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article imageSchool teen Justin Beckerman builds submarine that dives 30ft

By JohnThomas Didymus     May 26, 2013 in Technology
Mendham - A New Jersey high school teenager Justin Beckerman, has built a one-man submarine, his latest invention. Beckerman's nine-foot-long, 1,300-pound submarine, The Nautilus, can dive to a depth of 30 feet.
Beckerman has been building things since he was two. When he was 12, he built remote-controlled vacuum cleaners. At 14, he designed and built headsets than can play DVDs. He has also built miniature model jet engines.
According to My Fox New Jersey, the Mendham High School student said that at first, his father was skeptical when he announced his plan to build a fully operational submarine. But he soon convinced him and got him to help fund the project. The Daily Mail reports Beckerman said: "I wanted to see what I could build and figure out how I could build it."
He built the submarine from scavenged components, including donations from friends and neighbors. Hid dad also took him on trips to electronic recycling facilities.
According to Gizmodo, the body of the submarine was built using a nine-foot long corrugated plastic drain pipe. He sealed the ends using marine-grade waterproof glue.
The sub has ballast tanks with sensors to allow it to dive and float, regulators and valves from an old soda machine, drive motors from an old fishing boat, improvised communication systems, 200 watts LED lighting that provide illumination in dark underwater surrounding, a wireless camera, 2,000 ft of wire, batteries and a Plexiglas dome top from sky lights.
Justin Beckerman s submarine
Justin Beckerman's submarine
Justin Beckerman/Ken Beckerman
The wire is part of the vehicle's circuitry that powers the lights. The sub also has a radio and breathing systems.
It was not easy making the sub operational. When he first tried to submerge it he had to call his younger brothers to help keep it down and stable by climbing on top of it. Not a very hi-tech method for submerging a sub you might think, but Beckerman hopes to improve his machine. He said: "I want it to be more of an actual machine that works, and then start experimenting with things like a robotic arm, or other things. I want to turn it into something that can actually be useful."
Justin Beckerman s submarine
Justin Beckerman's submarine
Justin Beckerman/Ken Beckerman
This is not Beckerman's first attempt to build a submarine. His last attempt, a submarine made out of plastic containers and duct tape, collapsed under pressure.
After failure of previous attempts, he was delighted at his success. He said: "When I was under water it was just a completely different experience. I could see through the water. All of the noises became almost silent. I just had the one fan in the submarine running and the pump, and it just kind of muffled. It was really cool."
Ken Beckerman s submarine
Ken Beckerman's submarine
Justin Beckerman/Ken Beckerman
Business Insider reports that Ken, Beckerman's father, said he noticed his son's talents early enough and provided the space and opportunity to tinker to his heart's contents. Ken also acknowledged the tolerance of his local high school which gave him the opportunity to follow his heart. His father said: "We could have forced him to be a baseball player, or something, and that would have been a disaster for everyone."
His added: "[Justin] will tell me something is going to work, and to me it doesn't make any sense or its not possible. Instead of telling him that it can't happen or it's not real, I just let it sit... I'm supportive in letting him do his thing, and letting him dream."
Gizmodo reports that it took the young engineer just over six months to build the sub from salvaged components. He estimates it cost him about $1,000 to complete the project
Beside his engineering achievement, he also built an award-winning light sculpture for his school project. He used phosphorescent light bulbs recovered from his school's computer screens and scanners.
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