Diving has always been an activity of all sorts. From catching fish for seafood to exploring uncharted underwater territories, people went below sea level for both survival and leisure. Many people, including marine biologists, have spent their time on scuba diving for work and research purposes. Other individuals have dedicated their lives on free diving, or diving without scuba gear, as a hobby. An essential part of diving is how you move through the water like a sea creature.
In This Guide
- Dynamics Swimming and Underwater Propulsion
- Diver Propulsion Vehicle
- DIY Diver Propulsion Vehicle
- Tips and Reminders Before You Get Started
- What’s Next
Dynamics Swimming and Underwater Propulsion
Whether you are a certified diver or not, it is essential for people to understand how they should move their body and swim properly underwater. The four critical elements in swimming are buoyancy, thrust, drag, and water surface. Buoyancy is characterized by the difference in density between the water and an object. The lighter or less dense an object is as opposed to the density of the water, the more likely the object on the water would float.
Thrust and drag are directly proportional to each other. Thrust involves the forward motion of an object, while drag involves forces that slow down an object that moves through the water such as pressure and skin friction.
Thrust is a force that a swimmer has the most control. Therefore, a diver can control his or her velocity underwater. The problems of manual propulsion or mobility by the human body are the amount of energy that is needed to endure drag forces over time and human anatomy, which is not made for underwater movement.
Parts of human limitations are the inability to breathe underwater and the difficulty to control the body’s buoyancy. This is where underwater propulsions come in handy. While a diver uses breathing apparatus to prolong the time spent underwater, he or she may use an underwater propulsion gear, or Diver Propulsion Vehicle, to enhance thrust force and counteract buoyant force and drag force.
Diver Propulsion Vehicle
A great way to exhaust your thrill and curiosity when diving is by bringing along a Diver Propulsion Vehicle or DPV. Another term for this equipment is called an underwater scooter. What makes the DPV exciting and fun to use is how you may see yourself riding on a miniature submarine. Just like a submarine, the DPV enables a diver to glide through the water at a constant and manageable speed. Furthermore, it relatively reduces the effort that a diver would have exerted without the DPV.
The DPV is made up of components that allow the vehicle to propel forward using water. The components of the DPV are electrically powered using a rechargeable battery. Most importantly, all the components and electrical wirings are waterproof and can withstand water pressure as it reaches to lower depths. The DPV is commonly used for embarking in underwater exploration and observation. From discovering an underwater cave to investigating a shipwreck or ruins, the DPV is an invaluable tool for any diver.
DIY Diver Propulsion Vehicle
Diving is open to anyone, but not everyone can scuba dive. Using scuba diving gear, including the DPV, comes with a cost. Many diving schools and companies rent and sell scuba diving equipment, but only a limited number of people scuba dive for a living. People who only wish to enjoy diving occasionally may find a DPV or scuba diving gear unreasonable or impractical. There are also others who built their underwater scooters from scratch. Here’s a breakdown for building DIY underwater propulsion:
Step 1: Use an Existing DPV Model as Reference
There are several resources and schematics of DIY underwater propulsion on the internet that people have built and tested. Starting your DIY project from scratch requires a good amount of research to gather the most reliable and credible information. You can start by looking up on the actual DPV that used by divers and diving schools. Then, you can check out the DIY underwater propulsions or DPVs of other divers to get an idea of the construction process. Once you have a clear picture of how a DPV works, then you could start the construction phase.
Step 2: Pick the Proper Materials for Your DPV
In building your DIY underwater propulsion, you should consider the type or scale of your model. A standard or medium-scaled vehicle may require more components and more durable materials than a small-scale or wrist-sized device. For hardware materials, you’ll need a propeller, nozzle, shaft, and body or frame. Electrical components include a battery, motors, servo, and speed controller. Lastly, you should make sure that the components in your DIY underwater propulsion are properly secured with water sealants and other waterproofing materials.
Step 3: Measure the Dimensions and Calculate the Power Output
The testing phase is the most anticipated step of building DIY underwater propulsion. More importantly, the electrical output of the battery should be able to propel the vehicle or device with the proper measurements. The exact proportions and dimensions should prevent the battery from wasting power. One tip for power efficiency is to build a frame with a streamline or symmetrical shape. Calculations involve battery life and object density or the buoyancy of your DIY underwater propulsion.
Tips and Reminders Before You Get Started
Now that you have an idea of how underwater propulsion works, there are other considerations to look at before building your DIY DPV. Here are some tips and reminders to consider:
Download DPV Blueprints from the Internet
In Step 1 of building DIY underwater propulsion, it emphasizes on the collecting information and following a model. Moreover, online references also serve as bases of comparison to compare notes and improve your model. A few examples you can refer to are Underwater Wrist Thruster and DIY Underwater Scooter Pistol Thing.
Talk about Underwater Propulsion Equipment with Divers
Primary information is the most reliable resource to consider. You can talk about your project with certified divers and diving enthusiasts alike to get their opinions and suggestions. You can also look for online forums that tackle DIY underwater propulsion.
Stick to Eco-Friendly Materials as Much as Possible
The most rewarding part of diving in the ocean is the underwater life. Divers are visitors who let themselves inside the territory of untamed nature. The DIY underwater propulsion that you built should respect the virginity beneath the ocean as much as possible. Access to clean and recyclable plastics and metals are available to anyone who wants it.
Having the knowledge and resources to build DIY underwater propulsion is a privilege. At the same time, diving can become a personal experience that you created and achieved. The more ocean floor you can cover with your DIY DPV, the more rewarding life can be.