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Posted by WalneyCol | Jan 17, 2012 @ 07:37 AM | 4,343 Views
The Seafax project was originally intended to be nothing more than an AX25 controlled seaworthy model boat carrying a stills camera with which I could take offshore photos of the island on which I live.

The project has since been expanded to include video capability not only from the surface vessel itself but also underwater via a tethered UAV which will be carried on (and deployed at will from) the surface vessel. I originally intended to control Seafax via an AX25 packet radio link on a UK amateur band but no sooner had I got started on the build than I realised I'd need a handy way of testing things so decided to install standard r/c equipment at least for the duration of the physical development stage.

A video diary of the entire build can be followed on http://www.youtube.com/user/seafax and this is the most recent hull test footage which demonstrates what I'd describe as the absolute bare minimum of wind and wave conditions it should be capable of operating under... no proper waterproofing will be done until all the electronics have been finalised (control electronics, anchor and other winches, multiple FPV cameras (etc etc etc)) but I envisage the final project as being capable of handling 15mph winds large swells and 3 foot waves (many of which may momentarily swamp the entire vessel). Whether I'll manage to reach that goal remains to be seen.

Seafax USV in a 6 knot current Josh's Go (3 min 3 sec)

Since that video was taken I've been busy devising a way of...Continue Reading