Waterproof Your Receiver

By Axial on Nov 06, 2014


There are a lot of opinions being shared on how to waterproof electronics items, such receivers. The downside on most of the techniques is that they void the warranties of the products they are supposed to protect. Even worse, they often don’t work as promised.

ar-2 rec 1

The receiver on your Axial vehicle is the brain of the onboard electronics system. While all of the components need to work, none will work if the receiver is compromised. The number one way a receiver is damaged is by water exposure. If you avoid water, mud, and wet conditions in general, you have nothing to worry about. If you do want to be able to get your RC car wet, the receiver should be the first item addressed.

Since receivers don’t have overheating issues, the absolute best way to waterproof a receiver is to completely shield it from water exposure. The best method for this is an old method that has been used in RC for decades, but still works flawlessly. The method in question is to use a simple balloon over the receiver. A typical party balloon works fine, but the thicker the balloon the better. A thicker material is more durable, but all intact balloons are waterproof. It’s worth noting that balloons, even the standard party balloons, come in different sizes.

rec balloon

The hardest part is stretching the balloon over the receiver without tearing the material. The best trick is buy the bigger 12″ balloons and to stretch out the neck of the balloon with your fingers until it easily opens wide, and then while holding it open drop the receiver in. Sometimes having an extra set of hands will make this much easier, so get an assistant if you can.

rec balloon 2

Also, make sure all of the wires are attached before covering the receiver with a balloon.

silicone 2


While the balloon over the receiver offers enough protection for most conditions, the receiver isn’t fully waterproof just yet. Using traditional silicone glue, fill the neck of the balloon about halfway down. There’s no need to overfill the glue, but you want to use just enough to completely surround the wires.

zip tie

After the glue has partially hardened, cinch a cable tie around the glued area. After the glue has completely dried (it will take a while to completely cure), you can add a small amount of glue as added insurance.

When installed inside one of Axial’s receiver boxes, the receiver will be truly waterproof and, if you performed these steps properly, will be safe for even the wettest conditions. Venturing into water is risky and can damage electronics. Do so at your own risk. Even if your electronics are “waterproofed,” other components on your RC car need care before and after water exposure.


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