[hackerspaces] Building a RC Submarine

john arclight arclight at gmail.com
Thu Jan 6 18:17:39 CET 2011

At 23b Shop, we have a grotto (Cave Club) that I am a part of who meets
here. We've helped sherpa gear for cave diving expeditions in Belize,
Guatemala and locally in the high Sierras.

Most cave diver fix a thin nylon line as they travel, in order to find their
way out, even in a zero-visibility silt out.

They also sometimes use scooters, which are powered submarine-like vehicles
used to tow a diver around.

So I think a submarine would be possible and not incompatible with how
divers do things now. But you really need to avoid hitting the walls or
stirring up the bottom, as that could obviously damage the cave and foul up
conditions for days.

Certainly a small vehicle could be used to check if a sump is 10m or 100m
long. Beyond that type of functionality, it would get complicated.

I'd encourage everyone involved to work with your local cavers. You'll need
them for access to the caves anyway, and they love tech projects.

On Jan 6, 2011 8:21 AM, "Chris Weiss" <cweiss at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:00 AM, Buddy Smith <buddy.smith at ieee.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:00 AM, Chris Weiss <cweiss at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Wireless doesn't work so well under water……
>>>> I hope you mean tethered, or autonomous :)
>>>> --buddy
>>> very low frequency does work, but you need rather large antennas and
>>> batteries.  search for "cave radio", most info is for voice but could
>>> be adapted for data
>> I'm aware of that, but he did also say "coupled with a cordless
>> It's much easier to do tethered control if you're underwater. That, or
>> unspool an antenna wire that floats at the surface.
> I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you've never
> actually been in a natural cave system...
> twists and turns would make dealing with a wire very problematic, and
> greatly increase the risk of damaging cave formations that took many
> thousands of years to create. I'd personally rather leave that
> section as an unknown than risk destroying it by dragging a cable
> around.
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