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Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

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Old 08-06-2003, 02:59 AM
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bikz
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Hi there guys,

Well a friend of mine didint like the runway so he instead 'landed' in a swamp nearby!!!!
In other words he actually lost control and crashed his trainer into a nearby swamp!!!
So well everything got soaked and wet..

Ok can anything be done to his receiver.It is not working as water has gotten into the circuit inside.
It has been dried and still no results.
It is an Airtronics 6 channel(i think) PPM receiver(40 Mhz).

Thanks guys
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:30 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

did he open the case and flush it out with CLEAN FRESH WATER and dry it off to the best of his ablity?? if so and it still doenst work... its probably toast.. send it back to the companys service dept or time to get a new one. sorry for the loss.
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Old 08-06-2003, 06:57 AM
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Storecreature
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

after flushing it out in fresh water dunk it in straight methanol,that absorbs any water remaining,then leave in the sun for a few hours.i did that to mine and its been going great the last 2 years.
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:26 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

can any component be changed????
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Old 08-06-2003, 08:56 AM
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Jim C.
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Storecreature : thats pretty interesting.. never thought of that.

can any component be changed????
you will have to send it back to the company to have that done. im not sure of the "legal" aspects of doing that yourself.. im sure someone will chime in on that one tho.
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Old 08-06-2003, 10:09 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Send it in for service.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:29 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Throw it away. Period.

Even an immediate fresh water flush will leave traces of minerals on the board that will come back to bite you later.

Even if Airtronics did replace a singular bad component, you'll still be haunted by corrosion in the future.

Even if it works for now, it will still fail in the future due to corrosion at a cost to you much greater than a new 6-channel RX (how about the cost of a complete aircraft that took months to build, the engine in it, the cost of covering and paint, etc...).

It just isn't worth it. Really.

If you had dropped a $50 portable AM/FM radio in a swamp, I'd say just flush it with fresh water and use it until it quits and then throw it away. But this is different.

Highflight
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Old 08-06-2003, 12:39 PM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

I dunked more than a few in the early years of float flying. Rinsed with fresh water - distilled would be preferable - and dried on top of the fridge or water heater they continued to work just fine - YMMV. OTOH if it doesn't work after doing that I'd toss it. You could send it for service explaining the situation and maybe they would cut you a break.
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:40 PM
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Default dunking

I don't think there is anything in the modern receiver that would be hurt by dunking in water. I don't think modern receivers have IF transformers.
If it don't work, it must be due to minerals left from the swamp water. soak it in fresh water and scrub off the bottom of the circuit board. Then dry it out.
Years ago I bought an oscilloscope from Boeing Surplus that had been left out in the weather and no longer worked. I contacted the manufactor(Tektronics) about how to fix it. The engineer told me to take it to a car wash and pressure wash it keeping water out of the transformers as much as I could. Then sit it in the sun to dry out. I did and it worked. Not all of the functions, but most of them
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:30 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

ok guys thanks...
BUT while i was starting this thread...my dear friend(his 58 and new to aeromedelling) tried something else......instead of methanol he sprayed a lubricant spray(WD-40..not sure if you guys get the same brand but its one of those lubricants in the cans for spraying). Its oil based and i hope it didint screw things up further.....

NOW...can he still try the cleansing with water and then dipping it in methanol method???? Any chance of survivial u think???

thanks...
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:20 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Dear god's, what are you people thinking? Throw it out it's a brick and only a fool would try to continue using a receiver that's been left to soak in swamp water for several minutes doused in WD-40 (or equivilant) =) Not only is it next to impossible to dry (because liquid almost always remains trapped undearneath IC's only to leak out and dry later. As the water dry's it oxidizes anything it's in contact with. Let alone the oil spray. There's no telling what compounds are in it, and IC chips are not impervious to liquids, despite what most might think some things WILL soak into the packaging. It's just a bad idea, and I don't care how many people have had this happen before and swear that they've gotten it to work afterwards, you should never trust it. It's kind of like believing in the 5 second rule for dropping food on the ground =>
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Old 08-07-2003, 03:56 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Here we go again...

Again, there are those of us that have dried out our electronics and they are STILL working years later; and there are those of us that refuse to believe it.

Dry it off, fire it up, do a range check. Leave it set for a few weeks and try it again. Obviously, if it ain't workin' something WAS affected and it may be permanently damaged. If it does seem to be working normally, but you're still worried about it, send it in and have the factory check it out. Or, toss it out and buy a new one.

Make up your own mind. I have - based on MY OWN experiences.
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:27 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Hi,
Take it from somebody who is A+ certified. Some electronics *will* take on water. There were two posts on here stating that. At the very least, send it in service. I can just about bet money that they will replace it and cut you a break. Everyone talks about the money these things costs...how about a new twist on it. What if (ok, I know, what if *never* happen... do they?) one little droplet of water gets onto the power traces on the IC later down the road, and cooks the Rx in mid-air...and then 'what if' that model comes down and hits somebody, or something expensive...like a house. I've already read about two of these incidents happening this year already, and we may see a day where if we don't get control of our planes we're all gonna be flying with waivers or some type of license that requires a check pilot to check your plane and you out. Don't trust that receiver. I have training in electronics, and to be A+ certified there is extensive questions on electronics. If that happened to a computer I wouldn't even use the case again! I have some very expensive 10 channel receivers in my planes, and would love to be able to save them, but if they saw water, they would go in the trash and I would buy a new one...eve if they were put in a park flier.
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:12 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

I don't know guys, if a fellow has a receiver that is still working as it should a decade after a dunking it makes a hard argument to throw it out. There may be buts, maybes and ifs, but I'm keeping mine. How far do you carry it? If the RH is 100% are electronics ruined? Are electronics not brought in from the cold to have moisture condense on them inside and yet they still work? Happens here in the winter both in use and in transport. Sometimes we can be too conservative.

John
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:25 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Originally posted by John Hawkins
I don't know guys, if a fellow has a receiver that is still working as it should a decade after a dunking it makes a hard argument to throw it out. There may be buts, maybes and ifs, but I'm keeping mine. How far do you carry it? If the RH is 100% are electronics ruined? Are electronics not brought in from the cold to have moisture condense on them inside and yet they still work? Happens here in the winter both in use and in transport. Sometimes we can be too conservative.

John
It's a matter of balancing the risk vs. reward.
If you can justify risking $1000 to $3000 aircraft (generally applies in my case anyway) with using a $50 RX that is questionable, then that's totally great... it's YOUR aircraft.

We all make choices every day and we each make our own choices differently for different reasons.
That's the beauty of life; we generally pay for our bad decisions and are rewarded for our good decisions. Either way, we have no one else to blame (in the first case) and we can take all the credit (in the second case).

Highflight
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:25 PM
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John Hawkins
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Highflight, seems to me in this instance reliability is a matter of individual perception. If there is sufficient data to come up with a mean time to failure for a new receiver versus an old one versus an old that was dunked and dried we would have some objective basis for evaluation. Until then I see a proposition that holds that a dunked receiver is screwed and observation (of several examples over an extended period of time) that it is not. In the face of that would a reasonable person conclude that his observations were wrong and the theory was right? To conclude that the theory was right requires the rejection of the observations.

I agree that there are degrees of risk in all actions. What is acceptable risk for one is anathema to the other. You pay your money and take your chance.
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:36 PM
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Highflight
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Originally posted by John Hawkins
Highflight.... In the face of that would a reasonable person conclude that his observations were wrong and the theory was right? To conclude that the theory was right requires the rejection of the observations.

I agree that there are degrees of risk in all actions. What is acceptable risk for one is anathema to the other. You pay your money and take your chance.
I'm sorry, what was that again?

I flunked philosophy because logic kept getting in my way :-)

Highflight
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Old 08-07-2003, 01:31 PM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

If it was mine I would get some spray tuner cleaner and flush the bejesus out of it, let it dry and try it. Chances are it's allready toast but there is a chance it's OK. If it works do extended radio range checks and fly it in an old beater for a few flights first. I would imagine since the power was on the circuitry while it sat in the water it probably shorted the driver IC. I have seen lots worse come back to life in my 17 years of being a electronics/computer tech, but in reality most things that get wet from something other than clean tap water dont come back to life. For 50-55 bucks you can get a new hitec supreme RX.
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Old 08-07-2003, 07:04 PM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Modern electronics can be flushed with water. The industry does it:

http://www.manncorp.com/preowned-other.htm
'SMT400-LD Batch Aqueous Cleaning System'

Corrosion (oxidation) on a trace on a circuit card does no harm! After all, I've made circuit cards from copper plated fiberglass, and if you don't tin the copper, it immediately oxidizes. No harm done. I think people confuse a little oxidation with the CAUSE of the oxidation. I've seen TVs that work fine with bird crap in them! However, at the right frequency and voltage sensitivity levels, a finger print across the traces of a circuit board can subtlety alter the characteristics of the nearby electronics. If I drip a little soda on the card, the metal begins to oxidize, but the conductive soda is the killer. If you wash it off, all will be well. Unless, that is, the oxidation is carried to an extreme, and damage is done.

New stuff, that I've seen info on, is more water tight than ever,
while older stuff was not so water tight, really old stuff could not be subjected to liquids, because they would get inside the 'can' of a coil or cap, and take a long time to dry out.

But a two minute dunk in water followed by a flush with clean, distilled water and alcohol, followed by complete drying should result in a receiver that is as good as new.

If you don't want to trust them, I'll pay shipping to my place!

Joe Myers-Electronic tech- 20+ years (I started with TUBES! Yuch!)
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Old 08-07-2003, 07:14 PM
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Default Highflight was right the first tiem!

Highflight got it right the first time - I have learned over the last 31 years of modeling that when something electronic starts to act up - PITCH IT. OK, I'll repeat that - PITCH IT. I have had wonky receivers repaired and they always have died again almost right away. The same goes for servos. You can replace a receiver for a crummy $55. If your planes are not worth that investment, you really are in the wrong hobby. If the receiver were working after being immersed (and I have seen many that have) then that's a different matter. If it's a dead soldier, then bury it with suitable honors and move on. It's just not worth wasting your time on.

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Old 08-07-2003, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Highflight was right the first tiem!

Originally posted by GeraldRosebery
- I have learned over the last 31 years of modeling that when something electronic starts to act up - PITCH IT.
Gerry Rosebery
Ger, nobody is advocating putting a receiver that is on the hummer in an airplane.

John
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:40 PM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

Dump it.

New flight packs are a lot cheaper than new airplanes.

Bob T.
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Old 08-08-2003, 12:48 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

alright guys....
will let my friend know about it.
so since he sprayed WD-40 .....wash it with high pressure in hope of removing the oil(i know that might be a little hard) then soak it in alcohol(tuner cleaners alright???) then give it ago.
He is still in his trainer and if it works then let him do a range check and put it on.
Actually he has already bought a new receiver/radio for a good deal...anywayz why not just give try and try to save that receiver...
Thanks for the help and any other ways of repairing that receiver is welcomed.
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Old 08-08-2003, 01:48 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

bikz,
WD-40 was developed for the airplane industry as a water displacing chemical that could be sprayed on.....I've sprayed it in switches (nothing important though, mind you, just start switches in mowers and such) without harm, and with great benefit. I would say he didn't do it any harm.
I wouldn't use tuner cleaner; it's basically freon (if memory serves....) and it is a much more agressive solvent than alchohol.

I would wash the receiver in alchohol to remove the oil, then warm water to remove all of the water-soluble debris then in alchohol again to help remove the water. For best results, I would only use hardware store denatured alchohol or for extra woopee, Everclear. (Grain alchohol with almost no water in it: 95% alchohol)
Let dry COMPLETELY, a full day in the warm sun or more; the underside of ICs, caps, inductors etc can hold a surprising amount of liquid because of capillary action. A blast with canned air would help remove it.

I WOULD NOT put this in a $3000 dollar airplane, but I would, without hesitation, put it in my scratch built balsa models. I'm assuming that since you asked, you don't have an unlimited R/C budget. FYI, I wouldn't put anything but the best radio gear available in a $3000 dollar airplane. It would have at least 2 receivers, 2 battery packs w/switch harnesses, and someone with much more guts than I at the sticks!

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the receiver, just that as John Hawkins says, there are degrees of risk. I would completely change the way I do business were I flying a big, expensive bird. I would buy new packs every year, a new radio every few, cycle and test packs on a regular basis, check wiring, and generally worry much more than I do right now.

Good luck, and let us know how it works out.

Joe Myers
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Old 08-08-2003, 02:46 AM
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Default Soaked Wet Receiver..what can be done??

ok sure thanks alot......will keep ya guys posted...
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