Instructables
Picture of ROV submersible (PVC)
103_1655.JPG
103_1654.JPG
103_1610.JPG
103_1608.JPG
rov2.jpg
Welcome to my latest project. The ROV submarine.
Ever since fishing up in the North of Norway in my grandfathers new boat I have been wanting to make an ROV(Remotely Operated Vehicle) submarine to observe the seabed from the surface.
So,I researched for parts and prices, and using the info I found I sketched out my first design!



***NOW UPDATED***
Check step 12+ to see how you can build a waterproof ROV lamp.

***parts list***
-PVC pipes and links
-Xm broadband internet cable(depends on how far and deep you want the sub to go.Note;the longer and thinner the cable, the more power is lost along it, also you should think about pressure resistance when choosing the lenght of the cable)
-Epoxy glue and epoxy putty
-motors x3(waterproof) I used water pumps
-plexiglass (20x20cm)
-12v battery or power supply(i used conventional AA batteries(10 of them) i know, its stupid but untill i can figure out another way of powering the sub it's going to have to do
-sillicone
-Camera housing parts (see pics)
-spray paint
-lots of zipties
-Webcam
-bolts for camera case (see pics)
-propellers (diam. about 2.5-3cm)
-small screws
-thin plastic tube for motor shaft extension
-and anything else that i havent mentioned but is in the pictures

**Tools needed**

-Metal saw
-Scissors
-wire cutters
-pliers
-small hacksaw
-and a few other easily obtainable tools

*some basic soldering, wiring and creative skills is required to make this:P
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Motor test

Picture of Motor test
Step 1:
(testing the motors and motor midifications)

---The main parts of the ROV are the motors, which enable it to move through the water in all directions.
In the picture you see me testing one of the water pumps which i bought to use as a motor.

---later I will be showing you how to make propeller shafts and attatching the proppellers.

Step 4: Melting the PVC pipes together

Step 4:
(melting the pvc pipes and links together)

---The pipes had to be stuck together in some way or another, and after some research i discovered that the best way was to melt them together. So i used my kitchen gas stove to do this.

---In the second picture you can see the first side of the frame is ready, I have laid out the parts I prepared for the second side.

Step 7: Making the camera housing

Step 7:
(making the camera housing)

---To ensure that the camera wouldn't get wet i had to make a waterproof case and i decided to make it 'very' waterproof, so it could withstand the high pressure of deeper dives. (not that this first model would do that, but atleast i could reuse the case later on).
The design i made myself, but researched some general info on the internet.

---The main section of pipe seen in earlier pictures needed a lid for the back and a plexiglass 'window'in the front.
So i used a pvc pipe lid with a bit of plexiglass with drilled bolt holes stuck to the lid with epoxy.I also smeared sillicone glue around the borders between the PVC lid and the plexiglass to make sure they couldn't separate.(as seen in second pic)

---I then cut some strong bolts i needed to keep the lid, pipe, and the plexiglass window together to the right length.

---The whole case is made waterproof by the bolts pushing the plexiglass surfaces against the washers at both ends of the pipe.

Step 8: Mounting the camera

Step 8:
(mounting the camera into the housing)

--- I removed the original stand from the webcamera and replaced it by my own, smaller version.

---I also epoxy glued a nut to the camera housing so i could bolt the camera.

---Then i drilled 5 holes in the back lid:
1-for the camera wire to the surface
1-for the power wire to the surface
3- for te motors.

Step 10: Closing it all up

Step 10:
(closing up the camera case and attaching it to the mainframe)

---This step is where you have to try to fit everything (wiring connections) into the camera case...not an easy job :)

---just look through the pictures as there is no way of explaining :P

---finally i ziptied the camera housing to the frame

Step 11: Finishing off (testing)

Step 11:
(testing it in the bathtub)

---To test that nothing was leaking I tryed the ROV in my bathrub
the results were good but I still have some buoyancy issues to fix.

---I also checked out some places by the seaside that i could test my ROV. See the pictures.

---Good luck making one, hope you enjoyed my first instructable.
I have lots of projects going on and older ones that i have to document and i will try to have them up as quick as possible.

Step 12: Building the lamp

Picture of Building the lamp
Step 12:
(the sub needs a source of light down in the depths)

---Many readers have asked me if I have any plans for adding anything more to my ROV. Yes, i have. Unfortunately i havent had all that much time to work on it, but here is what i have been able to make in the last couple of weeks. The waterproof ROV lamp.

***Parts you'll need for the lamp***
-PVC parts(i used some common fittings from a kitchen sink piping system as thats what i had available at the time and they suited the purpose of having a screwable cap with a hole for a 'window')

-Plexiglass(for the 'windows')

-sillicone sealant(to fill in those holes :P)

-rubber washers

-some wire

-tape

-a Dot-it 3LED lantern(i used one of these as it already had the circuitry readymade and it would be quicker)

-AAA batteries for the lantern

-one small switch

(sorry all the materials are not in the picture, but in later pictures you can see them)


***Tools***
-pliers
-cutting knife
-solder set
-scissors
-screwdriver(phillips)

Step 13: Disassembling the lantern

Picture of Disassembling the lantern
103_0817.JPG
103_0815.JPG
103_0818.JPG
103_0828.JPG
103_0825.JPG
Step 13:
(getting the guts out of the LED lantern and wiring the batteries and switch)

---Since i couldn't find any other way to open the lantern i had to break the plastic open. Some models have small screws and are quite easy to open.

---Once you have opened it. You want to remove and keep the pcb with the LED's attached to it, the chrome reflector plate and the transparent plastic shield lid. The AAA battery holder won't be neccesary. I didn't use mine as i couldnt fit it into the PVC tube.

Step 14: Closing up the holes, and making the window

Step 14:
(making the window)

---Since my pipe had two screw on caps with holes in to connect other pipes to it, i had to block both the holes. The front one was to be the light 'window'. The other one i used the plastic transparent glasspiece that i took out of the lantern, as it fitted perfectly.

---Put a thick lining of sillicone around the inside edge of the screw on cap, and push the plastic piece into place, avoiding too much stray sillicone(keep it clean and neat :P). I figured i could use this extra pipe attatchment hole to add a mechanical arm or some other device to it. Smear some more sillicone around the screwing rings of the cap. Then screw the cap on tightly and let dry.

---Now for the lamp window.
Sand the chrome light reflection plate so that it is slightly smaller than the rim of the cap.
Now trace the shape of it plus 3mm extra onto the plexiglass and cut it out. Make sure it fits tightly into the cap.
Then put a blob of hot glue in the center of the chrome reflector plate and stick it in the center of the plexiglass circle.
Now let it dry.

Step 15: Wiring the electronics

DSC04850.JPG
DSC04852.JPG
Step 15:
(wiring the LED's to a battery)

---Solder two wires to the PCB board to which the LED's are attatched as in the picture.

---Now Connect the AAA batteries in series by taping them together and connecting with wires. If you have a small battery holder then that would be better, but i didn't have one.

---Connect them to the LED's and voila, we have light!

---Now cut one of the wires and solder a switch to it. This i did as i would stick the LED board to the window/plexiglass and reflector piece, so the plunging switch on it wouldnt be accessible.
Put a blob of glue onto the connection point to make sure the soldering doasnt come undone.

The electronics are now ready...

Step 16: Finishing off

Step 16:
(putting it togethet and closing up)

---Put some hot glue around the LED's and press them into the holes in the reflector plate. Make sure that you dont get any glue on the tops of the LED's. And let it dry.

--- Now clip off the unecessary corners of the triangular PCB, so that it fits into the tube(pipe).

---Arrange the battery inside the pipe. Put a rubber washer between the rim of the pipe and the plexiglass disc. Now fit everything inside, and screw the cap on.
You'll have to open the front window to turn the light on and off.

---Later im considering adding a light resistor to the circuit so that it turns on and off depending on the light conditions.

Step 17: Photos of the lamp

Step 17:
(the step that you watch and enjoy :D)

Here are some underwater pics of the lamp, including some underwater pics of my ROV in my bathtub...yeah, sorry i havent yet been able to get to a pool. But the ballast problems have been solved, simply by turning the ROV upside down in the water, all i need to do now is add a little bit more weight to the top so it gets neutral weight.

Step 18: ROV update

Here are a few things i have done to the ROV in the last week.

-Added a frame to the top/bottom (top in the water, bottom on land)
-Bought a sealed lead-acid 12V battery (it came withought a charger, anyone know how i could charge it?)
-Made some havy PVC weights (pvc pipes with metal in them) to strap to the bottom of the ROV for buoyancy ballance
-Bought some relays (turned out to be the wrong kind) and 3 way switches to make a control box.
-Made the control box (pic's are coming soon)
-And this saturday i'm going to do the maiden vayage in my friends' pool..video's will be coming :D

Step 19: ROV test in pool

Picture of ROV test in pool
103_1073.JPG
103_1052.JPG
103_1061.JPG
103_1062.JPG
103_1090.JPG
Finally i have managed to test the ROV.(thanks Ben, Zac and Kat ;P)
And it was awesome!!
Never expected that 6 months of work would give me such a good result.
Well here are the pics, and the video both from onboard the ROV, from the surface and from my underwater camera.
;) enjoy
1-40 of 259Next »
makesomeso8 months ago

This is awesome!!!

i like it very much.

This is really cool, but wondering how fast it goes up and down? Also is there a way to make it quicker in the water? This is open to anyone
I have a question, how did you route the power to the ROV from the 12V battery without losing power?
eoj51 year ago
How do the pump can go backward?
tolstoyan1 year ago
some of the instruction are not clear coz it jump from one part to another, no offense.
i want to built it but i cant see the list of all materials needed to build this prototype, i hope you didn't get offended. thanks and GOD bless
ivorandjuan5 years ago
 hi if you have an old security system that is no longer in use you can use that as this type and size of battery is the standard security system backup battery if you don't have the security system the voltage required is 13.6v dc at 1 amp but you will have to set a timer for the same amount of hours as the amphr as the battery ie: 7ah =7 hrs 6.5ah =6.5 hrs etc etc  
 be careful not to overheat the battery as that will dry out the gel cells inside and the battery dies then it still has one use left (holding the door open on hot days)
daniel2008 (author)  ivorandjuan2 years ago
thanks for the tip
What Depth Can It Go???
daniel2008 (author)  Sharlston Cat2 years ago
tested it to 10m
Why do you have mesh on the top? To protect propellers? It seems like a waste of materials and lots of drag when moving vertically...?
daniel2008 (author)  guitar-is-awesome2 years ago
very true. I removed it later, put mesh over just the propeller instead
hchahrour2 years ago
Hi, you have a great instructable!!
You have another instructable that has a word document with the materials.
Will those materials work on this instructable.
Thanks in advance!
edrichhans2 years ago
What motor did you use?? How did you make it waterproof? thanks.. :))
luke963 years ago
Where did you get the motor's? Are they just like fish tank pumps?
daniel2008 (author)  luke963 years ago
at a hardware store, they go as bilge pumps, or pantry pumps :)
RGalliath3 years ago
Is there any way for water to get into the PVC frame or is it airtight.
Also did you use any weights to counter the air in the camera case.
On the fist page of the build were all the pictures are, the ones that have the glowing ROV letters in it, from the non enlarged photo perspective looks like its says TRON. End of line for me...
Dannne114 years ago
buy some speed controllers, a wireless camera and a RECEIVER+Transmitter and make it RC-driven. would be fun :)
daniel2008 (author)  Dannne114 years ago
radio waves don't transmit under water :P
Why not control it using sound. Maybe even a code of dots and dash's to program it. i.e. drop 5 feet, forward 20 feet... (its all fun right)
That's not strictly true; the VLF range is used by navies to communicate with submarines running underwater, but is limited by the fact you need a big antenna and/or High Power and is not open to amateur operators. :)
http://www.instructables.com/id/Underwater-ROV/step9/Control-Surface/
daniel2008 (author)  Dannne114 years ago
well it still has a tether, all he is doing is running an extended antenna through the tether so as to minimize the number of cables that go through the tether. technically it is just as Remotely controlled as mine as it still uses a tether.
Redneck25 years ago
Yea I am only 13 and I am hoping to finish mine sometime this week if i finish it i will post a video.
daniel2008 (author)  Redneck24 years ago
 how did it turn out?
Hey sorry haven't been on this site in about a year. ill get the pics by tomorrow i just got sidetracked and still need to paint it and fix some buoyancy problems.
Here are some pics the camera housing isnt on it right now but the frame and motors are all wired up and ready. I also have the controller ready it just needs a battery hope you like it ill get the camera housing done soon.
rov1.jpgrov2.jpgrov3.jpgrov4.jpg
thanks for adding a pic of your control box, i have been thinking how i wanted to do this but not quite sure, and a picture helps me get ideas
daniel2008 (author)  glane912644 years ago
i just realized i have totally forgotten to include pictures of my control box! will put some up soon
Although i am almost done, it needs a few touchups, but this is pretty much it except i don't have the camera mounted just yet because i don't know the power requirements and I'm running from a 12v car battery and the camera is supposed to be pugged in AC.
image-1.jpegimage-2.jpegimage.jpegimage-3.jpeg
daniel2008 (author)  glane912643 years ago
i really liked your design! Looks like the vertical thruster gets less obstruction from the frame than on mine and, it´s centered!
Well done!
Have you tested it?
Thank you! And i did test it but while building it i was short on money so i tried to use 500pgh Bilge pumps (instead of the 1000Gph) but they don't move it as well as id like given the size and weight. then i added another vertical motor but didn't change my dial (to adjust for the additional amps) to control the amount of thrust and it burt up. =/ but im going to take it apart and build a much smaller ROV... at some point hopefully, but i also used a home security camera with IR lights instead of a Web cam.
daniel2008 (author)  glane912643 years ago
hey! just checking back to ask how youre doing on your project? it's a pretty awesome rov and i'd be thrilled to know how it turned out!
Hey, well it went ok, I had used smaller bildge pumps which didn't push the bigger frame as well as I had hoped. I added 2 more bilge pumps to increase thruster radius and power overall but it still moved to slow and I forgot to change my controller knob when I added the extra amps throughout the pumps and almost caught my controller on fire haha, and I had the camera set to far from the plexiglass and the IR lights for the nightvision reflected back in the lens but I tore it apart because I didn't have the space for it at the time being but I plan on building a smaller version sometime soon, how is yours doing though?
Do you have the controller box pictures yet. I would love to see how you set that up.
daniel2008 (author)  Redneck24 years ago
dude! this is really good stuff! i'm so glad you were inspired by my design, i like that you spaced the motors a bit away from the frame, will help in getting a little more thrust out of them. Do you have a camera on it yet? couldn't see it. You might need to buy some other props though for those bilge pumps, with slightly smaller angles of elevation. But i have to say. Well Done! oh, and make sure you paint it :) looks a lot better after a few coats of paint. Post some pictures when it's done! i'll be looking forward to seeing the end result!
cheers
Well heres the finished product sorry the pics arnt that good i used my cell phone.
rov6.jpgrov7.jpgrov8.jpgrov9.jpg
daniel2008 (author)  Redneck23 years ago
Would be great if you could let me know how your tests went :)
daniel2008 (author)  Redneck24 years ago
nice man!! now all that remains is testing it! let me know how it works out :)
1-40 of 259Next »