Seafox Retrofit Auxiliary Lighting

I had this Light Housing from one of my tutorials so I decided to add it to the Retrofit to test out some Auxiliary Lighting.

This mount actually started out as the Compass Housing Mount but I didn't like it so I put it to good use anyway as the Light Mount. It started out as a simple reducing T-Fitting.

After a bit of hacking, cutting, melting, forming, and sanding this is what I was left with.

A plug is glued into the end and the Mount is held on with a nut onto the other pivot mount for the Manipulator so the Light will rotate along with the Camera.

The Light Housing is held to the Mount with a simple hose clamp so it can be easily changed. I plan on trying different light sources (such as Led's)

Here you can see the Finished Auxiliary Light in line with both the Manipulator and Camera. The light draws about 1 amp so when its on it will slow the thrusters down a bit but that might be a good thing.

This is a crappy screen grab from some recent test video but it shows how the Auxiliary Light has a tendency to blow out the video when it is on. I think it is too direct of a spot light so I'm going to test out some alternative lighting.

I bought 10 of these ultra bright Aqua Led's from All Electronics and decided to see how they would work. I just needed to make a housing to hold them.

The first thing I did was make a jig by drilling a few holes in a scrap piece Plexiglas to hold the Led's while I solder them.

Next I soldered all the Negative legs together and attached a 1K Resistor to each Positive leg.

Then all of the Resistors are joined and attached to the Positive Wire.

This is the finished internals to one light.

I am using a 1/2 PVC Cap as a housing for the Led's. A few holes are drilled in the end and the wires are feed through. The Cap is then filled with Epoxy to seal everything up. (not shown)

I then machined a few adjustable mounts out of some Aluminum bar stock.

The lights mount in one of the existing holes in the top frame. I wanted the lights up high pointing downward on an angle this time. In theory (or so I've been told) if the lights are on an angle to the camera the light reflecting of practices in the water will not show up as much on camera.

A few pictures of the first test in the shop.

This is another screen grab from the Rov (again just in my shop) with just the IR leds from the Camera.

And this is with both the IR Leds from the Camera and the new Led Pods on. I have 4 more leds which I might make 2 more pods and attach them to the lower skids. I want to see how these work in the water first before I go any farther. I haven't had a chance to do a water test yet because of the weather.

Instead of making up 2 more pods I bought these ElectroPods for $13 to save some time.

There's 6 Blue Leds in each Pod.

The Leds are on an angle too so the swath of light put out is a good spread.

Plus they came pre-sealed and with a removable mount.

I just used the supplied sticky tape and stuck one on the lower frame....

...and I just stuck the other one on the Lens of the old light so I would have a little light still that tilted with the camera.

Unfortunately as well as all of the Leds work in bench testing they didn't make any difference at 40'. As you can see from this test video. Bottom was at 40', sunlight dissipated at about 35', and the Leds had no affect. The next step will be to go back to the original light and try a diffuser to cut down the direct beam.

All Information, Pictures, and Material is copyright © 1998-2009 by Stephen Thone and may not be used for any personal or commercial purposes without the consent of the author. All rights reserved. The Author makes no guarantees or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of, or results to be obtained from accessing and using the Information herein.