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8-channel transmitter-receiver for submarine

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My 2nd-year project is to build a submersible probe, which is basically a remote control submarine equipped with a ready-made wireless camera. this probe will be used to find something under the water. after the receiver receiver the signal, it will activate the motor.

1. since the signal must travels across 2 mediums (air and water), what type of signal can be used (ultrasonic, VHF, or UHF)?

2. if there is no way to transmit signal across 2 different medium, i am going to raise an antenna to the surface of water to receive the signal. Any comment?

3. what range of frequency is suitable in this project? most RC (remote controlled) toy operate on 27 MHz or 49 MHz.(http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/rc-toy2.htm)

4. most of the transmitter and receiver circuit i have studied online doesn't mention if it is multi-channel or not. As long as i know, each command signal is comprised of a series of pulse signal.(http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/rc-toy3.htm). if i need 8 channels to control the movement of the submarine (1-up, 2-down, 3-left, 4-right, 5-forward, 6-backward, 7 & 8 reserved for extension). how to make this?

5. how does the receiver distinguish the 8 different command signals? do i need a special IC at the receiver?

6. i wish someone can show me the complete schematic diagram for the 8-channels transmitter-receiver circuit. Any comments and suggestion is very welcomed :) thank you!



New Member
I tried to do the exact same thing.
I suggest that you look at the 'video-ray' available by search on the internet. ideally use sonar connumication, but this is prohibitley expensive.
in referance to your questions-
1.no can do
2.antenna are good for shallow water (most common use), but a small submersible can only be used where there is no tidal flow-a lake


Active Member
Hi Janet,

You can transmit radio waves through water, but they
dont go very far, the lower frequencies are better.

You say it will be carrying an on board wireless camera
will you be expected to provide a sender and reciever
for this to operate?

If you will be using this camera to guide your actions
to control the movement of the submarine, then i dont
think that any form of sonics is going to work.

If not, and you are not expected to provide facilities
for the camera, only the controls for the sub, then
a sonic device would probably be the easiest way.

If however you ARE expected to provide sending of
camera images and also control of the sub, then a
floating ariel might be your best bet.

It depends on the envoironment, as aahaskins says,
if its a quiet place, a floating platform with an
umbilical down to the sub would probably suit.

As to the eight way controls, there are many ways
but i would imagine a 3 to 8 way expander would be
fairly easy. A 74 138 has three input points and
gives eight single independant outputs depending
on the state of the three inputs.
That assumes your sender can deliver three tones
or signals for decoding.
They would just go in as binary input,
and the appropriate output would operate.
An absence of input would give an output on '0'

There might be 4 to 16 way demultiplexers available
but i havent seen them.



New Member
Your project is a little bit complex to my understanding. Unlike the normal antenna I think you better choose IR and don't you think it will be better operate outside the water?


Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Perhaps there could be a warning when replying to such old posts, like they have it on AAC?
It tells you that the thread is over xxx days old and you need to check a box that you really wish to reply.

More Coffee

An 8 channel transmitter can be had in FM or 2.4Ghz. Neither will penetrate salt water ,saltwater will require a tether
Hobby King can set you up really cheap.Turnigy or Hobby King radio's...Servocity can hook you up with CCD camera's..

Being submersible,Id build the unit with positive buoyancy in mind ,at signal loss it would just bob back up to the surface.
Of those 8 channels u can expect 4 to 5 channel to run speed controllers for the motor drives...
For more information ..long into this group. http://www.rcgroups.com/rov-remotely-operated-vehicles-709/ theres apile of builds and knowledge there.
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