The Yellow Submarine

The belly of the submarine.

The Challenge: To build a submarine that would dive, move forward, move backward, and surface.

Technical Approach: : I built a radio-controlled submarine which dived and surfaced by pumping water out of a ballast tank, was driven forward and backward by a DC motor, and could steer with a custom-machined aluminum rudder.

Selected Design Features: The submarine was built in a compartmental fashion, which was important in preventing the entire machine from flooding as the result of a single leak. Five separate compartments were used:

All compartments were interconnected by wiring studs and fluid valves, meaning that any compartment could be removed and replaced without needing to cut any wiring or tubing, thus circumventing a potential source of leaks.

The Control Box The Pump Box
The control box. The pump box.
Showing The Ballast Tank The Rudder
A pencil-box turned ballast-tank. Up close and personal with the rudder.