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Help please with Car Charger solution UK?

Mr Banks

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Apologies if this should be in the HELP forum?

I have been told that the official Mavic Air Car Charger only charges batteries (not the controller). So was thinking about on a trip how I can charge all my batteries and my controller using the charger port that came with my Fly More Combo.

So my question is, has anyone has used a Power Inverter for charging Mavic Air batteries and controller from a car? Does this work ok with the charger port, any issues I should consider?

Any does anyone have any reccomendations of a make or model that will do the job/ is the right spec. Or any other ways to charge batteries and controller whilst out on the road?

any help, experience or advice appreciated?

Mr Banks
UK
 

waylander

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Hi Mr Banks

I use a Bestek 400W Inverter, as well as 240V ac out it has 2 x USB output ports both rated at 2.5 amps
I use it in the field to charge my Mavic Pro it does the job..
Here is a link

Regards
Waylander
 
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Mr Banks

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Hi Mr Banks

I use a Bestek 400W Inverter, as well as 240V ac out it has 2 x USB output ports both rated at 2.5 amps
I use it in the field to charge my Mavic Pro it does the job..
Here is a link

Regards
Waylander

Does it provide enough power to the plug socket and charge everthing when plugged into cigarette lighter? Or does it need power direct from the car battery
 

paulasakaylor

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I'm also looking for help with this. I've had the Air since Friday and will be heading to Scotland, with plenty of time on the road. Would love to know whether there are any things to consider when using the charge hub via the plug...all help gratefully received
 

wildlifr

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There's this car charger from FSLabs on Amazon that will charge 2 batteries and the controller at the same time. I've already bought it, but haven't used it yet. I don't know about availability in other countries.
 

Pilot25dmc

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Power inverter will work fine. Just get one that outputs the same wattage as the maximum rating on the back of the Mavic Airs Power Supply.

They power supply gives a maximum charging output of 50w @ 13.2v when its charging the batteries and controller at the same time (it only charges one battery at a time when using the multi hub) so you really only need a 100w inverter (I usually go double the wattage to cut down on overheating) - then make sure the fuse connected to your 12v socket in the car is capable of supplying 50w without blowing. 50w/12v = 4.2amps so you will need a 5amp fuse at least (most modern cars have a 30amp fuse installed).

Easy.
 
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Rorywquin

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Power inverter will work fine. Just get one that outputs the same wattage as the maximum rating on the back of the Mavic Airs Power Supply.

They power supply gives a maximum charging output of 50w @ 13.2v when its charging the batteries and controller at the same time (it only charges one battery at a time when using the multi hub) so you really only need a 100w inverter (I usually go double the wattage to cut down on overheating) - then make sure the fuse connected to your 12v socket in the car is capable of supplying 50w without blowing. 50w/12v = 4.2amps so you will need a 5amp fuse at least (most modern cars have a 30amp fuse installed).

Easy.

Good info - except that if the fuse was not already 5amp or more - there is a potential to damage the wiring in the car...I'd go in reverse and see what my 12v sockets are rated for and then see if I can get an inverter to work. I think the whole inverter route is fiddly and more risky!

The RC/Transmitter/Controller has good battery life (remember that your phone/pad battery is also doing a lot of the work) and it would take a lot of flying to run it flat in 1 day. I've used 3 flight batteries and still had 4 lights on the controller - which can be charged overnight and can be connected to any USB power source.

I prefer the DJI option (the connector will be a proper fit and no potential to damage the connectors on the battery £69ea vs the one off price of their charger) as I will only want to charge flight batteries and if i really needed to charge the controller, I can use an ordinary 12v socket >USB car adaptor - which I already have.

I assume the charging & cell balancing circuits are built into the battery module and that aftermarket chargers will work as expected and not damage the battery module circuitry.

Just to add a couple of points
Watch that the inverter does not run the car battery down - inverters are inefficient & will generally use up 2x as much as you are putting into your rechargeables. Also typical car batteries to not like being run down too much (they are usually not deep discharge batteries) so there is potential to shorten the life of the car battery if a lot of charging is done without the engine running (ask me how I know).

DJI warn us not to leave the batteries unattended while charging.....there is a good reason for this, lots of info on the www of cars/sheds/houses burning down because of LIPO batteries
 

Pilot25dmc

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You stated that the inverter might damage the connectors on the battery..... The type of inverter best used in this situation is one that plugs directly into the 12v socket inside the car, this will not only mean you can keep a constant eye on it but it will also be protected by the cars fusebox and also provide low voltage protection to the battery.

I would never run an inverter with the engine off anyway, your simply asking for trouble.
 

Pilot25dmc

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Also, inverters are not fiddley, they are no different to using the DJI produced car charger - other than being half the price and twice as useful.
 

Pilot25dmc

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If your on a long drive and need R/C, multiple batteries and your phone/tablet recharged then using an inverter is best method.

I have used one for years.

Yet to use it to charge my Mavic Air on the go, but it handled my Phantom 3 without any problems when I was on a driving/camping holiday.
 
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Rorywquin

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Also, inverters are not fiddley, they are no different to using the DJI produced car charger - other than being half the price and twice as useful.

Never understood people who will spend $1000 on a piece of equipment and the try to save $20 buying an aftermarket workaround! ;-)
 

Pilot25dmc

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Your charge your Mavic Air batteries using the provided charger and hub by plugging it into an electrical socket in your house? Is the electrical socket made my DJI? Do they provide your house with power?

So your happy to spend £1000 on a device but yet you use an aftermarket source to charge it.
 
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Rorywquin

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@Pilot25dmc - mate I see you are happy using an inverter enjoy if that works for you, no need to justify it to me.

I was adding information for the benefit of the OP. You are taking this way too personal.
 

Rorywquin

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An inverter is not an ‘aftermarket workaround’. Its a tried and tested piece of equipment that people use every single days in their cars, trucks and RV’s.
I was not referring to the inverters........as previously stated I've used inverters for years........
 

Pilot25dmc

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People need to realise that charging stuff in a car is not some dark art that only scientists can master.

If you want to buy the DJI charger then buy the DJI charger, if you prefer to use an inverter then get an inverter, it will do the same job.
 
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Kris.

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DJI chargers are "dumb chargers", nothing more than providers of constant current and voltage. All the control is inside the Intelligent Battery. I really can't imagine the situation, where broken or badly functioning (aftermarket) charger could damage the battery. Two most probable scenarios are either not enough current/voltage (I would put my money on this one) or too much current/voltage. Both voltage and current are for sure measured in many different ways during charging. The most probable outcome is that charging time until full charge will take considerably more time than expected. And that's it.
 

Rorywquin

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Yes we are a long way from the early LIPO days with external cell balancers etc.

DJI have cleverly designed their units to suit the masses. After years of flying turbine jets (lots of batteries needed for control, starter motor, fuel pumps etc) and electric airplanes, I was really impressed at how easy the MA is to use and fly (even my wife can fly one).

I'd prefer smart chargers and dumb batteries (as I have for my model RC aircraft).

It would :
1) Drastically reduce the cost of the battery - I pay under £20 for a good quality 3S 2400mah pack.
2) reduce the weight of the pack (not needing the electronics and plastic capsule) would allow for longer flights & better performance.
 

Rorywquin

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After finally reading the DJI manual on the batteries, I see that they also self discharge (after a couple of days) to the correct storage level. This will help to prolong the life of the batteries but means that you must alway top up the batteries before setting off!
 
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