Fiber Optic Cable Reel for the ROV Tether

Designed by:  Dan Scoville

Machined by:  Dan Scoville

Goal:  Make a cable reel that will hold my ROVs fiber optic tether and contain a fiber optic rotary joints (FORJ.)

The design for this project is shown in the picture above.  This is a hand operated reel that will hold the fiber optic cable that makes the ROVs tether.  The reel has a fiber optic rotary joint so the cable can be reeled in and out without disconnecting the cable. 

I stated with a large rod of delrin to make the hub for the reel.  The first thing I did was cut the outside diameter size.  Then made a couple cuts for the sides of the reel to locate on and finally bored the inside out to make room for the bushings, axel and shaft to hold the FORJ. 

Finish axle

Fiber optic cable reel design
Fiber optic cable reel design
Fiber optic cable reel design
Fiber optic cable reel design
Fiber optic cable reel design
Fiber optic cable reel design
Cable reel hub machining
Cable reel hub machining

Machining the hub for the fiber optic cable reel

Cable reel hub machining
Cable reel hub machining

Machining the hub for the fiber optic cable reel

Cable reel hub machining
Cable reel hub machining

Machining the hub for the fiber optic cable reel

Fiber optic cable reel axel
Fiber optic cable reel axel

Fiber optic cable reel axel 303 stainless steel round stock blank

Fiber optic cable reel axel
Fiber optic cable reel axel

Fiber optic cable reel axel boring out the internal dimensions

Fiber optic cable reel axel
Fiber optic cable reel axel

Fiber optic cable reel axel machined to outside diameter dimensions

Fiber optic cable reel axel
Fiber optic cable reel axel

Fiber optic cable reel axel cutting the trheads

Next I machined the axel out of a piece of 303 stainless steel.  This grade of stainless cut surprisingly easily and the finished part came out pretty nice.

Cutting an arced slot for the tether to sit in with my home made CNC XY table mounted on the mill