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Charger won't charge anything
137 14 1-7 01:16
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adh1003
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New Zealand
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I have a Phantom 3 Advanced (predates the 4K models) which hasn't flown all that much so it still has pretty new batteries all round. Last week I was charging the controller and one of the flight batteries normally, but some way through that process, the charger just decided to stop charging them. Now it refuses to charge anything.
I did a lot of web searching, but all I can find is numerous references to buggy software inside the flight batteries and ways around that, but not much about the charger. It gets pretty weird too. If I have the charger plugged just into the controller (which does nothing), turn on a flight battery and then connect it to the charger as well, the controller suddenly acts as if it is charging. The battery eventually turns itself off, though, and when it does this automatically, or if I do it manually, the controller stops charging too. It's as the charger is basically dead, but the whole system is so badly electrically designed that a powered-up, attached flight battery is able to push current "back down" the charging wire and into the controller; as if the charger wasn't charging the controller - the flight battery was.

Has anyone else seen this? Is there a way to reset the firmware or similar in the charger? I've bought hundreds of gadgets of the decades and I've never seen a charger quit like this before. Plenty of batteries, never the charger. It's a very expensive thing to replace too.

Thanks for all ideas - I'm practially at the point of pentagrams and chicken slaying now ;-)

(There's still nearly full charge in the controller, one flight battery near dead and one at about 60% - I can fly the aircraft on this OK, so the batteries don't seem to be faulty. The drone flies infrequently with less than 20 flights, but probably 30 or so charging cycles as I make sure I check the batteries now and again to prevent them fully discharging during log periods of inactivity.)

1-7 01:16
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solentlife
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The DJI charger is just a regulated 17.5V power supply - it has nothing clever or to reset in it at all. No way to reset it or repair.

I would suggest replacing it with such as the 3+1 charging system .... a much better unit all round.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015B86ULI/?tag=rc-toys-21



Link is UK based - but any Amazon or eBay will have this for your location.

You can also use a programmable RC LiPo charger such as the Accucel 6 as long as it has LIHV mode.

Nigel
1-7 02:42
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RedHotPoker
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Flight distance : 50323
Canada
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If I had the money to explore other avenues of charging my Phantom 3 Pro flight packs....

Compare the SmartPowerCharge to the DJI HUB
https://smartpowercharge.com/pdf/dji_hub.pdf


22D74963-AE32-4CED-8DFD-DFA92F1EE0F3.jpeg
The SPCp3 is a commercial grade QUAD Charging Station designed and built exclusively for the DJI SMART BATTERY (LiPo) that is used in your Phantom p3. This system is MICRO-PROCESSOR controlled with built in Over-Voltage protection, Over-Loading Protection and Temperature Control on power supply input. The Short-Circuit protection on power supply input insures safe operation while charging the batteries. The SCPp3 also monitors the voltage and temperature to each battery insuring that each battery is charged safely eliminating damage and LIPO safety concerns.
The system is capable of charging or deep cycling 4 DJI Smart Batteries simultaneously, your iPhone, or any USB device and 2 rechargeable remote controls (via 2, 26v charging ports on the end of device), all at the same time. You can even DEEP CYCLE selected batteries while charging others. When you put a SLOT in DEEP CYCLE MODE, we LOCK discharge at low voltage down to 8%. After the battery reaches 8%, the system will automatically charge the battery to full capacity. A must have for serious Phantom p3 users.

Price: 389.95


It’s only the high price that stops me...


RedHotPoker






1-7 03:20
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Mark The Droner
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I would be wary of launching with less than a fully charged battery.

You might consider a used charger from a site such as eBay if you can find one in NZ.  

Good luck
1-7 04:22
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solentlife
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Mark The Droner Posted at 1-7 04:22
I would be wary of launching with less than a fully charged battery.

You might consider a used charger from a site such as eBay if you can find one in NZ.  

+1 ... agreed.

On the matter of second hand - trouble is too many people want silly money for what is really only a PSU. But its a good suggestion.

What many people do not know - is that if the P3 battery drops down to the low level that it shuts off and cannot be switched on ... its only a 17.5V regulated voltage unit that will kick it back to life. All the 'clever chargers' will fail because they default out.
That is why its a good policy to keep your original DJI charger ....

I found this out the hard way. I was doing tests on P3 batterys and pushed one down to when it shut off to prevent further discharge. I could not get it to charge until I plugged in the original charger. I verified this reoeatedly ... I have various 'smart chargers' and only the DJI and the Anbee 3+1 chargers did the job ... basically because they thump out 17.5V ...

Nigel  
1-7 06:19
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adh1003
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Many thanks all for the information and links. Super helpful. Inevitably, seems there's a collective shrug of shoulders with the charger just dying like that but this is sadly what I have (too late) realised is the reality of buying into the DJI hardware/software ecosystem. Living in NZ makes the Amazon etc. links above problematic (don't ship to NZ so have to drop ship through another country and that's super expensive), but AliExpress carries what *looks* :-) like the same unit for NZD 54.51 including shipping, which is worth a punt! Hopefully I'll get flying again - I'll update this thread in ~1 month or so when the charger turns up.
1-8 01:16
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solentlife
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Can you not find any on eBay ....

If all else fails --- the car charger versions are good ... and you can pick up ones for peanuts ! Its worth having one anyway ... mine cost me $10 + shipping ...

Nigel
1-8 01:50
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endotherm
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adh1003 Posted at 1-8 01:16
Many thanks all for the information and links. Super helpful. Inevitably, seems there's a collective shrug of shoulders with the charger just dying like that but this is sadly what I have (too late) realised is the reality of buying into the DJI hardware/software ecosystem. Living in NZ makes the Amazon etc. links above problematic (don't ship to NZ so have to drop ship through another country and that's super expensive), but AliExpress carries what *looks* :-) like the same unit for NZD 54.51 including shipping, which is worth a punt! Hopefully I'll get flying again - I'll update this thread in ~1 month or so when the charger turns up.

I don't recall anyone else on the forums reporting a dead power supply, they are usually pretty reliable.  As mentioned, they are just a dumb DC power adapter brick.  You could replace it with a laptop charger if you could match the voltage and current.  Have you tried measuring the output at the plug via a multimeter?  That would confirm the device is indeed dead.  As suggested above, the car chargers are a cheap way to get you out of trouble, $10-$20 on ebay will get you one with plugs for a battery and the controller (beware there are models with just a battery cord).  e.g. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Travel-Car-Charger-Adapter-Battery-Remote-Control-For-DJI-Phantom-3-Pro-Adv-SE/253938458286
car charger.png

I would hazard a guess that you tried charging more than a single battery at a time (contrary to instructions) and over taxed the power supply, thus killing it.  The unit provided with the Advanced is only 57 watts, the smallest one supplied by DJI (the Pro comes with a 100 Watt supply)  and trying to charge a battery and controller at the same time would draw more current than it is designed to output.
1-8 02:43
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adh1003
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endotherm Posted at 1-8 02:43
I would hazard a guess that you tried charging more than a single battery at a time (contrary to instructions) and over taxed the power supply, thus killing it.

It isn't really possible to charge more than one battery "contrary to instructions" - the charger only physically has a single connector for one battery and the controller! So I really couldn't possibly do what you suggest, could I? Sadly, it just quit working, mid way through charging.
1-11 02:21
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solentlife
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Just a question and in no way is a solution ... just a thought ...........

The DJI battery has a default that can be a real PITA at times .... that is when the battery is over about 90% charged - the charger refuses to charge. It is necessary to SWITCH ON the battery first - then plug in charger with battery still switched on. I have no idea why DJI put such a default in ... because it can lead to a non full charge battery being used.

Have you tried switching on battery first and then connecting charger ??

Do not forget also that 50% charge TIME is not pro-rata of charged capacity. The first 50% of charge capacity is much faster than the final 50% charge capacity due to the amp rate declining as the battery charges up. This is because of the batterys increasing voltage and resistance to charge ... and the chargers regulated fixed 17.5V voltage output.

Nigel
1-11 04:48
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endotherm
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adh1003 Posted at 1-11 02:21
It isn't really possible to charge more than one battery "contrary to instructions" - the charger only physically has a single connector for one battery and the controller! So I really couldn't possibly do what you suggest, could I? Sadly, it just quit working, mid way through charging.

No, on the contrary, it is quite easy to do.  The power supply terminates into the twin-blade flat plug for charging the intelligent flight battery and also splits into a coaxial DC plug for charging the battery inside the controller.  Plugging in the controller and a flight battery at the same time will allow both batteries to charge simultaneously.  This is exactly what you described in your original post as well - "If I have the charger plugged just into the controller (which does nothing), turn on a flight battery and then connect it to the charger as well, the controller suddenly acts as if it is charging."  So it is quite possible to do, not sure why you would say it isn't.  This type of double-connection is discouraged as the charger is not rated to supply this combined current and may overheat.  The charger showing both terminations is illustrated in the manual along with the warning.
charger.png
manualFAQ.png
Due to your infrequent use, your batteries may discharge to a very low level, requiring a heavier than normal charge to get them back to a useful state.  Of course you might just be unlucky and had a random failure, but that does not seem to be common as I haven't seen any complaints on the forum.
1-11 04:51
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wntmldrs_belgium
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Together with my DJI charger I also use a second charger that can be set to different types of batteries. You need also a good safe cable from Ebay.
Use the Pb (lead) setting 16V and 5,7 Ah current, after full charge it tells the result of the charging in detail.
The DJI battery has to be switched on for the charger to see it, if its dead ... no joy

charging

charging

charger

charger
1-11 11:33
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KenDuke
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If you were charging a Battery and the controller at the same time, it may have blown the power supply.  Depending on which model of the P3 you own.  
It is stated in the manual to not charge both at the same time.
1-11 18:14
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solentlife
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wntmldrs_belgium Posted at 1-11 11:33
Together with my DJI charger I also use a second charger that can be set to different types of batteries. You need also a good safe cable from Ebay.
Use the Pb (lead) setting 16V and 5,7 Ah current, after full charge it tells the result of the charging in detail.
The DJI battery has to be switched on for the charger to see it, if its dead ... no joy

I would suggest to you that you not use Pb setting ...

It is far better to use LiHV setting of 4S ... (if your charger has that capability of course).

The reason is that the Charger itself will provide back-up in case DJi battery board fails to shut off. It will itself shut down once the full 17.4V is reached.

Why does it need battery switched on to use another programmable charger ? Reason is that the programmable charger needs to 'read' the battery and then set its rates according to the user settings vs battery state. Once it reads - it then starts charging.
The DJI charger on the other hand is a dumb brick in effect and does not care ... it just thumps out 17.5V regardless, relying on the batterys internal board to regulate.

Nigel
1-12 02:30
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wntmldrs_belgium
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Nigel, my charger predates the P3 and its LiHV batteries, so Pb was the closest to make it run without balancing.
The charger gradually drops the current to 0 and then they both sit there waiting for me.
Very happy, charging two at the same time.
1-12 10:12
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