So I've been reading on these forums (here and DIYDrones) and have found a lot of cool knowledge and info, its helped answer some questions and spur some creativity! Now, I am trying to get into building arduboats for bathymetry and/or water quality analysis and want to share a design and setup in case it may help someone else with their projects, and to gain any input anyone may want to share.
I am calling this one the HarborMaster or perhaps HarborScan. I don’t know for sure yet. It one of 4 designs and my favorite – this one is 6ft long, made of 0.08 5052 Tig Welded Aluminum, is powered by a 30lb thrust trolling motor and dimension engineering Syren controller – of course with Pixhawk with ArduRover firmware.
The telemetry is a 500mw 900mhz link, paired to an on board Windows 10 SOC. The USB side of the telemetry can be plugged into base station laptop for traditional RF-Mission Planner control, or plugged into the SOC which works work with a hotspot and Amazon EC2 instance to relay the signal over cellular. The boat also runs Skype and has a Logitech C920 camera in a 3D printed housing, so in areas with good LTE, very high quality video is possible. When operating with a remote from the video feed, the lag is surprisingly minimal, maybe around 200-400ms.
The design is deep/tall with a lot of freeboard, primarily because I wanted to have the option of installing a tall Group 29D 120ah lead acid battery for longer missions, which provides >20hr endurance. That’s a pain to carry though, so typically I use a 40ah 4S LiFeP04 battery which gets around 10hrs.
I've installed a Lowrance sonar unit and may also add water quality sensors such as dissolved oxygen, ph, conductivity and temperature but this is a new area to me, have some learning to do.
I’ve also installed a 750gph bildge pump just in case there are any issues… it just hit 250 hours on the clock last weekend, so far so good, no breakdowns - though I did run the battery dead once and one time getting stuck in a thick patch of seaweed.
Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, or has any questions on the setup, wants to bounce ideas around – post here! Happy to share and learn.
Here are some pics of other designs, which is not as well tested yet, but so far seem to perform well!