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In how cold weather can you fly the mini 3?

alexjo55

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right now, in sweden, its been about minus 20 degrees celcius all week.
Really sunny and beautiful and i was thinking about flying the drone but im not sure it can handle the cold.

Any experience or info about this?

Was thinking it would work good but i dont want to take any chances.
1 month ago i flew in like minus 4, and the video started to freeze so i had to look on the map to be able to fly back home.
But that could very well have been the phones fault since i have experiensed problem with the iphone 6 before in cold weather.
 
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right now, in sweden, its been about minus 20 degrees celcius all week.
Really sunny and beautiful and i was thinking about flying the drone but im not sure it can handle the cold.

Any experience or info about this?

Was thinking it would work good but i dont want to take any chances.
1 month ago i flew in like minus 4, and the video started to freeze so i had to look on the map to be able to fly back home.
But that could very well have been the phones fault since i have experiensed problem with the iphone 6 before in cold weather.
Iphones are known to have problems in cold weather.
As for the drone itself, your main concern is the battery. Keep the battery in your warm car just before flying, or in your jacket close to the body. Do not start flying with an ice cold battery.
During flight the battery will heat itself enough to keep it warm even in very low temperatures.
After flying it is important to keep the battery warm. An empty battery will easily be damaged if it freezes.
 
@alexjo55 ,few things to be aware of, to add to what @waynorth mentioned in his post #2 above
(1) the cold will have an impact on the flight time of the drone due to the battery
(2) be prepared to allow for this so you dont run out of power when deciding to return home
(3) remember its also you, who is out in the cold, so wear appropriate clothing ,and if possible take a break between flights, in a warm enviroment such as your vehicle if you can
(4) i know all these things may seem basic common sense ,but it is very easy to become hypothermic ,without even realising it ,when you fly your drone, you are mostly just standing still, so your core body temperature can fall, and impair your ability to function properly
 
Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons and provides access to places that are often hard to get to in the spring or summer when the ground is frozen.

I fly my drones year round and have flown in weather close to -30ºC. Here are some of the tips I have (some have already been mentioned).
•keep batteries warm prior to flight. Set everything up and then insert the battery in the drone just before you are ready to launch. I often use my pockets or hand warmers (not in direct contact) to keep batteries warm.
•if you are using a phone, keep it warm too. A phone can suddenly shut off in cold weather because unlike the drone it does not generate heat to keep itself warm.
•keep your flight within VLOS in case your phone or display shuts down. You will still have control of the drone but if you are out of VLOS you will be BLIND.
•plan for shorter flights and land with lots of extra battery reserve. I often land with 40% battery left.
•dress for the weather - wind chill affects you, not the drone. I do not like using gloves because it restricts my movement so I take shorter flights and warm my hands between flights with a hand warmer in my mitts.
•on really cold days I rely on more of the automated functions, so instead of doing a manual pano I might use the automated one instead.
•be aware of moisture in the air which can lead to props icing.

All these suggestions assume you are outside and not flying from within a vehicle.

Good luck.

Chris
 
Some great points being made.
I remember posts on some earlier models, that the camera gimbal would react to the cold, get sluggish and produce errors. Think it had to do with the OEM gimbal lubricant causing problems and suggestions to use something more suited for extreme cold.
 
Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons and provides access to places that are often hard to get to in the spring or summer when the ground is frozen.

I fly my drones year round and have flown in weather close to -30ºC. Here are some of the tips I have (some have already been mentioned).
•keep batteries warm prior to flight. Set everything up and then insert the battery in the drone just before you are ready to launch. I often use my pockets or hand warmers (not in direct contact) to keep batteries warm.
•if you are using a phone, keep it warm too. A phone can suddenly shut off in cold weather because unlike the drone it does not generate heat to keep itself warm.
Some other points.
Remember that there is almost certainly an RTH button on the controller. If so that will work even if the phone shuts down.
You need to research when it can happen but bear in mind icing of the props and perhaps the airframe.
 
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Some great points being made.
I remember posts on some earlier models, that the camera gimbal would react to the cold, get sluggish and produce errors. Think it had to do with the OEM gimbal lubricant causing problems and suggestions to use something more suited for extreme cold.
The Mini 3 Specs state that it can operate in temperatures as low as -10ºC. With that being said my old Spark gimbal used to stick on the pitch axis in cold temperatures and often automated functions would fail. I used to be able to unstick it sometimes by pitching up and down a few times. The minimum temperature rating for it was 0ºC. My Phantom 3 Standard which has the same temperature rating has been flown in temperatures well beyond its minimum temperature rating.

Chris
 
Some other points.
Remember that there is almost certainly an RTH button on the controller if so that will work even if the phone shuts down.
You need to research when it can happen but bear in mind icing of the props and perhaps the airframe.
Yes, the RTH button is an emergency option but you don't want to get yourself in that situation. If you are BVLOS and your display device dies, you will be completely blind - no telemetry whatsoever.

When I used to fly with my phone, I had a few times where my phone was registering a good charge like 60% and then all of a sudden without warning went dead. Because I had my drone within VLOS, I was able to turn around and fly back and land safely.

Chris
 
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Yes, the RTH button is an emergency option but you don't want to get yourself in that situation.
Agreed but there-are/have-been quite a few posts by people, who, for whatever reason, have 'lost' the control app, gone into a panic and not thought to press the RTH button on the controller.
Being told an alternative method of triggering an RTH might stick in their mind and save them from the panic.
That said, providing the Failsafe behaviour is set to RTH, the ultimate RTH 'button' is to switch the controller off, counter intuitive and daft as that may seem.
 
I fly my drones year round and have flown in weather close to -30ºC
Just out of curiosity, what temperatures do your batteries get to whilst flying in those conditions? The temperatures are recorded in the .txt flight log.
 
Just out of curiosity, what temperatures do your batteries get to whilst flying in those conditions? The temperatures are recorded in the .txt flight log.
Checking some of my records from AirData, my max temperatures have been in the low to mid twenties (ºC).

I have flown on a few occasions usually out exposed on a frozen lake where I have inserted a warmed battery into my drone that is ready to go but by the time enough satellites have been acquired for a home point the battery temp has dropped too low for take-off and I need to use another warmed battery.

Chris
 
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I have flown on a few occasions usually out exposed on a frozen lake where I have inserted a warmed battery into my drone that is ready to go but by the time enough satellites have been acquired for a home point the battery temp has dropped too low for take-off and I need to use another warmed battery.

Chris
Blimey, how long were the waits? An insulating jacket for the drone whilst you are waiting perhaps?
 
Blimey, how long were the waits? An insulating jacket for the drone whilst you are waiting perhaps?
With my original Mavic 3, initially satellite acquisition took a few minutes until a firmware update fixed the problem. There was a few times on cold days where the drone sat there waiting for enough satellites and by the time I had enough the battery temp had dropped too much and I couldn’t take off. Once I swapped for another warm battery I was fine, so were other further flights.

Chris
 
We have had some clients report up to 7 more minutes of Flight time with the Mini 3 Pro Wet Suit in the extreme Cold temps. The Thermal Properties of the Neoprene can keep the drone and the battery up to 6 Degrees Warmer when using the Wet Suit on the Mini 3 Pro .

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain/Snow
 
What hasn't been mentioned as of yet is the iPhone 6, the reason the video may freeze is that it's just at the edge of being able to handle the workload from the Fly app. You might consider a newer model iPhone or iPad Mini 5 or later.
 
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right now, in sweden, its been about minus 20 degrees celcius all week.
Really sunny and beautiful and i was thinking about flying the drone but im not sure it can handle the cold.

Any experience or info about this?

Was thinking it would work good but i dont want to take any chances.
1 month ago i flew in like minus 4, and the video started to freeze so i had to look on the map to be able to fly back home.
But that could very well have been the phones fault since i have experiensed problem with the iphone 6 before in cold weather.
DJI support says
  • Do not fly in temperatures below 0°C (32°F).
 
I have flown many times at 15-20 deg F . I always keep drone at room temp before flying. 15-20 degrees is more unfriendly to me then the drone. I also keep short VLOS and low AGL in these conidtions.
 
I have flown many times at 15-20 deg F . I always keep drone at room temp before flying. 15-20 degrees is more unfriendly to me then the drone. I also keep short VLOS and low AGL in these conidtions.
Thanks, I am a newbie and just went to DJI. Does DJI refresh still cover flying beyond their recommendations ?
 
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