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    Abyss Explorer Build Log

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    John Wrennall
    AMS member

    Posts : 156
    Join date : 2011-11-16
    Age : 71
    Location : Leyland

    Abyss Explorer Build Log

    Post  John Wrennall on Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:24 pm

    Greeting all

    I've just recovered a load of photos from my old PC from the build and subsequent mods to a Scratch built submersible. Its NOT scale, indeed its not a model of a real sub and its not Grey but it was fun to build so here goes. (Fun??? only one box of swear words used...)

    I was given a length of 5inch pipe and asked if I could make a sub from it cheaply.

    The use of Foamex plastic was decided upon as I had a plentiful stock, it works and glues easy and was FREE.

    Initial sketchs

    I decided to make the nose and tail cones from layers of foamex and shape then accordingly. The disks shown are two such layers, The spoke arrangement is to aid in the hollowing out later in the construction.

    All glued and clamped together on a central mandrel, note extra holes for attachment setscrews on front cone. Extra holes on spokes were to aid alignment whilst gluing up in sections.

    front cone glued up

    now to shape the two cones, mount on 6mm mandrels (long studs in my case) along with bulkhead and fasten assembly in drill.
    (This was before I bought a lathe - don't laugh, it worked)
    shaping outside of a cone

    After shaping the outside with file, emery, primer/filler to show low spots we have:-
    front after shaping

    And checking for fit/sizes:-
    front
    Rear

    Now for the insides of the cones:-
    front cone
    This shows the front cone interior and front bulkhead (stepped for O-ring)
    Out with the dremel and a small milling bit, find mask and goggles and way we go.
    The Spoke arrangement simplifies the amount to be cut out and stops you cutting too far in.

    front bulkhead finished
    The 4 nuts are o-ring sealed and retain the nose cone setscrews, the cables are for the searchlights,
    Valve for pressure checks glued in, set screw has o-ring under head for sealing.
    Just a quick aside about the valve, when having two new tyres fitted I spotted lots of valves on the floor at the local tyre dealer, asked?, told "help Yourself" now have dozens.
    Cut as much of the rubber off as you can then buff them up with a wire brush in an electric drill WEAR GOGGLES AND GLOVES AND MASK

    interior milled out

    nose cone finished
    The three searchlights are 10mm Ultrabrites from Component shop, 2v each , wired in series=6v and resistor for 12v.  Hole at bottom is water ingress, matching small hole at top for air escape.

    More to Come....
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    david f
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    Age : 66
    Location : Cumbria

    Re: Abyss Explorer Build Log

    Post  david f on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:14 am

    Really ingenious build that! Any photos??
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    John Wrennall
    AMS member

    Posts : 156
    Join date : 2011-11-16
    Age : 71
    Location : Leyland

    Re: Abyss Explorer Build Log

    Post  John Wrennall on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:27 pm

    david f wrote:Really ingenious build that! Any photos??

    Hi Dave.

    This is my first attempt at posting photos, I put them in as links so clicking on the underline text
    should show them. If not please let me know.

    John
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    John Wrennall
    AMS member

    Posts : 156
    Join date : 2011-11-16
    Age : 71
    Location : Leyland

    Re: Abyss Explorer Build Log

    Post  John Wrennall on Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:05 pm

    Onwards with part two, the rear cone.

    This was made in a similar way to the front cone but with a different fixing method.
    Rear cone internals
    The long 4mm through bolts fasten into captive nuts, the rear bulkhead fits on the through bolts  and is secured by nuts. It was done this way to allow dismantling but without showing the securing method.
    Perhaps not the quickest access but it seemed a good idea at the time.

    Rear Bulkhead
    This shows that the propshaft is epoxied to the Bulkhead. The propshaft does NOT fasten to the rear cone but is a snug fit through the rear cone central hole. Double check positioning of PROPELLOR before epoxying.
    Also can be seen two hypodermics sealed to the bulkhead. curious you think, read on
    This photo was taken when I was modifying the existing bellows/pushrod control system to a magnetic system based on an article from "in Depth". This transfers the servo movement to the Control surface without needing bellows which may fail.
    The Hypos are fixed/sealed to the rear bulkhead and the small hole is also blocked - essentially an open ended tube. Rare Earth magnet glued to end of control rod placed in tube.
    Further details
    servo connections
    Two magnets encased in fabricated slider
    Magnet carrier

    Whilst the above coupling system worked ok, it should be noted that the hypo tube interior is wet and therefore should be sized to prevent hydraulic locking.



    Rear Cone control surfaces

    Sorry, no more interim photos of rear cone .
    Outside of cone was CAREFULLY marked then slots milled out (using pillar drill) for control fins.
    To ensure Alignment, the Rudder fins were made as a single unit with hinge tubes fitted and the centre  section removed AFTER being epoxied to the rear cone. Ditto for the Hydroplane fins

    Brew time...Internal fittings to come next.
    avatar
    John Wrennall
    AMS member

    Posts : 156
    Join date : 2011-11-16
    Age : 71
    Location : Leyland

    Re: Abyss Explorer Build Log

    Post  John Wrennall on Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:12 pm

    Part Three The internals.

    I decided early on in the build that I would like the internals to be based on a modular system to make it easier to work on a particular aspect if needed. As the boat has 4 through bolts, these modules should fit the through bolts. so lets see some photos.

    Ballast tank module first
    Components
    more components
    Tank assembly
    Note that the Red plates are plastic sheet with a two sided Aluminium "veneer",
    This is a replacement Tank assemble with through bolts as I managed to blow out an epoxied end cap on its predecessor.
    Blob on end of pipe is in-line fuel filter
    4 module mounting holes in red plates - slide it on
    Extra dollop of ballast lead at bottom

    Servo module next.
    Servo/ESC carrier
    This simple fabrication, again from my favourite plastic, holds the two servos and the ESC.
    Again, it simply slides on.
    I have 4 tubes (not shown) which fit between the two end plates to provide rigidity (also for tank above)

    Main control unit next
    main control module

    This module contains the main drive battery 8.4v SC stick, The Dive pump/searchlight batteries 10XAA=12V,
    the receiver, an Action switcher for the pump, Main drive fuse 15A and My own Build of Magnetic On-Off switch. Coil at top is the aerial.
    You can't see from this angle but the servo extension leads are numbered.
    Main contol module other side
    Another unit which just slides on.


    assembling modules
    and another bit


    And now some external info...
    External Tubes
    Initially, these tubes held 5 SC cells each for the dive system (get the weight low) but were an absolute pain to remove for charging so were removed. They are now free flooding and hold part of the ballast system as described in "In Depth".

    Hatch, 1of2
    The front viewing plate is fitted with 3 led's to signal any problems back to shore, well it will when I find where I've put the parts.

    Keel
    Full length Lead keel (5 inch cylinder = mucho buoyancy)
    There's also extra lead inside main cylinder and ballast trimming system inside tubes.

    And Finally
    Maiden voyage
    Maiden voyage at Barrow in 2008, unfinished, unpainted, perfect trim and behaved superbly.

    Current condition
    As of Now, before the next Mod.

    Ribble Club Lake
    Into the depths to check out the weed in July


    Final Ongoing mod coming soon

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    John Wrennall
    AMS member

    Posts : 156
    Join date : 2011-11-16
    Age : 71
    Location : Leyland

    Re: Abyss Explorer Build Log

    Post  John Wrennall on Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:36 pm

    The Next Modification, To be tested this weekend at Barrow

















    That's all for now folks.

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