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Restoring a salt-water-logged P2 - Tips?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by damoncooper, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. damoncooper

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    I had lost my P2 over the memorial day weekend off Cape Cod and I got a call from a reservation ranger who spotted it on the bottom on one of his rounds 4 days later. He managed to fish it out and found my number on it and called me. He said he brought it back to the office and the folks there cleaned it off, dunked in fresh water best they could to clean it up and he said "it looks pretty good!". He said they were all fascinated with it, and said he really wanted to get it back to me as it looked very salvageable.

    He's shipping it back to me and I should have the lost lamb next week. I'll of course be very interested in seeing if I can get the FlyTrex and GoPro video SDXC cards out to view the footage, etc.

    But does anyone have any experience restoring a salt-water logged P2? Am I looking at a full electronics + motor replacement likely? Should I soak it in distilled water first and let it dry to try to see if it works?

    Thanks for any pointers.
     
  2. Doono

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    Fresh water experience only. The best thing I did was have patience. Opened it up, dried it with a hair dryer (guess yours might be dry) and waited three days putting it in the sun. New battery, and it flew like it never happened. The fresh water was a great idea for yours. A lot of them short out, I think it's the luck of the draw.
     
  3. ladykate

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    I suspect it is a total loss. Salt water will wreck it - if not now, then later. You might be able to salvage the NAZA (another member was able to salvage his after it was dunked) but the ESCs, rx, and circuit boards are open to the elements. Once the salt water starts corroding things, I wouldn't trust it. You might be able to save the SD card (the other incident - fresh water - had a salvageable card). The motors will probably be shot - even fresh water sometimes destroys them because debris gets in the bearings. The props may or may not be OK. Get them off the motors and soak them in clean water. I would lubricate them with WD-40 and then clean it off after you got the water displaced.

    Get the salt water out and dry it off with a hair dryer and then the sun (as Doono suggested).

    Having been totally negative about it all - you might be able to bring it back to life and it would be an interesting project. Take some pictures as you get it apart.
     
  4. damoncooper

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    Thx guys. I've already moved on to a replacement but it will definitely be a back burner project. It would be nice to have a back up bird.

    I think I'll probably start with a fresh water soak and go from there. I wonder if the 3D gimbal is toast. I'm guessing so but I'll take some photos of the restoration attempts if anyone's interested anyway.
     
  5. tom3holer

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    Another club member, welcome.
    I lost mine off of Craigville Beach on the Cape a month ago due to what I think was battery failure.

    Never found it.


    Tom
     
  6. jodaddy23

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    salt water very bad , i'd say its done. but on the bright side , all the plastic should be reuseable .
     
  7. damoncooper

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    Sorry to hear that. Any idea as to root cause?
     
  8. N017RW

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    If it sat underwater for hours or days in salt water you're going to be left with mostly plastic 'spare parts".

    Especially if it was allowed to dry out before rinsing.

    Sorry to hear :cry:
     
  9. damoncooper

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    My expectation as well, but anything more will be a bonus :)

    On that note, any pointers to parts & instructions needed to replace electronics and motors for a full rebuild?

    Anyone attempt such a full rebuild and know if the cost of electronics replacement parts will total more than the cost of a whole new P2?
     
  10. N017RW

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    I can't see how you can rebuild all (but plastic) for less than a replacement.

    Buy a used one, or buy new, and sell off original Tx.

    BTW: I edited my post you quoted to remove most since rereading your OP I thought it was redundant.
     
  11. ElGuano

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    If it was lost in salt water, I would sincerely plead with you to write it off as a complete loss. Salt water is extremely corrosive and even if you get all of the visible indications off, it will continue to eat away at your components. Chances are you'll never get it out everything, including closed/sealed components like the NAZA, between the tiny gaps in soldered SMDs or even inside of unsealed components.

    You simply don't want to mess with saltwater corrosion, which increases your risk of component failure tremendously.
     
  12. damoncooper

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    Duly noted. Safety is my first priority. The shell and landing gear are the most likely salvageable parts.
     
  13. tom3holer

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    I am quite sure it was a battery/power failure. The last battery indication I saw was around 50% moments before the video just quit. I searched the area for several days but it was not to be seen.

    Have a new one with a locator.

    Tom
     
  14. damoncooper

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    Very unfortunate. I'm using a Garmin GTU-10. Which locator are you using?
     
  15. tom3holer

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    I have the "Marco Polo" that seems to work very well. It is designed for dogs but the tag is very small and light. It does not depend on GPS so even in deep woods with a heavy canopy cover it works.

    Tom
     
  16. J.James

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    Ah I wish i seen this sooner. More then liely all but the battery may have been savabele if it was done properly and while it was still wet. and if it hadn't started corroding yet Tho not much that can on one of them being all the boards and any thing electrical are cover in a protective coating even the solder joints and the battery is useally the first spot to get wet and short out so it useally wont have any power going to any thing else by the time water reaches it . First it would need a good bath in distilled water or even better deionized water whick is not conductive. with the battery removed then it needs to be blown out with air to get as much water out of all the tiny crevices that can be blown out. Then you need to soak it in anhydrous alcohol.(dry thats dry alcohol that contains zero water. Dry gas is a good off the shelf form of pure anhydrous alcohol ) To be able get any water out that got in to any of the tiny spaces that just wont dry out right is why stuff needs washing out with the alc which will absorb any water that may be stuck in side any thing. and is not electrically conductive so it wont hurt any thing even if it was powered while still wet with the alc. You can even turn some thing on if completely submerged in alc as long as its dry alc and run it to clean the motors out. Then you shake out as much alc as you can and then hit it with some air to get as much more out that you can. Then the best part about why alcohol is the best to use to dry some thing that is wet. IT completely evaporates at less the 90 degrees f and leaves so residue whats so ever. and can be force dried in an over set at about 100 degrees for a few hours Even in any tight spots that still has liquid alc in it it will boil off and force its way out the holes its also smaller molecules then water and cant fit threw spaces that water cant even get threw easy. but the low evaporation temp of the alc is lower then the temp that can damage any thing electronic But being it was in salt water it would be good to also use some contact cleaner on all the plug and connectors and all the solder joints in case any missed the coating or had nicks in the coating. and maybe doing another alc bath and oven dry. tho normally it would be even better to dry in in a vacuum chamber But thats not some thing most would have laying around there garage, Then theroroly test it with a new battery and see if any thing is not working and don't fly it with out giving it a few full battery's worth of testing with it tethered down. to see if any thing did need replacing. But the amount of time it was in the salt water and how well and how soon the ranger tried to wash it out can all be a big factor. But most all things are recoverable if done in the professorial water recovery methonds.
     
  17. Ejazzle

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    where can you get that alcohol?
     
  18. J.James

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    where can you get that alcohol? You can get it either from a chemical suppler or electronics or janitorial supply place but You usually have to buy a gallon or more size container an dis expensive and has hazmatt fees to have it shipped. its also whats called a watched chemical. Which means its legal to buy but they send your info to the DEA. Tho that should never be a problem in less some one is buying lots of it or also buying other watched chemicals. But a good over the counter off the shelf source is dry gas. Best kind is heat brand in the red bottle that's the right kid which is dry Isopropyl Alcohol tho you can also use the yellow bottles tho thats menthol alc. which still works but not as good as Isopropyl. the iso is also good for if you ever need to clean soldering flux of stuff and good for taking lots of sticky gummy stuff off things. and most inks to. Its the same stuff that when cut down with water is used to make rubbing alc. But you dont want to use regular rubbing alc cause that already saturated with water and when it evaporates it leaves most the water behind.
     
  19. stanseychelles

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    Hi everyone, I was filming a surf session 3 days ago with my Phantom 3 pro,I lost control of it 3 metre from the surface,it went straight down to about 2 metre. I searched for it 20 minutes,still couldn't find it.so I swam to the shore and replay my activity logg on the map,so I took two points from the hills and aligned them to get a fix bearing to the reef where it went down which was about 150m out.I used the marks/bearing and swam a straight line out.I was lucky to have found it,it had snagged seaweed. I unplugged the battery and swam as quickly to the shore,there was a construction site nearby I found a barrel of fresh water and I completely submerged and shook it for 10 minutes so to kill as much salt.As I got home I filled up my bath tub with fresh water and gave it another bath for 1 hour,smoke started to come out of the battery so i safely disposes of it. I opened the phantom to bits and dried it with my air compressor,then let it to dry out the whole night with my table fan.The next day I went to buy WD 40 and sprayed the whole thing,all the circuit boards also including gimble+camera,the whole thing striped. I let it do its work,then blew compressed air to try and remove as much wd40 as I can.I noticed there was a blue liquid coming off the circuit board I imagine that is the waterproofing paint they put to seal the boards.On Monday I'm going to get circuit cleaner and spray the whole thing again just to remove the residue left from the WD 40.I'll let her dry out for a week and power her up and see the damage.There were no visible damage anywhere apart from the battery connector.I just hope nothings shorted out,any advice please?
     
  20. peterepeat69

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    Bathing your drone is like bathing your mobile phone, it simply dies.


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