The Test Rig

 None of the components I will be using in the Real Thing have published TTF (Time To Failure) figures.
Thus I don't know how long each of these components will actually continue to work, running continuously, before failing.
The Great Circle distance from Sydney, NSW to Raglan, New Zealand is 2,200 km. Assuming a speed of 2 kms per hour, this would require  at least 1,100 hours continuous duty for each component
I will be building a test rig that will allow me to run and test motors, servos, bearings,  navigation, colision avoidance, communications and control programs and systems.

This Test Rig is a barge, approx 60 cm square, allowing me to test in our pool and will use 12V power from shore

The testing will consist of continuous running of motors, steering and computer circuits, with results sent back to Thingspeak for monitoring


  • Click here  Test Rig Monitor to see the metrics that will be collected and monitored through Thingspeak

 Tasks for The Test Rig

  1. Set up Comms CPU
  2. Set up thingspeak alert to send an email
  3. Connect and test Serial Comms
  4. Design Circuit for Power Monitor board
  5. Set up power monitor CPU
  6. Test send values through Serial
  7. Program Power Monitor
  8. Test Power Monitor in situ
  9. Package Power Monitor/Comms
  10. Connect Power
  11. Test Sat Comms
  12. Set up AIS CPU
  13. Test NMEA2000 commands from QK-A028 AIS receiver
  14. Program to decode NMEA2000 commands and extract boat data and GPS values
  15. Program to use other boat data to decide if evasive action is required and if so what action
  16. Code send data from AIS CPU to Power CPU and steering cpu via ESP Now
  17. Setup Steering/Navigation CPU
  18. Test full communications between CPUS, and Wifi to Thingspeak
  19. Package all the modules into waterproof containers and install in the Test Rig
  20. Weld and seal Hull, make and weld propeller protection bars
  21. Test everything for 2 months in the pool

Test Rig Design

    600mm square base, 250mm high, 250mm deep bow, aluminium 3mm plate

Comms Mast
    The mast will hold the AIS ( for collision Avoidance), GPS, WIFI (to Shore), Rockblock+ Satellite Comms and Electronic Compass

    T200 Thruster

    Worm Drive and Panto-graph to rotate the 

Control, Management and Comms
    Three ESP32 CPUS will perform the functions of power monitoring, navigation, collision avoidance, communications, steering