Insights Newsletter October 2022


Do you like helping people learn?  Demand for VideoRay training is stronger than ever and growing.  We are recruiting well-qualified individuals to serve as certified instructors on a contract basis.  Requirements include VideoRay ROV operational and maintenance experience (prefer Mission Specialist over older models), operational experience with VideoRay accessories, and the ability to teach.  Must be willing to travel.  Fluency in additional language(s) besides English is a plus.  If you are interested and would like more information, email your resume/qualifications to training@videoray.com.

We will still be here to support you, but we hope it is by doing a better job up front rather than after a problem occurs. 


As always, please share your comments, recommendations, and requests to: insights@videoray.com.

VideoRay’s robot in action.

Virtual VideoRay Insights Presentation Series

October 20th, 2022

Troubleshooting Primer, Tips and Tools

10am – 10:30am EDT

Andrew Longua, VideoRay

Properly operating and maintaining your ROV system is crucial to your mission’s success, but what do you do when unexpected technical complications inhibit this success? VideoRay strives to provide effective and user-friendly diagnostics that can get your system operational and back in the water. This presentation will cover the basic principles of effective diagnostics, troubleshooting materials that VideoRay currently offers, as well as an exciting look into a new, comprehensive diagnostic tool in the planning and development stages.

Future Insights Presentation Events

Events are scheduled the third Thursday of every month

November 17, 2022

Using VideoRay ROVs to Teach Field Courses and Facilitate Student Research Projects

Learn how VideoRay ROVs can be used to allow students to explore and research aquatic and marine ecosystems.  Project examples that will be shared include studying aquatic invasive plants and animals, changes in lake bottom contours, the amount and types of trash found on lake bottoms, and shipwrecks.

Presenter: Christopher Wells, Ed.D, College of Education and Social Work, Aurora University

Tether – Your ROV’s Lifeline

This presentation explores VideoRay’s various tether options and provides recommendations for when to use each type of tether and maximum workable lengths.  Also discussed are various rigging methods and techniques for deep dives or working in strong currents. VideoRay’s Defender includes the option to use onboard batteries, which enhances the tether options by eliminating the need for power conductors and makes the tether thinner.  This hybrid power solution is a first in the industry and the possible configurations will be explained, including the pros and cons of each configuration.    

Presenter:  TBD

December 15, 2022

Mission Recording and Playback

This presentation provides an in-depth look at the Mission Specialist recording features and procedures.  Items discussed will be video text overlay options, the files created during recording, modifying the storage location and file naming conventions, audio annotations, file size estimations and the new chunk split recording to prevent file issues in case of power loss.  Playback in Greensea and sending files to others will also be discussed.

Presenter:  TBD


Presentations may be added to the above dates and beyond – check the schedule for updates and recordings of past presentations [here].

Understanding Mission Specialist Power Distribution

The Mission Specialist Operator Control Console can produce about 2.1 KW of power @ 400 VDC after AC/DC conversion and efficiency losses.  Losses in the tether will reduce that further at the ROV depending upon how much and what type of tether is used.

The ROV’s power module includes three DC/DC converter circuits that produce 1,500 W @ 48 VDC, 300 W @ 24 VDC and 120 W @ 12 VDC.  Each one of these is independent and protected from overcurrent.  The 48 VDC is used on the power module via the two 5 pin ports for the thrusters and LEDs or other high-power devices.  The 12 VDC and 24 VDC are passed through to the communications module where there are 5 external 9 pin ports for the Defender and 3 for the Pro 5.  The total power at each voltage level is shared by these 5 or 3 ports, so the combined power demand from the attached accessories cannot exceed the rating at each voltage level.

It is possible to add additional ports for connecting more devices, but the total power available at each voltage level will not change.  You simply get more data channels.

Refilling Mission Specialist Thruster Oil

Performing preventative maintenance on your vehicle is essential to ensure that it is always fully operational. One of these measures is to ensure that your vehicle’s thrusters are filled with an acceptable volume of oil. The easiest way to check a thruster’s oil level is to inspect the thruster’s telltale. The telltale should protrude about 6 to 9mm from the thruster housing. As oil is depleted the telltale should recede into the thruster, which can occur naturally over time or from damage to the thruster, in which case it may leak more rapidly. Make sure to inspect the thruster before refilling it, as rapid loss of oil is a clear sign of a damaged thruster and should be returned to VideoRay for repair or replacement.

The refilling procedure is easy and documented in the Mission Specialist Thruster Oil Refill Instructions.

You can order Thruster Oil Refill kits from VideoRay (Part Number, 72851).  

Operator Tip of the Month – Lessons from the field

When you start a dive with the vehicle on the surface, the vertical thruster(s) may initially spray water like a fountain since there is little water above the ROV to resist the thruster effort.  Once below, the vertical thrust will be more immediately effective.  For precise vertical control, you should gradually increase the vertical thrust and be prepared for a sudden increase in heave as the ROV transitions through the surface zone from little vertical resistance to full resistance from the water above.  At that point, you may need to reduce the vertical thrust if you want to maintain a constant descent rate.  If you are only interested in diving to a work site quickly, full vertical down thrust from the start may be appropriate.

Technician Tip of the Month – Lessons from the shop

ROV software.

The vehicle network tab in Greensea Workspace is an important diagnostic tool to determine the condition of the modules of the ROV. Each box represents a specific module with the relevant information such as the fault status, network id number, RPM, and the voltage. When the module is communicating and working properly, it’s border will be green.  A gray border means no communication and a red boarder indicates a problem with communications.  The Fault indicator is green if all is well and red if it detects another problem other than communication.  A red Fault indicator might just require a recycling of the 400V Main Power. If a red Fault persists, the faults can be examined and cleared using the vr_debug_putt.py utility program.  Note that the camera information in this diagnostics page only applies to the camera tilt, not the camera focus or zoom or video signal.

FAQ of the Month – Be “in the know”

Q:   Is my Pro 4 Tether Deployment System (TDS) compatible with my new Mission Specialist systems?

A:   No. The tether on the TDS is compatible with all VideoRay ROVs; however, the Pro 4 TDS is not rated to the higher voltage use on the Mission Specialist vehicles.  As mentioned, the tether is compatible, but if the tether is old, the connectors might have some water leakage and with the higher voltage of the Mission Specialist systems, this can lead to some communications issues or tripping of the LIM.  We recommend replacing old tethers if you are upgrading your Pro 4 to a Mission Specialist system, unless you are sure they are in very good condition.

Survey Question of the Month – Be counted

What are your most valuable items that you bring with you on your operations, not counting the ROV system or ROV accessories? 

User Project of the MonthBe engaging

Email us information about your VideoRay project for a chance to win a VideoRay T-shirt!*

This month, we feature project photos from various tank inspection projects conducted by IUS.

Integrated Underwater Services specializes in Commercial Diving services, ROV inspection of marine and underwater civil infrastructure and public works projects in the Pacific Northwest, as well as technical consulting and client representation for diving and ROV projects.

IUS has been using their Pro 4 since 2020.

Operating ROV
Deploying a Pro 4 in a potable water tank.

Various internal tank structures and lumber debris recovered from a tank.

View of the Pro 4 inside of a tank.

Email us information about your project for a chance to win a VideoRay T-shirt!*  

Product of the Month – Be informed

Expeditionary Reel and Tether

Expeditionary Reel and ROV tether

The Expeditionary Reel and tether, used in conjunction with the Subsea Vehicle Battery, provides unmatched mobility and efficiency. Lightweight tethers are available in either Copper or Fiber Optic versions.

For more information email sales at sales@videoray.com.

Quote of the Month – Be amused

“Is it working now?”  

The diagnostics equivalent of “Can you hear me now?”


Email us a quote for a chance to win a VideoRay T-shirt!*  

Photo of the Month – Be inspired

Defender at Lake Conroe with Harris County Sheriff’s Office

Photo by Brandon Turner

Email us a caption or a photo for a chance to win a VideoRay T-shirt!*  

Last month’s photo caption winner

“Say Ahh” 


The Pointy End of an Alligator Up Close

Image from South Florida Water Management District Training Exercise

Trivia Tidbit of the Month – Be stumped

What is the maximum depth a Mission Specialist Defender has been operated?

A. 2,000 ft (609 m)

B. 1,500 ft (457 m)

C. 2,500 ft (762 m)

D. 3,500 ft (1,066 m)

Answers at the bottom of the page.

VideoRay Training

In-person classes are being offered in Key Largo, FL and at VideoRay’s San Diego, CA office.

On-site classes are also available.

Live virtual classes are now being offered…  anywhere you want.

Self-paced virtual training lessons can be found in VideoRay’s Training Library any time you want. Virtual Training Library

Email training@videoray.com or call 610-458-3000 and ask to speak to the Training Administrator for more information about              in-person classes.

Upcoming Classes

  • Pro 5 Basic Operator, Key Largo, FL, October 18-20, 2022
  • Pro 4 Basic Operator, San Diego, CA, October 25-26, with additional Sonar Day, October 27, 2022
  • Tether Termination Course, Pottstown, PA, October 31, 2022
  • Mission Specialist Advanced Maintenance, Pottstown, PA, November 1-3 2022
  • Mission Specialist Basic Operator, San Diego, November 14-16, 2022
  • Pro 4 Basic Operator, Key Largo, FL, November 15-16, with additional Sonar Day, November 17, 2022
  • Pro 4 Advanced Maintenance, Pottstown, PA, December 1-2, 2022
  • Pro 4 Basic Operator, San Diego, CA, December 6-7, with additional Sonar Day, December 8, 2022
  • Pro 5 Basic Operator, Key Largo, FL, December 13-15, 2022


See more class dates and register online 

Meet VideoRay at these Upcoming Events

  • DEMA Show 2022, Nov 1-4, 2022, Orlando, FL
  • Indo Defence Expo & Forum, Nov 2-5, 2022, Jakarta, Indonesia

Dealer Spotlight

Marine Solutions, based in Cape Town, South Africa was founded in 1999 to support the offshore industry in Southern Africa. Our support now extends globally. Our main areas of operation are:

  • Sales
  • ROVs & associated equipment support
  • ROV technical and pilot training
  • Cable assembly, manufacturing and connection retermination


Our strength is the combined in-depth practical and technical knowledge gained from working in vastly different fields within the Engineering discipline.

Trivia Tidbit Answer

     D. 3,500 ft (1,066 m)

* – Each month, one submission in each category will be selected and the submitter will receive a VideoRay T-shirt.  Please include your T-shirt size with your submission to expedite its delivery.  Use the respective links above to enter your submission.  VideoRay reserves the right to select its own submission.  Submitters agree that they have rights to the content they submit and to allow VideoRay unlimited rights to use and publish and their submission(s).