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Discussion in 'News' started by paulajayne, Nov 20, 2014.
Filmed by quad.
I'd hate to see his WHITE phantom go down in all that WHITE powder. Good luck finding it! This is an excellent use of what our birds can do, but beware, those conditions didn't look good for flying. According to DJI, you should never fly in sub-freezing temperatures.
I fly all the time in well below zero no issues
The key here is moisture level, and the fact that quads can't go too high. You lose 2C per 1000ft in altitude, making this nearly negligible for quad flyers, esp if you are following the rules of staying under 400 feet.
About subzero temperatures, I've not much experience with my phantom, because I only have it since summer, but I have long experience with computers so I have a couple tips that can be important here:
- first, about condensation, the problem is not when you are flying, is when you put it again inside home or inside the car: if the phantom is cold, and you put it inside a warm environment, condensation would appear. Don't use it then! Try to help it dry faster near (not too close) to a heater, in a dry room (avoid kitchen, bathroom, etc).
- second, about lithium batteries and freezing temperatures: while cold doesn't break lithium batteries permanently, they last less time, and can stop working at all if they freeze, so don't let them outside if you are not using them. Fortunately, they will recover their capacity when they unfreeze (while a hot environment would damage them permanently). If you are in the field and have several batteries, keep the spare ones inside the house, the car, or close to your body while they are not used. Don't let them in a backpack over the snow because they could freeze. Fortunately, while in use, the batteries tend to warm up, so that will help them, but if they are exposed to very cold temps, the cold wind from the propellers could freeze them while flying and suddenly stop! So keep an eye on that! And of course, don't charge them when they are frozen or cold! They can have both problems at the same time: they will store less energy, and can have condensation, and nobody wants liquid on their batteries! Wait until they are at room temperature!
Almarma has a good point about condensation. Just look what happens to your glasses after being outside in the cold and coming back into your warm house. You have to pull those glasses off. I would not like that much moisture all over and/or inside my quad. Limited flying this Winter in Michigan.
I have just cancelled a contract on my High Level Order Picking trucks because they could not work in -22 C and then come out on to my battery bay to be charged, because the condensate caused many electrical problems.
I have had an operator have to use the abseiling gear to get out when it failed at 8 meter high.
These are supposed to be cold store protected so a poor little Phantom will suffer.
Saying that I plan to fly this winter as getting snow footage with the bird will be great. Just need to work a system to reduce or obviate condensate forming.
Maybe a large Tupperware box to place it in when still cold - seal it up and then bring it indoor to warm slowly.
Thank you! I was about to explain the example about the glasses too . I'm living in Norway and I use glasses and during the winter it happens everyday to me. I've read some years ago about a coating film that could be applied to any electronics, and make them water resistant that may be really useful for our drones. Maybe not to put them underwater, but enough to make them condensation-proof. I'll research about it right now
EDIT: I found just one example, but it's this same idea: its a spray that can be applied to electric and electronic devices, even to electrical contacts. I'll research now about price and availability here in Norway . http://youtu.be/JFPM6LxnhlA
I wonder if that coating is what is currently on the Phantom circuit boards. If you think about it, the Phantom is likely to encounter some decent changes in temperature on a regular basis. We've seen a number of people flying these things in and out of clouds/fog and they also seem to endure pretty decent dunkings (at least in fresh water).