LEDs for Your Sea Perch




Have you ever lost your Sea Perch in murky waters? Well, LEDs are a great way to help you locate and navigate your Sea Perch in such conditions and at night. This extension adds three LEDs (red, green, and white) and another toggle switch to your control box.

1 SPST toggle switch
3 LED lights - 1 green, 1 red, and 1 white
25" of black wire (or 5 pieces of 5")
25" of red wire (or 5 pieces of 5")
1 1K � resistor (brown-black-red-gold)
Butyl rubber tape (a.k.a. monkey dung)
1 zip tie

Soldering iron and solder
Vice or clamp
Wire cutter
Wire stripper
Red marker
Small screwdriver
1/4" drill bit and drill

Step 1: Part I: Attaching the LED Lights to Your Sea Perch (Steps 1 - 4)

1. Cut the red and black wires into five equal length pieces each (5 black and 5 red). Each piece should be about 5" long. Set apart one pair (red and black) of wires for use later.

(2. Strip about 1/4" of insulation from each end of each piece. Twist the inner wires (strands) on each end to prevent fraying and breaking.

(3. On each of the LEDs, find the positive leg and label it with red marker. Typically, it is marked by a longer leg. Otherwise, you can use a 2 AA batteries (3V) to test for the polarity of the LED. Do not connect the LED to the 12V battery used to power your Sea Perch or the LED bulbs will burn out.(

4. Solder one piece of red wire to the positive leg of each LED, as shown in diagram 1. You should solder as close to the bulb as possible (without touching or burning the bulb). Similarly attach a piece of black wire to the negative leg of each LED. Cut off the lower portion of the LED legs that are unnecessary. Do this for all three of the LED lights.

Step 2: Part I: Attaching the LED Lights to Your Sea Perch (Steps 5 - 7)

5. Taking each red (positive) wire that are connected to a LED, twist the free ends of the wires together. Also, twist another red wire to the bundle, as shown in diagram 2 below. This wire will later connect to the brown wire on your tether. Solder the connection, and cover it with electrical tape. Remember to always use a vice to hold the wires when soldering. Do the same with the black wires.

6. On the tether of your Sea Perch, separate the brown and white pair of wires. Strip about 1/4" of insulation from the end of each wire.

7. Solder the 1K resistor onto the end of the brown wire. Then, connect the red wire (to the LEDs) to the brown wire through the resistor. The black wire should be soldered onto the white wire. A resistor should not go in between these two wires. After soldering, cover the connections with electrical tape. The wiring should go under the vertical thruster so that it will not get tangled when the Sea Perch is operated.

Step 3: Part I: Attaching the LED Lights to Your Sea Perch (Steps 8 - 9)

8. Refer to diagram 3 for where to place each of the LEDs. The green light should go on the starboard (right side with green thruster) near the float. The red light should go on the port (left side with blue thruster). The white light will go near vertical thruster.(

(9. To attach the red and green LEDs, first remove the floats from each side. Then, loop the wires around the PVC. Take a small piece of the butyl rubber tape (aka. monkey dung) and surround the base of the LED bulb to secure it in place. Completely cover the monkey dung with electrical tape to waterproof the connection. It may be useful to cut a small hole in the tape for the LED bulb to go through as necessary.

Step 4: Part I: Attaching the LED Lights to Your Sea Perch (Steps 10 - 11)

10. Similarly, loop the wires of the white LED around the vertical thruster, secure it in place with butyl rubber tape, and wrap with electrical tape.

11. The zip tie should be used secure the brown wire pair to payload netting to keep the wires away from the thrusters.

Step 5: Part II: Attaching the Controls to Your Control Box (Steps 1 - 3)

1. Open the control box by removing the screws.(

2. Using the marker, mark the location of the new hole on your control box, as shown in diagram 5.� It should be on the side of the control box where the vertical thruster controls and the tether are located.

3. Secure the control box in a vise or clamp. After moving all other wires and parts in the control box as far away as possible, drill a hole with the 1/4 drill bit in the marked location.

Step 6: Part II: Attaching the Controls to Your Control Box (Steps 4 - 7)

4. Unwrap the electrical tape around the red and black wire bundles. Using the wires you set apart earlier, add a red wire to the red wire bundle and add a black wire to the black wire bundle. Solder the connection, and cover it with electrical tape again.

5. Un-twist about 2 of the brown tether wire pair. Strip 1/4" of insulation off of each wire end.

6. Solder the white wire (from the brown wire pair) to the black wire (-) and cover the connection with electrical tape.

7. Attach the red (+) power wire to one terminal of the switch. Attach the brown (+) power wire to the other terminal, as shown in diagram 5 below. The wires can be attached to either terminal.

Step 7: Part II: Attaching the Controls to Your Control Box (Steps 8 - 9)

8. Place the switch in the corresponding hole in the control box. Tighten into place with pliers.

9. Test all your wiring for shorts using a multimeter before screwing the cover back onto the control box.



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    7 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

     rock on!  I run the SP program at MIT (perhaps we've met...), I'd love to link to this from the site, seaperch.mit.edu, would that be cool with you?  Also, we have a SP group on instructables (search "sea perch" and select "groups" on the pull-down)  could we link it there as well to help SP users find it?

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    yeah, of course you may!
    haha, i do believe we've met when i was interning last summer.
    let me know if there's anything else I can do to help out...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome. I'm thinking of making one of these, and I was wondering how much yours cost?

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I was provided the materials from the program I worked with. However, the cost for materials is approx $90, according to http://seaperch.mit.edu/build.php
    If you have some of the materials and the tools lying around, you will be able to save lots of money. Have fun!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    "The Sea Perch is a simple, remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV, made from PVC pipe and other inexpensive, easily available materials." from <a href="http://seaperch.mit.edu/">http://seaperch.mit.edu/</a><br />