Thursday, October 9, 2014

Elec-tricity, E-lec-tricity

Sorry we haven't posted much lately.  Things have been right troublin' with the ROV and the behavior problems it exhibits.  We're increasingly concerned that there's some sort of problem with the board, as we've now replaced two of the three ESC's that were misbehaving so badly, yet still seeing some of the same behaviors exhibited after the new ones were put in place.

One of the things I've enjoyed the most about the experience of building this piece of equipment is all of the interesting things I've learned along the way, but I've also tried to be candid about my amateur status (and that of some of the team) when it comes to the more advanced electronics on board, and I'm beginning to fear that in my amateurism, I (or someone, who knows) may have caused electrical damage at some point, which is causing these behavior issues.  It could also be that the problem was there from the start.  Whatever it is, we're looking at (possibly) a lot more testing and prep work before we get back in the water.  After the excitement of thinking we were finally there, it's a tough pill to swallow, but then again, things worth doing are rarely easy.  We'll keep testing away until it works, of that you can be sure.  I just don't know when that will be.

On a positive note (because I feel compelled to leave this post on a positive note) IF we end up having to replace lots of stuff - the good news is that after reading through the OpenROV forums, it would appear that we've spent about 10x more time building and fixing the ROV than most other groups have, so we're pretty darn practiced at this point with a lot of things that most teams only had to do once.  We could rebuild this thing in a day if we had to, so, in a strange way the problems we've had actually give me more confidence about the path forward than if things had gone smoothly.

So we're back to the testing bench and the multimeter for now, thanks for reading and we'll post again soon.

1 comment:

  1. We have now confirmed for a second time that the servo signal wave does not change when the ESCs are turning off, indicating that this is not a software problem.

    The ESCs seem to receive less voltage than the ROV GUI reports coming from the batteries. We're currently trying to track down whether this is a solder/trace problem on the board or a measurement inaccuracy.