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Ongoing comms problems

(Julian Hancock) #1


I think I have got to bottom of my comms problems. Whenever I tested the ROV at home my laptop has always had mains power. When I have taken the ROV to sea then I move on the laptop’s battery. I either get joystick problems or Fathom X comms problems. Reading through older blogs it seems some people have had problems with USB power.

My laptop is 9 years old now and has given many years of sterling service and I am going to upgrade it. It is going to be replaced by a MacBook pro.

  1. Does anybody know of any issues with thunderbolt 3/USB-c ports?
  2. Are all the settings stored locally on the ROV, so all I need to do is download a new version of QGC?



(Rusty) #2

Hi Julian,

If you’re laptop is fairly old there’s a good chance the USB ports can’t supply sufficient power to drive the Fathom-X board on the surface. I would try powering that with a separate battery such as a USB battery backup. That will probably help.

As far as I know, there are not issues using this with the ports on a Macbook Pro.

All the settings are store on the ROV, so you just need QGC. You will also have to calibrate your joystick controller again.


(Julian Hancock) #3

Thanks Rusty.

My laptop is a 9 year old MacBook air. I tried the recent QGC build with screen recording and the laptop just ground to halt. I have reverted back to the non-recording version of QGC but just having two USB ports and having to use one of the USB ports as a ethernet adapter limited my options.

Any news on the tether reel please?

Take it easy


(Rusty) #4

Hi Julian,

Okay, that’s pretty impressive that you made it 9 years with one Macbook! I think a new one will be a huge upgrade!

The tether spool is almost ready to go, but depends on the underwater connectors that we are planning to use on the tether, so it’s currently a bit delayed by that. I can’t speak to the exact launch date yet but we are trying to get it out as soon as we can.


(Kaos) #5

I use a USB battery power bank and it has been solid for months powering the top station fathom x board. It lasts many dives and stops drain on the laptop. Important for me as my laptop will only last an hour. I use a deep cycle battery to power the laptop with a 12volt laptop power adapter

(Julian Hancock) #6

Thanks Rusty. I have had four macbooks in my time, two stolen. They are great machines and I love OSX.


(Julian Hancock) #7

Thanks Kaos, I will give them a go.