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Guide 4 - Wire Routing

  • Author: OpenROV
  • Time estimate: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

You will gain more soldering experience while connecting all of the motors. We will also introduce the use of waterproof heatshrink.

Edit Step 1 Motor Mounts  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Motor Mounts  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Remove the mount from the motor.

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  • Loosen these two set screws but do not completely remove them.

  • Remove the mount from the motor.

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  • For this section it will be helpful to work over a paper towel or cloth in case you drop screws or nuts.

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  • Notice the notch in the mount is facing up in the picture.

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Image 1/1: Only three of the screw holes will line up.

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  • Make sure to put a lock washer behind the nut.

  • Only three of the screw holes will line up.

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  • Notice which side the notch is on.

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Edit Step 8 Motor Preparation  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8 Motor Preparation  ¶ 

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Image 1/1: The first type has writing on the insulation and is sealed on the inside. No further preparation work is needed. '''Skip to the Mounting Propellers section.'''

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  • There are two different types of insulation on the motors. You might have a combination of both types so check each motor.

  • The first type has writing on the insulation and is sealed on the inside. No further preparation work is needed. Skip to the Mounting Propellers section.

  • The second type has no writing on the insulation and is not sealed on the inside. There are a few preparation steps that must be completed in order to ensure a waterproof connection.

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  • Using your fingernails you can remove the insulation a little at a time. You need to remove enough to expose the enamel.

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Image 1/1: Bare wire (dull copper). '''Also not safe from water.'''

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  • Copper wire tinned with solder (silver in color). Not safe from water.

  • Bare wire (dull copper). Also not safe from water.

  • Enamel coated wire (shiny, wet-looking copper). Safe from water.

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Image 1/1: The amount you have to peel back will vary.

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  • Peel back the insulation until you can see the enamel coating for each of the wires.

  • The amount you have to peel back will vary.

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  • Cut off some of the tinned wire, but not all of it.

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  • Complete this process for all three wires and for all motors of this type.

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Edit Step 18 Mounting Propellers  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18 Mounting Propellers  ¶ 

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1 Edit Step 19  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Using a set of pliers, hold stationary the locknut (with the nylon insert) and rotate the motor bell to thread the nut until it protrudes out the other side.

1 Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Remove the existing nuts and washers from the threaded rod on all three motor bells.

  • Using a set of pliers, hold stationary the locknut (with the nylon insert) and rotate the motor bell to thread the nut until it protrudes out the other side.

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  • Take off the nut, then put it back on backwards, nylon side first.

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  • Tighten the propeller very snugly.

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Image 1/1: Tighten this very snugly.

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  • Back the locknut up against the propeller while holding the bell in one hand.

  • Tighten this very snugly.

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  • Complete for all three motors. Note that there are three different types of propellers.

Edit Step 24 Wire Routing Part 1  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24 Wire Routing Part 1  ¶ 

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Keep the extra as you will need it later.

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  • Use the length of the frame to measure out a length of the mesh covering.

  • Keep the extra as you will need it later.

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  • Push the sleeve all the way over the wires and towards the endcap.

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  • Use electrical tape to cover the frayed end and hold the mesh in place.

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  • Remove the tape from the end of the wires.

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  • Stretch the mesh up and use electrical tape to hold the other side in place.

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  • The flat sides of the endcap should be against the main structure.

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  • Separate out these wires.

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Image 1/1: Light green wires are going straight up.

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  • Wire bundle going towards middle of the frame.

  • Light green wires are going straight up.

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  • Tighten the ziptie.

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1 Edit Step 43  ¶ 

Image 1/1: These 4 wires are the I2C wires to connect external sensors to your ROV including our [http://store.openrov.com/products/openrov-imu-depth-module|IMU/Depth Sensor|new_window=true].

1 Edit Step 43  ¶ 

  • Make sure to melt the heatshrink completely so the adhesive on the inside completely melts and comes out both ends.

  • These 4 wires are the I2C wires to connect external sensors to your ROV including our IMU/Depth Sensor.

  • The heatshrink at the end is to protect the wires from the water until you need to use them.

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  • Light green wires going straight up.

2 Edit Step 46 Starboard Motor  ¶ 

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2 Edit Step 46 Starboard Motor  ¶ 

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Image 1/1: Make sure to grab the correct motor.

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  • The horizontal propellers are counterrotating, so the pitch is in a different direction for each one.

  • Make sure to grab the correct motor.

  • The reason the pitch is different is to keep the vehicle going straight and not veering to one side.

  • A tutorial on LH vs. RH propellers

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Image 1/1: Motor wires (3x).

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  • There are two different shades of green wires.

    • Motor wires (3x).

    • Battery wires (2x).

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  • The three wires from the motor will go through the ROV frame.

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Image 1/1: It does not matter which colored wire from the motor goes to which green wire from the DB-25 connector.

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  • Use caution when soldering electronic components. The temperatures are 500 degrees and higher. Eye protection is required.

  • It does not matter which colored wire from the motor goes to which green wire from the DB-25 connector.

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  • Notice that the enamel is showing.

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  • Make sure the inside lining is completely melted and oozes out each end.

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  • Make sure to tighten both screws.

Edit Step 58 Vertical Motor  ¶ 

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  • It does not matter which colored wire from the motor goes to which blue wire from the DB-25 connector.

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  • Make sure to tighten both screws.

Edit Step 68 Port Motor  ¶ 

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Edit Step 69  ¶ 

Image 1/1: The horizontal propellers are counterrotating, so the pitch is in a different direction for each one.

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  • Note the pitch direction of the propeller.

  • The horizontal propellers are counterrotating, so the pitch is in a different direction for each one.

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  • It does not matter which colored wire from the motor goes to which red wire from the DB-25 connector.

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  • Make sure to tighten both screws.

Edit Step 77 Wire Routing Part 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 78  ¶ 

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  • Use the ziptie to secure all the wires.

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  • You should have 6 auxiliary wires on this side. Ensure that you have only 6 wires.

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2 Edit Step 90  ¶ 

Image 1/1: These auxiliary wires are to connect external components to the ROV.

2 Edit Step 90  ¶ 

  • Make sure to melt the heatshrink completely so the adhesive on the inside completely melts and comes out both ends.

  • These auxiliary wires are to connect external components to the ROV.

    • The purple wires are connected to a power PWM channel.

    • The white wires with the stripe are connected to a servo channel.

    • The plain white wire can be user defined.

  • The heatshrink at the end is to protect the wires from the water until you need to use them.

Edit Step 91  ¶ 

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Edit Step 92  ¶ 

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  • Cut off the ends of the zipties. There are 6 in total.

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Edit Step 94 Battery Tube Preparation  ¶ 

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Edit Step 94 Battery Tube Preparation  ¶ 

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Edit Step 96  ¶ 

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  • Peel off the paper backing.

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  • When working with acrylic cement it is recommended that you wear gloves, safety glasses, and work in a ventilated area.

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Edit Step 99  ¶ 

Image 1/1: When working with cyanoacrylate (super glue) it is recommended that you wear gloves, safety glasses, and work in a ventilated area.

Edit Step 99  ¶ 

  • Use superglue.

  • When working with cyanoacrylate (super glue) it is recommended that you wear gloves, safety glasses, and work in a ventilated area.

Edit Step 100  ¶ 

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Image 1/1: Don't let this sit in this position to dry or it will become stuck to the paper towel.

Edit Step 102  ¶ 

  • Apply pressure to the outside ring so it is flush with the front of the tube.

  • Don't let this sit in this position to dry or it will become stuck to the paper towel.

  • If any glue got on the inside of the tube, wipe it off.

Edit Step 103  ¶ 

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Edit Step 105 Port Battery Tube Back  ¶ 

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Edit Step 106  ¶ 

Image 1/1: '''Cut only the wire with the black stripe.'''

Edit Step 106  ¶ 

  • Use the opposite side motor to measure the length.

  • Cut only the wire with the black stripe.

  • Do not cut the solid orange wire.

Edit Step 107  ¶ 

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  • Do your best to make these parts concentric.

Edit Step 121  ¶ 

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Edit Step 122  ¶ 

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  • Make sure the wire goes through the bigger of the two holes.

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  • If the battery tube is a little tight you can sand the inside corner to debur the edge.

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  • Make sure cement is the entire way around.

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Edit Step 133 Starboard Battery Tube Back  ¶ 

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Edit Step 134  ¶ 

Image 1/1: '''Cut only the wire with the black stripe.'''

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  • Use the center of the opposite motor for your measured length.

  • Cut only the wire with the black stripe.

  • Do not cut the solid green wire.

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  • Bend towards the same side as the bump.

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  • Do your best to make these parts concentric.

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  • Some pressure will be needed in order to push the back side in the battery tube.

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  • Make sure cement is the entire way around.

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Edit Step 150 Port Battery Tube Front  ¶ 

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Edit Step 162 Starboard Battery Tube Front  ¶ 

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Edit Step 171 Battery Tube Epoxy  ¶ 

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Image 1/1: When working with epoxy it is recommended that you wear gloves, safety glasses, and work in a ventilated area.

Edit Step 173  ¶ 

  • Use epoxy to fill the end of the battery tube.

  • When working with epoxy it is recommended that you wear gloves, safety glasses, and work in a ventilated area.

Edit Step 174  ¶ 

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  • The epoxy will flow through the entire cavity.

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  • Fill until it comes out of the hole with the wires.

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Image 1/1: The epoxy will settle after a while and the level in the hole will go down. Check back after 30 minutes and fill with more epoxy in this hole.

Edit Step 177  ¶ 

  • Wipe off any epoxy that has oozed out.

  • The epoxy will settle after a while and the level in the hole will go down. Check back after 30 minutes and fill with more epoxy in this hole.

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  • The epoxy will settle after a while and the level in the hole will go down. Check back after 30 minutes and fill with more epoxy in this hole.

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Edit Step 181 Continue Your Build  ¶ 

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Edit Step 181 Continue Your Build  ¶ 

  • Continue your build by progressing to Guide 5.

You're Done!

41 Comments

After the step 104 the guide should recommend to bevel the inner edges of the battery tubes, in order to avoid damage to the o-ring.

At the step 102, special care must be taken when using the superglue; I didn't realize a small drop of glue at the inner part of the tube and it was a big headache to cleanup later, without damaging the tube.

Jo Tanaami - Reply

Thank you for the comment and suggestions. We have added a note about the glue in the guide and will work on adding the chamfer on the end of the battery tube. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

At Step 13 wouldn't it be logical to tell folks that they can use continuity test for enamel instead of just visual inspection?

brian - Reply

Thank you for the suggestion. This is another way to do this. We do not require a multimeter for the build, so most people do not have one to conduct this test. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Step 35 - Impressed with the step-by-step as a whole, but really you should put text support or enlarged image of insulation marks when separating conductors AND adding which pin they map to for completeness and accounting for better/poorer eyesight.

brian - Reply

Thank you for the suggestion. We will look into this for future guides. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Step 45 - I think you forgot to mention to mount the motor. Your pictures are correct, but I think you meant to say Port motor? As in it is on the port side, but powering it will cause a starboard turn?

brian - Reply

For this part of the build the ROV is upside down. This is why it might seem that port and starboard are backwards, but they are actually correct. The motor is also mounted later in that section, step 57.

OpenROV -

Step 64 - Some of my motor leads had VERY long sections without enamel, since you guys aren't overly generous with the sealing heatshrink I had to cut way back and then sand paper the section with dodgy enamel covering to get all strands conductive, tinned that, then made the connection. Might be helpful to add warning or procedure and a bit more heatshrink.

brian - Reply

This is a completely ok way to do it as well, but there should be enough heatshrink in the kit. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Oops! I was out of line on the heatshrink comment. Found some more on the floor!

brian - Reply

Glad you were able to find the heatshrink :) -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Starboard and Port are swapped in sections beginning at step(s) 46 & 68.

Laughlin - Reply

Keep in mind that the ROV is upside down in this section. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

So if there is no insulation , there is a risk of water getting inside..?

or why not solder just the tinned ends and shrink-wrap them….?

Even with no insulation, soldering the tinned ends, with just the shrink around the complete wire should seal them…? or why strip them in 3 Stages..?

Thks

Roel

Roel Haagmans - Reply

If you have the motors with the looser insulation (blue boxes), the tinned section extends down farther than just the exposed lead. If you do not strip back the insulation far enough to the enamel coating then water can travel up from the motor side of the insulation and cause a short between the leads because there would be exposed tinned metal. The three sections (step 14) is just to show that it might take more than one try to get all the way to the enamel section. It might only take you one time. I hope this helps and please comment back if you have additional questions. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

The first of my motors insulation stripped off wire fine. The second and third not so much. The insulation seemed tougher and fingernail strippers wouldn't cut through. I think pulled one or two of the wires from the stator. Grrrrrr . Is there a fix or should I just replace them?

Mark Wolff - Reply

Please reach out to our support team who can help you determine the best course of action. https://openrov.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/req... -Brian G.

OpenROV -

I accidentally cut off all of the tinned wire for one of my motors wire, like all of it completely off. Can I get by without it or is it absolutely necessary?

Trenton Webster - Reply

If you sand off some of the enamel of the wire you should get back to bare wire that you can solder to. If you have additional issues, please send an email to support@openrov.com -Brian G.

OpenROV - Reply

It's better use a small 7/32 ratchet to prevent dents on the nut by working with the pliers

Henry Arismendi - Reply

Possible to use heat shrink tubes, instead of tape? That's what I'm using on my electrical systems on my aircraft.

RuneSoldal - Reply

Yes heat shrink would work as well if you want to use it. Electrical tape is more common and easier to find around the world which is why we selected it.

OpenROV -

I suggest mentioning that the green wires to be separated are both LIGHT green; one with the black stripe and one without. On my monitor, the difference is not clear.

Josh Stein - Reply

Thank you for the feedback on the directions. I will work on getting this updated (have to do it across all languages so it takes a little time) -Brian G.

OpenROV -

I assume blistering the wires with the heat gun is a bad thing because it might expose the wire underneath -- maybe a warning hear about that?

Adrian Cotter - Reply

You have port and starboard reversed. The motor indicated is on the right looking BACKWARD, so it's the port motor. Now I don't know whether to trust the choice of propellor or wire color..

Steve Ryan - Reply

I missed the deadline to edit the comment - maybe this will save someone some time.

After reading more comments on other steps I finally realized that the frame is upside down during all of these steps and images, which of course reverses port and starboard.

Bottom line: the instructions seemed wrong but they are correct.

Steve Ryan -

Be very careful here. the motor wires care delicate and too much movement can result in one of the strands breaking. We removed the heat shrink and soldered the wire back onto one of the remaining strands from the original wire. then used electronics grade silicone to seal the wire from water exposure. I would almost suggest removing the heat shrink from each motor and silicone the wires in place after securing it in place. This allows for easier placement, but also increases the risk of breaking a strand. Since we broke one, I feel our risk is equal.

Chuck Sekafetz - Reply

Could it possile that you have your propellers around wrong way in your pictures?

deon gillon - Reply

Can you clarify what you mean? -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Hi sorry could you suggest us some explanation or links were is possible to understand the possible use of these additional wire? These because to have a best future vision to enhance the rov utilization.

Ciao Sergio

SERGIO GIUSTI - Reply

The full board schematic might help (https://github.com/OpenROV/openrov-elect...). Examples would be the PWM channel can be used to control external lights (http://store.openrov.com/products/extern...) and the servo channel can be used to control an external servo (http://store.openrov.com/products/protot...). If you have additional questions I would encourage you to post your questions on our Forum (https://forum.openrov.com/). -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Why use not acrylic cement, you are using it also to glue the caps in step 130 into the tubes...?

Roel Haagmans - Reply

The different glues are doing different things. In step 101 the super glue is providing the mechanical bond between the different plastics. This joint needs to be strong in order to hold the front endcap on. In step 130 this acrylic cement is not providing any mechanical support, just sealing the gap so epoxy does not flow through during the potting process. The super glue is to thick and does not run all the way around in order to provide a good seal when the epoxy is used. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Thanks Brian, very clear!

Roel Haagmans -

Yes, actually (i think by mistake) I used the cement for this step. And the end cap ring popped off at some point ( Luckily while preparing the dive :) ) and i reglued it with super glue.

Fe3C -

See my comment step 100..

Here acrylic is used... In step 100 the rapid glue..?

Roel

Roel Haagmans - Reply

See comment in your other comment on step 101.

OpenROV -

what type of adhesive is used in step 159 & 168 ??

Bob Barlics - Reply

Cyanoacrylate (more commonly known as super glue) -Brian G.

OpenROV -