I tried to get one of these guys during the start of their Kickstarter and missed out on the early-early bird by a couple hours. Years later and I finally managed to get one. Got it a a slight discount due to “intermittent wireless connection issues” potentially caused by “some corrosion on the buoy.”
And I am discovering there is ZERO real information out there on this platform… Sure, there are a small handful of basic “hey there is this cool ROV, it takes videos underwater” type of videos. But none actually go into the nitty gritty of how it works, what is inside, etc. And there is not even the most basic startup guide or instruction manual out there.
My first problem is getting a working app for it. Supposedly there are both IOS and Android versions available. For android, I can only find v1.20 and v1.21. I can’t find any information on what the tablet or android requirements are to work with these. For IOS, I can’t actually find a link that goes to an app. I find links, but the App store locks up trying to open them. I have tried 3 different Android devices, and 3 IOS ones. The Android devices are all older, around kitkat 4.whatever. I have newer and older IOS devices though. My point is, I have tried and am not just trolling for information but genuinely stuck.
I am likely going to go try and grab a newer Android tablet in a couple hours here from Walmart or BestBuy. I need to prove this beast works, and how before I proceed with repairs, real or imaginary, and try to upgrade/modify the control system.
Ideally, I want to deal with an OpenROV or ArduSub platform. I actually have the OpenROV 2.8 dev kit on hand. But even before opening the Fathom up I can tell there is a minimal chance of getting it too somehow fit inside.
What I can tell so far. It does beep and boop when I plug the tether in. It is fully charged, and charger seems to be working good too. Connections on the wireless buoy were loose. The tether was hard to unplug as the connector on the buoy was spinning.
I opened up the buoy. The tether is terminated with a network cable end and plugged into some sort of router. There are 8 wires connected from the tether plug to the router, so I assume all those wires go through the tether also. I have not actually measured the length of the tether, but I think it is 100m. Since all 4 pairs seem to go through and there is no HomePlug type amplifier, this sounds reasonable.
The router has an additional open network port on it. No further USB connections. A reset button. There are three labels on it. PCBA-Hornet AP plus a serial number on one. Some random numbers on another, and a MAC address.
This all leads me to believe that I don’t need an actual app. Or perhaps not the Fathom specific one. If it is setup in the same manor as the OpenROV, then the configuration and all that is in the ROV anyways. I am not knowledgable on such things though and while I have a pretty good “big picture” of how the OpenROV and ArduSub platforms work, I am not sure how to translate that to getting this one connected.
What is the best way to proceed??? I suspect it isn’t as simple as plugging the tether directly into my laptop, but if that would be safe to do, I will try it.
Does anyone know what control system is inside this beast?