I asked the community on the forums about the solutions I exacted and what they would do. The news is that a few veteran electronics experts think we did the correct thing(S). Time will tell.
After semi-recovering from Hong Kong and ISEA2017, we had a lot to think about. One thing we concentrated on is ‘hardening’ the tether. We (or more accurately my lab assistants, bless funding) pulled the tether through a piece of hollow core boating propylene rope. This rope has a little positive buoyancy and we shall see if this helps or hinders the operation.
So we found ourselves back at the UWF Aquatic Center. Our new associate KJ Ayers (BS student, Environmental Science) joined us. The good news is that the new tether system looks fine in the pool water. The suck news is that I got a little sloppy with the system and the control tube slipped out at 18 feet of depth. Things went awry on my dive to retrieve the beast. As I grabbed it, I popped the cap off the tube and flooded the electronics. Uggh…
So we “med-flighted” it back to the FabLab and submerged the electronics in isopropanol. Luckily, I had it on hand for my 3D printing. The iso should displace water on the boards. We will need to wait and see. I am going to give it a few days under the AC vent to dry. I will post on the OpenROV forums and see what other advice they can give.
Just a smidge of video from the “experiential” field day.
So we have the ROV back together. One of the rotors is not working correctly, so back the forums I went. We diagnosed it as a bad motor controller (water must have gotten in).
I ordered new motor controllers, they took some time to get in and then I ran into a problem that the motor controllers were updated and didn’t appear to match. Thankfully the forum came to my rescue again and I was able to upgrade the firmware on the ROV.
We are trying to get back up on the horse after that long trip to Asia.
Our friend Eric has a property in Pensacola right on a small spring-fed swimming hole. The location is ideal because it is only about 1 mile from campus which lessens all the travel time out of our practices. We took the ROVs out here for some training exercises and experience.