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Potholes Reservoir 1/31/2021 Lessons Learned

I was originally planning on going back to that boat launch, but there was 3 boat trailers there so I went about a mile East at one of the fishing access points. It wasn’t too interesting, but a lot more action than my last few dives.

I wasn’t going to upload the video or share it here since I made an idiotic mistake when I got the joysticks confused and slammed the ROV into the bank while I wasn’t watching the video stream and expecting the ROV to be surfacing to check the location. Luckily it was soft sand and I don’t think it did any damage other than a thruster started squeaking for a few minutes. I decided to share it anyways since someone else might learn from my mistakes or enjoy the exploration. I will try to switch the joystick axes to what I always expect them to be and see if it’s easier to fly. I think I’m starting to outgrow the Xbox controller anyways since I need a little more precision when I closely inspect objects of interest.

I was expecting the dive to be a gentle slope down to 10-15 feet, but turns out it’s a reasonably steep slope down to 30. It’s interesting how the rocky slope suddenly turns into just sand around 14:15 in the video. I didn’t go out exploring on the main part because the underwhelming ROV camera basically just showed me a screen of light green pixels and I really couldn’t see anything. To be fair, The GoPro couldn’t see much farther, but at least it’s sharp enough and I can easily see the bottom and make out objects as they appear, even though it’s almost the same resolution as the ROV camera.

Until a decent camera is available for the ROV, I think in order to overcome this situation I might need to use the Ping360 with a 60-90 degree forward scanning angle and a short range for fast refreshes.

Lesson Learned:
1: Make sure that the controls are comfortable to use
2: Always watch the video stream when ROV is moving
3. When flying down a slope, have plenty of tether floating on the water to stop the tether from pulling the ROV into the slope

Highlights:
0:43 - Depth Hold Malfunction
The expert engineers have already released a hotfix for the Depth Hold issue, but I haven’t tried it yet: Depth Hold Problems?
3:46 - Fighting tether tension
6:42 - decided not to explore the main part because I can’t see
13:40 - tumbleweed
17:17 - Pilot Error: Getting joysticks confused
24:05 - Fishing lure
27:47 - Action Shot of surfacing

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