Monday, December 22, 2014

These Poolish Games

Test Dive #5 is in the books.  

We set up an obstacle course underwater on Sunday to attempt to navigate and put ROV in the water.
Obstacle course sighted!
  We started flying, and immediately noticed that our balance in the water was way off, so we started working to adjust our weight distribution to get the ballast correct.  Turns out that split-shot sinkers from a fishing tackle box worked perfectly for this!
They have upgraded from catching sunfish in the river to ballasting an ROV - a huge promotion in a fishing weight's life, I'd think.  
Adjusting the weights 
Back in the water we went.  
Thanks to David H. for hosting us at his apartment pool again!

Some of the team chats with David while rebooting the ROV

Here's the part where things went wrong.  One of our pre-flight checks on our checklist (yes, we print out flight checklists every time we is important to be thorough!) is to check the seals on the tubes.  This is important because apparently you don't want water inside the main electronics tube of your ROV, who knew?  But what we didn't do was check the seals again after adjusting all the weights on the ROV.  So although newly balanced, we sprang a leak.  I think it came loose when we moved the tube around adjusting the weights.

So yes, you are correct, that is BAD NEWS BEARS.  
Bleh...water inside

It went down something like this.  I (James) was at the controls, wondering why we couldn't fly straight, just looping in circles.  Danny and Richard and Arthur were calling out to me to stop spinning in circles.  Someone noticed that there was fog in the main tube.  We pulled the ROV out of the pool and...well, yep, it's now about 5% full of water, enough to puddle up in the corner.  
The good news is that we never lost the video feed or the Cockpit from the ROV, so it still works.  The bad news is that obviously our dive was over for the day.

Drying off

Since we were gathered up and Arthur had brought some pro video equipment, we recorded some interviews we hope to incorporate later into a video we're making about the entire experience.  

The Interview that North Korea didn't want you to see

It takes a lot of gear to do things our way

Some positives we gain from this dive are that we had more control time underwater than ever before, thanks to our new LiPo batteries.  Next steps are to fix our trim issues so that we can fly straighter underwater, and to attempt the obstacle course again.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

austinrov documentary teaser

None of us are filmmakers today but we're learning. The team worked on our interview questions and filming techniques today. Lots of footage was captured. Here we present a teaser, only a very small taste of the fun we had.

AustinROV teaser from Daniel Epperson on Vimeo.

We verified that the new batteries and camera servo were working as expected. One of the ESCs lost programming but it wasn't noticed or fixed. That might come back to haunt us later however it will be an easy fix.