A drone rests on a white table.
If you are storing any electronics, you must proceed with caution, regardless if you are considering long-term or short-term storage. You cannot simply place a drone in your garage or storage unit and leave it there unattended. Many bad things can happen if you do this, depending on where you live, the time of year, and how long you leave it there. Therefore, if you wish to store your drone somewhere in a safe manner, we are here to explain how to properly prepare drones for short-term storage.
Conduct a Visual Inspection
Before putting your drone into storage, whether for a day or indefinitely, you should carefully inspect it. Check that everything is in working order. If you are leaving your drone with someone else, you should take photos to ensure that nothing has happened to it while it was not in your possession. This step is critical, especially if you intend to store your drone after flying it in bad weather. Therefore, to make sure that your drone is okay for storage, you should:
- Examine the outside shell for any cracks.
- Look for indications of deterioration.
- Examine the gimbal for damage or debris.
- Check the camera lens for dust and grime.
- Look at the rotors, propellers, and battery.
If you spot any problems, it is generally a good idea to fix them before you store your drone. Nothing is more infuriating than taking your drone out of storage and preparing for a flight only to discover that it no longer works, or even worse, crashing it mid-flight because something went wrong.
Before storing your drone, make sure it is in good condition.
Thoroughly Clean Your Drone
One of the most important steps if you want to prepare drones for short-term storage is to clean them thoroughly. Cleaning your drone entails removing obvious debris from the shell, gimbal, and camera, but it also extends beyond that. It would be best if you sometimes took your drone apart to eliminate built-up dust and filth. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of doing this, a blower brush or canned air may come in handy for removing dust from hard-to-reach areas such as the gimbal crevices or the propeller fittings. To carefully remove dust from cracks and nooks, use a pipe cleaner or soft brush. Some drones come with these tools when you order them. After you brush your drone clean, it’s time to wipe off the drone’s body with a gentle, clean microfiber cloth.
You may also need to clean and grease the motors on certain drones. If you don’t know whether your drone needs greasing, you can google it or consult your user manual. It is good practice to do this if you want to prepare your drones for short-term storage. However, if you plan on storing it for an extended time, all these steps may be necessary.
Drain the Batteries of Your Drone
Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for catching fire. As a result, it is a good idea to drain your drone’s battery before storing it. First and foremost, inspect the batteries for any irregularities. A healthy battery that has not been overheated and has no punctures or puffs should be safe to store. Having said that, if the batteries are in good condition, the next step is to discharge them to around 50% power. Many manufacturers believe that having a battery at half capacity benefits its longevity. That is why, when you buy a new drone or any other device, the battery is always around 50% charged when you turn it on for the first time. To keep your battery from deteriorating, follow the manufacturer’s discharge instructions.
If you want to keep your battery from deteriorating, keep it at about half capacity when storing it.
Carefully Pack Your Drone
When putting your drone into storage, ensure all moving components are immobilized. You don’t want your drone to be able to move around at all. You can use a strap to keep the gimbal tight. Doing so will prevent damage to the gimbal and camera if it falls into storage. Furthermore, you should remove any non-integrated cameras from the gimbal before putting the drone away for storage. Taking the drone’s blades off is also a good idea. Doing this would help because the blades will make packing your drone harder. If you want to ensure your drone is as tightly packed as possible and don’t want to damage the propellers, you need to take them off.
Chose a Safe Space to Store Your Drone
Even after you have gone through the necessary steps to prepare drones for short-term storage, your work is not yet finished. You will also need to find a secure location to keep it. Batteries, along with the other electrical components of the drone and the controller, can suffer irreparable damage if exposed to a humid environment. Moisture in the air may cause corrosion of metal components and mildew on plastic parts or packing materials. Therefore, keep your drone in a dry area away from humidity. When you pack and prepare drones for short-term storage, consider inserting silica gel into the packaging to absorb any humidity from the surroundings. When placing your drone in a storage unit, you should ensure it is free from moisture.
Whether you are preparing your drones for short-term storage because you are going out of town and want to keep it secure while you are gone, or you are making a long-distance move and want to ensure that your drone is in a safe place for the duration of it, now you know what to do. In any case, whether it is moving or looking for a secure storage solution, experts are the best assistance. Only by working with them will you be able to keep all of your possession safe.
That being said, now that we’ve covered how to properly prepare drones for short-term storage, you can go ahead and pack your drone away with confidence. Drones are expensive gadgets, and it would be irresponsible not to take every precaution when storing them. Therefore, make sure you understand everything we’ve discussed today before storing your drone.