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Looking for several parts for new sub construction - Need parts for new kevlar sub project

Have any sub 'stuff' to sell or trade?

Postby Diving Bill » Mon May 03, 2004 3:06 am

Hi. Diving Bill here. I'm looking for several things. First off...I need to find two underwater electric trolling type motors that will withstand at least 100 ft depths. I also need an underwater control module to be able to control the off/on and throttle of the electric motors. Looking for as heavy duty maximum output electric motors as I can get.

I also need any help I can get about constructing a waterproof compartment for the 4 batteries in the keel and the diesel engine compartment. Being concerned about hydrogen seepage from the batteries, I would welcome any advice on what kind of batteries to use that would minimize that. I have heard of hydro caps which are a catalyst that changes the hydrogen back into H2O and O2, but they are a bit of a pain to deal with. Also seen the hydro bags that you can put in the battery compartment that absorb the hydrogen and change it to water and O2 much like a dessicant bag absorbs water. It's not an exact term for what they do but I label these methods as "scrubbers".

I recently heard of another very new method to eliminate the hydrogen gas danger called oil filled pressure compensated. From what I know there is oil poured around the inside of the battery compartment and the watertight top of the compartment has a slight slope in it to allow the hydrogen gas to bubble up to that slope and then be exhausted to the outside. I do not know exactly how all this works, just heard a snatch about it today from another friend who is building his sub in Tampa, Fl. But it sounds very promising. No hydro caps or bags to deal with and hydrogen gets exhausted outside the sub.

Finally, I am seeking a small but powerful deisel engine and information on how to seal it watertight and install a snorkel to supply air to the carb. I also need to locate where I can get the snorkel valve that goes topside and prevents water from coming down the snorkel.

Any advice or suggestions you might have about all the above would be appreciated.

The board is green and we have pressure in the boat.
Diving Bill.
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Postby TMSmalley » Mon May 03, 2004 4:39 pm

Hi Diving Bill and others interested in ROVs -

Check out the Yahoo ROV group at Yahoo ROV site

They deal with trolling motors, camera housings and the like. Most of the trolling motors I have seen (like the Minnkotas), are only dry to about 60 feet or so.

Many of the guys have their own websites devoted to ROVs - everything like the cheapie PVC pipe ones, to VERY sophisticated computerized units costing $ thousands. You need to join the group to look at the photos, but we aren't too choosy :laugh:
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Postby Wadester13 » Mon May 03, 2004 4:52 pm

The way it sounds diving bill it sounds like you are trying to make a manned sub?
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Postby Diving Bill » Mon May 03, 2004 6:39 pm

Thanks TMSmalley for the motor referalls. I will check out the sites and motors you were talking about.

To Wadester13 To answer your question, yes, I am building a two man 15ft long wet sub that is manned by two people.

Thanks, Diving Bill.
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Postby Wadester13 » Mon May 03, 2004 8:53 pm

Me and my friend, he is in CA now, we're working on the idea of manned subs. We were on the same sub for a while in Norfolk, Va. (He was working on building an RC boomer, he said his first prototype sunk on the first emergency blow (I'm trying to get him to join the SubCommittee, lol)) I would be happy to help you on any research you need if you want. I would like to see the final product. No freebies intended.
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Postby Diving Bill » Tue May 04, 2004 4:50 pm

Hi Wadester13. I appreciate your interest in my manned two man wet AND ambient semi dry sub project. Here's how it will go.

I will use a 15ft long 2ft dia, 1/2 inch thick kevlar wing tank from a helicopter for the wet subs body. Cutting out two cockpits one in the front will be open cockpit style for a full scuba outfitted diver and one in the rear that is an enclosed canopy ambient pressure half dry cockpit. Batteries will be located in outside large pipes made from pvc pipes. Cheap and easily affordable and easy to work with. Just make a streamlined rocket nosed cap onto the pvc endcap for streamling and you’re good to go. Another set of pvc pipes will serve as ballast tanks. Getting the batteries with their seeping hydrogen away from the operator is a good idea since there have been several homebuilt hydrogen explosions. The pvc pipe ballast tanks will be drilled on the bottom so any excess air pumped into them will exhaust out the hole in the bottom and make a pressure release valve unnecessary. The means when surfacing the sub will have to remain relatively horizontal or some air might leak out the pvc pipe hole in the bottom of the pipe but it sure makes things simple this way. Kind of like taking a cup and turning it upside down and trapping the air. These ballast tanks will work that way. If I have a problem losing air on surfacing then I will simply use the hole I drilled for the air to bleed out of to install a pressure relief valve. But hopefully this will not be necessary. The small diesel engine will be at the mid rear section of the sub enclosed in a waterproof compartment. Batteries in the keel also will be in an enclosed compartment with hydra caps and hydra bags AND I will completely emerse the batteries in oil so the hydrogen will not be open to an open battery compartment and oxygen as it leaks out of the batteries but will have to bubble up thru the oil and into a slanted area on the waterproof battery compartment and then act upon a pressure release valve that will open to allow the hydrogen gas to exit the sub without letting any water in. Since the hydrogen gas created by the batteries makes for more pressure in the battery compartment the pressure release valve will sense this and exhaust it out. By making the hydrogen bubble upward thru the oil it keeps the hydrogen away from any oxygen so it cannot explode. I also intend to construct very large skis and attach them to the bottom of the ballast tanks so that when the sub is operating on the surface with the diesel engine it will plane up and ski. I will use air bladders at the nose and rear of the sub for trimming differences between being used by one or two divers which would require a redistribution of bouyancy. I am going to use the Midwest Engineering sub plans located at http://www.angelfire.com/ks/diyplans/2mnsub. as the basis for my sub since those homebuilt sub plans call for a wing tank like I am going to use and also I will be constructing the front open cockpit and the rear ambient pressure half dry cockpit according to those plans. That's the plan anyway, now I just have to get started. As soon as I sell my other two man wet sub I will get this one off the ground. Love to hear any advice or about anyone else building a wet or ambient atmosphere sub.

"The board is green and we have pressure in the boat"
Diving Bill.
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Postby Diving Bill » Tue May 04, 2004 4:58 pm

Oops! In my last post I said "Batteries in the keel also will be in an enclosed compartment". This was totally wrong since I intend to put the batteries outside the sub in large pvc pipes located just above the ballast tanks. There will be no batteries in the keel. My bad.

The batteries in the pvc pipes will serve the same purpose as putting them in the keel which will be to stabilize the sub much as a keel does on a sailboat. The pvc pipes will be located outside and to the sides and slightly underneath the sub just on top of the ballast tanks but farther away than if they were just underneath the operator in the keel. The keel is not the best place to put them in spite of many plans showing them that way. Unless you don't mind a potential explosion right under your feet! Lol.

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Postby Diving Bill » Tue May 04, 2004 5:16 pm

I noticed the URL I gave for midwest Engineering's silent runner II two man mini sub plans did not send you to the site. Here's an even better URL that shows many pics of the sub and how to order the plans. I will be using these sub plans and modifying them to put batteries in pvc pipes outside the sub body and using another set of pvc pipes for ballast tanks along with using air bladders both fore and aft in the sub body. Here's that URL, enjoy.
http://www.scubatow.com/sub2.html

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Postby Wadester13 » Tue May 04, 2004 5:53 pm

I will think of some ideas and email you. I have spent 4 1/2 years on the (SSN 765) USS Montpelier fast attack sub in Norfolk, Va. What we were planning was a two man dry sub about 30 feet long and enough space to crawl around or back and forth. It would run on batteries have atmosphere monitor equipment and items to purify the air to reuse. A 4 stroke engine with a car altenator to charge the batteries or propel the sub while at PD or surface. It will be an actual sub! Most everything will be over the counter stuff. I understand it would cost a couple 10 thousand dollars (minimum). That is why it is not done. We were unsure of any funding we would be able to get for it. There is alot more that I have not mentioned. Just think, submerge, go out about 20 miles off of the coast, surface, go topside and break out the fishing poles and beer for a day! What a life.
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Postby Diving Bill » Wed May 05, 2004 4:37 pm

Hi Wadester13. So you are a navy submariner. Nice to meet another dolphin wearer. My father fought the Japs in the pacific in WW2 in his U.S. fleet class submarine the Rasher. He was on several other subs too. They won the presidential unit citatation several times. His sub was tied with another sub as having sank the 2nd most tonnage of a U.S. sub in the pacific. Dad trained on the old S boats before the war and has lots of interesting and very dangerous stories he's told me. He was a motor machinest mate and joined the navy prior to peal harbor's attack and stayed in for 6 years from 1941 to 1946. His sub went into nighttime Tokyo harbor thru the nets during the war for a recon and to lay mines and he saw the lights onshore thru the periscope since the captain often let the men look thru it, and dropped off commandos via life rafts at other locations (not at tokyo) which they did on many occasions. Dads sub did a lot of spook stuff with the commandos. His diesel electric fleet class sub also did the preliminary scouting at the ice cap after the war before the atomic powered Natilus went under it using info dads sub got. I remember he told me that one time they were surfacing in what they thought was clear ocean and the captain was turning the periscope when he suddenly yelled out "fire all stern torpedos! Emergency dive!" without even giving the mark. They had surfaced directly in front of a Jap destroyer that was about to ram them from the rear. The sub got under in time and they all heard the explosions of the torps. The Captain took her under and out a safe distance and to periscope depth for a periscope look. They had blown the entire bow section off the destroyer with a "down the throat shot", Very lucky. No, EXTREMELY LUCKY! They didn't have time to aim! They were so close they hit them anyway! Thank God for their excellent training or I wouldn't be here today. I asked dad if the destroyer sank and he told me "son, we downed periscope after one quick look and although we heard explosions coming from the destroyer, we didn't stick around to find out, we got the heck out of there and counted ourselves lucky to be alive". Once they were chased by a Jap task force that depth charged them repeatedly for almost two weeks off and on before giving up. They would submerge during the day and come up at night to charge their batteries. The japs would pick them up and come hit them again and again. They had some damage but got away. Dad said almost everyone came close to having a nervous breakdown on that one. I asked him if it was like the movie "Das Boot" and he said yes. He told me he thought many times on other missions he was going to die but especially this time. He gets a strange look on his face and gets a bit misty when I ask him about that occasion. Hairy stuff. Lots of other stories of his but too long for here. Been writing too long myself! Lol. I missed joining the navy and enlisted with the marines during Viet Nam myself. Oh well, at least I was in the Dept of the Navy! Lol. Never served shipboard though. I was a marine radioman.

You mentioned in your last e mail that you and your friend were contemplating building around a 30ft long sub that you could crawl around in and submerge and take out about 20 miles and crack a few beers and fish. Sounds great but you might want to consider a few things about that kind of sub first.

Go to PSUBS.ORG and look at the many homebuilt subs there, lots of stories and pics. Among the many styles of homebuilt subs are copies of German U boats that are about half size, then many deep diving dry subs, and some wet and ambient and 1 atmosphere subs there. This is an amazing site for homebuilt submarines. You can learn a lot from that site. Some if not all of these homebuilt subs are absolutely amazing. They rival commercial built subs. The money, work and time it would take to build a 30ft long dry sub with a typical steel ring reinforced pressure hull would be prohibitive. I mean BIG bucks! All pressure hull subs that carry passengers have to be certified and that means expensive xraying of the pressure hull and all its welds. The cheapest and easiest thing to build is a wet or ambient half dry sub. You will be limited to scuba depths, but unless you have a particular reason to go deeper than divers could, this should suffice.

Using a torpedo shaped wing tank you can build an inexpensive two man sub that won't break your wallet. Check out this URL again about the silent runner II wet AND ambient dry sub. This is a project that might only take several thousand dollars depending on how much you modify the plans as I am going to do. Here's that URL again. http://www.scubatow.com/sub2.html

With this sub one person can spearfish from the front cockpit while the other pilots it from a half dry cockpit. The plans show it as an electric motor only sub but I am using a longer tank than the plans and am going to include a small diesel engine with snorkel hose for topside cruising and modify the plans by not putting the batteries in the keel but in outside large pvc pipes that I will locate over the top of pvc pipe ballast tanks.

With wet and ambient half dry subs you do not have to worry about pressure hull construction. The only things that need sealing against the water pressure are the diesel engine compartment, the electric motor batteries compartment and the electric motor and it's speed controls. Much easier to make, a lot of fun, and easy on the wallet. When you read about the thousands of dollars and years it takes the sub builders at psub.org to build their subs I think you will agree this is the best bang for your buck and gets you in the water a lot faster too.

Diving Bill.
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Postby Diving Bill » Wed May 05, 2004 4:40 pm

Last post should have read "he stayed in the navy for 6 years from 1941 to 1947".

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Postby Wadester13 » Wed May 05, 2004 5:02 pm

I really enjoyed being on a sub. We didn't do anything too exciting but it was a great time, even all the work. 7am to 6pm days! Normally 6 days a week. The reason I got out was to be closer to my dad, he has a lot of problems but doing good now, and they (the Navy) made a conversion of rates and put a radioman chief in charge of me that had a power trip but I won't get into that. I was in charge of both periscopes, and the entire ESM suite. Maintained and operated the equipment by myself for about 2 1/2 years. I trained 4 people to operate all my equipment in 2 months (a record I think) and 1 school (for a week) for a major deployment. I have received 2 Navy Achievement Metals and many more awards during my time. I know people have put their lives on the line at times but I feel good knowing I gave my 110%! If it wasn't for women, I would probably still be on subs and making my way to becoming a captain.
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Postby Diving Bill » Wed May 05, 2004 6:47 pm

Hi Wadester13

You are among the very specially screened few to wear the dolphins. We as a nation salute you and are proud of your acheivements and dedication you've shown in your naval submariner service. Whether you served during wartime or peacetime does not detract from your acheivements. As far as this nation is concerned you were in harms way just being on a submarine. The fact that you didn't continue in the service in no way lessens what you did in the service.

Now it's time to get a sub of your own! Did you check out that URL I gave you for the two man job I want to build?
Diving Bill.
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Postby Wadester13 » Wed May 05, 2004 7:06 pm

I am still checking the site out. I'm not fond of being in water, that is why I was on a sub, all dry lol. It would be different in a wet sub but fun too. Like you said before, it would be the cheapest way to go and I agree. I guess I will have to stick with my 1/32 sub I'm building now, I haven't won the lottery yet! But if I do win 'the big one' ... I will buy every member a sub that has an average quote of 0.7 posts a day or more (yes you can quote me) but, they will have to add comments to the forum. That was just from the top of my head. I would like to see more people enjoying this hobby.
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Postby Wadester13 » Wed May 05, 2004 7:17 pm

By the way, I play the big lotto every Wednesday and Saturday so start posting!
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