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Potholes Reservoir, Washington

I went to Potholes Reservoir yesterday to primarily keep my basic piloting proficiency, and also to see how water visibility is improving. It has been so long since the last dive that there was a layer of dust forming on my ROV.

I didn’t see anything other than a few tires. The ground was fairly uneven and flat, which made a lot of noise on the Ping360 waterfall. I spent most of the time playing around on the boat launches since the parking lot was empty and it was fairly windy, which made visibility a little worse since it was stirring up the water. I actually had perfect timing for once since someone arrived to launch their boat just as I was loading my car to leave.

Highlights:
4:34: I see the end of the I-Beam that separates the 2 boat launches on Ping360. I decide to start a visual inspection mission.
20:00 I get a sonar contact and slowly go to investigate. I don’t see anything in that area except for a few tires. I also lose the main contact as I arrive, so I’m assuming that it’s something short like a rock or another tire sticking farther out of the ground than the rest. I will probably re-investigate that area in the future dives.

The only problem encountered was the Ping Viewer for Ping360 closed itself at 7:32. I also need to buy some waders since I had to use the thrusters to make the ROV drag itself out on the launch because the shore slope was too shallow to correctly launch it.

Boat Launch on sonar:

Sign at parking lot

Passing a group of tires on my left side

4 Likes

@btrue - Awesome, thanks for sharing. I love the Ping360 snapshots with the tires and boat launch Very cool.

Are you using QGC for your pilot interface? Also you said to keep your pilot proficiency, are you certified if so by whom?

@AmphibPS Yes, I’m using QGC.
I’m just an amateur underwater explorer who is doing this as a hobby. I don’t have any training because I can’t find any, other than some absurdly expensive mentoring programs. ‘Pilot Proficiency’ is mostly just an excuse to go outside and have some fun.
ROV piloting does require some situational awareness and other skills that takes some work to develop. I have to always be aware of the tether positioning and other entanglement hazards. I also try to build some piloting skills like anti-silting maneuvers to avoid stirring up the bottom and smoothly orbiting around objects that I find in order to get great video shots.

What about the cockpit software… was that Qground control? It looked different from mine

@AmphibPS Yes, I have only used QGroundControl. The reason why it looks different is because I use QGroundControl to record the video stream, then later when I edit the video I use the free program HandBrake to burn the .ass telemetry subtitles into the video and convert it to a H265 .mp4. I have 2 Ping Viewer windows open on a second monitor that I use OBS to record that screen. Then it’s easy to use Davinci Resolve to sync all of the views and overlay the Ping Viewers and GoPro views over the main video.

To record videos with QGroundControl there is a drop down list on the right side. There is a red record button in the “Video Stream” (I think) menu that that records the main ROV camera stream and also produces some .ass subtitles that has the telemetry that you see in my video. VLC automatically plays the subtitles with the video as long as the subtitles are in the same folder as the video, but they need to be burned into the video in order to share it. https://docs.qgroundcontrol.com/master/en/FlyView/FlyView.html

This is my control setup in action. I also have a moving blanket that I pull over my head to block the sunlight because my laptop doesn’t have a bright screen: