Kragerø, NorwayFebruary 25 2010
Every since I was a child my family has spent summers at our cabin in Kragerø. I've always been fascinated by the ocean life, and as I began experimenting with electronics I realized I could combine my two interests. Early 2010 I started working on my first ROV, and since then I've had a few successful voyages. My goal is to create a robust ROV system, so I can explore the kelp forests and ship wrecks around Jomfruland. Currently my expeditions have all been close to shore, but there is plenty to see none the less.
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I took the ROV out for a few trips this summer, with the new LED pack, and some other minor improvements. This time I also used an external GoPro to record video, which has much higher fidelity. I saw the usual, but gathered some more user experience to put into the next iteration. The major problem I'm having now is reduced mobility due to the tether. The boat I'm in will often drift with the current, whereas the ROV remains in one place near the bottom. This puts tension on the umbilical cable, which prevents the ROV from turning around. If anchoring the boat doesn't work I'll need to think of something new. The other issue is the LEDs, which weren't placed very well. Most of the light is cast directly in front of the ROV, which limits visibility in dark water.
This time I didn't design everything from scratch, but used the OpenROV design for the mechanics (Electronics and software I did myself however). And for a change the ROV is still in good shape after it's maiden voyage! I plan to perform some upgrades in time for this summer vacation, and hopefully be able to do some proper exploring.
During the testing of this ROV I saw cod, cuckoo wrasse, star fish, and sea urchins.
My second expedition, this time with my second ROV design. Saw starfish, spiny starfish, whiting, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, sea urchins, sea anemones, and a lion's mane jellyfish. Deepest dive was around 19 meters. This ROV has since died, as after the deepest dive salt water had penetrated the connectors, and corroded the internal electronics. Since the entire unit is cast in epoxy, no repair is possible.
My first ROV expedition, just around the dock and rocks where we usually swim. Saw a lion's mane jellyfish, plenty of sea weed, and some small fish. This ROV was later dismantled and used to construct a second version, which was cast in wax. It died shortly after testing.
I have made three successful expeditions so far, all close to shore. The first two ROVs were designed from the ground-up by me, whereas the last ROV was based on the OpenROV design. My goal is to explore the coast-line around Jomfruland, where there are kelp forests, ship wrecks, and much to see.