Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Cheap and easy floats

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by syotr, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    I plan to shoot video of whitewater kayaking. I made some cheap and easy floats for the Phantom just in case it falls in the river. If that happens, I know it will likely get wet inside and do some damage but at least I might be able to recover it. The quad floats pretty level and stable with the bottles. In calm water, the battery and other electronics did not get wet. I temporarily moved the compass for testing and taped it to the top of the quad to keep it dry.
    I made the floats from small 8 oz water bottles which are very light weight. I drilled holes in the caps to match two holes in each of arms where the motors mount. I used the longer screws which came with my prop guards and placed washers under each screw head to make sure the screws did not go too deep. The Phantom seems to fly OK with the bottles attached, although wind does affect it more. It is easy to unscrew the bottles when not flying over water and the caps can be left in place.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    Moved it to be safe. After I reinstalled it, I could not get it calibrated. Had to take if off again and found some water drops sticking to the back side which were trapped in the hollow part of the landing strut. After I dried them off good and remounted, it calibrated OK.
     
  3. Loppy

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pretty **** clever man. I love fabbed up goodies with stuff lying around the garage. Well done.
     
  4. bumper

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0

    I either read in the destructions, or maybe it was on one of DJI's videos, the compass is most definitely NOT water resistant.

    bumper
     
  5. RedFishChaser

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent creativity!

    How about smaller bottles next?
     
  6. halfpipe

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Atlantic Coast Canada
    maybe fill the bottles with helium :lol:
    helium has a lifting force of 1 gram per liter
     
  7. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    These were more than enough to keep it from sinking, so I will be looking for some smaller ones, maybe same height but smaller diameter would be good.
     
  8. halfpipe

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Atlantic Coast Canada
    What did it do the the flight characteristcs? Even though the bottles are nicely rounded and aerodynamic at the top
    I know if you put things with sharp corners and flat planes in the prop wash you are asking for trouble.
    So with that in mind it might help to position the bottle cap precisely in the middle and use bottles that provide a smooth airflow?
     
  9. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    Or hydrogen, even lighter. How could that go wrong :lol:
     
  10. SanCap

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    South West Florida
    Did you try to take off while floating in the water? That would be neat to see!
     
  11. Roadkilt

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    4
    Having submerged my phantom twice, once in a river and once in the ocean I can tell you that with proper rinsing and drying it should work fine. Well, maybe not the ocean. My GPS is still shot, but everything else is good, including a naked gopro and gimbal. I had pool noodle floats on the skids in the river landing. Upside down is the default stable position! I would think the same for your bottles, but at least you get all your gear back.
     
  12. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    Not sure there is a stable position where I will be shooting

    [​IMG]
     
  13. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    Did not try that since I had the compass out of position.
     
  14. Kashalp

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps somehow try to mount compass in default correct position INSIDE the bottle!! That would be sweet. Take off and fly wherever and whenever at your leisure. Lol
     
  15. deluge2

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    2
    Since you've got this far, you could probably figure out a way to cover the compass and still have it mounted inthe proper orientation. No shortage of inexpensive see-thru ready-made tubes I'd imagine...

    Steve


     
  16. jbrawn

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    You might consider coating the compass with NeverWet. (See http://www.neverwet.com) sold under the Rustoleum brand at places like Home Depot. Once coated, it won't matter if the compass lands in river water, pool water or salt water, it simply won't get wet.

    I can't imagine that the coating would add even a gram to your flying weight.

    I haven't used NeverWet on any part of a Phantom, but I have used it on electronics (and motors and wood structures) in my other areas of interest, and I've been very happy with the results.

    John.
     
  17. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    I have considered that but from their website: "Not intended to be applied to electronic devices"
     
  18. netphreak

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does she fly with the compass moved? I haven't been able to ever get a good flight with it moved around.
     
  19. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    134
    I moved the compass only long enough to test the floataion. I did not fly with the compass moved.
     
  20. FrankB

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    6
    Brilliant invention! I like the fact that you can remove the bottles so easily when you don't need them.