Introduction: BTS - GIA Submarine

Just in case you were wondering on how to make a fully functional submarine out of PVC, this is the one place you have to be.

Before you begin, here are some essential materials and tools you need to finish your sub:


  1. 10 foot piece of ½ PVC pipe
  2. two disc magnets (one inch in diameter)
  3. 2 half inch screws
  4. 12 zip ties
  5. 4 3 way ½ inch PVC elbows
  6. 2 Tee ½ inch PVC pipes
  7. 4 90 degree ½ inch PVC pipes
  8. 3 motors
  9. 3 Film Canisters
  10. 3’ of speaker wire
  11. Thruster for the motor
  12. 3 DPDT Switches
  13. 1 Black sharpie
  14. 80’ of Internet Wire
  15. Electrical Tape
  16. 6’ of ½ inch polyethylene tube


  1. Soldering iron
  2. Solder non-lead pipe
  3. Sponge
  4. Wire Cutter
  5. PVC Pipe Cutter
  6. Measuring tape
  7. Scissors

Step 1: Gather Together the Materials and Tools That Are Listed Above.

Step 2: Take the 10 Ft. Piece of ½ Inch PVC Pipe and Cut Off 5 Pieces That Are Each 7'' Long.

Put these pieces aside to use later.

Step 3: Cut Four Pieces, Each 17'' Long, From the 10 Ft. Long PVC Pipe.

Put these pieces aside to use later.

Step 4: Cut Another Four Pieces, These Ones 3'' Long, From the 10 Ft. Pipe.

Step 5: Take the 4 Pipes That Are 7'' Long and Connect Them Using the 3-way Elbows to Produce a Square That Looks Like This:

Step 6: Take the 14'' Long Pipes, and Fit Them Into the Open Ends of the Three-way Elbows.

Step 7: Put This to the Side, and Get the 3'' PVC Pipes and the Tee-pipes

Connect two of the 3'' pieces with a tee-pipe.

Do the same with the other two 3'' pieces and the other tee-pipe

Attach both pieces you have made with a 7'' PVC pipe.

Put 90-degree elbows over the open ends of the 3 '' pipes

Step 8: Grab the Partially Competed Sub From Step 6

Attach the 3" pipe arrangement with the tee pipes and fit the 90-degree elbow pieces to the 12-inch pipes coming out of the 7 " square. It should look like this:

Step 9: Screw on the Magnets Using the 2 1/2 Inch Screws Into the Horizontal Pipe in the Front

Step 10: Putting the Sub Aside, Cut 2 Polyethylene Pieces That Are 15'' Long

Then attach the Polyethylene Pieces on the 17’’ PVC pipes on the top.

It should look like this:

Step 11: Motor Assembly Instructions:

Tools needed for this part:


  1. Soldering iron
  2. Solder
  3. Sponge
  4. Wire cutter
  5. Latex gloves


  1. Six ziptiesThree film canisters
  2. Three propellers
  3. Three motors
  4. Wax
  5. Speaker wire
  6. Wire strippers that include: 24 for outside wire and 27 or 28 for inside wire

Step 12: Take Your Pair of Gloves and Put Them On

Step 13: Roll Three Balls of Wax With the Diameter of Quarters Each

Step 14: Roll Three Balls of Wax With the Diameter of a Nickel Each

Set these to the side once you are done.

Also Take off your gloves once you are done

Step 15: Grab the Speaker Wire and the Wire Stripper

Cut 3 1' of speaker wire so you have three separate wires

Place the wire into the notch labeled twenty-four.

Close the cutters, twist and pull the wire so the insulation come out of the speaker wire.

Strip away the gray speaker wire about one inch from one end and about three inches from the other end so that the two wires inside are revealed.

Do this for all three speaker wires.

Each of them should look like this:

Step 16: The Wires Inside of the Insulation

Strip the red and black wires on the longer end using the blue wire cutter on the notch labeled 26 about a [half] inch

It should look like this:

Step 17: Once You've Stripped the Wires Put Them to the Side and Take the Motors You'll See That There Are Two Wires Protruding

If you look closer you'll see that each wire corresponds with a color

Step 18: One of the Dots Is Red, Twist the Red Copper Wire Onto the Prong That Is Close to the Red Circle on the Motor

Twist the black onto the remaining prong

Solder those to their prong when they are already twisted

Wrap any copper showing in electrical tape

Set those to the side

Step 19: Take Your Film Canister and Open It

Step 20: Place the Nickle Sized Ball of Wax at the Bottom of the Canister

Step 21: Place Your Motor in the Canister With the Wires Poking Out of the Canister

Tug in the motor so it has a snug fit against the wires and the ball of wax on the bottom

Step 22: Secure the Other Side With the Quarter Sized Ball of Wax

Make sure the red and black wire do not pop out of the film canister because this will cause problems.

Close your canister once you have a snug fit

Step 23: Attaching the Propeller to the Motor

Now, in order to get your motor to move you need to attach a propeller. Hot glue the end of the propeller and place it on the top of the canister (the side without the wire protruding)

Make sure you do 12 - 22 for all of the motors so you end up with three completed motors

Step 24: How to Attach the Motors to the Actual Sub Itself

In order to keep your motors attached to the submarine, you are going to use zip ties and extra scrap pipe pieces for the motors to hold on the submarine.

Step 25: Explanation on How to Attach the Motors to the Submarine

In order to keep your motors attached to the submarine, you are going to use zip ties and extra scrap pipe pieces for the motors to hold on the submarine.

Step 26: Materials Needed for Other Way of Attaching Motors

  1. 3 motors
  2. 12 Zip ties
  3. 4 Scrap Pipe Pieces of PVC that are 1-2"

Step 27: Placements of the Motors

First use 2 out of 3 the motors, then makes sure facing parallel formation. (The reason why the motors need to be parallel, is so that when the propellers turn on, it can make the submarine go in forwards and backward motion.)

Step 28: Wrapping the Zipties

Once the motors are in parallel formation, take 2 zip ties and wrap the zip ties around the pipes. When wrapping the to pipes, make sure they are secure and NOT loose.)

Step 29: Wrapping the Zip Ties Cont.

After wrapping the zip ties around the pipes, take the 2 zip ties and pull it through the scrap pipes. Once you have the zip ties through the pipes, hook it around the pipe and tie it tight back down through the pipe.

Step 30: The Last Motor

For this final motor, you want to have the motor facing in a vertical position, because "when the propellers start going into motion, it will make the submarine move in an up and down motion". Once it's in vertical position, you'll take the 2 zip ties and double cross it on the pipe.

Step 31: Now Time for the Fun Part, Wiring the Sub

The first step is to grab the 3 DPDT switches you bought and cut 3 pieces that are 1 ft each from the 40ft of Internet wire you have.

Step 32: Next, Align the DPDT Switches As Follows

Step 33: Make Sure All the Switches Are Aligned the Same Way Because This Will Be Important When Connecting the Switches to the Motor.

Step 34: Grab One Piece of the 1ft Internet Wire and Strip Both Ends About 3 Inches and Strip Each Wire About 2 Inches.

Step 35: After You Have Stripped Both Ends Like Said , Take the Wire and Insert Them Into the DPDT Switches As Follow:

Step 36: Make Sure When Putting the Wires Into the Holes of the DPDT Switches Pay Attention to These Two Things:

1. Make sure the copper wire makes actually contact with its hole it's trying to wire to

2. Make sure the copper wires DO NOT touch each other as this will cause them to short circuit

Step 37: The Soldering Iron

After the bronze wires and the colors match the image shown above, it is time to plug in the soldering iron and grab some solder. I would recommend waiting about 4-7 minutes for the soldering iron to heat up. While you are waiting, you can prepare the sponge you have by soaking it in water so you can use it while soldering.

Step 38: Time to Use the Soldering Iron...AGAIN

After the solder is heated up, begin by placing the soldering iron and place it on a bronze wire that is connected to one of the holes. Slowly place the soldered pipe that you have and put it towards that soldering iron. The melted solder should find the wires and the holes in the DPDT switch and melt within 20 seconds. Do this for all 18 wires connected to all of the switches. Also, make sure the solder does not attach to any other wire as this will cause problems. It should look like this:

Step 39: Lets Wire the Motor

Now the Switches are completely wired up! We still need to connect these to the motors. So at the ends of all the speaker wire that comes out of the film canisters, there should be a red and black wire coming out. We just need to connect those red and black wires with a solid color and the white one that belongs to that solid color. We just twist them together and solder them. It should look like this:

Step 40: The Leftover Wire

Do this for all of the motors.There should be one wire left over with its white counterpart and that is good. To make it easier, make sure the wire leftover is the color of the wire leftover when you made the switches.

Step 41: The Other End of the Internet Wire

Now, On the end of the switches, you should have stripped wires and the copper for the end of the short wires that go to switches. Take those and bring them towards the end of the internet wire. Strip the end of the internet wire and make sure all the copper wire is showing.

Step 42: Now Here Is Where You Have to Pay Attention.

Make sure the switches look like this:

Step 43: The Other End of the Internet Wire That Is Connected to the Switches Cont.

You have to take the corners from the top right and the bottom left (that is, the solid blue wire and the white-and-green wire), and twist them at the end of the short wire. You also have to take the solid green wire and the white-and-orange wire and twist them together at the end of the short wire. It should look something like this:

Step 44: Hooking Up the Switches to the Motor

Now, choose a desired motor and connect the blue and white and green wire and twist them with the solid color of the ethernet wire which is connected to one of the motors. Next twist the green-and-white and blue-wires-with-the-white color internet that is connected to the motor you choose before.

Step 45: Soldering the Motors to Connected the Long Internet Wire to the Switches

After you have done this all of them should be soldered. You should be a master at soldering things because you have done it so many times now! All of the soldered tied up wires should not touch each other as this will short circuit them causing them not to work! Also make sure after you have soldered them and they have cooled down, individually wrap all of the soldered wires so they have some sort of protection if they manage to get wet.

Step 46: You Want the Power?

Ok, now you may be wondering, how do we get power to the switches and motor? The orange and white-orange wires to the rescue. You should bundle up all of the orange and white wires coming from the other side of the short internet wire connected to the switches and gather them together. Now, on the end of the power cord, strip it and you should find a black wire and a white wire, strip those two. Finally, in the end this is how it should be:

Step 47: You Want the Power Cont.

Now just solder them together and finish them off with electrical tape. It should look like this(If you have not learnt already…)

Step 48: Give Yourself a Pat on the Back!

You have successfully wired your subs and motors together. I know this was a long process but I am pretty sure it was well worth the time because now you have a fully working sub that can go underwater!