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Black magnetic sand in my Phantom motors

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jLake, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. jLake

    Jun 27, 2013
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    Yesterday, I did something stupid. After flying my Phantom nicely over manicured lawns at a beach / garden park, I attempted to take off from a piece of wood on a small beach. I had used the Phantom on a lake beach earlier in the summer and was cautious about sand, so I wasn't very concerned.

    Almost immediately, the Phantom locked up and flipped over directly into the sand. When I picked it up, I noted lots of black grains stuck to the four motors, magnetically bound.

    While I sweated the situation throughout dinner and the evening, I looked up a YouTube video showing someone removing magnetic sand using keyboard cleaner putty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOHmUeNPGqk

    Rather than go out and look for that putty, I used some Model Magic putty that my kids had. For each motor, I unscrewed each of the 4 bottom screws and pulled the motor out of its well. I had to remove the black holder and the small brass colored ring from the bottom of the motor, then pull apart the cylinder.

    I carefully applied the putty to every part of the motor and used Q-tips to bring bits of sand up further along the magnets. It was painstaking work, but when I put it all back together, all moved smoothly. I just tested the quad in actual flight and it worked great -- probably a bit improved, actually, because I cleared up other grit that might have been in there.

    I found this video helpful for seeing the parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJixomwlVUs

    I post this in hopes that none of you ever have to deal with this. I just wanted to record the steps I took so if you do run into this issue, you'll use the putty to lift the grit right out.
  2. ghinson

    Dec 23, 2013
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    Thanks for this post, and the links. Just needed to do a little cleanup myself.
  3. Aaron Jez

    Dec 31, 2015
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    I have a Phantom 3 pro and yesterday I took it out to do some movies of us kitesurfing but as I was flying around one of the kitesurfer I accidentally flew into one of the other kitesurfer lines and the drone got stuck with two propellers getting jammed into the line, which ended up with the drone obviously falling down in to sand and making a bunch of mess with the gimbal and the whole drone sort of speak.
    but I'm most worried about my camera gimbal
    everything is moving still nicely but when I powered it on after a while when the fan turns on it seems like its doing a squeaking noise in there,
    so the question is how do i get in there to fix it??

    Many thanks for your reply's
  4. Mako79

    May 16, 2014
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    Sydney Australia
    I had a similar issue. My motor got contaminated with small metallic objects causing the motor to cease or difficult to spin. It would make noises when idling.
    The P3 motors are somewhat difficult to disassemble. I cant seem to separate the bell housing from the magnets. If someone has a how to, please post it up.
    For the fix, I used an airhose and pushed the metallic fragments to the bottom of the motor and then used a tweezer to move it to a more exposed position. I then used sticky tap to remove the fragments.