Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Short battery life, about 4 minutes

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Help' started by Marko Micic, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys!

    Recently bought a new DJI phantom 1 that was left in stock and i took it out for the first time today, completely new battery, fully charged not much wind but a bit chilly 6 degrees celsius. And i got about 3-4 minutes of flight time. I have bought 4 batteries, all were fully charged and my total flight time including time to change batteries was about 15 minutes. This cannot be normal? What could be wrong?
     
  2. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    First off....are you carrying any extra load...
    have you checked battery cell's voltages...
    have you checked the settings in assistant software...
    does the quad stop flying or are you just getting low battery red flashes..
    need more info.....are you using stock 2200 ma batteries?
     
  3. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok so the batteries are stock 2200mah, was flying without load for 2 flights and with a go pro for the other two. i timed only one of the flights which was 3 minutes 45 seconds, but i did not fly more than 15 minutes including all battery changes since i timed the total time i was out. The quad forcibly landed each time, the low battery blinking appeared after maybe 1 minute of flying.

    Sorry for not being more knowledgeable but i don't know what the values are supposed to be in the assistant nor do i know the preferred settings. i will upload a screenshot shortly if that will help.
     
  4. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    The stock setting in assistant should be ok. Are these flights with new batteries on first charges? The batteries may not be any good. You need a cell checker to determine the voltage of each battery. Are you using stock charger and it it set to proper battery and amp setting. If so, are you waiting for green solid light to confirm charging is complete. Are these your first flights or did this just start happening?
     
  5. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is my first flight ever with this drone. I am using the standard charger that i received with the drone it is set to 2 amps and LiPo. I waited until solid green on all 4 batteries before unplugging. here is a screenshot:

    Could it be the cold weather?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
     
  7. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did some searching on what levels the voltages should be at, changed mine to about 10.7 for first level and 10.5 for second level, got an amazing flight time of 12 min 35 sec, THANKS for your help!
     
  8. gianni_BT

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Tradate(VA).Italy
    No: 6 degrees Celsius cannot explain the short time.
    You have the first and second level protection levels too high.
    These values are for the loaded quad:this means that you get the first low voltage alert when , at full load, your battery is at 3.85V/cell (11.55V in total) that is about half of its charge.
    In addition if the voltage shown is when you connect with a fully charged battery, either your charger does not fully load the battery or the voltage monitor of the quad is not calibrated.
    I suggest you to go in the Assistant in Advanced/Voltage page with a fully charged battery and do the following:
    -check in the "current voltage" X3 field that the reading is 12.59 /12.60:if it is not , you should first check your battery voltage with an external multimeter and then activate the "Calibration" pushbutton and insert exactly the voltage you read with the multimeter: in this way you align the quad voltage monitor with the current battery voltage.
    -In the first level protection fields insert 10.5 in "No Load" and 0 in "Loss": you should see 10.5 in "Loaded": this means that you will get your first red led blinking when your quad is flying(loaded) and the battery is at 10.5V (3.5V/cell).
    -In the second level protection field insert 9.9 in "No Load" and 0 in "Loss": you should see 9.9 in "Loaded": this means that you will get your automatic landing when your quad is flying(loaded) and the battery is at 9.9V (3.3V/cell).

    Verify in the assistant home page (the one you post) that the battery voltage matches the voltage you measure with a multimeter and the protection levels are 10.5 and 9.9.
    With these settings you have a safe limit for the second level alert that does not allow your battery , when loaded, to drop below the 3.3V/Cell that is absolutely safe against the potential battery damage voltage that is 3V/cell, even if the cells are not perfectly balanced.
    The interval between the first red led blinking and the forced landing should be around 50 sec to 1 minute that is the time within you should safely land, before the quads performs a forced landing where is: if you like to have more time to come back and land, increase the first level to 10.8 or add an extra external audible alarm device set to 3.7V/cell that will warn you a lot in advance.
    In principle you can insert a lower voltage in the second level alarm (e.g. 9.6 or 9.45), but in this case you should regularly monitor that the battery cells are well balanced, in order to avoid to reach that voltage with 1 cell giving less than the safe 3V(e.g. 2.9/3.3/3.3=9.5).
     
  9. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you so much for your reply, i will measure the voltage of my batteries and calibrate. I will enter the levels you provided they make more sense than the first ones i got which only gave me about 30 seconds between blinking red and auto descent. At what voltage do the batteries start taking damage?

    Edit: Sorry i see now to prevent one cell from going to 2.9 so i guess 3 is the safe value to not go below. I understand. Thank you!
     
  10. gianni_BT

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Tradate(VA).Italy
    You found the solution by yourself while I was writing my answer: however I think you can increase a little bit more your fly time.
     
  11. gianni_BT

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Tradate(VA).Italy
    Everyone agrees that 3V is the level when the risk of permanent damage to the cell starts. Then there are batteries that do not damage even at 2.9, 2.8 , but it is better to avoid this kind of test.
    Up to 3V you are safe, but you have to give yourself somemargin in case of unbalanced cells.
     
  12. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perfect! after a bit more googling, I'm going to try setting my first level protection to 10.4 and mi second to 9.9, do you think this sounds reasonable?
     
  13. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    Some things I have found out with my 3 P1s. If you haven't flown for a while, the warmup time may take longer to get both sets of fast green flashes indicating course and home have been recorded. If you want more flight time on a particular battery, use another battery for the warm up. Then put in flight battery . Warm up should be shorter.
    Bare P1 with good 2200 ma being stock should easily give 12 or more minutes if it's not too cold out. Carrying a GoPro with no gimbal....about 10 minutes. Gopro and walkera G2d plastic gimbal....about 8 minutes. I am using a small second battery for gimbal power.
    Now, with gopro, gimbal, extra battery for gimbal, and using 9450 props and using a Multistar 4000 ma battery, I can get at least 12 minutes and that's seeing the first red flashes. I'm not going to risk a crash to get another minute of flight so I won't set my battery protection levels too low.
     
  14. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually ordered a gimbal and am also interested in adding a separate battery for it, haven't been able to figure out how it would connect and what battery would be appropriate to use though. Neither did i know that it would add flight time, i guessed the extra weight would offset the gain. What sort of battery do you use and where did you get it?
     
  15. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    I am using the Walkers G2D plastic . It's very light. Lighter than the metal version. I power it with a small 850 ma battery from a toy quad. It has the JST connector that plugs right into the gimbal. I didn't want to open quad to connect pitch control. Don't care about that. I feel that if I did and something shorted and using flight battery it could bring down my bird. The gimbal pitch can be adjusted prior to flight with a small provided screwdriver on the gimbal itself. I don't like the videos where one keeps changing the camera pitch during the video. At times it may be helpful, but not for me at this time. Which gimbal did you order? The Walkera G2d does not have to be connected to the Phantom and can be had for about 60 or 70 dollars.
     
  16. gianni_BT

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Tradate(VA).Italy
    Mi personal settings with P1.1.1, gimbal goodluckbuy (heavy:220gr), SJ4000, 9043 propellers, prop guards and low voltage buzzer (total weight 1150gr) are 9.9 and 10.5. I think 10.4 is ok till you do not mount the gimbal: after that, to obtain a reasonable landing time, probably 10.5 is better.
     
  17. Marko Micic

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok i have a smalle drone with a JST connector so it will probably plug straight in. This being my first drone i went with the most budget gimbal i could buy(Im taking it to vietnam with me to film the scenery and if i crash i do not want it to hurt my pocket too much) so the one i bought is a chinese no brad, i'l link it here:

    gimbal

    Maybe it is a bit heavier than yours but i hope it does the job. You think it is possible to mount this without connecting it to the fantom at all? Because i always se people connecting at least one cable in the videos.
     
  18. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    As I said...unless you insist on pitch control...no reason to connect inside of Phantom. I don't use the Phantom power. That's
    the reason for the small battery. You could actually use this as a hand held gimbal. Remember to have it level at power up.
     
  19. gianni_BT

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Tradate(VA).Italy
    I have this low cost gimbal:

    FPV 2 Axis Brushless Gimbal With Controller For DJI Phantom GoPro 3

    I power it with the P1.1.1 3s battery, using the auxiliary power line provided as standard in Phantom.
    I also drive the gimbal pitch from the P1.1.1 remote potentiometer, adding 1 single wire from the Naza F2 output, To do this I had to open the P1.1.1 cover, but it is an easy operation: you have just to be carefull to open the cover slowly in order not to wrap the gps connection. It is necessary only a single wire, because the ground is the same as the battery ground.
    The gimbal consumption is around 160/250ma, depending when the motors are moving. The power range of the gimbal is shown on the box or on the manual: in my case it can range from 7 to 15V (2s to 4 s battery) but the 3s is recommended.
    So any lipo in this range(but better 3s) can be used: the capacity depends how long you want the gimbal to work without recharging the battery:however I think that a range between 600 and 1000mah is more than sufficient. In case you use an external battery and want to drive the pitch from remote, you need to connect both the P1.1.1 F2 signal and ground wires.
    The flight time reduction I had is around 80/90 seconds from the configuration with the camera mounted on the stock fixed support: I do not know if using an external battery with its extra weight I can have a better result.In addition the external battery has to be fixed in some way and this depends on the mechanicalpart of the gimbal.
     
  20. gianni_BT

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Tradate(VA).Italy
    As Monte55 correctly said, you need to connect to Phantom only if you want to modify the pitch camera angle during the flight, using the Phantom transmitter(in P1.1.1 the potentiometer lever is mounted as standard on the back of the radio). If not, most of the gimbal electronics provide the way to store the pitch angle position at gimbal power up:the angle will remain the same till the next power-up. If this is acceptable, you do not need to open the Phantom and connect any control signal. About the power, it is not necessary to open the Phantom, even if you want to power the gimbal with the Phantom battery: the extra power line is available as 2 spare wires in one of the holes between the Phantom legs and the case (red and gray pair: red is the +, grey is the -). To have the possibility to use the gimbal hand held or with a different equipment, I connected a JST connector to the stock P1.1.1 auxiliary power line, so it is easy to disconnect the gimbal power and power it in a different way.Also this small mod does NOT require to open the Phantom.