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How do Intelligent Batteries Work?
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DJI-Tim
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How do Intelligent Batteries Work?
The Inspire 1’s intelligent battery has many functions: Battery Level Display, Battery Life Display, Auto-discharging, Balance Charging, Over Charge Protection, Temperature Detection, Over Current Protection, Short Circuit Protection, Battery Cell Damage Protection, Battery Information History, SleepMode, and Communication.

Some functions can directly display the current state of the battery by checking whether an LED is on or off, while other functions of the battery can only be worked with DJI GO app. The app displays how much remaining power the battery has,and the system can automatically analyze and calculate the power and time required to return home and land safely, so that users will not always worry about a low battery during flight. The Intelligent Battery also displays the voltage of each battery cell, the total charging and discharging times, the health status of the battery, and so on.   
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There are some advanced functions, like the Inspire 1’s Smart Low Battery RTH:
When the Battery Level Indicator displays a low battery warning, the motor is not able to output enough power. Users are advised to land the drone immediately, otherwise the drone will land automatically. An automatic landing may damage the drone, endanger by standers, or cause other problems. To prevent such hazards, when low battery is triggered, the main controller of Inspire 1 can intelligently estimate whether the current power level is enough to return home from its current position. The DJI Go app will advise users to return home if this is the case. The drone will automatically return to the Home Point if no action is taken within 10 seconds. Users can cancel RTH by pressing the RTH button once. Smart RTH will only work once per flight.
Compared with a traditional battery, intelligent batteries bring pilots great convenience. Let’s see how the battery, a basic energy storage medium, developed into a multi-functional intelligent battery by looking at some of its special functions more closely.
intellegent.jpg
Over Discharge Prevention
When using a battery, users often worry about over discharging. To avoid the problem, battery designers installed an over discharging protective circuit. Discharging will stop when battery reaches a preset voltage. However, if discharging stops, lots of data cannot be processed, and the drone will lose power. Hence, automatically stopping discharging is the last level of battery protection; the battery circuit also calculates the endurance of battery life and warn users to take safety measures when necessary.  
For example, the Inspire 1’s battery data is integrated with its flight control data, which can provide three level battery warning protection.
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1.    Low Battery Level Warning - When the battery level indicator displays that the remaining battery level is 30% (the exact percentage can be set by users), the red light starts slowly flashing. Users are notified of the remaining battery level and should returnto the Home Point as soon as possible.
2.    Critical Low Battery Level Warning - The drone will automatically return to the Home Point if the remaining battery level can only support the drone’s return home. The thresholds for the warning are automatically determined based on the current flight altitude and distance calculated with intelligent battery data and the flight control data.
3.    Intense Critical Low Battery Level Warning - The drone will automatically land if the remaining battery level cannot support a normal RTH (return time being delayed by headwinds, for example) to avoid crashing.
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The endurance of battery life is determined based on the current flight distance, altitude, and current output power of the motors. Since these elements are dynamic, all data should be calculated in real time. All this requires exceptional battery cell management and algorithm design.

Battery Charge Protection and Storage
There are some special requirements for charging lithium batteries. Currently, lithium batteries use serial-parallel battery cells. But since battery cells are different, this leads to imbalanced charging and discharging. Therefore, it is necessary touse a charging management circuit. Another function of the Intelligent Lithium Battery is that it has an intelligent charging and discharging management system.
The Inspire 1’s intelligent battery can manage the charging and discharging process, and it is also able to automatically discharge. The battery will auto discharge to around 65% if the battery level is more than 65% and it is idle for more than 10 days (users can set the exact time themselves).
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Checking Battery Level in Real Time

Users used to check battery levels, output voltage, and electricity by using a multimeter, or mounting a “beep-beep” tool into the battery, which was inconvenient. Today, batteries are more intelligent and display the remaining battery and other information in real-time.
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Take Inspire 1’s battery as an example:
1.  You can check the remaining battery level easily. 4 LED lights display the current remaining battery level in real-time on the ground and in flight.
2.  The DJI GO app will display the cell voltage of the battery by transferring voltage data from the aircraft in real time.
3.  A record is stored about the battery’s history, detailing the number of uses, previous warning messages and battery life over time.
4.  The Inspire’s LED light displays battery errors. It will display errors caused by short circuiting,over current charging, over voltage charging, high temperatures, low temperatures, and so on.
Here are two examples of intelligent battery functions: battery level display and charging protection display.
Battery Level Display:
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No Contact Plugs

Imagine you are mounting a battery onto a DIY drone, the plug sparks. If the situation happens again, the plug will oxidize under the high temperatures when the battery discharges. The conductivity of the plug will decrease, and the plug will overheat and dissolve. Some crashes are caused by the aging electrode plugs. To solve the problem, the Intelligent Lithium Battery’s management circuit was developed.
d69f232a-7b22-43ae-ddc0-01e467eb7741.jpg

When placing the battery into Inspire 1, the electrode contact will not discharge, so there will not be any electric erosion. As such, the life of the battery plug contact point increases. The battery will output power only after pressing the on/off button. When powering off, users should press the power button twice, and hold it the second time.


Battery Authenticity

The intelligent battery's authenticity is well protected. First, users can only use lithium batteries produced in the original factory, so the quality of the battery is guaranteed. Therefore,users must only use batteries produced by the company, or else the aircraft will not takeoff. Even if the system can be cracked, the company can upgrade the firmware accordingly.

The 5 points above explained more about the battery, battery pre-check before flight, battery storage and the benefits of protection so users can use their batteries more safety. The next section will discuss battery guidelines and notices.
 
Battery Usage Instructions
1.    Please remove the battery from the drone while it is not being used, and keep it in a temperate environment to prevent the battery from over heating or freezing.
2.    Do not charge the battery right after the flight; wait until it cools down. The charging environment should be between 0℃ to 40℃. Take care of the battery to avoid accidents.
3.    Be aware of the battery during transport. A vehicle accelerating or decelerating and may cause the battery may collide with sharp objects and combust or cause other damage. Please keep batteries in a safe place while transporting in a car to prevent fire.
4.    Check the status of battery before using. Lack of usage over may deplete battery power or lead to deviations in voltage level between the battery cells because of incomplete charging and discharging operations. Normally, these problems will ariseif the battery is within a 0.2V voltage deviation.
5.    Please recycle a damaged battery, since lithium batteries are greatly harmful to the environment.
6.      Suitable storage power range is from 50% to 65% if the battery is unused for a long time.
7.    Air transportation is a concern of some users. Some are glad because of that the standard battery level of the Inspire 1 batteryTB47 is 99.9Wh, and can be carried onto a flight, since the limit of battery level is 100Wh. But the standard battery level of the optional battery TB48 is 129.96. Normally, only two of these batteries can be carried onto a flight.
8.    While using the battery under low temperature environment, between -10℃ to 4℃, the internal resistance of the battery increases which leads to heavy drop in voltage. Therefore, please fully charge the battery before using. The voltage of battery cells reaches 4.35V. While the temperature is lower than 5℃, the battery needs to be fully charged, the voltage of battery cells should be higher than 4.2V, and warm-up and heat preservation actions should be taken before launching. The warm-up can be achieved with the battery heater or by hovering the drone at a low altitude for around one minute.

Many users are unfamiliar with complete discharging. For instance, the battery of Inspire 1 needs to have one complete cycle of charging and discharging after ten in complete cycles in order to calibrate the battery level.
There are two modes of discharging: the slow one and the rapid one.
Slow discharging: Install the battery into the drone, turn the battery on and leave it electrostatically discharging until it automatically turns off when the battery level lower than 5%. It is recommended not to turn on the electric motor especially those without rotating propellers, as it may lead to abrasion of the motor.
Rapid discharging: Install the battery into the drone, fly it until low battery level alerts and the drone automatically lands. Do not turn it off and keep it discharging until it automatically shuts down.

Nowadays one of the biggest limitations of the drones is the endurance of the battery. The intelligent battery can be improved to maximize efficiency or use another energy source such as hydrogen or solar energy, to extend the operationtime of the flight. If new energies can be utilized, it will be a huge step forward for the battery since its efficiency will greatly improve.
Thank to those of you who read this whole thread!
Let's look forward to the next revolutions in intelligent battery design!
2015-12-28
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[RCG]Balthazar
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Awesome article!

I do have a couple nit-pics though
The Inspire and the Phantom has the same battery tech and routines?

"When powering off, users should press the power button once."
Press then press-hold?




"8.    While using the battery under low temperature environment, between -10℃ to 40℃, the internal resistance of the battery increases which leads to heavy drop in voltage."


Youre telling a Norwegian that 40c is cold


Great job Tim!
2015-12-28
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rodger
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Great job Tim. Hopefully the few that complain about the battery price will read this.
2015-12-28
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Phantomen3
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nice! i printed it out so i have it in my drone box.
2015-12-28
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sifu128
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This is awesome information
2015-12-28
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SixtyMike
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Excellent tutorial.  It answered some questions for me.  Thanks for posting.
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2015-12-28
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Arrow1969
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Tip: The post by the administrator or moderators shield
2015-12-28
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todor
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SixtyMike Posted at 2015-12-28 19:19
Excellent tutorial.  It answered some questions for me.  Thanks for posting.
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Me to especially the "intelligent battery functions" and "no contact plugs" I always recommend to fully charge the batteries right before flight of if possible, so the section about "Low, Critical and Intense" battery warnings are must to know

Thanks, Tim!
I hope more colleagues should inform themselves via your article
2015-12-28
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gregg1r
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Hi Tim,

  The DJI "Smart" lithium batteries are an improvement over some other batteries on the market.  The smart part is the balancing board which monitors the state of charge both in use as well as during charge. The IC's on the charging board report status to the main control board in the quad.

  The connection between the battery and quad is not as robust as either the Dean or the XT60 connector. All connectors can arc if the battery is turned on while attempting to make a connection. The flat interference plates DJI uses also oxidize unless you want to have them gold or platinum plated. This plate arrangement isn't as fool proof as thought as there isn't much force as the Dean or XT60 connector. What is important is having a connector that is properly amp rated and the correct size wires used.

  A few months back, there were some quads (I read of the Phantoms here) that were experiencing battery failures in flight with little or no warning. By my thinking, the failures could be attributed to poor solder joints, as a few people that had problems indicated when checked with a multimeter they observed no voltage. They heated the wire connector to re-flow the solder, and it worked.

The Inspire 1 has an option a blanket for the battery for cold weather use. Are there plans to do the same for the Phantom?
2015-12-28
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SHamers
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Perfect Tim!
2015-12-28
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mike.wildlight
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Cheers Tim, very nice work indeed, really apreciate you taking the time to make these posts.

Just a couple of wishes and questions
  • It would be nice if these posts that get cross-posted on multiple forums at least explained the relevance to the other platforms otherwise you risk diluting the message. Better still would be to customise to each platform and post each in the relevant forum.
  • Over Discharge Prevention- it's curious design feature that protects the battery over the aircraft, what's the purpose of this? would it not be more prudent to have a warning saying "continuing flight may permanently damage the flight battery". Obviously LiPos get to a point where they cannot deliver any more discharge and voltage collapses anyway, but ther's nothing that can be done about that. Having software that shuts down the battery to protect battery life at the expense of the aircraft (and battery) doen't seem logical.
  • Over Discharge Prevention- How do the 3 points mentioned relate to P3 operation? (and others if appplicable) and how do they relate to the picture and diagram below them ?
  • Battery Charge Protection and Storage - Is the 10 day default optimum what is the purpose of this if batteries must be "fully charged" before flight?  (as is a current hot topic on this forum). Your article doesn't seem to mention this "fully charged" aspect before flight. What is the DJI official position on what constitutes a fully charged battery?
  • Complete discharge - with the two methods mentioned is one preferred over the other?
  • Lastly (phew) It would be awesome if there was a single repositry for all the great information you and others have provided. "Sticky" threads are not a great way store and disseminate this information. It would be great if tese things were on the principal site for each platform and categorised as either "generic" or "platform specific"


Thanks again and keep up the awesome work!
Cheers
Mike
2015-12-28
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Michael M
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Hi Tim, I have a problem with one of my batteries. it has about 35 charge cycles and the battery life is dropping quickly. Recently, it has been dropping a few percent every day. it is at 94% and last time I flew it was 97 and almost every flight it drops a few percent. I also noticed it cannot supply enough voltage and the voltage always drops significantly more than my other batteries. my other one has the same amount of charge cycles and is at 100% and performs properly with no voltage drops.. I always make sure my batteries are warm before takeoff and they are updated to to the latest firmware as well. I have also calibrated the battery but it did not help. I would appreciate your help.
2015-12-28
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Michael M
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support suggested that I do a deep discharge to 3.3v per cell. How do I do a deep discharge?  the battery at 0% is only at 3.5 volts
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Michael M
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Michael M Posted at 2015-12-28 17:44
support suggested that I do a deep discharge to 3.3v per cell. How do I do a deep discharge?  the ba ...

its a p3
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

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Michael! The just dischrge you r drone to the 8%. however, when its around 15% it's better put it on the ground and let the motors spining
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DJI-Tim
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[RCG]Balthazar Posted at 2015-12-28 19:40
Awesome article!

I do have a couple nit-pics though

Hah, yeach there was some minor mistakes, and they are fixed now! Thank you for feedback!
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DJI-Tim
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rodger Posted at 2015-12-28 23:08
Great job Tim. Hopefully the few that complain about the battery price will read this.

Thank you!  There always will be some people underestimate the value of technology
2015-12-28
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

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Phantomen3 Posted at 2015-12-29 00:33
nice! i printed it out so i have it in my drone box.

I'm honored!
2015-12-28
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DJI-Tim
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Arrow1969 Posted at 2015-12-29 03:22
**** The posts are shielded ****

Something you wrote up there is blocked... what was there?
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DJI-Tim
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-12-29 04:18
Hi Tim,

  The DJI "Smart" lithium batteries are an improvement over some other batteries on the mar ...

I hope we will make something like this for the phantom by the next winter
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[RCG]Balthazar
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Can you include Voltage and / or Temp in the remaining flight time calculations?
The Critically low voltage warning seems to be present in most cases along with plenty of remaining battery %
Even in perfect temperatures.
2015-12-29
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GB44
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Nice Post Tim.

I appreciate the effort that you have put into this.  It will be very informative for everyone.

Thanks again.

2015-12-29
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GB44
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Tim,

I also believe there is some scientific break through with Graphene batteries.  I believe Samsung were talking to some scientists in the UK to put the technology into their new phones.  The batteries, I believe are  nano thickness and if providing multiple layers will provide long battery life.

Would be awesome to get extended flight times, but this is all probably one or two more  years away.  If they come sooner that will be great.
2015-12-29
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P3T3
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Hopefully any upgraded batteries will be compatible with the inspire and not proprietary to a new replacement model...
2015-12-29
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panox
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Please explain this statement of the FAQ:

http://www.dji.com/support/product/inspire-1

1. Why do I need to turn on the Inspire 1 to charge the battery even when the battery is 95% full?
This will avoid overcharging the battery as unnecessary charging shortens the life of the battery in the long run.


-- How can the battery be charged while connected to the Inspire 1? I always charge the battery with the charger.

-- Why do I have to turn the Inspire on?

-- The first time I hear that the battery can be overcharged! Is  it true?
2015-12-29
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rodger
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2015-12-28 22:04
Thank you!  There always will be some people underestimate the value of technology

Sad but, true my friend.
2015-12-29
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MJones
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With regard to properly discharging the intelligent battery, could DJI please recommend a method to use that does not involve using the aircraft?  Better yet, if DJI sold a small unit to discharge the battery outside the aircraft, I would probably purchase one.  Still BETTER YET, since the battery already has the intelligence and circuitry to discharge itself to 65%, could DJI modify this so the intelligent battery could perform its own recalibration discharge to below 5%?

Regards,
Mike
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Sir Shepherd
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@ Tim - I loved the article and I appreciate the time and effort in putting this together! Was well worth the read.
2015-12-29
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mike.wildlight
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2015-12-29 12:59
Hah, yeach there was some minor mistakes, and they are fixed now! Thank you for feedback!

Hey Tim,
Just wondering if you had any response to the questions in this post?
Post #11
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DJI-Tim
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[RCG]Balthazar Posted at 2015-12-30 00:10
Can you include Voltage and / or Temp in the remaining flight time calculations?
The Critically low  ...

There is some more power left at the critical power level, but:
1. AC needs it to land
2. it protects your battery cells
3. it is's better to have some leftover then get the power cut and crash
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

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GB44 Posted at 2015-12-30 02:22
Tim,

I also believe there is some scientific break through with Graphene batteries.  I believe Sams ...

Thanks GB44
I hope so! then we will be able to fly more then hour with one battery.
However the it depends on the batteries discharge ability. like phone li-on battery 1500 mah weights around 20g  but lipo of the same capacity is few times heavier
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DJI-Tim
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MJones Posted at 2015-12-30 05:54
With regard to properly discharging the intelligent battery, could DJI please recommend a method to  ...

There is no any method to discharge  your battery without aircraft.  
actually there is one indirect method. You can set Auto-discharge in a Battery settings...
but you still will need an aircraft first
2015-12-29
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

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Sir Shepherd Posted at 2015-12-30 07:12
@ Tim - I loved the article and I appreciate the time and effort in putting this together! Was well  ...

Thank you, Shepherd!
2015-12-29
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James Falcon
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Flight distance : 388396 ft
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My batteries are good. Im a Mac user and charge my batteries on the charging hub made by DJI to charge them. My batteries, I1, and remotes all have current firmware.

EXCEPT THE HUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2015-12-29
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DJI-Tim
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mike.wildlight Posted at 2015-12-29 05:54
Cheers Tim, very nice work indeed, really apreciate you taking the time to make these posts.

Just a ...

Mike! Thanks for your feedback!
"Fully charged" aspect was not mentioned , because every other article, thread and video has it. This part already became obvious.
There is no preferred discharge method, they are pretty much  the same
We have the compilation of the threads, where you can find some useful articles and videos
http://forum.dji.com/thread-35181-1-1.html
2015-12-29
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DJI-Tim
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panox Posted at 2015-12-30 03:01
Please explain this statement of the FAQ:

http://www.dji.com/support/product/inspire-1

OOps,  my  brain, is absolutely unable to understand this... I've already reported about the mistake, it will be fixed.
Thanks for bringing it to me!
2015-12-29
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RichJ53
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Hey Tim,

All in all this is nicely done and good information. Some of us love technology and understand that it does not always work as it was intended. As you are aware, Paul , I and others have a thread going showing some of the battery issues that have been popping up from time to time.

I have three questions,

1). Can your R&D team give the user the option to turn off the discharge feature? If no, why not?

2). New battery technology is coming soon that will improve our flight times and total weight. Why does DJI lock out third party battery offerings? It would be nice to open up the firmware to allow more competition into the mix.

3). Can DJI make the remote and Inspire 1 more user friendly, Let the users repair or replace easy parts, batteries, antennas, motors, modules  etc. Customers like to have choices and if DJI continues to lock out everything about their products, I am afraid that your customers will find other companies  that will. Sony tried to do this with the Betamax ...



thanks

Rich
2015-12-29
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Live Fast Fly H
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So I have 6 batterys and 1 of them is tb47 the rest are tb48. How am I suppose to travel to central America for work next month with all my batterys? I NEED MY BATTERYS LOL
2015-12-30
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n5sli
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2015-12-30 10:21
There is no any method to discharge  your battery without aircraft.  
actually there is one indire ...

Has DJI considered an external charging system that would condition the battery for optimal operation? The 2-way radio industry has done this with their higher end radios. The technology is called Impres. Impres supports several different radio brands. here is a little information on it. https://www.motorolasolutions.co ... files/impres_wp.pdf
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n5sli
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2015-12-30 10:21
There is no any method to discharge  your battery without aircraft.  
actually there is one indire ...

Has DJI considered an external charging system that would condition the battery for optimal operation? The 2-way radio industry has done this with their higher end radios. The technology is called Impres. Impres supports several different radio brands. here is a little information on it. https://www.motorolasolutions.co ... files/impres_wp.pdf
2015-12-30
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