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Battery issues
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SimplePanda
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Anyone seen this problem?

I have 4 x TB48 batteries that have been in storage (discharged to around 40%, then stored) for a few months now.

I took them out of storage today to charge them for use this week and two of the batteries utterly refuse to charge. When you plug them in, all that happens is they blink once or twice and then all the lights turn off. If you try to power-on the battery, they stay on for a few seconds, then turn back off again.

Based on a few Google and Forum searches it seems these batteries have died and need to be replaced.

They're out of warranty by probably a few months though, so:

1) Since it's likely DJI caused this with bad firmware (lots of updates indicating discharge issues being corrected)
2) DJI has notoriously poor customer service
3) DJI apparently has recalled some/many batteries lately (is this true?)

How likely am I to get them to do the right thing here?

Has anyone tried to replace / service batteries in Canada? What's turnaround time like? Typical DJI where I'll be flying an Inspire 3 before the get my I1 batteries back?

SP
2016-8-1
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Farnk666
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No mention of any recall I've seen.
DJI considers batteries as consumable items. (as do most other manufacturers of consumer electronics)

Yes they are expensive items and it's annoying if they stop working but I doubt that you will get far with claiming against DJI.
I don't know how you would prove that DJI caused the issue.
You could take it to court but that would probably cost you more than just buying 2 fresh replacements.
2016-8-1
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SimplePanda
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These batteries aren't consumed... they're defective. This isn't an issue of the battery being worn out - two of them are working perfectly and two of them are simply DOA (all have basically identical usage and charge cycles on them).

I'll take it up with my dealer tomorrow and see how it goes - but this forum alone is literally full of posts with people having this or similar issues with defective DJI batteries. If you're not aware of it, fair enough.
2016-8-1
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n2stuff
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-2 13:35
These batteries aren't consumed... they're defective. This isn't an issue of the battery being worn  ...

How  many cycles do you have on them?
2016-8-1
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Farnk666
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-2 13:35
These batteries aren't consumed... they're defective. This isn't an issue of the battery being worn  ...

Panda, I'm not saying that you have worn out your batteries but that DJI considers them to be consumable items.  
2016-8-2
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Rinzler
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-2 01:35
These batteries aren't consumed... they're defective. This isn't an issue of the battery being worn  ...

All batteries are a consumable item. They do not last for ever. Does the manual say 40%? I have never looked but Lipos should always be stored at 60%. Good news thou since they react to you pushing the button you could recover them if you wanted. Otherwise try RMA. But to a point I do agree that DJI should have added a hard disconnect to the batteries to stop this from happening.  
2016-8-2
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SimplePanda
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n2stuff Posted at 2016-8-2 03:16
How  many cycles do you have on them?

Less than 20 cycles on both of the dead ones.

They have a wonderful new behaviour this morning: you plug them in, they flash, and then the top light starts blinking (LED4). The documentation indicates that this is because they believe the temperature to be under 0C.

It's 25C in Toronto today. Absolutely zero possibility that either are "under temperature".
2016-8-2
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markaguille
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Hi Panda,

You could try resetting them. This does involve opening up the battery. http://forum.dji.com/thread-16060-1-1.html
2016-8-2
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DJI-Paladin
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Sorry for your diffuculties. Before a long time storage, it is recommended to keep the battery remain 65% of power. Firmware has nothing to do with your issue. Also,we will do our best to improve our customer service. Please feel free to contact our US tech support (+1 (818) 235 0789 or support.us@dji.com) in the business hours if you need. Normally the turn-around time is about 2 weeks. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
2016-8-3
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SimplePanda
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So DJI support got back to me. Batteries have a 6 month warranty, apparently - not one year. So that's news. Either way, they refuse to do anything.
Also, apparently the cost to repair these is as much as buying a new battery so I was told to just buy new batteries.

Given that this is clearly a firmware issue (the battery refuses to charge because the firmware believes it's less than 0C in my house, which it absolutely is not). This isn't a defective battery, this is defective firmware. If it was a standard LiPO I'd just connect it to a charger and this would have never been an issue - no "intelligent battery" circuit to try to trick into letting me charge a perfectly good LiPo pack with a whopping 15 cycles on it.

So how is it possible that the repair will be as expensive as buying new batteries if I just need the firmware flashed / reset? DJI will charge me $200 CAD just for me to send them the battery and reset it? Insanity.
2016-8-3
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SimplePanda
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markaguille Posted at 2016-8-2 10:01
Hi Panda,

You could try resetting them. This does involve opening up the battery. http://forum.dji. ...

I guess disassembling it and disconnecting the balance cable to try to reset the charging circuit is my last play here. No big deal and given my 6 month warranty is up anyways, so be it.
2016-8-3
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markaguille
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-3 19:30
I guess disassembling it and disconnecting the balance cable to try to reset the charging circuit  ...

Let us know if it works for you.
2016-8-3
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Rinzler
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-3 14:30
I guess disassembling it and disconnecting the balance cable to try to reset the charging circuit  ...

It needs to stay off for a bit fyi.
2016-8-3
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SimplePanda
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Rinzler Posted at 2016-8-3 16:03
It needs to stay off for a bit fyi.

60 minutes apparently?
2016-8-3
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SimplePanda
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Same problem. Left the balance cables disconnected for about 90 minutes. Connected, re-assembled battery. Briefly flashes the low power indicator, then starts flashing LED4 twice (temperature too low to charge).

So DJI's firmware refuses to charge and therefore I basically own two new white plastic bricks. I can strip them down and charge them manually with a lipo charger I"m sure but based on the firmware issues there's no way these are ever going in the air as Inspire 1 batteries again.

Not impressed.
2016-8-3
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Rinzler
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-3 23:27
Same problem. Left the balance cables disconnected for about 90 minutes. Connected, re-assembled bat ...

If you have a multi meter. What is the voltage of each cell reading from the balance lead? Also just so you know if you charge it using a lipo charger you must also balance it. You will need to make a balance lead other wise you can push the chells out of wack. I would only charge to around 30% then let it charge the rest of the way off the DJI charger. If you go 100% it messes that onboard controller up. Once it is fully charged by the DJI controller you must fully discharge it back to 1%. That controller keeps track of what it thinks is 1-100% so you might be flying and then all of sudden go from 30% to 0%. I have now recovered 7 lipos this way that are 100% bricked with no response.
2016-8-4
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SimplePanda
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Rinzler Posted at 2016-8-4 10:33
If you have a multi meter. What is the voltage of each cell reading from the balance lead? Also jus ...

Yeah that was my next step. I'll have to find/make an adapter to get my Lipo balance connector connected (all my other batteries are JST) but i should be able to get this turkey charged up to some level.
2016-8-4
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Rinzler
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-4 12:17
Yeah that was my next step. I'll have to find/make an adapter to get my Lipo balance connector con ...

What I did was take a spent normal 6s and cut the balance lead off. Then used an exacto knife to back all the pins out of the harness minus that yellow and red lead. Use the multi meter to figure what one is ground and then wire them in order. you know 3.2/6.4/9.6 volts etc until all are hooked up. Isolate them with electrical tape and then solder a normal lead to the positive and negative on the logic board. charge to around 10-30%.  You can not fully charge the lipo because you will max out around 4.25-4.28 and for some reason DJI decided to go against all standards and charge each cell to 4.3 volts. Most chargers will mark that as a 7s lipo. I normally do this for people on my Hyperion 720i DUO since it is hooked to a PC and I can see the health of the pack in real time. Like a cell is sagging etc.. It will give me a idea of the health of the pack vs DJI setup. I have come to find out after doing some looking on that board that it never fully stops drawing on the pack. Hence why they have so many threads about dead TB47's and TB48's showing up. The pack should of had a hard disconnect for long term storage. Simply breaking the ground on the balance lead would of been all it took. But that would break the sleek look of the lipo it self. I guess looks over function here won. haha
2016-8-4
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SimplePanda
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Rinzler Posted at 2016-8-4 12:48
What I did was take a spent normal 6s and cut the balance lead off. Then used an exacto knife to ba ...

Ugh. I took an MM to the pack just now. You're dead on, the logic board is STILL drawing on the pack despite the pack being apparently so dead that the logic board it refuses to charge it with the standard DJI charger. Makes me even more annoyed DJI is refusing warranty service - the Inspire batteries are just poorly designed.
The rate these things would become unchargeable (according to the logic board) seems to jive with all the threads and websites describing them as such (dead, unchargeable).

Sigh. Remember when we used to just put a quality Lipo on a copter with a Deans or an XT60 and, you know, things worked like you expected and you could manage pack health with good habits and data? That was just awful. So glad DJI made these batteries "intelligent"...

2016-8-4
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Rinzler
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-4 14:08
Ugh. I took an MM to the pack just now. You're dead on, the logic board is STILL drawing on the pac ...

It is my biggest issue these lipos. what was the voltage? I have actually recovered a lipo that had a total voltage count of 1.2 volts combined from all the cells. I still fly it to this day with around 40 flights on it now and it gets around 13-18 mins depending on what I am doing. Avg is around 15 thou
2016-8-4
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SimplePanda
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I'm in the process of recovering both lipos. I'm just direct charging them (jumped the DJI charger negative pole to the battery negative pole with a temporary patch wire). I'm testing with the MM every few minutes on the pack positive and negative poles until it gets to around 22V. Then closing them up and fully charging them in the standard fashion (the first one I had to turn the battery on to get the charging started). Seems to be working but this is just an idiotic thing to have to do when a battery claims to have "intelligent" circuitry. I've never had such a hassle with a Lipo pack until DJI decided that batteries needed to be more complex than just batteries.

Incidentally, by pure coincidence I was flying the Inspire yesterday when someone came over to talk to me. I kid you not, they said they had an Inspire 1 as well and they said that they took their Inspire out of storage after the winter and two of their batteries completely refused to charge. Symptoms sounds like the exact same problem I'm having.

Oh, @Rinzler, One pack was at 8.6V. The other 12.2V. Unbelievably bad design on this charging circuit, DJI. An unmanaged, standard lipo would NEVER drain itself to death this way.

@DJI-Paladin you can say "firmware has nothing to do with your issue" and you may very well be correct - the very design of these batteries may just be completely faulty and no firmware updates will ever really fix them. So that's something, I guess. Seems the only way to really store a DJI Inspiire "intelligent" battery is to take it out of storage every couple of months and cycle it to keep the charging circuit from killing it. Not cool.

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2016-8-6
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-6 15:10
I'm in the process of recovering both lipos. I'm just direct charging them (jumped the DJI charger n ...

Maybe you can help me.  I have 4 47s and 3 48s that i just took out of storage of 6 months.  no lights and will not charge.  do you know how to fix.
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2016-8-7
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SimplePanda
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AllanVB Posted at 2016-8-7 17:09
Maybe you can help me.  I have 4 47s and 3 48s that i just took out of storage of 6 months.  no li ...

Do you have access to a multimeter?
2016-8-7
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Rinzler
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-6 18:10
I'm in the process of recovering both lipos. I'm just direct charging them (jumped the DJI charger n ...

Yeah man. I am just going to recommend people to start unplugging that balance lead if stored for longer then 30 days. Don't forget to watch your balance on the cells.
2016-8-8
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Rinzler
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AllanVB Posted at 2016-8-7 17:09
Maybe you can help me.  I have 4 47s and 3 48s that i just took out of storage of 6 months.  no li ...

AllanVB, you will need a multi meter and a lipo charger as well. Also a basic understanding of what you are doing when charging lipos. Side question what does the VB stand for? I see VB and think Virginia Beach lol.
2016-8-8
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SimplePanda
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Rinzler Posted at 2016-8-8 09:39
AllanVB, you will need a multi meter and a lipo charger as well. Also a basic understanding of wha ...

You can get away with not using a standard lipo charger if you're being lazy and want to take the time to check the charging pack with your MM every few minutes. I just jumped the negative charger input to the battery negative pole and charged it with the DJI charger until it hit 22V, then re-assembled it and charged it the rest of the way using the charging circuit.

But you have to willing / able to disassemble the battery, peel back the coverings, attach a jump cable, test it, etc. Not a hard job by any means but if one's not entirely sure what a multimeter is...

Incidentally both batteries seem fine now. A couple of cycles. Both get about 18 minutes of hover, so about what I'd expect. Not bad for a pair of $250 (CAD) batteries that DJI support told me were garbage and I should just replace...


2016-8-8
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Rinzler
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 10:34
You can get away with not using a standard lipo charger if you're being lazy and want to take the t ...

Only reason I suggest the lipo charger is so I can check for damage to the cells. High IR etc.. My next step is finding a close match to cells so I can replace them cheaply when they become damaged or wore out. They seem to use a off sized set thou
2016-8-8
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 07:34
You can get away with not using a standard lipo charger if you're being lazy and want to take the t ...

Thanks for your reply... I do not have a lipo charger.  do have a MM.
2016-8-8
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 07:34
You can get away with not using a standard lipo charger if you're being lazy and want to take the t ...

I have a basic understanding -  I will peel back the top and look.
2016-8-8
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SimplePanda
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AllanVB Posted at 2016-8-8 11:50
I have a basic understanding -  I will peel back the top and look.

Coo.

If your batteries are just dead (the button on the top doesn't do anything) you can try just disconnecting the balance cable (the 7 cable ZH connector inside the battery that connects the charging controller to the lipo pack itself). If it doesn't work to just disconnect it for a few moments and reconnect, peel back the bottom left/right corners of the paper/sticker on the lipo pack (assuming the DJI charge connector is on your right) and use your multimeter to test the voltage of the pack itself.

The charging controller and firmware will consider the pack depleted (less than 12.5% charged, so enough to force a landing of a flying copter) if you can see only see about ~22-23v in the pack (combined all 6 cells).

Remember if you do end up patching the battery to manually charge it that you want to make sure the balance cable is connected first and you want to make sure you keep an eye on it (no cut off when you manually charge this way so you can explode the pack if you leave it alone - this is why I only charged mine to 22-23v and then re-assembled it to manually charge the rest of the way).
Once you get them back to life you'll want to fully charge them, put them in a copter, low hover each pack to 10% or so, and then fully charge them again to ensure the battery controller is happy with the pack conditioning.


If you're being thorough you should do as Rinzler does and make a balance cable to properly balance the pack so the cells stay aligned but if you lack a lipo charger this isn't an option obviously. This is why I only charged my to 22/23v - no cell will get overcharged this way and then I turned it over the DJI charging circuit to balance the battery on the full charge/discharge/recharge pass.


Also, as Rinzler points out, you also can't check for cell IR without a proper Lipo charger but if you didn't have many cycles on your pack you can likely hope the pack is OK and be safe once you cycle it a few times in a low hover.

Good luck!



2016-8-8
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 10:48
Coo.

If your batteries are just dead (the button on the top doesn't do anything) you can try just  ...

Thanks
working on 1st battery.  Did as you say.  Now charging with balance connected and getting one green.  will let you know how it works.
Thanks
2016-8-8
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 10:48
Coo.

If your batteries are just dead (the button on the top doesn't do anything) you can try just  ...

what does a flashing green indicate
2016-8-8
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SimplePanda
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AllanVB Posted at 2016-8-8 15:16
what does a flashing green indicate

Is it the bottom LED flashing (like the one farthest from the power connector or closest)?

If it's the bottom LED (farthest LED from the power connector) that is flashing (and the red button light is on solid), it means the battery is charging but is currently at a 12.5% charge or lower. Just let it continue and it'll charge up as usual, entering the standard LED sequence of "1->2" and then "1->2->3", etc as it charges.

If the light that's flashing is CLOSEST to the power connector (and that's it) it either means the battery thinks it's too hot or too cold where you are to charge. It probably isn't - this is just what DJI's crappy firmware does when it means to say "battery is too dead to charge" in my experience. If that's the case, you need to manually charge the battery first.
2016-8-8
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 12:43
Is it the bottom LED flashing (like the one farthest from the power connector or closest)?

If it's ...

manually, meaning without balance connected?
2016-8-8
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SimplePanda
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AllanVB Posted at 2016-8-9 07:00
manually, meaning without balance connected?

Yes, disconnect the balance cable from the DJI charging circuit.

You can then either make your own balance cable and charge the Lipo pack using a standard Lipo charger, or you can use the DJI charger without balancing.

If you use the DJI charger, bridge the DJI charger input negative pole to the battery negative pole (see my photo above), then connect the charger. You can then use your multimeter to watch the battery voltage on the battery +/- poles. Once the battery hits around 22V, disconnect the charger and your negative->negative bridge, re-connect the charging controller via the balance cable, and reconnect the DJI charger.

It should charge up in the standard way after that without issue. Once it does, be sure to discharge it with a low hover and then recharge it fully again to ensure the battery is conditioned.
2016-8-8
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Rinzler
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We should at some point really make this into a tutorial.
2016-8-8
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 17:36
Yes, disconnect the balance cable from the DJI charging circuit.

You can then either make your own ...

Thank you for your help.  I will let you know how many batteries I recover.
2016-8-9
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Rinzler
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AllanVB Posted at 2016-8-9 11:02
Thank you for your help.  I will let you know how many batteries I recover.

Just remember to go easy on those packs until you feel they are acting as they should. Don't want a falling Inspire :p
2016-8-9
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AllanVB
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Rinzler Posted at 2016-8-9 09:53
Just remember to go easy on those packs until you feel they are acting as they should. Don't want  ...

Thanks... you are Correct!  That would be the last thing I want!
2016-8-10
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AllanVB
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SimplePanda Posted at 2016-8-8 17:36
Yes, disconnect the balance cable from the DJI charging circuit.

You can then either make your own ...

Well,  Another problem!  I have successfully charged 2 batteries.  But when I turn on, they beep and turn off.  I have all green on top.  I placed in inspire 1 and they just turned off.  Now what?
2016-8-13
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