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Batteries and cold weather
533 9 2018-2-5
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Silverhammer92
lvl.4
Switzerland
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Hello folks

I flew my mavic pro over a lake last sunday at about 5 degree C. I experienced some battery drops with my old phone during winter so I was a bjt concerened that this might happen to my mavic as well. I was closly monitoring the battery voltage during flight and always was between 4.2 and 3.7 (give or take)

The problem: I do not really know what voltage should be considered as a warning. Does anybody have some experience to share? Eventually even a graph that shows voltage per battery-level? What battery level becomes risky in cold weather?

Thanks
Silver
2018-2-5
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Locoman
Second Officer
Flight distance : 748675 ft
United States
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I think that as long as the battery is reasonably warm when you start to fly it should be ok. the battery gets warm when it discharges and so does the MP when it is flying. It is my hands and fingers that limit the length of time I can fly when it is cold. Usually my cold weather flights (in the teens F) last only about 10 minutes. 5C = 41F, for me that is hot. If you set your batteries warnings to % of charge as recommended in the manual, you should't have an problems.
2018-2-6
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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When you first turn on the drone you need to wait for the battery temperature to reach at least 15c before take off - keep it in VLOS and be gentle on the sticks until it reaches at least 20c then you should have no problems. Keep your batteries in your inside jacket pocket to help keep the spares warmer between flights. Also, expect a drop in flight time when flying in the cold - though this is usually in temps below 0c.  
2018-2-6
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Bekaru Tree
Captain
Flight distance : 15513100 ft
South Africa
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i believe the answer is 3.6v you want to be going home, at 3.4 v you want to be very close to home or landing.
2018-2-6
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JensIR
lvl.4
Flight distance : 207631 ft
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So far in the relatively short time I have owned my Mavic I have flown all my flights during cold weather, in the range from around +5 C down to around -10 C without any issues.
However, I have taken some precautions, particularly in temperatures below zero C. ( I generally don't consider +5 C to be very cold)
Before going out I have tried to gently heat the batteries to somewhere between 30 and 40 C. Then I either keep them in some rather thick insulated pouches or in a plastic bag strapped directly to my body under most of my clothes. I have also used some disposable hand warmers in an insulated bag along with the batteries, you just need to be aware that the surface temperatures of these can get quite high, so try to avoid direct between the warmer and the batteries.
I have also created a small "jacket" for the battery to keep the battery outer surface from direct exposure to the cold winds when it is mounted on the Mavic. The "jacket" is made from a small piece of thin cheap lightweight foam camping sleeping mat and kept in place by small pieces of self adeshive velcro. It basically just wraps around the upper surface of the battery and down on each side. Made a small hole so I can push the on/off button. Looks kind of goofy but seems to work ok.
I keep the low battery warning to 30% and land immediately when it goes off. So far this has worked perfectly.
The biggest issue I have had so far has been finding a pair of gloves that keeps my figers warm during below zero C conditions and at the same time allows me to operate the controller and the touch screen with the required precision. Ended up using a pair of thin  Outdoor Research touch screen gloves with a pair of fingerless woolen gloves on the outside of these. The fingertip dexterity of the touchscreen gloves leaves something to be desired when it comes to hitting the correct spot on the screen, but maybe that is because the gloves are a bit too big, they probably should have been a really tight fit.
2018-2-6
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Silverhammer92
lvl.4
Switzerland
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JensIR Posted at 2018-2-6 02:55
So far in the relatively short time I have owned my Mavic I have flown all my flights during cold weather, in the range from around +5 C down to around -10 C without any issues.
However, I have taken some precautions, particularly in temperatures below zero C. ( I generally don't consider +5 C to be very cold)
Before going out I have tried to gently heat the batteries to somewhere between 30 and 40 C. Then I either keep them in some rather thick insulated pouches or in a plastic bag strapped directly to my body under most of my clothes. I have also used some disposable hand warmers in an insulated bag along with the batteries, you just need to be aware that the surface temperatures of these can get quite high, so try to avoid direct between the warmer and the batteries.

sounds like a nice work with that coat... you mind provide any pictures of that coat - sounds interesting :-)
2018-2-6
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JensIR
lvl.4
Flight distance : 207631 ft
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Silverhammer92 Posted at 2018-2-6 03:07
sounds like a nice work with that coat... you mind provide any pictures of that coat - sounds interesting :-)

I will try to provde a picture or two, but it might take a day or two before I can do it.
2018-2-6
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eddieNoob
Second Officer
United States
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JensIR Posted at 2018-2-6 02:55
So far in the relatively short time I have owned my Mavic I have flown all my flights during cold weather, in the range from around +5 C down to around -10 C without any issues.
However, I have taken some precautions, particularly in temperatures below zero C. ( I generally don't consider +5 C to be very cold)
Before going out I have tried to gently heat the batteries to somewhere between 30 and 40 C. Then I either keep them in some rather thick insulated pouches or in a plastic bag strapped directly to my body under most of my clothes. I have also used some disposable hand warmers in an insulated bag along with the batteries, you just need to be aware that the surface temperatures of these can get quite high, so try to avoid direct between the warmer and the batteries.

Brilliant disquisition!  
2018-2-6
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AG0N-Gary
Captain
Flight distance : 700846 ft
United States
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The main things to do with cold weather is keep the battery warm before the flight and LIMIT the amount of throttle you give it.  The high current of grabbing a hand full of throttle can cause a cell to dump out on you and you could lose the bird.  Treat it gently and avoid full throttle.  Save your zipping around at high speed for warm days.    I might add to the above two things, that it is probably even more important to maintain sight of your drone as you fly in cold weather in case the battery does give problem and it either lands or crashes.  It would feel bad for it to go down, but not as bad as if it went down and you couldn't find it.
2018-2-6
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fansf77370fb
First Officer
Flight distance : 1008924 ft
United States
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I Fly quite often in cold weather. Temperature here is 5°. I have never ran into a problem whatsoever. When I take off the battery is at 27c. By the time I land the battery is at 30c.
2018-2-6
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