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Critical low voltage error
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39628 59 2015-9-15
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Cygnus03.blueyo
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United Kingdom
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Having recently initially prepared the phantom for flight a few days ago in my normal location which is open meadows, I received an error message. After just a few brief moments of flight I saw a 'critical voltage error' message and the phantom immediately started to land. I was unable to override this. Having checked the battery housing seating and rebooted and trying again, the same message was displayed. The battery was around 54% and has only had 40 flights or so. I noted a few days ago that my battery life indicator, had dropped from 100% to 93%. Today that has dropped now to 89%. Having discharged the battery to 10% and recharging the battery fully, the battery report screen in DJI GO, it indicates the following for the cells: 4.25v, 4.31v, 4.28v, 4.31v. There would appear to be a problem with the balanced charging. Could be as a result of a defective battery? When the voltage warning is given, the phantom goes into an immediate landing process. The battery has been discharged to the recommended 8% several times and the auto discharge is set for three days. Today I flew one full flight on my fully charged battery with no real issues. However, I then took a second flight using a brand new battery and the critical voltage error was displayed again and the kite went into auto landing which is impossible to cancel. Any thoughts on what this problem might be would be most welcome. The only change that I have made to my phantom was to carry out the latest firmware upgrade, which went without a hitch. Thanks in advance.

2015-9-15
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ag0n
Captain
Flight distance : 548944 ft
United States
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What are the settings of the LOW and CRITICAL battery monitors.  Critical is supposed to land, as you say it is.  Low is a warning for you to get the bird down and deal with the battery, ie change it or charge it after cooling down.  Low should be set about 30-50% and critical 10-15%.  If your batteries are getting short on lifespan, I wouldn't run them very low.  I think I'd land and change/charge at around 50% under those conditions.  Suit yourself.
2015-9-15
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AlphaZeroOne
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ag0n Posted at 2015-9-15 16:04
What are the settings of the LOW and CRITICAL battery monitors.  Critical is supposed to land, as yo ...

Hi agOn. Thanks for your response. All my settings are at the default levels; 30% low level warning, 10% critical warning. The issue that I have been having is nothing to do with theses settings. Rather, on the first occasion, my battery was at 54% but within seconds of take off, I had the critical low voltage warning. This is separate from low battery charge levels. This is more about the voltage levels in the individual battery cells which should fall below a certain level.
2015-9-15
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ag0n
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United States
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To me it indicates a bad cell in the stack is a possibility.  That's why I suggested raising warning and critical levels.  If you have a weak cell, it could die very quickly and you want to be alerted to it before it happens.
2015-9-15
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AlphaZeroOne
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United Kingdom
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I understand your thinking, but would that explain the same problem occurring immediately on using a brand new battery. This battery was literally straight out of the box, had never been flown ( but had been firmware updated by the a/c prior to the first flight). I was rather hoping that this sort of issue was a result of a bug in the latest firmware but I don't seem to be able to find many folk experiencing the same problem.
2015-9-15
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ghoonk
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AlphaZeroOne Posted at 2015-9-16 10:36
I understand your thinking, but would that explain the same problem occurring immediately on using a ...

When you say "straight out of the box", it wasn't a fully charged battery, was it? It's always recommended to fly with a fully charged battery, not one at 54%.

Not doing so almost cost me an Inspire 1 - I stuck in a battery that I forgot to charge before flight, and assumed that 71% was going to be more than enough to get the shot I needed. Minutes into the flight, I got the same error message and the aircraft attempted to land - in a ravine, around 1200 ft below me, with no access. I was lucky that the error went away after a minute or so and I quickly brought the Inspire back to me.

Forum and FB groups about the Inspire and Phantom 3 have shown similar aircraft behavior when starting a flight with partially charged batteries.
2015-9-15
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AlphaZeroOne
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ghoonk Posted at 2015-9-16 07:49
When you say "straight out of the box", it wasn't a fully charged battery, was it? It's always rec ...

That's an interesting thought. Both batteries were only half charged. I would normally fly with fully charged batterie but on these occasions I didn't.. But, yes, to answer your question, the battery was quite literally straight out of the box but had its firmware updated prior to flying. Thanks for your input.
2015-9-16
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ghoonk
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AlphaZeroOne Posted at 2015-9-16 16:34
That's an interesting thought. Both batteries were only half charged. I would normally fly with fu ...

Try bringing it to a full charge before using and see if you still get that problem. If it still throws that error, you might have a bad cell
2015-9-16
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AlphaZeroOne
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ghoonk Posted at 2015-9-16 13:56
Try bringing it to a full charge before using and see if you still get that problem. If it still t ...

My thinking exactly. Cheers ghoonk
2015-9-16
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frontrowdave
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United States
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I just had this happen to me two days ago....I had plenty of battery power, about 80 percent left....and luckily was only eighty feet in the air....I landed immediately when i saw it with no problems....Ihave reused the same battery and no challenges...

Yesterday I was on a search mission with another person with an inspire....the same happened to him and his crashed, fortunately with little damage....

Not sure what the problem is yet, just starting to research....
2015-10-19
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Indy
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Flight distance : 1105380 ft
France
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Hi guys,
Already got this problem with almost new battery, just after take off... Weeks ago.
Then today, it happened to me twice with two different batteries and different voltage... Not sure it comes from batteries...

Thanks for the answers, but anyone has real solutions? This situation is pretty scary...
2015-10-25
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bkgoggans
lvl.1

United States
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I've flown my Phantom 3 Advance many times, without issues.  I recently took flight, draining my main battery.  I installed my newest battery, at full charge, and within a few minutes I received the "Critically Low Voltage" message and the drown went to landing mode.  After tracking the location, because I never saw it come down, the landing mode took it into a gated community where the quad landed quite harshly atop one of the largest and tallest houses in the neighborhood.  It landed quite hard because it broke one of the landing arms, knocked out the battery, broke two prop guards and of course some props.  I consider this lucky considering the alternative results.  BTW, this was the first flight on the new battery and was starting the 'break in' period for the new battery.  Any suggestions as to why this happened?
2015-10-26
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arshs
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Russia
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Guys, what is your RC firmware version, did you upgrade it recently to 1.4.30 ? Maybe it is coincidence but when i upgrade my RC Firmware today and take off I got same issue with Critically low voltage error, I saw the cells status but they are looked ok.
2015-10-31
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arshs
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Russia
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good article about cells monitoring http://www.phantompilots.com/thr ... s-of-failure.43313/
2015-10-31
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kitbennett
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AlphaZeroOne Posted at 2015-9-16 06:36
I understand your thinking, but would that explain the same problem occurring immediately on using a ...

Hi there,
I am experiencing the same problems. I was hoping it a update glitch however i have had it arise on me a few times now. I have kept an eye on it during every flight since. The voltage has been dropping to Low (Orange) with it occasionally dropping to Critical (Red) now and again. This is with a fully charged battery! Naturally i am concerned and have dropped a e-mail to DJI but based on my previous experiences with DJI support i'm hoping for a better response. Anybody else got a answer regarding the issue?
2015-12-9
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billblevinsjr
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United States
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This just happened to me tonight as well. I updated the firmware and iPad two days ago. The battery was showing 3 bars tonight before the flight. I saw that the home position was set in the proper place and everything checked out in pre-flight. I had flown with that battery yesterday for about 4 minutes. Today after about 4 minutes of flight time and at an altitude of roughly 350 feet, I got the low voltage warning. This was the first time I had heard the warning and I glanced at the screen for a few seconds and saw 27% battery life showing and decided to click the home button and slide the "go home" slider. The aircraft did not return home. It was already descending when I looked back up and it continued straight down and landed in the grass and flipped over. I think everything is fine with no damage. Thankfully it was not over trees. Still trying to figure this one out.
2015-12-16
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Rebel
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United States
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2015-12-16
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amadeus
lvl.4
Flight distance : 202232 ft
Italy
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Similar problem here! Never happened before!
Critically Low Voltage message and forced landing after few seconds from the takeoff!
Charge level of the battery about 55%, times charged 7 (i.e. new battery) and critically low voltage threshold settled at 10%.

My opinion is that something in the power management algorithm doesn't work properly because the "Critically Voltage Warning" is triggered at charge levels above 50%.
I do not trust to fly until a solution to this issue is found!!
2015-12-16
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billblevinsjr
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Rebel Posted at 2015-12-17 07:46
You will soon be bombarded by people blaming you for flying with a battery that was anything less  ...

I'm going to make sure it is 100% for a while. I am a little worried about flying over anything except flat ground.
2015-12-18
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Rebel
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2015-12-18
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amadeus
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Italy
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Rebel Posted at 2015-12-19 04:24
Or you could go back to 1.4 and not worry at all.

I'll try to downgrade the FW but, I'm not sure that this will avoid the malfunctions.
For two reasons:

1) If this event is autonomously triggered by the battery, we know that the last FW has not upgraded the battery and so, a downgrade will have no effect
2) Most of the issues started with the cold season (see...battery temperature..) and so, to link these issues with the last fw update could be a mistake

Anyway, i'll try!
2015-12-19
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Rebel
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2015-12-19
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AG0N-Gary
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Flight distance : 548944 ft
United States
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There's an awful lot of smoke in that camp.  More and more are reporting battery low voltage failures after upgrading.
2015-12-19
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Nick.amtower
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United States
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I received the same error code. I've tried all kinds of trouble shooting but at this point when I power on the bird and the RC, the battery indicator on the app always reads 0% even though I charge both batteries and the bird is running...
2015-12-20
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YannickF
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France
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Same problem on my Phantom 3 advanced... I just update last firmware a few days ago.. and now, I can't take off... The 4 cells are OK : 4,10 V each, battery is 100% on live cycle !

The weather is pretty cold  here (0°C), so I came back in my house, removed the propellers, and 10 minutes later, the Phantom 3 was OK to take off... I really think it's a firmware problem with cold weather !
2015-12-30
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nigelwilkins
First Officer
Flight distance : 517951 ft
United Kingdom
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YannickF Posted at 2015-12-30 12:21
Same problem on my Phantom 3 advanced... I just update last firmware a few days ago.. and now, I can ...

What was the battery temperature?  You may need to warm up the battery before it will fly.  It's probably a good thing the firmware prevents it from flying if the battery's too cold, otherwise it might fall out of the sky.
2015-12-30
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[RCG]Balthazar
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Flight distance : 475249 ft
Norway
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nigelwilkins Posted at 2015-12-30 13:43
What was the battery temperature?  You may need to warm up the battery before it will fly.  It's p ...

DJI says 0-40C is the temp where it's safe to fly.
I lost my P3P during this flight but didnt know about the healtydrones log analysis tool.
And I didnt bring a thermometer so I had to guess.
I guessed -2c and put that in the DJI form ... .... ...
Which ofcourse led Customer Service to say warranty does not apply.
This was 38 days, twelve email and a whole bunch of headaces ago.
Even after apologizing for my bad but honest guesswork and
proving to them with official municipal weather data that
the temperature was indeed within the legal 0-40c range
I still havent got any kind of support from them.
Healty_Drones_My_Logs_Last_Flight_Battery_Temp 2015-11-22.jpg

2015-12-30
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[RCG]Balthazar
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Norway
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I have to add that the staff in these forums have tried to help though, by providing a bunch of newbie links and DJI-Patrick even reported my case to customer service.
So be very careful with what you say to customer service as it feels like their main objective is to blame their customers for any mishap!
2015-12-30
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nigelwilkins
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[RCG]Balthazar Posted at 2015-12-30 13:34
DJI says 0-40C is the temp where it's safe to fly.
I lost my P3P during this flight but didnt know ...

Thanks to your (& others) problems though, I've started taking more notice of the battery temperature reported in the app under battery settings before moving away from a low hover, making sure it's around 25C.  The outside air temp isn't as critical as the actual temp of the battery, although it obviously makes a difference.
2015-12-30
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nigelwilkins
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[RCG]Balthazar Posted at 2015-12-30 13:46
I have to add that the staff in these forums have tried to help though, by providing a bunch of newb ...

Absolutely
2015-12-30
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YannickF
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nigelwilkins Posted at 2015-12-30 13:43
What was the battery temperature?  You may need to warm up the battery before it will fly.  It's p ...

The external temperature was 0°C, the battery was probably a little warmer because it was stocked in my garage. A good way to warm up battery would be to start motors but not take off..... The firmware prevents that !
And then, it should display : "battery too cold", not "battery too low, critical" because mine was fully charged !
2015-12-30
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nigelwilkins
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YannickF Posted at 2015-12-30 14:17
The external temperature was 0°C, the battery was probably a little warmer because it was stocked  ...

I agree there should be a proper temperature warning, but in the meantime you need to keep the battery reasonably warm to start with.  Just keep it indoors or in a pocket near your body is enough.  I wouldn't expect any dry cell battery to work very well at only a couple of degrees.  The voltage might be correct, but as soon as you put a load onto the battery it will drop & possibly damage the battery beyond repair.

Also, I'm not sure the battery will survive very long in freezing conditions even for storage.
2015-12-30
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[RCG]Balthazar
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Norway
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Trying to find the posts but cant right now.
Both made by staff, one saying firmware is updated to not allow takeoff if battery is below 10c and the other saying balancing routine has been improved in the latest firmware.
I've spent most of my Christmas vacation trying to figure out what happened by analyzing and researching all my flight logs and so far it seems like the battery was poorly balanced nearly every time I charged it and the bird fell due to a spike on one of the cells or flew far away with 51% battery left (Depending on which sensor was correct) Please help in my quest for knowledge by clickcing here!
2016-1-1
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kimberley.thure
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Australia
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Hi, I just had this issue of critically low voltage and a mention of issues with the propellers too. I've read through this thread and its all sounding fairly relevant however no one has the mentioned a propellor error message. I flew my drone yesterday along the Great Australian Bight with no issues, set it up this morning in Eucla and the RC required an update, happily updated to the latest firmware and sure enough like quiet a few of you I had similar error messages relating to low voltage & critically low voltage and a forced land... twice! I tried a second battery for the second flight which was fully charged.

I am hoping that it is purely due to the batteries not being warm enough for the 18c-20c temperatures we've got at the moment. I will give it another go, however if anyone else has more feed back about these errors and also if anyone has had an error message relating to the propellors it will put me at a little more ease that I'm definitely not alone here.

Thanks to all for your research and feedback so far! x
2016-5-7
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nigelw
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Flight distance : 517951 ft
United Kingdom
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kimberley.thure Posted at 2016-5-7 09:42
Hi, I just had this issue of critically low voltage and a mention of issues with the propellers too. ...

It sounds like you were flying on a partially charged battery that wasn't warmed up.

If you have a battery with say 50% charge & take of at 20°C, the voltages will drop very quickly as soon as you take off, especially if you use full throttle.  It's ok to fly, land & take off again with the battery level's fairly low as long as the battery temperature hasn't dropped significantly.  You can test the theory yourself by having the battery info screen up & watching the individual cell voltages & battery temperature as you fly.

Bottom line is, always use a fully charged battery to be safe.

I'm assuming the other warning you had was "Warning, propulsion output limited to ensure the safety of the battery"?

See this thread for more info.
2016-5-7
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akshaybishnulal
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Hey guys, I'm also having the same problem. My assumption is, as far as I can gather so far, is that you should insure a fully charged battery also a fairly warm battery to insure this issue doesn't occur. If anyone finds this to work please let us know. Thank you.
2016-6-6
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hummingbird.uav
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Canada
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akshaybishnulal Posted at 2016-6-6 23:48
Hey guys, I'm also having the same problem. My assumption is, as far as I can gather so far, is that ...

Have a look at the video in this link.
http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... 0&fromuid=47441
It describes when and why the alarms occur.  Since the video was made there have been a few firmware updates to help mitigate the problems but it sounds like they have not been fully successful.
2016-6-6
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vinceledesma
lvl.1
Flight distance : 166854 ft
Philippines
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Experienced this three times today. I have three batteries, and cycle through them easily:  I have written the numbers 1, 2, and 3 on them so that I know what battery to use next.
On the first occurence, I was flying with Litchi. It was drizzling but I flew my Phantom 4 anyway, as she has never been fazed by rain. At 200 meters, out, she decided to land. I couldn't cancel the process. I thought she had been affected by the rain. I looked at the battery and it was number "1"- the battery which had been turned on by someone as it was being charged.
The upper front part of the drone was very hot. I thought it was overheating. Both rear LEDs were a steady red. I tried to fly again when the lights turned green. She landed again, but I pushed her up and raced her back to me. The next time, I took her out in the evening and flew by DJI GO. She returned a "Critical Battery Level" warning and landed. It was the same number "1" battery.
I hope it's just the battery. I will try again with another battery tomorrow.
2016-10-12
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anthonyp85
lvl.2
Flight distance : 209667 ft
United States
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Glad I found this post on this forum (and the video someone posted in reference to the Phantom 3 Battery Testing above). I received the Best Buy Black Edition Phantom 4 for Christmas, and I have been randomly getting the same warning, saying, "Low Voltage Warning." I have received this error when the battery has been fully charged already, and I am just downloading videos/pictures from the drone to my tablet and not even flying it... It is on, but not flying. I have made sure the firmware is up to date on both the drone and the control. I have yet to have this warning show up while flying, but reading this stuff on here is making me nervous! I'm new to flying and have been taking everything carefully. I've followed all the instructions I've read in the manual on things I should be doing (including calibrating before each flight, waiting for the GPS's to lock before flying, waiting for the home location to lock, etc). I'm hoping this resolves itself and that it is just doing it because it was on and not flying... Hmm.
2017-1-5
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Geoff Charters
lvl.1
Flight distance : 17358 ft
Australia
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Not sure if this helps but I've had this happen twice to me. Both times didn't matter what battery I put in the phantom 3 I still got the critical low voltage warning and it immediately landed. But both times I was in a rush the night before my job and I charged the battery and controller at the same time. A no no according to dji. I think plugging in both the controller and battery to charge does not charge the battery or controller properly causing weak cells. The first time I drained battery and controller and recharged fully and had no error. So wrapping up - don't charge battery and controller together. Cheers. Geoff.
2017-8-9
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