Well, the time has finally arrived! After several years of design and electronics work, and a full year of construction, I did the first wet test today in the bathtub.
The test's main objective, to determine whether or not the shell leaks, was a complete success. Below are some pictures, and at some point in time in the future I may put up a small movie.
|Here it is, floating on the surface of the water. The back end assembly (mainly the rear end-cap) weighs a lot more than the front, so right now it sits with the nose pretty far up in the air. I will be adding lead weights inside, at the bottom, near the front, to balance this out.|
|Here it is being held on the bottom. Right now,
especially with no electronics or batteries, it is very buoyant, so I have to hold it down
with a lot of force.
It's sitting in about 9" of water here.
|Here's a close-up of the back end, showing some
really good detail of the thrusters and the rear end cap, with its various attachment
This picture came out so sharp, I've included the full size 1800x1200 original directly from the digital camera here (437 KB).
|And finally, here it is back on my shelf, after the wet test. I dried off the outside, and there is no water visible anywhere inside, so I'm pretty happy about the whole thing.|
So that's it for now. I need to re-do the attachment mechanism for the delrin inserts that attach the thrusters to the aluminum cross-member. I was using some marine epoxy, but it doesn't make a solid enough mechanical join, and it came loose while I was working the thrusters underwater. I'll try machining a pin or something to make a solid mechanical joint, and then use the marine epoxy to seal it all up.
Questions and comments can be sent to Jon@huv.com