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FC40 Sea Water 3 months ago

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Help' started by zoemad, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. zoemad

    Jan 21, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I took my FC40 out on a boat back in Sept 2014 and the battery died mid-flight, resulting in it falling into the sea. We managed to get it out within 5 minutes of it falling in, but it had no signs of life (and the camera now lives in the South China Sea...). At the time I didn't know to wash the salt water off (didn't want to get it even more wet) and instead took it straight to an authorised repair shop here in Hong Kong who sent it to DJI in mainland China. 65 days later (!), they came back saying the battery and motors are fine but the central circuit board is broken and there is nothing they can do for it. I asked if it could be repaired/ replaced and he said DJI policy is not to replace these and that I just have to buy a new phantom...

    Can anyone (please, please, please!!) suggest anything I can do? Whether it's going back to DJI to complain, repair what I've got or buy new parts? I only had it 2 weeks and really don't want to have to buy a new one :(

    Thanking you in advance
  2. PhantomFanatic

    Nov 14, 2014
    Likes Received:
    USA, GA
    The first thing that comes to mind is get your drone back! I would open it up and verify what they said. Plus, you could sell the good parts or the entire Phantom in the classifieds here. One big BUT, state the history above.

    It is hard to guess what corrosion did, it probably won't be pretty. Did you buy it new?

    I think your options are limited. I doubt DJI will replace it as salt water immersion surely violates any warranty that it may have left.

    I see two options: See if any of the repair guys here will take a look at it. #2 buy another if it can't be fixed.
  3. J.James

    Apr 21, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Upstate NY
    if it sat that long with sea salt in it most likely the only thing thats going to be useable is the shell and the landing gear.
    I had a phantom 2 that some one gave me to use the shell out of it. that took a salt water swim and then sat for months with out them rinsing the salt off it. Buy the time I had it every thing was so corroded in side that most of the parts on the esc's and the board feel off just by picking at them with my finger nails. Even the cables were so bad and corroded that none of them were even useable. The only thing that at fist appeared to be ok was one of the motors. But when I took that apart even tho it seemed to spin ok I actually noticed the bearings did not spin at all and the shaft was just turning in side the bearing like a bushing. and the stator had rust on it. SO the only part that was useable was the bell from the motor with the threaded part on it that I used to fix another motor that some one crashed and messed up the threads on there motor.
  4. CityZen

    Oct 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Open it up and take a look inside. If you don't see obvious corrosion, then it may just be the Naza module that needs to be replaced.
    You can get a Naza Lite for only $55 on Ebay. The Naza is more susceptible to corrosion since water can penetrate in, but then it won't
    dry out quickly since it's enclosed.

    I'd also look into lubricating or replacing the motor bearings. There's a bearing at the top and bottom end of each motor.
  5. SteveMann

    Aug 27, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Westford, MA
    The next time this happens - immediately submerge the whole kit in fresh water. This will stop or greatly slow the corrosion damage. When you get it home, disassemble everything down to the screws and connectors (take photos before unplugging wires) and rinse it in fresh water again and use a lot of paper towels and a blow drier to dry the parts. Let them dry overnight then inspect for further damage before reassembling.
    If you have a water softener, then go buy a few gallons of de-ionized water for the final cleaning. (Water softeners add salt).
  6. Happyflyer

    May 5, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Cold, Cold, Michigan
    All good information above. If you get it going again or end up with a new purchase, keep one thing in mind: never fly over salt water.
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