One moment, your drone is soaring through the air, and the next, it’s in a tree. You managed to retrieve it somehow, but a few of the propellers didn’t make it out of the ordeal intact. Fixing it is all a matter of simple drone repair.
Putting on new propellers is so easy that anyone can do it. You’re lucky that the damage wasn’t any worse. You might have had to take it to a professional otherwise.
How can you make things go differently than last time, and how do you fix the complicated stuff? We’ve got all the answers that will help you keep your device in good working order. Keep reading to learn more.
Preventing the Tragedy
You won’t have to repair your device if you do what you can to avoid a drone accident in the first place. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you take your drone out for its first run.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Every drone comes with care instructions that you’ll have to follow if you want to prevent expensive repairs. Drone propellers are pretty fragile. They’ll fall apart if you don’t change them out after every 200 flights or so.
If you need help keeping track of your flights, there are apps that can handle it for you. After you’re done with your drone, take the time to clean it. The dirt and mud that the device gathers can get into the wiring and cause problems.
Before and after each flight, check your drone over. If you notice any chips, breaks, or cracks, don’t send it out. Doing so will only make the damage worse.
Take It Outside
It doesn’t matter if the packaging tells you that you can fly your drone indoors, don’t do it! There are too many obstacles that you’ll have to workaround.
If you’re a beginner when it comes to flying, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose control and end up breaking one of your prized possessions or worse. Beaming someone you love with it. That will hurt even if you’re using the smallest drone on the market.
Don’t Use FPV
If you fly your drone in first-person view, it can be very easy to get tunnel vision. You’re paying so much attention to your smartphone screen that you forget about your surroundings.
This is a good way to slam your device into a tree that you failed to notice until you were right up on it. If you notice that you have a bad habit of tuning out the environment or you want to wear FPV goggles, do yourself a favor and bring a friend outside with you. That way, you have someone who can give you a little warning if you’re about to veer off course.
Test Fly the Drone
It takes time to learn how to fly a drone. You think that you’re steering it to the right, but the device goes left instead. Getting the orientation down isn’t easy.
That’s why it’s important to test drive your drone. What we mean is that you should take it out to a large open area where there are no obstacles to worry about. This will give you the time that you need to figure out how your drone’s orientation works.
Keep It Close
We understand that you’re excited about your new drone. You can’t wait to see how high and how far you can make it go, but you need to have some restraint for a couple of reasons.
For one, most states require you to keep your drone in sight. They also put limits on how high you can fly your device, and you can’t hover it over people. For two, if you can’t see your drone, that increases your risk of crashing it.
Check the Fitting
The thing about drone motors is that they produce a ton of vibration. It gets worse if any of the parts mounting the motor to the device come loose.
The increased vibration will cause other parts, such as the propellers, to rattle around. When this happens, it will make your device unstable.
It’s enough to cause you to lose control of the drone when you’re flying it. That’s why you should check all the fastenings before you take the device outside to make sure that they’re nice and tight.
Perform the Basic Drone Repair Steps
So, you failed to adhere to the steps above and you crashed your drone. What do you do now that you’re pretty sure that you broke your machine?
Check It Over
The first step is to go grab your drone so you can take a look at it. Before you pick it up, make sure that you’ve turned it off.
If it’s still on, the propellers may turn on because the drone thinks that it’s still in the air. You could end up getting hurt.
Look the body of the drone over for any scratches or cracks. If you have a warranty on your device, do yourself a favor and take pictures of the damage with your smartphone. It will help with the whole compensation process.
If your drone is dirty, you may have to take it home and wash it before you can assess the damage.
Look at the Propellers
Again, the propellers are pretty fragile. They could break if you fly the drone through bugs, let alone if you crash your device into the side of a tree.
Look over the blades for any chips. If you spot any, you’ll need to replace the damaged propellers before you send the drone back out.
The good news is that this is the cheapest problem to handle. Most people keep a bunch of extras on hand because they’re not expensive, and you need to replace the propellers often even if they’re not damaged.
If you are going through propellers at a frustrating rate, do yourself a favor and buy some guards for them. This will allow them to handle a little more punishment.
Check the Landing Gear
One accessory that’s a little unnecessary that many people grab is a landing pad. The reason being is that the shock of a tough landing can hurt the drone about as much as crashing into a tree can.
This is especially true if your device has retractable landing gear. You can really hurt the mechanism that allows the gear to extend and retract.
If your drone doesn’t stick its landing, inspect the gear to see if it still works okay. You should also look for any cracks or breaks.
Look at the Wiring
Drones have a large number of wires that feed them enough power to float through the air. If something is even slightly wrong with one of them, it could send your DJI FPV spirling right to the ground.
It’s important to check your wiring before and after a flight to check them for damage. If you see any cracks or burns, you’ll want to take the device to a drone repair store as soon as you can. You won’t be able to send it back out into the air until you do.
Repairing Your Drone
After inspecting your drone, have you determined that it’s damaged to some degree? If you have enough technological know-how, you might be able to do a DIY fix, providing you have a little instruction.
If you don’t feel confident about replacing the parts in such an expensive machine on your own, you can also take it to a professional at a drone repair shop.
Replacing the Propellers
Propellers are most likely the easiest part to fix yourself. How you go about it all depends on what kind of drone you have. Most of the smaller models have propellers that attach using a single screw.
You can remove them by using one of those small screwdriver kits. Remove the screw, take the propeller off the driveshaft, and screw the new one on.
Some drones use push-on propellers. For these, you can use your fingers to remove the propeller and snap the new one into place. It’s that simple!
Getting a New Motor
Replacing the motor is a little more complicated than putting on a new propeller. You don’t want to do it without following along with a YouTube video. A drone is too expensive of a device for you to wing it.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to put in the new motor by connecting it to the electronics board via plugs. Where things get difficult is if you have to solder the motor leads to the board.
You pick up your device and there’s no drone damage at all. You don’t even see a scratch on the body section. That means you can celebrate by sending it out for another flight, right?
The answer is yes, but you’re going to have to run a couple of tests before you do. Sometimes the damage isn’t obvious. You don’t want to use the drone again unless you know for certain that it’s in good working order.
Remove all the propellers and power the drone up like you’re going to fly it. Of course, the machine won’t actually go into the air, but this allows you to listen out for any motor issues.
By booting on the drone, the software will check the firmware, camera, and other internal workings for damage. This means that you won’t have to do it yourself.
If everything seems okay up to this point, you’re good to put the propellers back on and take your drone for a test drive. Whatever you do, don’t send it out too far at first.
Seek Out a Professional
If repairing your drone seems a little too complicated for you or you don’t feel comfortable enough to handle it, take it to a repair store. Don’t try to tackle the job on your own.
Call the drone’s manufacturer and see if your machine is under warranty. If it is, you’ll be able to get it fixed without paying any money out of your own pocket.
Unless the manufacturer is local, you’ll have to mail your drone into them. The problem with this is that there’s no telling when they’ll get to it. You could go weeks without your machine if the repair person has a lot of them to work on.
There is a way around the wait. It involves taking out your computer and going to the manufacturer’s website.
Check the Manufacturer’s Website
In some cases, the moment you open up your machine to perform DIY drone repair, that’s it. You’ve voided your warranty. If you cause a worse problem by attempting to fix whatever is wrong with the drone yourself, you’ll have to pay someone to fix what you messed up.
So, before you make repairs, check the manufacturer’s website to see what the terms of the warranty are. If you can’t save time with a DIY, see if the company has any partner repair stores that you can take your device to. If they do and the shops are local, it will prevent you from having to mail your drone out.
Get Your Drone Into the Air Again
Crashing your drone into something mid-flight can feel like the end of the world. You already spent a lot of money on the machine. You don’t want to spend any more on putting it in the shop.
If you want to avoid having to make an expensive drone repair, you’ll need to take measures to keep your machine in the air. Prevention is the key. If you manage to crash the drone anyway, well, that’s what repair shops and YouTube videos are for.
Are you looking for more drone maintenance tips? Visit the Technology section of our blog daily to read additional articles like this one.