I've finally been able to dedicate a bit more time to ROV building, and it's been an exciting week.
I've got the electronics and pressure hull for the next version of my Eulachon ROV (which draws heavily from the OpenROV design) all wired up and working.
There's still some work to be done: I have to build a set of thrusters, but my magnet supplier (supermagnetman) has decided to stop selling one of the sets of magnets that I had planned on using, so I'm working out what to do next. Hopefully I can find someone else who sells magnets that are the right size.
Anyways, here's some build pictures:
Pressure hull, after some mill and lathe work:
Moving to something else for a while: Here's the camera, lights, and battery assembly, sans batteries. the white parts were printed on the Makerbot that my work just bought (which is pretty awesome to play with). This holds nine 18650 li-ion cells, wired into three batteries - so I get approx 12 volts, with roughly 9000 mAh. I have room to add an additional 6000 mAh inside the pressure hull, and if the final assembly is positively buoyant, I will probably do it. Unfortunately, I won't be able to confirm this until the thrusters are installed.
I'm a little concerned about glare from the lights, but my backup plan is to replace the Digitron with an Adafruit NeoPixel light ring (more on this later, if I decide that it's worth pursuing - I have to make sure that the NeoPixel works with the controller board, AND is bright enough)
Back to the pressure hull. I decided that a paint job was in order. Here, the pressure hull has been sandblasted and prepped for painting:
For the record, powder coating is like magic.
That finished up just as Techshop was closing, so I just had time to pull this out of the oven and hang it on the rack to cool before I left for the evening.
The next morning we can see the final results. I love the color, and a couple of stickers completes the look. Here, I'm ready to move all the innards into the pressure hull:
Everything assembled and ready to go!
The black spots you can see in the middle of the fins are "Subconn" connectors, which will allow quick attachment and removal of thrusters, so the whole thing can be packed into a small box, and still be assembled and deployed quickly.
Now it's time for an "in-water" test:
The final test: can we find Nessie?
Yes! Victory! No leakage detectable, which is always a plus. The pressure hull is slightly negatively buoyant in freshwater, so there'll probably be some adjustment of total mass and balance once the thrusters have been attached. It's likely that I'll tune it to be neutral in salt water and make a couple of floats that can be strapped on for freshwater use.
So there's the current state of affairs. It's likely to be a while before I get magnets for the thrusters - possibly up to 2 months, but hopefully I'll have something done before that.