I got in a pickle, and I made a snap judgement.
My tether was snagged, and even after flying back to the snag point, I couldn’t get it unstuck. I had enough free length to get it to shore, but I ended up having to cut the tether two feet from the openrov so I could recover the vehicle itself. I ended up having to leave a bit of cable in the lake, around 10m. Since I have to solder the cable back together, I want to make sure whatever I do doesn’t degrade the strength of the cable too much.
- I saw another thread that mentioned waterproof connectors. Will installing these impact the pull strength of the tether? http://www.dx.com/p/maitech-2-copper-core-waterproof-connector-terminal-head-black-314033#.VXHGtc9VhBc
- If I just join the cables with solder and heat shrink tubing, will that create a noticeable weak spot in the tether?
- If I do just solder it together, should I put mesh/electrical tape/something else around the join to spread the load when pulling the ROV up?
I did learn some interesting lessons from this, so others: don’t repeat my mistake. Docks in the PNW (I’d assume else where also) have tons of old crap (fallen pilings, previous dock materials) on the bottom near them, and no matter how cool something is, don’t land on the bottom and then move forward. I’m pretty sure I was fine until the proximity to the bottom and jerking forward caused the line itself to move under an old, fallen piling and catch.
I’d also love to hear other people’s approach to following the tether back down, especially from shore. I spent almost an hour tracing my previous dive path to find the snag, only to find my attempts from above to loosen it had only made everything worse.