Come on! It really doesn’t ring a bell whether you have just bought your first drone or have been flying them for months. You are risking your drone or quadcopter to a short lifetime. Some novice destroys their quadcopters the very first time they have it in the air. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Like every other gadgets and equipment, drones also require a touch of maintenance. If you are an expert or pro in the quadcopter flying, then you should maintain your quadcopter. It’s a delicate device that integrates mechanical and electronics within. So let’s hit some helpful tips in brief and learn the proper way to clean and maintain your drone properly.
Care Tips for your Drone
Flying your drone a number of times need maintenance. It is to heighten the lifetime of your thing because it really is a costly piece of technology in hands. Maintenance and proper cleaning of an equipment make your drone live longer when it is done on a regular basis. Don’t overlook or underestimate the cheaper drones you have. They also do fly and thus they need care too. But yes, they can be serviced once in every couple of months. So the care should not be made extremely exclusive to the higher end models only.
Don’t Ignore The Manual
First things come first. Admit it, you always throw the manual aside every time when you unbox a thing. If you don’t then you are close to awesome. However, I personally practice and recommend others to read the manual thoroughly at least a few times. Firstly, memorize the sequence of buttons that activate the drone’s “Return Home” feature. Though updated versions today have single button features like “oh crap” to bring the drone back to the starting point. This is your most used flight control, in case you face any difficulty flying your thing.
Then comes the startup procedure. Master this as soon as you can, as it varies machine to machine. For example; many models need the controller turned on first, whereas some the drone itself. Make sure you know the sequence well, whatsoever the case with your model. After all, you want your drone to acquire satellites for GPS features and connect to whatever WiFi or flight control system it uses.
Tip: Every so often drones leave the factory without the latest updates, whereas you can get some new features. Update the firmware. Plug your drone into the PC via a USB cable. This is how it is done in most cases. But again, the process varies by drone. So you better check the manual again for the detailed firmware update process. Hit the manufacturer’s website if the manual can’t have a way out for you.
Clean the Drone Regularly
Cleaning is a common task in basic drone maintenance. Forget drones, if you do not clean any of your mechanical devices then it’s an unhealthy one. Experts suggest cleaning your Drone after every couple of flights. Cleaning a Drone is not a critical job. Search in between the motor and the propellers as you may find some hair, strand of grass, etc sticking to it. Simply clean the material away using a brush. You can also use pressured air to do the cleaning. Normally it takes several months of flight that necessitates this cleaning.
Always use a soft cloth soaked into the water to clean the drones and the controller. Use isopropyl liquid instead, if you want a deep cleaning. Don’t worry, this liquid causes no harm to the Electronics of your quadcopters or drones.
Lubricate the Motors
Now this lubrication can be only done when your drone can be opened up without any risk, or there’s a space for lubrication in it. The motors definitely need lubrication. Lubricated motors will give you such performance of the Drone that you felt when it was new. Do it at least twice in a month. And the best practice is to lubricate the motors once in a month. There are lubricants that will suit your drones as they’re exclusively made of drones and RC toys.
The Battery Needs Attention
Drones come with Lithium polymer batteries that are claimed maintenance free, but seriously? Nope, they do call for some sort of maintenance. A healthy drone’s battery will always give you a much longer flight time. This is something that everybody wants. Lithium polymer batteries roughly have 300 to 500 battery cycles. So I strictly suggest not to fully charge the battery to its hundred percent. Don’t drain your battery completely as well. Because your battery becomes weaker as you fly your drone till the battery drains out. It heavily affects the battery life. Recharge your batteries even if it’s not fully discharged. Fill your battery up to 80-90 percent and avoid draining under 10 percent to extend your battery life. And obviously, don’t overcharge your drone batteries too. Avoid charging your batteries in higher room temperatures as it has an adverse effect on the battery’s life.
Forget recharging your battery days before you plan on flying your drone. Rather charge your battery a few hours before you use your toy. This is because rechargeable batteries lose a percentage of its charge each day left off of the charger.
Tip: If you dwell in a colder country, your battery has a lower temperature than the usual. As a result, your drone may not meet the expected battery backup. To upsurge the battery backup time, take the battery out of your drone. Put it into your pocket and warm it up naturally. Insert the battery back to its place when you want to make a flight. You will get your expected battery performance this way. And this will also upturn the life of these batteries. It is always a great idea to keep an extra set of batteries on hand, so you can carry on the fun after your first battery dies.
A Pre-flight Check
Go through a basic pre-flight checklist, before you tend to start flying your quadcopter. Depending on the construction and model of your drone, there are some certain steps to check. Make sure you’ve set up everything the way you want, so you don’t get shocked once the toy takes its flight. Register your drone weighing over 0.55 pounds with the FAA, if you are in the United States. Let me tell you things you should check real quick, before the take-off:
- You are in a clear and open space where it’s safe to fly.
- Toggle switches on your controller are okay and completely fine.
- Propellers are free from any sort of damage and good to spin freely.
- The weather is good for a flight and batteries are fully charged.
Clean The Propellers
Cleaning the drone props after every flight may sound tiresome. But trust me, it will save you a lot. A neophyte drone pilot learning the controls will be crashing at times. Yes, a quality drone is built to survive some wear and tear. But if you let dirt and grime build up in your motors, it will result in them to work harder and even locking up midair.
Therefore, take your time after each flight to remove your props and clean out any dust or dirt that have gotten into the motor housing. It will require an in-depth cleaning later if you act lazy on it. So why not clean the props in the first place!
Give Motors a Break
Consider giving your motors a break depending on the flight duration at a stretch. We understand the moment your drone goes up, you don’t want it to land back to the ground. But the motors need some rest as they are subject to overheating and wearing out. This actually varies on the size and quality of your toy. But again, if you’ve gone through a marathon flight, give those motors a rest before heading out for the next one.
Avoid Flight in Adverse Conditions
Flying in the right conditions is a must. Flying your device outdoors, you ought to escape windy or rainy conditions. Wind will give you a disastrous flight condition risking your toy. Preferably, try to limit flying your quadcopter during fair weather only. This will allow your drone live more of a lifetime.
Rest in Peace
Let your drone rest in peace when not in use. Grab a caring box for your drone from the market and store your thing when you aren’t using it for quite a long time. The caring box will keep dust and dirt away from your drone. And it is one of the best options for carrying purpose of your drone.
Anything to add?
Taking care of your drone will escalate the life-cycle to an extended level. If you love your drone, you will follow these tips by nature. There’s not much to emphasize on it. If you an experienced drone pilot and you have tips to share, let us know in the comments below. Happy Flying!