Saturday, July 26, 2014


Pot those motors right
Set them overnight

We decided to pull the motors off and do some work on them to better seal them against current leakage. The site had some other groups post about a method they used to pot the motors for saltwater use, so in the interest of a robust solution as well as the idea of possibly doing a saltwater flight someday, we got to work.

Here we go!

As you can see above, we pulled the brushless motors apart, and then wrapped them up in painter's tape, to make them into epoxy holding little buckets.  We filled the propeller holes with wax to keep those clear, and then Danny made a super high tech funnel out of tin foil in which we mixed and poured the 2-ton epoxy.

Goop Dreams

This was trickier than it looks, it really was.  The goal is to let that epoxy fill in every single gap around the wiring, but you have to take pains to keep this super viscous substance from dripping into the bearings (and all over yourself and your workbench for that matter.  Something I failed at.  My workbench is a minefield of epoxy drippings from this project now.)

Set time is 24-48 hours on the epoxy, and we did this on Thursday, so on Sunday I'm going to pull the tape and take a look.  The next step will be to bust the dremel out and smooth the epoxy down so that the motors fit back together again.  We've seen mention of folks on the OpenROV forums making new custom bushings for this process - this may be a direction we eventually have to take, I'm not sure yet.

Settle down, you.

We're really in the nitty-gritty of making the thing work now.  It's an interesting process to do a project like this - the excitement and anticipation of all the cool things we'll do with it gets run up against the reality that making something like this go is actually some hard work.  I've used computers and electronics my entire life, and have worked on computers professionally for a decade now, but only after building this thing have I truly gained a perspective of awe and appreciation for the electrical engineers in this world that make all the wonderful things in our lives just work.  And that's another thing I've loved about this project, and about doing science in general - I've learned things and gained perspective on things just by doing.  It gives me great hope for the future of this project and I am really excited to continue working on this ROV.  We hope to be back in the water soon, and the fun will really begin.  Until the next post, cheers and thanks for reading!

But first, lemme take a selfie

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