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Made an unsinkable Vision+

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by dannytroy, May 21, 2014.

  1. dannytroy

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    After 4 attempts at making some sort of a landing gear that will allow water takeoffs and landings, I came to the realization that anything mounted below the rotors will degrade the flight performance in a big way.
    So, I decided to if at all possible keep it out of the water, and if it does wind up in the lake at least I'll be able to salvage part or all of it. As you know, the quicker you get it out of the water, the better chance of survival. Plus, the deeper it sinks, the greater the pressure, forcing water in every part. Floating, even upside down will have no forced water pressure, and greatly increase survivability.

    I also plan on coating several parts in CorrosionX, which is long used in the r/c community to "waterproof" electronics.

    The styrofoam shell mounts in seconds and is held on with the one carbon fiber rod, with fuel tubing snugly on at the ends. No tools required.

    I didn't do any testing to see if the styro alone would hold up the Phantom, so as an added safety measure I added that silly dome (my wife actually thinks it's "cute"). The string might look like it would break easily, but it's 35lb test fishing braid. The nylon eyelet would give before the string snaps.

    Anyway, I hope this helps anyone who is doing a lot of flying over water with some ideas and possibly keep them from losing their Phantom.

    As an added benefit, the camera/gimbal has better protection, since it's protected on three sides.

    BTW, I added the CF wide gear, since I might be landing this on the deck of my boat (when I don't hand catch) and I don't want it tipping over on the boat while landing. The CF rod attached to one rod is for hand catching. To have something to grab on to. Works for me!

    As far as how it flies, it's not bad at all, even with the ridiculous dome on it.
     

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  2. FrankPA

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    Don't know why you need the CF props, but as far as the gimbal is concerned... sure looks armored and protected. I think you may find you'll need to cut back the foam just a bit to keep it out of most shots, but overall: cool!

    BTW, the top hat may just offset the wind load of the lower foam...
     
  3. syotr

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    I have tried several different floatation systems to keep my Phantom 1 from sinking. Just looking at your styrofoam below the Phantom, I would guess that it has not enough volume. You can weigh your bird with the floats attached and then calculate the volume of your floats (L x W x H in centimeters) to see if it is adequate. Water weighs 1 gram per cubic centimeter, so for a 1200 gram Phantom and floats, you would need 1200 cc of volume just to reach neutral buoyancy.
    A large block of floatation in the center will certainly make the Phantom tip over in water. Adding some small floats under each motor may prevent this without affecting flight too much.
    I have decided to build a waterproof quad using a Dex shell. It will be able to land and take off from water and has a better shape for flying.
     
  4. dannytroy

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    As far as the CF props, they aren't needed, but they seem to give a little more response, especially with the added weight of the floatation.

    I have plans to test the buoyancy capability, using 43 ounces of dead weight, which is what the AUW Phantom weighs. The Phantom probably has some natural buoyancy, considering the airpockets and plastic materials, so if I get close to keeping up 43 ounces, it should be fine. The original pontoons I made (two different variations) used the same pool noodle material as the dome top. It looked great, but flew like s__t.

    BTW, I coated the styrofoam with finishing epoxy and then painted it semi-gloss white. The finishing epoxy really added a lot of strength.

    Again, I am not trying to land this thing in the water and expect it to float upright. This is only to keep it from sinking, and hopefully I will never land in the water (famous last words!)
     
  5. MikesTooLz

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    Did you see the post on these forums about the one product called Get R Back (if I remember correctly)
    Its made for fishing polls. Its a small tube you attach to what ever you want, if it goes in the water the top of the tube ejects and floats with a hundred foot cable attached to it and the other end on the phantom.
     
  6. dannytroy

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    Yes, I considered that, but don't forget that pressure as it hits bottom. I'd rather it never go under at all. Still, way better than nothing.
     
  7. MikesTooLz

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    Yep, if it hits the water the phantom will never fly the same (if it fly's at all)
    I'm more interested just being able to recover the SD card.
     
  8. npalen

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    What would happen if a foam cylinder was installed under each motor? Can the cylinders be large enough in diameter ( 1.5"?) so as not to interfere with the prop downwash and still provide enough flotation? I'm thinking that these cylinders could be long enough to act as landing gear. Comments?
     
  9. syotr

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    You mean like this?
    This version included additional floatation under the arms and body. Did not fly well if there was any wind.
    1.5" diameter foam under each motor alone would have to be VERY tall to float the Phantom.
     

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  10. syotr

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    This version actually flew pretty well but it was hard to keep the bottles out of the camera view.
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/arUHiDu_8IM?
     
  11. npalen

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    Interesting stuff, guys! How about a tiny aerosol foam canister under each motor that would explode into a foam mushroom when it hits water? Make that "instantly explode". :D
     
  12. syotr

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    There was a product called "Waterbuoy" that was supposed to inflate a balloon on contact with water. Someone posted a test video where they showed that it did not work at all once it reached a certain depth. The water pressure would keep it from inflating. So if you Phantom sank quickly in 8 or 10 feet of water, it would not help. I think they quit selling it after that video was posted.
     
  13. dannytroy

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    Yes, I tried that too, and with even larger bottles. Although it flew a lot better than the pontoon LG, the Phantom would sit too low in the water, and the camera/gimbal would easily get wet and possibly go under with the slightest wave. Also, for whatever reason, the Phantom did not sit level, and was lower in the water on one side.

    I may also add some bits of styro in the shell itself. I believe there is some room to do this. Hopefully it won't block airflow.
     
  14. skyhighdiver

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    http://getterback.com/ Works like a charm
     

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  15. Skipholiday

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    Sinks like a rock
    http://youtu.be/iJ_UG7IxIJMM
    http://youtu.be/NBSiueW2Ih0
     
  16. syotr

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    It was never my intention to land and take off from water, only to keep the Phantom from sinking completely in case of a water accident.
    Here are some other versions:
    The one with the pill bottles flew pretty well. The one with the cones did not have enough buoyancy and would still require additional floats under the main body.
    Both got pushed around by the wind.
     

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  17. dannytroy

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    I took the shell apart last night and coated several parts,including the esc's with CorossionX. I let it dry overnight. I dipped the compass in it also. Hopefully I won't be buying a new compass due to damage from the CorrosionX. I don't remember reading if anyone else has waterproofed the compass this way, so I'm the guinea pig here.

    Also, I mentioned I'd add some styro in the space in the shell. There isn't enough to make any difference, so that won't happen.

    I am toying with the idea of adding one more styro piece below the existing sytro bottom, or adding another piece to the rear, or both if needed. I might hold off until bouyancy testing tomorrow.

    It would be pretty funny if I loose my grip on the styro shell, and it's taken to the bottom of the lake by the 43 ounces of dead weight I'll be using :eek:
     
  18. dannytroy

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    This it the final version. I added another piece of styro to the bottom and another to the rear. I tested it with 43 oz. of dead weight and it easily held it up. I was surprised, and felt that it probably would have worked without adding those two new pieces. I should have tested it with the original setup. I'd bet that would have worked also. Weight is 4.9 oz.

    The nice part is I don't have to fly with that silly "foam dome". It's heavier than I wanted, at 4.9 oz, but I saved not having to carry the dome, and the CF props are slightly lighter, so I saved a touch there too. I installed the new firmware, which is supposed to help with a heavy payload, and so far it's flying great.

    I covered the legs and the handle (for hand catching) with fuel tubing, leftover from my glow flying days.

    Concerning the foam getting in the shots, it didn't but when shooting straight down the carbon fiber did. I just cut it out on that side, and since it's now sandwiched between two pieces of styro, it's solid.

    I also applied CorrosionX to every circuit board (and esc's) I could get to, and it flies fine with that applied. I even dipped the compass, and it's still 100%. I took that back off the camera (4 screws) and applied it to the circuit board there too, and no other parts of the camera gimbal.

    I'm ready for some lake flying.

    On a side note, I was going to contact a realtor at the lake I fly at, asking if he needed some aerial photography, and someone beat me to it, and likely did it for free! Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM4Rocm737c
     

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  19. syotr

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    How does it handle in the wind?
    Look forward to seeing some video.
    Good luck. Hope you never really need the floats.
     
  20. Jebus

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    Has anyone tested using two 500ml empty (but sealed) water bottles (one on each skid)? I know it's been mentioned a few times, but I've yet to see any pics or anyone say how it's worked for them.