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Intermittent Battery Connection Failure Alert
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peterconquest3
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I had my Inspire1 on the floor getting it ready to fly. It had been sitting there ON with about a 75% charge on it. All of a sudden it changed to 0% (good thing it was not in the air!).

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 8.56.10 PM.jpg

Wow, arrange for repairs? Bummer! This is a new bird with 20 flights. Updated to latest firmware yesterday.

I then shut it down & installed a different battery... problem disappeared!

Then I went outside and flew as usual. Anyone else had this happen?


2015-5-8
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mountmotor
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If everything was fine prior to this newest firmware that means the firmware has a bug and that your battery was fine. Try and remember the last update...Did your battery work then?
2015-5-9
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zeffa
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My I1 fell out of the sky today and was destroyed. After 2 minutes in the air it powered off and fell to the ground. Firmware was updated last week. I wonder if this is the same problem. I read on another forum of a guy in Texas who had the same thing happen 12 days ago. DJI have a SERIOUS problem on their hands.
2015-5-9
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lethbrp
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It looks like DJI need to look at the algorithm for the battery when they are not fully charged. The Inspire should never be allowed to fall out of the sky. In an emergency situation when it thinks there is nothing left, it should just drain the battery whilst auto landing safely. I'd rather destroy a battery by draining it too far than destroying the Inspire
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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mountmotor Posted at 2015-5-9 17:57
If everything was fine prior to this newest firmware that means the firmware has a bug and that your ...

Thanks Mountmotor... All three of my batteries worked fine prior to the last update. This particular battery was 100% charged yesterday when I turned it on and set the bird on the floor. The battery was firmly seated, and no pressure was put on the bird while inserting it. But the system did have an issue - the AC was not linked to the controller. I looked thru the manuals and forum threads, but could not figure out how to re-link it. So I reluctantly called DJI... and to my surprise (based on others reporting long hold times), they helped me fix it quickly. (BTW, I was only on hold for 7 minutes, and the nice guy that assisted me was very pleasant. Although the step-by-step documents they sent me were outdated).

Anyway, now having it linked and ready to fly, I thought I better do an IMU calibration, and check it out a little more before attempting my first flight after the firmware update, and the re-link. It took about 5 minutes or so and everything was ready to go. I went into flight simulator for a few minutes, and then left the bird running while I read some email for a couple of minutes. The battery was then about 75% when the Battery connection failure / Hardware malfunction alert came up, and the battery suddenly reported 0%. I took the snapshot of my iPad screen as shown above in my original post. I figured maybe it was a temporary glitch, and replaced the battery with a new one. The problem then disappeared, and the new battery showed 100%. But my confidence has decreased as a result of this intermittent failure.

Last night I drained the battery (labeled #1) that was in the AC during the Battery connection failure / Hardware malfunction alert, and re-charged it. This morning I put it back in the AC, and all reports fine... 100% charged. Safe to Fly, Etc. I'm going to leave it running for a while. If all is OK, I'll take it outside and carefully fly at low level and the landing gear down, just to test it out for 5-10 minutes. As I completely sympathize with our friends that have lost their birds, and don't really want the same experience. My bird is now sitting back on the floor - wanting to fly!...

Temp6.jpg
2015-5-9
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mountmotor
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peterconquest3 Posted at 2015-5-10 01:53
Thanks Mountmotor... All three of my batteries worked fine prior to the last update. This particula ...

Please let me know how it goes
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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mountmotor Posted at 2015-5-10 02:07
Please let me know how it goes

My low level flight tests worked fine. System reported no errors, and perfomed well. I kept the bird 1ft off the ground just in case. I tried RTH, and it works (of course it was only 1ft up, and close to its take-off point, so it landed where it was). I ran the battery down to critical. And it landed by itself. It's currently back in my house at 8%, and I'm just waiting for it to go to 7%... at which point I'll turn it off, allow it to cool, and then recharge. I may do this with my other (2) batteries also.

All seems good so far. But as I'm sure you are already aware, intermittents can be very difficult to diagnose.
2015-5-9
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sultangris01
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never had that happen, but i havnt and wont update firmware either.  However i did experience an odd battery issue where i was using my in vehicle inverter to charge it while driving and accidentally shut it off  or unplugged it before it was complete.  It was nearly complete though and when i plugged it back in to try and top it off it wouldnt charge anymore.  later when flying on the battery it got to 26% normally and then immediately dropped to 6%, yikes!  i was still in the air but just landing luckiliy and not very far from that ground or that couldve been bad.  never had any problem without interrupting the charge cycle but have had the issue every time it gets interrupted and wont finish.  next full charge cycle is back to normal. me thinks these smart batteries aint so smart and they shouldnt cost 200$ if they are gonna flake out that easy, lol.
.
.
EDIT:  My batteries are the tb47 for reference. no tb48s available when i bought mine and i didnt feel like waiting, sounds like a firmware issue though, they seem to have a good track record of screwing stuff up with those updates, lol

2015-5-9
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bostonlines
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This happened to me today also...right on take off. As I added power for lift off, the bird just cut off and I received the same exact message on my app.  Thankfully, it was only about an inch off the ground or it would have been disastrous. My battery (TB48) was at 98% then to 0% in a matter of seconds.   I'm afraid to put her in the air now.  I updated firmware a few days ago for my RC, AC and all batteries without incident.
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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sultangris01@gm Posted at 2015-5-10 03:15
never had that happen, but i havnt and wont update firmware either.  However i did experience an odd ...

Thanks Sultangris01, I've heard that many common 12v-120v vehicle inverters may use a 60hz square-wave, instead of the normal 60hz sine-wave that we have at home from a typical wall outlet. These square-wave inverters are much cheaper, but can cause damage to sensitive electronics. My RV has two of the more expensive true sine-wave type, and they cost more like $2000 each. I would not trust any high-end electronics (like DJI stuff) to a cheaper square-wave type inverter.

That reminds me, I have an extra Xantrex PROsine true sine-wave inverter in my garage that I may be willing to sell if anyone's interested. It's like the one in the link, but a hard-wired version. I took it out of my last RV before a trade-in, as it was not original equipment, and it was quite expensive (I think like $600 orginally). Just email me at peterconquest3@yahoo.com
2015-5-9
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sultangris01
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peterconquest3 Posted at 2015-5-10 04:03
Thanks Sultangris01, I've heard that many common 12v-120v vehicle inverters may use a 60hz square- ...

interesting, might have to check into it more but i charge mine in my rv (5th wheel trailer) and vehicle 2013 F350 all the time, i live in my rv in the winter down south, never an issue unless unplugged before completely charged though.
2015-5-9
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mountmotor
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bostonlines@gma Posted at 2015-5-10 03:24
This happened to me today also...right on take off. As I added power for lift off, the bird just cut ...

Now I am getting confused...Perhaps too many fault batteries were made...or do you think it's a firmware problem....If the battery was fine before the firmware update then it HAS to be the firmware...maybe the battery didn't update properly? As right now, both my batteries are good (knock on wood). I have the TB47 and TB48. If I had to guess, it is a firmware issue that some chips on some batteries are not working well with. Please correct me if I am wrong.
2015-5-9
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bostonlines
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mountmotor Posted at 2015-5-10 04:23
Now I am getting confused...Perhaps too many fault batteries were made...or do you think it's a fi ...

I thought your update didn't work. How did you end up fixing it?
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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mountmotor Posted at 2015-5-10 04:23
Now I am getting confused...Perhaps too many fault batteries were made...or do you think it's a fi ...

You bring up a good point mountmotor... perhaps it is related to the battery not getting a firmware update as it should. But how can we tell? Is the battery bad?, the connection inside the AC? There should be a some more pilot feedback on this - in the app. Something like: "Alert details: Battery tests good, AC internal wiring fault".

Granted, the app did say...

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 2.20.42 PM.png
... but since I did not get this error again, does that mean something is still wrong with my bird? And the others that have seen this exact same alert? Do we need to return our birds for "repairs", even tho we no longer see this alert?  DJI, please let us know.

And how about DJI listing (3) separate firmware reports on the app?, something like...

Aircraft OK (user name: MyBird) firmware up-to-date, uploaded 5/7/15 ver xx.xx.xx
Controller OK (user name (MyRC) firmware up-to-date, uploaded 5/7/15 ver xx.xx.xx
Installed battery OK (user name: #1) firmware up-to-date, uploaded 5/7/15 xx.xx.xx


And also when there is a fault, make the log accessible as a text file on the app (maybe the flight log does this, but I have not tried to download a flight log yet, so not sure how to do it).

I understand the technology and software are in their infancy, and these are just suggestions. I love my Inspire1, and I'm not the complaining type. But the more information the system can give us, the less we'll need to communicate with DJI about it. Then I can determine a cause on my own, and perhaps say... "Gee, the battery did not update properly... I better re-try that before my next flight".    This may mean fewer mishaps, fewer DJI repair backlogs, and fewer customer complaints.

Can I now go back outside and fly with complete confidence? Yesterday I would have answered... absolutely. I even contributed to the "happy flyer's" thread. But today, sadly, I'm not as sure. But I'll keep testing for a while.



2015-5-9
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mountmotor
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bostonlines@gma Posted at 2015-5-10 05:00
I thought your update didn't work. How did you end up fixing it?

I went to a dealer and they installed the new update using another camera
2015-5-9
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mountmotor
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peterconquest3 Posted at 2015-5-10 05:18
You bring up a good point mountmotor... perhaps it is related to the battery not getting a firmware ...

Yes keep testing, and if you have a local dealer, I would go to them and let them load those batteries in their Inspires and see if they update properly. That way you will know...For example, my camera did not like that latest firmware update and did not update my bird, so I went to a dealer, they put on another camera and the update went really well. However, my original camera updated the previous update perfectly. I am starting to see a pattern. Some batteries and some cameras are NOT accepting the new firmware. Are the cells faulty? NO...The firmware is.

When people say that their batteries drop fro 65% to 5% in 1 second, do you think that is actually possible? NO WAY! It is the software glitching making the Inspire 1 THINK it has a low battery and land...The cells can be 100% healthy, but that is not how the software is reading it....

So my theory and conclusion is that there is NO HARDWARE MALFUNCTION!!! It is all about the software or firmware that is installed.

I can go on and on...

Just like 3DR...they are marketing the SOLO as the "Smart Drone" but in actuality the Inspire 1 is easily capable of all the same features, but it all lays down to the software...Things like "Cable Cam" and "Orbit" (which are features in the Solo) can easily be incorporated in the Inspire. It all revolves on GPS coordinates. With the right programming, the Inspire can and will have if not the same, better features than the Solo.

Hardware in the Inspire is excellent, these faults happen 99% because of firmware Sorry for the long rant but that is what I feel!
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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mountmotor Posted at 2015-5-10 06:45
Yes keep testing, and if you have a local dealer, I would go to them and let them load those batte ...

No worries on ranting... isn't that what forums are for?

You are correct... the battery was not really at 0%... The app only reported that it was. As it reverted to 75% after I pulled it and re-seated it.

However, I do think that all my batteries did update properly, because they all flashed the similar lights and tones. So perhaps it is a bug in the firmware. But I think we'd just be guessing at this point. Hopefully DJI will be doing some digging into the logs and inspecting the remains from the downed birds and come up with an explanation and fix. (Another firmware update ).

I've been out flying my bird all day today, mostly at low altitudes (1ft-3ft)... but on the last flight I started pushing it more... seeing if anything would cause an alert. Nope. It was rock solid. So that's about 30 minutes of flying since the "Battery Connection Failure" alert without a hint of an issue. My confidence is starting to rebuild. What could have caused it? It's a mystery.

What concerns me still tho is zefa's report of a guy "12 days ago" that had his bird "fall out of the sky". This was well before the last firmware update. If it was for the same reason, then this may point to an issue that was not introduced in the last version of software, but perhaps made worse by it (because of the numerous recent reports of "falling from the sky").

I'm going to speculate that zeffa, I, bostonlines, this gentleman from Texas, and a few others, are by far the exception. A B&H sales guy told me they sell 400 Inspires a month. That's a lot of birds. And they have very few returns or complaints. And thank god that we've not heard any reports of injury due to falling birds. When I used to fly manned aircraft (gliders), I would also hear all of the horror stories. But it did not discourage me from flying every chance I got. So I am still quite optimistic that these few Inspire bugs will be worked out.  Until then, fly careful, be mindful of what you are flying over, and fly safe! And lastly, based on my good experiences with DJI support to date, I'm pretty confident that they would replace my bird asap should it fail due to hardware or software issues. They should put a loaner system in place to make it happen more quickly tho.



2015-5-9
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bostonlines
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peterconquest3 Posted at 2015-5-10 07:55
No worries on ranting... isn't that what forums are for?

You are correct... the battery was not ...

Did your bird turn off when it went to 0%?
2015-5-9
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sbarryjackson
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Hey look, DJI mods and support are all over this thread addressing the issue with us.
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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bostonlines@gma Posted at 2015-5-10 09:43
Did your bird turn off when it went to 0%?

Nope... You can see (in my 1st photo) that the camera was still showing my wood floors in the background. So the camera was still on, but it I am pretty sure it would not allow the props to be powered, nor the aircraft to to be controlled.
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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sbarryjackson@s Posted at 2015-5-10 09:44
Hey look, DJI mods and support are all over this thread addressing the issue with us.

Well it is the weekend in China. Maybe Monday?  :-)
2015-5-9
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GENETTICO
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Wow... Looks dangerous! Please keep us updated !
2015-5-9
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peterconquest3
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OK, I checked my battery history and found the battery that had the original error message (#1) had some amazing log entries...

Battery History Batt#1.jpg
So I pulled my battery #1 out of the AC, and tried my other batteries. They had no history at all. Hmmmm. Then I replaced battery #1... And guess what?  No history.  OK, now that's really scary. There one time, gone the next. Now it shows...

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 6.40.50 PM.png

I'm really at a loss to explain this. DJI - can you help here?
2015-5-10
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keithh
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I just had the same issue. I did as you suggested and the messages went away. So what do we believe?  
2015-5-12
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sultangris01
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mine again dropped from somewhere under 30 percent to 3 percent, I nearly crashed it but it was 1 foot off the landing surface when it jumped to 3% and lost power, very lucky!  powered it back on after i got home to drain the battery till it shuts off per the manual instructions and it dropped to 0% very fast but has been still powered on at 0% for over 20 min.  unfortunately the dumbass smart battery thinks its at 0% and wont let the props turn on so i can drain it faster, i could be here a while.  will update after it drains and recharges and i fly it again to see what happens, didnt have my batteries numbered but i think i will do so now so i know which one is which and keep them straight, I hope this drain and recharge cycle will fix it, pretty confident it will since its been on so long at 0%, its like the percent count timer is off kilter and i think this will fix it.  All battery history records on mine show ok.
2015-5-15
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peterconquest3
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sultangris01@gm Posted at 2015-5-16 13:32
mine again dropped from somewhere under 30 percent to 3 percent, I nearly crashed it but it was 1 fo ...

Let's consider for a moment that if draining the battery to a real 0% (should we even be doing that?), and then recharging to 100% cures the issue... then it may be the rough equivalent of the "hard reset" that was mentioned in another post (sorry, I looked for it and could not find it). But this reset was made possible by carefully removing the top cover of the battery (via the four tabs), unplugging the mini connector on top of the cells, waiting a few minutes, and plugging back in, then reassembling & charging, doing low level test flights, etc, etc.
I'm not necessarily condoning this procedure (as there may be warranty issues), but if others have found that this battery hardware reset procedure solved their problem, then perhaps by draining the battery to zero accomplishes the same result?


- Pete
2015-5-16
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patou72
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Hy Guys,

Just read all your Posts, have to say that i have a similar issue. Just updated succesfully last weekend and did 4 flights on Sunday, so long no issues and my batteries showed between 30-34% charge left.
Need to say that the batteries was charged a few days before the Firmware update.
I let them sit for one day before charging again and there it happens also to me. 1 Batterie TB47 ( 15 cycles) was like death, no LEDs, no charging, no sign of life, nothing.
I took then contact with the Europeen tech support, which sent me an RMA for replacement.
I completely agree with most of you that we have a really safety issue, but like I'm not an expert i can't affirme a relation with the last firmware update...

Maybe it's in relation with the heat developpement in the Battery while flying and that the electronics (Balancer) have a shorter lifetime? Imagine also that this problems start with the warmer saison ( Less heat dissipation In the Battery).

I may be completely wrong of course (and would prefer).

Thanks anyway to the Germany tech support for the quick help.


Patou
2015-5-16
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sultangris01
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i just want to point out that i never updated to the latest firmware and believe my problem is somewhat different than all of yours.  I think mine stemmed from not fully charging it, however I could be wrong and it could be a mass battery failure having nothing to do with charging or firmware version.  been raining and windy so i wont be able to fly mine for a few days to complete my test, will update further in a few days.
2015-5-17
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sultangris01
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That battery has worked normally now for 2 charge/discharge cycles down to 20% with no sudden major drop in percentage, however i say again, my problem wasnt related to bad firmware update like you guys, i never updated, it was due to incomplete charging i think.  at any rate its normal now.  Just posted on this topic as the problem is similar, just not the cause.
2015-5-19
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DJI-Bruce
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peterconquest3 Posted at 2015-5-11 09:41
OK, I checked my battery history and found the battery that had the original error message (#1) had  ...

App bug. Please try to use the latest version.
2015-5-19
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eaglecook
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peterconquest3 Posted at 2015-5-17 02:34
Let's consider for a moment that if draining the battery to a real 0% (should we even be doing tha ...

I've been flying with lipos for a few years now and everything I've ever read or heard says not to completely discharge them. I'm not even sure these "smart" batteries would allow it.

Here is a good read regarding lipos.
2015-5-19
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sultangris01
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eaglecook Posted at 2015-5-20 15:33
I've been flying with lipos for a few years now and everything I've ever read or heard says not to ...

I have heard the same, however the manual that came with it clearly states to completely discharge the battery once very 20 cycles to 0% or till it will no longer turn on and then charge it fully again to optimize battery life so thats why i did it. (my battery was at 16 charges when the malfunction occured and the complete discharge and recharge has fixed its behavior for the last 2 charge cycles anyway) you can read for yourself on the right column, second bullet point under charging the battery.

http://download.dji-innovations. ... y_Guidelines_en.pdf
2015-5-20
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PeteGould
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sultangris01@gm Posted at 2015-5-20 16:09
I have heard the same, however the manual that came with it clearly states to completely discharge ...

Remember that 0% as reported by the battery interface is 0% of usable charge, NOT 0% actual charge of the cells.  The Inspire battery is designed not to discharge below a safe level for the cells.  It will shut off before this happens.  That's why the battery has its own firmware and power control.  So when the DJI documentation tells you to run the battery down until it will no longer power on, you are NOT completely discharging it.  You are taking it down to what the firmware has identified as a safe discharge level.

BTW the documentation has been revised to say you should do a deep discharge every 10 cycles instead of every 20.  Current firmware will start reminding you at 10 cycles.

2015-5-20
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sultangris01
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PeteGould Posted at 2015-5-20 18:22
Remember that 0% as reported by the battery interface is 0% of usable charge, NOT 0% actual charge ...

fair enough, i was going by the percentage listed in the app when connected, however it did power itself off and fail to power back on.  i did not check the cell levels, i was simply following the advice in the user manual.
2015-5-20
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PeteGould
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sultangris01@gm Posted at 2015-5-20 18:27
fair enough, i was going by the percentage listed in the app when connected, however it did power  ...

Clearly DJI was trying to "idiot-proof" these batteries by inserting a logic layer between the battery and the user.  The problem is it confuses people who actually know how lipo batteries work.  It probably would have been smarter to report the actual percentage of remaining charge on the cells while shutting off and refusing to power up at the correct minimum safe charge level.  But then they were probably anticipating calls from people saying "my battery won't power up and it still has 10% charge remaining."  Kind of a no-win.
2015-5-20
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sultangris01
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PeteGould Posted at 2015-5-20 18:40
Clearly DJI was trying to "idiot-proof" these batteries by inserting a logic layer between the bat ...

indeed.  I personally dont know much about them but everyone i talk to says not to deplete a normal one past 20%, what level do you take these down too then accounting for the "smart" battery part?  I fly mine to just below 30% usually, flew my phantom ones to around 10% but everyone said that was bad bad for the battery life, maybe not if percentage isnt accurate though. what are your thoughts?
2015-5-20
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PeteGould
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sultangris01@gm Posted at 2015-5-20 18:54
indeed.  I personally dont know much about them but everyone i talk to says not to deplete a norma ...

In a normal cycle I land and power down before getting down to 20%.  For a deep cycle I have no problem going down to a reported 0%, since what the app reports as 0% is designed to be battery-safe (likely 20% of actual charge).
2015-5-20
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sultangris01
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k, thanks for info! appreciate it
2015-5-20
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Hooks
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peterconquest3 Posted at 2015-5-11 09:41
OK, I checked my battery history and found the battery that had the original error message (#1) had  ...

I am having the same issue right now with my replacement bird.  Not so much intermittent now though, 1st in line on tech support call
2015-5-22
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InspireAggie
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Hey Peter,

I found this thread.  I too had the issue with battery connection to the mainboard.  55% into a 9 minute flight.  I got the error and landed immediately.    When I landed, and when I looked back at the flight log, the power dropped to 0%.   I was just about to turn off the battery by pressing the battery and then pressing it again and I noticed smoke coming from the inspire.  Not necessarily at the battery but probably from the main connection to the board.  I'm assuming.  I didn't take it apart.  Well.  All my batteries had new firmware.   I slipped in a second battery to see if it read 0% and in fact it did.   So, the issue now is on the inspire.  I sent that in for exchange since it was only 3 days old.   When I get the replacement back, I'll run the hell out of it to make sure it doesn't happen again.       The battery I used was a TB48.    It was probably a week old and I sent it back to Amazon and decided not to chance using that battery again.   I ordered a replacement.  

So, are you guys having issues with the TB48 or TB47?
I don't have a way to look back at battery history as I sent the battery back.
2015-6-10
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