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Best state to leave batteries in?
425 15 2017-3-8
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kugaman1
lvl.2
Flight distance : 3690 ft
United Kingdom
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Morning all.

Im only getting to fly my P4 drone once a month or so at the moment.

Question is, whats the best state to leave the batteries in to ensure they give great performance for as long as possible?

Should I run them down to a low level and leave them alone or should I charge them up to full and keep them topped up?

Ive tried searching for advice but not much luck!
2017-3-8
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Helimage
lvl.4
Flight distance : 144104 ft
Finland
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About 50% charge if the battery remains idle for more than a day or two. It's not good for the battery to be  stored for a longer period of time at full charge.
2017-3-8
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Nigel_
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Flight distance : 388542 ft
United Kingdom
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Don't leave them either empty or full, 50% is good, if you leave them at more than that then they will self-discharge down to 50% anyway after a while.  Also keep them somewhere cool, but not frozen.

Always give them a full charge after you take them out of storage, never fly with them before you have.
2017-3-8
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First
lvl.2
Flight distance : 484804 ft
Sweden
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-3-8 01:23
Don't leave them either empty or full, 50% is good, if you leave them at more than that then they will self-discharge down to 50% anyway after a while.  Also keep them somewhere cool, but not frozen.

Always give them a full charge after you take them out of storage, never fly with them before you have.

I wouldn't say cool. They should be stored at around 20 degrees C. Cool might mean below 10 C, which is not recommended at all.

I always charge mine about 30 minutes after flight. As soon as I see the third lightbar I disconnect and let the auto-discharge do the rest, if necessary.
2017-3-8
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kugaman1
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Flight distance : 3690 ft
United Kingdom
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Ok, sounds good, I will top them up to 3 lights and leave there!
Cheers all!
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Nigel_
Captain
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First Posted at 2017-3-8 01:55
I wouldn't say cool. They should be stored at around 20 degrees C. Cool might mean below 10 C, which is not recommended at all.

I always charge mine about 30 minutes after flight. As soon as I see the third lightbar I disconnect and let the auto-discharge do the rest, if necessary.

By cool, I mean somewhere between 2 and 20 degrees C.

For use they should be at around 20 C, and if you take them out of 5 C storage then you need to give them time to warm up before use.  

For long term storage I think you get a longer life if you are closer to 2 than to 20, I'm not sure where the recommendation for 20 C storage comes from?
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Mark The Droner
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United States
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-3-8 02:28
By cool, I mean somewhere between 2 and 20 degrees C.

For use they should be at around 20 C, and if you take them out of 5 C storage then you need to give them time to warm up before use.  

According to DJI, the ideal battery storage temperature is 22C-28C.

https://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/ ... y_Guidelines_en.pdf

But yes, by all means, we want to fly with a nice warm battery.  Starting at something less than 20 C is out of the question IMO.  At least 20 C.  I personally like to start around 25 C minimum.  A LiPo is happiest and most efficient when it's operating at around 35 C.  
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Matt-and-Riley
First Officer
Flight distance : 324356 ft
United Kingdom
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Personally I've decided to trust to the DJI smart batteries. I never leave them run down, recharge after a flight, then let the battery manage it's own storage. Set the discharge time to 3 days so if the weather stops me for a few weeks they'll sort themselves out.

I'm not sure if trying to manage your own charge level is a good idea, could be wrong. But isn't partially charging a lipo not a good idea? Cells need to be balanced with full charge? Then discharge to storage level which the battery will do itself.
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Nigel_
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Matt-and-Riley Posted at 2017-3-8 04:07
Personally I've decided to trust to the DJI smart batteries. I never leave them run down, recharge after a flight, then let the battery manage it's own storage. Set the discharge time to 3 days so if the weather stops me for a few weeks they'll sort themselves out.

I'm not sure if trying to manage your own charge level is a good idea, could be wrong. But isn't partially charging a lipo not a good idea? Cells need to be balanced with full charge? Then discharge to storage level which the battery will do itself.


I've never had any issue flying on a partly charged battery, if I use the car charger then they often end up part charged, but it is important that when you take them out of storage you charge them to full before you fly with them.

If you fully charge them at the end of a weekend and then store them with a 3 day self discharge then they will spend nearly half their life at full charge.  This will reduce their capacity more than just charging to between 50% and 75% at the end of a weekend.  At a guess you will loose maybe an extra 1 minute flight time over a year, not really noticeable and not a problem but also not desirable.

Not sure about the balance with a 50% charge, but I would always charge them to full before use anyway.
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Nigel_
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-3-8 03:30
According to DJI, the ideal battery storage temperature is 22C-28C.

https://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/phantom_4/en/Phantom_4_Intelligent_Flight_Battery_Safety_Guidelines_en.pdf

Yes, it does say that, never going to happen in my house, it would need to be stored in a specially heated box!

It is not what is normally recommended for lithium batteries, although it does avoid problems with condensation when you take them out of the cold and into warm air.

That document also says that we can't transport them at more than 50% charge, presumably we have to top them up to full at the take off site!  I think the document may be trying to avoid liability for issues more than it is trying to get us the best performance/lifespan.
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WilliamM
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United States
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Matt-and-Riley Posted at 2017-3-8 04:07
Personally I've decided to trust to the DJI smart batteries. I never leave them run down, recharge after a flight, then let the battery manage it's own storage. Set the discharge time to 3 days so if the weather stops me for a few weeks they'll sort themselves out.

I'm not sure if trying to manage your own charge level is a good idea, could be wrong. But isn't partially charging a lipo not a good idea? Cells need to be balanced with full charge? Then discharge to storage level which the battery will do itself.

If your goal is have your batteries ready at a moments notice at the risk of shorten your battery's life, then your statement is correct. But I think most of us want to preserve our batteries life and avoiding charging a battery to full  unnecessarily is the prudent thing. Makes no sense to fully charge the battery just to have the auto discharge feature bring it right back down to 65%. The charger does a good job of keeping the cells balance during the charging cycle, so the 50% mark is best of storage. Then when your planning to fly within the next 24 hours, you can fully charge them the rest of the way and all cells will be perfectly balanced for flight.
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WilliamM
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-3-8 05:35
Yes, it does say that, never going to happen in my house, it would need to be stored in a specially heated box!

It is not what is normally recommended for lithium batteries, although it does avoid problems with condensation when you take them out of the cold and into warm air.

I read that last part too. I took it as meaning long range transport, like in a plane or for a long drive on vacation or if moving. I know it doesn't put it that way, just the way I took it's meaning.
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Matt-and-Riley
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-3-8 05:31
I've never had any issue flying on a partly charged battery, if I use the car charger then they often end up part charged, but it is important that when you take them out of storage you charge them to full before you fly with them.

If you fully charge them at the end of a weekend and then store them with a 3 day self discharge then they will spend nearly half their life at full charge.  This will reduce their capacity more than just charging to between 50% and 75% at the end of a weekend.  At a guess you will loose maybe an extra 1 minute flight time over a year, not really noticeable and not a problem but also not desirable.

Good point, mine do spend a lot of their time fully charged. I like to be ready when that rare break in the clouds happens I can get a quick flight in, if I wait for a charge it will start raining just as it finishes. Maybe worth the hit in performance.

In fact right now, been windy and drizzly all day, but now it's calm and dry. No time to charge, 2 ready to go already.

All I need is a flashing light on my car and I'll be a fast response drone pilot.
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Nigel_
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Matt-and-Riley Posted at 2017-3-8 09:18
Good point, mine do spend a lot of their time fully charged. I like to be ready when that rare break in the clouds happens I can get a quick flight in, if I wait for a charge it will start raining just as it finishes. Maybe worth the hit in performance.

In fact right now, been windy and drizzly all day, but now it's calm and dry. No time to charge, 2 ready to go already.

"All I need is..."  plus a car charger to top the batteries up to full on your way there
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Matt-and-Riley
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-3-8 09:24
"All I need is..."  plus a car charger to top the batteries up to full on your way there

4 minute response time targets to meet, not much time to top up the charge, maybe a defibrillator would work, charging - clear - shock! Fully charged

But yes, I do need to get a car charger, but keep looking at getting an extra leisure battery and an 240v inverter. I've already killed my car battery doing to many very short trips (so the garage told me).
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Sloan Fischer
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United States
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I doubt it matters. Just dont leave it dead
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