Getting Started - SeaMATE ROV Kits
The SeaMATE AngelFish is a basic, re-usable kit that is designed to introduce students to ROV building. The AngelFish ROV Kit consists of a control system, wires to receive and deliver power, and thrusters (motors, propeller adapters, and propellers). The frame is not included in the kit but frame materials can easily be purchased from a local hardware store or from us. The kit does not include batteries or power supplies, but we do sell adapters for different battery configurations and power supplies in our store.
The control system is enclosed in a small, durable box with an O-ring seal. Three toggle switches control control the three ROV motors. Ring terminals, screwed onto the back of each switch, provide the pathways for electricity to move through the box and control the motors.
The AngelFish is specifically designed to be a re-usable ROV kit. After one set of students have completed the AngelFish kit assembly and driven it successfully, a few components can be removed (ring terminals and wires on the back of each switch, on the ends of the tether) and discarded. Replacement rings and wire can be purchased inexpensively, and the kit can be re-used by a completely different set of students.
Included with the AngelFish Kit are lessons on the various ROV systems and easy to follow instructions that will move you through the building process.
The SeaMATE PufferFish makes ROV building fun, educational, and straight-forward. The PufferFish ROV Kit consists of a control system, wires to receive and deliver power, and thrusters (motors, propeller adapters, and propellers). The frame is not included in the kit but frame materials can easily be purchased from a local hardware store or from us. The kit does not include batteries or power supplies, but we do sell adapters for different battery configurations and power supplies in our store
The control system is enclosed in a small, durable box with an O-Ring seal; the clear top, LED light indicators (for motor direction and power) and the amp/volt meter makes operating and troubleshooting the ROV easy. The PufferFish ROV kit features: robust rocker switches that are not soldered to the circuit board and can be easily replaced; a larger control box ergonomically designed for younger hands; a circuit board with a power filter, allowing for the attachment and protection of add-on electronic tools such as cameras; a complete motor/tether strain relief system for the control box and ROV; an amp/volt meter to assist with troubleshooting and to help teach basic electronics; screw down terminal connectors for wires instead of soldering.
Included with the PufferFish kit are lessons on the various ROV systems and easy to follow instructions that will move you through the building process.
The SeaMATE TriggerFish kit
SeaMATE ROV kits do not include materials for building the frame. ROV frames can be built in many different ways from materials that can be found at your local hardware store.
PVC is often used as the material to construct a frame. PVC is cheap, easy to work with and is readily available in most hardware stores. PVC comes in many sizes, measured from the inside diameter of the pipe. ½-inch pipe is the smallest, commonly available size of PVC, but ¾-inch, 1-inch, 1 ¼-inch and 2-inch are also readily available at most hardware stores. 3-inch, 4-inch, 6-inch and larger diameter pipe is much more difficult to find. The other benefit of PVC is the many different connectors that are available. Tees, 90 elbows, 45 elbows, sideout corner pieces, crosses, couplings, end caps and more. Reducer bushings that connect two different sizes of pipe are also available. PVC pipe will allow almost any shape and size of frame.
Frame kits with pre-cut lengths of PVC and buoyancy foam can be purchased from the SeaMATE store at: https://seamate.myshopify.com/products/3-seamate-pufferfish-pvc-frame-kit
Or, you can just take the materials list to your local hardware store and buy the materials yourself to save the labor and shipping costs.
SeaMATE ROV kits do not come with a power source. You will need to provide a power source to power your vehicle. The SeaMATE store offers three different solutions, depending on your budget and how you intend to use the ROV.
Power pack with powerpole adapter:
Powerpacks are battery packs that will provide the power you need. They are often kept in vehicles to jumpstart a car battery if there is a problem. They will run down over time, but can be recharged easily by plugging them into a wall socket. A standard power pack should be able to run a PufferFish ROV for 1 to 2 hours.
The power packs will need an adapter for the powerpole connector to plug into. This adapter plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet found on the powerpacks, and the Powerpoles plug into the adapter. The cigarette lighter adapter can be purchased from the SeaMATE Store at:
12 volt Deep-Cycle Marine/RV car battery:
Large lead acid batteries are another way to power the ROV. MATE recommends the Deep-Cycle Marine / RV battery, as they are designed to be run down and recharged many times (a standard 12 volt car battery is not designed for this). The battery should be able to run a PufferFish ROV for 4 to 6 hours or you can run 3 ROVs at a time for an hour or more. The battery will need to be recharged after that. To recharge a car type battery, you will need to purchase a charger.
The battery will also need an adapter for the powerpole connector to plug into. This adapter has Alligator clips that connect to the battery posts on one end and has powerpole connectors at the other end. The alligator clip adapter can be purchased from the SeaMATE Store at: http://seamate.myshopify.com/collections/all-products/products/alligator-clips-to-powerpole-connector
AC to DC Power Supply:
For a solution that never needs recharging, the MATE Center recommends an AC to DC, 30 amp power supply that plugs into an AC outlet, and provides a constant source of 12 volt DC power that the ROV needs. This power supply can operate two PufferFish vehicles at once without issue.
SAFETY NOTE: Since this converter is being used near water, you MUST plug this converter into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected outlet, or have a GFCI plug on the end of the converter. DO NOT PLUG THIS INTO A STANDARD WALL SOCKET WITHOUT GFCI PROTECTION.
MATE also recommends keeping the AC to DC converter in a splash proof container or case. A small plastic tub turned upside down will work to keep splashes off the power supply.
You can purchase the 12 volt power supply (sold together with a GFCI) from the SeaMATE Store at: http://seamate.myshopify.com/collections/all-products/products/12v-dc-power-supply-w-powerpole-outlet-gfci