Underwater slip rings

Does anyone have experience with underwater slip rings?

I am towing a 2" tube and using tether and I have occasional rotation of device

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Hi @Lprevost,

This isn’t something I have experience with, but I’ve asked about it internally in case anyone on our team has used or looked into them before.

There do seem to be a few options that come up when searching for them online, although from my quick glance they look to be generally quite large and also quite expensive.

It may be helpful if you describe a bit more about your situation. Are you wanting one side to be able to rotate independently of the connection on the other end, without straining the tether, or would it be better to avoid the rotations instead?

If avoiding rotations is a viable approach I’d recommend you add some buoyancy foam to the top of the enclosure, and some ballast to the bottom, so it has passive self-correction. One or more fins may also help avoid unintended rotation. Alternatively you could do active correction with a battery and some thrusters, which may still cost less than a slip ring, but adds quite a bit of bulk and requires charging the battery.

Thank you

Avoiding rotations is a viable option for my application. I am towing a 2" enclosure with an antenna wire embedded half way back to boat where it gets above water line

My towline will have a dredge weight to keep unit about 10 ft below surface.

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I’m hoping someone posts some links with viable options because I’ve also been looking for a underwater slipping that isn’t huge. I’ve even considered making one myself using a off-the-shelf dry slipping inside a BR 2” enclosure and custom Endcaps with rotary shaft seals and probably oil compensated

How much force to you have on the tether when towing your setup? How freely does it need to rotate? Will it need to rotate more than 100RPM or so? Will the standard Fathom slipring work electrically (i.e. does your application require more current or voltage than it can handle)?

For towing dredges, we use 500lb hollocore nylon teather. Rotation is occasssional (less than 2-3 rotations per hour and only on a hard turn). Not familiar with fathom slip ring but my main use is to transfer wifi antenna signal or high frequency video. No power or current – just signal. Could also do optically or RF.

Also, one option I have is to connect the camera tube to the dredge head so that there is really no tow pressure on the slip ring at all other than the weight/drag of the camera tube. That is probably less than 20 pounds max. Use the nylon to tow the dredge and embed the antenna wire and the slip ring to allow for rotation of the antenna wire.

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