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Phone connection lost while flying in the rain

Steve F

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Just wanted to share an experience I recently had with my Mavic Air 2 during an unplanned rainstorm, and a problem that developed between my phone and controller.

While out flying it started raining. In the process of finishing up and getting the drone back I got fairly wet. As a result, my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone (that is supposedly water resistant to 2m) displayed an error message that the USB connection was wet, while at about the same time the DJI GO app died. I tried quickly unplugging the cable, blowing in the USB connection, plugging it back in, and restarting the app. But the error message and crash repeated. As a result I just hit the RTH button on the controller, and when the drone came in close I was still able to use the stick controls to tweak the landing despite having no phone connection at the time. It is good to know the controller still functioned under such circumstances.

Back in the car, I tried to dry out the connection of the phone and controller with a tissue and toothpick, but kept getting the same message when attempting to make the connection to the controller even after putzing around for at least 30 minutes. Switching to my other drones controller yielded the same thing, so I concluded the problem was with the phone. I then turned on the defroster of the car with the AC running at full blast, and put the phone on the vent for about 15 minutes. After that, viola! it worked.
 
Just wanted to share an experience I recently had with my Mavic Air 2 during an unplanned rainstorm, and a problem that developed between my phone and controller.

While out flying it started raining. In the process of finishing up and getting the drone back I got fairly wet. As a result, my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone (that is supposedly water resistant to 2m) displayed an error message that the USB connection was wet, while at about the same time the DJI GO app died. I tried quickly unplugging the cable, blowing in the USB connection, plugging it back in, and restarting the app. But the error message and crash repeated. As a result I just hit the RTH button on the controller, and when the drone came in close I was still able to use the stick controls to tweak the landing despite having no phone connection at the time. It is good to know the controller still functioned under such circumstances.

Back in the car, I tried to dry out the connection of the phone and controller with a tissue and toothpick, but kept getting the same message when attempting to make the connection to the controller even after putzing around for at least 30 minutes. Switching to my other drones controller yielded the same thing, so I concluded the problem was with the phone. I then turned on the defroster of the car with the AC running at full blast, and put the phone on the vent for about 15 minutes. After that, viola! it worked.
Did you have a Wetsuit on?

I read that the drone was fine, your phone was not so lucky...

Fly from the car? It's my go to.
 
Did you have a Wetsuit on?

I read that the drone was fine, your phone was not so lucky...

Fly from the car? It's my go to.
No wetsuit. I am a bit of a skeptic on its need. In a light rain I would rather let the drone breathe through its vents and rely upon the air movement to keep it dry. This has worked for me in the past when temporarily passing through low fog and snow flurries. If I knew it was going to be raining hard enough for this when I started, I wouldn't have flown.
 
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No wetsuit. I am a bit of a skeptic on its need. In a light rain I would rather let the drone breathe through its vents and rely upon the air movement to keep it dry. This has worked for me in the past when temporarily passing through low fog and snow flurries. If I knew it was going to be raining hard enough for this when I started, I wouldn't have flown.
Understood.

I try not to fly in the rain either, but I've lived in Florida for 30 years, so I stay prepared.
I have a "wet" battery, and a "dry" battery always ready.

...but I also chase storms, so...

lol
 
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No wetsuit. I am a bit of a skeptic on its need. In a light rain I would rather let the drone breathe through its vents and rely upon the air movement to keep it dry. This has worked for me in the past when temporarily passing through low fog and snow flurries. If I knew it was going to be raining hard enough for this when I started, I wouldn't have flown.

I think the biggest issue with flying the Mavic Air 2 in the rain is the battery design and placement. Very easy for water to get into the top facing battery button and into the battery compartment too. The wetsuit design mitigates those vulnerabilities.
 
No wetsuit. I am a bit of a skeptic on its need. In a light rain I would rather let the drone breathe through its vents and rely upon the air movement to keep it dry. This has worked for me in the past when temporarily passing through low fog and snow flurries. If I knew it was going to be raining hard enough for this when I started, I wouldn't have flown.

Both the Samsung and the Iphone have the same warning, It does not normally effect the apps running on the phone.
The Iphone has both a Charging warning and a USB warning by default .

Just keep an eye on the air 2 battery as the power button takes the most abuse in the rain, as long as the battery is not flashing your good.
if the battery is flashing than its comprised.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain.
 
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I think the biggest issue with flying the Mavic Air 2 in the rain is the battery design and placement. Very easy for water to get into the top facing battery button and into the battery compartment too. The wetsuit design mitigates those vulnerabilities.
I think this is going a little off track, perhaps being steered in an advertising sense for so called wetsuits. The OP was quite clearly affected by a well known issue whereupon the USB port on the phone suffered moisture ingress. The drone performed correctly, apparently not showing any malfunction due to water (rain in this instance).
 
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I think this is going a little off track, perhaps being steered in an advertising sense for so called wetsuits. The OP was quite clearly affected by a well known issue whereupon the USB port on the phone suffered moisture ingress. The drone performed correctly, apparently not showing any malfunction due to water (rain in this instance).

Well, I have no financial interest in wetsuits (I neither own one, nor have any relationship to the company), but the reality is, the stock "unprotected" drone isn't designed to fly in the rain. If one continues to do so, eventually water will seep into the battery (either the button or the compartment) causing a catastrophic loss if it's during flight. In my experience, using electronics that aren't designed for use in water eventually catches up to you, even if you "get away with it" a couple of times prior.
 
Grab some Sugru and make yourself a "boot" for the connector that will keep water out better than the stock connector. I swear by this stuff. With gaffer tape, Sugru, and JB Weld, you can fix almost anything...

 
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Grab some Sugru and make yourself a "boot" for the connector that will keep water out better than the stock connector. I swear by this stuff. With gaffer tape, Sugru, and JB Weld, you can fix almost anything...

Interesting. Thanks for the tip. I don't mind the advise on the potential for water intrusion. I will have to try it with one of my batteries as itsneedtokno implied.
 
Interesting. Thanks for the tip. I don't mind the advise on the potential for water intrusion. I will have to try it with one of my batteries as itsneedtokno implied.

Water intrusion is a problem for the majority of my gear with the exception of my drone, because once I'm getting wet it's time to move on, and I'd really better not have a drone in the air at that time...
 
Well, I have no financial interest in wetsuits (I neither own one, nor have any relationship to the company), but the reality is, the stock "unprotected" drone isn't designed to fly in the rain. If one continues to do so, eventually water will seep into the battery (either the button or the compartment) causing a catastrophic loss if it's during flight. In my experience, using electronics that aren't designed for use in water eventually catches up to you, even if you "get away with it" a couple of times prior.
I think you're missing the point here. It's a given that you shouldn't be flying your drone in the rain and if you do then you run the risk of water getting inside and causing a fault condition. In this case the OP was saying he was caught out by an unexpected cloud burst and realised that he should be landing asap. My point is that his loss of connectivity to the app was due to water ingress at the phone USB, and not due to the drone controller or drone. Yes, he was fortunate (lucky) in this case.
 
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