Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 2, 2009

Submersible ROV

at 12:23 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


If you want to go under the sea, this Parallax Submersible ROV project by Richard will allow you to go where most electronics don’t want to go. With a goal of looking at the bottom of a lake in Michigan and watching some fish I think this project will do very well.

"This ROV is tethered to the surface with a 6 conductor Ethernet cable and nylon support line. It will be placed over the side of my boat and allowed to sink (buoyancy is adjustable with steel plates attached to the bottom of the main tube). Initially the tethered line is only 50 feet long.. Using the surface control console I am able to adjust left and right motor speeds forward and reverse (400 size electric RC brushed motors geared 6:1 and 3” diameter propellers cut down from electric RC props). Keeping the ROV fairly close to the boat I will be able to move it forward, backward and rotate it side to side. The control console has a 7” LCD monitor receiving signals from the TV camera mounted at the front of the main tube and viewing through ¼” polycarbonate plate. I have two 50 watt Halogen lights mounted on the forward top of the tube. I can control the intensity of the lights with a rheostat mounted in the surface control console. The lights are homemade using outdoor garden bulbs housed in 2” PVC with a polycarbonate plate lens."


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6 Responses to “Submersible ROV”

  1. R. Schultz Says:

    Good Day,
    Since my Discharge from the Navy, I have been recently trying to build a good looking no-non-sense ROV. Yet the only part that has me really hung up is getting the right ESC for the DC motors I plan to use for Propulsion. I am not RC illiterate, However this Underwater adjustment is really getting the best of me & I would like to ask you Professionals for your expertise. So heres my plan…
    I am using 2 Rule 27D Marine 1100 Marine Bilge Pumps (1100-GPH, 12-Volt) for Propulsion. 2 Rule 25D Marine 500 Marine Bilge Pump (500-GPH, 12-Volt) for ascending and descending. As this will be a complete RC system on 2.4GHz and a 4 channel Radio, I am clueless to figure which ESC w/ Reverse should be connected to the 12v motors…
    Any Ideas from you folks would be greatly Appreciated.
    Very Respectfully,
    R. Schultz

  2. barry Says:

    RC, radio waves dont work well underwater. That is why all ROV’s use cable

  3. Bob Says:

    If you run the antenna coax cable up the umbilical to an antenna on the surface it works fine. 😉 good simple way to mutiplex the controls. or you can chop the RF circuits out and use the RC transmitter down a wire to an RC reciever which has also had it’s RF circuits removed. good luck finding an RC sytem with three throttle channels though 🙁
    As far as i remember, the rule pumps use brushed motors, you need a reversible esc for brushed motors. I think you might need to build your own ESC.

  4. Malinda Koolman Says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks a lot!

  5. Alan Parekh Says:

    You can just uncheck the option from the site.

  6. Kim Says:

    Actually 75mHz/27 Mhz signals penetrate water just fine. The lower the frequency, the better the penetration, thats why the navy uses signals so low. I personally use both these frequencies on my own sub fleet.
    Of corse you need ESCs that are reversible for Subs, as well as pump controllers, as the pumps need to fill and exhaust.
    You will probably need at least 7 channels to build the average sub.
    Since 75Mhz radios are almost impossible to find/crazy expensive, I pick up cheap 27Mhz 8 or 9 channel radios, and send them off to be converted to 75Mhz. 27Mhz radios are cheap as chips since GHZ radios are in vogue.
    I think that what you are using for pumps are a bit overkill. In RC subs, we prefer to use peristatic pumps, as these pumps seal themselves at the end of their run, not allowing water to enter/exit while they are stopped. Pumps like this are again, cheap as chips.

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