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How to successfully store your Mavic Air for 6 months or longer.

vedkontho

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#1
Hello everyone. I need to go on a work trip to locations where it's illegal to fly a drone. It's frustrating I know, no other viable options.

So I need to know the best practices before I put my drone in for hibernation.

Please let me know what's the optimum battery percentage of charge to stow my batteries in, and wud they even hold the charge for so long. Wud I risk damaging them, if I don't use it for 6 months, or do I need to have someone charge them every once in a while if possible.

Do I need to take out the battery from the drone and keep it inside a Lipo bag.

What can I do about the battery inside the controller.

Though my prime concern is how to store my batteries safely to be able to use them later, any other advice wud be welcome and absolutely awesome.
 

tcope

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#2
Keep batteries around 30-40% and check them every few months. I suspect if you charged them to 40% you should be find to leave them for 6 months. Keeping lipos in a lipo bag is always a godo idea but I don't know of any reports of a DJI battery exploding.
 

vedkontho

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#3
Keep batteries around 30-40% and check them every few months. I suspect if you charged them to 40% you should be find to leave them for 6 months. Keeping lipos in a lipo bag is always a godo idea but I don't know of any reports of a DJI battery exploding.
Right thanks. But worried if the batteries gonna be as efficient after 6 months.

Thanks anyway
 

tcope

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#4
Right thanks. But worried if the batteries gonna be as efficient after 6 months.
Most likely. 100% discharge, cycles and heat are the biggest killers of lipo batteries. As long as they are stored correctly 6 months should not really be an issue. Besides, nothing you can do about that anyway.
 

CanadaDrone

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#7
Doing nothing for 6 months is not good advice. DJI specifically recommends a full charge / discharge at minimum once every 3 months to maintain maximum performance. Basically keep them around 30-60% charge, close to normal room temperature (22-28C) and you can leave them alone for 3 months periods without having to do anything. The worst thing you can do is leave them at zero or extremely low charge for extended periods.
 
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vedkontho

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#9
Doing nothing for 6 months is not good advice. DJI specifically recommends a full charge / discharge at minimum once every 3 months to maintain maximum performance. Basically keep them around 30-60% charge, close to normal room temperature (22-28C) and you can leave them alone for 3 months periods without having to do anything. The worst thing you can do is leave them at zero or extremely low charge for extended periods.
Thanks Canada Drone. Will comply. Also will get someone to charge it once every month
 

CanadaDrone

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#10
Thanks Canada Drone. Will comply. Also will get someone to charge it once every month
Every month isn't necessary, but they do need to be cycled and not just charged once every 3 months. I would charge it to 100%, hover the drone somewhere for 15 minutes or so to bring it down to 30%, (let it cool off) charge it back up to 50-60%, and then leave it again for the next 3 month period.
 
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vedkontho

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#11
Every month isn't necessary, but they do need to be cycled and not just charged once every 3 months. I would charge it to 100%, hover the drone somewhere for 15 minutes or so to bring it down to 30%, (let it cool off) charge it back up to 50-60%, and then leave it again for the next 3 month period.
And what about the controller?
 

Drone on

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#12
Hello everyone. I need to go on a work trip to locations where it's illegal to fly a drone. It's frustrating I know, no other viable options.

So I need to know the best practices before I put my drone in for hibernation.

Please let me know what's the optimum battery percentage of charge to stow my batteries in, and wud they even hold the charge for so long. Wud I risk damaging them, if I don't use it for 6 months, or do I need to have someone charge them every once in a while if possible.

Do I need to take out the battery from the drone and keep it inside a Lipo bag.

What can I do about the battery inside the controller.

Though my prime concern is how to store my batteries safely to be able to use them later, any other advice wud be welcome and absolutely awesome.
Leave the aircraft at home. Bring the batteries. Let the batteries discharge, then every month charge them, repeat.
May not be ideal, but may extend the life beyond letting them sit for six months.
 

CanadaDrone

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#15
And what about the controller?
The remote is harder, because you can't easily discharge it to cycle it. I would just top it up to 60% or so if it needed it, or leave it alone if it maintained it's 50-60% charge pre-hibernation. It also has a lithium ion battery though so the same things apply as the main drone batteries. It's the drone batteries I'd be much more worried about - if the remote battery becomes slightly less efficient, no big deal, but if you damage a drone battery that could cost you $1000 or several minutes of precious little flying time.
 

BJR981S

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#16
Hello everyone. I need to go on a work trip to locations where it's illegal to fly a drone. It's frustrating I know, no other viable options.

So I need to know the best practices before I put my drone in for hibernation.

Please let me know what's the optimum battery percentage of charge to stow my batteries in, and wud they even hold the charge for so long. Wud I risk damaging them, if I don't use it for 6 months, or do I need to have someone charge them every once in a while if possible.

Do I need to take out the battery from the drone and keep it inside a Lipo bag.

What can I do about the battery inside the controller.

Though my prime concern is how to store my batteries safely to be able to use them later, any other advice wud be welcome and absolutely awesome.
Generic LiPo Batteries.

Lipo batterie need to be stored at 3.8V for extend periods and most Smart chargers allow you to do a Storage charge.

My collection of Lipos batteries (I have over 400) that I check yearly and they are fine. A couple will need a top up charge. (once or twice I have lost a cell and have had to throw a battery out - poor cells from manufacture). This is because they are totally disconnected and do not drain current.

I have used batteries in Ducted Fan jets and 3D Helicopters that have been store for over 3 years. (so High discharge requirements) and their capacity is still as new.

Now DJI batteries.

The only DJI charger that supports storage charging is the Phantom 4 Pro charger.

But it is pretty much pointless

All DJI batteries have a Smart Circuit in them that will discharge the battery down to Storage voltage after a few days. (some are programmable for the days. Shortest is best.)

But unfortunately thats the rub. The Smart Circuit will continue to draw current (Not as much as it does in the discharge to Storage cycle) but enough the flatten the battery in about 4 months.

A dead flat DJI battery is not recoverable. As it wont let you charge it. You can dismantle and bypass the Smart Circuit and get enough change into it to be recognised but by then there is most likely too much cell damage.

You need to check DJI Smart batteries and remote controllers every 3 months. You then need to use the remote controller to drops its charge back down to 50%.

Do not trust the lights on the battery. I have had batteries showing 2 lights but almost no charge. When you plug them into the charger they will either fail to charge or start charging and flash the first light. Mavic Pro batteries are the worst. I have 16 of them.

So bottom line is every 3 months insert them into a charger and fully charge. If you are going away for over 3 months you will need to find a friend to do it for you.

If you have ever owned a Phantom 2 Vision plus you will know that the FW will disappear (erase itself, if left in the drone) off the WiFi video module if not used in a 6 month window.

Again bottom line DJI batteries require special care.

Cheers Brian
 

BJR981S

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#18
I thought DJI batteries enter deep sleep state @ 10% charge?
No such thing as deep sleep state on a Lipo Battery..At 10% charge the chemistry of the battery is slowly breaking down.

Think of an inverted bell curve with the centre at 3.7V Above 3.7 Volts the Battery Chemistry starts to deteriorate at an exponential rate to further you go to full charge and down to 0 charge. The signs of deterioration are the battery developing gas bubbles as the chemistry breaks down..e.i Swelling. This can also happen if you exceed the C rating for Charge and Discharge. See note below.

You may be getting confused with the new rules re Lipo Air Transport and the new DJI Spin Doctoring. For Air Shipping the Lipos need to be discharged below Storage state. Under 30%. If you buy normal lipos they carry a warning to return them to storage state as soon as they have been received.

DJI have been shipping batteries at this lower state and the Smart circuitry is showing zero charge. i.e. no lights until you charge them the first time.

They say this activates the Battery. it is all BS and Spin. IMHO. They have done this to allow them to air ship batteries and are not providing a warning that they will quickly expire (no shelf life)

I buy batteries in Quantity and don't fly below 3.7V per cell. So I get my flight times by the quantity of batteries not the lower I can drain them.

Cheers

Note:

On discharging be careful you do not discharge below 3.7V per cell. If you discharge below this level you are reducing the number of times that the battery can be Cycled.

Discharging below this level particularly to 10% etc as some people do. Will cause the battery to collapse on return to home particularly if you activate sports mode.

Activating sports mode on low battery level exceeds the C rating of the battery and causes chemistry breakdown and voltage sags.

The C rating of a battery defines the max current the battery can delivery safely. multiplying the C rating by each 1,000 mah of the battery. so 1A = 1C x 1,000mah.

So a battery that is rated at 10C and 4,000mah can deliver 40 Amps safely with no damage to the battery. But this is when it is fully charged.

So at 50% charge it only has 2000mah hours or charge left so its 10 x 2 = 20 amps.

At 10% charge it is 10 x .4 = 4 Amps.

So turning on a high current requirement like Sports mode will cause the battery voltage to collapse and the drone will fall out of the sky.

Best bet on low battery RTH is let the drone manage its own current usage.

How many complaints have you seen about triggered RTH, battery was low so I activated sports mode to come home, and the drone just fell out of the Sky.

Now you know why.

Hope this post provides some more useful information.
 

Donnie Frank

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#19
Hello everyone. I need to go on a work trip to locations where it's illegal to fly a drone. It's frustrating I know, no other viable options.

So I need to know the best practices before I put my drone in for hibernation.

Please let me know what's the optimum battery percentage of charge to stow my batteries in, and wud they even hold the charge for so long. Wud I risk damaging them, if I don't use it for 6 months, or do I need to have someone charge them every once in a while if possible.

Do I need to take out the battery from the drone and keep it inside a Lipo bag.

What can I do about the battery inside the controller.

Though my prime concern is how to store my batteries safely to be able to use them later, any other advice wud be welcome and absolutely awesome.
Sell your batteries as "gently used" and buy new ones in 6 months.
 

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