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I crashed into seawater

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by simonthk, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. simonthk

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    So now it happened. I crashed my phantom with gopro camera into the sea. Luckely it was 3 meters from shore, so I could pick it up.

    I rinsed it with fresh water and now it is taken to pieces blowing it with hot air.

    It maybe happened for more reasons. First of, me myself and I ofcourse.
    It happened because I was flying too fast to ground, and couldn't stop.I had just made another steering rod on the left side on the transmitter, because I wanted to be more accurate in my moves. Making it longer. But because I also have a screen attached to my transmitter, the new lengthened rod was not able to move to full throttle in upwards position >< I was aware of this, but I also have to take precautions, which I apparently did not do well enough.. maybe.

    I had only been in the air for 3,5 minutes, but maybe Ive have had another problem. I used a new charger yesterday and I charged on balance. It did finish the charge quite fast, saying a horrible noise. Now I am actually unsure if the balance cable was enough unplugged to charge it, because the construction of this on the charger is horrible... Maybe I flew with not fully charged battery. But the sound is the same as when it did fully charge a battery, which I have done few times.

    Anyway

    Wish me luck with this :D I cant buy a new one, so I have 1 chance.

    I know how electronics can seem wry and not be it, so I will be drying for the next 2 days I guess.

    SD card working :) though the last video is corrupted, so no proofs of me doing dumb things.
     
  2. Peter Patricelli

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    Sorry to hear. Since 95% of my hobbies involve water, I am around and wanting to shoot over it all the time....and VERY wary.

    Unfortunately, my money is on, as they say in trap and skeet shooting, "dead bird". Since saltwater conducts electricity, there was a massive short out...from a battery capable of seriously frying a TURKEY given half a chance.

    Your concern about a less-than-fully-charged battery is well placed. Assuming you weren't (yet) watching for the flashing red lights...you would begin experiencing loss of UP throttle lift...and might not pull out of a dive because of it. I had a recent experience flying off a high lookout...bird got below me and battery running down prematurely...couldn't hardly get it to lift back to my elevation at full up throttle. Came out OK but lessons learned.

    Almost everything you did could have been done differently. The sensitivity of the Tx stick might have been solved in software without losing physical "throw". There are simple, cheap, small battery voltmeters which can check the charge of a battery BEFORE flying....critical if overwater or cliffs.

    Good luck.
     
  3. simonthk

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    That is ofcourse true, and I want that I had been more cautious. I have a clock that shows me how long time I have been flying, and allways land in good time. Actually not flying more than 5,5 - 6 minutes per battery.
    I don't watch the red light ever really, because I sit on a table controlling the phantom with a screen. Sure I check if I get unsecure bout a tree or something, but this I check beforehand. And then I just fly very low time per battery.
    I havnt thought about the throttle thingy could be corrected software wise, can you confirm this can be done?

    Aaand I havnt thought about the saltwater conducting electricy better, but ya it sure does and that sucks :)
     
  4. Peter Patricelli

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    If you are flying FPV (controlling from a screen?) there is a very small device, actually a thin fiber optic cable one end affixed next to the rear LED, the other next to the FPV camera lens...which will cause the red flashing to show up and be detectable on your screen. That would have saved your situation and give you longer flights each time since you have FPV warning.

    Yes, dunking in saltwater VERY different than freshwater....which does not conduct electricity.

    The "gain" , "throw", and sensititivity of the transmitter channel-stick is quite adjustable, more for Futaba's than stock, but some of that available on stock.
     
  5. simonthk

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    Ok thank you, I will look into that. I guess it is in the naza assistant this is being done.

    I record anything I see on my screen. What you suggest is to use an optic cable and move it infront of my lens?
     
  6. miskatonic

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  7. syotr

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    Blow drying may not be enough. Best to pack it in dry rice for a few days before powering it up.
    In the future, you may want to add some floats.
    viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3287#p22922
     
  8. simonthk

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    THanks I might try the rice, I dunno really what better effect that should have than hot blown air though.
    I aint gonna put them floats on xD but thanks for the idea. I rather stick to me getting more serious with my phantom
     
  9. Peter Patricelli

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    It is MUCH harder to dry saltwater than fresh...and it leaves a salt residue. That makes a case for rice (absorbing the salt water away from the components) versus blower (dry the salwater in place..takes a long time...leaves a conductive residue). There is a case to be made for rinsing in distilled water...no power in system...to clean out the saltwater and salt...but that I dicey. I don't think much of your chances in either case...but hope I am wrong. Let us know.
     
  10. Roadkilt

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    I've gone underwater in the sea and a river. Skip the rice. Rinse with fresh water if it went in the sea. Open up as much as possible and blow warm air through with a hair dryer fir a couple of hours. The next day recalibrate IMU and compass, turn motors for free motion and no grit. In a soft grassy field check low careful flights. Mine worked fine after the freshwater crash. Saltwater everything was fine including an exposed gimbal and the gopro except...GPS not working and gopro wifi not working. Gopro isn't important but I may need a new NAZA GPS compass, prob.a few hundred bucks. Electronics and motors all were fine though. I think the rice thing was for something else and people still talk about it, warm dry air and lots of it is best. And you have a 90% chance of no problems.
     
  11. Driffill

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    The usual method is, remove battery, rinse ASAP with fresh water put in a tub etc with rice and let sit for a few days. Rice is similar to the silica gel packs you find in electronics or shoe boxes etc it draws in moisture from the air, if you pack the rice in and around the wet electronics it will lower the local humidity of the wet area and allow drying to be sped up.

    There is many substances that will absorb decent amounts of water, but rice is also easy to remove given the relatively large grains (compared to sand or dirt etc)
     
  12. simonthk

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    Im sure some of the components will survive, the question is how many :)
    I cant see how rice removes the salt layer?
    If rice works as a moisture absorbing thing, it was to be in a closed invironment, else it just attracts more moist to the components. Atleast that is how normal moist removing stuff works (those bags in candy, that kids may not eat).
     
  13. Nwales

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  14. simonthk

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    THAT IS SO COOL
     
  15. Driffill

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    The salt water will usually affect components with AC current, so the ESCs and motors are the most likely to be toast, the battery has its own issues with water, but most DC circuitry will survive small amounts of water. You want to rinse the salt off as much as possible with the fresh water. the rice will dry the water, but not remove the salt and that will corrode the components, getting the bird out of the salt water and rinsing it in fresh water is the best chance you have to salvage parts . . .

    The little silica bags are only tiny and have a limit to how much they will absorb, so sealing the box etc has its own advantages . . . .

    Using rice is cheap and readily available, I've used the rice trick many times (not with the phantom, usually phones dropped in water) and had success most times. If you do have access to any baggies of silica gel, put them in there too, it can't hurt! As for the rice drawing moisture to the electronics, imaging leaving a bag of rice open on your bench for a week or two, the rice will still be "raw" and require cooking, but it also would have drawn in some moisture over that time.
     
  16. simonthk

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    So I couldn't wait, I simply couldn't sleep :D and It has been dryed hardcore the whole day.

    Seems to work fine. I get different kinda GPS signals from inside the house. 1-2 blinks red few times no red blinks. Motors running fine, gyro meter seems to work aswell when I tilt it.
    The camera works.
    Even the gimbal (which is a goodluckbuy), seems to work. The circuit is placed underneath with no protection at all :)

    I cant get any FPV signals. I guess it is the FPV and not the camers, since the camera works in any other way. Also the FPV is a small unit the uses quite a lot of power to transmit. Also no protection for it.

    I couldn't ask for more so far. Gonna test tomorrow.
     
  17. simonthk

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    Ya I already sacrificed a toothbrush to clean the components. I dunno if I should take the NAZA apart, that is the only thing.
    I do believe rice can help, but I stick to hot air :)

    Actually now I wanted to charge the batteries. It says on my charger display that it failed voltage (a message from yesterday). Could I have checked this yesterday? YES. Did I know it write this stuff to me? NO Should I blame my brother cause it his charger? Definitely :D but first I hit myself