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Noob with 2 problems

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Help' started by Mark The Droner, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Mark The Droner

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    Hi,

    I have a tiny bit of experience flying quads, because my Dad gave me a Hak909 for my birthday. Controls are the same as the Phantom. I got fairly good with the 909, with no GPS, and it was great fun, so I began looking into Phantoms.

    Just bought this Vision, just opened the box yesterday. It was a brand new phantom in an unopened box.

    I downloaded, and installed the programs and installed all new firmware and drivers. I calibrated the remote using the software.

    To cut to the chase: My first problem is a battery that won't fully charge. Second problem is "drop out of the sky." I think they might be related.

    1) I think I might have created the first problem but maybe not. Last night I started charging the main LiPo but I was exhausted and I was afraid to leave it charging with me sleeping and so I unplugged it and went to bed before it was finished. At the time, it was reading first lamp solid green second lamp flashing, which I believe is around 38% charged.

    Now today it won't charge above that. If I discharge it a little and then try to charge it, it will charge for only a few minutes and then stop. And the green light comes on the charger even though the battery shows same as above.

    I checked it with the Phantom Assistant and it shows battery at 35%. And yet the smart charger refuses to charge.

    I tried the trick where you turn the battery on and then "force" it to charge. It starts off okay. Charger lamp is red. Seems to be charging. But strangely, the battery turns itself off after about 15-20 secs. And a half second after that, the charger light turns green. I believe the battery might be turning itself off because it thinks it's fully charged. But maybe the charger is turning the battery off. I'm not sure.

    If I turn the battery on by itself or in the phantom, it stays on. It only turns itself off while connected to the charger and is charging.

    Seems to me the battery should have a reset button or something.

    I don't get it.

    2)

    Obviously I don't want to fly it but I'm running out of ideas, so I thought I'd try to discharge the battery down to 8% or so as mentioned in the manual. And then maybe the recharge might fully charge. I have my doubts but that's the only thing I can think of.

    So how do I do that? I thought I'd just hover it real low, and then when I get the low battery warning I'd land and idle it.

    So I go outside, turn the unit on, got GPS, did the compass calibration, and it was "ready to fly" in GPS as indicated with blinking green lights on the tail.

    I started the rotors, then brought both sticks to neutral. The motors idled. I started to push the left stick and the Phantom tilted to the right and hit the ground. It never made lift off.

    I tried again. Same thing.

    I looked back online to be sure I wasn't doing anything wrong, other than trying to fly with 35% battery. I seemed to be doing everything okay. Maybe I wasn't giving it enough thrust.

    So once again I went outside. Started from scratch. Did the GPS and the compass calibration.

    Again I had blinking green lights on the tail.

    So I gave it good thrust and it rose up to about 15 feet and I let the stick back to neutral. It sat there for about 2 seconds as I figured it would settle down, and it did for a sec. But then the motors just stopped dead - all four of them at once, and it fell from the sky. Just came straight down like a rock, no tumbling. Landed on its feet and luckily it landed on grass. Camera came loose but no damage that I can see.

    It was pretty horrifying.

    Went inside, read some more, thought some more. Did I do something wrong?

    Tried it again. This time I lifted off aggressively but neutraled in time to keep it at waist level. Seemed perfect. It was literally at waist level, hovering for about 5 secs and then the motors all died at once and it fell to the ground. No damage.

    I don't get it.

    Yes, I am sure I did not pull the throttle down. The left stick was at its midpoint.

    Both times it fell from the sky, the Phantom was turned off when I approached it as it lay on the ground. The battery showed no lights. I think it turned itself off in mid-flight. Sure looks like it.

    Now what do I do?

    Since my goal was to deplete the battery - I turned it back on and I idled it for a half hour straight to try to deplete the battery. Nothing to lose, I figure.

    After about 15 minutes, the low battery alarm sounded on the remote, as expected. I kept it running.

    Phantom finally stopped spinning its motors after 30 minutes or so. What's notable is the battery did not shut itself down during those 30 minutes.

    I again attempted to charge the now depleted battery. It charged fine but then shut off after 15 minutes. Green light on the charger. Check battery. Battery shows two solid lamps on. Progress but not what I wanted.

    I checked the battery status using Phantom Asst. I immediately got a pop up that informs me that I have a damaged battery cell and I should discontinue use. Battery shows 38%, up from 35%

    Maybe it's just bad luck - and I got a bad battery. Or maybe I messed it up somehow.

    I'm prepared to get a new battery and try again. The more I think about it, I think the battery is bad. It shuts itself off when connected to the charger and it apparently shuts itself off in mid flight (but it didn't shut off during idle).

    Sorry this is so long. Any comments or advice?

    I also have two questions.

    1. Is the battery supposed to turn itself off if it is turned on while not in the Phantom? Or does it just stay on?

    2. Does the battery turn itself off after a crash?

    Thanks for your time!

    -Mark in Maryland
     
    #1 Mark The Droner, Aug 26, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  2. marg2

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    force recharge one more time, unplug charger with batt on, last chance discharge it with motor on with no props
     
  3. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    #1 Stays on till you push the button in once and then again and hold it till ya see the lights go out
    #2 Mine never have and have had several crash's and even had the battery come out in some of them . Still blinking
    Jump it of the ground about 10' when taking off and your sure you have enough Sat's
    Letting it idle with the prop's on the ground is asking for it to tip over .
    Do as marg said to force charge the battery and when you check your battery in assistant see if you have any bad cells .
    Shouldn't have to but clean the battery contacts in the bird .
    Not sure why it fell like that .
     
  4. Mark The Droner

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    The pop up in Ph Asst says I have one or more bad battery cells and using the battery is not recommended. I am getting this repeatedly. But behind the pop up the software now says my battery is charged 51% and its useful life is 100% which makes sense since it's brand new. One cell is 4,000 and the other two are 3700. That doesn't sound balanced. Also, in start up now, the lights on the Phantom are in constant flashing red (indicating low battery) even though the battery shows two solid greens with the third green blinking and the software showed 51%.

    I think this is a bad battery, plain and simple. I think the battery is so bad that it is shutting itself off mid flight. Now that I think back, the reason I unhooked the battery Tu night was because I got tired of waiting for it to charge. I waited over an hour and it didn't seem to make progress. The charger showed a green light, but I didn't know that meant it wasn't charging because I'm a noob. So I got tired of waiting and unplugged it and went to bed. My point is, the battery was bad from the start, I think. But there is no swelling and it isn't warm.

    I will try the recharge, but I think I'll do it outside away from the house, haha.

    If it doesn't work, a new battery should solve all problems, I think. Not the end of the world.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  5. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Mankind ..maybe 1 battery is all you need but I keep 3 as I fly a lot . A new battery will tell you or should for sure .
    Don't know where you from or where yours was bought but if it came with a bad battery I would be getting ahold of who ever
    it was bought from about it .
     
  6. Mark The Droner

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    Update -

    I tried what Marg2 suggested above. It was a good idea but no luck. I ran it all the way down until it wouldn't go on for more than a second. Charged it back up and it seemed to charge normally at first but then it turned itself off with two lamps on and the third lamp blinking. As expected. I tried to "force" it to finish charging and ... it turned itself off after a few minutes.

    It's just a bad battery apparently. Bad luck for me.

    Assistant software currently shows:

    Design Capacity: 5200 mAh
    Full Capacity: 4130 mAh
    Current Capacity: 2033 mAh

    Cell 1: 3910
    Cell 2: 3780
    Cell 3: 3770

    The good news is, two more batteries have arrived, they charged perfectly, and the Phantom is flying perfectly. I'm breaking them in using the 10&10 method (10 mins, 10 x).

    Thanks again for your help.
     
    dirkclod likes this.
  7. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Glad ya got some new one's in Mark. Looks like that 1 cell is bad !