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Surface Controller

(undersearobotics.com) #41

@luisgamez - That’s a bit more involved that I was planning. You’d have to build it around an integrated computer and display. Definitely feasible, but I don’t think it would have enough wide spread appeal to make if worth while for us to build.

(Luis Gamez) #42

hey Paul!

It´s definitely the best controller I´ve found, I believe we do not need a touchscreen but to have an screen integrated in the controller with Gyro, Depth, water temperature and all the stuff being shown in the Qgroundcontrol might be very nice and feasible as Qgroundcontrol might be free.

Well that´s something I´d like to build but i dont kow if is possible to take the Depth, gyro, water temperature etc in real time from the computer.

any ideas to start?


(Etienne Demers) #43

Hello Luis,

I guess “best” is a question of personal preference. The one I designed is what is best for me from a commercial use standpoint.

I personally don’t like to have to take my eyes off the screen to check for vehicle data. I find its a horrible concept but to each his own.

What you are asking for is doable but would need a lot of work to achieve. I also don’t think QGround control is malleable enough to give you all this on-screen functionally. Best you could do is tap into the survey string and get the heading, depth, etc.


(undersearobotics.com) #44

I used to fly a mini-ROV that had a video display (with OSD) integrated into the controller, and to be honest, there were a lot of things I liked about it. I liked that it was portable and because everything was integrated into the controller I had fewer things to carry to the dive site. But the display was small (so hard to share with other viewers) and the ergonomics were pretty clumsy (pressing multiple buttons while controlling the sticks and holding the controller were difficult). Plus it made expansion (such as adding a video recorder or linking to a laptop) difficult.

(Luis Gamez) #45

Hey @etienne I am fully agree with you that “best” is for personal reference, tbh the one that you have designed is pretty well done and I really like it but like @paul-unterweiser said having a display integrated with the controller could be more portable.

I am thinking about designing a especial Pelican case for carry on with integrated dedicated computer for Qgroundcontrol, 15" bright display 800 nits, and custom made controller. I believe with this package for the client will be seen more professional than comming with a laptop and Xbox controller.

For the custom made controller im thinking about something like the one you´ve fabricated but adding a display with some references: Thrust power at the time you pull the levers in percentage, flying modes manual, autodepth autoheading indicator while pressed, lights dimming percentage, gain percentage of the thrusters.

That just to start and after i realize how to get the data of gyro, depth and temperature i might add it to have something like the one I´ve shown before, but believe me for the clients these kind of controllers are well more good looking and more professionals.

@etienne Your controller is good and as said Ill try to start with something like that, do you have your components list? I might like to have a look.


(Etienne Demers) #46

I’ve added the shopping list to my previous posts. Some of the items I had at the shop so you’ll have to find those on your own.


(undersearobotics.com) #47

Just finished building the first of the Mark 4 hand control units: http://marinesimulation.com/rovsim-surface-control-unit/

(Christian) #48

…i move the buttons to the top… i guess the Vertical drive is the big turning knob?.. after 20 min… you want to rest your hands on the buttons :wink: … else not bad… but i would choose another Vertical controller … like one smaller for finger controlling… or a “push/drag” and automatic return. joystick (Etiennes is looking Good(like the rest he does!! ) :wink: …but how is it to build this on my own?.. i have all for making the box and cheese things… just don’t have the software and the buttons and controllers?..and have no clue on programming?.. need plug and play do it yourself…:slight_smile:

(Christian) #49

What Hall effect sticks do you use ?

(Etienne Demers) #50

Just go back at to the start of this thread and you will find all the links and how to do it.

We’ve been working with my controller flying for hours and love it.

(undersearobotics.com) #52

I’ve built two variations of the surface controller, one with a full sized 3 axis joystick and the other with a mini joystick. I personally prefer using a dial (with center detent) for vertical control. I’ve used both for a couple hours in the simulator and my personal favorite is the one on the top.

(Christian) #53

…looks like my First dive will bo with this… just glue the Vertical to something ;D…but YES you where all Right… the china joystick won’t go back to zero all the time… it likes to wander a bit ;D

(Christian) #54

…i can’t fint any specific?.. but i started googling a bit soooo… maby you have a little lesson to give me;)… that about this: Joystickboard: http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=204
with 3 Axis: …https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/apem-inc/HF45S10/1040-1024-ND/3507490
and this 1 Axis.https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/apem-inc/BL140A01BKBK0000/679-3896-ND/6823659 …and 32 buttons if i want;) (of course Power and tether and board inkl)
…and its just to solder this together after the schema( Guess the joysticboard have it?)…and mount it in a controlbox and start assigning and calibrate? ( i have a tendency of thinking tooo difficult, is it this easy;D)

(Etienne Demers) #56

Here is the list from the previous post. the sticks I bought on mouser but you can get is several places.

(Christian) #58

…i thought the Mouser purchases was knobs… sorry for not Seeing… but funny i almost found what you have bought :wink: pure Google luck :wink: …well ill start buying the parts and guess ill be alright :wink: Tnx Etienne Again :wink: …ble glad to buy you a beer or two a day ;))

(Etienne Demers) #59

once you got everything you’ll see, it’s not that hard to wire. post pictures of your build.

I’m going to wait until I play with the new BR2 upgrade and see how to handle 6deg freedom before I design a final controller with trims.

Then I can put it to market.


(Christian) #60

I will show you all my prosess too of course…here we share ;)… and I’ve already thinking of adding two potmeters for the Roll and Pitch… easy to control and stop in an angle when you fly… I’m adding the two switches on top of the 3 axis for tilt for cam or tether inn or out?.. and i would like a potmeter for the Vertical additional to the Hall effect… sometimes its just good to have;) …vill also add a few extras for forward use… …still on the drawing board and will soon make the Box… stainless;) (well I’m not making …a friend is… I’m buying beer;D

(Jacob) #61

There’s no support for analog roll/pitch input right now. Things will get better for these sorts of customizations later.

(Jacob) #63


(Christian) #64

Ok :wink: …well ill already thought it out so thats no problem :wink: Tnx… ;)… but when you position the rov in an angle, you kan fly it like normal, its just in that same angle yes? :wink: