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Cleaning components after crash into a swamp (yes, swamp)
267 5 2019-12-13
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BillsBayou
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United States
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While kayaking and photographing trees, I launched my drone to video the tops of bald cypress trees.  I clipped one and the drone tumbled down into the flooded swamp below.  I found the drone body lying against a tree, half submerged in the water. The camera and battery were missing. Another 10-15 minutes of searching, I found the battery and later the camera.  Both were lying under 2 feet of water on the muddy bottom.  I have properly disposed of the battery.

A month later, I finally got around to rebuilding the drone and patching cracks (new body is on order). I replaced the 2.4GHz antennas. The drone flies and records video quite well. That actually surprises me.  I got it flying immediately after reassmbly and the camera works.  Not my usual result for electronics work.  ;)

Only one serious issue remains: Weak image transmission error.

This is likely caused by the fact that I have not cleaned anything in the drone's circuitry.  

My idea is, and I'm looking for validation, is to apply regular DeoxIT to all the connectors and cable ends, and DeoxIT Gold to the coaxial antenna connectors.  Once cleaned, I'll spray it with electronics cleaner to remove any residue and let it all dry.  

Anyone have experience with this?  

For your viewing pleasure, here is the dismembered drone and then the reassembled drone in flight:


Disassembled P3 Std

Disassembled P3 Std

Reassembled P3 Std, same day, first flight

Reassembled P3 Std, same day, first flight
2019-12-13
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DJI Stephen
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Hello and good day BillsBayou. I am sorry to know what happened to your DJI Phantom 3 Standard before. Since there was a crash that happened and the said drone got wet. I would recommend you to contact our DJI Support Team at https://www.dji.com/support?site=brandsite&from=nav for us to be able to assist you further. There might be some components of the said drone that are damage during the said incident that needs to be check and fix. We hope to hear from you soon and looking forward to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Thank you.
2019-12-13
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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That’s quite the endeavour, stripping her down, and getting her dressed again... ;-)

I’m surprised everything is working, after going for a swim, in the drink. You were lucky.
Many have hit a pool of water, and the drones electronic circuitry was toast, afterwards. Salt water is the worst. Telling me, that swampy water was fresh water, even if algae ridden. Salt is an electronics killer.

DJI, have placed sensors in the drone, that turn blue, when wet. Allowing them to deny service.
Did you notice those inside the drone, when you opened her shell?

RedHotPoker
2019-12-13
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solentlife
Captain
Flight distance : 1087530 ft
United Kingdom
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WOW ... you are one lucky guy !

My P3S went into the river and that was it ... I could have replaced stuff on it I'm sure ... but in the end I just coughed up for a 2nd hand P3P.

You say weak video transmission .... the P3S is renowned for weak transmission due to its use of WiFi ... You may be lucky and get improvement by cleaning up etc. but having had a P3S ... I'm not optimistic. Too many parts interact with each other ...

Using fluids ? Major concern is action on plastic it touches ... and whether the fluid used can harm the electronics.
2019-12-14
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BillsBayou
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United States
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RedHotPoker Posted at 12-13 19:09
That’s quite the endeavour, stripping her down, and getting her dressed again... ;-)

I’m surprised everything is working, after going for a swim, in the drink. You were lucky.

I didn't see any sensors.  I'll look for them the next time I rebuild it with the new body.

As for the electronics, I think what saved me here is that the battery threw itself clear on it's way down through the tree's.
2019-12-14
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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BillsBayou Posted at 12-14 08:35
I didn't see any sensors.  I'll look for them the next time I rebuild it with the new body.

As for the electronics, I think what saved me here is that the battery threw itself clear on it's way down through the tree's.

Oh yes, them Moisture Sensors, are in there. Most definitely. Perhaps you didn’t notice them...

I’m wondering, if that was, fresh water, whether the battery could have been thoroughly dried. Perhaps in a pale of rice. Generally speaking it’s true, the battery would be toast, after the dunking it took.


RedHotPoker


2019-12-14
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