A Radio-Controlled Video-Equipped Submarine
years of satisfactory operation, technologies had changed and
there were a few desirable features missing so I decided it was time
for an upgrade to the submarine
High resolution video cameras
had become available at a modest price so I decided to upgrade the
video system to HD, send the video via Wi-Fi and have the video
viewable by any smart phone or tablet on shore.
shortcoming of the Thunder Tiger Neptune was that when the
submarine is underwater and can not be seen, the operator onshore has
no idea of the depth or the heading. It was decided to use a
microprocessor module, an Arduino Nano, and a "10 Degrees of Freedom"
pressure senor and magnetometer to sense depth and direction. The
Arduino sends the telemetry data on the same Ethernet link to the shore
where Heading, Depth, and Pitch is displayed using servos to
provide indication in direct sunlight.
The 10DOF sensor board is about 1.5x1 inch.
The Arduino Nano isn't much bigger but provides all the "smarts" to read sensors and send the data over the Ethernet.
And the Nano needs an Ethernet Interface to send data over the WiFi.
the "Shore Station" the data is received by a second Arduino, a
larger model, and is used to drive servos to indicate the submarine's
heading, depth, and pitch. It is incorporated into a wooden box that
cradles the radio control transmitter.
course all this plus the camera has to fit inside the submarine's hull
where it doesn't get wet Finding more space in the sub wasn't going to
was found behind the first bulkhead for the Arduino, sensor board, and
Ethernet Interface with some re-arrangement of wires and removal of the original power supply board.
The camera will mount to the front of the bulkhead.
Considerable software development was required to integrate the various components into a working system.
Then there was the challenge of fitting the required components into the available space in the submarine! (Thank goodness for hot glue - some of the parts had to be moved more than once to fit into the case!) Images from the 5MP camera from Shenzhen
CCDCAM Technology Co., Ltd. is truly impressive!
everything into the available space took a few days and multiple
assembly attempts to ensure the revised bulkhead did not interfere
with the existing components inside the shell.
testing was then done in the bathtub and after some revisions to
the cable seal, it was all water-tight again.
The two Ethernet cables connect to a surface float which convey the Wfi
to shore for the camera and the telemetry to the shore station. Two
cables were required because there was not enough space in the
submarine to incorporate a switch.The submarine and the shore station are completed and the surface float is yet to be done. Deep-water testing will have to be deferred until the ice is gone from the lakes.
To Be Continued .....