BTS- Team 27 Submarine

Introduction: BTS- Team 27 Submarine

In this instructable we, the members of team 27, will be giving you the steps on how to build a submarine that will capture obstacle number 4. The submarine sacrifices it's maneuverability for the ability to hopefully accomplish its task much more efficiently and effectively. Like all the other flags, flag 4 provides us with an interesting challenge to accomplish. This submarine was designed with the intention of scooping the cross sections of the PVC parts of the flag into the submarine and be able to capture 2 on the same run. We hope this may provide you will an interesting challenge!


  1. K. C - Chassis (Part 1)
  2. B. A - Motors (Part 2)
  3. E. B - Wiring the motors (Part 3)
  4. T. K - Wiring toggles / wiring components together (Parts 4) & Bringing all components together (part 5)

Materials: Amount: Costs (points):

  • PVC pipe (10 ft) (x1) 3
  • Tee PVC pipe (x1) 0.5
  • Elbow pipe (x2) 1.5
  • 3 Way elbow pipe (x4) 21
  • PVC pipe cap (x2) 2.5
  • 24/4 wire Insulation (6ft) (x1) 15
  • Netting (x1)
  • Motor components (x3) Provided
    • Motor
    • Propeller
    • Motor cap
    • Wax
  • Wires:
    • Wires/cordsCommunication and Security System Cable Two 22-Gauge Wires, 250 Feet Long (referrred to as "black wire") (x1)
    • Southwire 1000 ft. Gray 24/4 CAT5e CU Wire (x1) (referred to as "gray wire") (x3)


  • Wire strippers:
    • 45-120 T Stripper
    • 8 - 16 AWG Solid
  • Soldering:
    • Solder iron
    • Solder metal
  • Single foot ruler or measuring tape
  • Sponge
  • Glove (preferably disposable)

  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paperclip (optional)

  • PVC pipe cutter
  • Paper towels

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Step 1: Step 1: Chassis

  1. Gather materials to build the structure of the sub
    • PVC pipe (10 ft)
    • 1 Tee PVC pipe
    • 2 Elbow Pipes
    • 4 3-Way Elbow Pipes
    • 3 PVC Pipe Caps
    • Mesh
    • PVC cutters
    • Tape measure
    • Zip ties
    • Marker
  2. With the tape measure, mark on the PVC 7 15" pieces, 1 4 1/2" piece, and 2 9"pieces,
  3. With the PVC cutters, cut on all the marks by grabbing the PVC in the mouth of the cutters and squeezing and releasing the handles continuously until the PVC cuts.
  4. Arrange 4 of the 15" pieces into a square.
  5. Place a Tee PVC pipe in the middle of the PVC pipe that will be the top of the square.
  6. Connect the bottom two corners with regular elbows, and the top two corners with 3-way elbows.
  7. Stick 2 9" pieces in the open hole vertically in the 3-way elbows that are in the top 2 corners.
  8. In the Tee PVC pipe that we attached in step 5, place the 4 1/2" pipe in the hole.
  9. At the top of the two vertical 9" PVC pipes, place a 3-way elbow on each.
  10. Place a 15" piece horizontally connecting both 9" pieces.
  11. In the last hole in each elbow, place another 15" piece facing out.
  12. Put PVC caps over all the open pipes.
  13. Cover the entire sub, except the front, with mesh (connect with zip ties and hot glue) to easily enclose the flag we are going for (flag 4).

Step 2: Step 2:1 - Constructing the Motors (Materials and Topics)


  • Wires 45-120 T Stripper
  • 8 - 16 AWG Solid
  • Motor components (x3)
    • Propeller
    • Motor cap
    • Rotor
    • Motor body
  • Wax
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable / ease to clean surface cover
  • Napkin or paper towel

Will be covering:

  1. Construction of motors (x3)
  2. Attaching them to black cord

Step 3: Step 2:2 (Construction of the Motors and Wiring the Motors)

Construction of the motors:

  1. Organized all of the materials for the three motors on a work space in front of you. Keep these to the side so the dough does not contact them.
  2. If you have a disposable / easy to clean surface like a paper towel to work on, put that on the space in front of you.
  3. Place the motor containers vertically so the open end is facing up and make sure you have the motors nearby too, but not too close to the other materials.
  4. Take the disposable gloves, put them on, put the dough contain on top of the the area that you will be using, and open the container.
  5. Now make three, three quarter width and three dime width balls with the dough. Be cautious with the dough to make sure that it does not stick to any other materials or surfaces, it is a pain to get off.
  6. With the gloves insert the smaller ball into each container, then insert the one motor into each of the containers and make sure the axles pass through the dough and exits through the opening. Make sure to put in the motors with the axles facing inwards. Do not worry about getting the motor dirty because it will stay in there the whole time.
  7. Now get the wires and pull them halfway through the cap. Make sure that the cap is pointed in the correct direction.
  8. Insert the larger piece of dough into the containers, on top of the motors and spread the dough out.
  9. Continue pulling the caps through the wires and shut them. Make sure to be careful not to accidentally pull the motors or wires out.
  10. Get a napkin, wipe, or paper towel, and wipe off all of the dough that did not get into the container, as it may get really annoying in the future.
  11. Grab the napkins or paper towels and throw them away, then the gloves.
  12. Now attach the propeller to the axles.
  13. Repeat this process until you’ve completed three motors.

Step 4: Step 3:1 Gathering Materials for Connecting Wires to the Motors


45-120 T Stripper

Wires from an Ethernet cable

3 Motors

Soldering iron

Solder metal

Step 5: Step 3:2 (Actually) Connecting Wires to the Motors

1) Plug in your soldering iron to a power outlet to let it heat up.

2) Use your wire stripper (the yellow tool) to peel the grey rubber back from the wires inside the Ethernet cable, until you have wires that are extending a finger's length, uncovered.

2) Make sure the red and black wires from your motors are stripped as well.

3) Separate the wires so that each color has its corresponding white&color next to it. You will only be using the green, blue, and orange sets. The brown will be untouched.

4) Find your green and white/green wires, and motor #1. The solid green wire will get connected to the red motor wire, and the green/white wire will get connected to the black motor wire. To do this, get your soldering metal and press it against the solid green wire and the red wire where they touch. Then, use your heated soldering iron to melt a drop of solder to connect the wires, while rotating the wires to thoroughly cover the tip of the wires with solder. Repeat this for the black & green/white wires.

5) Follow this guide for which wires connect to which. Repeat the same process (step 4) that you did for the first motor.

Solid Orange- Motor 2, Red Wire

Orange/white- Motor 2, Black Wire

Solid Blue- Motor 3, Red Wire

Blue/White- Motor 3, Black Wire

6) Go ahead and twist the Brown & Brown/White wires together, since they are going to be unused.

Step 6: Step 4:1 Toggles (Materials and Topics)


  1. Prepare the primary connector cord

  2. Wiring and soldering the toggles

  3. Connecting the wires of the toggles to the primary cords

Required materials:


  • Communication and Security System Cable Two 22-Gauge Wires, 250 Feet Long
  • Southwire 1000 ft. Gray 24/4 CAT5e CU Wire

Wire Strippers

  • 45-120 T Stripper (this will be the wire stripper with the larger grooves)
  • 8 - 16 AWG (this will be the wire stripper with the smaller grooves)


  • Solid Solder
  • Solder iron


Step 7: 4:2 - Preparing the Primary Cord

You'll need to go ahead an do this, because this will need to be ready to connect the toggles to the wires and power outlet.

  1. Strip an inch off of the instillation off of each of the exterior ends of the cord with the 45-120 T Stripper.
  1. . We recommend that you cut lightly and after thing take the skin off with you hands by inserting your nails into the fissure and pulling.
  2. Now cut half and inch off of the instillation for each of the now exposed interior cords with the 8 - 16 AWG. Again we recommend the same advice as we did above.
  3. You have completed preparing the connecting cord. The are not very many steps required for this.

Step 8: Step 4:3 - Wiring for Toggles and Soldering the Wires

  1. Get the three gray wires, three toggles, solder, solder metal and place them on your working space. Make sure that there is a power outlet nearby that the solder’s cord can reach to. Also make sure that there is nothing that might burn or be damaged to the surface. Do not plug the solder in yet.
  2. Get the 45-120 T stripper and cut an inch from the ends off of one side of each of the wires and two inches off of the other sides. Now pull the insulation off of each of the six ends. Now using the ruler as a reference cut into the all of the smaller wires, except for the solid brown and non-solid browns, and again peel the insulation off with your fingers.
  3. At this point it may be good to plug your solder into the nearest power outlet and rest it on the stand.
  4. Using the side that only had one inch it their insulation removed, hook the solids of a certain color and the non-solids of the same color to the hook to the side of it. Use all colors minus the solid browns, solid oranges, non-solid browns, and non solid oranges. The arrangement does not need to look identical to how it is below. Make sure that the wires are not touching any of the other wires or any of the the power, accessory or ground slots. If this occurs then the switch will not function correctly. Fold the twelve wires that you will not be using down.
  5. Now get the solder since it should have had enough time to thoroughly heat up to a good temperature. If the solder is not clean, then wipe it on the sponge and get any trash off. Do not test the heat by touching the metal as this may result in burns. While operating the solder metal may jump and slightly burn some skin. If this happens do not jolt your arm as this may result in worse injuries to you and/or anyone around you.
  6. Get the solder metal and place it onto the whichever slot you’ve chosen to solder first. Now apply the solder onto the metal and let some of the metal melt on and into the wire and slot. Be cautious to not let any of the solidified solder metal melt onto any of the other wires or slots. Do this step for each of the toggles.
  7. If you don’t have three completed toggles by this step repeat the instructions until you do.
  8. Wipe the solderer on the sponge and clean off any solder metal that may have stuck to the solder iron.
  9. Turn off the solder for now and let it cool down.

Step 9: Step 4:4 - Connecting the Toggles to the Primary Cord

Note: For this you will need to be very precise and aware of what wires you are using as they may easily get mixed together as they are very small.

  1. Gather all three of the toggles and their cords.
  2. Twist the appropriate wires together ¾ of their lengths and twist the exposed ends together with their appropriate counterpart from the motor wires. Do this for all of the wires except for the brown solid and non solid wires.
  3. Now bend together the brown cords with those from the power cord.
  4. Once this is complete solder them together and the wires mentioned before.
  5. After this has been completed correctly along with all of the other listed steps the motors will operate appropriately based on how the toggles are used.

Step 10: Step 5:1 - Bringing It All Together (Materials and Topic)


This part will go over attaching the motors to the chassis as all other step should have been completed by this point. You can't have a functioning submarine with just separated components...


  1. Attaching the motors to the chassis
  2. The controller

Required materials:

  • Zip ties
  • Wooden box
  • Electrical tape
  • Hot glue
  • Chassis
  • Wired motors
  • Wired toggles

Step 11: Step 5:2 - Bringing It All Together (Attaching the Motors to the Chassis & the Controller

Attaching the motors:
  1. Now gather all of the components together and arrange them across your work space. Make sure that the wires do not get mixed or tangled in each other.
  2. Get the chassis and place it with the bottom down.
  3. Lift the chassis with one hand and pull the motors through the bottom between the pvc and the netting.
  4. Choose a motor. You will be using this one to turning you submarine left and right.
  5. Place that motor on the left front elbow of the submarine. Be attentive and have it so that it is directly pointed outwards to the left. Keep it there and with hot glue fasten it to the corner. Just to be extra safe wrap some electrical tape around it. Make sure to not move the angle of the motor.
  6. Now stand the submarine on its back and get the next motor, of you choosing, hold it on the front of the bottom diagonal pipe facing directly downwards. Again be careful to not change any of the angles it is at once you have done this.
  7. Apply hot glue between the motor and the pvc.
  8. Apply electrical tape on top of the motor to properly secure it.
  9. Now flip the chassis and place it on its top.
  10. Get the last motor and hold it on the top t shaped pvc at the back of the submarine. Again be very careful not to move it too much.
  11. Once more, using the hot glue apply some hot glue to the motor so that the angle or positioning doesn't change.
  12. Again apply electrical tape on top of the motor to properly secure it.
  13. Now that you're done with attaching the motors, using the zip ties tie the loose wires to the pvc pipes. You won't need to do too much of this. Also make sure to not strain the wires and be care to not pull any of the other motors off while doing this. If this occur either destroy or unlock the zip tie.


  1. With a small cardboard box or wooded box create three holes on the top of the most flat face. These holes should be aligned directly next to each other and so that they are the same distance from each other. The holes themselves should be slightly larger than the size of the toggle heads.
  2. With you box put heads of the toggles through the three openings on the top of the box. On the very left will be the toggle controlling whether your submarine is traveling left or right. Make sure that it is positioned so that the toggle move left and right to prevent confusion.
  3. The center opening will be for the toggle that controls the motor controlling the submarine's vertical pitch. We'd recommend that you have it so that when you push the toggle forward it pitch lowers, as when you pull it back the pitch increases.
  4. The opening on the very right will be for the toggle controlling the motor that thrusts the submarine forwards and backwards. For this toggle we'd recommend that you have it so that when you push the head forward the submarine goes forwards, as when you pull the head back the submarine goes in reverse.

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    2 Discussions

    Group 46
    Group 46

    3 years ago

    I like this


    3 years ago

    That looks good :)