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New User Tip: Battery Discipline
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PeteGould
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A couple of recent threads about sudden power loss reminded me about this topic.  If you haven't operated something with a mission-critical battery before, battery discipline may be a new learned skill.  If you have several batteries it's essential to be able to tell them apart and track their condition.

Remember: DJI's manual states that every tenth charge/discharge cycle, prior to the next charge the battery needs a complete discharge (down to where it will no longer turn on).  Also, if you don't fly all your batteries on each outing you will want to ensure they are getting used equally.  Batteries are a finite resource and can only be charged/discharged so many times.

One way to keep track is pictured below.  Put a square of white tape on top of the recessed part of the battery (not on the outer frame where it will jam when the battery is inserted into the Inspire, but on the INSIDE battery casing, as shown, where it will not touch anything).  On this square of tape write the battery number.  This will stay on the battery long-term.  Number the batteries from 1 to however many you have.

Below the square, add an additional strip of white tape.  At one end, fold the end of the tape under, leaving a small tab for easy removal.  Make sure the tape does not extend to the outer frame in any way.  On the strip, make a mark on the tape every time the battery is charged (the one shown has been charged six times).  By comparing the marks on your batteries you can ensure they are getting equal use without having to look in the app.  Additionally when you have made ten marks, you'll know it's time for the deep discharge/recharge cycle.  At that time, peel off the strip, leave the square with the battery number, and start a new strip.

It is also important to regularly check the battery's condition within the app.  But with the tape, you'll have a ready indication of which battery to use before you turn the bird on.

Happy flying.

BattPic.png
2015-4-26
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Fred D
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I use a method similar to this. I have all my batteries numbered to represent the order in which I bought them. I keep a battery log book where I keep track of their charging stats. I also use my batteries in the same order they are charged in, (First charged=first used). But I like the tape idea for a quick reference. Though I have noticed a couple of times that the app calls for the battery to be cycled if I have used the battery but not drained it down to 15% (my critical battery setting)  and then used it again (hours) later to finish it off, so I try to run my batteries down to the 15% before I change them out.
2015-4-27
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River 1
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Can I get some suggestions as I have five batteries and 4 of them are needed total discharge .. after taking them all down to 2-5% and recharge them fully I am still getting the app notice that they need a discharge down to 5% and recharge to 50% for storage .. my neighbors think I am nuts flying this thing for hours in my driveway?? Any thoughts on how to get these where the app notices will stop? Thank you.
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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River 1 Posted at 2015-4-27 23:07
Can I get some suggestions as I have five batteries and 4 of them are needed total discharge .. afte ...

Until someone comes out with a deep-discharge station for these things, once your battery as as low as you've described, continue to idle it in the Inspire on the ground until it shuts down completely.  The battery can never reach zero and fail due to low voltage.  When it shuts down on its own you should be where you need to be to make the warnings stop.
2015-4-27
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lesmess
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I am looking for another method to quickly discharge the batteries I'm not comfortable using up the motor life by discharging the batteries.  You are going to add a lot of hours of negative flight time if you have several batteries.  Have seen a smart multiple charger that looks promising that's available in the USA.  
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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lesmess Posted at 2015-4-28 01:46
I am looking for another method to quickly discharge the batteries I'm not comfortable using up the  ...

Yes, I've seen it too.  Very expensive, though.  Might be worth it IF it does what it says and IF using it doesn't breach the DJI warranty.  I would hate to have a battery fail in flight, drop the bird on concrete, and having DJI say "we can't help you because you used an unauthorized charger."  Since the batteries contain processors of their own, I have no idea what data they capture.

Meanwhile someone else in our group is experimenting with a discharging arrangement using a network of LEDs and a fan to provide the correct current draw for deep discharge.  Waiting to hear back on how he makes out.
2015-4-27
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Tahoe_Ed
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River 1 Posted at 2015-4-27 23:07
Can I get some suggestions as I have five batteries and 4 of them are needed total discharge .. afte ...

The recommendation is to discharge until the battery will no longer turn on.  Remember these are "smart batteries" and do self protect from over discharge.  Once you get there and charge you should be fine.  I do like the tape idea I use a similar method to keep track of my batteries.  You are right at $160-$200/battery it is an investment to take care of.
2015-4-27
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Acidsnow
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might want to read your manual again . . . you are shortening the life of your battery by doing a complete discharge every 10th cycle . . . the manual is very clear at saying every 20 cycles not 10 . . .
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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Acidsnow Posted at 2015-4-28 03:27
might want to read your manual again . . . you are shortening the life of your battery by doing a co ...

Not trying to be a wiseass but that looks like a "10" to me (see image below).  This is page 22 of the most current manual (rev. 1.2, English language version) available for download from DJI at this link.  Am I missing something?

Capture.PNG
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-28 03:27
I do like the tape idea I use a similar method to keep track of my batteries.  You are right at $160-$200/battery it is an investment to take care of.

Thanks Ed.  Trying to offer little ideas here and there to help folks maximize their investment.
2015-4-27
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River 1
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thank you all .. and yes the manual changed from 20 to 10 .. my batteries only got the notice after the FW upgrade between 20 and 23 charges .. I really am wondering about the 10 number now .. but that might be what in loaded into the new FW .. interesting that I have t 48's that are well over 10 and not getting any notices at start up ..for me all I can assume is that I am not discharging enough notwithstanding what the app is showing me .. so I will just leave the darn things blinking all night.. oh the pets just love this alternative!! (smile) thank again to you all for your help and support .. since I have never before flown a "kite" I guess just getting to 150 flights and 30 hours should make me a rookie soon .. bty when will my flight status move up as has my distance and altitude? (smile)
2015-4-27
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Acidsnow
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PeteGould Posted at 2015-4-28 04:26
Not trying to be a wiseass but that looks like a "10" to me (see image below).  This is page 22 of  ...

Latest battery guidelines are under downloads section.... They changed from 10 to 20, probably because people were damaging their batteries...
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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Acidsnow Posted at 2015-4-28 09:28
Latest battery guidelines are under downloads section.... They changed from 10 to 20, probably bec ...

Other way around: they changed from 20 to 10.  Note that the battery guidelines you're reading are from December of last year.  Revision 1.2 of the user guide, which says to do a deep-discharge and full recharge every 10 cycles, is dated the 20th April of THIS year.  So the most recent guidance is every 10 cycles, not every 20.
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-28 03:27
The recommendation is to discharge until the battery will no longer turn on.

Ed, can you confirm DJI's most recent guidance on fully cycling the batteries?  The battery guidelines from December of '14 are still online, showing every 20 charge/discharge cycles.  However, version 1.2 of the user guide, dated 4/20 of this year, shows every 10 cycles instead of every 20.  Since both documents are online simultaneously it seems to be causing confusion.  Which is it?  10 or 20?  Thanks!
2015-4-27
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Fred D
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I just got back from an afternoon of flying and one of my batteries now says (92% Battery Life) does that mean I have used up 8% of it`s life already. The battery is the TB47 I got with the I1 and it only has 32 charges on it and 3 cycles (0 to 100%). The other two I received before the I1 but they`re from a different supplier (TB 47s as well)  one says (battery Life 100%  21 charges & the other says Battery Life 100%  22 charges with two cycles each). Should I be concerned about this battery. I will check next time I`m out to see if my fly time is less.
I`d appreciate any advice.
2015-4-27
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Tahoe_Ed
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PeteGould Posted at 2015-4-28 09:40
Ed, can you confirm DJI's most recent guidance on fully cycling the batteries?  The battery guideli ...

At this point I am doing 10 cycles.  The App will give you guidance as well.  Many times we do not fully discharge the battery and the counter does not move.  I think that is where there is the current discrepancy.
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-28 11:39
At this point I am doing 10 cycles.  The App will give you guidance as well.  Many times we do not ...

Ah.  Got it.  Thanks.
2015-4-27
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River 1
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Did we get an answer to the problem here on why after discharge below 5% we are still getting the same notice.. did I miss something? ..
2015-4-27
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PeteGould
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River 1 Posted at 2015-4-28 13:17
Did we get an answer to the problem here on why after discharge below 5% we are still getting the sa ...

You need to discharge to the point where the battery actually shuts itself off and/or will no longer turn on.  If you just take it down to 5% it's not enough.  I recall from a previous thread that this particular battery internally maintains its own reserve to guard against damage from over-discharge.  Therefore 5% isn't REALLY 5% - it's a bit more than that.  So if you allow a reserve on top of the reserve the battery is maintaining internally, I suspect it's never really getting a deep discharge and the warning doesn't get cleared.
2015-4-28
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Acidsnow
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Thanks for the information, that is quite the discrepancy... I better get on discharging....
2015-4-28
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Bkackman
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PeteGould Posted at 2015-4-28 19:11
You need to discharge to the point where the battery actually shuts itself off and/or will no long ...

I agree with Pete. I took mine down around 8% and still got the warning. The next time I took it down until the battery shut itself off. Warning cleared.
2015-4-28
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River 1
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thanks Pete .. ill drive them all down to the cellar!! Their must be a better way than burning up motor life doing this???
2015-4-29
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PeteGould
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River 1 Posted at 2015-4-29 19:47
thanks Pete .. ill drive them all down to the cellar!! Their must be a better way than burning up mo ...

I agree - there should be a better way.

I have seen a third-party charging station that claims deep-discharge capability.  However, it is not a DJI-approved product and I would be reluctant to recommend it especially when we have seen at least a few horror stories of possible sudden battery failures causing crashes. The last thing anyone needs is for DJI to refuse to help someone because they used a non-approved charger.  Perhaps the maker of the third party charger will seek and obtain DJI approval.  Don't know what the chances of that are.

On another note one of our fellow members here in this forum is working on a simple DIY deep discharge station, reportedly using some LEDs and a fan to put a gentle load on the battery in order to discharge it.  That way you would still be using the official DJI charger to charge the battery, which is the critical issue.  When he comes out with his design I will quite likely build one.  I see no reason to put additional operational hours on the aircraft just to fully cycle the batteries.
2015-4-29
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GB44
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Ed,

On issue of charging, given these are intelligent batteries, is it therefore acceptable to top-up batteries where perhaps it has dropped down to 75/80% and you want to make sure its back to 100% before a flight.  Then just ensure you run a full discharge every ten cycles.
2015-4-29
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Bob Marley
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lol - you guys


Bob
2015-4-29
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PeteGould
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Hey - I have no horse in the race.  Get Tahoe to tell us all that there's no need for this concern, and it's fine to never run the batteries below 20%, and I'll be happy to drop it.
2015-4-29
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miketeel
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Thanks, Pete for the excellent idea. I had already numbered my batteries after watching this which was full of excellent ideas but the tick marks is a great addition.

Could someone help me out on a battery question. I often fly my Inspire for short flights at a time (maybe 40-60% discharge) and I then recharge the battery. Am I not maximizing or hurting the battery by not discharging it to a greater degree before charging?
2015-4-29
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Bob Marley
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miketeel Posted at 2015-4-30 09:59
Could someone help me out on a battery question. I often fly my Inspire for short flights at a time (maybe 40-60% discharge) and I then recharge the battery. Am I not maximizing or hurting the battery by not discharging it to a greater degree before charging?:/ ...


You will be fine.
Lipos do NOT have memory.
You do not have to finish drinking your glass of lemonade b4 you can refill it.

Bob "I'm Thirsty" Marley

Maybe drain it down til it puffs? - lol
2015-4-29
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dbeck
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Doesn't the app tell you how many times you have charged the batts?  Yes it does. So why do you need tape. Lame
2015-4-29
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miketeel
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Bob Marley Posted at 2015-4-30 10:54
You will be fine.
Lipos do NOT have memory.
You do not have to finish drinking your glass of lemon ...

Thanks, Bob.
2015-4-29
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Bob Marley
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dbeck@promobox. Posted at 2015-4-30 11:00
Doesn't the app tell you how many times you have charged the batts?  Yes it does. So why do you need tape. Lame ...


I know, how funny is that?
This guy telling me for 2 days all about the "NEW Intelligent lipo packs", and how great they are, (they are just regular plain ol lipo cells, with the 2 wires soldered to the charging board, and the balance plug is the little 4 prongs you see. All wrapped up in thick black plastic so it looks Magical.

but ........... he doesn't trust the "Smart Battery" to count his cycles? (uses tape)

I laugh myself silly with these kind of interweb folks, there they go,  right off the flippin' cliff. weeeeeeeeeee, splat- lol

I admit, I have stickers on my I1 packs and count every cycle. I have done it from the very beginning of e-flight, (25yrs)
But .......  I ALSO use a timer when I fly I1, and a watt meter when I charge my I1 packs. I know exactly what's going on with my I1 packs, (while the rest of you are in the dark).

As far as monitoring your main battery pack Voltage during flight with Telemetry, pift, we have already been doing that for YEARS. You plug the balance plug into the little transmitter on whichever bird you are flying, and the receiver is clipped onto your radio to easily see each cell and total pack voltage. This also no big deal, nothing New.
The systems are super cheap and readily available at Hobby King.

EVERYTHING IS THE SAME FOLKS, the only thing different is dji had the Chinese solder the charge board to the cells, then wrap it in plastic so you don't see all the cells. The ONLY thing different is the idiotic idea of stressing the living shit out of your dji lipos buy draining them down that far !!!

The WORST thing you could possibly do with ANY lipo pack is over-discharge it.
That is a sure fire way to reduce the number of cycles, (so don't worry about running out of ink in you pen).

Discharging your lipo packs down so low they no longer function is a TERRIBLE idea, and I don't care where the hell you read it !!!


Oh, these abused packs seem fine when fully charged, but get them down to 50% while in the air and THEN, discover their vulnerabilities.

So I READ, (and I'm sure you have as well) that the "talk" was ..... "once the bird is trying to auto land, give it full throttle to prevent the landing til it finally dies". Now just because I "read" that doesn't mean I don't think that is the stupidest thing I have EVER heard, (trying to start a flippin fire)?
I know exactly what the hell I'm talking about, and I'm gonna look at anyone who wants to debate me as the fool that they truly are.

Sure this makes sense to guys that are not "experts", (haven't I always explained things well?)

If you guys want great cycle life, take care of your packs by NOT over stressing them.
When you hit the 30% warning, come home and land, let the pack cool, then fill her back up, keep the pack happy and it will be strong and dependable.
If you stress it out you can easily eff up a cell, (6 chances) make it unreliable, (or worse)
What do you think is actually happening when these birds are dropping out of the sky? I'll tell you, (one or more of the 6 cells is effed up causing an instant voltage drop, the bird shuts off and drops like a stone)


If we were to Place Bets right now on Who's packs will get the most cycles, you should all know by now, Bob M is gonna win EVERY time, (and with every pack).

I truly hope that most of you guys will benefit from what I am saying, I make sense, (when others do not) -


Bob "cycle master" Marley

ps - I luv my I1 packs and treat them very nicely. They are strong and respond with tons of power when I ask for it, and they are safe/reliable. I would sleep with them if the weren't so damn rigid, (I've tried)
2015-4-29
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RichJ53
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Bob Marley Posted at 2015-4-30 12:19
I know, how funny is that?
This guy telling me for 2 days all about the "NEW Intelligent lipo pac ...

You are correct Bob and I truly hope people are listening!
I can only hope that DJI changes the firmware / App back by removing this 10 cycle nonsense. I have the best luck with my batteries by following the storage rules of (50%) and do not charge when the battery is hot... Don't allow the battery cells to drop below the 3.3V threshold and keep track of each battery during its useful life.

Keep cool
Rich  
2015-4-29
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jimhare
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Now I'm totally confused.   As I'm not an expert I have to rely on information from others.   Bob and Rich seem to have a lot of experience and facts on the subject which makes me inclined to listen to their advice.   But it's not my usually my policy to ignore the manufacturer's advice as maybe they have reasons we aren't privy to when making these recommendations.

2015-4-29
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Rockeyes
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I agree with Bob and Rich, over discharging is a sure way to ruin a battery pack. However has anyone measured the voltage of the battery pack after discharging until the Inspire no longer functions? Is it below 3.3v per cell?
2015-4-30
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roy
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Bob Marley Posted at 2015-4-30 12:19
As far as monitoring your main battery pack Voltage during flight with Telemetry, pift, we have already been doing that for YEARS. You plug the balance plug into the little transmitter on whichever bird you are flying, and the receiver is clipped onto your radio to easily see each cell and total pack voltage. This also no big deal, nothing New.
The systems are super cheap and readily available at Hobby King.

Can you explain this in a way that people who have no idea what you're talking about here can understand?
Plugging a blance plug in the little transmitter while you're flying? Clipping a receiver to your radio?

Links to said systems at Hobby King?

Sounds like good advice but I don't have 25 years of experience flying electronic RC so I haven't the foggiest idea what you're suggesting people do.
2015-4-30
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roy
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PeteGould Posted at 2015-4-28 04:26
Not trying to be a wiseass but that looks like a "10" to me (see image below).  This is page 22 of  ...

I can't believe DJI actually advises people to fly down to 5%. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of.

And what difference does it make if you do it outside or inside?
2015-4-30
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PeteGould
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dbeck@promobox. Posted at 2015-4-30 11:00
Doesn't the app tell you how many times you have charged the batts?  Yes it does. So why do you need ...

When you have ten batteries in your case and want to use the one that has been used the least, you can hook each one up to your iPad and check it or you can see at a glance.  Your choice.

This is the sort of technique those of us who work in professional broadcast environments, with $30,000 cameras and $80,000 lenses, tend to use,  maybe it's "lame" but it is easy and efficient.
2015-4-30
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dbeck
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Well, I've been directing/producing TV and commercials for well over 40 years and when I have the technology that DJI supplies, why use tape?  Besides, what diff does it make if you are using a batt that has 10,, or 12 or 17 uses?  Besides, the real  issue is the discharge issue.  DJI's recommendation has changed from 20 to now 10 before 'fully discharge/re-charge'.  I tend ti=o agree with BOB that bringing lips down to zero is not a good idea.
2015-4-30
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Bob Marley
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jimhare Posted at 2015-4-30 15:13
As I'm not an expert I have to rely on information from others.   Bob and Rich seem to have a lot of experience and facts on the subject which makes me inclined to listen to their advice ...


Firstly, it's MY advice, not Rich's (rich is only agreeing with me because he is one of the peeps that actually understands).

There should not be too much confusion for an intelligent guy like yourself Jimbo.
I know that as a professional photo/video guy, you are new to rc birds per a previous post of your's, (but you still have sound reasoning).
If the "manufacturer's recommendation" was to blindy throw urself off of a cliff, you would reject it, (not sure about some others )

Here's what I promise you Jim, next time you're flying over an ocean and your pack voltage reaches 50%, you ARE going to think about the threads started on the internet titled "My Bird Suddenly Dropped Out of the Sky".
Just like I read your posts to learn more about using the I1's camera, you read my posts to learn more about lipo packs. As carefully as you probably already are with your equipment, you will now take even better care of your lipos, (because what I say makes sense), and you are a "sensible" guy
(I doubt I'll see your corpse at the bottom of the cliff with the others)


To the rest of you ........................ eff off! ........................................................... (just kidding)

I'm not sure why some guys do NOT understand that I am simply offering my educated advice.
You can either take my advice, or leave it, but you cannot debate it, (as there is nothing to debate).
It is a known fact that not long ago lipos would instantly puff if you discharged them too low or fast, they would also easily catch fire.

You can follow my advice and take care of your packs, or take your chances and beat on 'em.
Even though lipos are better than they were 8 yrs ago, (they are STILL lipos).


Here is a quick question and answer session (to help you guys understand the consequences) -

Q - How do you know ur cell phone battery is faulty?
A - Phone dies at 3pm instead of 9pm  (10am instead of 1pm for iPhone owners)

Q - How do you know when the tv remote battery is faulty?
A - won't change the channels or control the volume

Q - How do you know when ur car battery is faulty?
A - seems fine but doesn't start on cold mornings


Q - How do you know when your I1 battery is faulty?
A - seems fine, but then your Inspire shuts off and drops outta the sky midflight


So if you wanna be the one to beat on your lipo packs, it's ok, they will surely let you know when they need replacement.
(there are already threads started about it - lol)

as PeteGould once said, "I don't have a horse in this race" so I don't give a rat's ass one way or the other -



Bob "lipo whisperer" Marley















2015-4-30
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Bob Marley
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roy@netraction. Posted at 2015-4-30 17:46
Can you explain this in a way that people who have no idea what you're talking about here can understand?
Plugging a blance plug in the little transmitter while you're flying? Clipping a receiver to your radio?

Links to said systems at Hobby King?

Sounds like good advice but I don't have 25 years of experience flying electronic RC so I haven't the foggiest idea what you're suggesting people do...


I have ZERO idea why you would have any reason to purchase a main battery pack telemetry system, (it's already a built in system on the I1, so if your are just calling me out, (for some reason), just click on the link so you can educate yourself

Bob Marley
2015-4-30
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