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Does a 5000mah lipo double flight time?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by marcus_canada, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. marcus_canada

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    The vendors who go on about doubling flight times by hanging more or bigger batteries off a Phantom bug me. On a great day I can get 11 minutes from a Phantom (with stock props) so long as it has no gopro hanging off it. But what about if I hung a 5000mah on the same setup?

    Here's the result.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY1RrXq4qeo
     
  2. ElGuano

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    With a 5400mah with nothing on the phantom, I get 30.2 minutes. With a gimbal, gopro, 600mw vtx and 9443s, I get 19-21 minutes. YMMV depending on the weight you are carrying and how.

    Also, you seem to be testing in the snow. That's fine for comparing to another battery also run in the snow, but I hope you're not expecting to hit any max flight time records in such conditions?
     
  3. marcus_canada

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    I'm just posting what I found with hard proof. If anyone wants to contest it then please make sure we are comparing apples to apples.

    for example, I know the vision props give more flight time but my Phantom doesn't have them, but that doesn't affect the ratio of flight times from 2200 to 5000.

    My battery gave me over 5000mah and although it was quite gusty I don't think the flight characteristic's were that taxing. I simply don't see how anyone can get over 15 minutes from a similar setup when I got 14:30 by taking the lipo to the bitter end.

    The point I am making is that I got a mere 3, maybe 4 minutes more by going up from a 2200 to a 5000. That's a waste of time, money and effort.
     
  4. ElGuano

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    Everything depends on weight. Everything (in your case, cold too, if you ran the same test on a 75 degree day you'd hit 15 min easy if you're getting 14.5 now). If you are throwing 100g worth of mounting brackets, screws, Velcro on your phantom, it will materially detract from your flight times. There's really no controversy there.

    I also run 4400mah batteries. And on 3900mah drain I get 15-16 minutes with gimbal, gopro, vtx, 9443s. I can hit over 15 min with 8045s with 85-87% drain.

    It's not just throwing brackets onto a phantom, it all depends on how you approach the problem.
     
  5. marcus_canada

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    I already said the test was with stock props. I could repeat the test with vision props on the 2200 and the 5000 but the ratio will be the same. the point was the increase from 2200 to 5000mah. :roll:
     
  6. marcus_canada

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    I got 11 minutes the same day with a 2200. Sorry, I thought I made that clear.
     
  7. ElGuano

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    I get that you're comparing to a 2200. I'm also very glad you mentioned apples to apples, because I think it is important to be true to rigorous testing methodology if we want to arrive at meaningful conclusions.

    Your video implies the manufacturer claims 20 minutes of flight, and that is what you are testing against. But from what I can see, you're testing in extremely cold conditions, which severely degrade battery runtimes. I also notice that you have aftermarket landing gear, and though it's hard to tell without a closeup shot, it looks like the kind that is significantly heavier than the stock legs (plus it looks like you have the compass mounted on an extra stalk hanging down)? Edit: I just watched the video on my home computer and it also looks like you're running prop guards! Did you know that these are ~85g for the set, and run a penalty of about 1.5 to 2 minutes of flight time from an unladen Phantom?

    Would you agree that any of these are problematic facts when the claim you are testing against is an absolute runtime, and not a relative increase?

    It's also interesting that you ran well over the label capacity of the battery, yet ended at a cell voltage recovery rate that is typically higher than you would see for 80% (let alone 100+%) drain for standard lipos; maybe that should be explored further?
     
  8. marcus_canada

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    It is true that my landing skids may add a little over the stock ones but to be fair I believe that the weight of my carbon legs would be extremely close or less than a stock landing set plus dual battery trays.

    The results, while specific to my own Phantom, can easily be extrapolated to other temps and slight variations in weights. The interesting thing is the difference in relative increase from a 2200 to a 5000 using a, what I consider to be, a typical Phantom.

    The Flight was terminated at the battery warning indicator (with stock settings and after voltage calibration), well after a few seconds. Throughout the video you see me punch the throttle a few times to see if I got the Red LED during power surge indicating a softening battery, we never saw that Once. I think that is a product of the higher capacity and 30C rating resisting voltage drop associated with current surge.
    Being that the battery is a cheap Turnigy it would not surprise me to discover it had a higher capacity then the label infers LOL

    At the end of the day, my Phantom gave me 11 minutes of soft flight with a 2200 and 14:30 with a 5000 on the same day, same conditions and same setup. That's all I'm saying.

    I will try two stock 2200's in parallel next, the resultant capacity will be less but the weight a lot lower, perhaps I will find a sweet spot. I am also interested to try vision props although I am sure that will only make a small difference, perhaps 1 or 2 minutes (You can't get something from nothing). But right now I don't care if other guys and especially battery tray vendors are claiming 20, 25 or even 30 mins, I know that can't simply isn't true with a single 5000.
     
  9. MILLER4PRESIDENT2020

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    but the ratio will be the same. a 30% increase in flight time is simply not worth paying 150$ bucks for a battery and having to deal with a myriad of other issues associated with the bigger battery. For that 150$ I can buy almost 5 more regular batteries gaining an extra 50 minutes of flight time.

    but to each their own, if you want to buy a bigger battery then you are free to do so. hooray capitalism!
     
  10. rickhz

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    Could you provide links to the big capacity batteries that you are using?
     
  11. ElGuano

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    Can you post up your weights? And a link to the landing gear you use? It's hard to see from your video, but similar ones to those weigh upward of 80-100g. With those prop guards (and who knows what else is modded) you're taking 3 minutes off your potential flight time, with another 2 minutes due to the cold. That's within arm's reach of 20 minutes, which is the standard you're testing against in the video. I'd say it deserves a retrial with a properly set up and documented Phantom.

    It's extremely easy to weigh things and find out weights on the internet. I just can't go with "to be fair I believe that the weight of my carbon legs would be extremely close or less than a stock landing set plus dual battery trays" and in this case, nobody is talking dual battery trays, why even bring that up? The issue is that you're using heavier, non-standard equipment to test absolute flight time capability, and methodologically, that's just wrong.

    I'm happy that you ran the test, it's always good to have an inquisitive mind and to actually test claims made by manufacturers. So for that, I applaud you. But a 3.5 minute increase for a 2.3x capacity increase is anomalous, and from your lack of information and noted testing errors, I don't think it can be counted on as reliable. I've done very similar tests as you have, and I feel confident saying I've tested more times, combinations and variables than you have, and my results consistently show dramatically higher return rates than what you got. A single 2700 on my fully loaded Phantom hovers for over 12 minutes, and a 5400 with the same configuration (not bare) for 20-21 minutes. Without gimbal, GoPro or FPV the same bird stays in the air for over 30 minutes. Not everyone gets the flight times I do, but if you're seeing less than a 1.5x flight time increase at double capacity (and at 5000mah+ draw your batteries are bigger than mine), you need to stop and look at what you may be doing wrong, because your Porsche is limping along at 45 mph on the highway.
     
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  12. OI Photography

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    I have yet to see anybody (including vendors) claim 25-30 min flight times are possible in a P1 from just that upgrade using 2200mAh batts. And, the claims they do make are clearly a best-case scenario, which is a far cry from your testing environment and setup.

    It's been well documented in this very forum that flight times in that range are indeed possible on a P1 with 5000mAh of onboard capacity, depending on how you configure the aircraft.
     
  13. Satrio

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    Can you teach me how to do it? how do you mod your phantom?

    fyi, mine :
    FC40 (no stock camera)
    stock props
    stock landing gear
    gimbal + gopro
    battery 5400mah 25C 3s

    just in 9 minutes flight time.
     
  14. Arct1c0n

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    A 5500mAh or a 6000mAh on Phantom 3 would be glorious.....
     
  15. Satrio

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    :D of course. But i'm still in love with my FC :D
     
  16. Nidge

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    Hi Marcus

    The thing to remember when adding higher capacity batteries of a similar C rating (20C-25C) will produce ever diminishing returns. The end result being you end up expending more energy just to compensate for the extra weight of the larger battery.

    My way of overcoming this was to use a 4000mAh 10c battery, only slightly heavier than the stock 2200mAh 25C battery. To accommodate this larger battery only a small modification to the battery bay was required. Essentially using a Dremel type tool to widen the opening to the battery bay by about 1mm all round. Once the battery door is closed there is no sign of the modification.

    My Phantom 1 setup uses the larger props from the P2 Series and has a Walkera G-2D Gimbal and iLook camera. My last flight with the Phantom was a few months ago in a mild breeze at a temperature of 7C and flight times from four Multistar 4000mAh 10C packs produced an average flight time of about 18 minutes, and this was aggressive flying.

    The 10C rating of these packs may seem rather low but they are rated at a sustained current draw of 40Amp, the Phantom pulls less than 30Amp at full throttle.

    I also use the Multistar 5200mAh 10C packs, two in parallel, on my heavy lift hexacopter (AUW of 2.8kg) and flight times were about 16 minutes, again in the same weather conditions I last flew the Phantom. The combined weight of these two batteries is only slightly more than that of a single 5000mAh 25C battery which only provided about 6 minutes of flight time.

    Regards

    Nidge