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[Poll] Do You Clean Your Drone? If so, How...
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674 82 2017-8-29 18:48:16
Genghis9
Second Officer
United States
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After reading the manual for the P4P, I noticed a distinct lack of guidance for care and cleaning of the drone, RC, and related items.  Even though they mentioned several times that one should keep the sensors clean, but not explaining how that should be done.  Neither did they mention the other obvious areas like the camera lens, plastics, and moving parts.  However, one can assume that you should not use caustic solutions and abrasive materials of any kind.  Obvious enough, however, what do you use?  Mild soap and water is the most likely approach, however, even water is bad for many of the components of these systems.  I searched the forum, the best I could, and I mostly found results where folks discussed cleaning their lenses, which is important.  In this case, I think you should use quality camera cleaning materials and lens cleaning solutions that are safe for coated lenses.

After you answer the 'Poll' question, please comment below and share how you clean, what you clean, and the materials you use.
Survey question:
Do you clean your Drone, RC, and lens?
Single SelectVote, Total 88 people participate in voting

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2017-8-29 18:48:16
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blackcrusader
First Officer
Taiwan
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I fly mine to the clouds so it gets a nice mist wash from the props. Come's back spanking clean.

2017-8-29 19:05:08
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TN Lone Wolf
lvl.3
United States
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For cleaning the lens, I have a lens cleaning solution and cloth.  For the main body and rotors, I use a dry paper towel to wipe off the worst of everything, employing the lens cleaning materials as a supplement.
2017-8-29 19:06:00
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Dirty Bird
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1122090
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I clean my Phantoms with Formula 409 lightly sprayed on a microfiber cloth or paper towel when they begin to show dirt.  Same for the controllers.  I clean lenses only when necessary using a dry lens cleaning pen.  In my experience lens cleaning is normally only needed for night flights.  I've never cleaned the OA sensors & avoid touching them when cleaning the shell.
2017-8-29 19:18:27
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Genghis9
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United States
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blackcrusader Posted at 2017-8-29 19:05
I fly mine to the clouds so it gets a nice mist wash from the props. Come's back spanking clean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXD1_rVlXfg

Never thought of that technique...
2017-8-29 19:24:28
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Genghis9
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United States
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TN Lone Wolf Posted at 2017-8-29 19:06
For cleaning the lens, I have a lens cleaning solution and cloth.  For the main body and rotors, I use a dry paper towel to wipe off the worst of everything, employing the lens cleaning materials as a supplement.

Can I ask what is the brand of your lens solution?  I take it that it has no negative effect on your UAV body?
2017-8-29 19:27:39
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Lectro88
lvl.3
United States
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I'm have P3p  and standard  NOT P4
At least every other or second flight.

I clean my bird cosmetically on shell , props and landing gear with hard core clorox spray and paper towels and follow with a wet cloth or towel to dilute the harshness. I usually run props in sink afterwards as they may have grass, leaves and good ole ground bugs as I'm in the south.
Furthermore around arm shell vent holes I use an old tooth brush to pluck out rather than just go at it with no rhyme or reason.
Anything else its reduced/regulated compressed air. You can use keyboard cleaner for a more safe approach. I DON'T recommend compressed air unless you know what your doing.
2017-8-29 19:32:41
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TN Lone Wolf
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United States
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-29 19:27
Can I ask what is the brand of your lens solution?  I take it that it has no negative effect on your UAV body?

One is the cleaning solution they gave out at my optometrist's office along with my glasses, while another is ScreenDr. Professional screen cleaning solution.  I haven't noticed any issues on either the main body or camera lens with either.
2017-8-29 19:36:12
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Genghis9
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United States
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-29 19:18
I clean my Phantoms with Formula 409 lightly sprayed on a microfiber cloth or paper towel when they begin to show dirt.  Same for the controllers.  I clean lenses only when necessary using a dry lens cleaning pen.  In my experience lens cleaning is normally only needed for night flights.  I've never cleaned the OA sensors & avoid touching them when cleaning the shell.

409?  You use full strength, and no impact?  Why only a "dry" lens pen?  
Night flights...bugs?  These things go fast enough that bugs get smooshed on the lens......nice!
2017-8-29 19:43:21
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Genghis9
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United States
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Lectro88 Posted at 2017-8-29 19:32
I'm have P3p  and standard  NOT P4
At least every other or second flight.

So you have had no negative impacts using full strength Clorox on the plastics or anything?  Would never have guessed that...
Not sure I get your point about "regulated compressed air" versus "compressed air" I'm unfamiliar?
Good Points with the other techniques you use
Thanks
2017-8-29 19:53:50
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CraigR
lvl.2
Australia
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I am using the same as I do for my DSLRs: a damp (not wet) cloth for the shell and props, and Eclipse Optic Lens Cleaning Fluid for the lens (although I've only does that once because it seems to keep itself much cleaner than I first expected... all the bugs seem to be on the props and shell rather than the lens). I will also run the props under cold water while wiping them if they're particularly dirty or the bugs/gunk is particularly sticky. For really, really dirty situations I've used on my DSLR bodies a very dilute dishwashing liquid in water and dipping the cleaning cloth in that (then wring it out so it's only damp) has never caused any damage so far as I can see (been doing this on the DSLRs for over 15 years now).

This is a good poll and I may very well change my current approach depending on what's said in the replies.
2017-8-29 20:04:42
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Dirty Bird
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-29 19:43
409?  You use full strength, and no impact?  Why only a "dry" lens pen?  
Night flights...bugs?  These things go fast enough that bugs get smooshed on the lens......nice!

Formula 409 is a household spray cleaner that's been around for years.  I use it full strength.  Does a great job keeping the shell & RC clean with no harmful effect to the plastic.  The lens issue at night is even a slightly dirty lens makes streetlights appear fuzzy & causes halos.  During daylight flight a lightly fouled lens isn't noticeable.  The dry lens pen has a brush on one end & a small, round, treated pad on the other end.  This works especially well on the small recessed lens of the P3 Standard & the Mavic.  I have one in every bird's flight bag.

2017-8-29 20:10:08
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UAVTom
lvl.2
United States
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Yes.  I use compressed air and Windex on the props.
2017-8-29 20:34:23
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Genghis9
Second Officer
United States
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CraigR Posted at 2017-8-29 20:04
I am using the same as I do for my DSLRs: a damp (not wet) cloth for the shell and props, and Eclipse Optic Lens Cleaning Fluid for the lens (although I've only does that once because it seems to keep itself much cleaner than I first expected... all the bugs seem to be on the props and shell rather than the lens). I will also run the props under cold water while wiping them if they're particularly dirty or the bugs/gunk is particularly sticky. For really, really dirty situations I've used on my DSLR bodies a very dilute dishwashing liquid in water and dipping the cleaning cloth in that (then wring it out so it's only damp) has never caused any damage so far as I can see (been doing this on the DSLRs for over 15 years now).

This is a good poll and I may very well change my current approach depending on what's said in the replies.

Sounds like you have some good techniques yourself...I agree hope we learn some good stuff
Thanks
2017-8-29 20:57:57
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Lectro88
lvl.3
United States
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-29 19:53
So you have had no negative impacts using full strength Clorox on the plastics or anything?  Would never have guessed that...
Not sure I get your point about "regulated compressed air" versus "compressed air" I'm unfamiliar?
Good Points with the other techniques you use

Its clorox spray...  like 409 and windex I figure its diluted in some kind of way, And if not its plastic. I wash my hands and dishes in it if the mood strikes me. LoL. but  like I said I follow with wet water towels later. and its been no worries. For me.

Regulated compressed air is...  A devise that takes 150 psi air and reduces it to the  amount you choose where it be 5 psi or 149 psi from the supplied pressure.
This kind of thing is used with water and steam and in my situation I use an air dryer that removes moisture. the mechanics here will know what I'm talking about.
As I said earlier... I don't recommend this. But I grew up with it.
Pick up a can of computor keyboard cleaner and thats probabaly a safer start for the untrained hands.
if your curious.
2017-8-29 21:02:20
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Genghis9
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United States
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-29 20:10
Formula 409 is a household spray cleaner that's been around for years.  I use it full strength.  Does a great job keeping the shell & RC clean with no harmful effect to the plastic.  The lens issue at night is even a slightly dirty lens makes streetlights appear fuzzy & causes halos.  During daylight flight a lightly fouled lens isn't noticeable.  The dry lens pen has a brush on one end & a small, round, treated pad on the other end.  This works especially well on the small recessed lens of the P3 Standard & the Mavic.  I have one in every bird's flight bag.

Curios about only using dry, you don't believe in using a lens cleaner?  Or is it concerns about lenses being coated?
Thanks
2017-8-29 21:03:58
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Dirty Bird
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Owning a couple of high-end computerized telescopes with UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coating) lenses I just believe in cleaning lenses as infrequently as possible so as not to affect any lens coating or treatment.  For my telescopes I mix a homemade concoction of distilled water, dish soap, & vinegar, then use it very sparingly.  
2017-8-29 21:20:49
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 50323
Canada
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Clean your "Baby" with baby wipes. ;-)



I use lens tissues and mild Lens cleaner, or a drop of Iso' on a Q-Tip.



RedHotPoker
2017-8-29 23:29:52
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Aardvark
Captain
Flight distance : 83138
United Kingdom
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Mild soapy water (Luke warm), using a slightly dampened cloth for the shell. The UV filter  (or ND) keeps the camera lens protected, usually to clean the front of the filter I use just a 'Huff ' of breath and a gentle wipe with a lens cloth.
2017-8-29 23:41:36
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R&L Aerial
Captain
Flight distance : 90861
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United States
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I take my p4p in the bubble bath with me!!
2017-8-30 03:53:02
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Genghis9
Second Officer
United States
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R&L Aerial  Posted at 2017-8-30 03:53
I take my p4p in the bubble bath with me!!

Do you use the Mr Bubbles or the Batman one???
2017-8-30 03:59:21
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embayweather
lvl.4
Flight distance : 82743
United Kingdom
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I use a household wet wipe type cleaner on the body, mostly to remove the dead flies, but also adds a little polish to the surface. The lens is cleared witht eh same cloth I used to use on my DSLR.
2017-8-30 04:10:39
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ALABAMA
First Officer
Flight distance : 393502
United States
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I used to just let the dog lick it off, till one day he started before the props stopped.  Now he can't even lap up water with half a tongue.
2017-8-30 04:32:17
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Linuxglobal
lvl.1
Flight distance : 39255
Canada
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Hand sanitizer on the body shell with a microfiber cloth. Usually after a few flights or as needed if bugs/dirt get on the shell.
Windex microfiber on lens, i have a modified gimbal lock that has the lens area open so i can clean it with the lock in place and not put too much stress on the gimbal arm.

Great idea for a poll.
2017-8-30 04:33:47
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R&L Aerial
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-30 03:59
Do you use the Mr Bubbles or the Batman one???

Mr bubbles and I also have bath time crayons....
2017-8-30 06:19:41
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Kneepuck
Captain
Flight distance : 83851
Canada
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I use a product called Blow Off on the body.  I spray it on a soft cloth and use it to wipe down the shell.  I use lens cleaning stuff for the lenses.  I never, ever spray ANYTHING directly on the Phantom, or any other electronics.  The Blow Off is an electronics cleaner that is anti static and dust repellant and provides a nice, light shine to the finish.
2017-8-30 07:18:33
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Genghis9
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United States
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ALABAMA Posted at 2017-8-30 04:32
I used to just let the dog lick it off, till one day he started before the props stopped.  Now he can't even lap up water with half a tongue.

Alabama...Dude...when I stop laughing...seriously, what do you do or not re cleaning?

Hope your vet bill was cheap...
2017-8-30 09:18:05
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Genghis9
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United States
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Linuxglobal Posted at 2017-8-30 04:33
Hand sanitizer on the body shell with a microfiber cloth. Usually after a few flights or as needed if bugs/dirt get on the shell.
Windex microfiber on lens, i have a modified gimbal lock that has the lens area open so i can clean it with the lock in place and not put too much stress on the gimbal arm.

Linuxglobal
Good ideas...
So the alcohol in the sanitizer does not have any negative effects on the plastic parts?
Your gimbal technique sounds like a good idea.  Where did you get this modified item, make it yourself or an aftermarket item?  If you bought, please share where and price?
Thanks
2017-8-30 09:21:55
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Genghis9
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United States
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Kneepuck Posted at 2017-8-30 07:18
I use a product called Blow Off on the body.  I spray it on a soft cloth and use it to wipe down the shell.  I use lens cleaning stuff for the lenses.  I never, ever spray ANYTHING directly on the Phantom, or any other electronics.  The Blow Off is an electronics cleaner that is anti static and dust repellant and provides a nice, light shine to the finish.

Kneepuck
Good deal, I read up on "Blow Off" seems like a good product, I found it on Amazon but not sure I can get it locally, I'll have to check and see.
I think your idea about not putting anything on directly is wise, lots of nooks and crags that fluids/product can seep in to.
Thanks
2017-8-30 09:30:23
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Montfrooij
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Netherlands
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blackcrusader Posted at 2017-8-29 19:05
I fly mine to the clouds so it gets a nice mist wash from the props. Come's back spanking clean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXD1_rVlXfg

LOL.
That is a beautiful way to get your drone clean
2017-8-30 10:11:29
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Knowles Patrick
lvl.1
United States
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I never looked into it, but I use a household glass cleaner (windex) sprayed on a microfiber cloth. Same on lens. I live in the southern region of Louisiana swampland. My p4p gets muddy most times out, I do my best to avoid it, but living here it's a fact of life.
2017-8-30 10:42:11
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Genghis9
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United States
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Knowles Patrick Posted at 2017-8-30 10:42
I never looked into it, but I use a household glass cleaner (windex) sprayed on a microfiber cloth. Same on lens. I live in the southern region of Louisiana swampland. My p4p gets muddy most times out, I do my best to avoid it, but living here it's a fact of life.

Patrick,
Understood, yeah you likely would see a lot of that in your neck of the swamp.  I spent 4 year in the Bossier area, so I know a little of what you speak.
So, you are not seeing any ill effects from using this product on your aircraft?
Thanks
2017-8-30 11:00:50
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RMJovo
lvl.2
Flight distance : 183597
United States
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Huggie baby wipes on the body and props to remove bug splat, works well for me, Zeiss lens wipes for the camera only when needed.
2017-8-30 16:21:48
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repairman
lvl.2
Flight distance : 92
United States
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i use damp soft cotton cloth.
2017-8-30 16:46:16
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Landbo
Second Officer
Flight distance : 153251
Denmark
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Hand-warmed water with dish soap on a cloth easily removes the remains of insects on the frame and props after a flight. The lens of the camera is cleaned with special fluid intended for spectacles/optics the few times a cleansing is required. We keep the chemical stock at a minimum here in the house and thus save money - and time.   

Regards Leif.
2017-8-30 21:08:56
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CraigR
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Australia
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Landbo Posted at 2017-8-30 21:08
Hand-warmed water with dish soap on a cloth easily removes the remains of insects on the frame and props after a flight. The lens of the camera is cleaned with special fluid intended for spectacles/optics the few times a cleansing is required. We keep the chemical stock at a minimum here in the house and thus save money - and time.   

Regards Leif.

How long does it take you to hand warm the water?
2017-8-30 21:45:52
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Landbo
Second Officer
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Denmark
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CraigR Posted at 2017-8-30 21:45
How long does it take you to hand warm the water?

Not long time have a high metabolism and is at the same time a hard-working person.  

Regards Leif.
2017-8-30 21:55:54
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Genghis9
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United States
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Landbo Posted at 2017-8-30 21:08
Hand-warmed water with dish soap on a cloth easily removes the remains of insects on the frame and props after a flight. The lens of the camera is cleaned with special fluid intended for spectacles/optics the few times a cleansing is required. We keep the chemical stock at a minimum here in the house and thus save money - and time.   

Regards Leif.

Very good, I'm all for saving money!
2017-8-30 22:10:04
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sky wombat
Second Officer
Flight distance : 53665
Australia
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Lens cleaner & micro cloth. If real keen wipe the propellers with a damp cloth. But if you clean your drone the next step will be washing the car, then the windows...
2017-9-2 05:47:43
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RedHotPoker
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Flight distance : 50323
Canada
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Never fly in the rain. That will only clean your wallet out. Ha




RedHotPoker
2017-9-2 13:02:54
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