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Phantom batteries

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Marc70, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Marc70

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    I'm looking to buy 1 or more batteries for my Phantom.
    My original battery has been good so far (<10 flights), usually ~8 min/flight with gopro with case.
    I'm just wondering what I should consider buying as long as I'm getting batteries shipped.
    Battery monitor?
    What else?
    What make battery should I get? Or not get?
    I'd like to get the Maddog 2700mah, but shipping is as much as the battery, so I'll stick to Hobbyking and reg battery if needed.
    Are carbon fibre props woth it? I've had a couple slightly rough landings, clipping branches, and my stock props have held out.
    Just looking for experienced info. I'm not looking to spend a fortune on this toy, but don't mind spending a little to make it enjoyable.
    What about the doodad that changes the camera angle (zemuse? Gimble?) I don't want to add too much weight and shorten my flight time, but sometimes think just panning straight down would be neat, then back up as I change location.
    Thanks to all who reply.
    :D
    (This toy has to be the neatest thing I've owned in a long time, and I've got a few cool things). :lol:
     
  2. Marc70

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    Anyone have any good suggestions?
     
  3. ElGuano

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    Get 2-3 Maddog 2700s and you'll save on shipping. They'll get you from 8 minutes to 10-12min. Carbon props are OK, the main benefit is they're a tad lighter than plastic, but if you're like most people, there's a lot more bang for the buck you can do in the weight dept before you'll benefit from that. You'll need to invest in a prop balancer with most cf props.
     
  4. Peter Patricelli

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    The "do-dad" hanging from the bottom of the bird does much more than just allow panning the camera straight down. Play around with your camera in video mode and when you get tired of the all the shaking and vibration...especially compared to some of the wonderful stable and pro quality video that can be shot with YOUR camera mounted on one of those "do-dads" from YOUR Phantom....then it is time for you to jump in.

    But be prepared....it will cost $$, take time, and WILL cut down on flight time....minimum you will lose 2 minutes. If you don't need or want THAT kind of video....don't do it.

    There is not much to be gained from specialty props over OEM on a P1 IF the bird is near original bare weight. OEM props on a stock, unadorned bird work quite well and are quite tough....but still need balancing. If/when you add enough do-dads that the short flight time is frustrating, then it is time for you to upgrade props....but you'll never regain ALL of that flight time.
     
  5. Nidge

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    Hi Marc

    Like you I'm relatively new to the Phantom, got mine toward the end of October.
    With the addition of a Goodluckbuy gimbal, Gopro Hero3 Black, and video transmitter it comes in at just under 1150 grams with the battery installed.

    Using a standard HK Turnigy 2200mAh battery I was getting on average around six minutes of flight time before the first low voltage warning. Recently I fitted a set of Phantom V2 props after reading that others had seen an increase in flight times. I have to say that I am very surprised at the performance change as I'm now averaging about 10 minutes of flight time before I receive the first low voltage alarm and the craft is more agile. If you want to try the V2 props you'll need to make sure that you have the newer motors with the self tightening feature.

    Regards

    Nidge
     
  6. Marc70

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    Thanks to all who replied. With your advice, I'm now ready to put in 1 order for multiple items. :D
     
  7. phantomflyer

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  8. Nidge

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    Hi again Marc

    I've received your PM but I'm replying here as I don't yet have board privileges to reply to PM's.

    The V2 props are an inch bigger than the V1's and have a slightly steeper pitch providing more lift per revolution.
    One other thing I noticed, and this has been referenced in other threads, is that not all stock DJI motors on the Phantom are exactly the same as the shaft on one of my motors was a fraction wider in diameter and to get the prop to screw on fully I had to apply a very thin film of silicon grease to the motors shaft.

    Regards

    Nidge
     
  9. joeflyer

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    Location:
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    I got my V1.1.1 a couple weeks before Christmas and put a few flights on it before the weather turned to crap. After reading all of the postings about flight times I ordered a set of Vision props and a couple of alternative batteries.

    I recently received two of these http://www.ebay.com/itm/DJI-Phantom-Qua ... 4178b566d1
    and four of these http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh ... duct=21340

    Using the stock battery and props I was able to hover the naked Phantom in the basement for 11.5 min. until it landed itself. With the Vision props it lasted 13.5 min. This seems to be consistent with other reports. Obviously if I had some equipment mounted and was flying it around outside the times would be shorter.

    In order to fit larger batteries I made a simple modification to the battery opening. I removed the plastic piece just below where the door tab snaps into place. That piece only serves to make sure that there is sufficient clearance for the wire and connector on top of the battery. Eliminating it allows a taller battery to be inserted and the wire and connector can go to the right or left of the battery. The battery opening is now 35 mm. tall by 40 mm. wide. I'd like to post a picture but can't figure out how.

    The Flowerpower 2700 mah battery is 28x34x100 mm. and weighs 205 gm. I had to lengthen the wires so that the connector can be inserted to one side before the battery goes in.

    All of the larger capacity packs I could find were either too big or would just barely fit with no margin for pack swelling. I was able to take the Zippy 1500 packs apart and make two 3S2P 3000 mah packs. The 1500 packs are 15x35x106 mm. and weigh 120 gm. The 3S2P 3000 packs came out 31x35x108 mm. and weigh 235 gm.

    I'm waiting for this storm to pass and the weather to improve before I can see how the 2700 and 3000 packs compare to the stock battery. I'll post some pictures if someone can tell me how.

    Joe
     
  10. ElGuano

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    Hi Joe,

    Just curious, you've already done 80% of the work by shaving the battery opening and soldering together parallel packs--why limit yourself to a 2P 3000 pack, and why not go the full route with 4400mah or 5400mah packs? A 4400mah pack gets me ~25 minutes on a naked phantom, and a 5400mah pack gets a fully loaded Phantom up to 20+ minutes.
     
  11. PJA

    PJA

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    OK... Now you sparked my curiosity...

    Mr. ElGuano... Can you please elaborate how you soldered two 5400mah packs together and fit them into the original Phantom...

    I understand how to solder in parallel, but which 5400mah Batts did you use, and can you post a pic or two showing how the batteries are inserted into your modified compartment. I'm kind of leary to take a dremel to my Phantom and do such a mod in case I screw up... I rather see some examples from Phantom Pilots first to get a good idea how it's done... I've seen some horror stories where the compartment opening had to be taped shut. Something I really don't want to do if the mod fit can be neatly done... I already have the large battery door upgrade...

    Thanks!
     
  12. ElGuano

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    Sorry if I was unclear, what I meant was two 2200mah packs to make a 4400mah 3S2P, or two 2700mah to make a 5400mah 3S2P. With a 4400mah pack, the width is ~44mm so you can carve the battery opening and still have it completely covered by the stock battery door.

    With a 5400mah pack, the width is closer to 52mm, which means you have to widen the opening more than can be covered by the battery door.

    I posted because the wider-door-4400mah pack is a fairly well-known mod for those who are serious about going dual-battery while saving weight--it's an ideal size to fit the battery compartment and still "look stock." I've just never heard of anyone doing it with a 3000mah pack.
     
  13. Marc70

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    Midge, where did you get the props from?
    I'm a little leery of some of these sites, just want to make sure I'm getting what I want.
    Thanks again.
     
  14. joeflyer

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    Location:
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    ElGuano,

    After reading your subsequent post it's clearer where you are coming from. I really don't see a need for me to fly 20+ minutes. My goal was to fit the largest battery without major surgery. Eliminating the protrusion below where the door tab snaps into place took only a few minutes. Then I searched for the largest battery that would fit, plus allowing a little extra room for the batteries to swell when they get older. Also I want enough room for the balance plug to face outward and connect to a battery door headlight.

    Several of the 2700 packs looked good, then I noticed that the Zippy 1500's were advertised at 14 mm. tall and are quite light. There didn't seem to be room for parallel connectors and two cables so I made them into single 3S2P packs. The best part is that they cost only $8.22 each at Hobby King.

    As mentioned I've had my Phantom only a few weeks and have put in a few flights so far with the stock battery, so I'm a noobe. I hadn't heard of dual 2200's fitting and was under the impression that I would need external mounts to go that way. I am reluctant to do any further carving on the battery opening and from what I had read some reported diminishing returns due to the added weight when going with larger dual batteries.

    I plan on flying with Vision props, a Gopro camera and an A/V transmitter. I expect to get at least 10-12 minute flights. I'll see how the 2700 and 3000 packs work out when the weather breaks. If I find a need for longer flight times I'll look into dual 2200's.
     
  15. ElGuano

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    Thanks Joe. Depending on your config, your expectations for 10-12 mins with 3000mah are quite realistic. You do get diminishing returns as you move to heavier batteries, but remember that the Vision hits its flight time with 320g 5200mah batteries so you have room To grow if you wish.

    I assume you've accounted for the balance wiring when you soldered the 3s2p?

    Happy flying!
     
  16. joeflyer

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    Location:
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    Here's an update on my battery trials. As mentioned in my Jan. 5th post I have three different type batteries:
    Stock Phantom 2200 mah - 170 gm weight.
    Flowerpower 2700 mah - 205 gm. Bought on Ebay
    Zippy Compact 3000 mah - 235 gm. These are 3S2P packs I made from two 1500 mah Zippy Compact 25C packs from Hobbyking.

    Since no two flights are the same I thought the best way to compare relative battery performance was to just hover 6 ft. off the ground in GPS mode and time when the lights come on. This was done on a naked Phantom V1.1.1 with V2 props in 35F,12 mph. wind weather. Warning levels are at the default values of: First 11.3/0.6 loss/10.7 loaded, Second 11.2/0.6 loss/10.6 loaded

    Stock Battery - 11m/20s to first warning. 12m/19s to self landing. Battery voltage 11.08/15% left/1869 mah to fully charge
    Flowerpower 2700 - 15m/15s to first warning. 15m/55s to self landing. Battery voltage 10.99/11% left/2460 mah to fully charge
    Zippy 3000/3S2P - 13m/40s to first warning. 14m/50s to self landing. Battery voltage 11.11/19% left/2396 mah to fully charge.
    Also I got several intermittent red flashes starting at 12m/10s, then continuous warning at 13m/40s.

    If I were actually flying around I'd expect the times to be a couple of minutes less.

    I also cycled the batteries. The 2200 and 2700 performed close to rated capacity, while the 3000 pack had only about 2700 mah. actual capacity. My past experience with Hobbyking batteries has been that they do not perform up to their rated capacity, so I should have expected that.

    My conclusions are:
    Making a 3000 pack out of two 1500's Zippys wasn't worth the trip.
    By the time I add the Gopro camera, a mount and A/V transmitter I would expect flight times in the 9 minute range with a stock 2200 battery and in the 12 minute range with the 2700 battery.
    I didn't entertain larger dual batteries because of the extra weight and 12 minutes is long enough for me.
    The best bang for the buck is to use V2 props and a good 2700 mah. battery.

    I'll see what my actual flight times are when the rest of my equipment arrives from China and this crappy weather improves.

    Joe
     
  17. ElGuano

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    Fantastic results, and great methodology, thanks for sharing the tests!

    If I can share one insight, I also have a 3S2P Zippy Compact (2200x2) pack. It is the worst of my six doubled packs. It's the only pack I have that is under its rated capacity, and runs a good 4 minutes shorter than my other 4400s. With this little bit of information, I'm comfortable saying it's probably the Zippy Compact brand, and not the doubled pack, that is underperforming.

    What's the AUW of your naked Phantom? Mine is a bit lighter than stock but I was getting very good flight times out of it with the 4400mah pack.
     
  18. joeflyer

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    My naked Phantom weighs 680 gm. without a battery.

    I've used various Zippy and Turnegy Lipos from Hobbyking for EDF flying. They typically cycle at 75 - 80% of rated capacity and don't last more than 2 seasons. There are better batteries available.
     
  19. ElGuano

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    Thanks. Agreed and agreed.
     
  20. PhantomPerk

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    Hey Joe. I saw you asking how to post pics. The easiest site I found is tinypic.com. Just upload your pic and copy the link for message boards then paste it here. It's free and easy!!