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Battery Lifespan - Responsible Use???
1432 17 2016-7-6
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teknikal90
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Hello,

New Phantom 3 Standard owner here.
I have two batteries - one that came with it, and an extra one.
I  recently saw a news video whereby a phantom 3 fell on a woman's head.  The woman sued the guy and the guy said 'I have no idea what happened'.
I think it's a battery issue, given the way the Phantom fell on the video.

So now I'm scared that may one day happen - the drone falling out of the sky because the battery bit the dust mid flight.

Can  anyone tell me what to look out for, perhaps before each flight, to  make sure the battery is fit for flight? Should I look at voltages on  each cell (I can see that on the DJI GO app) and if so, what is the  number that I should look for to know the battery is NOT on its way to  death?

I have two batteries...should I buy a third before they  are discontinued by DJI given that Phantom 4 is out now? How long do  they last for?? I've only had the drone for 2 months.. and both  batteries are like on their 10th cycles..

So many questions but essentially I want to be as responsible as possible with this drone...

Thanks all in advance!!!

Phil


2016-7-6
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Not A Speck Of
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I think the best thing you can do is to never fly on anything but a full or mostly full battery. If you fly one down to 50%, don't use it again until you re-charge it to full, period.

From experience,
Chris

2016-7-6
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teknikal90
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Thanks! But how do you then know that a battery is done and you need a new one?
2016-7-6
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skipilot1
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teknikal90 Posted at 2016-7-7 08:51
Thanks! But how do you then know that a battery is done and you need a new one?

Read the manual. The battery section is extensive and will answer your questions.

Check the battery icon on your app to view the individual cells and see if there is one cell that is .07 or more volts lower than the highest cell. In settings, add the voltage to your battery % indicator on the main screen. When you see the percentage getting lower, check the voltage also which is a better indicator. Tap the voltage reading and all your cells will come up. See if there is a bad cell there. If there is, bring it home right away.

2016-7-6
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Not A Speck Of
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Just to be sure: The part I was talking about (always take off with a full or near fully charged battery) is to avoid a symptom that can happen to a battery that is otherwise perfectly good (not 'done'). The battery having a bad cell, causing a bird to fall out of the sky after taking off with a ~50% battery: this can happen to a perfectly good battery, and this is also entirely avoidable (once you know).

Done batteries: there is a "Battery Life" section in the manual. Here's a link to the manual (it's a P3P manual, but the battery should be the same for all models). Search for 'Battery Life' on page 20. It will tell you how to tell when your battery needs to be replaced. At this point, it will help you feel confident that your current batteries are still mostly new (probably over 90-95% life left in them).

Chris


2016-7-6
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DJI-Paladin
DJI team
Flight distance : 2408 ft
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Hello, make sure the battery is fully charged before flight and connects to the drone tightly. Here is a battery tutorial:
2016-7-6
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DJI-H.C
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Hi, you don't need to worry about that.

1. The chance that the drone hurts someone is significantly reduce if you don't fly over people or in crowded place(unlike the man in the news)
2. The chance of a battery cell's sudden failure is  low, normally you can spot signs that a cell is dying.
3. You can buy drone insurance, there's more than a dozen insurance choices in US. These insurance can cover, for example, $300,000 third party injury for $1000 per year.

2016-7-7
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mochorm
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Not A Speck Of  Posted at 2016-7-6 19:21
Just to be sure: The part I was talking about (always take off with a full or near fully charged bat ...

So what is the difference between taking off with 50% battery vs continuing to fly below 50% if the battery is indeed good?  

I see this tossed around a lot and having a lot of experience with high output LiPo's with my other R/C hobbies am curious about the science behind this statement.

TIA
2016-7-7
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UCLABruins
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DJI-Paladin Posted at 2016-7-6 23:38
Hello, make sure the battery is fully charged before flight and connects to the drone tightly. Here  ...

I love these fun DJI tutorial videos. They're better than the manuals....
Going back to the topic......relax....don't worry about the battery.....It's expensive for a reason....it's "intelligent".
2016-7-7
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Not A Speck Of
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mochorm Posted at 2016-7-8 00:03
So what is the difference between taking off with 50% battery vs continuing to fly below 50% if th ...

I do not know the science behind it.

What I gather from my experience and that of other posters is the following:
Charge a healthy battery to 100%, then fly one of the following two missions:

  • Fly continuously until your critical low battery warning message appears, then land.
  • Fly until you are roughly at about 50% battery; land and wait a number pf certain minutes*; take off and fly until your critical low battery warning message appears, then land.


With mission #1, you are not likely to have any battery problems. With mission #2, you are taking the chance of a cell failure, in which case your bird will drop from the sky and crash.

Perhaps someone else can explain the science behind the battery behavior.

* The number of minutes is a variable that I cannot define. For me, it was about 10 minutes. For the some others I've seen posted, it was about 20 minutes. I've read DJI employees here mention flying on a partially spent battery the next day, so several hours in that case.

Chris

2016-7-7
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teknikal90
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skipilot1 Posted at 2016-7-7 09:14
Read the manual. The battery section is extensive and will answer your questions.

Check the batte ...

Hi thanks for that.

I have read the manual but it actually doesn't say much about the voltages. In fact it sort of just says the DJI GO app will tell you if something is wrong... Which in my mind may be too late at that point.
the 0.07 volt difference you refer to is interesting - how did you determine that?

Thank you again!
2016-7-7
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skipilot1
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Not A Speck Of  Posted at 2016-7-8 00:51
I do not know the science behind it.

What I gather from my experience and that of other posters  ...

I think that when you take off with a low battery, you may get a percentage based on the battery's current status. If you take off on a half charged battery and fly around and the percentage says 50, is that half of a full battery or half of a battery that started at 50 per cent and is now actually 25 per cent of the full battery. At the very least, I believe the battery percentage shows it is draining way faster than normal.

I get the feeling from reading these posts that when someone lands and shuts down and then starts up, the app is somehow not giving you the correct percentage based on a fully charged battery. I don't know the science behind it, it is just a theory. One thing is for sure, the manual is very clear.
2016-7-7
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skipilot1
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teknikal90 Posted at 2016-7-8 03:05
Hi thanks for that.

I have read the manual but it actually doesn't say much about the voltages. I ...

I have read about it from people who are smarter than me. It makes sense that if one cell has a noticeable different voltage than the others, you are headed for troubled waters.

I have seen this deviation a few times on my own batteries. It seems to get fixed after a deep discharge.

After charging batteries I often do a quick check by turning on the bird and checking the battery info. If done quickly it doesn't cause any real drain. If the battery is still not up 100 per cent or there is noticeable deviation between the cells, I will top off the battery by turning it on and letting it charge while turned on. That often fixes things.

These are intelligent batteries, but perhaps not as intelligent as we would like.
2016-7-7
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mochorm
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Thanks for the replies my fellow pilots. Thinking about what has been said here and its starting to make some sense to me

Basically it all boils down to the overall "smart" system. As we all know (or should ), smart systems really are not that smart. They are only as smart as the person designing and programming them.  And will only be as good as the input data,  programming parameters and outputting data to the bird.

So putting a battery that is partially used makes it more difficult for the smart system to figure out the exact condition of the battery and apply the proper inputs to the smart system.

As a result the accuracy of the smart battery system likely decreases. So it's just best to start with a fully charged battery so that the smart system has the highest level of accuracy, as it starts with the known qualities of a fully charged cool battery.

Then again I could be full of it, but it makes sense in my brain now lol
2016-7-7
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Not A Speck Of
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mochorm Posted at 2016-7-8 08:44
Thanks for the replies my fellow pilots. Thinking about what has been said here and its starting to  ...

"Then again I could be full of it, but it makes sense in my brain now lol"

Taking it on faith from others experience is okay. Better it happen that way then to see your bird crash, find a large deviance in one cell while viewing the log on Healthydrones, then saying to yourself, "dang, they were right".

Because when your gimbal/camera package breaks off, that's a $350+ lesson. Reading about it here is free.

Eh?

2016-7-8
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wingover2016
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Got to agree better to read learn and ask others before there is any chance of anything failing, used to do paraglideing in my younger days and equipment condition  is a must, any chance someone could just cast an eye over my 3 batteries readings just to be on the safe side, iam not to good with voltages and electrical mesurments.    Batt.1 charged 59 times  on screen display 62%  3.9v   in app readings  cell 1 3.90v  cell2 3.91v  cell3 3.90  cell4 3.91v   15.6v   23.0C   Batt.2  charged 35 times  on screen display  62% 3.92v  in app readings  cell 1 3.92v  cell 2 3.92  cell 3  3.93v  cell4  3.92v  15.7v  23.0C  Batt.3  charged 17 times on screen display 62%  3.93v  in app readings  cell 1  3.93v  cell 2  3.93v  cell3  3.93v  cell 4 3.93v  15.7v  24.0C    Thanks Hawk.
2016-7-8
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wingover2016
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Any chance someone could confirm that my batteries are in good shape? Hawk
2016-7-10
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Not A Speck Of
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wingover2016@ou Posted at 2016-7-11 00:18
Any chance someone could confirm that my batteries are in good shape? Hawk

Recycling bits:

There is a "Battery Life" section in the manual ... Search for 'Battery Life' on page 20. It will tell you how to tell when your battery needs to be replaced.
2016-7-10
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