Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Life time RC battery

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by rene van der meer, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. rene van der meer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    70
    Does anyone know what is the best procedure to charge the RC battery such that the lifetime is maximum?
    What is the maximum life time?
    Is it possible to replace the RC battery if needed?
    Who has experience with a worn out RC battery?
     
  2. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,246
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    There is a great deal of material on the best way to 'treat' or handle LiPos on-line if you wish to search.

    Don't over charge, over discharge, store in extreme hot or cold, store at 60-50% charge level, etc.

    The DJI intelligent interface removes much if not all of this from your worry.

    The LiPo cells themselves within the pack are not user serviceable. If you do not have LiPo, electronics, and soldering experience don't even consider it.

    LiPos have a very high energy density and can be dangerous if misused.
     
  3. Tim_alabim

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    31
    I asked a similar question about the RC battery, and mostly I get a "don't worry about it" response. Given that there is SO much attention given to the flight batteries, I would think that there should be at least some attention given to the RC battery, since from the info I have received, it is indeed a LiPo battery.

    Given the lack of other suggestions, I have been making sure that I don't charge the RC unnecessarily, and leave on for a while to bring the charge level down to safe storage level (50-60%) if I am not going to be flying for several days. I'm not 100% sure but I believe that the latest FW upgrade did make this a little more difficult as the RC will now actually shut down after several minutes of inactivity warning beeping. I don't think it did this shut off before the latest update. I could be wrong.
     
    rene van der meer likes this.
  4. Tim_alabim

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    31
    I asked a similar question about the RC battery, and mostly I get a "don't worry about it" response. Given that there is SO much attention given to the flight batteries, I would think that there should be at least some attention given to the RC battery, since from the info I have received, it is indeed a LiPo battery.

    Given the lack of other suggestions, I have been making sure that I don't charge the RC unnecessarily, and leave on for a while to bring the charge level down to safe storage level (50-60%) if I am not going to be flying for several days. I'm not 100% sure but I believe that the latest FW upgrade did make this a little more difficult as the RC will now actually shut down after several minutes of inactivity warning beeping. I don't think it did this shut off before the latest update. I could be wrong.
     
    rene van der meer likes this.
  5. witold

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    102
    RC lipos generally use very low-C batteries that are not nearly as sensitive as regular lipos.

    The biggest thing that will kill your RC lipo is general stuff. For example, if you leave your remote in a baking car on a hot day, your lipo inside the remote will be negatively affected and you will eventually kill it entirely if you do it a few times.
     
    rene van der meer likes this.
  6. rene van der meer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    70
    Tim,
    I agree. Witold, a normal lipo can last 500-600 charges. Since the RC is low capacity lipo, does it mean it lasts longer? Are the P3 so new that no one every experienced a failure of the RC battery?
     
  7. spindrift

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Canada
    Something else to for folks to agonize about. Charge the battery when needed! When it is unusable, dispose of it and buy another. Or listen to the conspiracy theorists and do 500 different things to have them last an extra 5 charges. Get out and fly the thing.
     
    WetDog and DennyBoBenny like this.
  8. witold

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    102
    It's harder to spot RC battery failing. People will notice that they need to charge more frequently, that's about it. If they are really cooking it in the car, remote will be dead and they won't know why.

    500-600 charges for a normal lipo is still more than P3 expected lifetime... If P4 and P5 use a different remote, it doesn't matter much. People open their remotes for antenna mods and it is my understanding that the remote uses a regular low-C lipo, so it's probably not a big deal replacing this battery anyway.
     
    rene van der meer likes this.
  9. 4wd

    4wd

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    421
    Location:
    North York Moors
    My first (P3) RC suddenly refused to charge, after about six months.
    The lights appeared to run along showing it was receiving power but it gradually went down regardless.
    Luckily there are plenty for sale from lost or crashed Phantoms and the one I bought from ebay at reasonable cost - and with a second charger - has been OK so far.
     
    rene van der meer likes this.
  10. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    What's key here is to understand that the LiPo in your Tx (transmitter) is much less High Performance than the LiPo in your aircraft. The aircraft needs a battery that can deliver a very high amount of energy in bursts as well as for prolonged periods which mandates a High Performance battery with potentially much less lifetime. In contrast your Tx is very smooth and constant low power output with no bursts needed what so ever and it can withstand many more charge cycles.

    Also keep in mind that we can fly several flight batteries on a single Tx charge and still have power left over at the end of the day. I've flown over a dozen batteries on a single Tx charge in a day and still had energy to go longer.

    One last key... even though you never "want" your Tx battery to die/fail realize with the current crop of GPS/Gyro stabilized aircraft it's not nearly as mission critical as it used to be. If your Tx fails/dies your aircraft should initiate a RTH sequence. This isn't a great thing to have a dead Tx but the aircraft doesn't generally fall out of the sky like they used to when the Tx went belly up on us. I only say this to help remove some of the "Tx Battery Stress" going on. Spend that time and worry making sure your flight batteries are taken care of and ready to go. Do try to keep Tx and aircraft batteries out of extreme temps either way if you can.
     
  11. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,246
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    Low C-rating = low: cost, weight, volume, and performance.

    The C-rating is so low in the a/c pack that they have to use firmware to reduce high-current draw maneuvers in 'cold conditions' which are well above nominal LiPo operating temps. This does not speak of high-performance.

    Combine that with the incorrect charging profile and you have the low performance, high mortality rate many experience.
     
  12. Jussaguy

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    385
    The lipo in the RC is that you couldn't kill it unless you are flying your P4 in 2020. Just charge it when it needs a charge and you will never see that battery slow down.
     
    rene van der meer likes this.
  13. mattpopp

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    19
    One thing is the Phantom Lipo and their Charger is not like a typical Lipo that we use in our RC Cars/Planes/Trucks and so on. As there is software and safety's put in place on the DJI so it is much harder to hurt them. The 57w (1c Charger) and 100w (almost a 2c charger) are both smart chargers that also balance the cells as charging. You can not over discharge the battery while flying as there is software to protect it against that. It also monitors the internal temp of the battery while in use and while charging.

    Best advice I could give based on my experience with RC lipos. Run the battery as low as the phantom will allow you or at least to 10% of that before charging. Which it should not discharge below 3.5v per cell. Never store a Lipo for periods longer than a few weeks with 100% power or very low on power. The voltage that you want the lipo at is 3.85v per cell for long term storage (2 weeks or more). Be cautious if there is a large difference in voltage between cells. If you see a difference of .2 or more I would be very concerned about the condition of that battery. Honestly I would be concerned at .05 difference. Never Charge a Hot battery.

    Then take DJI Adivce on this,
    • Charge and discharge the battery completely once every 20 charge/discharge cycles. Discharge the battery until there is less than 8% power or until it can no longer be turned on, then recharge it to the maximum capacity. This power cycling procedure will optimize the battery life.
     
  14. mattpopp

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    19
    Low C Rating does not mean it is a low cost or poor performing battery. C rating just refers to the current output or current discharge. Though a issue with C ratings between brands of different batteries is very misleading. As there is not a set way that each company has to adhere to on how they measure the Current Output/discharge.
    Only thing that matters is that you use a battery that can meet the Current Output that the Drone requires. If the drone requires a 30c output, and you put a battery in with an 100c output, you wont see a gain in performance between it and a 30c battery.
     
  15. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,246
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    High-C batts cost and weigh more and are larger due.
    Therefore low-C batts are cheaper to manufacture.
    I fully understand the electrical requirements when spec-ing batteries for model aviation. I have used them for over a decade.
     
  16. mattpopp

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    19
    I think you are confusing terminology. C Rating does not dictate the size of the battery, just the Current the battery can discharge safely.

    In Lipo's C does not mean Cell, It means Capacity, The "Discharge Rate Capacity" to be exact. The "S" Series, How many Cells are in a Series. So 4S means there are 4 Cells in a Series. More Cell's the larger the battery. Also mah sizing dictates the size of the battery. Larger the mah the larger the battery.

    The 4S 4430mah battery in the P3P is a small battery but in phsyical size it is huge. Alot bigger in size then my 4S 6500mah 70C batteries that I run in my RC's. Even though in terms of Power my 6500mah is a larger battery.
     
  17. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,246
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    Not confused.

    If you compare a 10C and a 30C battery of the same voltage and capacity the higher C (10 or 30) battery will be bigger, heavier, and more expensive.

    Try to use a 10C where you should have used a 30C and you'll experience poor performance due to the limited current delivery capability.

    This is my point with the post you first quoted.

    A higher C rated battery will not be as susceptible to voltage sag due to it's increased 'capability' to deliver current.
     
  18. mattpopp

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    19
    Again, the size of the C does not have impact on the size of the battery.

    I am glad you somewhat understand that you can not use a lower C rated battery for an application that requires a larger Discharge Rate.
     
  19. PEEFA

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    21
    I don't think you can describe them as smart chargers. They just supply power to the battery. The battery itself controls the charge rate and balancing


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  20. mattpopp

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    19
    But they dont just send power to the Battery. If they did they would not need to connect to the balancing port as well. The charger itself is what will keep the cells balanced and conditions the cells. You dont need to have the balancing port connected to charge, without it would just supply power and charge it. But it would not balance it and monitor the battery during that as well.

    There is alot more going on inside of the charger then just supplying power. It does all of the same work as the chargers we use with RC Car Lipos, though it is just a very small and slow charger. Except the DJI charger does not have the menu that you have to go through to set all of the parameters needed to charge your battery. If you had to setup a charger to charge a DJI lipo you would have alot of confused people on this forum trying to figure out how to charge a battery safely for the first time. DJI was smart and recognised that would have been a issue and made an all inclusive charger with all of the settings put in place so people could not mess up or become very confused.