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OpenROV 2.7 Build

May 19 2015
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This first expedition will follow the building of my OpenROV 2.7 kit. My ultimate goal for the ROV is threefold: 1) to explore the Gulf of Maine coast for the purpose of my own scientific research interests, 2) to help others conduct research or explore problems (e.g., identification of areas in need of maintenance by divers at boat marinas), and 3) to take narrated, educational videos for use as a teaching tool. Join me as I start my journey!

May 19 2015

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Name: Megan McCuller
E-Mail: mccullermi@gmail.com
Account ID: 1215830417


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Mission Underway

This update comes while I'm waiting for the bubbles in my epoxy to reach the top. I didn't have enough left after the big endcaps to fill the battery endcaps, so I had to open a new pack. It might be slower than paint drying! Not sure why it's going so slow since the bubbles in the last one went up fast.

Yesterday I finished Guide 2, starting with the endcap epoxy step, and Guide 3, electronics. I really enjoyed Guide 3 even though I've never really done that kind of thing before. Maybe it was the little note at the end about how you just built a robot...

Taking apart the Tendas and making the lightboard was fun and has gotten me more interested in learning about electronics! I know that building this ROV will make me more attached to it.

Today was an early start with Guide 4. I think my favorite part here was heatshrinking the wire ends! I didn't cut off as much of the 4 striped grey wires as instructed because I know the IMU will be coming at some point in the near future and I wanted there to be enough wire left to connect it after cutting off the heatshrink.

I had some difficulty soldering the battery terminals, but I suspect that's because the tip of my soldering iron needs cleaning. Wires to the starboard and vertical motors turned out a bit long and didn't fit into the sleeve well, so I contacted OpenROV support for some help. Nima saves me again! (Thanks, Nima!) I was instructed to just zip tie the wires so they're out of the way of the motor bells...did that and all is well!

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After waiting and wondering and no info sent from Fedex about my package, I contacted Instructables and then OpenROV. Turns out there had been some miscommunication and my ROV was already on its way! Nima at OpenROV was extremely helpful in figuring out what was going on and sent me the tracking number.

Yesterday I picked it up from Fedex, took it home, and carefully unpacked it. So glorious! So...many...parts!

I started immediately since I already had everything to get going. Following the 2.7 build guide, I made it all the way to step 37, Endcap Wiring before needing some sleep.

Difficulties: By far the most difficult part yesterday for me was getting complete coverage of acrylic cement on the endcaps. I've used acrylic cement before, but never in cementing such large pieces together. There are a few bigger bubbles and many smaller ones, but it looks like they should be good. This is why I'll be testing it in freshwater first!

Today is a fresh start. I'll begin with step 38 and see how far I get!

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Very cool! That's great that you had everything ready to go as soon as you picked up the kit. I think I remember "Guide 3" being one of my favorites when I built my ROV. Hope it goes well today!

Here I am, waiting patiently for the shipment and arrival of my OpenROV 2.7 kit. Ok, maybe I'm not being very patient! It has been a little over a month since Instructables announced the winners of the Explore Science contest and my resulting excitement from getting a First Prize. Their shipping department is a bit behind, but I hear that it will be shipped (hopefully) this week.

In the meantime, I have been collecting the materials needed to build it so I'll be ready once it arrives. Many people in the Instructables community seem to be pretty capable of putting together electronic components and/or constructing hardware and probably have many of the things required for the build. Unfortunately I'm not all that savvy with the former or to the latter on more advanced builds. I believe my brother got those smarts!

Despite all that, I feel confident that I'll be able to make the build on my own, even if there is a bit of swearing involved! I have read the build guides and have already created my SD card with the newest software image. The first issue I ran into is that my laptop does not have an ethernet port! Luckily it does have plenty of USB ports and so I now have a USB Ethernet adapter. In addition I have had to buy a vacuum pump, soldering iron, silicone spray lube, o-ring lube, and gamepad (I would much prefer to control it this way!). The heat gun is being borrowed.

Even though I'm having to spend money to put together something I won, it's totally worth it to have this wonderful piece of innovative hardware.

Until next time!

Can't wait for these videos! I'll boost them on social media when they crop up! Best!

Expedition Background

I'm a marine biologist located in southern Maine. My specialty lies in invasive species, marine invertebrate ecology, and bryozoan taxonomy. Currently I work at home analyzing Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) as part of Dr. Jim Carlton's JTMD biofouling organisms team. Additionally I conduct my own research on bryozoan biodiversity in New England. In the past few years I have been unable to dive due to a ruptured eardrum (which has now been fixed), but feel like I am missing that other world!

I won an OpenROV 2.7 kit and IMU from the Explore Science contest on Instructables with my post, "A Scientist's Guide to Citizen Science". As someone not well-versed in constructing something with electronic components, I think this will be an expedition all on its own.

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Wow! We are so happy to have you here! Congratulations and good luck. Let us know how it's going!

Thank you! I appreciate the support and am looking forward to getting started!