Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Phantom 1.1.1 Battery charger problem

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DanCH, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. DanCH

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought my first phantom today, and was looking forward to a first flight (beautiful day here in Switzerland), but was unable to.

    I set a battery charging, connected it all up as per the instructions (manual and the tutorial vid). Everything looked fine and I guess after maybe 40 minutes the charger started blinking between green and red. The manual says that it was now "balancing the cells".

    Fine I thought, it's meant to take an hour or so. 4 hours later and it's still blinking green and red. So I did some google searching, and saw a suggestion that the battery might be a dud. So I disconnected the battery and connected another one. 4 hours and that battery is doing exactly the same.

    This video shows what''s happening:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDDNOSPeJIA

    Not my video, someone else had the same problem I guess. Is this a dud battery charger? Should I buy a new better charger?

    And can I risk flying my phantom with an 80% charged unbalanced battery?

    Many thanks in advance for anyone that can help me out.
     
  2. MuseumMatt

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    balancing cells takes a while the first time you charge but 4hrs is ridiculous. Are you using the 2A mode? Maybe your charger is set on the 1A mode? Put a meter on it and see where it is. Drained is 11.1 volts. Fully charged should by about 12.6 volts.

    I would definitely plan on buying a better battery charger. You can get one for about $70 that will give you much more control, faster charging, and actual information about your batteries before, during and after charging. It will let you charge almost any type of battery and they normally come with lots of different connectors. I have this one and like it:

    http://www.venom-group.com/Venom-Pro-Ch ... ory=119269

    I would also suggest a small handheld battery checker/"screamer". You can attach it to your balance port to do a quick check of a battery and it's cells. They are about $10. Balanced LiPo cells should be within .03 of each other. So 4.18, 4.19 and 4.20 is acceptable. 4.20 x 3 is perfect.

    http://www.wowhobbies.com/batterymeter- ... o-2-1.aspx
     
  3. DanCH

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't have a meter, but I did connect my phantom up to the Naza-M V2 assistant, which reports a current voltage of around 12.2v.

    First battery I charged at 3A, as I watched the video by the CEO and thats what he did. Second battery (still charging right now) is at 2A as per the batter charger manual. I didn't try 1A yet.

    I guess the battery is nearly fully charged, and should be safe to fly with? I just expected to see a solid green light eventually. My second battery (as I mentioned) has reached 5.5 hours and is still flashing green and red. Going to bed soon so I'll have to disconnect it.

    I'll take your advice of getting a battery checker. Thanks!
     
  4. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    I got 1 dud, and returned it well over a month ago, and am still awaiting replacement. You need a voltage checker. Sometimes it's nearly fully charged, and that's all it's going to do-blink green/red. Check the voltage, and if it's 12.?, go fly with it. It may recharge just fine after use.
    But, you really need to make sure that 1 cell isn't bad-like what i had.
    I set mine to LiPO and 3A...it will only charge at a max of 1.8 anyways.
     
  5. DanCH

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I tried a 3rd battery (all 3 I've charged are DJI branded batteries), with the same result. Charger stuck in balancing mode and never going solid green to show charge complete.

    However something quite odd happened. I charged my Fatshark predator battery using the DJI charger... and it worked. After balancing it showed a solid green LED.

    So do I have a DJI charger that doesn't like DJI batteries? :)
     
  6. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    Not sure. Are you plugging the balancing plug into the middle slot(stupid question-but have to ask)?
    What are the voltages shown on the batteries when you put them in the phantom with Naza-M??
    Need to get a battery voltage checker. Sounds like you may have 3 duds.
    I returned mine-but the place I bought it from(Heli-World), had me pay return shipping. Then, they need to ship the battery to DJI to have it tested, to confirm it's dead, before shipping me another one back. Just piss poor customer service, IMHO.
    Also sounds like they had a batch of bad batteries.....you don't want to fly with it, if it has a bad cell(there are 3). And, the only way to check that is with a voltage checker. They're about $30 or so.....but, having your Phantom fall out of the sky prematurely because of a bad battery, will set you back $100's of dollars.....
     
  7. DanCH

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did put the balancer plug into the middle slot. I do that first and then plug in the main cable.

    I checked 1 of the batteries after charging through the assistant and it said it was around 12.2v. What is the max it should be? Is this around 80% charged as the manual says CV mode goes to?

    I already flew with 2 of the batteries today and everything seemed to go fine, although I guess I would have expected a longer flight time. Felt a little short, maybe sub 8 minutes when the red LED on the phantom started blinking.

    I plan to get a better battery charger tomorrow and also a voltage checker. Seems like general advice is to get a decent charger anyway. Then if the batteries still fail to charge I can be confident they are duds I guess. Just seems real odd to have all 3 as duds, but anything is possible.

    Thanks for your advice havasuphoto :)
     
  8. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    There is nothing wrong with the DJI battery chargers-I have 2. You hooked it up correctly. Fully charged they should come in at 12.5 volts minimum.
    Flight time will depend on what you are carrying. If you have a Go Pro 3 with case or frame, 7 minutes if probably all you're going to get...your batteries aren't at 100%. I only get 5 minutes with FPV, GP3, Gimbal, and iOSD mini.

    I would just get the battery checker-and check each cell. There shouldn't be more than 0.7 volts difference between the 3 cells. If you have 2 cells at 4.1, and 1 cell at 3.0 volts-you have a problem. If after discharging them in the Phantom, and re-charging, you still have the terminal red/green light flashing, and the voltage is only 12.2 volts-send them back for exchange, they're bad.