QGC Software Update

Blue Robotics just announced a software update that does not require opening the electronics enclosure. Summary of changes as follows:

  • Ability to display camera tilt angle, lights level, tether turns and more in QGC
  • GPS input support in companion, including support for the Water Linked Underwater GPS Developer Kit
  • Fewer default pre-arm checks
  • Acceptable compass calibration threshold has been relaxed
  • Pilot input failsafe timeout increased from 1 second to 3 seconds (‘Lost manual control’ message)
  • Gyro calibration is disabled at boot by default
  • Support for the Bar100 pressure sensor
  • Companion login changed
  • Allow selecting a custom logo to display in the QGC gui

The software update links can be found HERE on Blue Robotics’ forum

Shipping lithium batteries

For anyone travelling with their BlueROV2, you will need to plan ahead and send your lithium-ion batteries in advance to your final destination.

Within Australia, Li-ion and LiPo batteries are considered Dangerous Goods and will almost always travel by ground. For details on how to ship, see LiPo battery guidelines at Australia Post and their latest Dangerous Goods Packing Guide. You will most likely need to partially discharge the batteries before they are shipped in order to meet AusPost’s limit of 100 Watt-hour per battery, in addition to completing a Dangerous Goods declaration.

For international travel, you will be subject to IATA – Lithium Battery Guidelines and your chosen logistics company’s rules. Most international logistics companies have lithium battery guidelines published on their websites. For example, FedEx has a Lithium Battery Wizard to help you navigate their requirements.

Most shipping regulations are based on the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) for lithium batteries which was most recently updated in 2017. The IATA website also offers an updated Guidance Document for help on compliance with 2017 definitions, classification, exceptions, and prohibitions.

And don’t forget to pack your charger!

Squealing T200 tips

See Blue Robotics Forum for the entire thread but here is the short version:

We saw odd wear on a T200 thruster prop and found that the grub screw was loose, allowing excessive lateral travel of the prop on its shaft. The telltale signs seem to be squealing or excessive lateral movement.

We learnt that it is a simple process to check for excessive travel or lack of travel and tighten grub screw by removing the rear cap where the power cables attach, locate collar and spin the prop to access the grub screw. The shaft seems well positioned with about 1mm extending beyond the collar.

Blue Robotics said that the setscrew in the shaft collar can loosen over time, and should be checked and re-tightened periodically. A bit of non-permanent threadlock can also help with this, as long as it is applied sparingly and does not interfere with removal of the setscrew for the recommended maintenance. Transportation by ground or plane can introduce vibrations which speed this loosening up. Removing the nosecone on the front of the thruster is the easiest way to access it.

We suggest regularly checking prop shaft lateral travel on your T200s.

BlueROV2 software updates

Hi everyone. We just want to remind you that Blue Robotics is continually improving both QGC and ArdSub software for the BlueROV2. When you upgrade, you should upgrade both on-board and topside software at the same time so functionality and compatibility are maintained.

The most recent versions are ArduSub version 3.5 and QGC b2c3264 released in late May. Upgrade instructions are available through Blue Robotics‘ website or at ArduSub.

And remember to SAVE YOUR PARAMETERS BEFORE UPGRADING.