Getting a drone and maintaining it is like owning a puppy and making sure it’s well-fed and groomed. If you’ve bought your first drone, you’d better have a good habit of maintaining and properly taking care for your drone if you’d want it to live a longer life. Correctly maintaining your drone and its elements off dust, dirt and mud is vital for it to fly and function properly. Drones bring you unexpected surprises if you tend to it often. These tips will help you take good care of your drone and also understand what your drone really needs.
Before flying your drone, you should make sure to inspect any physical damage to any parts of your drone. You would have to consider several things before taking-off, like if the weather is fit for your drone to fly, if any parts of your drone are functioning properly, or if the flying space is clear off any obstructing things such as flocks of birds, trees, skyscrapers, so on and so forth.
For drones that have the GPS return home feature, it is important to check if you have calibrated the compass before flying it, because the drone depends on the GPS for holding position and return home safely if it is out of reach of the controller. Calibrating the compass wrongly will throw your drone off course.
Be sure that your drones are charged completely before flying. Most drone manufacturers, like DJI or Yuneec, offer rechargeable lithium ion or lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries. Handle these batteries with care as they are energy dense batteries that have the capability of pushing current to make those four rotors spin fast!
Always check your battery power before and after a flight. Also, avoid overcharging your batteries as this would damage the batteries. A full battery will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted flight, if not, it might even crash halfway and damage your drone. You can check it out here regarding tips on how to extend your battery life.
If you’re a beginner in things like flying a drone, you must have crashed the drone more than the times you’ve flown it. Drones are mainly built to withstand minor crashes and damages to the internal parts, but dirt and grime will build up in those motors without you knowing. Therefore, it is important to remove and clean every nook and cranny of the drone. Mud built up on the drone, especially the insides, will make the drone work harder to rotate its rotors, draining battery life and might result in locking up midair.
Flying your drone on the beach sounds fun and all, until you realise the sand is actually destroying the motors. Try avoiding your drone from getting in sand. Sand contains minute particles that will stick to the magnets inside the drone and prevent it from running smoothly. To make matters worse, sand and water might even make the internal metal parts of your drone to rust and stop moving immediately.
What you’ll need for drone cleaning:
- Small cleaning brush – Brushes with small and delicate bristles are great when it comes to small and tight corners and crevices. It is also easier to remove particles that are not sticky and wet, like sand and dust.
- Air dusters – Another alternative other than brushes is canned air sprays. This can help clear out mud and grime after you’ve done disassembling all the parts of the drone to clean. Put your mind at ease, air dusters will not harm or damage any of the electronic devices in the drone.
- Isopropyl alcohol – This alcohol is great for cleaning off dust, stains, dirt, mud and all sorts of things stuck to your drone’s shell. You should get the 99% ones as no to damage the circuits.
- Microfiber material – Microfiber material, like the small cloth you find inside the case along with your glasses, are good for wiping down mud and filth. It works perfectly with the isopropyl alcohol. You can wipe while disassembling your drone.
- 3-in-1 lubricant – Mostly, drones require lubricants, especially to their propellers and motors. You can bring along a bottle of lubricant when going out flying. But before applying one, you should check with the manufacturer if the drone really needs to be lubricated.
Learn how to solder; it’ll save you tons of time, money and energy from taking trips to the repair centre. It’s not really hard to learn. There are thousands of videos, guides and DIYs online to teach you how to do it. Soldering comes in handy when your drone’s wiring or other electronics suffer any damage or injury. Doing your own repairing also shows how much you’re into drones and differentiate you, as a hobbyist, from other casuals.
You can check out the video below on soldering basics and what you should know:
Let it rest:
Everything, from humans like you, to robots like drones, needs rest. You don’t want it to get over-stressed and over-heating from flying. It’ll wear out the electronics, especially the batteries. Fly at least twice a day, but not continuously (if you have spare batteries), instead, spend the afternoon flying and let have a break to cool down before heading out during for an evening flight.