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What to do with water damaged Evo 2

davshev

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Recently my Evo 2 pro crashed into a lake. I was able to power it on and got it to take off and land, however it won't connect with the Explorer app. I also think the internal cooling fan may be damaged. I opened a repair ticket with Autel and specifically told them there was water damage. They created an RMA and had me ship it to them. A week later they contacted me and told me it couldn't be repaired because they " just can't guarantee anything when water damage is involved." I'm a bit miffed that they could not tell me this before I shipped it to them. I'm no expert, but maybe it's salvageable since I was able to get it to take off and land? Any thoughts about whether anyone else might be able to fix it?
 

Detritalgeo

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Ok that is odd, the app should be able to recognize the RC in that case. Does the app/phone not recognize the controller at all or is there just no image from the camera..
 

Detritalgeo

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If you are at all interested in tinkering I would recommend a total disassembly and washing off the motherboards with isopropyl (some mix a small amount of water into the isopropyl) then dry everything well with a hair dryer or head gun..

Does the gimbal initialize and behave as normal?
 

davshev

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If you are at all interested in tinkering I would recommend a total disassembly and washing off the motherboards with isopropyl (some mix a small amount of water into the isopropyl) then dry everything well with a hair dryer or head gun..

Does the gimbal initialize and behave as normal?
No, the gimbal does not initialize and I believe the internal cooling fan is damaged, as I don't hear anything when it starts up...except for the Autel chime sound
 

Detritalgeo

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There is likely minor corrosion throughout the board. If it was NOT salt water then it could be superficial so the thorough wash/scrub with isopropyl of all the mainboard components and connectors is warranted. The fan could be jammed or it is possible that the one of the 5V power rails was compromised. I have seen a very superficial amount of corrosion cause circuits to be interrupted..

Its not a small job so if that's not your cup of tea then selling for parts could be a viable alternative..
 

davshev

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There is likely minor corrosion throughout the board. If it was NOT salt water then it could be superficial so the thorough wash/scrub with isopropyl of all the mainboard components and connectors is warranted. The fan could be jammed or it is possible that the one of the 5V power rails was compromised. I have seen a very superficial amount of corrosion cause circuits to be interrupted..

Its not a small job so if that's not your cup of tea then selling for parts could be a viable alternative..
It was fresh water, but I don't know if I'm up for something this invasive. Although, what's the worst that will happen? 🤣
 

Stillers

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Recently my Evo 2 pro crashed into a lake. I was able to power it on and got it to take off and land, however it won't connect with the Explorer app. I also think the internal cooling fan may be damaged. I opened a repair ticket with Autel and specifically told them there was water damage. They created an RMA and had me ship it to them. A week later they contacted me and told me it couldn't be repaired because they " just can't guarantee anything when water damage is involved." I'm a bit miffed that they could not tell me this before I shipped it to them. I'm no expert, but maybe it's salvageable since I was able to get it to take off and land? Any thoughts about whether anyone else might be able to fix it?
Autel doesnt believe in the Right to Repair. They dont authorize, support, or endorse 3rd party repairs. They almost certainly dont share their Intellectiual Property with independent repair shops. Youd have to find a true maverick to work on it. Someone thats a flat out wizard of electrons and can learn on the fly any piece of tech they pick up. Personally, Id take the battery out and set it in an incredibly dry and warm place for about a month. make sure everyt single drop of moisture iis dried up and and give it a spin. Residual water is often the result of extended disfunction following water damage. Low power electrical currents dont travel easily through water and its not uncommon for a low power device to be completely submerged and suffer absolutely no damage other than being wet. Its persistent moisture which lingers inside of microchips and transisitors and what not which can give the perception of damage beyond repair when all it really needs is a thorough drying. This is why no one will guarantee water damaged repair. Because its impossible to know for sure if every bit of water is out of a device and no process thats reliablly capable of doing so. IT might fly perfectly fine 3 times in a row. Then one microscale drop of water insice of a microchip shorts across two traces and the thing falls out of the sky for no apparent reason. Electrons are weird like that.
 

davshev

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Autel doesnt believe in the Right to Repair. They dont authorize, support, or endorse 3rd party repairs. They almost certainly dont share their Intellectiual Property with independent repair shops. Youd have to find a true maverick to work on it. Someone thats a flat out wizard of electrons and can learn on the fly any piece of tech they pick up. Personally, Id take the battery out and set it in an incredibly dry and warm place for about a month. make sure everyt single drop of moisture iis dried up and and give it a spin. Residual water is often the result of extended disfunction following water damage. Low power electrical currents dont travel easily through water and its not uncommon for a low power device to be completely submerged and suffer absolutely no damage other than being wet. Its persistent moisture which lingers inside of microchips and transisitors and what not which can give the perception of damage beyond repair when all it really needs is a thorough drying. This is why no one will guarantee water damaged repair. Because its impossible to know for sure if every bit of water is out of a device and no process thats reliablly capable of doing so. IT might fly perfectly fine 3 times in a row. Then one microscale drop of water insice of a microchip shorts across two traces and the thing falls out of the sky for no apparent reason. Electrons are weird like that.
👍
 

Detritalgeo

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I have rebuilt a few Mavic Air's (original) that took a swim. The ones that survive the best are ones that have a very low battery when submerged. This is completely board level repair type stuff. Using a microscope you can see on connections where there is a positive charge (serves as the anode), the solder is often dissolved away. This is an accidental form of electrowinning where the tin/lead in the solder are dissolved with the oxidation. I have seen this on the major power supply lines and VCC (power) lines going to microcontrollers and other board level components.

If the drone goes in the water with a full battery there is more time for the circuit to be energized and more solder is dissolved. which creates many more issues.. When dried off there is often crusty residue left over (calcium, iron, magnesium, etc..) that should be cleaned off as these can even be slightly conductive and may mess-up data lines for the micro controllers or small cables.

Without motherboard diagrams and component details this is forensic type work... similar to the Youtube laptop repair people such as Paul Danials or Louis Rossman
 

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If you submerge an electronic device, try this technique, it might save it.

Pull the battery ASAP. Do this first.

Do not let the drone or cell phone or whatever you are trying to save dry out.

Put it in a plastic bag if you have to. Drying out will almost assuredly ruin it. It is not usually water that kills it. It is dirt in the water.

The battery can conduct electricity thru contaminated dirty water far easier than distilled water. Thus, remove the battery. Second, if the dirty water dries on the circuit boards it will leave a residue that can also conduct electricity.

As soon as possible thoroughly flush the device with distilled water. You want all the contaminated water rinsed out. Use lots of water. Electronics can survive clean distilled water. You can even flush under the kitchen faucet first, just remember to finish with distilled water.

Last, is to make sure it is completely dry before powering up. I used to build circuitry used in the D5 nuclear missiles and we used distilled water all the time. Never had an issue.
 

davshev

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If you submerge an electronic device, try this technique, it might save it.

Pull the battery ASAP. Do this first.

Do not let the drone or cell phone or whatever you are trying to save dry out.

Put it in a plastic bag if you have to. Drying out will almost assuredly ruin it. It is not usually water that kills it. It is dirt in the water.

The battery can conduct electricity thru contaminated dirty water far easier than distilled water. Thus, remove the battery. Second, if the dirty water dries on the circuit boards it will leave a residue that can also conduct electricity.

As soon as possible thoroughly flush the device with distilled water. You want all the contaminated water rinsed out. Use lots of water. Electronics can survive clean distilled water. You can even flush under the kitchen faucet first, just remember to finish with distilled water.

Last, is to make sure it is completely dry before powering up. I used to build circuitry used in the D5 nuclear missiles and we used distilled water all the time. Never had an issue.
Would isopropyl alcohol work as well as distilled water?
 
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They are looking at It like a Katrina car being sold back out on the highway when it should of been scraped. Too much liability when it comes to water. I was flying mine over a lake a year ago and the battery didn't click all the way in. It went up about 40feet and I went forward about 30 feet over the water and as soon as I let off the thumb dial the blades instantly turned off and then I heard a smack! In the water. I was decked out in a vest with 6 batteries on a tactical vest at 1am in the morning. I took everything off of me except for my phone in my cargo pocket. I jumped in and it was in 4.5' of water and the battery was 2 feet behind it. I took it home and started ripping it apart. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take any pics because when I pulled my phone out of my pocket it was green screened. I took it all apart. I mean bare chassis including my dual lens. Which was the only thing that was protected and sealed to keep water out when I cracked open the back of the boson sensor and board and processor was all dry. Next day I put it all back together and had quite a few extra screws but I was just mainly worried about my dual. It worked and started up fine. I marked the battery with black magic marker and monitored its time in use and it's all fine also. Because the battery ejected and all electrical was off my drone was not damaged. I bought a phone the next day and only got one picture of me putting my dual back on.
 

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hummerbk

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Would isopropyl alcohol work as well as distilled water?

I can't answer that from experience. It is possible that it could act as a solvent and soften or remove certain finishes or coatings but that would remote in my opinion. Personally, I wouldn't risk it since distilled water is so inexpensive and available. If you did a quick rinse and dry it could work but I wouldn't want to mislead you. However, we also cleaned the missile circuitry with liquid Freon and a brush to remove solder flux and that didn't hurt anything. The goal is to replace all the dirty water with clean water that will not leave a residue when dry.
 

davshev

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I can't answer that from experience. It is possible that it could act as a solvent and soften or remove certain finishes or coatings but that would remote in my opinion. Personally, I wouldn't risk it since distilled water is so inexpensive and available. If you did a quick rinse and dry it could work but I wouldn't want to mislead you. However, we also cleaned the missile circuitry with liquid Freon and a brush to remove solder flux and that didn't hurt anything. The goal is to replace all the dirty water with clean water that will not leave a residue when dry.
I will try that.
 
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I will try that.
Don't use alcoholic to clean germanium coated lens. It'll damage the coating. I've talked to a flir rep for an hour over the phone once. Just wipe with a damp micro fiber. There's people on YouTube that a they use alcohol but they are idiots.
 

Detritalgeo

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Paul Daniels does mainboard repair for a living, mostly laptops, and they use isopropyl on all the mainboard cleaning since it evaporates very easily. Paul actually used a 10:1 isopropyl: distilled water mix i believe.

You can also use deionized water that will have not dissolved minerals in it at all. I would still disassemble down to the motherboards and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush to be sure. saturate the electrical connectors then remove and clean the connections as well.

QC Guy will have some good disassembly tutorial video
 

davshev

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Paul Daniels does mainboard repair for a living, mostly laptops, and they use isopropyl on all the mainboard cleaning since it evaporates very easily. Paul actually used a 10:1 isopropyl: distilled water mix i believe.

You can also use deionized water that will have not dissolved minerals in it at all. I would still disassemble down to the motherboards and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush to be sure. saturate the electrical connectors then remove and clean the connections as well.

QC Guy will have some good disassembly tutorial video
OK, I'm going to try this. Thanks.
 

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