Thether Interface

Fathom-S Tether Interface Board Set

The Fathom-S boards provide low-latency video, a serial port connection, and remote power on/off switch for tethers of 300+m length. Use with the Fathom tether or a Cat5+ network cable.

The Fathom-S Tether Interface Board Set provides the communication and video signals needed for an ROV. It interfaces with the Fathom tether or any standard Cat5 cable with four twisted pairs of wire. It has the following features:

Through the Tether
  • Low-latency analog video using a differential video amplifier for crisp, colorful video over 300+m of cable. It’s compatible with any camera that has a standard NTSC or PAL video output.
  • Long-distance serial connection using RS-422 differential amplifiers for high-speed, reliable communication over 600+m of cable
  • Power on/off switch allows you to switch power on and off for small electronics electronics. For high power switching, this can interface to a high-current power switching board.
Topside Interface
  • Screw terminals for tether connection
  • RCA video output compatible with any NTSC/PAL display or video capture card
  • USB serial port to easily connect to a computer
  • TTL serial port (5V) for direct interfacing to a computer or microcontroller
  • Power-on is switched on when connected through USB or powered otherwise
  • Jumper for reset-on-RTS to allow Arduino microcontrollers to be programmed through the tether
  • Optional external power input (7-20V)
ROV-side Interface
  • Screw terminals for tether connection
  • Header pin connection for analog camera
  • 12V regulator for analog camera, accepting up to 20V input
  • TTL serial port (3.3V logic, 5V tolerant) compatible with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and DroneCode autopilots
  • DroneCode Mini compatible connectors for quick connection to Pixhawk and other DroneCode autopilots
  • 5V regulator to power low-current electronics such as an Arduino
  • Jumper to enable/disable tether power switch

The Fathom-S Tether Interface Board Set is open-source and open-hardware, so the schematics and board files are free to view, modify, and reuse. The electrical schematic and board layout are open-source and the design files are available below.

Contents
  • 1 x Topside Interface Board
  • 1 x ROV Interface Board
  • 2 x 2mm jumper

Fathom-X Tether Interface Board Set

The Fathom-X boards provide a robust high-speed, long-distance Ethernet connection over a single pair of wires. Enables HD video and high-bandwidth data over 300m+ tether lengths.

The Fathom-X Tether Interface Boards provide a high-speed, long-distance Ethernet connection to an ROV or other remote platform. They’re designed for use with the Fathom tether, standard Cat5 cable, or even a single twisted pair of wires. This board uses the HomePlug module, which leverages the robust HomePlug AV (IEEE-1901) standard for sending Ethernet through powerlines. It has the following features:

  • 80 Mbps Ethernet over two wires (per our own bandwidth testing)
  • 300m+ tether length capability (published capability of 2000m)
  • Plug-and-play with no setup involved
  • Onboard switching power supply with 7-28V input range
  • USB Mini-B connector for powering directly from a computer on the topside
  • Indicator LEDs for power, link, and data
  • Included 6″ Ethernet cable for connection to onboard computer

Unlike our Fathom-S Tether Interface, with Fathom-X the exact same board is used on each end of the tether. One on the ROV and one on the topside. You can even connect more than two of these boards to the same tether lines. (Not sure why you’d want that… two ROVs on one tether?!)

The Fathom-X Tether Interface Board Set is open-source and open-hardware, so the schematics and board files are free to view, modify, and reuse. The electrical schematic and board layout are open-source and the design files are available below. If you do choose to make your own version, we sell the HomePlug module alone to assist with that.

Contents
  • 2 x Fathom-X Tether Interface Board
  • 2 x HomePlug Module
  • 1 x 6″ Ethernet Cable

Fathom-E Tether Interface Board Set

The Fathom-E boards provide an easy way to use the Fathom tether or a Cat5+ network cable for standard Ethernet communication.

The Fathom-E Tether Interface Board Set is a simple and affordable tether interface board. It basically just connects the tether to an RJ45 Ethernet jack without the need for connector crimping. The tether screw terminal interfaces with the Fathom tether or any standard Cat5 cable with four twisted pairs of wire. It has the following features:

  • 100 Mbps Ethernet over up to 100m of tether
  • Screw terminal for easy tether connection
  • RJ45 jack and included 6″ Ethernet cable
  • Matching screw holes with Fathom-S/X for easy upgrade

If you need a tether interface for longer tether lengths (>100m) or you want to have more tether pairs available for other purposes, check out the Fathom-X Tether Interface.

The Fathom-E Tether Interface Boards are open-source and open-hardware, so the schematics and board files are free to view, modify, and reuse. The electrical schematic and board layout are open-source and the design files are available below.

Contents
  • 2 x Fathom-E Tether Interface Boards
  • 1 x 6″ Ethernet Cable
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