I have started building and testing my project so I am moving my posts to the “Build” section.
Project goals are a 130 ft capable ROV with 4 thrusters and an onboard CCTV system for live underwater video photograpy of marine life on the artificial reefs off jacksonville, Florida (that was a mouthful).
I am already doing video work on the reefs using drop-down tethered GoPro cameras. See my youtube channel Richard Fast.
Phase 1 is a drop-down tethered CCTV system with no thrusters. This will fully test out the CCTV circuitry, cat5e tether and water-tight enclosure in the ocean environment.
Phase 2 will add 2 thrusters for 2-dimension control.
Phase 3 will add 2 more thrusters, giving 3-dimension control.
Total project cost goal is less than 1000 dollars.
The ROV I am building is a hobby/recreational project. It will never be used for commercial work and certainly doesn’t need to be mil-spec. There will be failures, but nothing dramatic, or too costly, because I have diver friends who frequent these reefs who will help me out recovering broken pieces.
The number one problem this project faces is current! On our reefs it rarely stops, and typically runs more than a knot of velocity. Those of you dreaming to build an ocean ROV need to get out on the water in 3 foot waves and see what it is like to try and control something moving around on the bottom in a 1 knot current. It is a world apart from a lake or swimming pool.
Here are a few pictures showing the topside control box, tether cabling, and ROV control board. The watertight enclosure will be a 4" ID tube, 8 " long, with 1/2" plexiglass end plates (see pictures in my other threads). The live video of my car you are seeing on the monitor is through 200 ft of cat5e cable. You can also see the impedence matching baluns, which don’t seem to be necessary, but I am using them because the theory says I should.
Please feel free to ask questions.