Introducing the OpenROV Experimental Store


Hey folks,

Hope you are enjoying yourselves this summer. It’s been a heck of a good start to ours here at HQ in Berkeley. I want to take a second to tell you guys about our new “Experimental Store.”

Back when OpenROV first started, a conversation that kept creeping into our lunch breaks and late night electronics jam sessions was the idea that people’s curiosity shouldn’t be limited to the tools that are available. Everything we wanted to do, both as a company and as individuals, required us to let go of the sentiment that we would have to use existing tech. What really caused us to be able to conquer this was that we ran into amazingly creative and innovative people who showed us the potential of a properly motivated and organized open-source community…that’s right…you guys/gals!

Speaking to this, we started a few months back by creating the “community hacks” page for the Dozuki that allows users to create how-to guides. There’s been a few good publications and that got me thinking about taking things further. So…we just launched an “Experimental” tab to our webstore. This is a place for us to put up early prototypes, proposed features, and community-driven projects. The purpose is two-fold: (1) to give our community early access to upcoming OpenROV features for field testing and feedback and (2) to give everyone an easier outlet for some of the projects that live here on the forums or pages beyond.

For the time-being we are going to tiptoe into this, keeping things small and slowly releasing new early prototypes and proposed features rather than commercializing any community projects or large-scale productions. Simply put, we’re put some stuff up there from time-to-time we find interesting and/or we would love to get into your hands.

Hopefully you guys are as excited about neutrally buoyant tether as Eric Stackpole is…because he’s really excited about it. If you are too, check it out!



Well there goes my money!

But seriously, thank you guys for making the R&D parts/projects available so we have a chance to test them. I’m glad you still support the independent developers and those with unique requirements.

Can’t wait for the external lights and servos that have been talked about for so long!

Edit: I just ordered 100m of the neutrally buoyant cable for a drop in replacement for my tether reel. I’ll install and test it as soon as I get it.


Fantastic! Very excited about this!


neutral buoyancy tether!

i best start saving up the pennies.



Is the tether neutral in Fresh water and slightly positive in salt?



Yeah neutrally buoyant in fresh water.


Hi Zack

Have you also considered some “heavy duty” E tubes

and maybe some beefed up end caps

Just a thought mate

PS love the neutral buoyant tether :thumbsup:


Oh yeah!

We’re totally going to do this…just got to convince the plastic elves to
set us up with some clean-cut tubes…



Whoooooo :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


This is what 100m of the neutrally buoyant tether looks like:


I’ll be interested in hearing how well it works in salt water. Should be slightly buoyant.


Here is a short (well not super long any way) video of the new neutrally buoyant tether at work. it is not exciting, but the boringness of it is the point. it does not sink or float (maybe a little in salt water, but very very slowly) it just stays put. I am very happy.

Termination of Neutrally Buoyant Tether

If you are thinking that replacing your whole tether might be expensive, note that just having the last 10-30 meters of the tether as neutral can be all you need. Especially if you use a clump weight at the 10-30 m mark. :D.

I am using 30 m my self.


Following on Darcy’s tether testing, I took a short one today testing in the pool. You’ll notice the tether is slightly positively buoyant, which is a good thing because it keeps it out of the way of your ROV.