Success at last


Today I did my first flight in the ocean. So this is a good time to share some of my successes and bugs that remain. I must add that it was very rewarding to get it running.

  1. The teather system worked very well. I used the nylon floating rope similar to what the commercial fishers use and pulled the two wire teather through the middle. The result was neutral buoyancy in fresh water pool and clearly buoyant in salt water.

  2. The camara and tilt worked very well. The LEDs worked although one was faulty so I am one eyed for now.

  3. The thruster had lots of power though one seemed to have more power so the ROV wanted to make a slight turn to the right.

  4. The main cockpit remained dry but one of the battery tubes took on a slight amount of water which eventually ended my day.

  5. The vertical motor I have sealed in a tube filled with mineral oil. I want to see how much longer this one will last in sea water compared with the other two which I am using more typical preservation. If anyone wants this detail, I can post. This motor performed well though the sea water buoyancy made it work to keep it down. I’m going to have to add more ballast for my next flight.

  6. One unexpected problem I had was viewing the computer. I could not see the screen even though it wasn’t full sunlight. I ended up putting the computer in a cardboard box and cutting a hole for viewing. I would be interested In others solution to this problem.

  7. Water clarity was a problem as it was an incoming tide with very poor visibility. I can appreciate the need for the compass. I haven’t calibrated mine yet. So I found another good use for the bright yellow teather which floated behind and pointed to the ROV’s position.

  8. I would like to post some video of my day. Would I post this in the forum or the blog I have gopro video and was thinking of posting on youtube.

Overall I had a very good day


I would like to see the video, I post mine to YouTube and then add the link in a OpenROV Blog post. I would like to see some pictures of your tether and also some spec's on the rope and where you bought it from.


Gret to hear :)

How deep did you go?


I didn’t go very deep because of visibility. The Fraser river is experiencing high runoff so the water around here is quite cloudy right now. I am cropping the video which I will post on the blog soon.


Hey Dave,
Sounds great! Excited to see the video. It'd be great if you chronicle your procedure on OpenExplorer and share video there:

That way we can all learn from each other in regards to techniques and tricks.



Hi David

I hope to get some video posted soon. On your other suggestion, I have a project which involves finding a concrete hull boat that sank in front of our place about 30 years ago. It’s probably in about 40 feet of water but in high current area except at slack tide. So my flying time will be limited. I was wondering if anyone else has developed a strategy for a project like this.

My initial thoughts are as follows

  1. Establish the area to be explored. Possibly record GPS readings at four corners, then establish a grid to be explored

  2. Using a depth sounder and GPS to establish contours of the bottom

  3. Identify interesting objects to be investigated by attaching a gopro camara to an underwater sled and towed along a series of grids within the area to be investigated. Record the GPS locations at the beginning and end of each pass

  4. Use the OpenROV to further investigate all points of interest

  5. Report all findings to the open community so others can use the information

I think it would be a good idea for our group to develope a strategy for reporting our findings. Has any work been done in this area yet?

Your thoughts. Dave


Hi Dave:

Finding the boat is a job better suited for a sidescan sonar than a camera sled or an ROV. Professional sidescans are quite expensive, but basic sidescan attachments are now made for fishfinders by Lawrence or Humminbird. There may be someone in your area who has one of these already.



Dave H.

This sounds like a great experiment. If geography allows it, count me in! I think it would be great to establish these parameters and create a map that autonomous units could explore. In other words teams of tethered and untethered units working in tandem or cooperatively.



Hi Walt

I think you are right. After talking with some boaters at our dock they indicated that some of the new fish finders are quite sophisticated. I will line someone up and start reporting on our findings. Unfortunately our waters are quite dirty now so I may have to postpone exploration till later in the summer.




Where are you located. I am located on Mayne Island in the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Also are you Marius or Thomas?



Hey Dave,
This sounds great! Echoing Marius and Walt, keep us posted on how it develops. Would be fun to follow along!