Protecting Your Drone from Water - dummies

Protecting Your Drone from Water

By Mark LaFay

One of the most common ways to ruin a drone is to get it wet, which is why you need to monitor the weather before you take your drone out flying.

Knowing the water hazards

A spontaneous downpour or even just prolonged flight in misty conditions can cause enough water to build up to short out the electronics in your drone. Flying in snowy conditions can also mean sudden doom for your drone if you aren’t cautious. Your drone produces a lot of heat while flying, and while snow is dry when it’s frozen, it won’t stay frozen when it hits your warm drone.

The same goes for drones that crash in soft snow. Snow might soften the fall but it won’t take long for the heat from your battery and motors to liquefy the snow and damage your drone.

Another danger is flying your drone over water. Getting shots over the water can be really awesome, but all it takes is a quick gust of wind or a miscalculation on your battery charge, and your drone can go flying into the drink and poof. No more drone.

Now there’s a way around this danger. You can protect your drone with a hydrophobic coating.

Protecting your drone with a hydrophobic coating

If you want to fly over water or in the middle of a downpour or snowstorm, you can do so without having to worry about crashing into the water. In recent years, scientists have made some amazing advancements in hydrophobic technology. Hydrophobia is the fear of water. Hydrophobic means water repellant! Now you can simply apply a hydrophobic coating to all of the parts of your drone and your drone will be ready to fly in wet conditions.

Before you go dunking your drone in water to test the effectiveness of your hydrophobic spray, make sure you properly coat your device.

  1. To properly apply a coating, you must dismantle your drone so that all of the working pieces and parts are exposed.

  2. Using the applicator that comes with the hydrophobic chemical, coat all of the internal circuit boards, wiring harnesses, motors, camera gear, and so on.

    Try to not get any on the lens of the camera, as it could smudge.

  3. Make sure that the coating has dried, and then re-assemble your drone.

    Make sure that you limit how much you touch the treated electronics. Most coatings are smudge resistant, but you can wear them off by touching and wiping.

  4. After you reassemble drone, give it a good coating on the outside.

    You will want to make sure you don’t get any of the spray on the battery terminals or connectors. The coating could create a barrier that impacts the flow of electricity between the battery and the drone.

  5. Once the coating has finished drying, take your drone for a spin.

    If you get your drone wet, don’t wipe the water off. Rubbing water will also rub the protective coating off your drone.

Where to get hydrophobic products

Several hydrophobic options are available. Here are the most popular manufacturers:

  • 3M Novec

  • Dry Wired

  • Ever Dry