DIY Maintenance With Drone Spare Parts
For anyone who loves to play around with remote control airplanes and helicopters, the next step is to move on to the drones that are so popular today. These are loads of fun to play with, but when something goes wrong, the fun stops and you have to figure out how to fix the problem. This is why it is so important to keep a good supply of spare parts. Some of the drone spare parts can be expensive, but with the high price of most drones, it is worth it to be able to buy replacement parts rather than spend money on a brand new drone. Read on to learn more the various spare parts you should have on hand, and how to do your own drone maintenance.
Common Spare Parts for Drone Maintenance
There are some parts that are going to need replacing more than others. One of the most important spare parts you should have in your kit is a propeller. In fact, you may want to have several extra propellers or rotors available, because they break so easily. The following are the main spare parts you will want to have in your workshop so you can do your own drone repairs.
- Rotors/Propellers– These tend to break easily, so it is a good idea to have plenty on hand, just in case.
- Gears – The gears in the propellers will wear out over time, and you will need to replace them.
- Rotor shafts – Like the gears, the rotor shafts wear out, and they can also become damaged if the rotors are damaged.
- Batteries – After a while, you aren’t going to get as much life out of your battery as you did when you first bought your drone. Make sure that you have a couple of extra batteries so you never run out of power. You may also want to invest in another battery charger, so you can always have two batteries charged/charging.
- Propeller guards – You can save a lot of money on replacement propellers by investing in propeller guards. These will also break, but they are less expensive than propellers, so it is worth it to stock up on some now, before you actually need them.
- Extra memory cards – If you use your drone for photography, it is always wise to have plenty of memory cards on hand. That way, you don’t have to stop taking pictures just because you have run out of memory space.
- Wire – The wires used in drones are thin, and tend to break easily. It is important that you have a good supply of wire on hand, because there will be several times that you are going to need it.
In addition to spare parts, you are also going to need to have certain tools for doing your own drone maintenance and repairs. Items you will need in your toolbox include:
- Soldering Iron – Many parts will need to be soldered in place. You don’t need an expensive soldering iron. Just look for one that has a fine tip, as you will be working on some pretty tiny parts and wires.
- Wire Cutters–Make sure that you get wire cutters that have a built-in wire stripper. You are going to need to be able to strip the ends in order to do any soldering.
- Velcro or Double-Sided Foam Tape – If you are mounting anything on your drone, such as a camera or a transmitter, you will need to have this tape to make sure that it is securely in place.
- Heat Shrink Tubing–This can be used to protect any external wires from damage, which means less maintenance work for you.
- Epoxy and Fiberglass – If there are cracks or chips in the outer shell, you will need epoxy and possibly fiberglass for repairs.
When it comes to spare parts for your drone, it is always best to buy them from companies that deal specifically in drones. That way you know that you will be getting exactly what you need, and you won’t be running all over town picking up parts that you can’t even use in the first place. Other parts, such as wires, can be found at your local electronics stores.
Drone Maintenance Tips
In order to keep your drone flying high, it is important that you do some preventative maintenance before each flight, in addition to maintenance after flights. It is a good idea to keep a maintenance checklist, and make sure that you do everything on the list to ensure that your drone is always in perfect working condition. Some of the things you should have on your maintenance checklist include:
Before Each Flight
- Check the propellers for cracks or other damage. Do any necessary repairs before flying the drone.
- Make sure that all moving parts in the motors actually move properly. You should be able to easily move these parts by hand.
- Check for loose screws and bearings in the drone.
- Power up the drone and listen for any odd noises in the motor.
- Once each week, check the outer shell of the drone for chips and cracks. Make repairs as necessary.
- Check to make sure that all motor and shell-retaining screws are tight.
- Make sure all moving parts are well-lubricated.
- Check the batteries and recharge/replace as necessary.
- Clean the shell with alcohol wipes.
- As long as it won’t void your warranty, remove the outer shell to so you can check the wiring inside the drone.
- Check the motor while the shell is off to make sure that there are no issues.
As you get more and more used to flying and maintaining your drone, repairs are going to become much easier. But, there may be problems that are beyond your capabilities, and if you try to fix them yourself, you could end up with even bigger problems. Instead of taking this risk or going out and buying a new drone, take your old drone to a professional who is experienced in drone repair. You will save a lot of time and money, and will be able to get back to flying your drone sooner.
If you are in the market for a more professional device you can browse our ulitmate guide to drones for GoPro cameras which are used serious hobbbyists and preofessionals.