Top tips for happy Mavic batteries

Discussion in 'Mavic Pro Discussions' started by Alex Proto, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    Hi guys,

    Alex here (from PhantomAngel). With each awesome new DJI product there's often an influx of new pilots (which is great). One of the often overlooked and yet critical matters is how to take care of your drone's batteries.

    To help clarify the confusion and help people get the most out of their new Mavic batteries I've adapted my Phantom and Inspire battery guide to bring you: Top tips for happy Mavic batteries!

    Top tips for happy Mavic batteries

    Enjoy!

    As always, any and all comments, questions and observations are most welcome.
     
    WolfgangStiller likes this.
  2. kmaluo

    kmaluo Well-Known Member

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    A Mavic accessory infomercial! Lol
     
  3. sdharris

    sdharris Well-Known Member

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    They're intelligent flight batteries, they discharge themselves. You might need to find another product to sell.
     
  4. piccoloflyerr

    piccoloflyerr Member

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    I will not use this discharger on my Mavic battery , can you move this post to for sale section?

    Sent from my MI MAX using Tapatalk
     
  5. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    Yup, something like that :) I'd also hope some good info for the vast majority of new pilots who don't know the ins and outs of LiPos batteries. A lot of people have given feedback that they've found this Phantom and Inspire top tips very useful so I've got no doubt Mavic pilots will too.
     
  6. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    Indeed! And for many pilots that's good enough. What I personally found (which is why I started the Angel project in the first place) is that to calibrate DJI batts you need to discharge them almost fully. And if you have many batteries its just not practical to do this by flying your drone (let alone wearing its motors and electronics!)

    Definitely not something everyone needs, but for people who fly for a living its a handy accessory.

    For example, here's a quote from the editor over at InspirePilots:
    "Calibration/discharge can be a PITA sometimes. That's why I got one of the Angels. Well worth it.
    They're a good piece of kit and work well. Storage charge mode is brilliant as well."


    Same goes for the Mavic.

    But, again, its not for everyone... if you fly recreationaly you most likely don't need a dedicated discharger.
     
  7. kmaluo

    kmaluo Well-Known Member

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    Interesting product, but the possible couple percentage points of life saved is not worth the $80 cost of the product and the time invested to achieve that goal. But I applaud your savviness.
     
  8. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    Thanks for the kind words Kmaluo.

    Just for the benefit of other people reading this thread in the future, the Angel's primary purpose is to discharge batteries to calibration level.
    Calibrating the batteries (via Angel or otherwise) is not an optional or nice to have activity - its critical to keeping the drone in the air. The reason is that as batteries age and get worn, they change the profile of the voltage that they output. This voltage is used by the drone to estimate how much battery is left. So the more the voltage profile diverges from the factory default, the further out the estimate is from reality. You may have seen this happen with laptops or mobile phones which can go from 10% to 1% and then die within seconds. Fully discharging and then recharging allows the drone to calibrate its estimation equations.

    For a deeper dive I've written a short article on the topic of estimating DJI battery capacity
     
    #8 Alex Proto, Oct 18, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    The Editor likes this.
  9. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    Alex Proto, where does DJI recommend cycling the batteries? That recommendation seemed to have disappear from all DJI documentation some months ago.
     
  10. The Editor

    The Editor Well-Known Member

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    Any Lipo that uses 'Fuel Gauge' indications will need to be calibrated periodically.
    The reason for this is that the cells internal resistance increases over time (whether used or not) and a few things happen with the chemistry.
    1. The capacity of the pack/cells decreases
    2. The ability of the pack/cells to give up their charge under heavy demand diminishes
    3. The sag of the cells increases under load and therefore voltage/capacity readings are not accurate.

    By deep cycling the packs you are effectively telling the firmware (fuel gauge) what is 'Full' and what is 'Empty' for that particular battery. These end points change with time and that is the reason for necessary deep cycling.

    It may have disappeared from DJI's literature which is probably an oversight (or mistake) the same as they still bang on about doing a compass calibration every time you change flying location which is bad advice - but that stays in the manual. :p
     
  11. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    Or perhaps they found cycling batteries every 20 charges was overkill? I haven't seen anyone mention this for a while, but I think the DJI GO app will still recommend balancing the battery cells if needed.
     
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  12. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    Hey msinger. Not sure about the disappearance...

    Mavic's brand new battery manual: https://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/mavic/Mavic+Pro+Intelligent+Flight+Battery+Safety+Guidelines-EN.pdf
    "Fully discharge and charge the battery at least once every 3 months to maintain battery health"

    And, the current version of the Inspire manual has the calibration instructions as normal:
    http://download.dji-innovations.com/downloads/inspire_1/en/Inspire_1_User_Manual_v1.0_en.pdf

    Cheers
     
  13. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    I'm pretty sure they are referring to using the battery at least once every 3 months -- AKA just don't let it sit in a box without use for many months on end.
     
  14. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    You might be right... time will tell :)

    Personally I really doubt it. LiPos do no need to be refreshed in this way and are very happy sitting in a box for months. On the other hand all consumer smart batteries (that I'm aware of at least) need cycling for calibration purposes...
     
  15. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    I cannot speak for LiPo batteries in general, but you will most certainly damage a DJI battery if you let it sit idle in a box for many months.
     
  16. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    Now that's interesting and something I'm not aware of. If that's the case I'd like to include it in the top tips article (which is what this thread is originally about :) ). Do you have any references I can take a quick look at? What's making this hard to digest (apart from the general point that LiPos in general are happy being stored for ages) is that if this is indeed the case then what does DJI and dealers and stores do with the batts they have sitting on their shelves and warehouses - do they start getting damaged after a few months?

    And just a point of clarity... when I'm referring to LiPos being OK in storage I'm talking about LiPos that are stored properly (i.e. at 50-60% charge). If you let fully charged lipos sit for long then you are indeed asking for trouble.
     
  17. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    And, there lies the problem. DJI batteries slowly discharge over time, so a battery stored at 65% will eventually discharge down to an unsafe storage level. Batteries stored at that unsafe storage level will eventually become damaged. They sometimes can no longer be recharged.

    This is not possible with DJI batteries since they will start auto discharging down to 65% after 10 days or less.
     
  18. Alex Proto

    Alex Proto Member

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    That's really good shout! Thanks. Its very true... if left alone DJI's "smart" circuitry will indeed draw a tiny bit of current, causing them to eventually discharge completely. I'll be curious to see if DJI resolve this in the Mavic or perhaps the I2 batts in the future.
     
  19. piccoloflyerr

    piccoloflyerr Member

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    if you want to fully discharge Mavic's battery, get this battery to power bank adapter, and charge you phone's battery once or twice, that will empty Mavic's battery

    [​IMG]
     
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