How to (NOT) fly a drone in the snow
Im gon na get some footage of the kids sledding see how this thing handles the wind. It is snowing, um, actively right now, uh there we are lets. Get this thing up in there see how it goes where the heck is this thing going? What are you doing? Whoa whered it go? Are you doing that uh im? Not, i think its gone, oh its coming down. Now i see them its like out of my control whats up guys. This is chris with half chrome, it has been snowing out and ive always wondered. Can i fly through the snow? Is that safe? What should i do to prep my drone, for that? So were going to try a couple things today to get a drone ready. I didnt want to fly one of my favorite drones and try this out because i knew it could get wet, which could obviously kill the drone. So i grabbed this guy, its like an overgrown anafi with a mismatched battery. In this case, this is the fly hall fx1, actually its a relabeled mjx bugs 16.. I picked this because weve got a couple of these. We could spare to lose one, but also it has pretty good camera quality. So i you know i want to get some decent footage out of it so well find out. What did i do to prep this thing? It involved taking it apart, putting it back together and well find out if it worked well, it doesnt work Music.
One of the things i did was actually conformal coat. All the boards in here to prep it you may have seen fpv pilots, do that on fpv drones, just to make sure theyre safe if they end up in the water or just get wet with a little bit of rain or something. So i did that here and if you know anything about how these drones work, you might already be on to what i did wrong. Uh lets see if this guy here knows. I have no idea lets give him another try. Maybe he figures it out all right. So i think i know what the problem is all right, guys so make sure you stick around ill. Show you all the stuff i did. I will show you what we did wrong jack will show you what he did to fly through the snow, a very different, different outcome and well tell you all the lessons learned. What not to do what to do if you want to fly through the snow a little bit now drone fails were not the only fails today. I was out there to capture the kids sledding, so ill mix in some shots of some fails by me, and some of the best fails from the kids as well as we go. So stick around ill, be right back to tell you all of what went wrong. Music, welcome back before i go into what happened. Let me show you a little bit about what i did to prep this thing.
So, first up you might see some plastic tape here around behind the camera. I wasnt worried about the camera overheating because it is, it was 25 degrees, fahrenheit out and i figured thatll help keep water out of there. I couldnt do much to protect the electronics for the camera, so that seemed like the easiest way. I did put a little conformal coating around the perimeter of the lens as well. I dont want to go too much further than this. I did both sides of this board done all the boards in the back. This is the stuff i used to conformal coat. The boards generally, i dont, think it was an issue im pretty happy with it dries pretty quick smells a little bit whatever, so i got in there all the boards i could get to in case any snow got in there. Any snow, melted, uh didnt want to short circuit anything that was the idea at least got it all put together and was ready to fly. Basically also, i taped up some areas just trying to discourage snow from getting in around the seams. The battery taped up around some areas of the battery again, this is not to go swimming. This thing was not waterproof just to try to keep water from dripping into sensitive areas. Finally – and this is a very important thing i think is to prep the drone by putting it out in the cold, so i left this thing out for about an hour out on my back porch as cold as possible, the same temperature, you know.
Obviously it was outside and what that does is that two things it gets the humidity out of the lenses. So when this thing first hits the cold, what will happen? Is you will get some fogging inside the lenses you dont want that, so the drones got to be cold, its got to be prepped for a while and that kind of conditions the air inside the lenses gets it all in the same ambient condition. So it doesnt get that shock and fog up ive had this thing outside for a couple hours, so hopefully its kind of cold, so snow doesnt stick to it too much the other thing it does. It gets all the plastic of the drone cold enough so that when the snow falls and hits it it bounces off it doesnt stick to it now things will warm up in flight. The motors but theyre spinning i wasnt too worried about them. The battery will get a little warm some waters, stick to it, but again, thats. Why? I added a little bit of tape there to add some extra protection, but that is one thing i definitely do recommend you do is prep this thing by getting it cold for a couple hours all right. So there you go. I got the conformal coating. I got the tape around sensitive areas that i couldnt protect and i prepped it by putting it out in the freezer outside for a while, so lets go, fly and see how it goes.
Music, oh its coming down now its like. How do i control Music Applause? Applause, oh, it crashed Music Music. What we like to call Music yeah there. It is so it went straight up, did return to home and it came straight down about as fast as it could possibly descend with zero regard. For what was in front of it, it was freezing uh and then it uh it wouldnt shut off upside down. Did everything everythings got a mind of its own, so somethings not working right, yeah, psycho mode, yeah, all right all right! So, as you can see there, i had basically a fly away. This thing just went up and up i dont know if it hit maybe a max altitude or why it decided finally to stop. I think, thats what it was. I think it never knew it really got finished with the takeoff sequence problem with conformal coating. Is it plugs everything up? It keeps not just water from getting it out, but also air, and i think what i did is i plugged the barometer. I did cover almost everything kind of failed to think about that. I was thinking about gps, wasnt thinking about the barometer, and so i think it was just constantly trying to get up a few feet off the ground to finish the takeoff sequence and it never could tell that. It went up a few feet now in terms of loss of control. Beyond that im, not sure what happened.
I couldnt turn the drone off by flipping upside down it wasnt responding to the remote it wasnt, responding to the power button on the battery, so maybe some water got in there. Maybe i damaged the drone a little bit and the disassembly reassembly coding process its really hard to know, but i think its just really acting funny, probably because i did something probably with that barometer. So if you figured that out what i did wrong, you know kudos to you. Maybe youve got some other ideas you can leave in the comments now. In contrast, all the measures i took and the fails Music jack took a very different approach. The do nothing approach and youll see some of the pitfalls with that approach, as well. So now, im going to hand it over to jack who flew a similar drone and had some different issues than i did so outside here on this lovely winter day to test this ruco f11gim2. This is also known as the sjrc f11s anyway were going to test. This thing see if its any different and if its any good now this is not how id probably recommend flying a drone on a winter day. Actually, chris is doing the same thing right now and hes doing all the things you should to fly in the snow im just gon na fly it in the snow and see what happens. Lets go Music, okay, so im back from flying this thing outside in the snow, and let me just tell you not something that i recommend you do.
I had a handful of issues with the lens fogging up the gimbal, getting stuck uh snow everywhere, cold hands flying outside in the cold in the snow. Not something id recommend! You do! Okay. So if you really want to fly in the snow heres, what wed recommend? One uh make sure your drone is the same temperature as outside put it in a bucket cover it so its not getting snow on it uh, but just so that it gets to the same temperature and thats going to help avoid some of the snow sticking to The drone, especially where the drone is warm and the lens wont fog up as easily the next thing id recommend is taping any seams right cover any areas that water might get in thats thats, going to help protect some of those electronics and yeah. The conformal coating is a good idea if you know what to and what to avoid coating right, its going to help protect electronics. But if you get the wrong sensor uh, obviously you could have some problems now. I dont necessarily recommend flying in the snow or the rain, but if its something you have to do, you know its its a good idea to take some of these steps to kind of help ensure a more successful flight. Hopefully this was helpful.