Dealing with Copper Sulfate in ponds

Discussion in 'Electrical & Radio' started by jadfer, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    This is part of an email I sent to the member list in the MWC. I battle constantly in ponds that use copper sulfate to control weeds/moss and add color. I have been having fairly good luck fighting the corrosion and thought I would share these tips that have.. so far.. worked for me.
    • Before battle use Corrosion X on all exposed connectors (receiver pins, servo plugs, etc.) and shake/wipe off the excess. You also plug it in a few times to both spread it and reduce the build-up on the pins. The coast with Dielectric grease.
    • I got rid of as many connectors in the ship as I could by hard wiring...which also reduced the chances for corrosion
    • When soldering connectors, I take alcohol or flux remover and scrub off any left over flux with a soft brush (flux is acidic...), then coat them with connector coating around the exposed solder joint and to keep water out of the wire jacket. Then I use a shrink / seal connector on the wire that overlaps the connector coating and heat seal it.
    • At the end of the battle day I take all the decks off my boat to allow it to dry as much as possible.
    • If the battle is longer than one day.. at the end of the day I will spray the rudder connector with corrosion X and remove excess regardless of visible corrosion as it usually sits in water all day. Then coat with Dielectric grease.
    • If the battle is longer than one day.. at the end of the day I will inspect the firing board pins and receiver pins for corrosion and spray as needed. If I sink or notice that the radio equipment got soaked I will do the corrosion X treatment. Then coat with dielectric grease.
    • When I get home from the battle I completely disassemble the ship and flush the hull and wiring with fresh water for about 10 minutes. I fill the hull with water then drain it several times.. I spray the hose (not full pressure) on all connectors and joints, motors. pumps, gears, etc.
    • I then set the hull up to dry. The next day I spray corrosion x on the metal gears and bushings then clean up the excess so it doesn’t sit on the bottom of the hull.
    • I spray lubricant into the pump outlet until it runs out of the priming hole. I turn it upside down to allow the lubricant to reach the bottom bearing then I run it on a battery to expel the excess then sit it right side up on a paper towel to drain. I take my R/C car oiler to the top bushing of the pump motor and let it sit. I don’t like to take apart pumps once built.... so I leave them built until its time to retire the motor.
    I hope this can help you if you have had issues or will be battling in a copper sulfate pond in the future. Overall I think it makes a good maintenance routine regardless of where you have battled.
    J
     
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  2. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

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    That is a very good method overall. I think this topic warrants a pinning as corrosion is one of our larger issues in the hobby
     
  3. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
     
  4. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Has anyone ever tried using a sacrificial zinc anode to reduce corrosion? I know full size ships use these, but I've never heard of a model using them.
     
  5. Bob

    Bob Well-Known Member

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    Replacing the servo connectors with Deans mini pins helps.
    I have covered my servo connectors with a ballon zipped at both ends, keeps the water out.
    I've noticed that my Futaba 75mhz radios don't seem to mind the servo connects getting wet. But my Airtronics 75mhz and 27mhz (all brands) radios go wacky with even "clean" water.
     
  6. jch72

    jch72 Active Member

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    The thickness of the gold plating on the pins is a significant factor in reducing corrosion. Deans mini connectors have a good layer of gold on the pins and so do The older Futaba, and they do not corrode easily. The airtronix and jr often used tin plating or very thin gold plating and corroded quickly. For those that assemble their own servo connectors, the Manufacturers of the pins and sockets have been reducing the gold plating thickness in recent years to reduce manufacturing cost, it has become hard to find fully plated sockets. 30u is a good thickness to use.

    Ron Hunt
     
  7. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    I made some edits to the original post. I forgot that although I have had good luck in the past with corrosion X I was supposed to switch to spray lubricant when I spray into the pump. Corrosion X is for fighting corrosion and makes a poor lubricant. It can also accumulate over time and start to gum up.. so the switch was supposed to be made. I am flushing my pumps this weekend and loading them with spray lubricant.

    I also used Dielectric grease and have added that.
     
  8. froggyfrenchman

    froggyfrenchman Well-Known Member

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    Very nice post.
    Well done!
    Mikey
     
  9. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    Good advice from Johnny; this thread has been stickied.
     
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  10. Nate G

    Nate G Well-Known Member

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    I recently did some research on controlling weeds, etc. The stuff we call moss is most often actually filamentous algae. The best way to get longer lasting control without the ionic copper in the water to mess up electronics appears to be products using " chelated copper". This kills/slows the algae,etc, is safe for ducks and fish ( caution with trout and coy), and is considered drinkable ( if it was before). From what I can tell it is environmentally safe so in a pond with significant outflow, there is no problem with groundwater, livestock, etc. It is dense and stays on the bottom doing the job. It is found in the shopping and environmental sections under "pond maintenance". If you can get your local pond owner educated on this, it should eliminate the above issues.
     
  11. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    This is what we used at the Brouhaha the last two years:
    http://www.thepondguy.com/product/pond-logic-pond-dye/pond-and-lake-pond-dye
    Turns out this is just a big bottle of food-grade blue dye.

    So as far as I am aware .. Wade's pond has only had food dye in the water the past two years. I still see a green chalky build-up on all the positive wires including the servo pins for the rudder servo.. but I don't think he is putting copper sulfate in the pond.


    I just called the manufacturer and this product uses chelated copper.
    http://www.thepondguy.com/product/pond-logic-algae-defense-algaecide/aquatic-algicides

    These folks have EXCELLENT tech support.. call them with your issue and they will get you on the right track..

    J
     
  12. Nate G

    Nate G Well-Known Member

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    I ended up using Cutrine - plus at Nats. seemed to work well. no blue color, no electronics problems, no scum on wires after 4 sinks :)
    kept pretty good control. last day, noted a few blooms of filamentous algae - too much duck poop.