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How many charge cycles should I expect?
20803 5 2017-4-20
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CXK
lvl.1
Flight distance : 104383 ft
United States
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I have 3 batteries for my P4P and I'm wondering how many charge cycles I should expect out of them? Also, is it bad to charge them when i've only used half or so of the battery?
2017-4-20
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fans5ba4c294
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United States
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No idea on cycles. I'm interested to hear what others respond.  I do similar when charging. I can't see why it would hurt them to charge at half full? Interested to hear what others say about this also. From the little I know, Lipos seem to hate being run too low or drawing too much from them (I'm sure DJI has built in features to avoid this). That really seems to peeve them off. I've puffed a couple in my mini drones and that is no bueno. I try to ginger the Phantom's battery compared to my mini drones. I'd like to keep it around as long as possible, they are a little steep in price, but with the built-in features that they have, they are pretty nice batteries. I'm guessing you already probably do this but numbering them and cycling them well help them out.
2017-4-20
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Aeromirage
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Flight distance : 1778045 ft
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DJI's warranty on batteries is 6 months or 200 charges, whichever comes first.
The most I have done was 97 charges on an inspire battery and it was still in good health. (91%)
To figure the current health level of a battery, charge it to it's capacity and see what the mAh figure is. Divide that by the original capacity and the result is it's health.
Example" If your P4P battery had an original capacity of 5350 mAh and it is currently holding 5100 fully charged, it is at 95.32% health.
I am unsure if 'topping them off' has any ill effects. I do it all the time. Especially if they have sat more than a week or so and have begun to self discharge. If I am unsure, I plug them in before going out flying.
The one thing that I do believe in and practice religiously is to cycle them every 10 charges. Take them down to 8% then fully charge. This not only conditions the cells, but re-calibrates the 'intelligence' within. I have both an Inspire 1 and a P4P+ and enjoy them both.
2017-4-20
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Quamera
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Australia
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Aeromirage Posted at 2017-4-20 18:48
DJI's warranty on batteries is 6 months or 200 charges, whichever comes first.
The most I have done was 97 charges on an inspire battery and it was still in good health. (91%)
To figure the current health level of a battery, charge it to it's capacity and see what the mAh figure is. Divide that by the original capacity and the result is it's health.

The best way to see maximum life/use from your DJI LiPo is to fly it down to around 20 or 30% then charge to 50% for storage after it has cooled. Top up to 100% (takes less than an hour from 50%) just before flying again. DJI's self discharge is a useful backup but if you are using that you are not being kind to your battery.

If you don't expose your battery to high temps (especially when fully charged) or store it discharged or fully charged and keep it in a cool dry dark area you will see more than 400 cycles unless you are unlucky and have one cell with a manufacturing fault that can fail at any time but is more likely very early or very late in its life. The battery will of course gradually loose capacity as it becomes older, no one can avoid that.  

The only reason to deliberately plan to run the battery right down below 15% is if the cells have become unbalanced (and they don't balance with a normal full charge) or if for some reason DJI's "fuel gauge %" needs resetting because it isn't reading accurately. Deep cycling the battery will reduce the actual battery life a little but it may enable you to fully use its available remaining capacity if that capacity was digitally reduced by the software slipping out of calibration.

Older DJI batteries needed recalibration more often than the later P3 and P4 LiPos that have better software, DJI recommended deep cycling every 20 cycles with P2 and early P3 batteries. It shortened their life but the recalibration did allow full utilization of available capacity. DJI do not recommend regular deep cycling anymore.

Some operators that have been flying since the early Phantoms (and before) still stick to the regular deep cycle mantra and are rewarded when they sometimes see a slight increase in available capacity but it is a digital increase due to a "fuel gage" recalibration that will always be available in future and all they are really doing is decreasing the life of their LiPo each time they deep cycle.

If you really want to know more search for batteries on this forum or on PP and you will find enough material to keep reading for hours.
2017-4-20
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Nigel_
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Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
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Good post from Quamera there. One thing to add:

If you have 3 full batteries with you and you are only going to use 2 batteries worth of power, it is better to partially use all three in equal amounts than empty the first 2 and leave the 3rd unused.  You always loose a little capacity each use, but the lower you go the faster the capacity reduces.  It is no problem to use a P4 battery down to 10%, but if you have 3 then you will loose less combined life if you share the use.

If a P4 battery has been unused long enough to self-discharge then always charge it to full shortly before flying, they are not very accurate at measuring the amount of power removed during self-discharge so the %full figure can become significantly inaccurate until reset with a charge to full.


"Also, is it bad to charge them when i've only used half or so of the battery?"
Lipo batteries like to be topped up often, they don't like being either completely empty or completely full, most are happiest when between 50 and 80%, but for a flight battery you should top them up to full shortly before flying to ensure the %full figure is correct.
2017-4-20
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waterboy1973
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United Kingdom
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I'm currently on 152 cycles on a p4 battery and still getting around 20-25 min flight time
2017-9-8
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