Dominik Fretz

Dominik Fretz

21 observations in 12 expeditions


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Recent Observations

Look at that what we did! - chassis - e-chassis - top side adapter - lights - imu - battery and main end caps - wire harness - electronics - camera -escs - motors -potting of the esc, battery end caps and MEC That means, we have almost all done. Still some fiddly bits to do but we rocked the past 8 hours. Thanks to Neill from Robots & Dinosaurs and Scott from NSW Wrecks for helping me guide and everybody that was involved in the build today!

After a quick skills lab where we learned how to glue acrylics and how a solder iron works, we started out build. We split in 2 to 3 groups and got a lot done!

The tools are packed. The demo ROV is ready. Lets build some robots!

So, the first OpenROV deployment of this Expedition happened today in Balmain. We did 4 or 5 tries to find the structure based on the site scan data just to be interrupted by the Sydney Ferries. That's why you deploy an ROV that you can pull in in the case the ferry comes around and not a diver. As the exact position from shore is not yet known and the water is rather murky we tried to run some search patterns following the compass headings but sadly, the most exciting thing we found was a deck of cards with a bow and arrow. A few lessons learned on this deployment: - Know your compass heading - if you deploy in a boating channel and you don't want to pull back every time a boat goes by, don't put too many floats on your tether. If the tether sinks to the ground and you are deep enough, let the boat pass - Stop the screencastify video BEFORE your laptop battery dies - we don't have the screencast :-( Anyway, a big thanks to Sarah, Scott, Neill and Bryan! I wan't to go back and have another go now that we have a bit of a better idea!

We're at Balmain, Illoura Reserve Balmain East NSW 2041 Australia

In a bit more than 7 hours I'll be on the way to Kavieng! My name is Dominik and I'm part of Team PNG as a ROV building specialist and Software Developer. I'm writing a lot of Software for the OpenROV project and will be guiding interested participants on how to write their own extensions for the ROV. In my other life I'm a Software Developer working in Sydney, Australia and care about all things in and about the Ocean and try to educate people about protecting this unique environment. See you soon!

Following Andrews example - well he arranged his things a lot nicer - here my packing list: - Chromebook to control ROVs - 2 pairs of swimmers - Hat and sunglasses - Dry bags (I like them to carry my cloths in them) - Shirts and underwear for a few days - Toiletry bag - Beach towel (maybe we get a chance to get close to the sea :) - GoPro with tray mound and light - Goods for the ROV building workshop - box with all kinds of cables and adapter for all those electricity hungry devices - Rainjacket - Notebook (paper), Notebook (computer) and red OpenROV hat - Water bottle - Jacket for the flight to net get a cold on the plane - 'Thunder Down Under' in its travel carry on case all ready to go!

Great success! Yesterday I went for a couple of SCUBA dives from a boat in lake of Zug. Initially I planed to deploy the ROV from the boat but due to time constraints it didn't happen. Visibility on the scuba dives wasn't great but from the shore, the top looked really nice. So, setting up the ROV and soon enough a few of my fellow divers and their kids were all eager to have a look. We dropped the ROV from a little jetty and went for a spin! I think the picture shows it all... Not only Mirja and Julian had a great time (and on the day later still speak about the robot) but it looks like the big kits had fun too! Lesson learned: - Ducks look odd from the underside and don't like the ROV driving around them - A lake cruise ship taking off from the jetty a few meters away can cause havoc. I think my ROV did a somersault :) - it's possible to get your tether hooked onto some wood logs on the ground - and free yourself with the ROV

Today was officially the first real dive in a lake here in Switzerland for my ROV! The Wohlensee is an artificial lake for hydroelectric power creation. It was created by building a dam into the river Aare. It's about 12km long but only 700m at it's widest with a maximum depth of 20m. It looks very calm from the surface but once I put the ROV into the water it was quite clear that there is a bit more current than I expected to encounter. It's hard for me to say how much current there was but it was for sure more than the ROV could easily handle! In the shallows, from the pontoon jetty where I launched the ROV it was fine, but jut a meter or 2 from the jetty the ROV was taken away quickly. On power level 4 I managed to fight the current to come back but manoeuvring was tricky especially as the fast forward movements produces a lot of downwards tilt that is hard to fight with the prop. At one point, probably because the ESCs had to do some work and the water was about 18 degrees, I had some fogging in the electronics tube. A bit of 'computer air', bottled gas in a can, would fix tat though.

Today, I had the chance to show my OpenROV to a group of Microsoft .NET software developers that gathered in Bern for their monthly user group meeting. As I just piggy-backed on another event, it was only a short 30 minutes presentation but the girls and guys loved the ROV! I think I few are thinking about getting one :) Thanks for the .NET User Group Bern for having me! dnug-bern.ch/index.aspx

Just had my first deployment with ROV #463 in the river Aare. I made sure that there wasn't too much current, so I chose a place at a little dam. This was a test deployment to see if the ROV made the trip over safely, and it DID! I had two small problems: - I didn't have a new desiccant bag and no 'computer air' to put dry air into the electronics tube, so I had a little bit of condensation. Together with the visibility that was a bit impaired by a lot of nutrients that makes the water quite 'milky' There was a bit of sea grass and I managed to get it around one of my props :) lesson learned

Great news and things ahead! I just talked to a fellow OpenROV builder here in Switzerland. He has a boat on Lake Zurich, so I guess I'll add lake Zurich to the list too! Awesome!

I'm on a trip around the globe! I can't do too many stops, but I'm going to spend a few weeks in Switzerland and I plan to put ROV #463 into as many bodies of water as I can! Destinations I will plan to take it to: - Lake Lucern - Lake Zug - Lake of Constance - The river Aare near Aarau And hopefully more! Here is a picture of my ROV safely stowed away in my carry on just before i board the plane in SFO.

Wow, we're just back from a night dive with ROV #463 It was my first dive with my ROV in the open water and it happened to be a night dive too! Some trimming of the buoyancy to be done and see why I had some drops of water in my electronics tube and starboard battery tube. Follow my ROV on twitter for updates: ROV #463

Wow, we're just back from a night dive with ROV #463 It was my first dive with my ROV in the open water and it happened to be a night dive too! Some trimming of the buoyancy to be done and see why I had some drops of water in my electronics tube and starboard battery tube. Follow my ROV on twitter for updates: ROV #463

Another first: Zoe's deploying her ROV! She has to finish some things on it, but it got wet and was racing around the test tank!

A day of many firsts! After a quick test run last night ROV #463 finally for its maiden flight in the OpenROV HQ test tank! All went well! Hooray! Another first: We're about to go to the expedition to lake Tahoe, another first for me!

Just getting ROV #463 ready in time for the next expedition! Cure Expoxy - Cure!

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