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Walkera 5200mah (Pro-Z-14) test on Phantom 1

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Discussion' started by ElGuano, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. ElGuano

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    I ordered two of these Pro-Z-14 5200mah batteries in February when they were first release. Both were from Hong Kong/China shops. One just arrived today. That's probably the slowest shipping I've ever encountered, and I buy stuff from Hobbyking's intl warehouse :)

    First, this thing is tiny. Its dimensions are almost PRECISELY the same as my homemade 4400mah 3S2Ps, and it's way smaller than my Maddog 5400mah. It's so compact that I had to add a bit of tape to the top edge of the battery so my battery door latch would close.

    As an aside, the size makes sense. When the Vision was first announced, pre-release pictures came out showing a 4400mah 3S2P. DJI always claimed that the production model would be 5200mah, but nobody really believed it, because the 4400mah fit the production battery bay and cage already. But lo and behold, we got the smart battery as a 5200! In precisely the same size as the 4400 pre-release. So there's precedent on the identical size between these two capacities.

    Pro-Z-14 on the left, DJI 4400 middle, Maddog 5400 right
    [​IMG]

    View from above:
    [​IMG]

    It's also featherweight. I've made about 10 sets of 3S2Ps so far, and the DJIs are consistently 323-324g. This 5200mah comes in at 315g after I clipped off the HXT connector and replaced it with an XT60. It also feels well made, with cleanly aligned, straight-edged cells, unlike some of the Zippys and Turnigys I've opened up.
    [​IMG]

    But the big question is, how does it fly? Does a 10C 5200mah hold up? Does it compare to the P2's smart battery?

    I charged it up and took a single test flight with my Phantom. 1206g AUW, gimbal, gopro, 600mw vtx, iOSD mini, 9443 props, 5200mah battery. Slight wind, mostly easy flying and hovering--my usual AP-style battery test flight. Alarm 1 (10.6v) hit at: 14 minutes. Huh. I've been watching the voltage discharge on the iOSD, so I can see that the curve is extremely sharp at the beginning, and extremely flat near the middle and end of cycle. So it would drop from 12.1 loaded to the low 11s almost immediately, and then stay there. So I ran it down to 10.5v before landing. Total flight time: 16 minutes, 33 seconds, the last couple of minutes flying in level 1 alarm. Frankly, that's middling performance for a rated 5200, and about the same as my 4400s perform... Coincidence?

    The 10C rating is definitely true though. There's more voltage sag when you hit the throttle, and after landing at 10.5v, I read 3.69/3.72/3.71 (11.0v) on the pack. After 5 minutes, it had 3.73/3.76/3.78 (11.2v). My maddoog springs back faster and rarely rises more than 0.1v. And I was flying this thing around under 10.6v for two and a half minutes. Flight time is flight time, but I don't prefer a discharge profile that sits at landing voltage for minutes on end. On charge, 4027mah was reported put back into the pack. Which would be in line with a 4400mah run down to 10.5v.

    I did of course test directly against my Maddog 5400, which is a full 82g heavier at 397g, and MUCH wider. The Maddog, flown immediately after the Pro-Z-14, performed as consistently as it always does. Fairly linear discharge curve, first alarm at 19:30 (10.6v), landed still at 10.6v at 20:10. Pack voltages 3.69/3.68/3.71 (11.0v), followed by 3.69/3.73/3.74 (11.1v).

    I'll run a few more cycles and see if anything changes. Maybe these batteries need to stretch a bit before they get their legs? So far though, everything is looking like this is a low-C 4400mah pack. Which for $60 isn't bad, especially if you don't want to make your own packs, but it's no P2 pack...

    I have another pack coming from a different vendor too, maybe that one will be better. If not, at least these are light enough where I may be able to parallel them up and run them as duals on the Y6.
     
  2. chrisc

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    Is that just the first charge cycle though?

    I would hope that after a few charges it'd get better flight times. I don't think I need to spend $60 on a battery to get 15mins vs $13 for 10mins.

    I'll wait to see if the times get better but that doesn't sound great. I almost bought two yesterday thinking i'd get nearer 20mins
     
  3. EMCSQUAR

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    Thanks for the update!
     
  4. ElGuano

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    Yep, that's first cycle only. None of my batteries have performed significantly better on 2nd, 5th or 20th cycle so I don't really buy that it starts tight and gets stronger, but maybe this one is different. I'll update as I keep using it.
     
  5. ElGuano

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    Second flight.

    Starting voltage: 12.54v unloaded.
    On takeoff, nearly immediate drop to 11.6v.
    Down to 11.1v @ 5min.
    11.0 @ 6min.
    10.9v @ 8min.
    10.8v @ 9:30.
    10.7v @ 10:45.
    10.6v @ 13.30.
    First lv alarm (set to 10.6) @ 14:15
    All red @ 14:45.
    10.5v @ 16:30.
    Landing at 18:07 (10.5v).

    Landing voltage: 3.66/3.69/3.73 (11.0)
    5 minute rest voltage: 3.72/3.77/3.77 (11.2).

    My 4400s can get 18 minutes as well if I push them down to 10.5v. But this one appears to recover more. Whereas my 4400s would be at 10.8-10.9v after such a flight, these come back to 11.2.

    So, it's possible these batteries have more juice at the bottom of the discharge curve. The real question is how comfortable I would be dipping that low in regular flight.
     
  6. OI Photography

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    What's the functional difference between those two measurements? At first glance, that's what looks odd to me, the instant .5v jump, even before time to bounce back (if that's what those numbers represent). I guess that would support your theory that there's more, uh, headroom in the bottom end...? i.e. they might be able to be pushed further.
     
  7. ElGuano

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    That's the line loss. 0.5 to 0.6v is pretty normal, but it depends on the battery. The maddogs are kind of the outlier in that they don't spring back as much. They just flow so well there is less internal resistance and less loss.

    Speaking of which, I just ran the maddogs on my y6 and got...19 minutes to 10.5v @ 1401g. So far, these are still the ones to beat. What's interesting is that 10.63 to 10.51 happens within 45 seconds on the maddogs. On the Walkera that's about 2-3 minutes for the same drain.
     
  8. OI Photography

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    Ahh ok, so "Landing at" = when you started to bring it down, "Landing voltage" = measured immediately after motor shutdown, I misunderstood that.

    If the weather permits, I'll be doing the first tests with the TP 5400 in my 1.5 tomorrow, and once I do I'll post the voltages for comparison.
     
  9. ElGuano

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    Yeah, my description was unclear about that, sorry!

    Test flight 3 was this morning. I wanted to see how long it would take to discharge down to 10.4v (which incidentally is currently my auto-land voltage, I would NEVER let any of my packs get near this low).
    Level 1: 10.6v. Level 2: 10.v.

    12.6v fully charged became 11.6v loaded.
    Down to 11.0v 6:30 into flight.
    10.8v at 8:30.
    10.6v at 12:50.
    First red (10.6) @ 13:30. Solid red at 15:15.
    10.5 @ 16:20.
    10.4 @ 18.30.
    Landed @ 19:03 (still at 10.4v, no autoland triggered)

    Immediate landing voltage: 3.65/3.70/3.70 (11.0)
    5 minute resting voltage: 3.68/3.71/3.74 (11.1)

    Landing at 10.4v loaded, and it recovers to 11.1? These batteries are strange. Again, I think these 10C packs on a Phantom are like a car with a 300mi range, but the gas gauge drops from Full to Empty by the time you pull out of the gas station, and you have to gauge your fuel remaining by watching the odometer.

    I currently have the batteries set on discharge and see exactly how much juice is left until 3.0v/cell. That'll also let me charge up from empty and see the true capacity.
     
  10. Howzit

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    What sort of gear do you have on your Phantom during these tests? Completely unloaded?
     
  11. ElGuano

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    Loaded to the hilt.

    Tarot T-2D gimbal
    GoPro H3B
    600mw VTX
    iOSD mini
    PMU-V2

    1208g AUW with the 5200mah battery.
     
  12. ElGuano

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    OK, so I performed a discharge to 3.0v/cell and a full charge of the Pro-Z-14. The charger reported: 5568mah put back in....

    And the discharge took out about 500-600mah from the drained pack, which means this morning's test to 19.13 (10.4v) was a surprisingly reasonable 90% drain.

    So according to the charger the battery definitely has the claimed capacity.

    I'm thinking the Phantom's 2212/920kv motors may indeed be overdrawing the battery's optimal discharge rate. That'd be surprising given that I'm draining at about 3-4C sustained. The voltage sag is about 0.3-0.5v larger than expected, so what's being reported as 10.6v loaded is probably closer to 11.0v.

    I can either lighten the Phantom to see if the curve shifts to the left, or wait for the second battery to come in and parallel them to test the same.
     
  13. OI Photography

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    Cool! Cells staying in line pretty well even when pushed?
     
  14. ElGuano

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    Tolerably so. I see up to 0.07v difference between highest and lowest cell at end of flight, with 0.5v being common. My other packs are typically between 0.03-0.05v, and they have a lot more cycles on them.

    I don't see this as a major problem for the time being.
     
  15. Howzit

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    I'm sure it's been answered, but I don't recall while going through these threads. But, few questions for ya.

    1) Which batteries fit in parallel in the 1.5? I guess the Mad Dog 2700's won't w/o carving, right?
    2) What kind of flight time did you get with the DJI 4400's?
    3) Flight times with the Phantom 2 batteries? (loaded or unloaded with gear?)
     
  16. ElGuano

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    Got my second Walkera battery in today. The best part about it? They shipped it in a counterfeit iPhone box! If ever you doubted it came from China.

    1. Not sure, don't have a 1.5.

    2. DJI 4400s get about 15 minutes. They'll stretch to 17-18 if you fly really light.

    3. No idea, this I want to know more about as well. EMC was getting some insane times even with a heavy phantom. I'd love to get ahold of some of those p2 cells to see.
     
  17. Howzit

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    Thanks.

    Regarding the phantom 2 batteries, I'd assume there would be a decent amount of testing. In d3wey's long thread, it looked as if several people were adding the correct power connections to utilize the p2 battery. What sorts of times was EMC stating?
     
  18. OI Photography

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    Correct. Two stock DJI 2200mAh batts will fit in perfectly side by side without any modification to the bay, but that's it. Getting 2 maddog 2700's in there would require this:
    [​IMG]

    (I overdid it a little bit on some of the ribs to the left)
     
  19. Howzit

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    Can I ask what sort of flight times you're getting with those 2 batteries and with what kind of load?
     
  20. OI Photography

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    As soon as I get some test flights in with the different configs I'll post it here.