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Sea Water gets into PV2+

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by paulsheaves, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. paulsheaves

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    Hi All,

    Brand new to this and very first post, hope it gets seen!

    Loving my PV2+ and took it to the beach today. Landed it back on the sand, with motors still spinning, but then a small wave about 2 inches high crept up to the PV2+ and splashed it. Cue panic - please dont laugh, but of course in hindsight I should have simply pushed up on the controls. Stupidly, I stuck my hand right into the blades to rescue it.

    Took it home, dried it as best as I could - sand and sea water appear to have got all over the gimble and camera/SD slot etc.

    We dried it out, the PV2+ powers up fine, and motors do spin, albeit with one slower than the other three (that will be because my hand stopped that particular motor - obviously new motor needed). The front right light works when powering up, but stops lighting up after the initial beeps.

    When trying to connect to the camera it simply says "connection to camera failed" - I assume the water has buggered the electrics and thus there is no connection to the camera... which in turn means that I have no idea whether the camera itself works or not. Electrics could be working and camera is buggered, or electrics are buggered and status of camera is unknown.

    I would like to ask if anyone else has been in a similar situation before? Does anyone have anything useful to add? - What is the likely cost of repair of the above? -

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Paul
     
  2. ProfessorStein

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    Well... if it was just the camera issues, I'd say it could even be something as simple as your SD card going bad.
    But since you're experiencing multiple symptoms, especially including (but not limited to) odd behavior in the LEDs (!!), I'd have to guess you fried something on the main board when the water shorted something in the camera or the gimbal.
    It really does take a lot of time to dry out wet electronics sufficiently to be useful again. And you should never apply power to them UNTIL they are completely dry ("as best I could" likely wasnt good enough). But that's neither here nor there. What's done is done.
    Did you get your PV+ from a dealer? I would probably call them up and ask if they have a recommended repair shop. You could fix it yourself, but if you don't have an oscilloscope and know exactly what's what, you'd probably end up replacing 99% of the components before you hit on the one that's actually the issue. Better to give it to an expert. It'll be cheaper that way. Esimating cost is always tough. But if it's something in the main board, AND likely something in the camera and/or gimbal, you're probably looking at a couple hundred dollars to get 'er back to where she was... including the new motor.

    Next time PUSH UP ON THE STICK! ;-) Ah well... lesson learned, huh?

    Of course, I'd also be careful of landing in sand, just in general. Sand and servos rarely mix well.
     
  3. AndysAdventures

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    I'm sorry to hear that about your Phantom. :(

    In the future, I would recommend grabbing the Phantom out of the air rather than trying to land it on sand, dirt, gravel, rocks, etc.

    I only grab my Phantom out of the air rather than risk having it tip over on landing.

    I practiced landing on grass the first few days and that was it for me. Plus with my dog usually being with me, it is a lot safer to grab it out of the air.

    Good luck with it. :)
     
  4. ProfessorStein

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    Hey... additional thought... is the front right motor also the one that's running slow? ie - is the slow motor, and the mal-behaving LEDs on the same arm? If so, it could just be the PCB in that arm.
    Stopping a motor does not typically cause any damage to it. Particularly since you had already landed and the props should've been in their auto-spindown and thus had very little power running to them. So I'm concerned that the slow motor is really a symptom of something else entirely.

    Still best to have an expert look at it. Just don't go in saying "I need a new motor"... because you might not... let them diagnose with no bias.
     
  5. damoncooper

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    [quote="In the future, I would recommend grabbing the Phantom out of the air rather than trying to land it on sand, dirt, gravel, rocks, etc.

    I only grab my Phantom out of the air rather than risk having it tip over on landing.)[/quote]

    A big +1 to that. Haven't broken a prop since I started hand catching.
     
  6. paulsheaves

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    Thank you for your replies guys, it really is appreciated, what a great forum.

    The funny LED light is front right (as you look at the phantom with battery facing you), the slow motor is front left and is visibly slowly than the other 3. I havent tried flying it again due to this reason as I assume that a funny motor/prop will therefore ensure a very dodgy and all over the place flight.

    Am I right to assume that because there is no connection to the camera etc that the GPS wont work due the connection OR is the GPS knackered by itself too? - I can get slow flashing yellows (ready to fly but without GPS) but not a slow flashing green one in sight :-(

    When I watched videos on how to land the phantom they always said they do not recommend touching the phantom whilst it is in the air... what are the harms of catching it in the air?

    I am resigned to taking it back to the dealer in Dubai where I live normally (currently on holiday in UK at the family home), but their service is sooooooo slow. If its $500 or less I can cope with it to be honest.

    My fear is that I need a full replacement of both the top half and the bottom half (camera etc) - effectively a new model, and that would cost a bomb!
     
  7. JWarren

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    I might be wrong but the I think the worst thing you can do for any electornic that has gotten wet is to try and start it up right away. Give it at least 3 days to dry out. If possible, seal it in a garbage bag full of white rice. The rice will pull EVERY bit of moisture out of the electronics, then, as I said, try and start it up.

    Regards,
    J.
     
  8. ProfessorStein

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    No connection to the.camera shouldn't have any bearing on the GPS, I dont believe. So if the GPS is giving you fits, too, it's a separate issue.

    The harm on catching it in flight... well, you need to be careful, obviously. DJI is not going to recommend it due to liability issues... but there's absolutely no harm in doing it... as long as you don't get nipped by a prop.

    And the rice trick is a good one... though it takes longer than a couple days. I've kept things in rice for more than a week.
     
  9. mb_guy

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    Ya, I'm with you on that thought also. As long as the battery is connected there is power at some level in the circuits. This one was running, even worse as everything is powered up. I'm sure drying out will help not make matters worse but likely too late at that point.
    Sorry but you'd have to suspect some damage. Sounds like ESC or Naza control, possibly motor also. You'll have to troubleshoot by swapping in new stuff or switching one to another (no schematics available to help.) . Then there is the whole camera thing. Not sure how you would put a cost on it, anything from $50 to total replacement.
     
  10. ElGuano

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    ANYTHING electronic or not specially prepared that saltwater touches is a permanent hazard. Even if it seems to work fine at first, the salt is corrosive and continues to be so after drying out. It will do even more damage to electronics, anything with a charge going through it. You can't just dry it out and call it a day, which you could do with fresh water.

    I would highly recommend ditching anything that came into significant contact with saltwater - camera/gimbal assembly, ESCs, motors (unless you know how to replace bearings and redo windings), circuitboards and any other components, even ones that are encased in plastic. If it's gotten into your battery, that's a huge problem too.

    For things like the gimbal/camera, you can probably take it apart and do whatever you want to try to restore it (multi-day soak in fresh water or alcohol, week-long dry, selective part replacement, etc.), but for anything that has a hand in keeping the bird in the air or in control, I would plead with you to bite the bullet and call it a loss. If you mess with saltwater and electronics, you WILL get bitten.
     
  11. Mori55

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    + 1 sea water electronics = junk. Sorry to say anything saltwater touches starts to corrode. Plus I would never land or takeoff in sand. It gets in everywhere and starts tearing your motor and gimbal motors up.
     
  12. paulsheaves

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    Drone is now in the repair shop awaiting results...

    GPS was working fine (tested it before dropping at the shop), and I think everything above the gimble is actually not too bad bar the motor on one of the corners. It was able to get to (fly with gps mode) albeit with 3 good props and 1 bad one due to the motor.

    Its the camera and all the electrics leading to it that could be a major problem.

    We live and learn ladies and gents - always do a risk assessment before you take off and never talk to strangers whilst you are flying the thing, even if they do come up to you - it can cause you to lose concentration!