Dale) #5

I agree with you on the quality, I think I was out of luck on the first board, the second has done many hours of work exposed to the usual marine conditions. The new FXTI looks really well constructed, with the benefit of being constructed from aluminium.