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Phantom smart battery life span

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by rcfanatics, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. rcfanatics

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    Just out of curiosity does any one knows how many flights you are able to get from the phantom battery roughly before it becomes useless?


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  2. D4T_PoM

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    Lol come to think of it I'm wondering the same.

    I had about 30 flights on my P3A battery before I got the whole P3A exchanged for a new P3P.

    I too am curious, guess we will have to wait for a more knowledgable member to chime in.
     
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  3. Buckaye

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    There was a thread on this a while back that was for the Phantom 2 - suggesting that DJI says there are about 300 charge cycles in these batteries. That sounds about right to me, but I would also expect to see degradation of the flight time well before you get to the 300 mark.
     
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  4. StumbleBee

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    An interesting and for me alarming bit of info was that when you show -for instance- 90% of life left it's not what you think it means. It doesn't mean that if you've flown it 50 times you have 450 flights left. You actually can expect very few flights left when you are at 90%. Not only that, but the flights you do have left will not have the same battery output that you originally had!
     
  5. J.James

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    as far as the p2 battery's go and the claim that they can last up to 300 charges is some thing that as far as any one is aware there is no one thats ever even gotten any thing close to 300 cycles on. Even 140 would be considered much better then average. Tho it seems that about 40 or so even seems to be a lot compared to how early they crap out on a lot of people.

    Tho the p3 battery are different then the p3 battery's I would expect about the same life out of them as the p2s Being that I have already seen a few people who have had there's crap out with only about 20 charges. and I even have had one that went from being a 100% perfect battery to being perfectly ruined on charge 20 after foolishly takeing advise from dji and discharging it down to 8% and recharging. I should of known better to take any advise from dji on battery's being that That same thing also wreaked one of my p2 battery's on the 16th charge.
     
  6. rcfanatics

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    No way that's rubbish then I was thinking at least 200 charge cycle from them for the amount of money they cost as well. So you wouldn't recommend discharging the battery down to 8% ?


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  7. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Where does DJI suggest going down to 8%? That's not good battery advice in regards to LiPo batteries at all. Unless they have re-created something internally you never EVER want to intentionally take a LiPo down that far. A good rule of thumb for those who really want to push things (speaking in general about LiPo batteries) is to never intentionally exceed 80% discharge (only 20% remaining). This leaves a small buffer on the battery just in case you get in a bind. I like to be on the ground around 35% with my P3P but with my other aircraft that do not have AutoLand capability I try to shoot for being on the ground around 30%. This leaves me room for a few "missed landings" etc and still get down on the ground with 15% - 20% remaining. With on-board telemetry you can see what the "average" status of the battery is but keep in mind that you can accidentally push the battery below it's MIN by being aggressive with a minimally charged battery.

    When a LiPo is discharged below it's MIN (which I believe to be10% or so but actually it's a voltage issue so % is just a easy way to estimate voltage in a cell/pack) it literally starts degrading internally. Even though sometimes it can be "salvaged" to some degree I don't believe it can ever be 100% good again once it hits that point. There are tons of very reliable and informative articles online about LiPo care and maintenance but suffice to say that from my few years of experience I have yet to see a battery manufacturer suggest you intentionally push a LiPo down that low. Unless they are in the business to sell replacement batteries and in that case I could see one suggesting that but they wouldn't be in business long.

    A LiPo battery can take many many cycles so long as it's gently cared for over the life of the battery but there are so many variables it would be hard to give an approximation especially on one that is as new as the P3 series of batteries. My "generic" LiPos can last anywhere from 100 cycles to over 200 cycles but I don't have any that have made it much beyond that point and that is with very gentle and specific care. I consider the LiPo to be a very expendable (all be it expensive) component of the aircraft system. Even though we would like for them to last indefinitely fact of the matter is they do degrade quicker than we like and should be replaced when you start seeing performance or endurance dropping.

    Also another point to make is that as the pack gets some age/cycles on it, it will lose it's "punch" and require more throttle to achieve the same results as a newer pack. This will only exaggerate the loss in performance into loss of capacity. With airplanes you can fly fairly well on a less than ideal battery pack because the WING is producing the lift but with a helicopter/multirotor the motors have to create all the lift so battery performance is much more critical. When in doubt toss it out ( I mean recycle it properly but that didn't rhyme LOL).
     
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  8. StumbleBee

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    I don't want to get into an argument with J.James over whether you should follow DJI's battery advice or not. I do follow it. I find that it concurs with generally available LiPo battery information, and with what battery 'experts' have posted in peer reviewed (or commented) videos or articles.
    I would never proceed on any one person's internet advice.
    If you read any forum long enough you will find the most outlandish advice based on what once happened to that person. There are so many conclusions reached through twisted "After, therefore a result of." logic. Example; How many threads are there on the internet that attribute a crash to updated faulty firmware because the person updated the firmware and then crashed? Tons! But no more than those of people who did NOT update firmware and then crashed. So what conclusion can be drawn? None. It's all anecdotal.
     
  9. StumbleBee

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    Actually I think they do and I just read it a few days ago. I won't swear to it but I'm pretty sure I saw it in an official DJI video or piece of literature. Don't hold me to it, I'll see if I can get a confirmation and then we'll know.

    YES! I found it. They do recommend 8% and here is the official DJI article. Scroll to the bottom and there it is! (P3 same as P2 I believe but I can get confirmation on that too.)
    Phantom 2 Vision+ Preparing the Battery - DJI Wiki
    Here are the pertinent sentences [All content below this sentence is copied directly from DJI]:

    Correct Battery Usage Notes
    • 1.When the battery is turned on, do not connect it to or disconnect it from the Phantom.
    • 2.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 maximum capacity. This power cycling procedure will optimize the battery.
    • 3.For long term storage, place the battery with only a 40~50% charge in a strong battery box. Discharge and charge the battery once every 3 months to keep it in good condition. Charge amount should be varied in these maintenance charges - (40%~50%)—0%—100%—(40%~50%).
    • 4.Purchase a new battery after your current battery has been discharged over 300 times. Completely discharge a battery prior to disposal. Please dispose of batteries properly.
    • 5.Purchase a new battery if your current battery swells up or is damaged in any way.
    • 6.Never recharge or fly with a battery that is swollen or damaged in any way.
    • 7.Never charge batteries unattended. Always charge batteries on a non-flammable surface such as concrete and never near any flammable materials.
    • 8.Safety is extremely important. For more information, please see the Disclaimer.

    Hints and Tips

    Discharging methods::

    • 1)Slow
    Place battery in Phantom and turn on. Leave on until there is less than 8% of power left or until the battery can no longer be turned on. See DJI VISION App for battery levels. Motors do not need to be turned on, reducing wear.

    • 2)Quick
    Fly the Phantom outdoors until there is less than 8% of power left or until the battery can no longer be turned on.
     
    #9 StumbleBee, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  10. 30secs

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    After flying my batteries are usually around 20-30%. Should I keep them this way for a few days until I recharge, or should I charge it up to 50%?
     
  11. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Thank you for the link StumbleBee

    For the life of me I can't understand how/why their LiPo is so different from every other LiPo on the market. I have roughly 50 different LiPo in my arsenal and over the years I've personally proven (not intentionally) that taking it below the MIN level will cause a physical degradation of the cell make up immediately.

    I'm fairly confident that unless they have magically created a new technology that their advice will come back to haunt them. As for me and my cells I don't even think I could force myself to take one down to 8%. Too many years training myself to stay well above those MIN levels.

    I would like to see some long-term tests where a set of batteries are taken to 8% as suggested every 20 or so cycles compared to batteries that were never allowed to get below 20%. If they weren't so expensive I would do this myself but not at $150/ea.
     
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  12. StumbleBee

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    I hear ya. There seem to be others who have had results similar to yours. I wonder if that's something that happens if you wait 60 or some other high number of cycles before dropping it to 8%. The battery isn't 'used to it' and the 8% is a shock (so to speak) to the system? I have to think that DJI has some very smart engineers who work full time on battery strength and life and make recommendations accordingly. Then again, they have some very smart plastics engineers who gave us potato chips for shells. Who knows? :rolleyes:

    Tell you what. I have three batteries and am approaching 20 cycles. I'll drop 'em to 8% and we'll see if I fall from the sky like a popped balloon. It's just money. ;)
     
    #12 StumbleBee, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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  13. StumbleBee

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    Always happy to add to the confusion.:p

    Which leads me to your avatar. I'm confused. It sort of looks like someone is playing jump rope with their own head. But that just doesn't make sense. Unless it is. So what is it? o_O
     
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  14. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I never noticed my Avatar is "cropped" like that into a circle.

    I work with blueprints for a living and that is a guy (Screen Bean to be exact) looking at a blueprint.
    I'm attaching the image in this post so you can see what I'm talking about: Screen_Beans_Blueprint.gif
     
  15. N017RW

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    Blue prints... LOL! ;):p, don't look now but your age maybe showing.
    (Is that ammonia I smell)

    Seriously though, are blue prints still used? I did not realize that. :rolleyes:
     
    #15 N017RW, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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  16. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Some larger firms still use actual "Blue" prints. I see one "Blue" blueprint a year or so. Now the term "Blueprint" is used for any "Architectural" drawings even ones that are drawn on notebook paper and on the back of a napkin. If it looks like it has a drawing and or dimension on it they call it a Blueprint.

    It's funny you mention age... I'd say many people have no idea the blueprints were "blue" and even fewer have any idea of the "ammonia" comment. To say BLUEprints smell (especially fresh ones) is a huge understatement.
     
    #16 BigAl07, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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  17. StumbleBee

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    Ha ha, I remember not just blueprints! We used to use green prints and brown prints depending on what stage of product development it was! All smelled faintly of ammonia. And Xerox copiers had toners. And before that mimeograph machines smelled like solvent!

    BigA107; Your new avatar is going to confuse people about why I posted that it looked like a man playing jump rope with his own head! Now it looks like a SpaceX aircraft. I like the Screen Bean guy but you have to admit that I was right about the way he looked!
     
  18. AHill

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    When DJI recommends 8% maybe they are talking about 8% showing on their app which is not 8% of the full battery capacity because they turn off Phantom before battery is fully discharged. With that said I did ruin a P2 battery by discharging until Phantom shut off and recharging after 20 cycles as was recommended by DJI manual.
     
  19. D4T_PoM

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    I too would like to know but seems like there is a parliamentary debate which is going on and people are too busy to answer proper questions.
     
  20. TeeJayN

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    I suspect that 8% battery remaining as reported by the app is not the same as 8% of actual battery power remaining. I wouldn't be surprised if the intelligent flight battery circuitry that shuts down the battery near 0% likely does so, as a guess, say at 10% of actual power remaining. If there wasn't such a margin, every time someone got too far out and had to fly back on fumes would have destroyed their battery and we would have seen many more battery failure posts. Yes/No?