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How to check the DJI Phantom 2 battery's life?
18278 16 2015-1-20
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thomaskim558.em
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2015-1-20
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Gunny Huntarr
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Or read page 9 of your manual and be done in 15sec.

http://download.dji-innovations. ... _Manual_v1.6_en.pdf




2015-1-20
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droneflyers.com
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Actually, there is a real issue here which may relate to many of the crashes and problems here!

DJI themselves just tweeted out this video:


Take a few minutes and watch it. He describes a battery with 80-90% life and only 33 charges......which almost made him lose his Phantom. He demonstrates it! A one minute flight.....and that's it.

If I believe the manual or the DJI wiki, it would seem I could fly that battery - albeit for shorter times - until it had almost no life left in it! But if I believe the youtube video that DJIGLOBAL tweeted out, then even an 80% or 90% battery may cause a Phantom Vision+ be lost to neptune or fall quickly from the sky!

So - which is it?

DJI has some explaining to do here, IMHO.
2015-1-20
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scooterlam
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-1-21 09:14
Actually, there is a real issue here which may relate to many of the crashes and problems here!

DJI ...

Wow thanks for posting. This seems to be exactly what happened to me even the rapid blinking red lights could be seen at the end of the footage when you can see the groundskeeper pick up the phantom. Checked my batteries just now and they are all 90-100% life remaining (all LED constant on).

I've e-mailed DJI but no reply yet. This is absurd and a HUGE safety concern.
2015-1-20
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Gunny Huntarr
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DF I'd agree with you, if we're going to only get 30 est. flights out of a battery.  
2015-1-20
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droneflyers.com
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One battery may last 200 flights and another 20. Maybe less.
That's the problem that does not seem to have a solution. The batteries register as perfect or near so since the DJI "smart battery" tests and the software are only looking at them under no load. When put under load, they fail....and quickly. Then, when the user picks up his battery from the crashed quad, it still indicates a lot of life and charge...as it would in this case!

A fellow pilot on RCG put it this way.....which makes it even more of a concern because DJIGLOBAL is pushing that video!
"Nice video of a defective battery. 90% life and 33 cycles should be nothing, this battery had a weak cell and resultant voltage sag and autoland trigger prematurely under flight load. As soon as he caught the model the red LEDs cancelled when the motor load went away and the voltage climbed back up. The moral of the story is to Always Be Watching, for warning lights or autoland kicking in. Be prepared to raise the throttle like our expert friend did in the video.
You can test for sagging in flight by gently pumping the throttle and climbing, now and then while watching for a Red Flash. If it happens, fly gently back and investigate more with the model hovering close."

The chances of every Phantom user load-testing their batteries in this manner is about zero.

It would be nice for DJI to clarify all of this - since their instructions certainly would say we could fly with these "high life" batteries and mention absolutely nothing about load testing. It would be even better if they could come up with a load testing procedure better than having us fly the quad up and down near ourselves every X flights....

2015-1-20
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droneflyers.com
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More - look at the comments. Lots of people having premature battery failures.
It would be interesting to know whether this is fixed in the new version - and also whether a bare or very lightly loaded (no gimbal) P2 would exhibit the same behavior.

2015-1-20
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gil
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Hmmm, one part of this issue hasn't been included.  The battery in the video had been charged 33 times but there was no mention whether or not he had followed the recommendation to charge and discharge down to 8% once every 20 charge/discharge cycles.  How can we possibly know anything definitive with such a small sample group when they may simply be outliers on a bell curve?  Without a genuine investigation following some modicum of scientific guideline there is going to be too much wild speculation.  I do agree DJI should be all over this and issuing some guidance just like they've done with the prop lock issue with the Inspire1.
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2015-1-21
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droneflyers.com
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gil, there are too many instances of this (IMHO) to blame it on improper battery care...Lipo's just are not usually that finicky, especially the higher quality ones from DJI. I've had poor Lipo's but they were off-brand. The DJI batteries I bought for my P1 are still fine after a year and perhaps 50-75 discharges. I take no special care.

Many users report 2 or 3 out of 4 of their batteries failing in the first 20 cycles. We have to assume that the pilot treated all batteries the same, right?

I suspect there is some other factors are work here. It could be a combination of things....some bad QC on the batteries (chances are they buy them complete as-is from a contract supplier). Some a heavy load (as designed) on the P2 - I've always stated that the P2 flies very heavy....at the max end of it's payload.

MicBergsma is a paid promoter (spokesperson) and likely contact of many companies...we know GoPro and probably DJI to some extent. Note they (DJI global) are tweeting out his video!  If this happened to him with a few batteries...and to dozens of other here and in the comments....it's likely not an anomaly.

It may be fixed in current models and firmware. That's the problem...with DJI we really don't end up knowing a lot of this stuff since they never properly document it and tell us what is going on. We just have to keep an eye on it.

I'd say any users would be wise to test their batteries under load by actual flying (close by, but with heavy throttle movements) before flying far away.
2015-1-21
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gnixon2015
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so DF, is the theory about staying close by on high throttle that if a battery is suspect (ie it looks and appears to be fully functional but has the aforementioned imminent defect) then there is a high likelihood that you'll figure that out?  what i mean is that if i do close by movements on higher throttle before i fly farther away, are you saying there is a materially lower likelihood that once i do that i wont have this problem once i fly farther away (ie- the problem should not hide itself for the initial part just to expose itself later in the flight)?
2015-1-21
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gnixon2015 Posted at 2015-1-21 20:51
so DF, is the theory about staying close by on high throttle that if a battery is suspect (ie it loo ...

Yes, chances are that if the battery is going to fail and auto-land far away, it would show signs of weakness under load when close to you....just like his in the video do.

I've aways suggested that new owners do the first number of flights near themselves anyway.....and, of course, over a soft surface in a large area (DJI also mentions this)....and that should flush out batteries that are weak from the start.

I think the main thing is to keep an eye on things. Many users have said their DJI app reports the battery losing power really fast....that's not a problem with the app, but with the battery.

I think DJI warrants the batteries - 3 months now.....it's shorter than before. Older batteries had a one year warranty, which would apply if you bought them a number of months ago.
2015-1-21
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thomaskim558.em
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-1-21 11:14
More - look at the comments. Lots of people having premature battery failures.
It would be interest ...

I don't care I just fly
2015-1-21
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thomaskim558.em
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scooterlam Posted at 2015-1-21 09:49
Wow thanks for posting. This seems to be exactly what happened to me even the rapid blinking red li ...

well i think at least phantom 2 batteries should be cheaper!
2015-1-21
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talk2t_c
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-1-21 20:40
gil, there are too many instances of this (IMHO) to blame it on improper battery care...Lipo's just  ...

This guy MicBergsma earns (if that's the word for it) a living doing all these youtube vids and travels all over the world doing it.  Not my favourite person because on one vid he was asking for money towards a new bit of kit.  Yeah right - where did I put my wallet?
2015-1-21
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Daninho
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I think the Bergsma video was not closely watched from DJI to the end, that his battery did this with only 33 charges can be overlooked easily. Another thing is i know no lipo tutorial  that suggests to empty your lipos to 8%. Which voltage equals 8%? Lipo cells should never brought down under 3.3V which is 9.9V in this case.  

Bergsma seems to be a nice guy but the gopro3+ black vs. gopro4 black test was not fair since his gopro3+ had the famous focus bug and thats they the gopro4 looked much sharper
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talk2t_c
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Off the subject a bit, but this is my favourite MicBergsma video:



I'm still not going to send him some money.
2015-1-21
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gil
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talk2t_c Posted at 2015-1-22 00:43
Off the subject a bit, but this is my favourite MicBergsma video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V ...

D'OH!  Into the drink!  Yeah, if I was going to send money to anybody it would be to the Phantom PFact PFinders.  A crack investigative team of trained professional who can track down the full truth lurking behind the half-truth, the specifics of the speculation and the end to the innuendo!
2015-1-21
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