Let’s face it, having to skip a day of flying because of the weather sucks.
At the first sight of a little rain or snow, you run inside in fear of damaging your precious little quadcopter.
What if there was a way to waterproof the electrical components of your quadcopter so you can fly in rain or snow?
I have good news.
How to Waterproof your Quadcopter
But First, a Precaution…
The methods we’re going to discuss for waterproofing your quadcopter are very effective at preserving your electrical components. With that said, still be smart when you’re flying. This will mainly be helpful for those of you flying in rain or snowy conditions.
While your quadcopter should still be protected if it falls into a lake or an ocean, it’s obviously best to avoid these situations in the first place. You know… Just in case. 🙂
The Magic Stuff
There are a couple of different things that are useful to have handy when waterproofing your drones, RC Helis and etc. I like to have Corrosion-X, some conformal coating and Epoxy on hand depending on what I’m waterproofing.
All of this stuff is readily available on Amazon, and relatively inexpensive.
They are each useful for certain components and it’s important to know which is for which.
This is going to be your “go-to” and all in one waterproofer. Suitable for everything except your ESCs. The original, canned version is good for spraying your electronics.
Corrosion X Spray Bottle
The spray bottle version of Corrosion X is better for dipping your electronics for a smooth, even coat. The canned version creates a foamy liquid that can make it difficult to pour into a bowl or plastic container. If you want an easier all-in-one dipping solution, get the spray bottle version instead.
Corrosion X HD
Corrosion X – yet again. This time, the “HD” or heavy duty version for components like servos.
Last but not least, we have Epoxy. This is what we’ll be using to seal up those ESCs. Note that Epoxy isn’t waterproof but it instead acts as a seal and blocks the water off from reaching the ESCs in the first place. Corrosion X just isn’t enough for the ESCs so we want to keep them protected at all costs.
Disassemble Your Quadcopter
The first thing you’re going to want to do when waterproofing a drone is disassembling it. Taking apart the frame and removing the electrical components is the best way to do this. That’s why it’s a great idea to waterproof your components before you even assemble your quadcopter, assuming you’re building a custom rig.
While not necessary to completely remove the case of parts that have a casing, such as some receivers, it’s a good idea to do so. Most are held together only by a few screws anyway, and disassembling it completely will ensure a much smoother and even coat of the spray we’re going to use.
Spray it Down!
Once your parts are completely disassembled, you’re going to want to spray most of them with one of two things. Corrosion-X or any type of conformal coating are the standards. You can spray a bit into a bowl and dunk the electronics, but personally, I prefer to just spray it on.
Have some newspaper or cheap plastic containers down underneath your components to catch the excess spray. This stuff can get messy.
Make sure you get a good even coat on the electrical components such as the receiver, flight control board and etc. Make sure you also spray the soldered terminals on your quadcopter’s batteries so it won’t react with water. This can also be used if your battery already fell in the water. Just cut the heat shrink off of your terminals, spray some Corrosion X on it and put the heat shrink back on. This will help protect it from any water that may have already hit the terminals, even if you didn’t spray it in advance.
Don’t Spray Your ESCs!
The one thing you don’t want to use Corrosion X or conformal coating on is your ESCs. It doesn’t have the same lasting effect that it does on all of the other parts. But we still want the ESCs protected from water, so instead, we’ll be using Epoxy.
It’s ideal to have a bit of a longer shrink wrap on your ESCs as we’ll be using the Epoxy to seal them shut. If they’re long already, fine. If they’re short, you’ll want to cut them off and re-shrink wrap it so that you have some room to spare.
Finally, squirt some Epoxy onto a small brush, or even a chop stick… Crafty, but it works. We just want something small enough to be able to coat the outside of the shrink wrap and seal it shut on both sides. Make sure you get in between the wires as well!
Enjoy Flying in the Rain or Snow
There you have it, how to waterproof your quadcopter! Now you can enjoy flying in on any day and no rain or snow can stop you!