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Old Feb 12, 2011, 09:55 AM
Registered User
Belgium
Joined Dec 2010
115 Posts
Question
Protecting electronics from moisture

Hi,

In the upcomming season in Belgium, I would like to start flying of water with my SIG 1/6 cub on Hobbyking 83cm floats and want to know how you guys protect your electronic equipment ( ESC, Rx, battery, motor,...) from getting wet?

Regards
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 10:33 AM
Fuzzy Member
lupy's Avatar
Renton WA
Joined Oct 2001
825 Posts
Welcome, This is a comon problem, Planes can be sealed, and components can be held in the center of the fuse, to limit splashing, but eventually, things get wet. Fresh water is very workable, but salt is very tricky.

Most people seem to find Corrosion X works quite well on ESC's and RX's, I have used various epoxies and silicones too, which can work if properly applied. Batteries can take some dunking, as long as the water is clean. Opinions are mixed on servos, I have used corrosion X, which seems to work fine, though some have reported problems.

You can use the search function to look for other threads on the topic.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 05:41 PM
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Belgium
Joined Dec 2010
115 Posts
ok thanks,

is plasti-dip a good product to cover an ESC?
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 06:59 PM
God of Gravity Poisoning
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Joined Nov 2010
336 Posts
I've heard people have had problems with plasti-dip on ESC's it holds heat and it can develop leaks after a season of thermal cycling. If you use silicone it has to be electronics safe many hardware store silicones releases corrosive vapors as they cure. CorrosionX is the best for protecting Rx's and ESC's I've heard mixed results with servos and motors. As for the motor I use alcohol in a squirt bottle to displace water if it takes a dip along with a very light bearing lubing from time to time. I wouldn't recommend WD-40 it is a degreaser and dielectric insulator not to mention it leaves a sticky residue after it drys. I use a very, very light coating of Vaseline on the exposed surfaces of my servos just enough to make water bead. If your servos take a dunk you may want to disassemble them so water doesn't sit in them they generally come back after they dry. I use a CPU muffin fan after flights to thoroughly dry out my electronics bay. If you find your fuse is taking on water you may need little spray skirts on your floats to redirect splashes.

CorrosionX underwater ESC demo

http://www.rejex.com/tv.html

List of International CX distributors

http://www.corrosionx.com/marinein.html

As for floats in general here are some things to keep in mind. If your floats don't protrude past your prop far enough your plane will want to nose over as it accelerates my float plane needs 2 inches but this will vary with float displacement. This has to be balanced with the fact that your float step should lineup with your wing CoG. If you find that your plane won't get off the surface your float position and angle might be wrong. Your plane needs to maintain proper wing incidence angle at speed to generate proper lift.

P.S. Salt water is really hard on your equipment I'd stay away from it.
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 02:50 PM
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Belgium
Joined Dec 2010
115 Posts
keep going, I have a lot to learn about water flying!
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Nashville TN
Joined Jan 2007
286 Posts
CorrosionX is the best stuff out there.....A $20.00 spray can will last for years.
Eng30
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 10:36 PM
God of Gravity Poisoning
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Joined Nov 2010
336 Posts
Here is a thread with some float placement tips

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46211

Designing For Water Flying Success

http://www.stenulson.net/rcflight/watrfly2.htm
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 11:01 PM
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Crossville, TN
Joined Dec 2004
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another good info site is: www.smilesandwags.com/floatsite/faq.html
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 04:16 AM
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Belgium
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good links, thanks
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 04:30 AM
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Belgium
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So i just leet my ESC and Rx soak in the corrosion X right? After that it's completely waterproof?
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 12:25 PM
Garry
Tumble weed country Eastern Washington
Joined Aug 2004
530 Posts
You got it, I use a wide mouth jar with CX in it just keep the lid on it and it will last a long time. I completly submerge my esc's for a few days lightly aggitating the jar every now and then. Lrt the esc drip then pat it down and you are good to go. I do not recomend using CX in the spray can, the only time I have burned up an ESC was when I just sprayed it. After treatment I have found that I need to mount the ESC with wire ties as nothing will stick to the wrap on the ESC. Also you want the CX in the red container.
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Belgium
Joined Dec 2010
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I find it hard to believe but I'll give it a go. Can the motor also be treated or is it not good for the bearings or magnets... First i have to find a distibutor for CX in Belgium.
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 03:59 PM
God of Gravity Poisoning
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Joined Nov 2010
336 Posts
That's the way it has worked for me. I bought the pump spray version because it is easier to decant into a container that you can soak your components in. I use a type of food canning jar known as a Mason jar. With the lid on it allows me to agitate the parts without spilling. Most ESC's are wrapped in shrink tubing you want to make sure any air bubbles are shook loose from under the shrink so all the components are fully coated. Some people remove the shrink wrap and replace it after the treatment but I just use a little light agitation and time some people let their parts soak overnight or longer I do it for about an hour myself. If your Rx is in a hard case you might want to disassemble it if possible so you can just soak the circuit board it will be less messy. Also I'd remove the crystal so it won't fill with CX. After the treatment I hang the parts over the jar overnight to drip dry and then I blot up any residue. Many people will retreat their components at the beginning of each season just to be sure of their protection. Also I've had good luck using contact cement to attach Velcro to CX treated surfaces. I first wipe the surface with some rubbing alcohol then I apply the contact cement to both surfaces and let it dry I get pretty good adhesion.

I have had my plane completely submerged and it still worked just be aware you don't want to motor your plane if the propeller is submerged or the plane is full of water the increased drag can burn out you motor or ESC in short order.

Also you want to give a thought to errant aircraft retrieval if you are flying off a small pond a tennis ball hooked to a good sized fishing pole works pretty good but if the body of water is larger a small boat may be necessary. Sometimes the wind is your friend it helps to be aware of where your plane will go if it is at the mercy of the wind it may not be where you want to go.
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 04:30 PM
agnotology
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Last edited by kcaldwel; Jan 24, 2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 05:08 PM
God of Gravity Poisoning
Arkansas Travelr's Avatar
Joined Nov 2010
336 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcaldwel View Post
Has anyone tried Lear Corrosion Block? It is supposedly comparable to Corrosion X, smells better, and is available at West Marine stores and in Canada:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=10383

Kevin
That sounds like good stuff I'd try it but a 16oz bottle of CX lasts forever. Hopefully someone else has experience with it. It's always good to have other options CX can be hard to find for some people.
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