Neater cabling and more

A project log for The Julius project

Building autonomous kayaks for science and exploration.

Dark WaterDark Water 09/06/2016 at 21:512 Comments

A lot of work has taken place since the last update.

We now have the motor wiring going through the bottom of the hull using some Blue Robotics hull connectors - this makes things a lot neater and removes the motor wiring that was wrapped around the outside of the Kayak.

We've also, momentarily, switched to using a Raspberry Pi 3 so we can take advantage of the on-board WiFi. We may yet switch back to a Pi Zero, we'll be running some tests to determine suitability.

The batteries ( two 3S LiPo battery packs ) are currently in the same box as the electronics, we're going to switch them to their own box in the near future.

We're now running a custom build of the Ardupilot software ( the Ardurover version ) and have everything communicating with the ground control software over WiFi. The initial test run of the new software went well, though we need more manual control practice.

We're waiting for a connector for our external GPS antenna to arrive and then it'll be time to head to a larger body of water for autonomous testing.


Dark Water wrote 09/07/2016 at 13:12 point

At a steady pace we're expecting about an hour from those two batteries - they'll give us about 11 Amp hours. When we switch to the separate battery box we can add more batteries for longer operation - the plan is to add another two at least.

For underwater photography / filming it will be the camera battery that will be the limiting factor I fear. We'll know more once we've done some longer duration autonomous tests, but I think we're expecting about an hour - 90 minutes camera battery life for continuous filming, though probably a bit more if switched to take photographs instead.

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Steve Daniels wrote 09/07/2016 at 09:20 point

What kind of battery life time are you getting?  Have you done any continuous propulsion tests to see how long it takes for the LiPo's to get down to their cut off point?

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