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Author Topic: Waterproofing electricals  (Read 99 times)

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Offline Deerslayer

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Waterproofing electricals
« on: June 14, 2018, 08:46:40 AM »
Float flying, along with winter flying, is a popular part of our RC flying, especially with electric airplanes. Things can sometimes get a tad damp or messy. There are some simple things that we can do to protect our equipment. Here are a couple of them:

First of all, check out this product, Corrosion-X. On their site is a description, along with a couple of videos. Of particular interest to us would be the one where the whole mess - motor, ESC, battery, receiver, little chopper - are thrown into a fish tank and operated. The FliteTest guys strike again!

This convinced me to try to get some and use it. I have not found a local supplier but managed to get a can from an AME who services all kinds of aircraft and buys the stuff by the case.
Check it out, and let please others know if you find a local or nearby source:
http://www.corrosionx.com/corrosionx.html

I squirt the stuff liberally into both ends of an ESC and let it drip back out. Do the same to the receiver, if it may be exposed to severe dunking. It wouldn't hurt to do the same with your power connectors, but make sure that they are clean first. Use some spray contact cleaner; I found some at my favorite Home Hardware store in beautiful downtown Odesa!).

What about motors and servos?

Well, you can spray the motor if you like, but there is dubious benefit for brushless motors, as there is nothing to be affected by water - unless you are flying on and around seawater. But, go ahead, if it makes you feel good.

Servos could be sprayed, but again, they are pretty well sealed, with some grease inside and spraying the exterior may not accomplish much. But, it can't hurt, I suppose. I am one of those rare people who often repairs servos which have stripped gears. When reassembling them, I apply some DuPont Teflon-based spray-on lube prior to reassembly (Lowes sells it, but make sure it is the version with Teflon, not the similarly packaged Lithium-based one.) I would do that anyway, regardless of whether the servo might be at risk of taking a bath someday.

So, what happens if you drown your plane and rescue it, only to find that nothing seems to work. Narf! You never did anything special to try to make it water resistant. Well, here is what you do:  Give the ESC to me and the go out and buy a new one! (Or, continue to read this and you may find a cheap solution to your problem.)

At a recent float fly event, one of our guys submerged the business end of his Fun Cub and it no longer wanted to run. Drat! Double drat!

There is no logical reason why anything should have "burned out", but some electronics probably got a bit upset by seeing a low resistance between some foil etchings or component contacts. So, I got a can of WD40 and sprayed the #1 suspect - the ESC. Despite what many folks think, WD40 is NOT a lubricant! Per its name, it is a Water Displacer. I sprayed from both ends of the ESC, top and bottom and water poured out. Gave it a shake and then let it sit for a couple of minutes. We then powered up the system and all was well again! No big surprise here. He got to return to the fray, hopefully got to spray his reborn ESC with some Corrosion-X or other suitable protectant.


« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 06:37:33 AM by Deerslayer »
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Offline ganguy

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Re: Waterproofing electricals
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 11:42:33 AM »
DS
I have been using Corrosion-x for about 20 years. I first discovered it while sailing, and used it widely, especially on the radar connectors which hate salt. It is incredible as you say. One outstanding feature, it is the best nut and bolt release agent. no matter how rusty or jammed, this stuff will get in there overnight and Bob's your uncle!
The last time I bought it was at Westmarine, but they have now closed. You don't need much. They sold it in 2 ounce bottles, and I've still got a bit left after years.
Reg
Churchill said: "Success is a series of failures during which one does not lose enthusiasm!"

Offline Deerslayer

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Re: Waterproofing electricals
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 04:49:20 PM »
Thanks for the addition, GG. I did not know of others, outside of the aviation community, that use CorrosionX.


HEY, Brad - do you use it in your marine servicing business?
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