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Comprehensive DJI Battery Guide
18150 27 2017-11-21
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David J.
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With the holiday season coming up, many of you may become new DJI owners. Whether it be the pocket-sized Spark or the well-equipped Phantom 4 Pro, they all run on the same thing: a battery. While they are intelligent batteries, they can’t do everything. The batteries can’t control how they are charged or how they are stored. I’ve looked around to find a comprehensive guide on how to charge, use, and store LiPo batteries, but I just couldn’t find one. So, I’ve created one for you!

Out of the Box: When you open your new DJI, the first thing you want to do is fly, naturally. But always charge the battery fully before flight, even if you want to get into the air immediately. When you fly with a partially charged battery, you risk an emergency landing induced by a sudden low-battery warning. So, always fly with a fully charged battery to avoid surprise emergency landings.

Pre-Flight Check: You should avoid flying while your battery’s temperature is below 25 Celsius/77 Fahrenheit because you can damage your battery. While in the summer you probably won’t run into this issue, in the winter it is quite common. Your battery performs best when its temperature is around 30 Celsius/86 Fahrenheit, and for a safe flight, the battery temperature should be at least 25 Celsius/77 Fahrenheit. When flying with the battery temperature below that, you risk sudden loss of power, resulting in your DJI falling from the sky—not something anybody wants. The battery temperature can be seen on either the battery page of the DJI GO apps, or through the aircraft status bar on the top of the screen. To heat the batteries up, you can keep the battery in a warm car or house, or you can buy a DJI battery heater, though it is only available for the Inspire and Phantom 3 series. As an alternative, you can power up your DJI and just let the motors idle until the battery temperature is at least 25 Celsius/77 Fahrenheit. Then, you’re good to go!

Flying: Though fast is fun, if you really want to get the longest lifespan out of your battery, it is better to take things easy. When flying fast, try to accelerate and brake slowly. You put a great deal of pressure on the battery to provide lots of power to the motors when you quickly accelerate and brake. In the long run, this wears down the battery. The same concept applies to accent and decent. Also, to put less stress on the battery and avoid a low battery induced RTH (return to home), try to land when the battery level falls to around 30%. As a reminder, I’d recommend setting the “Low Battery Warning” to 35% on the DJI GO app. A manual RTH is always better than an automated RTH.
Post-Flight and Charging: After your flight, let the battery cool for somewhere around 30 minutes. Set it on a shelf or table; just make sure it has some air flow. Let it cool to around 20 Celsius/65 Fahrenheit, or to when it doesn’t feel warm anymore. Charging the battery directly after a flight harms the cells and shortens the battery life. If you are planning to fly again within the next couple days (three max), charge it fully and you are ready to go.
Storing your Batteries: If you are planning on storing your battery for longer than three days, charge it to around 40% (when the LEDs blink up to the second level) and then put it away in a battery safe bag. Storing your battery at 100% can damage the cells, and decrease the battery life. If you aren’t sure if you’ll be flying it within the next few days, or if you charge your battery over 40%, there is a way out. On the DJI Go apps, there is a setting on the battery page where you can adjust the time until the battery automatically discharges. The setting discharges to 35% and automatically starts the discharge after the battery has not been used for 10 days. I would recommend changing the automatic discharge setting to around three days. That way, if you forget to only charge your battery to 40% or just aren’t sure if you’ll fly in the next few days, there is nothing to worry about. Side note, though. It does take around six days for the battery to discharge, so I would look at this setting as more of a back up, rather than something to rely on. Also, while discharging, the battery will warm up, so just make sure it has some airflow when discharging.

Deep Cycle: Finally, around every 20 cycles—a full charge and discharge (aka flight)—or around 200 flight minutes, you should do a deep cycle. Your battery has software that needs to be “calibrated” every so often. The process is this: first fly your battery to 20% to 30% and then land as normal. Let the battery cool, then discharge the battery to no less than 8%. To discharge the battery, power up your DJI, without the props, then just let it sit. About every five minutes, 1% of the battery is used. Make sure to keep a close eye on the battery level as you get close to 12%. Draining the battery to 0% can damage the cells, so shoot for 8% to 10%. After this, let the battery cool again, then you can charge it all the way up. Remember to do this around every 20 flights. That’s all for the deep cycle.

So, let's do a quick recap:
1) Always fly on a fully charged battery to avoid sudden landings, and land when your battery level is around 30% to prolong battery life.
2) Make sure that on cold days your battery is at least 25 Celsius/77 Fahrenheit before flying, and to take it a bit slower on the controls, so as to prevent damage to the cells and sudden power loss.
3) Avoid fast acceleration and braking. Speed up and slow down slowly and land when battery level falls to around 25% to maximize battery life.
4) Let your battery cool down before charging—somewhere around 30 minutes or until it is around room temperature.
5) If you are planning to fly in the next three days, charge the battery to 100%. But, if you’re not planning on flying within the next three days, charge the battery to around 40%, and then top it off before your next flight.
6) Around every 20 flights do a deep cycle to “calibrate” the software in the battery.
7) Enjoy your battery life and happy flying! You can check out the DJI battery heaters here, the holiday special Mavic Pro Alpine White (which includes 3 batteries which you now know how to take care of) here, and any other DJI products here. Right now the DJI Black Friday sale is happening, and there are some great deals. Check it out! Please ask any and all questions you might have!
2017-11-21
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DJI Susan
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Nice tips! Thanks for sharing with us!
2017-11-22
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KedDK
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"Let it cool to around 20 Celsius/65 Fahrenheit, or to when it doesn’t feel warm anymore." - Just for the record, the center of the battery can be much warmer than the feel on the outside, i let my batteries rest for an hour in room temp (20c) before recharge.
2017-11-22
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Trailblazer5715
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Can you add proper disposal method after dead or damaged battery. Thanks.
2017-11-28
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David J.
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Trailblazer5715 Posted at 2017-11-28 13:56
Can you add proper disposal method after dead or damaged battery. Thanks.

Hey Trailblazer5715, it’s actually pretty easy. You can just throw them in the trash. Discharge it all the way to zero, then connect the two battery leads, and throw it away. With DJI Batteries, connecting the two leads might prove a bit difficult, but it shouldn’t be too hard. I hope this helps.
2017-12-1
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VetteGuyZ06
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what happens if you don't use the batteries for 2-3 months?  Will they stay at 40% or discharge completely?  Do I need to charge them at some point?
2017-12-4
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solentlife
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David J. Posted at 2017-12-1 09:52
Hey Trailblazer5715, it’s actually pretty easy. You can just throw them in the trash. Discharge it all the way to zero, then connect the two battery leads, and throw it away. With DJI Batteries, connecting the two leads might prove a bit difficult, but it shouldn’t be too hard. I hope this helps.

????

Environmentally that is illegal in most countries.

The DJI battery as well does not have always connected contacts - so you would need to open the pack to get to the actual battery leads.

Batterys should be disposed of via proper disposal facilities and not just dumped in the trash !

Nigel
2017-12-4
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solentlife
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VetteGuyZ06 Posted at 2017-12-4 10:12
what happens if you don't use the batteries for 2-3 months?  Will they stay at 40% or discharge completely?  Do I need to charge them at some point?

DJI batterys continue discharge until they reach low level and then enter Hibernation Mode.

It is actually better to use the auto-discharge routine in all storage schemes ... charge up fully, auto discharge set to 2 - 3 days ... After 2 - 3 days battery will be at about 55 - 60% and then will continue slow discharge ...
Then all you need to do is check battery every week or so to see that its not in Hibernation mode ... if its down to one LED lit - then give it a charge again and let auto discharge do its work again. The number of charges you will make this way is negligible and will not affect your use and life.

Its actually not a good idea to get into Hibernation Mode ... as it locks the battery out. To revive from this - DJI instructions are :

Switch on battery (lights may play ....)
Leave alone for 5 mins
Plug in charger and leave till it 'kicks' into life again ... this could be a reasonable length of time.
Let it charge to full.

Nigel
2017-12-4
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solentlife
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For battery heating ... Hobby KIng do a very nice 12v powered heated LiPo Safe bag ... about $16 + shipping ...

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turn ... mer-bag-12v-dc.html



Worth every penny ..... I use car ciggy socket and then on field - I can use any 2 - 3S LiPo I have from my flight bags ...

Nigel
2017-12-4
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VetteGuyZ06
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solentlife Posted at 2017-12-4 10:39
DJI batterys continue discharge until they reach low level and then enter Hibernation Mode.

It is actually better to use the auto-discharge routine in all storage schemes ... charge up fully, auto discharge set to 2 - 3 days ... After 2 - 3 days battery will be at about 55 - 60% and then will continue slow discharge ...

Thanks...what about the RC....any instructions for the RC battery?  or do it the same way?
2017-12-4
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Nebuchadnezzar
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Thanks for share !!
2017-12-4
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solentlife
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RC ... because it has a low power draw - you do not need to worry so much about it.

You could if you want - switch on and leave till just two LED's ... and then just check it every week or so ... top up if necessary.

The RC ... to be honest - I treat it like a phone !!

Nigel
2017-12-4
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solentlife
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DJI batterys are LiPo's

There are many online expert sites describing maintenance of LiPo....

Just adapt to the limited access DJI give to the battery,

Use the Auto Discharge function to advantage ............ rest is ****** !

Nigel
2017-12-5
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John Kean
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Turkey
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Can i use the batteries for a DJI Mavic Pro Platinum on another cheaper model or a different company drone.  I purchased the DJI MAVIC PRO PLATINUM as a gift and after the 2nd use has seawater damage and i cannot afford the repairs at 900 Euro. I would appreciate any help.
2018-7-31
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fans7597730e
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The original advice above is to land with 30% battery life left.  DJI have promoted flight times for their Drones.  Mine is a Mavic Pro Platinum and the advertised flight time is 30 minutes.  My longest flight is 25 minutes over 2.5 km in moderate conditions.  The battery was down to 10% and auto landing signalling before I finally landed (the Drone has been close for a few minutes) I cancelled auto land and brought the drone down safely with 9% left.  Now if I was to land at 30% I would not get anywhere near the 30 minutes advertised or even the 25 minutes I have achieved.  Is  this is really the right advice? Is the advertised flight time wrong?
2018-8-10
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fans7597730e
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sorry misspost
2018-8-10
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rikk08
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Awesome tips, really need to start using these especially the deep cycle one.

For the deep cycle can I do it if the batteries have been without use for a few days/week or do I need to full charge them and fly until around20-30% battery?

Thanks!
2018-8-11
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Mark The Droner
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fans7597730e Posted at 2018-8-10 21:22
The original advice above is to land with 30% battery life left.  DJI have promoted flight times for their Drones.  Mine is a Mavic Pro Platinum and the advertised flight time is 30 minutes.  My longest flight is 25 minutes over 2.5 km in moderate conditions.  The battery was down to 10% and auto landing signalling before I finally landed (the Drone has been close for a few minutes) I cancelled auto land and brought the drone down safely with 9% left.  Now if I was to land at 30% I would not get anywhere near the 30 minutes advertised or even the 25 minutes I have achieved.  Is  this is really the right advice? Is the advertised flight time wrong?

The advertised flight time is to promote sales.  The recommended landing percentage is to promote battery life.  Hope this helps.  
2018-8-11
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fansd463c774
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Australia
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I traveled overseas recently and whilst there (Thailand) both batteries only took a half charge eg only the first 2 lights would cycle through.
They had changed normally several times prior, I have confirmed in the software they only reach like 46%. And have fully discharged and put back on the charging dock with the same result?
Any assistance would be appreciated
4-15 05:07
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Mark The Droner
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Could it be you have a bad charger?  
4-15 05:23
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picky
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-11-22 00:21
Nice tips! Thanks for sharing with us!

I am reading this much later than you posted. I appreciate the time you have taken to make this posting.
I have learnt a lot from it as two of my batteries have swollen from incorrect procedures. Lesson learnt.
Cheers.
8-16 21:55
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picky
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I am reading this much later than you posted. I appreciate the time you have taken to make this posting.
I have learnt a lot from it as two of my batteries have swollen from incorrect procedures. Lesson learnt.
Cheers.
8-16 21:57
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Manxmann
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solentlife Posted at 2017-12-4 10:31
????

Environmentally that is illegal in most countries.

Chuck em in the trash ?  You'd get hung by yer fundamentals for doing that in OZ
8-17 00:27
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Manxmann
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I don't get it:  The drone battery is LiPo as is the RC battery.  Irrespective of their relative capacities,  I'd have thought even the RC should be stored at around 50-60%
Is it possible that the storage procedure is to reduce fire risk & has little to do with battery life ?
..........  Just asking before yoawl get on yer high horses.   
8-17 00:34
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solentlife
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David J. Posted at 2017-12-1 09:52
Hey Trailblazer5715, it’s actually pretty easy. You can just throw them in the trash. Discharge it all the way to zero, then connect the two battery leads, and throw it away. With DJI Batteries, connecting the two leads might prove a bit difficult, but it shouldn’t be too hard. I hope this helps.

WRONG !

Dispose of via proper disposal location ... battery disposal is a serious matter and not to end up in landfill.
8-17 00:45
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solentlife
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OK ... there are various Battery Advice sheets out on the web ... and I produced one ages ago for our Club ...  text and attached :

Quote (plain text)

Solentlife personal view on DJI battery maintenance :

So you have just bought your first DJI Phantom - with proper setup and care - you will be amazed at its video and photographic possibilities.
Let’s go through various aspects of this new acquisition.

Many people new to Hobby Battery systems wonder how to treat these battery's. They are used to charging computers / mobile phones but when it comes to hobby battery’s such as LiPo - the rules change.
DJI battery's, while they are supposedly intelligent batteries, they fall short on various.

I hope the following can dispel some of the myths and misinformation that has grown up around the Phantom 3 battery series. Note this is primarily aimed at the P3 battery’s and I do not suggest applies to other. General principles of LiPo use and maintenance though are fairly universal and only adjusted here by DJI connecting a charge control board and telemetry circuitry to the pack.

But first we have to consider opening the box and putting into service the whole system.

New Purchase:
You open the box and in eagerness want to get out and there and fly ! Please don't. Please resist that urge. There are a few items you need to do first.

a) Have latest DJI GO to register with DJI to activate the Aircraft (we shall call this AC).
b) Fully charged battery to ensure any updates / activation has sufficient battery power to complete.
c) Checked level floor for IMU calibration and identify a nice clean outside area for Compass calibration. I suggest taking a hand held compass outside... walk around and see where needle gets deflected - that is a spot you should stay away from. It could be pipes, cables, rebar etc. under the ground, overhead etc.

Follow the DJI tutorials for initial setup and calibrations. YouTube search will point you directly.

OK - you have setup your P3. I will not go into flight as that is something that you should practice and develop your own skill at. Just note that it is worth once reasonably happy with P-GPS mode - to swap to ATTI mode and fly manually to get used to a less stable AC. This skill will save you later when things start to get out of hand.

a) Never fly with a partial discharged battery.
b) I strongly suggest that the default 10 day discharge setting of GO be changed to 2 - 3 days for start of auto-discharge.  Plug in each battery and power up to ensure each battery has this setting programmed in.
c) Do not deep discharge battery’s every 20 flights or so - only do this rarely - as it accumulates damage to a LiPo. Even DJI themselves advise against it now. The claimed re-calibration is purely a mA in vs mA out counter in the battery control board. It can be useful to reset counter occasionally but it does not recover lost battery performance.
d) Try not to fly into the low battery warning zone. I leave my warnings at default - 30% low and 10% critical. I plan to land with about 30 - 35% battery level - which gives me a good storage level to bench my battery’s. It is not necessary to charge to 50% or more.
e) Resist temptation to keep checking battery’s - this resets auto discharge timer.
f) If you plan to not fly for significant period - then charge battery’s fully. Place into storage and leave them alone. After a couple of weeks - check levels. If down to 2 LED’s - then charge again. Let auto discharge do its job. This way you will not enter hibernation mode and have any problems to use battery’s months later.
g) A lot of talk about battery temperature - LiPo battery’s are fine from 10C upwards. For some reason DJI decided to program the system so that we need to have a 'warm' battery to fly. That is easily accomplished by placing battery inside your coat ... warmed in the car driving to site ... LiPo warming bags ... picnic bags with warmers in ... Many ways to accomplish this. It is a myth that you need to hover the AC if it is cold. If the AC powers up and takes off - that means battery is at working level and will fly. DJI AC do not fall out of sky for this !

Let us move on to after flight.

Battery’s warm up when used. So it is good practice to allow the battery to cool before recharging.
Note that being a layered cell pack and inside a case - the inner cells will take longer to cool down.
If you are not planning on flying for a while - then refer to point f) above. Some will advise charging partially etc. But the easiest and best way is via f). Charge up and let auto-discharge do its work. Note that the LED's are representative of 25% increments... when flashing 12.5% - this means you are not that sure of what it really means when you see the LED's. But if you use the auto discharge system - you then know your battery’s are being looked after. You just need to check every week or so.

Summary :
1) Always fly on a fully charged battery and land when your battery level is around 30%.
2) Have auto discharge set to 2 - 3 days maximum and plug in every battery you have to AC to make sure battery FW is updated to this setting.
2) Let your battery cool down before charging—somewhere around 30 minutes or until it is around room temperature.
3) If you fly and land to 30% - after about one week - charge your battery fully and let auto-discharge do its job to avoid battery entering Hibernation mode. Check each week or so for level and recharge if it falls below 2 LED's and let auto discharge work again.
4) Always top up charge before flight if battery stands for more than one day after charging. At high charged levels you will need to switch on battery, then plug in charger to make sure top-up occurs.

I accept that this may disagree with some people’s views on the matter - but I base my suggestions on many years of LiPo use and a significant period of DJI ownership. My battery’s perform ... and keep performing.

I wish all good flights and long battery life.

Nigel


So lets consider a few points :

1. There is absolutely no reason to deep discharge any LiPo - in fact it is frowned upon by battery manufacturers. DJI battery have a 'counter' and that is the only item that may benefit from a rare discharge to reset it. Deep discharge in fact stresses a LiPo and should never be pushed below 3V per cell.

2. Guy in Thailand found he couldn't charge fully ... this can be because of voltage cycles on the mains supply. The DJI charger is a switch mode regulated power supply and if the cycle is wrong - it cannot work properly. This often also happens with computer power supplies when you travel. Only remedy is to get a local or universal unit.

3. Landing at or near 30% is a good practice to get into. Storage level of a LiPo cell is between 30 and 50% ... with the best according to LiPo manufacturers in the lower range. Land at 30% and when battery has rested - you will likely see a final figure about 35% ... this is excellent storage level. No need to fart about charging up etc.

4. Even DJI now do not recc'd deep discharge - sadly their manuals are not keeping up to date !!

DJI battery summary.pdf

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8-17 00:59
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David Martin Graff
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Nicely done - thanks again for sharing!
8-20 19:08
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A J
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Great work David J. - thanks for sharing
8-21 21:53
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