Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

HELP! Battery drain in seconds after takeoff

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Discussion' started by RobPhantom1, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm new on the forum and a new phantom user. Hopefully the community can help, and will forgive me if I ask any stupid questions :D

    My phantom has developed a fault. As soon as I take off the LED begins to blink red rapidly, then after a few seconds it goes to failsafe mode and lands. It seems the battery has drained completely.

    The same happens with all three of my batteries (two of which are new third party batteries, the other one is the original DJI battery, which came used with the phantom). I have no experience with these lipo batteries, and I understand they have their quirks, but as far as I know I haven't mistreated them. I've been using the supplied phantom charger.

    I'm using a gopro and a cheap chinese gimbal (goodluckbuy I think, though it wasn't sold as such), which I have set up pitch control for. I've tried flying the phantom with pitch control disconnected, and with the gimbal power disconnected and had the same problem.

    Yes, the phantom has had a few bumps. Nothing I'd describe a major crash though, no big impacts. Any idea what could be wrong? The manual indicates that rapid red LED blinking means low voltage alert or "other error". Other error? Thanks DJI! Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. SteveMann

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    653
    Location:
    Westford, MA
    Welcome to the forum.
    I am not too familiar with that model Phantom, but you are describing a battery with one dead cell. I recall that the Phantom 1 uses off-the-shelf batteries, so you should be using a balancing charger. (describe your charging station an workflow). Your charger may have an option to do a balanced discharge, then recharge it.
     
  3. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your reply SteveMann. I only have the basic BC20-4 charger. Any other way I could do a balanced discharge?

    If it's indeed a problem of the batteries having one dead cell, any idea how it could have happened to all three of my batteries? Did I do something wrong? If I buy new batteries I don't want to make the same mistake
     
  4. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    It really helps to have a cell checker...they are cheap. I believe the stock charger will only do a balanced charge. I have that plus a better charger than can charge in different ways. If I have a fully charged battery and cant fly for a while, I will discharge it and then do a storage charge.
     
  5. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    What are the chances of my batteries being ok after a balanced discharge do you think? I am planning to fly on friday. I wonder whether it would be safer to just buy new batteries?
     
  6. jumanoc

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    8
    If you drained your batteries to lower than 3v per cell, they're out. It is dangerous trying to charge a battery with faulty cells that gone lower than 3v

    As said, get a Voltage Checker for testing Battery charge and individual Cell check.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...kw=voltage+monitor+buzzer&ghostText=&_sacat=0

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=voltage+monitor+lipo
    [​IMG]
     
  7. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Monte55 and jumanoc. All these rules about lipos are new to me. Looks like I should invest in a better charger, a battery checker, and new batteries.

    My main concern is why this happened to all three batteries at the same time. Can't be a coincidence surely? No doubt I've made an error somewhere. Perhaps charged them wrong? God knows I don't want to make the same mistake again.
     
  8. jumanoc

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    8
    There are another 2 chances:
    1) Are you connecting both battery wires to charger ? You have to connect the power wire (XT-60 to power in charger and the JST balance wire to the side of the charger.... :ugeek:
    2) Maybe a bad charger... any option to trya another battery / charger ?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes I'm connecting both wires. Since starting this thread and watching some youtube videos on the subject I charged a battery again and noticed that towards the end of the charge, the 3S LED on the charger flashed on and off for a while. I understands this indicates that the cells are not balanced, and this is the charger trying to balance them. A couple of sources said that the battery should be considered faulty if this balancing stage lasts longer than about 15 mins. For me it lasts only about 5 mins at most. And yet when I test the phantom again the same thing happened.

    I have three batteries and the same problem occurs with each of them. I don't have access to any other charger unfortunately...
     
  10. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a chance I tried charging them the wrong way (only one wire plugged in) in my excitement and eagerness to get flying a few weeks ago. Could I have killed them?
     
  11. jumanoc

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    8
    Sorry... but have to ask just for helping...
    1) Do you select LiPo battery instead LiOn ? (small switch).
    2) How long takes since you start charging to solid green led ?
     
  12. jumanoc

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    8
    Don't think so...just battery doesn't charge, but if after that you used the batteries with phantom and they were not charged, maybe they got lower than 3 v in cells, so that could dameged them
     
  13. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    Like I said. Get a cell checker. I use mine so much after charging and after flight, I'll probably wear out the push buttons. You have not mentioned how you take care of your batteries. Many always want to be ready and have batteries fully charged. That's ok, but not for long term storage. For me, I figure if I haven't flown the battery down within a week, I will discharge and put a storage charge on them. No science here from me. I just picked that time. I could be totally wrong. Smart batteries now for Dji start to discharge at 10 days.
     
  14. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    This is what I use plus I have two of the stock Phantom chargers. I will use them if I'm trying to charge a few batteries at a time. I think the cell checker was about $15 and the charger about $60. I also have other quads and helis so I needed a charger to cope with all of them. Ok. Trying to load pic....
     

    Attached Files:

  15. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah I have it set on LiPo. It takes around an hour with the charger set on 2A.
     
  16. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that could be what happened :(
     
  17. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Monte55. I'll definitely get a new charger and a voltage checker. Just a shame i probably won't be able to get them before Friday
     
  18. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    One other idea I had... Do you think my first and second level voltage protection settings are correct? I realise I don't have a loss value. But I can't really get a proper one now
     

    Attached Files:

  19. jumanoc

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    8
    Yeah, I think they're to high, try with some value (non 0.0) in the loss field:

    Sample:
    first 11.3 0.5 10.7
    second 10.6 0.3 10.3
     
  20. RobPhantom1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    First level protection kicked in here, even though it says I have 12.2 volts...


    And second level protection kicked in here at 12.1-12 volts...


    But as you can see the protection should kick in at 11.55v and 11.1v
     

    Attached Files: