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DJI Phantom Hits Tree Goes Underwater

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

  1. xstatic

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    My phantom took a minor spill and ended up under water for about 7 minutes in about 10 inches submerged upright in water. When I pulled it out all leds were looking normal like nothing happened

    Finally when I got home to asses the damage here were the results

    Gimbal and Gopro both not working

    I dried the Gopro Hero three with a blow dryer and it came back to life perfectly
    Gimbla also blow dried and it is fine

    Phantom works,flies in house, but outside it won't pick up any satellites
    The compass is fine as it responds to turning in the Arris CM200 software. It dispalys compass, and when tou turn it, the compass moves on the screen

    I am just wondering what should be replaced, the compass, or the Naza?

    Also how do you remove the Naza, it looks glued in?

    As a note, when I opened the body of the phanton it has just a few drops of water on the pc boards in the arms, I guess those are the ESC boards. the GPS on top seemed not to have any water or moisture, and the naza had a bit of moisture on it and some of the connectors were moist which a quick blow dry took care of. What do tou think has to be replaced? the naza or gps?
     
  2. MrMediaGuy

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    There are a couple of components inside the NAZA as well as in the GPS board in the top shell (ceramic element, etc.) that are particularly water-sensitive and need to be *really* dry, not just 99% dry. It's possible you'll end up replacing the NAZA, but since everything else dried out pretty well I think you have a decent shot. And since it's flying in the house, it sounds like the NAZA is probably unscathed. But to be sure . . .

    Label all the wires connected to the NAZA (or make a diagram) and unplug everything. It's attached to the main board with a 3M double-sided adhesive pad. It's super sticky but if you start at one corner or the narrow end and just apply lots of pressure, it will eventually start to give and you can peel it off. If you are careful you can reuse the pad, but I would replace it when you remount the NAZA.

    Then peel the foam liner off the inside of the top shell and take out the screws that hold the GPS module in place. Put both the NAZA and the GPS board in a plastic bag of uncooked rice and leave it for 24-48 hours. That should draw out any remaining moisture. Then reinstall everything and if you are lucky you'll be good to go.

    BTW, when you have the GPS out, look carefully at the ceramic element that faces the sky. Since you had a spill, it could be cracked, and if it is, it won't work again until you replace either the GPS or the ceramic element itself. (These can be found online if you need to, about US$15 and very easy soldering. Much cheaper than the whole GPS which is about US$160 last time I looked.)
     
  3. xstatic

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    I appplied the dryer again lat night to the naza and still a no go

    Tried again this morning, diguring maybe overnight it would dry ouy, and lo and behold it fired up and. I got the 2 green for go lights. I giess it dried out fine.

    Will reassemble and give it a test run later

    Thanks for the info on what to do, I am sure lots of people will pick up on those pointers!
     
  4. MrMediaGuy

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    Excellent -- you're lucky indeed. :) If you think about it, the GPS module in the shell is probably going to be the last thing to dry out well, considering that it's covered in adhesive foam. Probably holds a lot of water up there. :)
     
  5. xstatic

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    I was lucky in that it was in only a few inches of water,it was elbow deep, and it landed right side up so the gps seemed to be in an air shell. Just some drops got in on the arms, maybe a bit of moisture on the gps, not sure. My only problem is the attitude fpv is giving some static, but it may be clearing up. It was very staticky this afternoon, then I was later losing picture. I would plug it back into the battery, and after one second it would get brighter and brighter, fade to white and I would lose all. Plugging it back into power did the same again. Not sure if it is the video out of the camera, not sending a true signal or the fpv. I will try to send the video out of the camera to a tv but I will have to make a special cable.
     
  6. bumper

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    For future reference and others who may follow you to the water . . .

    It is most important to remove the battery as soon as possible. It's also important to rinse the phantom is distilled water, or if that's not available, reverse osmosis filtered water, or as a last choice as clean and low mineral water as possible (don't use water that has been treated with a water softener).

    This is so for several reasons. You may have removed the main battery, but the GPS has a memory battery soldered to the board that stores the almanac, and it is likely you won't be removing that.

    Distilled water is an insulator. Salt water is a reasonably good conductor of electricity. Tap water is in between those extremes depending on mineral content. The pond you were in?? Probably worse than most tap water.

    Any water with impurities will, in the presence of an electrical difference in potential (voltage) cause electrolysis (corrosion) and damage to the circuitry.

    Many suggest using dry rice as a desiccant. Do a Google search and you may find it is not an ideal drying medium. Better than nothing for sure, but not nearly as effective as silica-gel, or maybe even warm dry air (I've not tested rice though).

    Bottom line, if you dunked it, didn't rinse it in distilled water, dried it and it works! Woohoo! But wait, you are not off the hook yet. If there's trace minerals and contamination from the "plunge" in the little nooks and crannies and you are in a humid environment, electrolysis and further damage may still occur over time if those minerals are hygroscopic - - this is one reason why you don't buy a flood salvage vehicle.

    Always rinse a dunked electronic device in distilled water, the sooner after dunking the better. Then follow whatever drying advice you like. :D

    bumper
     
  7. RedFishChaser

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    Glad that your Phantom and GoPro is fine!

    Great info! Thanks!
     
  8. phantom1972

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    Just a remark, and I can't remember where I read this procedure, but everything the same about distilled water, it but it had a 100% Isopropyl alcohol rinse at the end, then a final dry in the desiccant. It caught my eye.