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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Water and Electronics

    Our club had its annual float fly this weekend. One of the pilots was flying a DeHavilland Beaver on floats, and because of the gusty conditions, the plane nosed over and buried the front end in the water. He got into the boat and fished it out, but it had been in the water for several minutes. When he got it back to shore, he shook out the water, dried it out as best he could, and then tried the motor and controls. It seemed to work fine, and all of the control surfaces operated properly. A little later, he was putting in another flight when he suddenly lost control and the plane flew inward, over a number of people and hit a tree. Major damage to the wing and maybe some other stuff.

    Later in the day, I did a nose down "landing" in the lake and the plane had to be fished out. Everything inside the Coota was submerged. When I got the plane back to shore, I dumped out the water and then tried the controls. Nothing worked so assumed that I had fried the ESC or worse. After getting it home, I cut the plastic covering off of the ESC and found water inside. I dried the water and then gave it a good treatment with a hair dryer to dry it out completely. I reconnected it, but found that there was still no control to the motor or surfaces but the ESC was beeping, indicating that there was no throttle input from the receiver.

    The next thing that I did was to cut the plastic covering off of the Berg receiver and check it out. I found two small droplets of water inside. Drying them off and using the hair dryer resulted in the receiver and the rest of the plane working properly.

    The moral of this story is that if you are flying from water and you dunk your plane, don't be lulled into a false sense of security just because everything still works after you drain out the water. I believe that there is a good chance that the receiver in the Beaver had water inside, but its effect did not show up until the model was flown and the water moved around and caused the receiver to stop working. We were fortunate in that no one was hurt by the out-of-control plane. It is much safer to quit flying the plane for the day than to cause an accident or lose your plane to a crash.

    Bob

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Just to add to the things to be done - -
    It's a very good idea to rinse out things with as clean water as possible.

  3. #3
    TEBerg's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Now dip those things (ESC and RX) in Corrosion X. Soak them for a while, dab them off, and re-install in the plane... Take a look into the RC/Corrosion X info out there, you will even see video of servos working when they are under water with the RX also completely submerged...

    I started using this stuff when I got tired of re-bagging my electronics for the float fly season.
    Blue Skies,
    Tom B.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    We are unable to purchase Corrosion X here in Canada . Could you tell me how to use it . I have two spray cans of the stuff I brought on a resent trip .
    Ken , Biker BC Cub Brother #6 Ultra Sport Brother # 100 Tiger Club # 7 Pulse Brother # 1 Sig Brother # 58 Top Flight Brother # 9

  5. #5
    TEBerg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerbc View Post
    We are unable to purchase Corrosion X here in Canada . Could you tell me how to use it . I have two spray cans of the stuff I brought on a resent trip .
    You can see some better description with a search on hear for Corrosion X - What I do with the spray-can stuff is to spray it in a jar with a lid and let the aerosol (which has some volatiles or maybe solvents) off gas, stirring occasionally. After a couple hours, I can dip the component I want to protect into the jar and leave it for 1/2 to 1-hour.

    I still take the plastic case off the receiver so the corrosion X can soak into all the components. You want it to work it's way into any open metal/contact areas where water could short out. Then I dab off the component and put the case back on and install.

    I don't use a plastic bag or balloon any more on my RX. However I do spray corrosion X into the switch to get those contacts protected.

    I have not done an ESC, but have heard that some guys have got them wet after using Corrosion X and "paddled" their plane back to shore in the water and it all worked fine - I would not test that with my good equipment [smile]

    There are other ways to get good results - plenty more good reading on this site.

    Good Luck.
    Blue Skies,
    Tom B.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Thank you TEBerg Wow I had no Idea that you were to submerge the components in the stuff.. I thought maybe spray it on the connections or something.. I am presently putting an Ultra Polaris together . I will be using a Spektrum RX .. I am going to try what you recommend.. The speed controller and servos were already installed so I will just spray it on the outside of them as best I can .. I have heard that it is fantastic stuff ..I have also heard electrics and water do not play nice . If your controller gets wet and you try to turn it on you will let the smoke out .. I am totally new to electrics ..I have a ICON and now this Polaris ..So far the ICON has stayed dry ..No crashes so far ..
    Ken , Biker BC Cub Brother #6 Ultra Sport Brother # 100 Tiger Club # 7 Pulse Brother # 1 Sig Brother # 58 Top Flight Brother # 9

  7. #7
    1320Fastback's Avatar
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    I just dropped my iPhone in a pond I was driving my airboat at.
    Was under for 20 seconds or so. Retrieved it and though the sound was off because of water in the earphone jack (makes the phone think their plugged in) it works fine.
    Took it home and blew it all out with shop air and other than being cleaner now works perfectly.

    Have always thought that electronics in fresh water is ok as long as staying unpowered/or "off the throttle" so to speak until it is dried.

    The water under the shrink wraps creates dead shorts and this is what fries the electronics. Your flying mate probably had a droplet shift during flight and Zap goes the electronics, if he had blew out the ESC and RX properly before flying the plane would probably fly for another 10 years


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