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Thread: Flood Damage/Ground Up Rebuild

  1. #1
    Hi everyone,

    The impetus for this post is the recent flooding in the Saar/Mosel regions of western Germany/Luxembourg/eastern Belgium.

    Unfortunately my little workshop in the cellar of my building flooded up to over 1m and everything I had down there is pretty much gone. 2x FlySky controller/receivers, 3x RobotPower Hydras, about two dozen 12v 25mm gearmotors, a dozen servos of various sizes and all sorts of other sundries - my batteries were custom made 3s LiIon packs pulled out of cordless vacuum cleaners. Fortunately, we're insured against flooding so my tools will be replaced one way or another but I figured this would be a good time to re-evaluate the components I've stockpiled over the last few years.

    The three projects I was working on were all BW (1.5kg) sized - a 4wd flipper, a 6wd four-bar, and a 3wd... something else. While the chassis are HDPE and should be re-usable, the length of time for me to clean up, replace my tools and for the renovations in our building to be completed mean I can go ahead and start some revisions to my CAD designs.

    So, given that I was using drive motors such as these - - servos such as these - 1 Set MG995 360° High Torque Metal Gear RC Servo Motor For Boat Helicopter Car | Wish - and ESCs such as these - Robot Power Products - Hydra - and I'm prepared to write them off, what kind of components should I be looking to upgrade to now I don't have a stockpile?

    tl;dr - Flooding wrecked my BW components, what should I order/upgrade my designs to accept while my workshop is renovated?

  2. #2
    Sorry to hear about your situation, hope things are sorted timely for you.

    Regarding beetle components, people commonly stick with those 22mm planetry gearboxes and either fit some 1806 brushless motors to them by swapping out the shafts/soldering on pinions and using some programmed brushless escs for forward/back. ( The brushed people use the 180 sized motors, such as FK180-SH or PG22-180 as a combo, about 16000rpm motors, something else about silverspark brand of these, or even nerf gun motors are commonly mentioned. There is a cad model lineup of current motors people use that is rather handy:

    ESCs tend to be reprogrammed brushless esc's running BLHeli (or simon K) and using the blheli programming software, its simple to ammend the program running to have brake, reverse and set points.
    Brushed motors tend to also use brushless escs, that run custom opensource firmware and only use 2 outputs to connect the motor to. DM me for links?

    The water damage to the PCB, if its not severe could be saved using some rice, and time... that is still an option. The motors may have died, but save the gearboxes as they could ell be saved. 22mm gearboxes tend to have a plastic stage in them so you need to buy 2 to get a full set of metal gears, so that may well be a saving for you as they tend to be sealed and greased.

    Servos, have a look on the beetleweight combat facebook pages for current devs, but also people - like myself, use 37mm gear motors for lifters as an option with a reprogrammed ESC.

    Several companies now sell premade brushless gearboxes for beetles, and brushed, OWObotics,, Just Cuz robotics, TeamBTR, Bristol Bot Builders, and a few others i cant remember off top of my head including a new one that opened up. (i do featherweight stuff mostly -
    Last edited by Roboteernat; 20th July 2021 at 10:50.

  3. #3
    Electronics - receivers or ESCs - you might salvage if you can get all the water out.

    Remove any heatshrink or labels, then wipe it with some Isopropanol, and leave it dry for a while, most boards which are "just" electronic won't be damaged by being briefly submerged.

    Unfortunately anything which can't be dried out will be ruined, for example, if your receivers have a metal can on the pcb, the water won't be able to be cleaned out (you could try unsoldering the metal can to clean underneath)

  4. #4
    Thanks for the advice, at this point might as well try everything.

  5. #5
    Uncooked rice will be your friend for couple days / weeks that will dry out the electronics. I keep a jar of rice at work as several collegues keep have dropped phones in loo/sink... Maybe i should replace the rice...!!

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