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Warnings while flying in -5 degree weather in Colorado.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Dunbeazy, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. Dunbeazy

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    Hello all, so upon taking my bird on my vacation, she flew like a champ yesterday in the cold. This morning around 5:30am I decided to get some night shots. Temp was -5 degrees. I let her warm up for a bit before I took her up. All was going well until about 5 min in when I received multiple errors on my screen. "Missing prop", "motor obstructed", "loose motor". I have never received these messages before and always do safety checks before each flight. What gets stranger is that when I brought her back in immediately there was nothing wrong at all. I checked the flight logs and it shows 2 different flights/ logs during the whole flight. Why 2 separate logs when it was just 1 flight??? Could the motors have gotten too cold to function properly. I was able set her down with no problem. This is my first time flying in the freezing weather. In total though this was my 103rd flight logged. Any ideas what happened? I'm leaning on the freezing weather and the motors starting to freeze.
    Thanks
     
  2. lenmcgilvary

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    The last firmware update dealt with cold and batteries, but i wonder.....
     
  3. Dunbeazy

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    Yeah I wonder as well. I'm up to date with the firmware. I'm going to wait till temp is around 16 degrees and take her out again.
     
  4. Dome

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    You get some ice probably.. So motors were really loosing rpm...
     
  5. robsquad

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    damp/condensation ?
     
  6. Dunbeazy

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    46% humidity. Possibility for condensation.
     
  7. tcope

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    Did you just throw away those pants or try to wash them? :)
     
  8. ditch64

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    I'm not sure electric motors would function any less in cold weather. After all, they create an immense amount of heat. That being said, I couldn't tell you what could have caused that. :/
     
  9. Kenneth Gundersen

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    I did get this message from DJI. Maybe it make sense:

    Flying DJI aircraft in winter can be fun, but we have heard that some of our users have experienced issues when flying in cold weather. Did you know that as the temperature drops, so does the performance of the LiPo battery inside your aircraft? Read on to find out how to look after your battery and keep yourself in the air.

    The Science

    LiPo, or Lithium Polymer batteries drain faster the colder they get because the chemical reactions that they use to create electricity are slowed. This starts to occur at temperatures lower than 59°F (15°C) and is a known issue of all LiPo batteries.

    At high altitudes where air pressure is low, motors on an aircraft have to spin faster to produce enough lift, meaning even more power is needed, in turn accelerating battery drain.

    What this Means

    In extreme cases, a battery could drain below 3V, causing reduced thrust or even battery shutoff due to over-discharge protection systems designed to keep your battery healthy.

    Hot Tips for Beating the Cold

    1. Make sure batteries are fully charged before each flight.
    2. Warm batteries to 25°C or more before flight. We recommend using a battery heater.
    3. Hover the aircraft for around a minute to allow the battery to warm up.
    4. Turn on “Show Voltage on Main Screen" on the "Aircraft Battery" page of the DJI Go app. Do not continue flying if battery voltage drops below 3.2V.
     
  10. 4wd

    4wd

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    If this is -5F you are pushing the envelope.
    The manual does suggest 0C/32F as a minimum safe operating temperature, however you can certainly fly it well below freezing but it's advisable to have the battery in the warm until about to take off.
     
    Kenneth Gundersen likes this.
  11. John Locke

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    I find it interesting that DJI designed the battery to protect itself and SHUT OFF mid flight, which would obviously destroy the craft in a hundred foot dive bomb, just to protect the battery. Nevermind the innocent bystander that gets clobbered on the head, or the car that got the windshield busted, all from saving the battery, but hey.......the battery was protected. This makes no sense.

    I think a visual display warning of battery over discharge, and an audible voice saying "danger, danger, over discharge" would be more appropriate, verses the craft falling from the sky. But that's just me.
     
    #11 John Locke, Dec 24, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  12. 4wd

    4wd

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    I would look at it more like a stall in that the motors could demand more power than a cold battery can supply.
    So the latest firmware (probably) reduces the maximum demand to safe level by monitoring battery in an improved way
     
  13. James Cole

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    Yes I agree on the battery issue... the battery will be toast anyways if it cuts the power to protect itself and the quad fall like a brick... kind of awkward the thought behind this failsafe.
     
  14. Dunbeazy

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    Flew today once it warmed up to about 10-16 degrees. 6 flights and no errors at all. Prob will not try in - degree weather again.

    Thanks everyone for the input
     
    TatorSalad likes this.
  15. Wibble

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    In Wales we usually get 90% humidity and that has never happened to me. 46% is an undreamed of luxury!
     
  16. Cale262

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    flew in -20*C today with the latest FW...no issue with the P3P but my iPad Air shut itself down after about ten minutes
     
    Kenneth Gundersen likes this.
  17. Corvette595

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    75 here in Louisiana yesterday and I got the exact same error messages I too landed immediately, changed pants and then inspected the Phantom, could not see anything wrong. Searching the forum right now looking for a answer
     
    jerseybiz likes this.
  18. Dunbeazy

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    Very strange. I've had 8 flights since and no errors. Totaling 108. Looks like this may be a new issue or warning of some sort. I'm going to submit this info to DJI and see what that say
     
  19. Dunbeazy

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    Uploaded to healthydrones.com and it shows 1 error message "flight altitude limit warning". I'm waiting on a reply from Eran from healthy drones regarding this and why my 1 flight is in 2 separate logs.
     
  20. Dunbeazy

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    Here is my footage if you would like to see my trip. It was an amazing Christmas.