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OpenROV Operators Manual

This is the OpenROV Operator's Manual. This guide is the repository for all information regarding the basic operation and maintenance of an OpenROV unit.

  • Author: OpenROV
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Edit Step 1 Introduction  ¶ 

Image 1/1: The OpenROV Operator's Manual is broken up into 5 discrete steps:

Edit Step 1 Introduction  ¶ 

  • On behalf of the OpenROV team and community, welcome aboard. You are about to embark on a fun and rewarding experience.

  • The OpenROV Operator's Manual is broken up into 5 discrete steps:

    • Introduction (you're here!)

    • Part 1 - setting up for your first dive

    • Part 2 - pre-dive procedures

    • Part 3 - post-dive procedures and maintenance

    • Part 4 - common problems and best practices

Edit Step 2 Registering Your OpenROV  ¶ 

Image 1/1: [https://docs.google.com/a/openrov.com/forms/d/1CXvlKZeLKsMnueWmyFk_rTaT8ANG0V8JLS_vjOlMGoE/viewform?formkey=dG5BcHBIZkF2NERtU0lsRlJLM29iS3c6MQ#gid=0|Fill out the Form to Register.|new_window=true]

Edit Step 2 Registering Your OpenROV  ¶ 

  • Registering your OpenROV ensures that your serial number is unique and associated with you and your adventures. Being part of this community is both fun and rewarding. We encourage you to reach out to other users in your area or that share similar interests.

  • Fill out the Form to Register.

Edit Step 3 Share Your Adventures on OpenExplorer  ¶ 

Image 1/3: It's easy to follow along with different expeditions and stay up to speed on the latest preparations, sightings or reports. While following, you can comment and interact with the expedition team. Image 2/3: [https://openexplorer.com/home|Join here!|new_window=true] Image 3/3: [https://openexplorer.com/home|Join here!|new_window=true]

Edit Step 3 Share Your Adventures on OpenExplorer  ¶ 

  • OpenExplorer is a digital field journal connecting you to an entire community of like-minded explorers.

  • It's easy to follow along with different expeditions and stay up to speed on the latest preparations, sightings or reports. While following, you can comment and interact with the expedition team.

  • Join here!

Edit Step 4 If You Run Into Trouble  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Clarifications or mistakes in this operator's guide should be posted directly in the comments section. Image 2/2: Problems or issues with the hardware or software can be tackled on our [http://community.openrov.com/forum|forums|new_window=true]. Our forums are the first line support and often the best repository for known issues and user-generated solutions.

Edit Step 4 If You Run Into Trouble  ¶ 

  • Don't hesitate to use the following resources if you run into trouble:

    • Clarifications or mistakes in this operator's guide should be posted directly in the comments section.

    • Problems or issues with the hardware or software can be tackled on our forums. Our forums are the first line support and often the best repository for known issues and user-generated solutions.

    • If you have any other issues please contact us.

Edit Step 5 PART 1 - Setting Up for Your First Dive  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 5 PART 1 - Setting Up for Your First Dive  ¶ 

  • Here are the things you need to know before your first dive.

2 Edit Step 6 Batteries and Charging  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Our recommended batteries and chargers can be purchased from our [http://store.openrov.com/|webstore|new_window=true] but are dropped shipped and will arrive separately from your OpenROV kit. Image 2/3: Please use caution when dealing with Lithium batteries they can be very dangerous. We strongly encourage you to read [http://www.batteryspace.com/warningsforusingbatteries.aspx|this safety bulletin from Batteryspace|new_window=true].ne. Image 3/3: If you are going to start the build next, go ahead and start charging your batteries.

2 Edit Step 6 Batteries and Charging  ¶ 

  • Now is a good time to talk about batteries and chargers. OpenROV 2.7 is designed to use size 26650 (26.5mm × 65.4mm) Lithium batteries.

  • Our recommended batteries and chargers can be purchased from our webstore but are dropped shipped and will arrive separately from your OpenROV kit.

  • Please use caution when dealing with Lithium batteries they can be very dangerous. We strongly encourage you to read this safety bulletin from Batteryspace.ne.

  • If you are going to start the build next, go ahead and start charging your batteries.

  • It is important to charge your batteries correctly. If you are using our recommended batteries and charger from TrustFire (pictured), it MUST BE SET TO 3.0V..

Edit Step 7 Configuring Your Computer (PC)  ¶ 

Image 1/2: '''Windows Vista:''' go to control panel -> network and sharing center -> click on "manage network connections" on the left-hand bar.  Then r-click on "local area network" -> l-click on properties -> l-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4" -> l-click on "properties" and select the option "use the following ip address" and enter in 192.168.254.2 Image 2/2: '''Windows 7:''' go to control panel > network and internet > network and sharing center > click on "change adapter settings" on the left-hand bar.  Then r-click on "local area connection" > properties > l-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4" and click on properties.  Select the option "use the following ip address" and enter in 192.168.254.2

Edit Step 7 Configuring Your Computer (PC)  ¶ 

  • The ROV has a built in static IP address of 192.168.254.1, so to connect with it, your computer should have a similar address but with the last number set to something other then 1. "192.168.254.2" for instance would work great. The subnet mask should be set to 255.255.255.0

  • Windows Vista: go to control panel -> network and sharing center -> click on "manage network connections" on the left-hand bar. Then r-click on "local area network" -> l-click on properties -> l-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4" -> l-click on "properties" and select the option "use the following ip address" and enter in 192.168.254.2

  • Windows 7: go to control panel > network and internet > network and sharing center > click on "change adapter settings" on the left-hand bar. Then r-click on "local area connection" > properties > l-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4" and click on properties. Select the option "use the following ip address" and enter in 192.168.254.2

  • Windows 8: go to control panel > network and internet > network and sharing center > click on "change adapter settings" on the left-hand bar. Then r-click on "Ethernet" > properties > l-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4" and click on properties. Select the option "use the following ip address" and enter in 192.168.254.2

  • OS X (Mac): Open System Preferences, click Network. Select "Edit Locations" from the Location drop down. Click the (+) and create a new location called "OpenROV". Select your ethernet adapter on the left and select Manually from the "Configure IPv4" drop down. Set the IP address to 192.168.254.2 and subnet mask to 255.255.255.0. Press Apply.

  • You will need to open Network and change the Location to OpenROV (and press Apply) when you're using your ROV. When you're done, you will want to change the location back to Automatic so your internet works normally.

Edit Step 8 Putting Batteries in the OpenROV  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Place in the tube the battery adapters. The gap on the acrylic is meant to accommodate the positive battery wire traveling up the tube. Image 2/3: Close the front battery end cap. Do this for the other battery tube as well. Image 3/3: Make sure good contact is made between each cell, the adapters and terminals. Sometimes the wire can get in the way.

Edit Step 8 Putting Batteries in the OpenROV  ¶ 

  • Insert the batteries into the battery tube, negative side first.

  • Place in the tube the battery adapters. The gap on the acrylic is meant to accommodate the positive battery wire traveling up the tube.

  • Close the front battery end cap. Do this for the other battery tube as well.

  • Make sure good contact is made between each cell, the adapters and terminals. Sometimes the wire can get in the way.

Edit Step 9 Tether Management  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Carefully snip any twist ties or banding and keep it from spooling out with you hands. Image 2/3: Using a friend or something to tie the tether to, walk the tether the full length (or less if you have a shorter dive) to remove any kinks. Image 3/3: Using a friend or something to tie the tether to, walk the tether the full length (or less if you have a shorter dive) to remove any kinks.

Edit Step 9 Tether Management  ¶ 

  • Keeping your tether neat and well spooled is key to having a good dive.

  • Carefully snip any twist ties or banding and keep it from spooling out with you hands.

  • Using a friend or something to tie the tether to, walk the tether the full length (or less if you have a shorter dive) to remove any kinks.

Edit Step 10 Tether Management (cont.)  ¶ 

Image 1/1: While spooling it back up (taking it in) the tether may develop twisting tension. Alleviate this tension as you go rather than allowing it to build up. This can be done by rotating the spool continuously or by rotating the OpenROV.

Edit Step 10 Tether Management (cont.)  ¶ 

  • Carefully spool it back up. You can use a roll of paper towels or a pvc pipe to keep it neat.

  • While spooling it back up (taking it in) the tether may develop twisting tension. Alleviate this tension as you go rather than allowing it to build up. This can be done by rotating the spool continuously or by rotating the OpenROV.

  • Having a figure-8 spooling method can cut down on the twisting.

Edit Step 11 Hooking Up OpenROV to Your Computer  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Connect the Ethernet cable. Image 2/3: Connect the USB cable. Image 3/3: '''The USB cable acts as your On/Off switch and turn the OpenROV on when plugged in and off when unplugged. This keeps the batteries from draining when not in use and can be used to quickly power down the unit.'''

Edit Step 11 Hooking Up OpenROV to Your Computer  ¶ 

  • Insert the tether wires into the topside adapter as shown

  • Connect the Ethernet cable.

  • Connect the USB cable.

  • The USB cable acts as your On/Off switch and turn the OpenROV on when plugged in and off when unplugged. This keeps the batteries from draining when not in use and can be used to quickly power down the unit.

Edit Step 12 Connecting to Your OpenROV  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Chrome is the only browser that fully support the software and must be used.

Edit Step 12 Connecting to Your OpenROV  ¶ 

  • Open Google Chrome web-browser. If you do not have the latest version of Google Chrome, you can go here to get it. It's a free download.

  • Chrome is the only browser that fully support the software and must be used.

  • Before being able to log into the ROV, it will need time to boot up. Wait at least 2 minutes after turning OpenROV on before trying to log on.

  • In the status bar at the top, type 192.168.254.1:8080, which is the IP address of the OpenROV. Press 'enter' and wait 10-20 seconds. Soon the OpenROV Cockpit should appear.

  • Having problems connecting? Check out our Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide.

Edit Step 13 Software and Firmware Update  ¶ 

Image 1/3: The software that runs OpenROV lives on the BeagleBone Black. This is also known as the "Image." Image 2/3: The "Image" also contains the firmware that controls the servos, motors, telemetry and other processes. This is installed onto the Arduino microcontroller through the cockpit. Image 3/3: Anytime the Image is updated, so must the firmware.

Edit Step 13 Software and Firmware Update  ¶ 

  • The latest stable release of the software and firmware is recommended.

  • The software that runs OpenROV lives on the BeagleBone Black. This is also known as the "Image."

  • The "Image" also contains the firmware that controls the servos, motors, telemetry and other processes. This is installed onto the Arduino microcontroller through the cockpit.

  • Anytime the Image is updated, so must the firmware.

  • You may get reminders to update left on the cockpit's main screen. Right now we do not have the automatic update system up and running, but we will have it up soon.

  • You can find your version number under "settings".

  • Once the Image is installed, update the Arduino Firmware.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

Image 1/1: '''[guide|90|Here|new_window=true] are the directions for the updating procedure.'''

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • The updating process will require a micro-SD card and an adapter.

  • Here are the directions for the updating procedure.

Edit Step 15 Cockpit, Connectivity and Battery Status  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Latency (this will show +999 if there is a problem)

Edit Step 15 Cockpit, Connectivity and Battery Status  ¶ 

  • Connectivity (green=connected)

  • Latency (this will show +999 if there is a problem)

  • Current draw (just the electronics not including motors)

  • Battery voltage (for the LiFe-PO4 batteries nominal is around 9.2V, the icon may show half-full which is normal)

  • Compass / heading (with IMU only)

Edit Step 16 Cockpit, Controls (Keyboard)  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 16 Cockpit, Controls (Keyboard)  ¶ 

  • Click on the Keyboard Icon to pull up the keystroke commands for the cockpit.

7 Edit Step 17 Cockpit, Controls (Gamepad)  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Any windows compatible gamepad should work.

7 Edit Step 17 Cockpit, Controls (Gamepad)  ¶ 

  • You can also connect a USB gamepad to control the ROV.

  • Any windows compatible gamepad should work.

  • The button-mapping are found in the cockpit settings menu, under "keyboard/gamepad configuration."

Edit Step 18 Cockpit, Lights and Camera Controls  ¶ 

Image 1/1: LED light level indicator

Edit Step 18 Cockpit, Lights and Camera Controls  ¶ 

  • Camera tilt indicator

  • LED light level indicator

  • Scaling laser on/off indicator

Edit Step 19 Cockpit, Telemetry  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Heading (compass)

Edit Step 19 Cockpit, Telemetry  ¶ 

  • All of the following telemetry requires the compass/depth/IMU upgrade.

  • Heading (compass)

    • This is based on the direction the OpenROV is facing at start up. It can be calibrated by aligning your OpenROV to north at start up.

  • Motor thrust value (IMU not needed)

  • Depth

  • Roll and artificial horizon

Edit Step 20 Cockpit, Thrust and Hold Settings  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Above you can see the indicators for depth and heading hold. These are toggle on/off to maintain current depth and/or current heading. This feature only functions with the depth/heading/IMU upgrade.

Edit Step 20 Cockpit, Thrust and Hold Settings  ¶ 

  • Thrust setting (1, lowest and 5, highest) changes the power given to the motors. Typical usage is 2-3. Heavy usage of level 5 will drain the batteries quickly and is only recommended for quick retreats and intermittent use.

  • Above you can see the indicators for depth and heading hold. These are toggle on/off to maintain current depth and/or current heading. This feature only functions with the depth/heading/IMU upgrade.

1 Edit Step 21 Cockpit, Settings Pane  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Input configuration- here you can change and customize the keystroke and button associations.

1 Edit Step 21 Cockpit, Settings Pane  ¶ 

  • Settings Pane:

    • Input configuration- here you can change and customize the keystroke and button associations.

    • Add new plugins- this is for users who want to use 3rd part plugins (advanced).

    • Plugins to enable/disable- turns on and off the plugins loaded above (advanced).

    • Software Update- we recommend that you always update your software. This also shows you your current software version.

    • Battery configuration- this is where you set the minimum and maximum battery voltages for the battery indicator.

    • Google talk registration- this tab allows you to access the social media functions of cockpit (advanced).

Edit Step 22 Setting Battery Configuration  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Enter in the battery name of chemistry for your reference. Image 2/2: Enter in the Max voltage.

Edit Step 22 Setting Battery Configuration  ¶ 

  • Make sure to set a configuration for the batteries that you are using.

  • Enter in the battery name of chemistry for your reference.

  • Enter in the Max voltage.

  • Enter in the Min voltage.

  • These voltage levels are used to tell you how much power you have left.

  • Make sure to terminate your dive when you are running out of power. If you continue your dive past the low battery level, it is possible to damage your batteries in certain circumstances.

Edit Step 23 Cockpit, Diagnostics Pane  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Manually test motors, this is used to run the motors manually. This pane is also used to reverse the direction of a certain motor.

Edit Step 23 Cockpit, Diagnostics Pane  ¶ 

  • Diagnostics Pane:

    • Manually test motors, this is used to run the motors manually. This pane is also used to reverse the direction of a certain motor.

    • Pre-Flight Check is a placeholder for the time-being.

    • Calibration for the compass and zero depth are here as well.

Edit Step 24 Recording Video  ¶ 

Image 1/2: [https://www.screencastify.com/|Screencastify|new_window=true] Image 2/2: [http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html|VLC media player|new_window=true]

Edit Step 24 Recording Video  ¶ 

  • Currently recording video from OpenROV involves using a 3rd-party software for capturing and saving the current screen of your computer. Such as the following services:

Edit Step 25 Dashboard  ¶ 

Image 1/1: There are two parts:

Edit Step 25 Dashboard  ¶ 

  • The OpenROV dashboard is located at: 192.168.254.1

  • There are two parts:

    • Services: You can restart cockpit, run Cloud9 for code editing, and start the network share to access files on your ROV.

    • Software: You can determine your software version as well as auto-update when connected to the internet (software 30.0.0 and above).

Edit Step 26 Part 2 - Pre-Dive Procedures  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 26 Part 2 - Pre-Dive Procedures  ¶ 

  • Pre-Dive Procedures that should be followed each and every dive.

Edit Step 27 Primer: O-Ring Best Practices  ¶ 

Image 1/3: O-rings also benefit from slight (not overly generous) lubrication. Using a pair of clean gloves you can work the lubricant around evenly. Image 2/3: We recommend Magic Lube but there are many options. Your local hardware store or SCUBA shop can help you with this. Image 3/3: Make sure to also inspect the gland (place where the o-ring sits) for dust and debris. Even small hairs and grains of sand can cause a leak at high pressures. This cleans easily with a q-tip.

Edit Step 27 Primer: O-Ring Best Practices  ¶ 

  • O-Rings should be kept clean and free of dust and debris. They should also be inspected to ensure that they have no tears or aren't old and cracky.

  • O-rings also benefit from slight (not overly generous) lubrication. Using a pair of clean gloves you can work the lubricant around evenly.

  • We recommend Magic Lube but there are many options. Your local hardware store or SCUBA shop can help you with this.

  • Make sure to also inspect the gland (place where the o-ring sits) for dust and debris. Even small hairs and grains of sand can cause a leak at high pressures. This cleans easily with a q-tip.

Edit Step 28 Primer: O-Ring Best Practices (Cont.)  ¶ 

Image 1/3: A good way to remove the o-rings is to squeeze the o-ring so there's a gap and stick the discarded end of the plunger from the previous steps. [Thanks to Petter for this suggestion!]. Image 2/3: Be careful not to damage the o-ring. Image 3/3: Be careful not to damage the o-ring.

Edit Step 28 Primer: O-Ring Best Practices (Cont.)  ¶ 

  • Remove the o-rings and put them in a safe, clean place until ready for use.

  • A good way to remove the o-rings is to squeeze the o-ring so there's a gap and stick the discarded end of the plunger from the previous steps. [Thanks to Petter for this suggestion!].

  • Be careful not to damage the o-ring.

Edit Step 29 Main Tube Endcaps  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Check that the inside of the tube is free of debris and clean. It can be helpful to remove any lubrication from the last dive with a lint-free cloth. Image 2/3: Insert both endcaps carefully and make sure they seat well in the tube. There should be no visible gaps between the tube and endcaps. Image 3/3: Insert both endcaps carefully and make sure they seat well in the tube. There should be no visible gaps between the tube and endcaps.

Edit Step 29 Main Tube Endcaps  ¶ 

  • Check that o-rings and o-ring glands are clean and free of debris.

  • Check that the inside of the tube is free of debris and clean. It can be helpful to remove any lubrication from the last dive with a lint-free cloth.

  • Insert both endcaps carefully and make sure they seat well in the tube. There should be no visible gaps between the tube and endcaps.

Edit Step 30 Main Tube O-Ring Seal  ¶ 

Image 1/2: It should have a good seal as show (around 1mm surface contact). Image 2/2: If it is smaller, or intermittent you may not get a good seal. Also look for any debris, dust, or other obstructions. A small hair can ruin a dive once at depth.

Edit Step 30 Main Tube O-Ring Seal  ¶ 

  • Check the fit of the o-ring against the inside of the tube.

  • It should have a good seal as show (around 1mm surface contact).

  • If it is smaller, or intermittent you may not get a good seal. Also look for any debris, dust, or other obstructions. A small hair can ruin a dive once at depth.

Edit Step 31 Plungers In  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Make sure the syringe in each endcap are also clean and free of debris.

Edit Step 31 Plungers In  ¶ 

  • Make sure that both syringe plungers are clean and free of debris. Adding a very small amount of lubrication can protect the rubber stoppers.

  • Make sure the syringe in each endcap are also clean and free of debris.

  • Check that both plungers are inserted into the endcaps. This is a common source of failure and is easy to forget to check

Edit Step 32 Vacuum Test  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Remove one of the syinges and replace with a fitted nozzle or fit a nozzle over the entire surface as shown. Image 2/3: Pump about 15mmHg (or equivalent) and hold. Watch if there is a loss of pressure. If after a few minutes there is no loss of pressure consider this an adequate seal. Image 3/3: Don't forget to replace the plunger.

Edit Step 32 Vacuum Test  ¶ 

  • If you have a hand vacuum pump, this next step is highly recommended as it can detect any leaks before the OpenROV is in the water.

  • Remove one of the syinges and replace with a fitted nozzle or fit a nozzle over the entire surface as shown.

  • Pump about 15mmHg (or equivalent) and hold. Watch if there is a loss of pressure. If after a few minutes there is no loss of pressure consider this an adequate seal.

  • Don't forget to replace the plunger.

Edit Step 33 Battery Tube Endcaps  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Insert them and make sure that good contact is made between the batteries, the adapter

Edit Step 33 Battery Tube Endcaps  ¶ 

  • Check that the o-rings on the battery tube endcaps are clean and engaged on both the battery tubes.

  • Insert them and make sure that good contact is made between the batteries, the adapter

Edit Step 34 Securing the Main Tube and Battery Tubes  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Check that the battery tubes are snug and that the straps are tight. Image 2/3: Check that the battery tubes are snug and that the straps are tight. Image 3/3: Check that the battery tubes are snug and that the straps are tight.

Edit Step 34 Securing the Main Tube and Battery Tubes  ¶ 

  • Check that the main tube is snugly affixed to the frame and that the straps are tight.

  • Check that the battery tubes are snug and that the straps are tight.

Edit Step 35 Motor Clearance  ¶ 

Image 1/1: If there are wires that come in close contact, check to make sure they are free of any abrasion or holes as this can allow hosing (where water travels straight through the wire) to the main tube at deeper depths.

Edit Step 35 Motor Clearance  ¶ 

  • Make sure that none of the wires can get too close to the propellers or motor bells.

  • If there are wires that come in close contact, check to make sure they are free of any abrasion or holes as this can allow hosing (where water travels straight through the wire) to the main tube at deeper depths.

  • Make sure that the propellors are tight on the motor bells so they do not fall off during your dive.

Edit Step 36 Motor Protection  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Silicon spray lubricant works very well for this.

Edit Step 36 Motor Protection  ¶ 

  • Before each dive lubricate and protect each of the motors.

  • Silicon spray lubricant works very well for this.

  • Other types of lubrication are available and should be used according to their ability to resist exposure in seawater.

Edit Step 37 Motor Protection (cont.)  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Rotate the motors several times to work the lubricant into the upper bearing. Image 2/3: Rotate the motors several times to work the lubricant into the upper bearing. Image 3/3: Rotate the motors several times to work the lubricant into the upper bearing.

Edit Step 37 Motor Protection (cont.)  ¶ 

  • Apply spray lubrication generously through the holes in the motor bells. Make sure that all the surfaces are coated.

  • Rotate the motors several times to work the lubricant into the upper bearing.

Edit Step 38 Motor Protection (cont.)  ¶ 

Image 1/3: These are accessible through the holes in the acrylic structure as shown on the port and starboard motors. Image 2/3: The vertical motor's lower bearing is more difficult to reach and requires you move around the wire bundle. Image 3/3: Allow the lubricant to settle and/or dry (about 1 minute for the silicone lubricant).

Edit Step 38 Motor Protection (cont.)  ¶ 

  • Now apply spray lubricant to the lower bearings in each of the motors.

  • These are accessible through the holes in the acrylic structure as shown on the port and starboard motors.

  • The vertical motor's lower bearing is more difficult to reach and requires you move around the wire bundle.

  • Allow the lubricant to settle and/or dry (about 1 minute for the silicone lubricant).

2 Edit Step 39 6-Point Check Before Getting Wet  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Every time.

2 Edit Step 39 6-Point Check Before Getting Wet  ¶ 

  • Make sure that all the following are in place and seated correctly.

  • Every time.

  • Yes, every single time.

Edit Step 40 Ballasting  ¶ 

Image 1/1: More ballast (weight) will be required for salt water than fresh water.

Edit Step 40 Ballasting  ¶ 

  • Ballasting your OpenROV is key to a good dive performance.

  • More ballast (weight) will be required for salt water than fresh water.

  • Adding weight to the front threaded rod is the recommended ballasting method, though there are many others.

  • Weight should be distributed evenly from left to right and slightly in biased towards the front.

  • The ideal is to have a neutrally buoyant OpenROV so that it neither sinks nor floats. Test this by placing the OpenROV into the water and adding weight one at a time until you are just barely afloat.

Edit Step 41 Check and Secure the Straps  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Water can cause the nylon to expand, loosening the straps.

Edit Step 41 Check and Secure the Straps  ¶ 

  • After testing the ballast and while the OpenROV is still wet, retighten the nylon straps holding the battery tubes and main tube.

  • Water can cause the nylon to expand, loosening the straps.

Edit Step 42 Part 3 - Post-Dive Procedures and Maintenance  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 42 Part 3 - Post-Dive Procedures and Maintenance  ¶ 

  • Post-Dive Procedures and Maintenance

Edit Step 43 Rinsing  ¶ 

No image

Edit Step 43 Rinsing  ¶ 

  • Placing or spraying the OpenROV in fresh water after every dive is a great way to keep it clean and free of debris and minerals.

  • The cleaner the water, the better. De-ionized water works the best, distilled water second, and fresh tap water third.

Edit Step 44 Motor Maintenance  ¶ 

Image 1/1: First, rinse the motors with fresh water (see previous step)

Edit Step 44 Motor Maintenance  ¶ 

  • The most important part of post-dive maintenance is cleaning the motors. The exposed magnets tend to corrode easily. The bearings also need to be lubricated and protected from rust.

  • First, rinse the motors with fresh water (see previous step)

  • Then thoroughly dry the motors with compressed air (if available).

  • Immediately afterwards, re-apply spray silicon lubrication. Move the motors with you hands for a few rotations to ensure that the bearings are well lubricated. Review the previous steps on proper lubrication. This should be done before and after each and every dive.

  • WD-40 is great to keep the motors from corroding as it displaces any water. It is not as great as a waterproof lubricant, however and should be used in conjunction with another, more water-resistant lubrication.

Edit Step 45 Drying Out  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Using compressed or canned air can help. Image 2/2: Opening the battery tubes and main tube will allow air to circulate and dry any moisture that may have collected from the dive.

Edit Step 45 Drying Out  ¶ 

  • Allowing the OpenROV to completely dry out before putting it in storage or packing it up is also very important.

  • Using compressed or canned air can help.

  • Opening the battery tubes and main tube will allow air to circulate and dry any moisture that may have collected from the dive.

Edit Step 46 Charging Batteries / Battery Storage  ¶ 

Image 1/2: If 1 out of 3 batteries in a tube are under-performing, damage to the cells may occur. To prevent this, test the batteries with a multimeter after they are done charging to ensure they charged fully. Image 2/2: This will also let you know when it is time to replace them, as they eventually will loose their ability to charge and discharge.

Edit Step 46 Charging Batteries / Battery Storage  ¶ 

  • Keeping you batteries in groups of six will allow you to avoid problems. Charge all six in the group at once, and use the entire group per each dive.

  • If 1 out of 3 batteries in a tube are under-performing, damage to the cells may occur. To prevent this, test the batteries with a multimeter after they are done charging to ensure they charged fully.

  • This will also let you know when it is time to replace them, as they eventually will loose their ability to charge and discharge.

  • Keep your batteries dry whenever possible and free of corrosion. Make sure to keep them cool and separated when not in use.

  • Always use caution when using rechargeable lithium batteries, as they can be potentially dangerous. Please review the safety information earlier in this guide for more information.

Edit Step 47 Cleaning the Main Tube  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Acrylic is very sensitive to scratching and chemical damage. The best cleaning is with a dry micro-fiber cleaning cloth. Don't accidentally rub sand or dirt around with the cloth. Use compressed air to clean the area of debris. Image 2/2: Special plastic cleaning formulas are also available at some hardware and specialty stores.

Edit Step 47 Cleaning the Main Tube  ¶ 

  • The inside of the main tube may become dirty from time to time.

  • Acrylic is very sensitive to scratching and chemical damage. The best cleaning is with a dry micro-fiber cleaning cloth. Don't accidentally rub sand or dirt around with the cloth. Use compressed air to clean the area of debris.

  • Special plastic cleaning formulas are also available at some hardware and specialty stores.

Edit Step 48 Part 4 - Common Problems and Best Practices  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 48 Part 4 - Common Problems and Best Practices  ¶ 

  • This is a list of common problems and fixes, best practices, tips, and other bits of great information every OpenROV operator should know.

Edit Step 49 Fog  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Sometimes this is the indication of a leak. If you notice fog appear suddenly or during a dive, it may be a good idea to surface and check for leaks. Image 2/3: Fog can be cured by placing a new desiccant pouch in the main tube about 12 hours before your dive. Image 3/3: Anti-fog chemicals can also help. These are available at any dive shop.

Edit Step 49 Fog  ¶ 

  • A foggy main tube is a common problem.

  • Sometimes this is the indication of a leak. If you notice fog appear suddenly or during a dive, it may be a good idea to surface and check for leaks.

  • Fog can be cured by placing a new desiccant pouch in the main tube about 12 hours before your dive.

  • Anti-fog chemicals can also help. These are available at any dive shop.

2 Edit Step 50 Video Problems  ¶ 

Image 1/1: The most common is a cut out or "black out" of the video. This can be alleviated by regularly updating your BeagleBone software image.

2 Edit Step 50 Video Problems  ¶ 

  • Many video problems may occur during your dive.

  • The most common is a cut out or "black out" of the video. This can be alleviated by regularly updating your BeagleBone software image.

Edit Step 51 Control or Other Miscellaneous Problems  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 51 Control or Other Miscellaneous Problems  ¶ 

  • While in the field, occasionally, you may need to reset the OpenROV to remedy strange and random errors. Recall that to do this, you need to unplug your USB cable from the topside adapter box and plug it back in. This works well for other control issues as well.

Edit Step 52 Random Loss of Battery Power  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Check the voltage across the corresponding pins of the DB-25 Connector. For the recommended batteries, this should be around 9V. Check the battery + and - wires. Orange/Black-Orange and Light Green/Black-Light Green. A small piece of wire can help make a good connection with the multimeter. Image 2/3: Also, you can check each individual battery to make sure that it has the correct voltage. Image 3/3: Make sure to move the wires around or shake the battery tubes to identify any discontinuity.

Edit Step 52 Random Loss of Battery Power  ¶ 

  • Often times when power issues are present, simply make sure that all the batteries are making contact with eachother and, if applicable, the battery adapter and both positive and negative terminals in the battery tube.

  • Check the voltage across the corresponding pins of the DB-25 Connector. For the recommended batteries, this should be around 9V. Check the battery + and - wires. Orange/Black-Orange and Light Green/Black-Light Green. A small piece of wire can help make a good connection with the multimeter.

  • Also, you can check each individual battery to make sure that it has the correct voltage.

  • Make sure to move the wires around or shake the battery tubes to identify any discontinuity.

  • You can remove the plastic wrapping on the bottoms of the batteries as shown to assist in good contact.

Edit Step 53 Avoiding Ensnarement and Entanglement  ¶ 

Image 1/1: The best remedy is to avoid the situation at all. This can be done by not diving in heavy vegetation or near lines or chains.

Edit Step 53 Avoiding Ensnarement and Entanglement  ¶ 

  • Ensnarement and entanglement are very common problems encountered in the field.

  • The best remedy is to avoid the situation at all. This can be done by not diving in heavy vegetation or near lines or chains.

  • Sometimes it may become necessary to pull the OpenROV to the surface with the tether. The tether is strong and can handle a great deal of force.

  • Please note, that pulling the OpenROV to you may entangle the ROV itself which is much larger and difficult to untangle. If this is the case, drive the OpenROV to you or at least the surface where it can be recovered. Then disconnect the tether from the topside adapter box and pull from the side with the ROV.

  • You can always cut and re-solder the tether using more heatshrink if necessary.

Edit Step 54 What to Do if Your Main Tube Floods  ¶ 

Image 1/1: If the water that flooded the tube was not fresh water, rinse the electronics that got wet in fresh water (de-ionized > distilled > tap water) to dilute and remove the minerals from the area that got flooded.

Edit Step 54 What to Do if Your Main Tube Floods  ¶ 

  • Turn off power to ROV right away (this will keep electrolysis from corroding the electronics). To do this, unplug your USB cable and remove the batteries.

  • If the water that flooded the tube was not fresh water, rinse the electronics that got wet in fresh water (de-ionized > distilled > tap water) to dilute and remove the minerals from the area that got flooded.

  • Take the electronics apart to expose as many surfaces as possible.

  • Rinse the affected areas one more time.

  • Wash away the fresh water with isopropyl alcohol or ethanol.

  • Thoroughly dry each of the pieces of electronics. Compressed air can help.

  • Put all the affected electronics in a dry place. It's helpful to have a zip-loc bag filled with rice or desiccant.

  • When you re-assemble everything, inspect for corrosion. If you see any, it can often be removed with a tooth brush so you can see the extent of the damage beneath it. Corrosion doesn't necessarily mean failure, but it's good to remove what you can.

You're Done!

27 Comments

Maybe I missed it but... How does the "Calibrate Compass" function work. When I click on Calibrate compass in the Diagnostics pane, what should happen? What other actions do I need to take during this process?

Ron Peters - Reply

Hey Ron,

From my understanding, whichever direction the ROV is facing when calibrate is run sets that direction as North. The compass is based on the gyro data not a magnetometer and therefore needs to be calibrated each time the dive begins.

I think there's a really good conversation going on about this right now on the forums. https://forum.openrov.com/t/imu-calibrat...

Zack -

Can someone please help with connecting the ethernet. I followed the instructions, my laptop is on 192.168.254.2, and I managed to connect ONCE. However, now I can not connect. I ran lanscan (os x) and can not see 192.168.254.1 on the net. I tried plugging the ethernet cable into the top-side connector, AND straight into the beagle bone to no avail.

All the pins seem fine, everything seems to be attached, all the lights come on and I'm not sure where to go from here.

david - Reply

Hello David- The fastest way to resolve your problem would be to reach out to our support team (https://openrov.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/req...). It sounds like the BBB is not booting up, or the software image on it has become corrupt. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Hi there! I have connected my 2.8 OpenROV successfully, when it starts the lights are off, but after a minute the lights turn on and start blinking. Please advise how to turn the lights off.

Thanks, Teo

Teo Savov - Reply

Just saw the same problem described at:

https://forum.openrov.com/t/led-lights-o...

Would it be ok if I use zip-ties to connect the light and camera boards?

Teo Savov -

Hey there!

Even by zip-tieing the camera board, the lights are still blinking and out of control. Additionally, all commands are accepted with a huge delay. Software update shows only "v Show alerts on new updates". Please advice

Teo

Teo Savov -

The lights blink to alert you that there is an issue with the connection between the ROV and your computer. The high latency sounds like the pings are not getting through fast enough to register as a good connection so the deadman switch (flashing lights) is getting engaged. Please contact support and we can help you through this https://openrov.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/req...

OpenROV -

In step 44, you state "WD-40 is great to keep the motors from corroding as it displaces any water. It is not as great as a waterproof lubricant, however and should be used in conjunction with another, more water-resistant lubrication."

Can you recommend a more water resistant lubricant?

Craig Rahenkamp - Reply

Step 36 has a picture of our recommendation. That comment is in regard to regular WD-40 as opposed to the "Specialist" version. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

Oh for sure! The WD-40 Specialist pictured is a silicone lubricant that works really well. Any spray silicone lubricant will do, though, such as the 3M silicone lube. Many boating / RV stores sell a marine specific lubricants that might work as well but we haven't tested those at any length.

Zack -

What are the camera specifications? I can't find them anywhere in the manual or on the website - just HD web cam. What does that mean?

Edward Frank - Reply

It is a Genius KYE F100 Webcam. You can find the complete list of parts with specs in the BOM https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...

OpenROV -

Hey there, so when following the build guides it says nothing about charging the batteries and says nothing about charging it on 3 volts vs 4.2 volts. When I charged the batteries to be able to access the cockpit I just through them on the charger and left it on 4.2 volts. I let them fully charge on 4.2 volts is that ok?

Ethan Lane - Reply

We aren't 100% sure. We did some testing on this early on and determined that it doesn't happen to all the batteries all the time. The worry is that it may create an unsafe charging conditions and/or it may cause the battery to be damaged. Most commonly you will notice that the battery won't charge fully next time around if there's a problem but there shouldn't be an issue that would prevent you from running them normally from now on. Test them with a multimeter if you are concerned that they are damaged and see if they won't hold a charge or become discharged too quickly over the next 1 or 2 uses. If nothing seems different they are just fine.

Zack -

Hi sorry I connected a Chinese Gamepad (cost 5$) Gamepad. We checked the functionality on windows joystick properties, and it does work well, but when i try to connect with the rov nothing happens, over most the gamepad icons doesn't appear on cockpit's top nearby the triangle laser icon. What i need to do in order to fix this problem? Could depends by the gamepad even if on windows control panel tell me that's gamepad works well?

SERGIO GIUSTI - Reply

The gamepad controller must be recognized by Google Chrome. We leverage off this API. If the controller is recognized by an HTML5 Gamepad Tester it should work with our software. http://html5gamepad.com/ If it is not working with this tester then it will not work with our software. -Brian G.

OpenROV -

So, if I got it right, I can plug in, for example, Logitech game pad and it will work without making any modification in html code of the cockpit?

SERGIO GIUSTI - Reply

Hey Sergio, typically--yes, we usually are able to simply plug in the logitech gamepad with no modification to the html. But as Brian G said in the last note, it's not something that is up to us or the cockpit software, it is up to the API of google Chrome. Updates and changes to their API can cause it to cease to function correctly. So far we've used the Logitech for years with few problems. In short--I cannot guarantee that it will work for you but I'm very confident that it will. If you are concerned about it working, check the link: http://html5gamepad.com/. If you run into trouble, give us a quick email at support@openrov.com and we can get a troubleshooting session started. Happy ROVing! Z

Zack -

Connection of the game pad was able.

But up,down,advance,retreat,lights on and off, shooting is possible, can not be right and left.

How to set the left and right command of the game pad?

masu simo - Reply

Sounds like you may have your port and starboard motors incorrectly wired. Check that the correct color wires go to the correct motor. If they do then the direction might not yet be set. Check the last guide in the build instructions (similar to step 23) such as reversing the motor direction as seen in step 23.

Zack -

Thank you. Did the wiring check of the port and starboard motor there was no abnormalities. However, we succeeded Once again to reset the settings of the game pad.

Now we enjoy the ROV.

masu simo -

Hi, can not find out, how to change a button configuration?

Step 21 says that it is possible to change the buttons, but i cant find it

Evgeny Gramota - Reply

If I am not mistaken the 2.8 ROV does only have one syringe, correct?

Fe3C - Reply

You are correct. The version 2.8 only has one syringe. We are working on a revamp of the Operators Manual for 2.8 right now :) -Brian G.

OpenROV -

I lost video feed randomly during a dry test. Every other feature is working perfectly except for the webcam. I have updated the BBB and the Arduino twice now, triple checked the USB connections, and reset multiple times. Is there anything else I can do? The ROV had not been wet for a week when I turned it on to check everything before a big dive. The video was on for a second when the Cockpit started up, then froze. I rebooted and the feed was black, but everything else still worked. Have people been experiencing problems with the Genius F100 webcam?Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Georgia Bennett - Reply

Hey Georgia. Camera outages are usually caused by three things: 1- faulty USB cable. while the ROV is on and plugged in, wiggle the USB cable and see if it cuts out. Once it cuts out you can reset the software and it may or may not come back on. But this is a clear give away of a USB problem. 2- Bad software. I'd do this no matter what was wrong. Re-download the latest cockpit software and follow the instructions in this guide to re-flash the beaglebone and then reupload the arduino code as both steps are necessary. Power cycle the ROV and then see if it continues. 3- and this is actually kinda rare, a beat up camera. Disconnect your camera from the ROV and plug it into the laptop. You can use any number of programs to test out the camera with the laptop...this can also be useful for testing the USB if it is suspicious. If you find a problem or need help finding a problem, please post a question in the support section of the forum or send an email to support@openrov.com. Good luck!

Zack -