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Homebuilt BlueRov2 Mod

(Marc S.) #1


during the last weeks, I built a ROV, mainly from BR parts and following the BlueRov2 design.
Several Things I changed, partly because I machined parts myself (frame) or to have it built in a way I like it.
As a bit of background, I build RC planes and subs for years and have a nice workshop at hand…

I´ll list the main changes, for details, just ask.

  • The frame is fully milled of 11mm POM with threads directly cut into it. Quite stable, heavier then the original (I don´t Need weights…). Still working on the trim.
  • For power and signal routing, I designed a pcb, which holds the ESC´s. Connection to the thrusters by cable plugs.
  • As tether I use simple Cat5, which I selected by calculating the buoancy (diameter and weight of 100m spool) so it will float a bit. Works quite well.
  • Into the tether spool, I included batteries, powerLAN adapter and a wifi router. So no slipring needed. Not perfect video, yet, but working on the config and having no cable on the laptop is nice.

(Just realised new users can only put one Image… I´ll add more later)

First dives were performed at a lake in Austria. Was quite fun diving down together with my ROV :sunglasses:
Video can be found here:



(Tim) #2

Nicely done! Yes, more pics please when you can.

(undersearobotics.com) #3

Could you post a photo? Are you getting any additional lag in the video stream / controls?

(Marc S.) #4

First a big thank to the BlueRobotics team. Really well thougt through hardware and software! Fun to work with.

Ok, let’s see.

Tether spool opened up, router visible, the rest below. Switch, LED and charging plugs in the cover:

There is no significant additional lag in stream/controls. As can be seen in the Youtube video, sometimes its just not running smooth. As said I’ll have to play with both video stream and Wifi router settings. Will post results, of course.

(Marc S.) #5

And here we go with more Pictures…
(Still only one per posting, probably someone could Change that…)

Structure parts:

One thing observed at first testing was that there is strong reflection of surface light in the inner lower part of the front dome. So we put a shield above it (old nitrox table reuse :grin: ). How do others solve this? Or is it a camera positioning issue?

(Marc S.) #6

Power Distribution board (the 5V DC/DC is not yet mounted in the picture)

(Kevin) #7

@Marc You can try this 3D printable glare hood: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2355999

(Marc S.) #8

@kevink Thanks for the link, very nice!

I also thought about designing a hood to put inside the dome to have less effect on the driving. I guess some of the pitch up in forward acceleration is coming from the hood.

(Rusty) #9

@Marc - This is awesome and very impressive! Nice work!

I upgraded your user “trust level” so hopefully you can post more pictures at a time now.

(Svein H.) #10

I also had the same problem with light inside the front dome and think the problem was the diodes in the can that causes the problem. I sealed of all the wholes with tape to block the light.

(Marc S.) #11

@rjehangir - Thanks!
One thing, is there anyone/anything of BlueRobotics at CES? I´ll be there looking at all kind of drones…

@SHS - For me it´s definetely the surface reflections, see image before attaching shield:

And another one on the build, ESC-Mounting:

(Rusty) #12

Marc - We won’t have anyone at CES, unfortunately. Maybe next year!

(Etienne Demers) #13

Cool mods. What did you use for milling your POM?

(Marc S.) #14

@Etienne - Used 3mm end mill on the CNC in two steps. POM is really nice to machine, lots of Chips, of course :wink:

@rjehangir - Too bad, I will see whats presented on underwater technology and post if relevant.

(John Griffiths) #15

Hi Marc

I really like the thought of not having any external connection from the tether spool to my computer so was very impressed with what you were doing. can you tell me what brand of LAN adapter and wifi router you think are most suitable to the job? also, have you been able to get the video up to the original level?

(Jan Robert Fiksdal) #16

Hi John,
I have built a similar solution. I use a Umbiquity AP AC Pro accesspoint connected to the Phatom X adapter on the topside.
My tests show that there is no difference between cabled and wireless performance of video and control.
Jan R

(Marc S.) #17

Hi John,

both LAN adapter and Wifi router are of “TP-Link”.
The (Power)LAN Adapter works perfectly.
The Wifi I tried a lot but the chipset seems not to be able to handle continuous streaming, so I still get non smooth Video sometimes.

Jan, good to hear Ubiquity works well, from other experince that would also have been my next try.
How do you power it? On the smaller Ubiquity modules it was possible to inject less then 24V, 12V was ok if I remeber right…


(Jan Robert Fiksdal) #18

To power the AP I use this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/191992009687 together with a POE injector like this: https://www.tp-link.com/us/products/details/cat-43_TL-POE150S.html

This combination works really well. The maximum power consumption for tha AP is 9W so I don’t need a heat sink for the step up converter.

Jan R

(John Griffiths) #19

I have just bought the TP-Link asw well as the Umbiquiti Pro but am hoping to avoid using the Umbiquiti because of the need for a 24 volt battery.
I am getting some custom end caps CNC milled and will attempt to mount a 3" dome onto a much larger end cap. I have looked at the CAD models for the 3" flange but am unable to determine the groove depth for the face 0-ring. Would anyone happen to know what that is?