Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

How does the Phantom 2 get 20m+ flight time?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Howzit, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Howzit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been spec'ing out some custom quads (like a qav400, cinetank, etc) and I notice most builds get between 8-12 minutes. What is it about the Phantom 2 that allows it to have such great flight times? Is it a matter of 'low powered' motors and ESC's? Frame weight? Gains?
     
  2. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    I got my p1 to hit 20-30 minutes as well. Plain and simple, it's props, battery and weight.

    The 9443 props are 20% more efficient than the p1's 8045s. So whatever flight time gains you get with weight savings, switch to 9443s and you get another 20% on top of that.

    The p2's battery is both high capacity and lightweight. It's 360g 5200mah, which is great. Most generic 3s 5000mah batteries are 500g+.

    The p2 is also light as far as packages to. Frames like the qav and cinetank are larger and may hold more payload or be more sturdy, but the p2 is well optimized for light weight. A small package that carries 5200mah and swings 9" props at 1100-1250g is going to fly for a long time.
     
  3. Howzit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gotchya.

    Specs on your P1 build? What battery are you running currently running to achieve 20 minutes?

    Also, can the proprietary setup of the P2 battery be converted over to something more conventional, like an XT60?

    I did not know the specs on the phantom battery were so great - perhaps thats why it is $150? :O
     
  4. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    My p1 is extremely lightened, and I run self-made 3s2p 4400 and 5400mah batteries. They just didn't make the right format that you could fit in the shell until recently.

    There are now retail batteries coming to the market that have similar format/specs so you don't need to solder them manually anymore, but you do need to modify your shell to fit them in. Some of the new generics seem to be equivalent to the p2 bat--316g 5200mah 10c. But for $60, exactly what you'd pay for two good 2600-2700mah batteries. Fit one of those in the p1 and your flight times will definitely increase.

    The p2 battery is expensive because it has smart circuitry and is proprietary to the p2. You can actually use the battery in another quad but it's expensive and requires modding to do so, so only p2 owners tend to buy it.
     
  5. Howzit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Makes sense.

    What are some of the current batteries with the profile you speak of?

    I recently ordered a couple of the "Mad Dog 2700 mAh" for my P1, hoping to get better times.

    What's the easiest/cleanest setup people are doing to mount 2 batteries?
     
  6. Howzit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    Mad dogs are great. My 5400s are made from maddog packs. Thunder power has been trickling out a few 5400mah packs, but they go for 100-120$. Walkera released a 3s2p 5200mah battery for their 350-pro quad (p2 clone), and the specs look identical to the p2 cells. It's $60 and is called the pro-z-14. It's on hobbyking and eBay now. A few people have already hit 20+ minutes on it, and I have a few coming in to test too. Assuming there are no major downsides, it may be the best go-to battery for those with carved out battery bays.
     
  8. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    The side mounts are bad news. They can cause instability in flight and crashes. They are also antithetical to the number one rule in flight time: DROP WEIGHT. By the time you get those things installed, and run a parallel harness to your dual batteries, you're looking at a 70g+ penalty.

    If you are really after long flight time, you need to stop thinking about adding things to your quad to achieve that, and start thinking about what you can drop from it. That doesn't mean you have to run bare bones either. I have a GoPro, gimbal, 600mw vtx, pmu, and iosd installed and still hit 20 minutes.
     
  9. Howzit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks again. I think I only have 1 question left for ya.

    Do you have a link and/or pictures of what the frame looks like carved out? Perhaps pics of your current setup?
     
  10. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    It looks pretty stock, I have some extraneous holes that you don't really need, but most of the work is hidden, which is good for a stealth look. I have some pics and instructions I'll post up tonight. An easier solution is to replace your bottom shell with a spare p2 shell. The battery bay is bigger and already supports whatever 5000+may battery you want to run. No hobby blade/dremel needed is always a good thing :)
     
  11. Howzit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yea, thats what I'm looking into/ordering now, along with that walkera battery.

    Thanks for all your insight/help.
     
  12. gen3benz

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    The walkera 5200 may be the holy grail for the phantom.
    Got one coming from hobbyking for $55.21 after shipping....forgot to wait the 2 minutes when they drop the price a couple dollars :roll:
    Another one from ebay for $56 after I talked the best offer guy down from $65.99
    317 grams is super light, and 10C is plenty.
    Gotta get me some lipos broken in before Hawaii in October.
     
  13. Howzit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll definitely be doing something. Finally did a static hover and recorded flight/hover time.

    After a 1.7min 'warm up' time, I got 6.4mins of hover (status green), then 1.2mins worth of battery warning before it started a forced descent. So, 7.4 mins of 'flight time'.

    This is on a stock phantom battery with about 4 cycles, carrying a GoPro, and powering my FPV equipment (250mW fatshark vtx and 600TVL camera).

    Going to throw on the Phantom 2 props when they arrive and duplicate the test. Then i'll do it with P2 props+2700mah mad dog batteries. The final comparison will be p2 frame+p2 props+5200mah battery. :)

    What this made me realize is that I was REALLY pushing/risking things when I did my 1km FPV flight the other day. That took about 7 mins to complete the journey back to my location, then about a 1 min hover above myself, before I brought it down. Total flight time was almost exactly 8 minutes, which is a good 1/2 minute longer than I got in my driveway right not, before it forced a landing. :eek:
     
  14. rustysd

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0

    Would this big battery door upgrade work to fit in the walkera 5200 in my P1?

    http://www.shapeways.com/model/1110056/ ... grade.html
     
  15. davemcm

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Scotland
    As elguano as mentioned you will need to carve out the bottom shell battery tray, or install p2 bottom shell
     
  16. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    It's not the battery door, it's the opening in the shell, one of the bottom guide rails, and possibly 1.5-2mm spacers under the motherboard to raise it a bit to fit the larger batteries. The stock door should be able to completely cover the opening without any visible holes for a 44mm wide, 35mm tall battery, which the 4400s and Walkera 5200 fit.
     
  17. rustysd

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Understood.

    Too labor intensive. Will try this:

    http://phantomguide.com/carbon-fiber-ba ... i-phantom/
     
  18. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    Here's a picture of my battery door mod:

    [​IMG]


    The Phantom itself looks fairly stock, with a bunch of accessories hanging off it (older picture, it's been cleaned up a bit since, and the door widened even more for a 5400mah):

    [​IMG]