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Prepare a Tether Management System

This tether spool can be built from parts you can get at a local hardware store and works great at keeping your tether untangled and untwisted.

Edit Step 1 Prepare a Tether Management System  ¶ 

Image 1/2: You'll need the following materials: Image 2/2: About 50cm (20") of 1/2" PVC pipe.  I don't know what the metric equivalent is, but 1/2" PVC has an outside diameter of about 12.27 cm or 7/8"]

Edit Step 1 Prepare a Tether Management System  ¶ 

  • The dimensions of this spool are such that it is convenient to handle and fits inside a 1520 Pelican Case in front of the ROV(s)

    • You'll need the following materials:

      • About 50cm (20") of 1/2" PVC pipe. I don't know what the metric equivalent is, but 1/2" PVC has an outside diameter of about 12.27 cm or 7/8"]

      • Two unthreaded tees and two unthreaded 90-degree elbows for 1/2" PVC pipe

      • PVC cement

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/3: If you are using a pelican case or custom travel case make sure to measure the lengths so that they fit inside before you cut them. Image 2/3: Sand the ends of the pipe pieces to remove any burrs.  Check that the pieces fit into the tees and elbows. Image 3/3: Using the PVC cement, assemble the pieces into the shape shown in the photographs.  Allow to dry overnight.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Cut one piece of pipe 27 cm (10.6") long, and two pieces 11.5 cm (4.5") long.

    • If you are using a pelican case or custom travel case make sure to measure the lengths so that they fit inside before you cut them.

  • Sand the ends of the pipe pieces to remove any burrs. Check that the pieces fit into the tees and elbows.

  • Using the PVC cement, assemble the pieces into the shape shown in the photographs. Allow to dry overnight.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/3: In a large yard or parking lot, unwind the kit tether into a long straight line.  If you've been testing your ROV, remove the topside adapter box before performing these steps.  If you have two people, have one person put both their arms through the tether bundle before cutting the cable ties. Image 2/3: Once the cable ties are cut, carefully pull the tether away from the kit bundle Image 3/3: Once the cable ties are cut, carefully pull the tether away from the kit bundle

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The tether, as supplied in the kit, needs to be unwound, de-kinked, and rewound onto a spool. These steps are easy to accomplish with two people

  • In a large yard or parking lot, unwind the kit tether into a long straight line. If you've been testing your ROV, remove the topside adapter box before performing these steps. If you have two people, have one person put both their arms through the tether bundle before cutting the cable ties.

  • Once the cable ties are cut, carefully pull the tether away from the kit bundle

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Optionally, mark the tether every 10 meters or so, starting at the ROV end.  This can be done with small pieces of electrical tape, inserted between the wire twists and taped against themselves.  Write on the tape the running length of the tether. Image 2/3: Optionally, mark the tether every 10 meters or so, starting at the ROV end.  This can be done with small pieces of electrical tape, inserted between the wire twists and taped against themselves.  Write on the tape the running length of the tether. Image 3/3: Optionally, mark the tether every 10 meters or so, starting at the ROV end.  This can be done with small pieces of electrical tape, inserted between the wire twists and taped against themselves.  Write on the tape the running length of the tether.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Allow the kinks and the residual twisting stress to come out of the tether. This can be done by starting at the ROV, with the tether laying in your palm, and slowly walking down the length of the tether, allowing excess twists to unwind. Continue doing this until the tether doesn't seem to be untwisting any more.

  • Optionally, mark the tether every 10 meters or so, starting at the ROV end. This can be done with small pieces of electrical tape, inserted between the wire twists and taped against themselves. Write on the tape the running length of the tether.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/1: This pigtail on the tether will set the distance between the topside adapter box and where the tether handler is working- it can be longer or shorter depending upon your needs

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Now it's time to put the tether onto the spool. Start at about 3 meters in from the top-side end of the tether (away from the ROV), and attach the tether to the spool using either a clove hitch or some tape.

  • This pigtail on the tether will set the distance between the topside adapter box and where the tether handler is working- it can be longer or shorter depending upon your needs

  • Work your way towards the ROV, wrapping the tether onto the spool in a figure-8 pattern. This pattern prevents twists from forming in the tether as it is wrapped and unwrapped

  • When you reach the ROV, take the 3-meter starting end and wrap it across the remainder of the spooled tether, holding everything in place

  • Now you're ready to head to the dive site!

You're Done!

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