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Hiking Mavic Pro - Battery Bank Charging System - Proven

SeattleMarc

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Actually at least the Shorai one is only1.5lbs or so ...

Military attractions, did you try it? I'd be curious to see if it works :)
 

MilitaryAttractions

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No never got around to it. I'm going to be traveling in a few months and want some sort of solution to charge in the field. OP's idea actually may actually work a little better when going on an airplane since it's probably easier to take a couple powerbanks on a plane than a "motorcycle battery".

They are light indeed, almost like picking up a styrophome brick
 

Sophiedog1

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Any updates on the reliability of your power banks. Looking at building a similar system for when I head out on a two week canoe trip.
 

Aerial Gopher

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very reliable, if you read one of my previous posts, I said I liked it so much that I bought an additional 2 banks, and can fly 18 mavic battery cycles IE All day. Worked awesome on many hikes so far. I just wish there was an audible beep when the mavic battery was done charging like the Inspire 2 charger so I remember to switch to the next one. So now I just use a timer on my cell phone for this purpose.
 

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For charge my magic outdoor i'm using a different approach, quite simpler.

I'm using:
-60watt foldable solar pannel
-Abyone 185Wh portable charger
-DJI car charger
-Car cigar adapter

I've bought this battery to charge my macbook 15 (85watt). It can handle 90watt continuously (IN and OUT).
With this setup i can charge around 3 mavic battery. I just plug the mavic charger in the output exit (set at 12-13v) and it works.

In addition i can simultaneously charge the battery with a solar panel. With the 60watt solar panel I'm able to directly charge a mavic battery (in full sun obviously).


 
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ajfisher

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@AerialGopher thanks for this.

I have some questions about your wiring up as am very keen to give this a go (10 day hiking trip coming up):
  • Your power banks can run at 12 / 16/ 19V DC out - I wasn't clear on which one of these you selected, only that you put them in series so that would double it.
  • I've noticed that there's a lot of LiPO car starting battery packs popping up recently - given these do 12 / 16 / 19v DC out how feasible do you reckon these would be? Can't see how they are significantly different than a normal power bank? eg: 30000mAh Power Bank 12V USB Car Jump Starter Battery Emergency Charger Booster A | eBay
  • Any other advice now you've been running it for a few months?
 

Aerial Gopher

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@AerialGopher thanks for this.

I have some questions about your wiring up as am very keen to give this a go (10 day hiking trip coming up):
  • Your power banks can run at 12 / 16/ 19V DC out - I wasn't clear on which one of these you selected, only that you put them in series so that would double it.
  • I've noticed that there's a lot of LiPO car starting battery packs popping up recently - given these do 12 / 16 / 19v DC out how feasible do you reckon these would be? Can't see how they are significantly different than a normal power bank? eg: 30000mAh Power Bank 12V USB Car Jump Starter Battery Emergency Charger Booster A | eBay
  • Any other advice now you've been running it for a few months?
Well, one word of advice is that the ratings given for most portable battery banks that I had seen were very high... but the actual physical size could not hold that much power. I too looked at the jump start li-ion packs, and almost did it. It would of been nice to have that ability too to jump start a car. But it came down to the extra 0 that the Chinese companys always put on the ratings for their battery's. Like 80000 Mah YEAH, that was not the case, those were in fact 8000 and there are boost packs that are 8000 mah that boost your small car. I took a chance on the pack that I ordered. It had issues due to the higher load than expected, and again the circuitry on my pack was supposed to supply 5 amps, but it did not quite do that. and also I made the assumption that the volts would be correct, ie 12 would be 12.0 and 16 would be 16.0, tuned out that the 12 was 12.something that didn't allow the OEM car charger actually charge due to the lower than allowed voltage/battery protection crap. The setting of 16 volts was avtually between 16.1 and 16.3, again out of spec for the oem mavic charger. I read somewhere that the components inside the actual 12 volt male plug on the oem charger limited the voltage at the plug before it got to the charger, so I took a chance and used a 12 volt lead acid battery in series with that laptop battery bank, and it was working, charging the mavic batteries. It was limited because I had a really bad lead acid battery. I then decided to order 1 more Laptop battery bank, and when I got it, I tried them both at 12 volt setting, and they worked, but on occasion would power off for some reason, I think because the voltage was not high enough for the mavic charger to charge the battery, like it needed to be over 24.8 or something and I was only giving it 24.4, so when there is no load on the battery banks, they power off to conserve power. So I tried as a joke at 16 volt setting on each battery bank, and that woked flawlessly. I do on occasion have one or the other battery bank power off then the second one would too, but that's ok because it is so rare. I one time had the thing in my trunk charging batteries while we drove to different sites and stop and film stuff at each place ( Only because car socket shuts off when car off ) and it charged the 7 battery cycles no problem with no shut offs. even when hiking and walking, I would say 95% of the time the charging system works flawlessly. Occasionally the cable gets unplugged but all I did was wedge a piece of folded paper on the side of the mavic charger male plug to keep it from sliding in the female socket ( No dirty jokes here )

I was so happy with it, I bought two more battery banks, so now I have 4 mavic batteries and 4 Battery banks, and can do 18 battery cycles if I needed ( 4 mavic, 7 Charges + 7 charges) I have a smaller 6600mah usb battery bank that I use to charge the controller.... and I have an android phone so that gets charged by the controller, which I don't like, but I do not want to root my phone to stop that.

The battery banks have certain things you should know how it works. If you press the power button WHILE a cable is connected to the output connector, it will only turn on the 5v USB and not the 12/16/19 port. YOu have to disconnect the cable, press the power button 2 times to make it 16 volts, and do the same on the second battery bank, then plug in the special DC connector to 12 volt socket I made.

One other note, WHY I choose these battery banks over the car boosting ones.. simple - Much cleaner look to them, the other ones were bigger and bulky some had rubberized protecting outsides, and quite frankly I could not find one that had a REAL capacity that was stated.

My set up is not perfect, but It works, and is light and portable. I took all the mavic stuff, 4 mavic batteries and 4 battery banks on a 28 Km hike and survived... had food and water too.. :)

You can use these battery banks for your laptop as well, even on a hike, or to charge Ipads, two way radio's cameras etc..

YOur link to the ebay item only has 30 000 mah, if that is real. Volts x Amps = Watts 3.6 x 30 = 108 Watt Hour Mavic battery is 45 Watt hour, so with losses due to heat etc you can only charge 2 mavic batteries, assuming the output voltage and amps will be good enough for that famous Mavic charger and its very strict and tight window of power requirements.

If you are going hiking for 10 days, you may want to consider Solar, but keep this in mind.. you need lots of power to charge those battery banks. I charge each one in 4 hours with a laptop charger at 19 volts and 1.6 amps. Keep in mind solar voltage drops with a load on it and the rated power is always a lot less than what they say due to may factors. I would not put hope that you will get any amount of power from a small solar panel on a back pack, as its always changing angles and will cause power to the battery banks to go on and off which is probably going to mess them up. But if you were stationary it might work. Depends on if you want to carry a solar panel, but they are out there, foldable ones or even flexible. Personally If it was me I would spend the money on 4 or even 6 of those battery banks before I bought solar panels. You will be stopped hiking late in the day to set up tents etc, and there is no more sun left or limited to even charge the banks. Just get someone else to carry them :) they are about 940 Grams each. I spent COUNTLESS days searching the internet for a battery to do this, and its honesty the best price for capacity. I only found one other one that was bigger ( 50 000 Mah ) that was about triple the cost. I got 90 000 mah (45000x2) for $175 cnd dollars ( I think these battery banks went up in price, they are $95.00 cnd each now )

Very happy with it. Everyone I fly drones with is impressed with how much I can fly....Then after a couple hours there is no one else flying..... :( I'm like but I still have 7 more hours of flying I can do....

p.s. use 90 deg DC connector at the battery bank so as not to put a strain on the connector. I just cut off those from a couple old power supplies, and the wire inside is very thin and they get a bit warm, I have to go make a new cable for that. That was the only thing I would change. Oh and black for the battery bank, which I think they have them in black, but hard to find.
 

Aerial Gopher

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You could also get one of these.... 880 watt hour battery. With 500 watt inverter. The case makes it look big but the battery is much smaller inside. Guess it was for protection of the battery.

Tough to carry while hiking though. :p

 

ajfisher

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Thanks for that information. Very much appreciated. I reckon the big case might be a bit too much for the hike - looks like a useful option though ;)

I'm totally with you on the "not as advertised" power bank thing. Have used a couple of big ones to power off grid Raspberry Pi applications so I tend towards the "about 20k" as being a bit more realistic and seem to have had reliable success at that point. .

To that end, I've just discovered these that are available literally down the street from me which, albeit not huge (only 20k mAh), they do appear to have 12 / 16 / 19V output so I could probably put them together and give it a test. There's a benefit in being able to take them back to a store as well if unsuitable. Comsol 20000mAh Notebook Power Bank

I just wanted to clarify something from your point above though.

You used the two power bank in SERIES at 16V right? This is providing ~32V to the DJI car charger (which is expecting approx ~26V input) and that was enough to get it working fine.

Is that correct?
 

ajfisher

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Did some testing this morning with a pair of 4S lipos I have for one of my survey drones. Sure enough 1 is not enough to power the charger as it's a bit over range (16.8V at full charge). However 2 in series gives ~33.6V with no load. As can be seen, this powers up the DJI car charger no worries.

Of course these are only 4000mah batteries each one but highlights that approx 33V is a reasonable target for the car charger.

Off to see if I can find some 16V capable power banks locally now!
 

Aerial Gopher

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Did some testing this morning with a pair of 4S lipos I have for one of my survey drones. Sure enough 1 is not enough to power the charger as it's a bit over range (16.8V at full charge). However 2 in series gives ~33.6V with no load. As can be seen, this powers up the DJI car charger no worries.

Of course these are only 4000mah batteries each one but highlights that approx 33V is a reasonable target for the car charger.

Off to see if I can find some 16V capable power banks locally now!
I didn't look to close, but there is some circuitry in the OEM DJI Mavic car charger in the actual 12 volt plug, I believe it is a regulator that allows a certain voltage to the charger itself. I think that's why our set ups that are higher than 30 volts works. I think I read somewhere that it is either 28V or 30 volts.
I have learned a lot about batteries in the last while, my next one will be a custom built one that will give me more options. It will involve one of these and you can calibrate it for your specific battery for Watts kWh, AH, over voltage, under voltage. The actual read out display can be wired or wireless, where the other component with the shunt can be elsewhere. I get mine tomorrow!

https://www.amazon.ca/DROK-Multimeter-Charge-Discharge-Electricity-Overvoltage/dp/B01M5CWR2P/
 
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@AerialGopher

Thanks for all the info! This is awesome. I am buying these batteries ASAP.

Quick question... I am a bit confused about you connecting batteries in series. From my understanding when you connect in series, voltage doubles and max current stays the same. When you connect in parallel, volt stays the same and max current doubles. I would assume you want to connect 2 batteries set at 16V in parallel. To get 16V, 7.5A source? Parallel as in, connecting 2 positive wires together and 2 negative wires together.

DJI Website lists: Input Voltage: 12.7-16 V (Sedan); Coach not supported

I have no idea what Sedan / Coach is doing there...
 
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Here is a video I created that explains how you can charge your Mavic in the wild without a need for an electrical grid using powerbanks. You can the items you need in the video description. This system will allow you to charge yourMavicc Pro battery up to 7 times, under 50 minutes and it will cost you around $250. You can also top up your battery banks using a solar panel for longer trips.

 
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Aerial Gopher

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HEY!!! That's my Idea! :)

How did you get the two battery banks to stay on when connected in parallel? Ever time I did that, one or the other would power off.
This is why I used mine in series, and also at the 16 volt settings.
FYI the battery banks have their own overload protection, so you didn't really need the fuse.
I would recommend a 90 deg DC barrel connector instead of chopping off the cable that came with it. Less strain on the connector in the battery bank when its being bumped inside of a back pack.

Where did you get that mavic charger, I like it since it shows the amps and volts. Might get one. What is the wattage rating on it? 60 watt like the OEM?
 
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HEY!!! That's my Idea! :)

How did you get the two battery banks to stay on when connected in parallel? Ever time I did that, one or the other would power off.
This is why I used mine in series, and also at the 16 volt settings.
FYI the battery banks have their own overload protection, so you didn't really need the fuse.
I would recommend a 90 deg DC barrel connector instead of chopping off the cable that came with it. Less strain on the connector in the battery bank when its being bumped inside of a back pack.

Where did you get that mavic charger, I like it since it shows the amps and volts. Might get one. What is the wattage rating on it? 60 watt like the OEM?
Hey!

I know it is. I was confused about why you had them in serial connection. Serial would double the voltage and would be out of the range of the car charger I used. You can see a previous post asking about that but I never heard back. I got the car charger from amazon but it is no longer avail.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XYK8RGF/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The car charger I got is rated at 80W.

You can see how I connect them in the video. Basically, I connect the charger to the socket with no mavic battery connected which draws a little current to keep the batteries active.
 
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HEY!!! That's my Idea! :)

How did you get the two battery banks to stay on when connected in parallel? Ever time I did that, one or the other would power off.
This is why I used mine in series, and also at the 16 volt settings.
FYI the battery banks have their own overload protection, so you didn't really need the fuse.
I would recommend a 90 deg DC barrel connector instead of chopping off the cable that came with it. Less strain on the connector in the battery bank when its being bumped inside of a back pack.

Where did you get that mavic charger, I like it since it shows the amps and volts. Might get one. What is the wattage rating on it? 60 watt like the OEM?
Were you able to find a DC charger to charge these babies? USB charging these power banks is deadly slow...
 

MavicCF

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I was thinking of using one of these but one would only charge a Mavic battery three times (it’s only about 140 Wh) definitely looking for a cheaper solution. My plan is to embed the battery in a case, similar to the Titan Drones Tactical Ground Station. -CF
 

Aerial Gopher

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Hey!

I know it is. I was confused about why you had them in serial connection. Serial would double the voltage and would be out of the range of the car charger I used. You can see a previous post asking about that but I never heard back. I got the car charger from amazon but it is no longer avail.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XYK8RGF/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The car charger I got is rated at 80W.

You can see how I connect them in the video. Basically, I connect the charger to the socket with no mavic battery connected which draws a little current to keep the batteries active.

I see that, but when I connected the two battery banks in parallel one always shut off. I could not get them to stay on together. Maybe I didn't have a load, I cant recall. The DJI OEM charger does work with the higher voltage. In the actual male socket of the charger is some circuitry that maintains a max voltage to the charger. They work on either Nominal 12 or 24 volt systems. But that weird 12.8 volt issue with them really messed stuff up.

If you have issues with it, you can always use serial and use the OEM charger. There is a 30 second timeout if there is no load it shuts down the powerbank. Sometimes when the load is very low it still shuts off the powerbank. I think I had that issue when I used only 1 battery bank and when the mavic battery was near full charge the current dropped and so the battery banks odd internals shut down. It was a tough combination to figure out. BUT I love it, can fly all day! and then some. It sure beats buying more dji batteries at that have only one purpose, where the battery bank can be used for a laptop too, or cell phone etc.

Its funny, I want to build an even bigger battery bank for another purpose, and its actualy cheaper to buy these to take the cells out of them than it is to buy just cells. Crazy. I had my doubts about the capcity, but it is a real capacity. just about 7 mavic battery cycles when draining to 25 %
 

Aerial Gopher

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Were you able to find a DC charger to charge these babies? USB charging these power banks is deadly slow...

Anything from 14 to 20 volt. Laptop charger works. Even charging them in your car when running, since its at 14.5 volts when alternator going. takes 4 hours with a 1.58 amp Toshiba netbook 19 volt charger

Charging slow on micro USB input is about 23 hours, BUT charging batteries slower is actually better for them, they last longer.
 

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