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Old 02-17-2012, 06:42 PM   #1
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Default Salt Water?

New to flying here, heck, I don't even own a tx yet. Anyway I have an AWESOME place to fly off the water right by my house. The down side.....Yep, salt water bay. I was wondering how wet planes get while flying them off of water? (Yeah, Yeah, I understand how stupid that sounds) I have some basic electricity and electronics training, and I know tricks to help electronic items survive water contact. Would it be worth trying with a Parkzone type Foamie on floats? Or am i just looking at throwing $$$ into the bay.
(putting on flame suit while typing!)

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Old 02-17-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BroncoSquid View Post
New to flying here, heck, I don't even own a tx yet. Anyway I have an AWESOME place to fly off the water right by my house. The down side.....Yep, salt water bay. I was wondering how wet planes get while flying them off of water? (Yeah, Yeah, I understand how stupid that sounds) I have some basic electricity and electronics training, and I know tricks to help electronic items survive water contact. Would it be worth trying with a Parkzone type Foamie on floats? Or am i just looking at throwing $$$ into the bay.
(putting on flame suit while typing!)
Welcome friend! I don't know how much stick time you have, but if it's not much, then I would strongly recommend learning on something other than a sea plane. Once you get your landings down, with little or no issues, then you might be ready to try a bird with floats.

Gotta remember, while precautions are always taken to prevent your electronics from getting wet in a sea plane, water can still be an issue if you have a less then a perfect landing. If you come in too hard or too steep, you're looking at a nose-over or a cracked fuselage. Just what the water's been waiting for, lol. Get some stick time in and gain some confidence in your landings before moving on to a sea worthy bird. I think if your's still learning the basics, then you might be throwing money away this early in the game.

As for the saltwater, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just like if you were flying off freshwater, you're gonna clean her up before putting her back in the hangar. Just make sure you go over your pre-flight checks, which should include looking for cracks or stress points...anywhere water can penetrate the fuse and attack your electronics. You can even waterproof you're electronics with liquid tape. I've done it before and it works great. Good winds to you sir.

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Old 02-18-2012, 12:25 AM   #3
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Excellent, thanks for the info. I am far from flying off of water, I was just wondering if it was even worth thinking about. Funny you sould mention liquid electrical tape, I built a new switch/fuse pannel for a friends boat and covered the back in that stuff. It worked great. I just wanted to see what people thought.

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Old 02-18-2012, 01:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BroncoSquid View Post
New to flying here, heck, I don't even own a tx yet. Anyway I have an AWESOME place to fly off the water right by my house. The down side.....Yep, salt water bay. I was wondering how wet planes get while flying them off of water? (Yeah, Yeah, I understand how stupid that sounds) I have some basic electricity and electronics training, and I know tricks to help electronic items survive water contact. Would it be worth trying with a Parkzone type Foamie on floats? Or am i just looking at throwing $$$ into the bay.
(putting on flame suit while typing!)
Before retiring, I worked at a place that manufactured high voltage circuit breakers, my job was working with their $$$$ electronic controls. The control prices started at about $5000.

One of the things we ran across was flood damaged controls. They were usually a real mess repairing, and generally were a total loss. Problem is, the electronics can survive getting wet, but NOT when the battery power is on. The DC power resulted in internal wiring and connectors getting damaged by the DC current, right down to removing the gold plating on all the connectors.

Salt water would be a lot worse. I can visualize the electronics getting blown in an ESC that got hit by salt water. They do make encapsulation materials designed for electronic components, but their price is extremely expensive, and is generally sold in large quanities, like a 55 gallon drum.

We used this encapsulation stuff on our submersible controls and it worked fairly well. Do NOT use that silicon based material from the hardware store though. The smell they release during curing is a type of acid smell, that will destroy the electronics in a few months. (We had a factory recall on that when one of our vendors did that. Cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars.)

If the encapsulation does not say "Safe for electronics", it isn't.

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Old 02-18-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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5 seconds in salt water will kill your esc. It will take about 1 minute for your lipo packs to become useless. No amount of cleaning or rinsing will fix them. Your motor bearings and magnets will be slower to corrode, but they will corrode.

If you pot or epoxy encapsulate the electronics and do a perfect job, then all you will loose are the connectors that corrode each time they get wet. There is no way to completely seal up a lipo pack, so any time salt water gets inside it will die.

Generally speaking, salt water is a no-no. Even if you go to a LOT of trouble protecting the goodies - they will still get ruined in short order.

Even in fresh water, as Denny said, you need to be very careful and protect the electronics. Salt water is 100 times worse.

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Old 02-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
Even in fresh water, as Denny said, you need to be very careful and protect the electronics. Salt water is 100 times worse.
Add to that, one big issue with encapsulating your electronics, every bit of stuff that is on the circuit board inside the encapsulation will be trapped inside the encapsulation. After a few months or even years, that "Stuff" can come back and bite you.

We had several real expensive (several $100,000's) recalls at work because of this issue.

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BroncoSquid View Post
New to flying here, heck, I don't even own a tx yet. Anyway I have an AWESOME place to fly off the water right by my house. The down side.....Yep, salt water bay. I was wondering how wet planes get while flying them off of water? (Yeah, Yeah, I understand how stupid that sounds) I have some basic electricity and electronics training, and I know tricks to help electronic items survive water contact. Would it be worth trying with a Parkzone type Foamie on floats? Or am i just looking at throwing $$$ into the bay.
(putting on flame suit while typing!)
Warning: opinion, not advice follows. This is a $99.00 bird experience.

My observation after landing one Micro T-28 PZ bird on Galveston Bay:
No freshwater rinse. Within hour of touching the surface of the bay, I opened fuselage and sprayed LPS-1 on circuit board and wiring. Applied 1 drop of LPS-2 to servo motor spindles, to each linear servo "slot", and to the prop motor spindle. Also put the LPS-2 on the metal servo control rods, and the landing gear axles. That was some twelve flights and six months ago and she flies fine. I don't know how much time we've got, alas....But who really does?
Oh, and the battery, which surely got wet, I also sprayed with the LPS-2 and it's my strongest little Thunder Power of the lot.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:17 AM   #8
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and then there is always "the one that got away with it"

Your mileage may very

I think I need a signature.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
and then there is always "the one that got away with it"

Your mileage may very
LOL
Something I found out during 44 years at the company I worked for, 95% of the customer problems were by 5% of the customers in our customer list.

And, those guys who fly RC models over salt water might just be part of that 5%!

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Old 02-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
LOL
Something I found out during 44 years at the company I worked for, 95% of the customer problems were by 5% of the customers in our customer list.

And, those guys who fly RC models over salt water might just be part of that 5%!
Well, we fly where we can, don't we? And improvization is the mother of invention. We fly. We learn. We adapt. We improvise to accommodate conditions.
In the end we fly, and love it. And if it's too windy, I put the bird in the truck, pick up a flyrod and catch a redfish or two Life is good.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
LOL
Something I found out during 44 years at the company I worked for, 95% of the customer problems were by 5% of the customers in our customer list.

And, those guys who fly RC models over salt water might just be part of that 5%!
LOL yep! In the Navy we call that the 80/20 rule. As a supervisor, 20% of my guys take up 80% of my time with their issues. And 20% of my guys do 80% of the work that needs to be done. And so on, and so fourth,....

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:04 PM   #12
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I only fly in fresh water-well, as fresh as the gruondwater here in Florida IS..Our pond is an old phosphate mine.

We, and many float flyers everywhere, are big on using "CorrosionX" on our electronics. It's like vaseline and solvent when it goes on, but then the solvent evaporates. The residual product is oily and rich in corrosion inhibitors. My first exposure to it was at Sun N Fun where they saturated the circuit board of a TV set, then dunked the set in an aquarium, where it worked underwater. Another demo was a circuit board where they had coated half and left half uncoated. They threw it in Tampa Bay for a week. The coated half remained pristine, the uncoated half was essentially green where the copper had been.

If you fly off salt water, expect your maintenance budget to increase.
In Japan, that's the only wide-open place they have to fly, and they get by somehow. Protect every metal part your airplane has.

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jim Casey View Post
I only fly in fresh water-well, as fresh as the gruondwater here in Florida IS..Our pond is an old phosphate mine.

We, and many float flyers everywhere, are big on using "CorrosionX"
Hey, thanks for that tip. I didn't want to make a leap of faith with the "X" just yet, but if you've made the jump... really? No problems at all? I have their "HD" which is much more viscous, like LPS-3, maybe too much of a leap. We all know what is said about any lovely salt ion: persistent, malignant; easily provoked to anger and, once she starts, she doesn't stop. In a word: relentless. Another: merciless.
Kyleservicetech? I know you can come up with something to combat this corrosive killer--something short of abandoning the coast.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:00 AM   #14
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Everybody seems to swear by the red-label corrosionX.
Available at marinas and FBOs most places. My son gave me a coupla' cans of it for Christmas-He had gotten them mail-order from Sporty's pilot shop. CorrosionX will even come out and squirt the stuff inside your full-size metal airplane. CorrosionX.com.

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Old 02-20-2012, 05:43 PM   #15
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Thanks, Jim. For us coasties, this is critical stuff. I'll spray a little "red label" X on some PZone foam and see if she's as benign and neutral as the LPS. My "green label HD" Corrosion X is relegated to boat lift pulleys and the like. Bubbling, foaming, maybe 120-150 weight "magic" oil that sticks. When sprayed, it froths and bubbles like the "molecular acid" eating the space ship hull in the movie Alien . An advertizing guy would say, "You know it's working because it's foaming!"

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:13 AM   #16
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It simply must be done....
Situation: Living on a salt water bay and flying R/C airplanes.
Conflict: Salt water contact (extreme: total submersion) with R/C airplane results in.......a good time gone bad.
Possible solutions: 1.)Encapsulation of all parts that oxidize and/or short. Problem: this could encapsulate the heat that otherwise would escape, and other potential problems. Scratch that. Fire bad.
2.) Applying a "barrier" protectant that will allow for dissipation of heat under operation. Potential prolems: could still contain heat rather than dissipate; possible shorting/ interference in operation; possible softening/damaging of circuit board/circuitry/ or other parts. Unforseen potential problems. Worth a bloody shot!

I've talked an intrepid, desperately hopeful friend into, first, saturating an entire E-Flite Habu 32 EDF jet in Corrosion X H.D. (Heavy Duty) and, second, to submerge said Habu in Gavleston Bay in an "undisclosed location". Only he and I know where the bird is, in fact.
She's gently held secure to the bay bottom with 30 lb. Ande Flourocarbon leader material tied to several locations, with each tie-off section tied to Joe Wieder 5 lb. iron weight plates resting on the sand. My friend placed a Seclusion 3-D (tm) mesh net (courtesy: Wild Turkey Federation) over the jet to hide her from....."probing eyes".
My friend wants her out of the water in a week. I told him, "that's not good enough, where's your courage, man?" So she's submerged until the spring turkey season, when he'll need the net. That's April, in a normal situation.
Science is a cruel mistress. But this is sheer lunacy. Alas, every now and then a man's got to do something utterly desperate, perform some completely futile display that flies in the face of the odds and the established "norm", commit a defiant act of inarguable stupidity that makes jaws drop, or else he's just not a man.
Results: pending.....

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:39 AM   #17
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LOL and if its someone else whom you've talked into this act of stupidity in risking HIS planes, so much the sweeter

reminds me of the TV show where these two guys trick their "friend" into doing crazy things so they can have a laugh...

I think I need a signature.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:05 AM   #18
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In 1969 I helped form; The Puget Sound Model Boat Club, we raced in local lakes.
However for little while we had a guest from England where he and his friends raced RC electric boats in salt water, I think it would have been quiet bays or inlets. They used some sort of battery, I think was called a Koker battery, it was a one shot battery, you filled it with electrolyte (I thought he said that was salted water) and off you go to race, in a few minutes the battery was finished, throw it away. I don't know how much power they could get, cost, speed, size or many other things about these batteries.

At the end of a race and end of the day they washed the boats with fresh water. I wasn't much interested in electric powered models back then, an electric plane could just barely get off the ground. Somehow they managed to keep these motors and radios running.

We have came a long way from this, thankfully.

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When you have flying skills like mine,
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #19
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Amen to that, Wildflyer!

Update:
Apparently a school of redfish has taken up station around the submerged Habu, subject "X", and swim around her. Their behavior has become.....unsound.
These plucky gamefish have, observationally, constructed and erected some type of altar out of oyster clumps, and placed it in front of the Habu. One witness observed three large redfish, utilizing their amazingly agile pectoral fins, place large, live jumbo shrimp on top of this "altar". At this point, the witness says, he observed these redfish "bow" to the Habu in front of the altar and then, quite suddenly, these same three redfish grabbed the jumbo shrimp from the altar and....consumed them.
My partner wishes to cease the trial, but I have insisted we not stop until our objective, the confirmation or failure of Corrosion X as a protector of the Habu, is established. "We stand at the very cusp of greatness, or defeat, man!" I said to him. "And you want to just pick up your toys and go home" He relented. I don't know for how long. My wife has also let her concerns be known, and is flying to her mother's as I write this.
This experiment has taken on a decidedly.....involved turn.
Pray for us.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:03 AM   #20
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The experiment cannot continue without large doses of tequila.

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:18 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jim Casey View Post
The experiment cannot continue without large doses of tequila.
That is, in fact, what the school of brawny, bully redfish has demanded in exchange for: 1. Ceasing and desisting from idol worship. 2. Removing their altar and Redfish Union picket line around the submerged Habu, subject "X", and 3. Getting back to "just bein' every man's Red-White-and Blue-tipped tailed, great bunch of American redfish".

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:38 PM   #22
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The Habu's still under the bay's briny water as the tequila-drunken redfish have taken to harrassing the speckled trout as they try to feed on the seagrass flat, calling them "elitists" and charging that the trout "live off the backs of the redfish's labor and don't pay their fair share". Yesterday the redfish began attacking the civilized trout, demanding that these "Christian elitist" fish provide for them thirty pounds of live, jumbo shrimp with dipping sauces each day, delivered to the altar of the Habu; this, or else the redfish will begin to consume the trout. Some trout have begun an exodus to Mexican waters.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:59 AM   #23
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I managed to crash my PZ UM T-28 into the San Diego bay where I fly. Fortunately foam floats really well. After wading into about 4 ft of water (the wind was blowing the plane out to sea.). I quickly removed the battery, took the plane home, opened it up, ran lots of fresh water on all electronics. Blew everything off with my air compressor, and I am proud to say it flew very well with no appearent effects the next day. (today)

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:53 PM   #24
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Welcome to the proud yet quiet UM T-28 Salty Soakers Club, Bronco Squid!
I pray you've dodged the salty bullet altogether but, alas, salt is as patient as she is malicious. If she creeps on your bird, stand fast with the LPS-1 and maybe 2 for corrosion. Hope you don't need it, though!
Fly On! Defy the Salt!

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:20 AM   #25
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I own a dozen seaplanes and the best one for salt water is the Multiplex Mentor on floats. I fly it here in the Dominican Republic and its configuration makes it almost impossible for the esc, battery and most servos to be in contact with sea water. I had a rough landing this morning and the mentor turned over when hitting a wave... Turns out the cockpit was totally dry when I opened it.
Like everyone else I dunk servos and esc in good old Corrosion-X, even the brushless motor. It's THE solution.
Just my 10 cents.
Happy flying!
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