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Crashed in the lake...can't take off?

Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
5
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Age
41
#1
So my story...relatively new owner, only 3hrs flight time so far. Big reason for buying was paddle boarding and some upcoming trips...Been practicing with quick shots and have had one successful boarding adventure to date flying over water and landing on the board. Went out yesterday and was having trouble getting the tracker to pick up and once it finally locked, 2 secs later the spark did a 90* turn and remote says updating home point. This happened multiple times.. Not sure if this is b/c i had set the remote for home point and I was moving with the current/wind and it kept looking for it?

Anyway, finally got the tracker and slid the button to have the spark swing around me and it got in front without issue and then seemed to speed up and kept going in a circle finally crashing in a tree on the shore and dropping in the water. :mad: I got to it under1ft of water and pulled it within 20-30 secs.... pulled the battery which was still on...dried everything on the towel, blew the water our as best I could and then laid the spark on the black case to help dry it out for the rest of my paddle. Took the hair dryer to it on cool once home for a few mins. Now the Spark turns on and I have updated the compass and IMU and status on the screen doesn't give any warnings other than typical for being indoors. I try to take off and the rotors start but then stop and screen says something like compass error..check imu..but I've updated both.

Is this fixable or has the water fried it? Tough first post.. :( Thanks,
 

RaWine

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Joined
Oct 25, 2017
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#2
What you did sounded right, except you need to keep on it for awhile with the hair dryer, IMO. You don't want ANY moisture sitting in there for any length of time. I would use warm air also, but if it seems too hot, get farther away.
 

DurhamPro

Active Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
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55
#3
I would treat it like a cell phone when it gets wet. Put it in a bag of dry rice, and leave it there for a couple of days. That will suck any moisture out of it.
 
Likes: luca andrea
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
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#4
Update...realized the props were not on correctly and now everything works great. Tough little sucker to take a dive and continue to work. Downside is I caught a good ebay deal on a replacement and it arrived today..lol
 

cozzykim

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Joined
Jan 17, 2018
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Derbyshire UK.
#5
Glad you sorted it, there are a couple of things to consider.

1. Fresh water or salt? If fresh, then any damage to the electronics takes a lot longer to happen, as fresh water doesn't conduct electricity too well.
Then it's usually a case of thoroughly drying the device out. Spark is good in this respect as it doesn't have a screen for the water to penetrate and damage.

2. If salt water, speed is important, get it out of the water and get the battery off as quickly as possible, as it's the battery that drives current across the tracks and between the IC pins on the circuit boards, causing corrosive damage that's almost impossible to repair. I'd also take the lid off the Spark in these circumstances, and wash inside with distilled water or at least clean fresh water ASAP, which will help to dissolve any corrosive product before it gets hold, and wash it away.

Distilled, demineralised, or de-ionised water won't damage electronics by electrolysis, I'd be happy to soak my Spark circuit boards with any of them, (maybe not the camera though).

I'd also resist the temptation to restart the Spark until it's thoroughly dried out, even if it takes several days.
As mentioned above, rice or Silica Gel will do the job in a warm place/sealed container.

I don't know how well the batteries are sealed, if I suspected that salt water had got into one, I'd be tempted to isolate it in a metal container and throw it away, (dispose of it correctly of course).
 

adamu77

New Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
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#6
Good to hear it works. Just be aware that the water can penetrate deep into the Spark, including underneath the RF shields on the main PCB, where it will take a long time to evaporate. I successfully repaired a (fresh) water damaged Spark that had been fully submerged. The damage included a shorted ceramic cap on the small circuit board that connects to the battery; a shorted voltage regulator on the main PCB; electrolytic corrosion of the flat flex cable that links the battery connector to the main PCB; and a fried diode on the main PCB. The first three were the result of direct contact with water, the latter was likely caused by over-current due to a short. Everything else including the gimbal, obstacle avoidance cameras, IMU compartment, ESCs, motors, were fine. Note that even fresh water contains impurities that will leave residue on the circuitry, reducing their life. Minimally, I would recommend pulling out the main circuit board and popping off the RF shields, and inspecting under magnification/cleaning with distilled water if necessary.
 

cozzykim

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Joined
Jan 17, 2018
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Derbyshire UK.
#7
Good to hear it works. Just be aware that the water can penetrate deep into the Spark, including underneath the RF shields on the main PCB, where it will take a long time to evaporate. I successfully repaired a (fresh) water damaged Spark that had been fully submerged. The damage included a shorted ceramic cap on the small circuit board that connects to the battery; a shorted voltage regulator on the main PCB; electrolytic corrosion of the flat flex cable that links the battery connector to the main PCB; and a fried diode on the main PCB. The first three were the result of direct contact with water, the latter was likely caused by over-current due to a short. Everything else including the gimbal, obstacle avoidance cameras, IMU compartment, ESCs, motors, were fine. Note that even fresh water contains impurities that will leave residue on the circuitry, reducing their life. Minimally, I would recommend pulling out the main circuit board and popping off the RF shields, and inspecting under magnification/cleaning with distilled water if necessary.
True in a lot of cases, especially low country rivers, but not always as I guess you'll know yourself.

The drinking water conductivity where I used to live was less than 100µS with very few dissolved minerals. It came from a local reservoir in the hills.
 

Rafa7

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Joined
Feb 21, 2018
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337
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111
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Georgia USA
#8
Update...realized the props were not on correctly and now everything works great. Tough little sucker to take a dive and continue to work. Downside is I caught a good ebay deal on a replacement and it arrived today..lol
I am glad for you and good for you now you have a spare unit. : -)
 

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