OPEN ROV 2.6 #1206 and the over-engineered tether management



I just finished building my 2.6 ROV after I had it laying around partly build for almost a year. I already had it in a working state a few month ago and thanks to the community I got my problem with the home plugs sorted out. After that I started designing a tether drum but I am afraid I carried it a bit far. Looking back, I should have stayed with the recommended plastic pipe tether holder and gone diving. But building the drum was fun, so it was worth it and I hope to have the maiden of #1206 this weekend.
Here are some pictures of the drum’s building process. I am using an 80 mm thin ring ball bearing and it works surprisingly well. I think the ROV should be able to pull the tether out by himself.

The parts:

Central support assembly:

Side panels:

Bearing with the drum’s inner core:

Finished drum:

Drum with tether in place:

Transportation mode:

Ready for setting up:

Up and running:

First dive. 2.8. West of Scotland

Wow! That tether management system looks really really nice! Let us know how well it works in the field!
How is the tether reel rolled up? Is there a detachable handle?


Looks great! And having a slip ring is a lot more convenient!


Thanks guys, I am glad you like the idea. The tether reel is rolled up by using a retractable screw that acts as a handle. I hope you can see it in the pictures.

This is the handle retracted (the screw with the washer to the right of the cable bundle in the middle):

And here is the handle in position for use:

The screw runs with its thread-less part in a hole of the upper reel side disc. I hope it does not wear too much on the acrylic. If necessary, I could insert some kind of bushing for the handle too…


Nice job, how does winding and unwinding work?


Thank you! Yesterday I had the first real test run and it worked quite well. The ROV is able to pull the tether out as needed without too much drag both while moving horizontally as well as while diving. Rolling the tether in with a towel held around the tether to remove water and dirt while turning the handle at the same time requires a bit of practice. All in all I am very satisfied with it. I need to tackle a few issues with my ROV before the next run, but the tether reel is finished for the time being.