Why I Built An ROV

I read in the paper about Kingsley Lake, a sink-hole formed , spring-fed lake, an hour drive away from Jacksonville, Florida. This was clearly an excuse to get out USR-1 and go lake exploring.

Exploring the lake bottom while sitting on the dock is why I built an ROV. Exploring the ocean depths while sitting in a boat is why I built an ROV.

USR-1 is very basic but gets the job done pretty well. Heading hold is pretty jerky but works.



<div>I have taken the time to put together my best reef video clips taken with my undersea rover. If you can, view these on your TV, it makes a big difference. This represents about nine months of work. I hope you enjoy seeing what lies beneath where your fishing. A SCUBA diver cannot get this kind of undisturbed video due to the air bubbles, and the fish can sense the diver may be a threat. The only creature that thinks my rover is a threat is that damn Tiger Shark. He is why I have Kevlar in my tether.
<div>Reef Portfolio 6/2016 - YouTube;

Just a crazy note … sharks love to bite cables with electricity running through them. I don’t know how many of our Towed Arrays had to be changed out because of flooded out modules from sharks biting into them. They sense the electrical field and just snap at them for some reason. Our guys working at the array facility see shark teeth all the time.

Nice video Richard, one of the best I’ve seen taken from a DIY ROV.

Thanks, Paul. The length of any video is always a tradeoff. To someone watching who is only consuming “eye candy”, 2 minutes may be the maximum length to hold their attention. To someone like me that can’t get enough of the smallest detail, and really enjoys viewing fish and their behavior in a seldom visited location, 20 minutes is a nice to watch length. If you can believe it, I just bought my first HDMI cable and am now viewing my videos on a large screen TV for the first time.

What always amazes me is the coexistence between predator fish and their potential next meal. Any of the smaller fish are fair game for the Barracuda and sharks, but I have never seen an attack. Most probably happen at night and involve an injured or weak fish.


here is a shorter version for the patience impaired:



Any ideas why the videos are being cut off on the right side?

By the way, my Reef Portfolio will be used in a presentation next week to the annual meeting of the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (a division of NOAA), to aid in the discussion of proper Red Snapper management procedures; a very contentious topic among recreational and commercial fisherman. I am seeing, and recording, a lot more Red Snapper on our near-shore reefs and live bottoms (inside 30 miles) than the scientists and biologists are saying we have. My videos are facts, not statistical theories.