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Feeling Grounded? Here's How to Keep Your Drone Flying Longer

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
 

Things That Will Kill Your Drone

Outdoor Exposure

Just like a vehicle on the road, drones are exposed to the outdoor elements and will begin to get buildup that will need to be cleaned. Unlike a vehicle on the road, drones fly pretty high in the sky, meaning ice and condensation can infiltrate and take a toll on your electronics.

Dust

Dust can pose problems if it isn't cleaned off regularly. Aside from just getting dust on the lens of the camera, drones will attract dust to any rubber surface, such as the rubber gimbal dampeners. Use a little bit of water on a microfiber cloth to clean any areas with dust buildup. You can also use a can of compressed air for harder to reach areas.

Dust accumulated on a drones rubber dampeners
Dust accumulated on a drone's rubber dampeners.

Bugs

The propellers on your drone act like a vacuum when flying, so you are likely going to have fragments of bugs on your drone from time to time. It is always a good idea to give your drone and props a quick wipe down after a flight. Make sure you don't use any household cleaners though because this could cause cracks in the plastic housing or props.

Routine Maintenance for Drones

Lenses and ND Filters

Just like a regular camera, you are going to want to make sure your lenses and ND filters are clean. You can clean them with normal lens cleaners along with lens shamy wipes. It is always a good idea to check your lenses before take off, otherwise you will have to land your drone again to clean them.

Gimbal camera with a neutral density filter
Gimbal camera with a neutral density filter.

Check for Chips or Cracks

It is always a good idea to regularly check your drone for chips or cracks that may appear on the drone body or props. Props are particularity susceptible to breakage and make sure you never reuse a damaged prop.

Keep Your Drone Dry

Humid environments or mornings can result in fog or water buildup on your drone. Always keep a dry towel with you so you can wipe away any excess moisture that forms.

Check the Battery and Gimbal Connections

It is always a good idea to make sure the battery and gimbal connections on your drone are free of grime or dust. If they get too dirty, this can result in a connection failure, which sometimes can happen during a flight.

Also check your batteries: if they're starting to get bloated it's time for replacements.

Drone battery connections

Do Your Drone Firmware Updates

Always check for firmware updates for your drone regularly. Although it can be an inconvenience checking this frequently, I have found that more often than not a new update has been released. Keeping the firmware updated will help prevent any software bug issues and make sure you are covered under the manufacturer warranty. It should also be noted that it is a good idea to take the drone out for a test flight after every firmware update to make sure everything is still working properly.

Drone flying in a cloudy sky

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