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Waterproofing

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by videooman, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. videooman

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    Hey Phello Phantom Phliers !!

    I produce a weekly sportfishing program for FOX Sports West Television (HD) which airs here in SoCal, AZ, NV and HI. I got my first Phantom (2) back in January. Got real confident in flying/filming. The Phantom is a real game changer in the video production world as all of you know.

    All (not most) of my production works is on the water. From boats or beaches, all of my work is fishing related. Cutting to the chase, back in April I lost my first drone to the depths of a local lake. I can only blame myself because I was trying to stretch a flight another minute or two with about 25% battery power. LIttle did I know that it will automatically land when it gets low. And land it did, about 50 feet from home and into the water. Never saw it again.

    With that, I immediately went out and got the Vision 2+ which was in my plans anyway. I have been flying the Vision 2+ now since then and really love it. As far as what I see on HD television, I can see little if any difference in the video quality of the Vision compared with the GoPro3. If anything, I like the Vision picture a little better. But that's not the reason for my post.

    I am not flying with the confidence I once had with my first Phantom 2. Not even close. I just returned from filming trips to Alaska and Mexico. In Alaska, I had some issues which were resolved by the folks here in Orange County where I purchased the drone. In Mexico, things were different. It flew flawlessly. Nice !

    Now here is the main reason for this post. I simply must come up with a way to be flying with a completely waterproof drone. Otherwise, I am always at risk of dunking the Phantom. I simply cannot live/film like that. I need complete confidence in order to do my best work.

    I missed some really good opportunities in Mexico. I need to be able to fly from and back to a boat and film such things as wide open tuna bites from the air. Shots like this is will add a whole new dimension to my work. But I am so afraid to do that with the Phantom. One little mistake, either pilot error, loss of signal, etc., means disaster. Even failsafe is not a real good option because if the drone comes back to where it took off, that spot is where the boat was. And it has moved.

    Yes, with my new Vision 2+ it can (normally) be brought back into GPS mode after returning close to home after going into failsafe. But I cannot live with that.

    I am just curious what your experiences have been with the idea of a waterproof drone? I am looking seriously at http://www.quadh2o.com. I don't mind spending the extra bucks, but the problem with their drone is it has a fixed mounted camera. No way to move it up/down. And no gimbal. Totally unacceptable.

    So I am open to suggestions and really appreciate any thoughts you might have on the subject.

    Thanks so much !!

    Danny (Santa Ana, CA)

    BTW.... you can check out our show at http://www.anglerchronicles.com
     
  2. Detroit

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    I can't help much but why water proof if it doesn't float? Either way if it lands in the water your screwed? I believe I have seen mods of people putting floats on the landing gear. But then again not sure. I don't see why you would want to risk an extra minute flight time. Just land swap batteries and go back up.

    Sent from my Galaxy S5 using my neighbors internet
     
  3. Mako79

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    Liquipel. I think that's how you spell it.
    They do clothing, electronic devices.
     
  4. Dirty Bird

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    Even if you waterproof your Vision+, it is still going to sink if it lands in water. Pick up a GetterBack and attach to one of the landing gear, and you'll be able to recover your Phantom from depths of up to 100'. Might come in handy on some of your other gear as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. videooman

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    Hey DB.... I actually looked at this a few months ago. Not a bad idea and at least a temporary way to get it back. But of course the SD card is about all I would be salvaging. Otherwise, the drone is a loss. And I agree, it would be good on other items I use such as the underwater GoPro with handle as well as of course fishing rods, which it is really designed for.

    Thanks !!
     
  6. cahutch

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    DSLRPros supposedly sells Liquipel coated Phantom's
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3pU0XKQZt4
    But I haven't found mention of that option on their web site
    http://www.liquipel.com/

    And this guy made a floating platform attached to the landing gear so it will float upright when it lands on water.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWJvfJXsiYs
    I think that would affect thrust and shorten your flight times though.

    If it lands in fresh water there may be minimal or no damage if you get it out of the water and remove the battery quickly.
    Has anyone come up with a way to automatically disconnect main power in the event of a water landing?
    Maybe a moisture sensor that trips a circuit breaker?
     
  7. Double-D

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    I have seen numerous waterproof/aquatic quad copters on YouTube. I think one was a kickstarter as well. All able to submerge up to the rotors and film with a gopro under water. They are out there.
     
  8. Dirty Bird

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    I was on the Liqipel website checking things out. They offer services for consumers to send in some limited electronic devices for treatment, like cell phones, tablets, headphones. No option to send in something like a Vision+ that I could find. What I found humorous about the whole thing is they are offering a service that treats your device(s) to be water resistant, but the order form includes the following:

    Disclaimer: Liquipel applies a preventative coating designed to aid in the event of accidental liquid exposure, and assumes no responsibility for water damaged devices. Liquipel does not recommend your device ever come in contact with liquid.
     
  9. Double-D

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    Interesting disclaimer.
    I think I have read that it also needs to be reapplied after a certain amount of time as well.

    The new Samsung S5 phone is waterproof. Is it sealed well or use a coating I wonder?
     
  10. videooman

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    I have seen this YouTube video before. Notice, there isn't a camera. And yes, anything attached to the Phantom seriously degrades flying ability; aerodynamics, etc., as well as cuts well into flying time.

    Liquipel does not do drones anymore. They had too many failures. I called them.

    And the one that will land on water and and stick the camera underwater is a fixed mount. No gimbal. Very shaky picture.

    Still looking. I might be able to purchase the kit from http://www.quadh2o.com and start from scratch. But even with that, the gimbal will get wet with a water landing and I'm not sure there is a gimbal out there that will accept the GoPro underwater casing.

    Thanks guys !!
     
  11. slothead

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    I think the problem with waterproofing (sealing the body) is that it is going to heat up without some airflow. This morning there was some discussion about the barometric altimeter creating an error as it heats up (it shows a falsely increasing altitude as it warms). If you close off all the cooling air to the inside of the Phantom, you are probably going to have some altitude errors and you might find yourself in the drink anyway.
     
  12. kymedic121

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    There are a few videos on youtube of people building floating bases or adapting floatation material to their landing gear. They even show landing them in calm waters of swimming pools but I doubt the stability would be sufficient in moving or rough waters of an ocean or river. I am sure it can be done, but could you imagine the cost of a fully waterproof PV2+ with all the same technology? The cost would be astronomical. It all boils down to how much money has and what they are willing to spend. Anything is possible. LOL
     
  13. Dirty Bird

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    Most "waterproof" devices are certified to IPX5 (splashing) or IPX7 (immersion to 1m for 30 minutes). The protection typically degrades over time as seals deteriorate. If a Phantom goes down in the water, it is going to sink, and likely to a depth well beyond 1 meter. Individual circuit boards could be protected by dipping in a durable waterproof coating. Connectors would have to be protected during the process and waterproofed after connection. Some components are likely not protectable, like the gimbal motors, camera, camera lens, barometric sensor, etc..
     
  14. andretomasi

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    +1 for Liquipel, it's your best option specially if you are using it for work and don't want to worry all the time.

    [ ]'s
     
  15. Coluch

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  16. voi9viper

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    Sorry to bump such an old thread , but did you ever find a solution? I want to use my P4 for spotting offshore structure, rips, weed lines, and hopefully fiseh swimming under such structure. We are taking pelagic fish like mahi mahi and sailfish that are surface feeders. It might also be possible to "kite" fish with a drone. That depends on a lot of factors, like extending the flight time and the ability of the P4 to take a downward jerk and not go for a swim. Kite fishing is very popular off florida for sailfish and a controllable "kite" would be terrific. For those not familiar with kite fishing the idea is that only the bait touches the water, not lines or swivels etc. to spook shy fish are in the water. A line release on the kite releases the fishing line when a fish strikes, and that can be adjusted to minimize the jerk downward. It's worth a try, but water resistance is a must , even with floats on the drone. Saltwater and electronics don't mix well.