Anatomy of a Drone Flyaway – Part 2 – Top Mechanical Issues You Can Avoid
That could cause your quad to misbehave when it's up in the air. Now before I get too deep into this, just like I said in part 1 flyaways are an incredibly rare thing. It'S, probably something you'll, never experience if you fly the rest of your life but for some reason, flyaways get a lot of press people love to put YouTube clips up talking about them about how the drone lost its mind that it flew off on me, they're extremely Rare events and I spend a lot of time around really experienced pilots and even new pilots and whenever I hear a story start about a fly away. I want to talk to that pilot and I want to hear the story, but again is a nerd and as an engineer, I want to find out what you were doing exactly when that fly away took place, there's, something in there that I'm not hearing and I'll Analyze, logs and I'll talk to the pilots and, if they're being totally honest, it's, usually pilot error, it's, either something they're doing while they're flying that they knew they shouldn't be doing or it's something they didn't do before they took off because the modern quads that are Out there today are incredibly sophisticated machines and the engineers that bilbies sweat the details. They think about things like redundancy and sensors and how can I make it safer and and they're incredibly sophisticated devices, so the chances of the quad itself causing the flyaway are pretty rare, because when you think about the equation of a whole lot of brilliance here, a Transmission topology that's rock solid in most cases and the person flying it you're easily the dumbest thing in that equation, so pilots do goofy things or they don't prepare, because when you're out there as a pilot just like being a diver, I used to be a diver For a lot of years, you don't get a second chance.
Eighty feet down in the water you've really got to make sure all your equipment is working, topside and it's been checked out and it's been routinely maintenance done on it. So when you get down there at 80, feet, you've got confidence in your equipment. It'S the same exact thing with the drone and you've got 90 feet in the air or 200 feet in the air. So what I'm going to talk about today from a mechanical perspective, are two single points of failure and every quad that's flying today, the propulsion system and the power plant. Now you may be thinking if these fail, the quads coming down out of the sky and that's. Absolutely true, so there are fatal failures that can happen with these single points of failure, but there are other things that can happen that will cause the quad to misbehave, so you're you're mistreating the quad in some ways by not taking the steps that I'm going to Talk about in this clip today and again, all of the things I'm going to talk about today are completely in your control. So if you're worried about a flyaway learn what I'm going to tell you today and make sure you do these things every time before you take off and you're gon na be just fine, so stay tuned and I'm gon na get into propulsion. First then, I'm gon na talk about power plants second and I'm, going to give you some rock solid suggestions based on all the issues.
I'Ve had all the conversations I've had with other pilots and I'm gon na get to the root cause of why those flyaways took place and again turns out it's pilot error, so stay tuned and we'll get into it. In this first section, I'll cover some of the mechanical things that I've learned over the years that you should be checking before you ever put your quads up in the sky. That will help you pretty much eliminate any chance of a flyaway based on these factors. But I wanted to start this section off with just a brief history of flight, because it's one of those things that really shouldn't happen, I've talked about these products being miracles. Flight in general is something that almost defies the laws of physics and as a nerd. A few things get me really excited technology and physics, and these products combine both of those. So I wanted to talk a little bit about how these things fly, because, honestly, as an engineer, I don't think they should be here. These are products that shouldn't be available to the general public at this point, because this technology should be 10 or 15 years away from us, but here it is today, so when we think about flight as humans, we've constantly thought about, how do we get up there? Not just how do we get up there, but how do we stay up there because we're, essentially terrestrial creatures, we walk around on the ground? We can go forward and back.
We can go left and right, we're, two dimensional creatures and okay. You can get to the third dimension on a pogo stick or a trampoline for a couple of seconds, but to get up there and stay up there, that's a tough thing to do and for ever since the beginning of time, the dawn of time we as a Species have quested to get up there in the sky and stay up there, and it started way back thousands of years ago with the Chinese, who were really the first ones to put kites in the air that understood to a certain extent how wind could keep something Up in the air and and that controlled flight with a string was pretty basic back then, but it wasn't really something that got them up in the air. You couldn't build a big enough kite where you'd get up in the air, so the next big came from what we'll call lighter than air craft and that started with people, understanding that if you heat air air rises, hot air rises. So if I can capture that inside of some container a balloon, for example and capture enough of it, put a basket underneath it with a really skinny person in it, I could probably ask them into the sky. The problem with lighter than aircraft, especially balloons, is that there's not a lot of control with those. So when the balloon goes up, you're kind of a slave to the wind.
At that point, so you've got to have a chase vehicle on the ground or somebody on a horse. I guess back in those days to chase the balloon. So when it came down somewhere, you could actually pick that person up and bring them home. Now. The first people that really kind of mastered balloons in general were the French, the French really loved their balloons at a balloon, forced or the revolution, and they were the ones that really bought into this whole balloon theory and spent a lot of time developing balloons. The next big evolution in lighter than air transportation came with the Germans and the invention of the dorinda balls or the Zeppelin's, those those larger airships that used chemicals. They used hydrogen. They used helium to sort of lift that up in the air and it was very, very big and they were really the first ones that decided we're gon na put some kind of control mechanism on it. So we're not a slave to the wind anymore, where we're drifting all over the place. We can actually control it with a couple of rudders on the back and a small engine to kind of push it through the air in a certain direction, and I love that word dirigibles at something. I use a lot. I think that's a cool word, but the Germans came up with that, but again it still wasn't a completely controllable craft. It was something that you had some level of control over, but it was extremely dangerous.
Obviously the Hindenburg was an issue that we all remember from kids, but beyond that it was difficult to control it. So the big epiphany came after years and years of brilliant people, thousands of years of development back since the Chinese time today were all those developments around Newton's. Third law of motion, fluid dynamics, aeronautical investigations about lift and control of things in the air came from people like da Vinci and a ton of brilliant engineers all over the world. All of that led up to that fateful day. In 1903, when Orville and Wilbur Wright took that first flight on Devil's kill Hill in that airplane that they built, and it was a 12 second flight that changed everything that was the first sustainable, controlled populated somebody was on the plane flight and it it was an Epiphany now that's, not what we're doing today. Obviously, we've come late year since then, in the last hundred years you can get an airplane today, most people didn't even think about it, but the mechanics of the physics that were going on inside that airplane are brilliant and technologies invaded that space in a big way. So most planes today are flown through technology. They'Ve got digital controls inside the planes. All of this is controlled by digital electronics today, so you know good on those guys over in Wilbur, but what I like so much about them too, just as a side note, is that as engineers they were sort of working through this.
There were bicycle guys. They were working through this and went through hundreds and hundreds of iterations, and they would constantly go back and tweak this and tweak that and test things and that's. What engineers do they want to sort of move the ball forward, little by little it's, a game of inches to get it to where you need it to be, and they built their own wind tunnels and they were doing aerodynamic tests against it to see how the Air flow went across the top of the wings and that's. Something any engineer would do the thing I loved about them, though, is they were so concerned in addition to the technology with safety, because one of their one of their main driving forces was to say forever, people have been jumping out of balloons with sort of crude Wings that they're flapping trying to see if they can get flying or they've been shot out of cannons. We don't want to do that because all those people get hurt or worse killed because they jumped off a cliff and it didn't work. We want to focus on safety as well, so they were, they are of the mind of like we want the technology advanced, but we want you to get off the airplane when it's done so they focused on safety and minimizing the chances of loss of life or Limb they don't want arms being broken or legs being broken, so two heroes of mine right there.
I think the engineering side really intrigues me, but that safety side is really important as well and the reason I'm mentioning. That is because these modern quads have a tremendous amount of safety gear built into them. The engineers that built these are standing on the shoulders of giants that invented a lot of the flight characteristics that these take advantage of. But the technology inside these exploits that to the point where they're, making them safe and I'd mentioned before redundant components, redundant paths, all kinds of self checking going on inside there when you go through a power on self test, so they're, very versus of his gated devices And that's, why I get frustrated? When I hear people say I had a flyaway, the quad did it the quad, probably didn't? Do it it's, probably something you didn't pay attention to so I'll get into that in a second now the two things you want to concern yourself with around propulsion or what I'm going to call integrity and posture now integrity has to do with is the propeller in Enough shape to fly, is it gon na behave up in the air? Is it doing what the ESC and the motors are expecting? The posture has to do with wear of that propeller over time, because, even though the propeller looks good, it may not be up to spec to fly and I'll. Tell you how to check both of those so let's start with the integrity of the propeller.
So the first thing you want to do before you fly and I do this every time I go out to fly, not every flight, but a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I'm driving out to a location to fly first thing: I'll do pull all four propellers off your quad Run your fingers along the edges make sure there's no Nicks or dings or gouges along those. If they're nice and smooth run them across the top surface, you can use a cotton ball. If you want to bring a couple of those with you, you'll find there's any Nick's or rubs on the top of it once you're sure they're, smooth, clean them off, because when you're flying up there you're in a very debris Laden environment you're flying through bugs are Flying through particles and dust and dirt they're gon na get dirty you're gon na get gunked up over time. So what I do is carry one of these alcohol wipes with me that you can use to clean your glasses and I'll run them across all the propellers. To make sure that I get all that gunk and bug juice off them and then I'm in pretty good shape. The one thing you want to be really careful of a lot of people miss this. If you don't, pull a prop off, is that the biggest point of torque I named propeller is right here in the center. So when you, when you spin this, that torque of it actually turning and stopping and turning creates a tremendous amount of stress on the locking mechanism that holds the propeller on to the quad now again, if it fails completely, propeller flies off drones coming down, but a Flyaway can be caused by behavior that's, unexpected by the controller inside the quad, so every quad you've got out.
There has got some type of mechanism that holds a propeller on to the motor. In this case, I've got three fingers coming up from the motor that are bolted on to the motor. You want to make sure those fingers are intact. You want to make sure that you're not missing one or one is it loose or cracked, and you wouldn't notice that unless you pulled the propeller, so pull the propeller off check those fingers. If you're using your quad like this well I've got one here. The fingers are actually on on the propeller itself and the mating mechanisms on the motor so again check these to make sure they're good I've talked to pilots. Actually, this one right here is missing the third one and they don't typically fall off they'll crack and if they crack, the propeller is gon na wobble on that quad. Now the reason that can cause a flyaway. Well, let me let me explain the three types of propellers first, so there are rigid, propellers like this and again you want to check the surfaces and make sure you're good. The newer quads like this, this, the folding type quads use these folding propellers, and the reason for that is, you can fold them up and make it nice and tight when you open up these to fly, they're gon na go out to a full size. Propeller that looks pretty much like a fixed propeller here. One recommendation I would have is don't.
Let the quad open those propellers I'm guilty of it. I fly all the time and I a lot of times I'm anxious to get that perfect shot of the sunset I've checked. Everything is good to go, propellers are folded, I'll bring the joysticks down to the middle I'll spin it up and the propellers flat. Now, try not to do that only because the stress you're, causing to have these things fly out at speed, puts a tremendous amount of stress on this pivot point in the center, because you've got one piece here that adheres down to the motor and you've got rivets. That actually hold these blades onto that center piece over time. They'Re gon na fatigue. Now that comes down to posture, so here I've got a folding propellers, a good thing to check folding propeller that's standing out straight. This is a brand new propeller. I can shake it. It'S only moving down a tiny bit here's, a propeller that I've been flying with for a couple of weeks. You can tell already see how it's dipping when I shake that see how it's dropping down that's a real good indication that those attachment points, those rivets inside there are getting weak and they're. Getting sloppy and that's going to cause a tiny bit of vibration in the propeller over time, it's going to give you issues all right. The third type of propeller is the split propeller here, and these are used in some of the smaller quads.
The pneumatic mini uses. These and these are attached to the motor directly with screws and those screws are bolts that screw down and the motor have a tiny bit of Loctite in the end of them. So if you're gon na change these propellers, I always recommend take both propellers off. At the same time, change them in pairs, throw them out, take the screws out, throw them out as well, because the new screws that come with the replacement, propellers have Loctite on them and the way Loctite works is, as you crank down on that bolt. The heat of that compression actually turns that into glue that'll set that screw down there and it'll it'll hold it in the position over time. If you don't have the lock type down there, that screw can work its way out a little bit and then these guys start flapping. Now the reason you don't want to have any kind of flapping in them and the propellers is because, when you think about a quad let's talk about an airplane first, so an airplane is basically an engine. That'S pulling itself through the air and it's got a craft attached to it, but it's pulling it forward and it's got a horizontal surface on the side. Those are the wings and you've got some control over elevation and dissention by flapping those wings. The flaps on the side of the wings on the tail you've got a rudder. If you turn that you can control side to side motion and your forward motion is trolled by the engine now he can't back up in an airplane, but you basically got three dimensions of control, forward, left and right up and down with these guys, you've actually got When you think about it for airplane single engine airplanes strapped together, these are these: are single engine airplanes.
So imagine the complexity of not only strapping four airplanes together to get them to coordinating their behavior, but then turning them. This way, so you've got vertical airplanes that are flying like this, with propellers up in the sky. So the same aerodynamics and principles of physics apply to flight on this, as it does with the airplanes. But some unique things are happening here. So, for example, these two propellers are spinning in the same direction, and these are spinning in the opposite direction, because you always have to have counter balancing to maintain a position in 3d space. So the speed at which those propellers spin determine whether the quad is sitting still where it's moving in a particular direction. So, for example, if you want to go this direction, you'll spend these two a little bit faster and you'll spin. These two a little bit slower. The quad will dip forward and move in this direction if you want to go towards the camera you'll spin, these a little slower these a little faster and it'll dip that direction. Well, all that coordination that sophisticated coordination of maintaining a level position in the sky and moving in the direction you want is really handled by the flight controller inside the unit, which is a brilliant brain. That'S got programming in it that says: I'm checking my IMU I'm checking GPS and all the other instruments. I'Ve got my gyros and I'm going to move in this direction.
Not to do that I'm gon na spend you guys a little faster and you a little slower based on your joystick movements. Well, all that works great. Normally, the problem is, if you've got a propeller, that isn't up to spec you've got problem with integrity or posture that propeller is not behaving the way. The speed controller, which is driving the motor or the controller. The main flight controller expects it to and the flight controller is going to look at that and say you guys, spin faster. You guys spend slower if this guy spinning really slow. The ESC is going to tell that controller. Hey I'm, not spinning as fast as I should. What are you gon na do about that? The flight controllers gon na spin that faster it's gon na try and spin it faster. The problem is, if it can't keep up with this guy it's gon na drift and drift as a fly away, so it's gon na drift in the direction of the weaker propeller. Now again, you've got to have some pretty dramatic damage to the propellers to cause that, but over time you can definitely damage a quad by having sloppy propellers, causing damage to the EEOC's or in some cases, if they're damaged enough you'll get a flyaway it's, not like The quad is actively flying in that direction: it's mostly drifting in that direction, because the internal flight controller and the ESC, s that actually drive the motor are thinking that it's got to spend faster to get in that direction and it can't keep up with that spin.
So the propellers, the propulsion behind it, are supercritical and again if they fail it's coming down out of the sky, that's extremely rare. Unless you you know, broke it or you didn't pay attention to it more often than not. They get sloppy over time, so check them. If you see any kind of Nick's or dings and the rigid propellers change them, if you've got any kind of slop with this like again that's a new one, this is one that I've been flying with for a while. You can see the difference right there. Look! How sloppy that is right, chuck it and I know they're, not cheap they're, a couple of bucks but replace the propellers, because, even though these might be 10 or 15 bucks, a set it's, a thousand dollar quad. So getting these off the quad and making sure you've got great integrity, and great posture propellers before you take off is super important if you damaged them change them as sets again, these split propellers have to be changed as sets with these, you can change individual propellers. If you want, you might want to change the pair at the same time, but it's totally up to you there, but that's pretty much. The stuff that'll cause fly aways from a mechanical perspective in the propulsion category and again, when I analyze the logs of fly aways that have occurred and it's some kind of weird flyaway. And I look in the logs and I can see the four UCS we're all running about the same and for some reason at this one particular moment in the flight, this ESC kind of over drove the motor.
Then we know for sure that something weird was going on with that propeller, which is the one part that's going to keep it up in the sky, so that's pretty much it for propulsion check your propellers and and the rule of thumb that I use is give Your props, the once over before you ever fly for the day you don't have to do it in every flight, but when you walk out in the Saturday morning and you want to get up in the sky, just take a minute as a responsible pilot check, the Propellers, once they're good to go you're going to feel a lot more confident flying your quad, now stay tuned and I'm going to get into the battery concerns. Next, when I talk about the power plane, this final section of mechanical concerns that I'd like to cover as part of this clip deals with the powerplant for your quad, which is essentially the battery it's, a container that holds a lot of electrons. It holds a big charge and provides all the power. The drone needs to stay up in the air. Now that power is used for navigation for roll for GPS coordination for telemetry information for video streaming to drive the motors. All of that is super critical, so you can imagine how important that battery is to proper flight with the quad now, obviously, if a battery fails, which is extremely rare, the quad is going to come out of the sky like a rock, but more often than not Batteries don't fail.
They don't blink out like a light bulb in the dark at night. They may have issues and that's what I'm gon na get into now and you might be thinking well it's, not really an electrical issue. It is and I'm gon na cover that in the next clip, but there are some mechanical things that can impact the battery's ability to supply the right amount of current and voltage to the quad at the right time to keep it up in the air. And if something goes, a little bit sketchy with the battery. It could lead to a situation where the drone gets confused when it's flying and that may lead to a flyaway. So there are a couple of things I'm going to talk about with the battery and I'll get into those individually. The first thing I'm going to talk about is dirty contacts, which is something we all suffer through, and the second thing I'm going to talk about is poor. Seeding now they've solved a lot of those problems in newer batteries, but it's important to understand exactly how these cells work so to get started. First off the batteries in these quads are miracles of chemistry. There really are some of these newer batteries that are used in the modern quads are based on fairly exotic chemistry's, like lithium polymer and some other technologies that are rechargeable so the reversible charges, where you can actually load it up with a bunch of electrons and have It stored in that battery for a period of time it's a tremendous amount of energy density, so for the size of that battery, the amount of potential it provides to the quad is something that, without the invention of these lipo cells, you wouldn't be flying these quads.
Very long at all, because if you just slapped a couple of D cell batteries in them, you might get a minute or two out of flight because they drink a lot of electrons. So these batteries are incredibly important and the invention of lithium polymer technology goes back. Quite a long time and it's being used in things like cars today, Tesla uses it a lot of self driving cars use it, but for quads it provides the perfect balance of weight and energy density to get these guys up in the air. But normally batteries are sort of charged put in the quad and then you fly them till they're dead and the quad keeps track of that. So when earlier versions of the quad you would plug the battery in and the quad would keep track of what level of charge that's got left and sort of make a rough approximation of how long you could fly. What'S happened in later generations of quads. All the modern quads is that the batteries themselves have gotten a lot smarter so, but where these intelligent batteries came out, you'd have to have a really smart charger that could charge a dumb battery. Now, what you've got is the intelligence is built into the battery? So you can have a dumb charger it's, just fire electrons at these batteries and the controller inside the battery will monitor how it's being charged, how it's being discharged, it's gathering all kinds of metrics.
On how many times it's been charged, the temperature, the voltage it's using the current it's delivering to the quad and it's reporting it to the quad and a regular basis? So in essence, you've got a power plant that's, intelligent, that's, monitoring itself during the flight and it's reporting that information back to the quad, then the quad looks at that information and says: okay, based on what you're telling me, we can still fly for 11 minutes and Still have enough power left to get back home. The challenge with the mechanical aspects of this are that if the connection isn't good or the connection gets broken or the connection is dirty and can't deliver the amount of current the quad needs all kinds of strange things. Can happen because the voltage that the quad used to keep track of where they are in a 3d space has to be consistent and it has to be available all the time. So I'm gon na talk about two aspects that can get me in trouble with the batteries of the power plants. If you're not careful, the first one has to do with dirty contacts and the second one has to do with seating issues, which is less of an issue in some of the newer quads based on the way they hold the batteries in the quads. But it's still an issue. You have to contend with so I'm, looking at three different generations of batteries here these are all DJI products.
But initially what you had was a battery like this. That was intelligent, that's out of an early phantom product, and you had two connections to the battery. So you basically had left and a right of positive and negative connection, and you had a small connection over here that was used for communication between the internal electronics of the battery and the quad. So when you slid this into the quad, you made a power connection here which were pretty substantial because it's beefy that's drawn a lot of current, and you had the intelligent connection made here that wasn't redundant enough. So what they've done in newer quads is they've increased. The number of lines that supply power to the quad and they've also up the intelligence inside the battery, so the generation moving forward to the phantom products of phantom four products is they made the battery a lot smarter and they also increase the number of connections on The battery, so if you look along the bottom of the battery, even something newer like the Maverick air 2 you've got 10 connections on there and you might be thinking well what the heck would you need 10 connections for I'm, just basically applying 12 volts 13 volts To the drone, why do I need all those connections? Well, if you do some investigation and I'm a nerd, so I like doing this stuff you'll, find that the outside four connections are how they deliver power. So you've got negative a long one and four of them and positive on the other end, four of them, which leaves two in the middle.
Now the first question you'd have – and I had this question: why would I need for connections can't? I just supply two connections. One for positive one for negative: you can the challenge there is. If that connection gets dirty or it gets broken or it gets tarnished. You can't really deliver the amount of current. You need to do the quad to have it fly correctly. So again, engineers like to be redundant they've, built in four different connections to supply an even stream of current to that quad and I'm betting – and I don't know this to be the fact. But I've got to test it I'm betting, that each of those connections carry more than 25 of that current, because to have redundancy I'd want to lose one of those connections and still be able to deliver all the power. I need to fly that quad so I'm. Sure there's redundancy built in but anyway that's why you've got eight of those connections, the two middle connections, or how the intelligent controller inside the battery actually communicates to the quad and that's super important to understand, because the quad doesn't really know what's going on with the Battery outside of what's being reported to it by that internal controller. So if you've got dirty contacts, the first thing, that's gon na cause, is it's going to reduce the amount of current that can be supplied by the battery and that's kind of an interesting situation. Because the controller thinks it's got a full battery charge.
But because the contacts are dirty that full charge can't be delivered to the quad, so the quad is assuming it's got a full charge, but it's got less than full voltage coming to the quad, which is going to cause all kinds of bizarre things going on with The quad it may affect the compass it may affect the IMU or the gyros at the very least it's, going to cause the quad to do things you're not expecting so the way you get into trouble on that is – and I thought this was a poor design. The minute they released, it is you've, got contacts on the bottom of the battery. Now habit would tell you if you pull it out of the quad and you're swapping batteries. You'Ve got a heavy battery. You'Re gon na set it down on the ground and when you set it down to the ground, guess what's gon na happen dirt debris all kinds of stuffs going to get up inside these contacts. Now, if you have the presence of mind to clean that off immediately and blow it out, you'll probably be okay. But if you let that moisture in the dirt and debris sit there for any length of time over time, that's going to tarnish those contacts, it's going to build up the resistance and then, when you slide it back in the drone you're going to transfer all that Debris to drone so you've not only damaged the battery but you're gon na damage.
Your drone over time so it's super important that you never set this down on its end on a table or any kind of surface at all, especially the ground, because you're gon na pick up a ton of debris. So what I recommend with all the batteries and I'm a little bit conservative about this, but this is a huge investment. So, in the case of the Mavic heir to the drones 800 bucks, the battery is 115. If you buy two batteries, that's 25, the cost of the quad – I want to protect that like it's gold. So what I like to do with my batteries is when I'm traveling with them. I use battery protectors across the contacts and they're just simple rubber stoppers that we sell on this website, but they're custom made for each of the batteries and essentially what they do is cover up the actual connections on the battery. So this way you can put these rubber stoppers on when you put it down, if you put it on the ground, you're not going to get dirt inside there, it's also great, if you're gon na put it in your car, put it on the floor. You'Ve got it in the bag with you or a backpack you're, not gon na get debris up inside the contacts. The second thing you have to be concerned about is you want to make sure that if these batteries going on linear, because lipo chemistry can be fairly finicky out there, it doesn't like heat it doesn't like cold it doesn't like to get pierced.
So if you break into the contacts on this or you break through the side of this and those chemicals get exposed to air, you could have spontaneous combustion. So the second thing I do is when I'm traveling, with these batteries, I'll throw them inside a fire retardant bag like this a lipo safety bag, and that protects the contacts on the end. I don't get debris on them and I've got it in a bag. That'S protected where I'm not gon na, have issues if it decides to go nonlinear but back to the contacts so first off. If they get dirty. It'S gon na reduce the amount of current that can be supplied to the drone, and you have that sort of split brain scenario going on where the batteries saying hey I'm doing fine. I got plenty of charge left, but the drones trying to drink those electrons and can't get them out of the battery fast enough because of dirty contacts. The second condition, which makes it even more concerning, is, if those get dirty enough and the drones flying through the air and all of a sudden, because it gets jostle, because you stopped quickly, you lose contact on one of those you've got a sort of a micro Break in the ability to supply that current to the drone, well guess what's gon na happen there have you ever been home during the power outage like you've got a storm rolling through like we do tonight, there's, lightning and thunder going on.
Maybe you don't lose power, but you get a brownout in the house. The first thing that happens is all your electronics start from scratch. They do a reboot, your computer, reboots your TVO's and shut off and maybe come back on well that rebooting happens in the drones. So cute imagine having a drone of 300 feet in the air 1200 feet down field and it reboots. The controller has to go out and assess where it is in the 3d space. It has to re establish communication with the controller, all the while it might be flying 20 miles an hour in a certain direction, so that reboot can cause a whole lot of problems with the drone. And when I analyze a lot of the logs, where people have had strange things happen where they land the drones, the prof looks good and everything's fine with the mechanics of it, and I look at the logs you're gon na see the battery voltage all over the Place and that's, usually because you've got dirty contacts on the end now. The second place you can get into trouble with your own batteries is around the seating issues. Now these were pretty good with seating, so they've got double clamps on them. When you slide them in you'll, hear that click you want to make sure it's all the way in there. So one thing I always say is before you take off: make sure you push it in. You hear the double click and you give it as much force as necessary to make sure it's fully seated and that usually works.
Ok, for you, the challenge is: if you're excited and you've got this great shot and you're chasing, I don't know you're chasing some Falcons someplace out there. Anybody get the drum backup because the battery is getting low. You may be too quick with it. So take your time, don't rush through it make sure the battery is fully seated, but even still you could have problems with the battery where the chemistry inside the lipo chemistry over time can degrade, and you get situations where the battery starts to swell it's. Just one of those byproducts of lipo technology, when you charge it and discharge it so many times, so I always like to check before I go out after I charge my batteries on a Saturday morning before I go to fly, I like to do what I call The ROC test now here's a Mavic air battery, the original Mavic air see how that's rocking that's a flat surface on the bottom, but it's not really there's a bulge down there and I put it down in a flat surface and if it rocks like that, I Know I've got issues now all the cells have what I'll call caution zones built in tune where you've got hard plastic and soft Pratt plastic, where the actual lipo cells are behind it, when these swell they'll, typically swell on those soft surfaces. So in this case the bottom is the soft surface, and actually, when I look at this closer there's cracks along the end here, so those cells internally are swelling.
Now the tendency would be here, it should say the temptation would be to say it took a charge. How bad could it be that's, a really dangerous thing to do, because that indication that it's swelling means this battery is on its way out, take it out of your quad, take it to a recycling and never think about it again. If you push the issue and put it back in your quad, you not only have the chance of it causing problems where it doesn't seat correctly and you get the break in the connection and a controller will reset. But, more importantly, it could spontaneously combust and you've. Not only lost a 90 bat or you've lost an 800 or quad so anytime, a battery swells like that get rid of it now. The other thing I'll mention is that good battery hygiene – and this is something I'll I'll use, as my catchphrase – is maintain good battery hygiene is always check these contacts on the bottom, because, even if you don't set them down on the grass or on the dirt, you're Really good about that, if you throw them in a backpack or you throw them in a case, a lot of these cases have foam inside that are cut out for them and they may not be the greatest quality foam over time. That foam will break down or you'll pick up fuzz from a backpack or something it gets up inside there. So it was carry an old toothbrush, not one abuse, but one that I can use for cleaning these with me and I'll run that toothbrush along these edges.
Every so often to make sure they're clean I'll take a good look in there with a flashlight to make sure there's no fuzz or anything, because if you get them dirty and you slide them back into the drone, you've now moved that contamination from the battery. Your drone it's gon na give you trouble down the road, so those are the things you want to be aware of and again this is amazing technology. The energy density and these batteries is through the roof, so they're fantastic products, but they do require a little bit of care and feeding and the analogy I'll use is you've, got to be careful, hey charge them and how you discharged them and where you store them. The analogy I like to use is think of it as a brand new puppy that you brought home you wouldn't, leave the puppy in the garage and the cold days. Don'T charge your battery in really cold environments. You wouldn't leave the puppy in your car if it was getting hot right, because the puppy would like that don't charge your batteries when it's too hot and if you're gon na put them away, store them in an area that's, moderate temperature and in a safety container. So that you have issues with them down the road and God forbid, they burst into flames or something they're inside of a container that can help you prevent that from spreading all over your house, so that's pretty much it with the batteries.
The two issues again are dirty contacts, because you're gon na get a break in the contacts and can't deliver the current. You need to deliver to the drone to keep it in the air, and the second is the seating issue like I've mentioned, with this Mavic air battery that I got to get over to the recycling center. Okay, so that's pretty much it for today. I know this was a long clip and I'm hoping that you guys find value in it. I couldn't rush through it, because these topics are so important that they're really needed a little extra time to explain them. So you can definitely avoid all these shoes and not have to worry about flyaways, because this is a fantastic hobby and every time I get out in the field and put my drone up for the first time, I'm smiling ear to ear like a nine year old. That Christmas, I just love it, it enhances my life and it just changes the perspective you have of the world. So I know you guys are enjoying it. Just like I am. The one thing you don't want to fear is a fly away. So take these steps that I've mentioned in this clip and the previous one, the one that I'm going to do next to heart, because if you pay attention to these, you take your time as a responsible pilot make sure your gear is ready to go. You'Re not gon na have these issues to fly away so that's pretty much it for today, if there's anything I've covered today that you've got questions on.
Please drop those in the comments below I promise to get back to as quickly as I can. If you need any accessories for your drones, we have a ton of those accessories on the website. If you want to support the channel hit, the website pick up some of those accessories. We stand behind everything we sell, we ship daily. We can get it to you faster than Amazon and the last thing I'll mention is, if you haven't, subscribed to the channel yet hit that subscribe button down there and join the drone valley family, because we have so many more clips. Coming that talk about technology. Comparisons of drones, other high tech stuff that we like to investigate and we're, also given a couple of drones away this summer, and you definitely want to be subscribed to the channel to get into those giveaways and that's pretty much it.