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Does the Phantom float?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gizmo3000, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Gizmo3000

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    I have absolutely no desire to find out the hard way,
    but can't help but wonder what would happen if my Phantom took a dunk in a lake (with a GoPro in waterproof housing attached). wonder how survivable it would be, or if it would sink. :eek:
    (and has anyone put floats on one? ;) )

    I bet I'm not the only one who'd think it'd be cool to see a video go from underwater to aerial in one shot, tho can't help but wonder the risks involved.
    thought perhaps hanging a GoPro from the legs using a fishing line.
     
  2. Adam

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    I imagine the vents on the arm would allow water to flow in, toasting the Naza, GPS, and the ESC's.....
     
  3. Alex

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    Of course it does, and you can float your money right along next to it. Honestly, I bet it would float. I'd also bet good money that it would never fly again.
     
  4. Gizmo3000

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    true true.
    I saw one video where a guy dumped his Phantom into the water, but he lucked out and was able to retrieve it at low tide. (the GoPro was safe in it's enclosure, everything else but the props and shell were dead.

    saw another photo where a gut put some serious foam floaties on the legs tho.
    not a bad idea if you're flying over water a lot
     
  5. coatham

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    Mine didn't! Sunk to the bottom of the lake like a brick, thankfully it only needed 4 new ESCs and that was it, got off rather lightly I think!
     
  6. Gizmo3000

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    Wow! that sounds rather remarkable considering how most electronics fare with water. (read on the FB page of someone taking his in a dunk in saltwater inlet ,. only the shell and props survived).

    How did you recover it from the bottom?
     
  7. have2fish

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    What did you do post sinking? What can I do to mine, how do I try to start it up without frying everything and how will I know that all systems are ok...

    I dried it off very well and had a fan on it all night. It was prob underwater less than a minute, and not that much water came out of the shell when I took it out of the water...

    Thanks
    Marco
     
  8. CameraGuy

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    No, it doesn't float. It sinks like a stone.

    Check out other threads I have authored to see pictures of what a Phantom looks like when it hits a lake.

    You don't deen to find this out.

    Say Bye Bye to $1500 if you have do any improvements like added a gopro 3 black, a ginbal, etc.

    D
     
  9. Gizmo3000

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    Well obviously some people have unfortunately found out. (some are attaching little inflatable devices as precautions, at least they won't sink that way).

    It's hard to tell when electronics have fully dried out, but probably best to wait as long as possible before finding out.

    My coworker dunked his his Phantom into his pool, and was only out $75 for replacement ESC's.
    he got lucky!
     
  10. have2fish

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    Mine sank... :( and worse, the gopro (inside waterproof case) decided to lock so when I booted it up again, I lost the last minute of the flight!!! If I break something, at least, I would like to see the video of it!!!

    I had a fan on it all night and left it in the sun all day, fired it up and 3 of the 4 motors worked fine, the 4th just kinda pulsed back and forth, and then the wires started getting warm. Its with a friend who makes and flies lots of rc stuff so I am hoping that the damage wont be too much!!!
     
  11. phantomscope

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    I crashed my Phantom in about waist deep (3-4 feet) water at my local marina/beach and it sank immediately to the bottom. However, I was able to wade out and retrieve it. I rushed to my studio and put it in a sink full of fresh water (to rinse any salt off). Then hit it with compressed air to get all the moisture off. I let it sit and dry over night. I came back into the studio the following morning thinking it wasn't going to work and was blow away when it started up. It looks like one ESC and/or motor might not be working (possibly damaged on impact or shorted out) but everything else seems to be working. I'm going to order an ESC/motor and see what happens next.

    By the way, I probably would not have know to do this had I not heard about a similar story during the shooting of the movie JAWS. Apparently, the film crew dropped a camera into the ocean during shooting and they did a similar thing - flushed it with fresh water, then took it apart and let it dry. Then reassembled it and it worked. Granted, it was a film camera and didn't have any digital components.
     
  12. Gizmo3000

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    It seems that in almost all Phantom dunks,. the ESC's are the first to fry.
    I imagine the motors are much less likely to be damaged, as they really have basic electronics inside (just a lot of wire)
     
  13. Roadkilt

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    Mine floats. two 13 cm pool noodles in dayglo orange, slit to hold the skids, then taped tight to give some aerodynamic shape and keep it out of the go pro field of view. It will hold the entire deadweight of a fully loaded Phantom assuming no buoyancy. Realistically the go pro case is slighly bouyant because its sealed. And my name is all over it. I figure the electronics are dead (saltwater here) but I still can salvage the go pro, mount, shell and who knows, maybe the motors? The extra height also keeps the Gopro off the ground and makes for a soft, if bouncy, landing. No water landings yet!
     

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  14. Driffill

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    The ESC's would be the first to fry, the battery is DC, but the motors are run on PWM-AC. Salt water is also conductive, it will slowly drain a submerged DC battery, but cause havoc with any AC circuits. Fresh water will also play havoc with AC, however DC will be unaffected.

    The ESC'S do the inverting from DC to AC and because of that, they will fry first. Aeroplane black boxes generally use all DC circuits, to prevent issues when/if it goes into the sea water, like the method mentioned above, when they recover a black box, they keep it submerged in saltwater, until then can can the circuits with fresh water, and prevent corrosion to circuits.

    Something people can try next time they need to dry out electronics. Put the naza/phone/remote etc in a tall cup/glass and fill it with uncooked rice, then let it sit for a day or two. The rice should absorb most, if not, all of the moisture :)
     
  15. elguanaco

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    Roadkilt,
    Fantastic idea with the noodle floats! How did you test the buoyancy weight supported by the floats?
     
  16. Kevin4havis

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    Do you think it is also worthwhile spraying the parts with silicone such as WD40
     
  17. Triakis

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    Definitely do NOT spray WD40 (which isn't silicone nor lubricant, the WD stands for Water Displacer) or any other solvent on parts. It will turn them into dust collectors and they will become quickly fouled and the only way to fix is a complete strip down to discrete parts and cleaning. That is a PIA!

    Now with that out of the way, has anyone discussed a method to break free fall, aka a parachute? May not help with a trip to the drink but certainly reduce the rate of descent to something that would prevent total loss or heavy damage.
     
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  18. ScopeTech

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    MARS Mini + Mayday system, several threads about it.
     
    Triakis likes this.