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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Homemade ROV
bigdavevw

Joined: 28/10/2010
Location: S/W Scotland

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 23/04/2012 22:25:19
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Hi guys, i,m going to build an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) for exploring flooded workings.

There are several guides on the net, but i am going to follow this one http://www.rollette.com/rovrev2/

They seem quite easy to build, i have bought a very small hd spy camera for it, so this should give a good picture. The picture will be displayed on an old laptop i have, i will keep it inside a briefcase to keep it protected.

I,ll be using 40 meters of cable, and a 12v tractor battery to power the ROV. It will be powered using 6 bilge pumps.

If anyone has built/used one it would be great to hear from you

Dave Thumbs Up
IP: 94.7.237.67
pat

Joined: 22/11/2007

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 23/04/2012 22:58:29
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Hi dave, we have used a rope held camera before/weights , lights and water proof camera but this set up had no control and was simply lowered . (video is on utube) the big problem was actually getting a viewable image with out spending a fortune on fancy lights and water proof video camera which all could be lost if it got snagged up IP: 193.113.13.57
mikebee62

Joined: 20/01/2009
Location: Crediton Devon

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 24/04/2012 21:22:41
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Great Idea, had similar Ideas for exploring flooded sections of Wheal Uny mine back in the late 1980s , but it didn't happen !! , Wishing you the best of luck !!. Only problem I thought of at the time was licking up mud and stuff ?? Smile

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'Of cause its safe, just dont touch anything !!'
IP: 86.158.134.226
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 24/04/2012 21:57:55
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I wonder what happened to Toadstone's...


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Filling space until a new signature comes along...
IP: 86.132.225.203
sinker

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Joined: 13/12/2010
Location: North Wales.

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 24/04/2012 22:10:33
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I have seen a home made one a few years ago, and the bilge pumps worked well as thrusters Thumbs Up
I just pity the person who draws the short straw and has to carry the tractor battery Laugh Laugh
I had an idea to build one to run on a rail, to send down flooded inclines. Keep us posted! Thumbs Up

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O'r graig, egni.
IP: 86.146.191.200
toadstone

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Joined: 10/09/2007
Location: Father's Dwelling, Big Low

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 25/04/2012 20:17:04
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Vanoord wrote:

I wonder what happened to Toadstone's...


Still on the back burner, Vanoord. Even I'll admit not one of my more progressive projects. It is a real pity as I now have nearly all the required parts and a chassis built with two of the three motors fitted.

I did create a website here: http://www.kap.toadstone.com/ROV/
This gives you some idea what is involved and has links to other ROV resources. Of course if you have a few thousand quid going spare there are some belting bits of kit on the market. Here's just one:
http://www.gnom-rov.com/products/gnom-baby/

Surprisingly many of the optional features of the GNOM Baby are easily transferred to a home built ROV.
As for power my route will be down the Lipo battery route. This battery technology has come a long way and hopefully will allow high capacity onboard to try and save having to lug a huge battery around.

Some thoughts and tips on processes required and designs which ultimately all come down to affordability and practicality.

Basically there are three elements which make up the system.
1. The ROV itself. In order to "boldly go" it needs motive power and the ability to see, which in the case of our application down mines also means lighting. 3 power hungry applications. ? power source, onboard or base station. Buoyancy negative, meaning in a state of rest in water, the vehicle neither sinks or rises. This is not difficult to achieve but does need thinking about in the design.
2. Cable or umbilical. The conduit by which the operator controls the ROV and monitors it's progress. Depending on 1, cable size to account for voltage drop, video transmission quality are just 2 considerations. Choosing the right design and putting the batteries onboard would allow the use of just the 4 twisted pairs of a CAT5 cable to be used. Not least how it connects at either end.
3. Base station. Method of control and video display. Power source, main/additional.

The best site I know of is Steve Thone's. Here you will find just about everything you'll need to know on how to build a ROV. http://www.homebuiltrovs.com/

Peter.
IP: 86.150.172.214
staffordshirechina

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Joined: 15/11/2009
Location: North Staffordshire

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 25/04/2012 21:31:08
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Back in the 1980's I was involved as the 'engineer' in the attempt by Derbyshire Constabulary to find the murder weapon used in the Taddington Dale murder.
One of our members (PDMHS) had found a cheque book in a drystone wall on Sheldon Moor and handed it in to the police.
They put two and two together and got 23 and assumed that the murderer had walked from Taddington dale via Sheldon and thence to Magpie Mine where, they surmised, he had dumped the gun down Magpie main shaft.
Winch the shaft they said, so we did. By that time the shaft bottom platform had collapsed and the shaft led straight into water. Now, the shaft was I think from memory, 580ft to water and 728ft to the bottom so we had a good depth of water to check.........
Anyway, not to be daunted the coppers ordered an oilrig ROV to be flown down from Aberdeen together with pilot.
This kit needed a 240volt supply so we had to lower a generator down to water level, hoping that the through vent would deal with the fumes. I wasn't happy with that so the police had a squad car collect gas detectors from the mines rescue in Chesterfield and away we went.
This thing was like the ones that found the Titanic and fed back to a tele screen in the chamber above the water. We were able to get pictures of all the cornish pitwork left in the shaft and descend down the old ladderway for nearly 100ft before the way was blocked. It was great fun, though we nearly lost the thing when it got tangled in old wire ropes.
The pilot was wetting himself at this point as the gadget was worth a fortune. A few sharp tugs on the umbilical by Terry soon sorted that out. We had a great time, I got a police commendation, we all eat lots of police food but we never found the gun.
Not surprising really as they eventually found it under someone's bed in Leicester....

Les
IP: 95.144.208.80
toadstone

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Joined: 10/09/2007
Location: Father's Dwelling, Big Low

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 25/04/2012 22:47:16
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Great story Les, I remember it well, living in Chapel at the time and having a DS as a friend. I can just see TW giving the umbilical a tug for all it was worth Laugh Laugh

Peter.
IP: 86.150.172.214
Mr.C

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Joined: 23/03/2008
Location: North Staffordshire

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 25/04/2012 23:09:40
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I recall it too - I was one of the team at the sough level inset.
After several hours P wet through, we arrived back at Magpie just in time to see the police catering van disapear down the drive Crying

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If things dunner change - the'll stop as the' are.
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bigdavevw

Joined: 28/10/2010
Location: S/W Scotland

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 08/05/2012 11:24:16
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Hello!! i haven,t made much progress due to this being MTB race season Wink I have bought the camera (808 spy camera HD) and some ethernet cable.

Will try and get the hull made soon. Kind of struggling with how to power it, should i run it from a tractor battery on the surface, or some on board batteries?

If i was to use a battery on the surface with 60 meters of power cable would the voltage drop be enough to give crap run times?

Dave
IP: 94.12.225.144
sinker

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Joined: 13/12/2010
Location: North Wales.

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 08/05/2012 12:20:30
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In the short term, probably easier to get it up and running via an umbilical and test it in a swimming pool! Laugh You can always tug on the umbilical to retrieve it, if you include a strand of stainless tie-wire Thumb Up
Perhaps refine the idea when you know it works, to delete the umbilical and replace it with on-board batteries. The best batteries for this kind of thing seem to be the Yuasa type, commonly found in motorbikes and in kids ride-on toys etc. Good compromise between size/weight/power/cost/availability/easy to charge etc

Good luck! Thumb Up

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O'r graig, egni.
IP: 86.152.214.197
bigdavevw

Joined: 28/10/2010
Location: S/W Scotland

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 08/05/2012 13:28:25
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Hey Sinker, yea a swimming pool will be a good place to test as you can see what is going on under there. Think i will get some polypropelyne rope as it floats, is strong and cheap. IP: 94.12.225.144
gmac101

Joined: 02/05/2012

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 08/05/2012 22:51:59
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I've never built a ROV but I have planned operations with them offshore.
ROV's should be neutrally buoyant that is it should weigh the same as the water it displaces. This might be a problem in mines as the density of the water might vary depending on chemicals in the water. So I would plan some way of varying the weight or displacement of the ROV.
If you can't get it neutrally buoyant then make it positively buoyant. This would have a few advantages:
If you are investigating a shaft and it all goes pear shaped the ROV will come up - hopefully
If you investigating an adit you will be running the down thruster keeping it off the roof this will likely disturb less mud than running the up thruster which would disturb any sediment on the floor
If you are in an adit and the ROV fails and you have to drag it out it will bump along the roof where there will be hopefully less obstructions.
Try to keep the weight evenly distributed to keep it floating on an even keel.
I would keep the battery on the beach. If you put the battery on board then you will have to provide buoyancy to support it and this would increase the bulk the of ROV.
Your visibility at times will not be great, if you kick up sediment it's like driving through a snow storm. If you loose touch with a wall or roof it is not very difficult to get very lost. I would suggest fitting a compass that your camera can see so you can tell what direction you are going (this might also help with surveying) though of course you will have to check that electric fields in the ROV don't affect the compass needle.
Getting the ROV out of an adit might also present a problem - if you turn it around you will be trailing a loop of your umbilical this could get caught around an obstruction. You should consider fitting lights and camera to both ends of the ROV so that instead of turning round you could just change cameras and follow your umbilical out. I have no idea how much these things cost - this could be prohibitive but it might save the ROV.
Good Luck
Gavin

IP: 86.180.121.34
toadstone

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Joined: 10/09/2007
Location: Father's Dwelling, Big Low

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Homemade ROV
Posted: 08/05/2012 23:41:09
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@gmac101 Yes you are right it needs to be neutral, re buoyancy. I said negative but then described the neutral condition which is what I really meant Confused
On mine I have allowed for a length of SS screwed rod which can take washers and nuts to accommodate slight variance in the water density.

@bigdavevw will answer your PM later.

Pete.
IP: 109.148.35.79
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