Whether you’re an experienced drone pilot or new to the drone community, following and mastering proper practices when storing the drone is crucial as it directly affects the components and dictate the drone’s lifespan. By following these 15 tips you’ll be able to protect your investment and keep its performance constant.
- Choose a storage area that is cool and dry to prevent moisture damage.
- Avoid storing in extreme temperatures as they can damage the battery and components.
- Store batteries at around 50-60% charge to prevent over-discharge or overcharge during storage.
- Prior to storing, take out the drone’s batteries and store them in a fireproof battery bag or container to mitigate fire risks.
- If possible, remove propellers and propeller guards to prevent stress on motor shafts.
- Cover your drone with a dust cover or cloth to prevent dust accumulation.
- If equipped, ensure the camera or gimbal is protected during storage.
- Remove camera lens covers or other attachments prior storing.
- Keep the other related drone accessories such as remote controller, goggles in their protective cases to prevent damage.
- Keep the case out of direct sunlight to prevent overheating of the drone and components.
- Backup important flight logs and settings digitally.
- Schedule regular checks to ensure the drone’s condition hasn’t deteriorated.
1. Choose a storage area that is cool and dry to prevent moisture damage.
Moisture, whether in the form of humidity or liquid water, could poses a substantial risk to the internal components including circuitry, motors, cameras, and batteries of the drone and other accessories such as remote controller.
- Internal components of the drone are so prone to moisture damage causing short circuits, malfunctions, and even permanent damage.
- Besides other internal electronic components, High humidity can lead can lead to battery corrosion and compromise their performance and safety.
2. Avoid storing in extreme temperatures as they can damage the battery and components.
Same as humidity, extreme temperature can directly impacts the longevity and functionality of both the drone’s battery and its various components. So avoiding storage in extreme temperatures is a critical practice for effective drone storage.
- Lithium-ion which are commonly used in drones, are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. High temperatures would cause degradation and reduced capacity over time due to acceleration of chemical reactions within the battery.
- Also, extremely high temperatures even can cause lithium-ion batteries to catch fire.
- Extreme temperature shifts can expand and contract components rapidly would lead to stress build ups on solder joints and connections, which might result in intermittent issues or complete failure.
3. Store batteries at around 50-60% charge to prevent over-discharge or overcharge during storage.
Drone batteries, which are usually lithium-ion batteries have to be charged and stored in specific range to ensure their safety and longevity. So storing battery at around 50-60% charge is a required crucial practice for effective drone storage.
- Over discharging drone battery lead to irreversible damage and reduced capacity. Storing the battery at 50-60% charge prevents it from falling into the critically low voltage range where over-discharge occurs.
- Extremely high and low charge levels subject the battery’s chemical compounds to stress, accelerating degradation. Storing batteries at a moderate charge like 50% – 60% minimizes this stress, prolonging its overall lifespan.
- High charge levels could occur batteries to heat up during storage causing accelerated degradation. Storing at a partial charge reduces the likelihood of excessive heat generation.
- Also, Overcharged batteries can become unstable and prone to venting or even catching fire. Storing at 50-60% charge minimizes the risk of thermal events.
4. Prior to storing, take out the drone’s batteries and store them in a fireproof battery bag or container to mitigate fire risks.
Prior to storing, removing the drone’s batteries and storing them in a fireproof battery bag or container is a fundamental safety measure that significantly enhances drone storage practices. As the Lithium-ion batteries carry a risk of thermal runaway and could lead to fires or explosions if mishandled, this precautionary step helps minimize the potential fire risks associated with drone battery storage.
- Storing batteries outside the drone minimizes the risk of a thermal event originating from a malfunctioning battery while the drone is stored.
- Placing batteries in a fireproof bag or container contains any potential fire risks, reducing the chance of a fire spreading to other objects in the storage area.
- In the rare event of a battery failure or short circuit, the fireproof bag or container can mitigate the likelihood of a fire by isolating the battery from external factors.
5. If possible, remove propellers and propeller guards to prevent stress on motor shafts.
- Propeller guards can become entangled or bent during storage. Detaching them prevents any distortion or damage to these protective features.
- Disassembling propellers and guards and storing them separately is more efficient use of storage space, and better organize your drone and accessories.
- Removing propellers and storing them separately ensures safety even the drone won’t accidentally start up while handling it.
6. Cover your drone with a dust cover or cloth to prevent dust accumulation.
Long-term dust accumulation inside the drone’s components can potentially cause damage and affect its functionality. Therefore, covering the drone and its other accessories such as controllers and extra batteries with a dust cover or cloth before storage is a prudent practice that is beneficial for maintaining the condition and performance of the drone during storage.
- Dust accumulation inside various openings and vents of the drone and potentially clog or damage sensitive components like motors, sensors, and cameras. Especially the movement of components like gimbal are highly sensitive even to small amounts of dust accumulation.
- Also, long-term dust accumulation would possibly cause poor ventilation and heat dissipation.
- Besides that dense dust accumulation can create conductivity paths, increasing the risk of short circuits that may damage the drone’s electronics.
- Additionally, If you stored the drone covered, the next time you need to use the drone, you will be ready for flight with minimal preparation, as you won’t need to spend extra time cleaning before takeoff.
7. If equipped, ensure the camera or gimbal is protected during storage.
Protecting your drone’s camera or gimbal during storage is crucial for maintaining high-quality visuals and performance.
- A properly protected gimbal prevents movement or vibrations during storage, which can lead to a more stable camera platform for smoother footage.
- Shielding the camera or gimbal prevents dust or particles from infiltrating the sensor area, ensuring that your images remain clear and free of artifacts.
- Keeping the camera or gimbal protected maintains precise lens alignment and calibration, which can be affected by rough handling or exposure to debris.
- Improper placement of the gimbals when storing could cause damage and calibration issues. So protecting the gimbal during storage would prevent unnecessary movement that could impact its calibration.
8. Remove camera lens covers or other attachments and store them separately on their cases.
Attachments of the drone such as camera lens, filters, and other third-party attachments must be properly stored to enhance their longevity and ensure they remain in optimal condition for future use.
- Storing camera lens covers and attachments separately in their dedicated cases protects them from potential impact, scratches, or accidental damage.
- Specialized filters, such as ND or polarizing filters, are more prone to damage if not stored properly. So when keeping them, make sure to separate cases to prevent scratches on their surfaces.
- Storing attachments separetely, frees up space in your drone case or bag, allowing for better organization and ensuring they remain clean and ready for use.
- Some attachments might be delicate or sensitive to environmental conditions. Storing them in their cases ensures they’re shielded from potential harm.
9. Keep the other related drone accessories such as remote controller, goggles in their protective cases to prevent damage.
Besides the drone, Drone accessories such as remote controller, goggles, and GoPros are vital components to operate the drone properly and enhance the experience. Therefore we can’t ignore them. Store them separately in their dedicated protective case ensuring it remains in optimal condition and ready for your next flight.
- Dedicated accessories protective cases are designed with proper cushioning and shields to store the accessory safely.
- Also, protective cases help to keep dust, dirt, and debris away from your accessories, reducing the negative effects caused by dust/dirt accumulations.
- Protective cases are designed for to be water-resistant or waterproof. Storing your accessories in these cases can prevent moisture or humidity from seeping in and causing corrosion or other water-related damage.
10. Keep the case out of direct sunlight to prevent overheating of the drone and components.
Direct exposure to sunlight can lead to overheating which can adversely affect the drone and its components. Heat-sensitive electronic components, batteries, and materials can suffer damage or degradation when exposed to high temperatures.
- Direct sunlight exposure or generally high temperature accelerates battery degradation, reducing battery life and potentially leading to safety risks such as swelling or even fires.
- Exposure to direct sunlight followed by cooler temperatures can lead to condensation forming inside the case, potentially causing water damage to the drone and its accessories. Also, it can cause rapid expansion and contraction leading to stress build-ups on solder joints and connections.
11. Backup important flight logs and settings digitally.
Backing up important flight logs and settings is a critical practice as they are crucial information related to your drone flight that dictate how your drone behaves in various scenarios. So storting those logs and settings provides a reliable backup and reference for future use.
- When your drone is reset or settings are changed, you can easily restore recent settings easily through the settings backup.
- Most of the time, flight logs are required by the manufacture to claim warranty or support assistance.
12. Schedule regular checks to ensure the drone’s condition hasn’t deteriorated.
Inspecting drone’s condition regularly, allow you to identify and address any issues promptly, ensuring that your drone remains in optimal condition and ready for flight. Also it helps to keep the battery away from over-discharging and keep the internal firmware updated.
- Checking the drone’s condition regularly, helps you catch and address potential issues before they turn into significant problems leading to more extensive repairs.
- Regular battery check ups can avoid heavy battery overdischarges.
- Regular checks prompt you to stay updated with the latest firmware releases.
- Regular checks can avoid the impact of environmental factors such as dust, moisture, and temperature changes that can affect the drone over time.