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Standard Battery Issue

Discussion in 'Phantom 3 Help' started by Sigiwig44, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. Sigiwig44

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    Hey guys! Just a couple things before I get started: first, I also posted this over on the DJI forum. I decided to post it over here as well because I don't seem to get a whole lot of replies over there, and I thought it's never bad to get a second opinion. Also, I actually have a phantom 2, but all of my issues should also apply to the phantom 3, I just thought there is probably minimum traffic on the P2 forums these days. Alright, here goes!

    I haven't flown my phantom in a good solid 2 months, it's just sort of sat in its case. Anyhow, I needed to use it for something tonight, so I pulled it out. I started it, took it off as I nomally would, and the flight seemed to be fine. However, after about 30 seconds, the red lights started flashing rapidly on the drone, and I was like; "LOW BATTERY?!?! That battery said that it was full 30 seconds ago!" So I just assumed that it was the auto discharge feature built into the batteries, so I charged up the battery and tried again, and the same thing happened. I tried a different battery, and the same thing happened, then I tried a third, and that one seemed to be good, but after about 5 minutes of flying it did the same thing. I tried using my second charger, only to get the same results. I should also note that a couple hours after this flight, the batteries show that they have almost a full charge, even though I'd discharged them to what the had said was "16%" before, so it seems more that it thinks that the battery is draining faster than it actually is.

    I've talked to DJI service reps, and done a ton of research. I've tried a few things to attempt to fix the batteries. Here is what I've tried:

    -Depleting batteries to less than 8% then charging them all the way up to 100%.
    -Doing an advanced IMU cali.
    -I've tried batteries on both chargers, and seen no pattern there.

    I have 2 batteries that work well, and 4 that are terrible. It's extremely frustrating seeing that I can't seem to solve the issue. Is it possible that ALL FOUR batteries just quit? That's almost $500 in losses, suuuuuper frustrating. Also, do you guys think that the DJI service people could maybe repair the batteries somehow? Or maybe even me? The guys at DJI told me to reinstall the battery firmware. They said I could find a download and instructions online, but I don't think it's something that's possible. Is this something you guys have heard of?

    So in summary, I've tried everything that I can find to try online. I've called the DJI service reps, and they can't really seem to shine any light onto the situation. It seems to be more of a problem with the batteries than the craft also. So here's what I need you guys to tell me:

    -Should I try sending it in to DJI? If so, what are your experiences with the wait times there?
    -Have you ever heard of reinstalling the battery firmware? If this is possible could you please tell me how to do it?
    -Do you think that four of my six batteries are just simply dead?

    Thank you for all the help.
     
  2. msinger

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    Please upload your flight logs here so we can check them out.
     
  3. CactusJackSlade

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    I had terrible luck with the P2 batteries... and I've been using LiPo's for over 10 years. I am hoping the P3's are better... so far so good for me, but I take extra precautions like:

    1) I set the auto discharge to 3 or 5 days max. the default 10 days is too long in my opinion.
    2) If available after a flight I put the battery in a cool place until I can recharge it.
    3) When I store batteries for longer than a week or so I keep them at 50% and in a cool place.
    4) I take them from my cool place after a discharge and charge them when cool.

    I keep referring to "cool"..... meaning my refrigerator or if remote situation my igloo ice chest. I'm not sure I recommend my home refrigerator method 100% as I have read that normal fridge temps (37 to 40 degrees) can cause condensation within the battery pack.... but so far so good for me. I have considered a $99 wine cooler fridge from Home Depot to store my batteries in.... at about 50 degrees.

    If you have let your batteries in full charge for more than a month and they did not discharge they could already be toast.

    My general perception is that the P2 batteries were total crap... the P3's seem to be better... so far.

    This is all from experience, I have no absolute solid data to back up my methods :rolleyes:
     
  4. Sigiwig44

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    I'm sorry, since I have a P2, it doesn't automatically save them within the app, and, yes, I'm one of those terrible people who doesn't keep one... I've just never seen a reason to, maybe after this mishap I will.


    Where do you find the auto discharge settings? I bought the craft off of eBay and maybe the guy who owned it before me turned auto discharge off... That would be horrible. I'm wondering otherwise why my batteries wouldn't have discharges?

    Yep. Most of them (I can't remember which ones) were fully charged for over two months... I'm still wondering why they wouldn't have discharged though...
     
  5. CactusJackSlade

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    On the P3's it's on the GO app.... on the P2's I never upgraded (for various reasons) so I do not know about all the details, only know I read it on this forum somewhere, that DJI was aware of the battery storage problem and ONLY the later (newer) batteries had this feature... so long as you upgraded all your firmware versions and had newer batteries it would discharge. This is done with your computer and the DJI assistant software.

    I would go to the PHANTOM 2 forum board and get clarification :)
     
  6. With The Birds

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    Of all the nasty things you can do to a lipo to make it unhealthy storing at 100% charge is top of the list. Resting cell voltage will look ok, it will read 100% when charged also, however the usable caoacity can be drastically reduced and the damage is permanent.

    At best you will have refuced flight time. What often happens though is the increased internal resistence can cause rapid temperature rise under load (puffing and sometimes catastrophic failure) but usually you will get a rapid voltage drop triggering LVC.
     
  7. Sigiwig44

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    Alright I'll head over to the P2 board and see if they actually are supposed to discharge or not...

    Alright, well, at this point, I think that I'm pretty convinced that my batteries are done for. My only question for you is:
    Should I send it in to DJI for repair? Would it be worth it? Is there any hope? Could it possibly be from something other than the batteries?
     
  8. CactusJackSlade

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    Oh, also are the cells "puffed" or spongy feeling? If yes then they are definitely bad.

    They are not reparable - another big DJI negative in my opinion.... DJI and other large manufactures should have a recycle program at least... make the batteries rebuild-able. I took one of my puffed P2 batteries apart just to see if I could install new cells... the way they are put together does not lend for easy replacement... almost impossible. That's too bad as probably everything except the cells themselves could be re-used.
     

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  9. Sigiwig44

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    Yep... They're definitely puffed.... It seems though that some of the batteries that still work properly are puffed too? I wonder why this could be?

    Anyhow, there's probably no use of me sending anything in for repair then, right?
     
  10. CactusJackSlade

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    No... nothing reparable - and they will still "work" puffed.... but they are in a very bad state. Just FYI nearly all my P2 batteries puffed eventually - VERY disappointed in DJI. I have working LiPo's that I've had for over 6 years that still work (reduced capacity) and have not puffed. I think this is a direct correlation to the QUALITY of the batteries.