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100% Ready 24/7

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by BigAl07, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I'm new to Phantoms.. so new I don't even have my P3P yet (it's in the mail LOL). Hopefully I'll have it in hand Tuesday/Wed of next week.

    I work heavily with SAR here locally (EMS and LE both) and it's a constant challenge to keep things ready 24/7. Basically I have to keep very strict records of my battery cycles and make sure I only have 1 battery at 100% mission ready and after a couple of days I discharge that one and get another one (sometimes two) fully charged and mission ready. Worse case if I go to fly with only one or two batteries full but have a couple of others charging on the way and while I'm flying.

    What I'm wondering is this.... is anyone able to keep your aircraft mission ready 24/7? How do the batteries "self maintain" themselves when stored at full capacity? This will be my first aircraft with "Smart Batteries" so it's a whole new ballgame for me.

    With the aircraft I'm currently flying (non-DJI) I have to manually discharge the flight batteries fairly soon if I'm not flying the next day or two. With (nine) batteries I rotate them around the best I can but I'm hoping with Smart Batteries this will be a little bit easier.

    Also I'm seriously thinking about getting the Phantom 3 - 3 Port Battery + Remote Charger

    Am I being delusional or is this realistic?

    Allen
     
  2. msinger

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    By default, the batteries are programmed to start discharging to a safe storage level after 10 days. That discharge process takes about 2 days to complete. In the DJI GO app, you can decrease that time period. I have mine set to 2 days. Since this setting is stored on the battery, you'll need to insert each battery into your Phantom to set this setting.

    If you're flying each battery every day, then this should be a piece of cake. Just keep your batteries fully charged at all times.
     
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  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    That's excellent information. Thank you.

    Is there a visual battery level indication on each battery or would it again need to be plugged into the aircraft to get that information?
     
  4. msinger

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    If you press the button on the battery, that'll light up the indicator lights to show you how full it is. There is a chart in the Phantom manual that explains the percentage for each light that's illuminated. When pressing that button, it resets the count for the days I referred to above.
     
  5. Prometric

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    Yes each battery has 4 LEDs . Pres and release the power button and the lights will give you an indication of its current level.
     
  6. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Thank you! That's very useful info.
     
  7. Youngbill

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    Don't forget....if you press the button to check the charge state of the battery, it "resets" the self discharge time frame. ie, if you have your battery set to self discharge after 4 days and you press the button anytime before the 4th day, the 4 day cycle starts over.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
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  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Yea it sure does. So it would start the 4 day timer all over again.... That could pose a confusion situation LOL.
     
  9. Vern Shurtz

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    BigAI07, I am also getting the P3P next week and interested in volunteering my services for SAR. I am in central NC. Who would I need to contact to possibly start the process?

    Thanks
    Vern
     
  10. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Way to go Vern. First you'll want to get to know your aircraft (and related software) inside and out. Let's assume you're already there...

    Next you'll need to get to know the SAR (EMS, Sheriffs office etc is a good place to start) groups local to you. I'm fortunate that I had an existing relationship across the board here so that was easy. Then you'll need to get qualified to do SAR missions and that might be the caveat.... I've got some "legal" stuff I can send you. Send me a PM with your contact information and I'll be more than happy to send you some details. Just be warned that it's now required for the SAR to operate under a COA (emergency COA is possible) and that opens a whole can of worms for us.

    Also I have a friend who is HEAVY into SAR in Central NC... I might be able to get you in touch with him and he can help you a lot.

    I want to stress one very important concept... never EVER under any circumstances do you want to "Self Dispatch" or just show up and start flying. Any flying must be coordinated with the IC on site or you could be potentially putting lives in danger. When/if you get to fly SAR you'll have someone assigned to you by the IC (maybe more than one) to work as a spotter and a radio comm person. This way you've got extra eyes and open ears so you're part of the team and don't become part of the problem.

    Allen
     
  11. Vern Shurtz

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    PM'd you. Thanks you.
     
  12. JohnK

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    \\

    Sorry ... what? Merely checking the battery status restarts the discharge process? Can you point out the source for that in the documentation? I'm not disputing it (I don't have the info) but it does seem utterly illogical to me. You must have gotten that info from somewhere. Can you share the source?
     
    #12 JohnK, Sep 3, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  13. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Your batteries won't last very long if you keep them fully charged all the time. If you need them topped up and ready, keep them at 70 to 80%. Ideally, you could get a hold of an in car charger where you can get the first battery up to close to 100% in transit and then repeat as needed for additional batteries on site.

    A multi-charger and a deep-cycle battery may be in your future as well.
     
  14. III% Streve

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    I have 3 batteries, and two chargers. I fly all three every day, at least once. This keeps me pretty much with at least 2 fully charged batteries 100% of the time. The problem is that these batteries are limited to 100 charging cycles. So I will theoretically go through 9 batteries a year at this pace.
     
  15. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    You’ve got email waiting for you sir. Good luck and let me know if I can help.

    I agree that doesn’t sound logical but THAT also wouldn’t surprise me either lol.
    Also if it resets the “discharge process” would it also affect the Cycle Count Limit mentioned below?


    I completely agree. I understand that after just a week (maybe longer if temps are kept cooler) the battery at a fully charged state will start to lose performance etc. This is why I only have 1 or 2 fully charged and exactly why I cycle them around every few days. This way I am always mission ready w/o causing performance issues long-term.

    When I fully charge the “Mission” battery I put a piece of tape on it showing the date and time it was fully charged and I set a reminder on my phone for 6-7 days later to alert me that I need to discharge that battery and bring another one to full charge. I keep my batteries in the 30% - 50% charge status between charges usually.

    I have an in-car power inverter that I take with me on jobsites and missions so that I can keep charging when needed. Also when at a SAR mission there is always power available from the CC so charging there isn’t a problem other than lost daylight hours waiting.



    100 charge cycles? That’s on the low side for a well maintained battery. Of course I’m pulling from my years flying airplanes where the motor(s) at max performance isn’t nearly as critical as it is with rotor-craft. I’ve got at least half dozen batteries with double that amount of charge cycles and still going strong. Not AS strong as my newer packs but still pulling my “planks” through the maneuvers.

    I guess I need to keep putting some $$ back to replace batteries on this aircraft more often than I’m used to if the Smart Battery has a 100 cycle limit.


    Thank to all of the replies above. That helps a lot.

    Allen
     
  16. JohnK

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    That's certainly true!! :)
     
  17. timmer

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    A little more information on the batteries:

     
  18. RobBarron

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    Only 100 cycles on a P3 intelligent battery? Where di you read that? You should get a lot more than that, especially at the price these cost!
     
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  19. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Many of the P2 batteries start to suffer voltage sags around 40 - 50 cycles. P3 batteries are different and hopefully a lot better but the track record isn't much to go by.
     
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  20. Jeff48920

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    DJI warranties the Phantom 3P and 3A battery for 6 months or 200 cycles whichever occurs 1st. This indicates to me that they expect the battery to last AT LEAST 200 cycles if properly maintained.

    Category Main Components Warranty Period
    RTF

    Phantom 3 Professional/Advanced
    Battery 6 Months or 200 Times (Priority on minimal value)