DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

Brand New Fully Charged Mini 3 Battery Lasts 3 Minutes of Flight

Conservative Nihilist

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
405
Reactions
297
Age
39
Location
Down the dirt road a ways.
I own a small fleet of older DJI drones, but my recent purchase of a Mini 3 is the first brand-new drone I have ever acquired. I bought this drone because of the standard battery's phenomenal battery duration of 34 minutes, and a whopping 47 minutes of flight time for the "plus" battery version.

After jumping through the unfamiliar hoops of activating the drone to get out of beginner mode, and pairing it with its controller, I charged up a standard battery and launched the Mini 3 on its first test flight. Just as I was settling in to enjoy the unfolding view of the countryside as the Mini 3 headed out, I got a battery low warning and the drone reverted to RTH after a shocking THREE MINUTES, which is less than one-tenth of the advertised battery duration.

Now, given that this is a brand-new drone, I expected the provided battery to be in pristine condition, and capable of keeping the drone aloft for at least 30 minutes. To see the battery run flat after a piddling 3 minutes left me stupefied. I own a DJI Phantom 3S, a Phantom 3Pro, a Mavic 1 Pro, a Mavic 1 Pro Platinum, and a Mavic 2 Pro, all of which I purchased used from eBay, and I never saw any of the supplied used batteries run critically low in under 20 minutes, with 22 minutes being the average time for a fully charged battery to run low enough for RTH to kick in.

Fortunately, I also purchased two of the extra capacity "Plus" batteries for this Mini 3, and I am in the process of charging them up to see how they fare. All the same, it beggars the belief that a brand-new drone could be sold with a dead battery that will not last a tenth of its specified flight duration. I would love to hear from any other forum contributors here who may have run into dead batteries that were supplied with a brand-new drone. I am inclined to send that battery back to the seller for a refund right away, but I decided to write to this forum first, just in case there is some battery update process that I skipped due to my limited knowledge of the Mini 3. Thanks in advance for any pointers you can share on this very odd predicament.
 
Last edited:
Any possibility to share the flightlog for that 3min flight? Think a first step would be to check if that battery actually was fully charged (voltage wise).

Go here to upload the log, then share the link they provide to the log in a new post ---> DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help
Turns out the battery did NOT charge up at all. With the charging hub showing four green lights, I simply removed the battery under the presumption that it was fully charged and installed it in the drone. I was so excited about launching the first flight that I completely neglected to press the battery button once as a final check of the battery charge level.

When the battery ran flat after 3 minutes, I was still in disbelief that a dead battery could have been shipped with a brand new drone, so I went ahead and charged it up again but this time I did press the droner's power button once after the battery was installed "fully charged", just to be sure about that charge level. Only ONE of the four battery indicator lights illuminated, confirming that the battery is not even capable of being charged up, and was pretty much dead on arrival.

If I hadn't also purchased two of the larger capacity "plus batteries" for this Mini 3, my first flight would have been delayed for months while I awaited a replacement battery to be sent by the seller in Florida. I've now contacted the seller and explained that the supplied battery is not capable of holding a charge, with the expectation that he will send a viable replacement when he receives the returned defective one.

Of the numerous used DJI drones I've bought in the past, each sold with multiple batteries, I have never once in the past been sold a completely dead battery, so that was the last thing I expected with the purchase of a brand new drone. I can only presume that this "open box" purchase must have been a display model that sat on a shelf for a long time prior to being sold to me. I doubt I'll ever buy anything listed as an " open box" item in the future, due to this unpleasant surprise I found with this "new" Mini 3's battery.
 
Just to be absolutely sure: The DJI mini 3's brand new batteries must first be charged in the aircraft. Only then charge in the charging hub!
What?? Are you kidding me? I never heard of or read this stipulation before. At this very moment, I have a plus battery in the hub charging up for the first time. What should I do now? Should I stop charging the Plus battery with the hub and install it in the drone to complete the charge? Or should I let it fully charge in the hub and then discharge it by flying the drone preparatory to charging it in the drone?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kafftenen
My printer quit yesterday so I've been scrolling through the manual on the screen of my desktop computer which means I tend to miss things that I would easily have noticed if I had a good old-fashioned printout in my hand. Dang. I hope I haven't ruined a new battery already.
 
Ok I have checked page 7 of the manual, and it does show the initial charging of a battery that is installed in the drone, BUT, thus far I haven't spotted any mention that the optional charging hub should NOT be used for the first charge. I am going back to double check again.
 
Ok I have checked page 7 of the manual, and it does show the initial charging of a battery that is installed in the drone, BUT, thus far I haven't spotted any mention that the optional charging hub should NOT be used for the first charge. I am going back to double check again.
The note from the manual (emphasis mine):

All Intelligent Flight Batteries are in hibernation mode before shipment to ensure safety. Connect the
USB charger to the USB-C port on the aircraft to charge and activate the Intelligent Flight Batteries
for the first time
 
Thanks for this definitive reply, William. I will do this now with the stock battery. The Plus battery appears to be charging normally in the hub so I'll let that process runs its course before running a test flight with that battery.

Hopefully, the stock battery is undamaged by my blunder and can be brought to life by charging it in the drone. I am certain that without the help I am privileged to benefit from in this forum, I'd have made little headway even with the manual in front of me. I am enormously grateful. Oh how I pine for the days of yore when DJI drones were so much easier to understand, and were much less finicky.
 
The manual's wording I feel could have been a bit more explicit by including a special warning stating clearly that the optional charging hub should NOT be used for that initial charge. The way the manual is worded, an interpretation could be made that while the charging process is essential before the first flight, it matters not whether that initial charge occurs inside the drone, or with the optional charging hub.

But for the wisdom generously being shared in this forum I would be none the wiser as to the exact reason the stock battery of the Mini 3 seemed to be defective right out of the box. I will now try to charge the stock battery in the drone in the hopes I have not already damaged it by charging it with the hub initially.
 
Just a note. I know that dji says the battery will last 34 minutes, but that's in perfect laboratory like conditions that you will never replicate. You'll do well to get 25 minutes on a good day and more like under 20 minutes if you don't want to drain it to minimum (coming back at 30% and landing before 20%)
Flush
 
the reason for using the drone for the batteries first charge is because when all the batteries arrive if you get the Fly more package then obviously all of them are in hibernation mode
the way the Hub charges the batteries is by going through each ones current charge level and then charging the one with the most charge left in it first ,and so on
because all the batteries are in hibernation this can confuse the hub as it tries to select which one to charge first
so by putting the battery in the drone waking it up and just starting the charge process until you get at least one light solid ,then you can repeat the process for the other two, and then put all three in the hub which will then work as it should,you could also just put one battery at a time in the hub and begin the charge process it works just the same
as far as the batteries firmware being matched to the drone ,if it isn't, then you will get a inconsistent firmware message ,and then you will need to update each battery in turn ,normally the battery in the drone gets updated during a firmware update, if it is required as part of the update ,but not every update requires the battery to be updated
 
Last edited:
the reason for using the drone for the batteries first charge is because when all the batteries arrive if you get the Fly more package then obviously all of them are in hibernation mode
the way the Hub charges the batteries is by going through each ones current charge level and then charging the one with the most charge left in it first ,and so on
because all the batteries are in hibernation this can confuse the hub as it tries to select which one to charge first
so by putting the battery in the drone waking it up and just starting the charge process until you get at least one light solid ,then you can repeat the process for the other two, and then put all three in the hub which will then work as it should,you could also just put one battery at a time in the hub and begin the charge process it works just the same
as far as the batteries firmware being matched to the drone ,if it e isn't then you will get a inconsistent firmware message ,and then you will need to update each battery in turn ,normally the battery in the drone gets updated during a firmware update if it is required as part of the update ,but not every update requires the battery to be updated
This explanation clears up the question of whether or not the hub should be used for that first charge. I have copied and pasted this clarification to my file of Mini 3 insights, for reference when my memory of these important considerations falters.

I finally have some good news, in that the Plus battery I charged up in the hub worked fine, and I sent the drone off for a nice ten-minute flight that was cut short only due to an approaching tropical storm's high wind gusts. For a drone so small, I was impressed that it was able to hold a stable hover even while being buffeted by gusts that slammed doors in the house.

If I could be granted only one further wish for this drone, that would be for DJI to modify the Mini 3 SDK whereby on-board storage of Litchi waypoint GPS data would be possible prior to takeoff on autonomous missions. The Mavic 3 is now capable of completing waypoint missions that extend out beyond the range of the RC controller, with DJI's proprietary waypoint facility, and I would be delighted if such versatility could be extended to the Mini 3 as well, even if it too is only available with DJI Fly rather than with Litchi, my favorite waypoint platform of all time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: old man mavic
These suspicions mirror mine, MP 2000, particularly since the stock battery is not capable of being charged up regardless of whether I connected it to the hub or the drone. I mentioned that dead battery to the seller, who pointed me in the direction of DJI, with an assurance that the drone is still under a one-year warranty, whose terms purportedly entitle me to a replacement. Whether that replacement materializes is uncertain, given DJI's abysmal customer service reputation.

All told I'm at least glad to see the drone fly. I'll still need to peruse the manual to find out how to start recording on takeoff since it only takes still pictures for now. Litchi commences recording automatically when the drone lifts off on waypoint missions, which would have been my preference on account of my general absent-mindedness, and this is yet another reason I hope that Litchi is granted access to the new Mini 3 SDK that has apparently been released in the past week.
 
I have 5 batteries and all were initially charged in the hub. All flew with no issues.
I think the manual is referring to the fact that you must UPDATE each battery IN THE DRONE before using it to verify its firmware and it initialize(sync) it to the drone.
I echo this from my experience. My mini 3 pro came in a flymore kit with 3 batteries and charging hub. I charged all three batteries in the hub and flew them all with no issue. Did the same with my Mavic 3 also. Oh and I did the same for my Avata. I’ve never charged a battery in the body of any of my DJI drones.
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
129,995
Messages
1,548,249
Members
159,056
Latest member
ksunglieng