Pro4 Skid

Moderator: Jeff Snyder

Pro4 Skid

Postby Jeff Snyder » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:46 pm

Figured I would let everyone see a new skid I am working up for my Pro4.


It is an HDPE skid that bolts directly to the existing skid for the Pro4. We machined holes into the existing ballast skid on the Pro4 that are backed with machined aluminum blocks to thread 10-32 stainless screws into. The entire external skid attaches to the existing skid with four holes.This allows the weight to be distributed across the factory skid without taking everything and the machining is easier because we don't need to match to the dome retainer rings; rather, we just drill the two holes into the bottom of the skid and. Polyethylene is fairly easy to use in that it is neutrally bouyant (-ish), you can cut it with a jig saw or a router - although it has a tendency to melt instead of cut - and it is very durable. I bought several sheets of HDPE from U.S. Plastics.

The motivation for this skid is driven by a few requirements I have.

1. I have my BlueView 900-130 upgraded with BlueView's new VDSL option for communications. The VDSL board is actually mounted inside of the subsea housing for the BlueView 900-130, freeing me of the integration kit that is standard from the factory. This means that I need the ability to mount the BlueView sonar to the sub AND add some additional buoyancy for the sonar. BTW - the new VDSL option for the BlueView is great. It appears to improve the network connectivity with the head, and it appears to substantially improve the frame rate of the sonar.

2. I want to be able to add additional external lights to the system. You can see pictured two lights that I purchased on Ebay Russell Coffield is an offshore work-class ROV supervisor that, in his spare time fabricated up these lights. They are rated to 300 meters, they can run off of 12 VDC or 24 VDC (I have them tapped into the 12 VDC circuit), and they are fairly bright - between 700 and 1000 lumens per light. The VideoRay lights are still brighter, but there is a big advantage to getting the lights away from the primary video camera by reducing backscatter, plus they are more focused than the VideoRay lights allowing me to better illuminate my subjects. Plus, the price is really nice. Check them out.

3. Having an exterior skid gives me the ability to mount additional lighting, instruments, syntactic foam, cameras, etc. So if you are looking to re-scale your ROV to do other things, then an open-framed skid gives you some footprint to strap goodies onto the vehicle.

Yes - the skid adds drag. But the advantages of extra lighting, cameras, etc currently outweigh the drag issue.

This is just a prototype, as if it isn't evident by the drywall screws and the zip ties. But it took me all of 4-hours to cut and assemble. As the next version comes together later this week, I'll post more updates.
Jeff Snyder
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:22 pm
Location: Rhode Island, USA

Re: Pro4 Skid

Postby interspec » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:46 am

Please note the ebay store is now closed as referenced to Jeffs article

our website is

blog is and the rov group is


Russell Kjell Coffield TMET CTech EngTech
+1 250 999 2084
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:31 pm

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