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Keep my MPro, or buy used

mrmarkfr

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I bought a MPro in 2017, and basically only use it when travelling. I've only done 12 hours of flight with it, in 6 countries, but we have an upcoming trip (Ireland), and digging it out again, reminded me that I'm down to 2 batteries (at last check, need to fire it up again to make sure the remaining 2 are still functioning). I don't do video with it, just basically stills from vantage points you can't get from the ground. Am I better off investing in a couple of new batteries, or looking at one of the newer, but used Mini or Air?
 
If you mainly do stills, I recommend the Air 3. I would get the fly more combo which gives you 3 batteries and plenty of flight time.
 
Where do you intend to fly, in cities or the wilds ? That may influence whether or not you can use a 'heavy' drone.
 
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I typically fly in the country, and yes, wind is a thought. I've flown in the Swiss Alps, and on the coast of Scotland, and will be flying on the coast of Ireland soon. Can the smaller drones handle the same level of wind?
 
I also recommend the Air 3. I have it and it's a great drone! The flight time is so long and the 3X camera looks very interesting!
 
If you will continue to...

-Nearly not fly at all (12h during 7 years frequency)
-Be happy with the result the camera produce now
-Fly in places where a drone heavier than 250g doesn't matter
-Fly where stronger winds is to be expected

And...

-Can find new MP batteries to buy
-The MP + controller still are good to go & without damage
-Don't want to spend more than necessary to achieve the above

...the most logical is to buy a couple new batteries instead of a new/(newer) drone for 10-20 times more $$$.
 
I still have my MPRO1 that I purchased in 2017 + 2 batteries. Like you, I do not fly very frequently, so every once in a while I will test the batteries by charging them fully, and then monitor them closely in a low hover. I have actually not seen much performance deterioration in them.
I bought a MPro in 2017, and basically only use it when travelling. I've only done 12 hours of flight with it, in 6 countries, but we have an upcoming trip (Ireland), and digging it out again, reminded me that I'm down to 2 batteries (at last check, need to fire it up again to make sure the remaining 2 are still functioning). I don't do video with it, just basically stills from vantage points you can't get from the ground. Am I better off investing in a couple of new batteries, or looking at one of the newer, but used Mini or Air?

Your batteries might just surprise you. I still have my MPRO1 that I purchased in 2017 + 2 batteries. Like you, I do not fly very frequently, so every once in a while I will test the batteries by charging them fully, and then monitor them closely in a low hover barely off the ground (in case of failure). I have actually not seen much performance deterioration in the batteries.
 
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...so every once in a while I will test the batteries by charging them fully, and then monitor them closely in a low hover. I have actually not seen much performance deterioration in them.
Just be aware that a low hover test will not say much about the health of a battery...

A possible flight time change can maybe be noted if testing it regularly, then looking at the results (trend) from many, many tests. Sure, if the flight time is dramatically shorter than when you used it the last time it certainly indicate a fault... but usually the flight time decreases so little & gradually that you hardly will notice between the tests.

Swelling is much more noticeable... if the battery is already bulging even the slightest when cold, dispose of it. Don't forget to check also immediately after a flight, there the battery is hot & the risk for swelling is greatest... if bulging, dispose of it.

Another clear indication is if the battery can't hold the charge... if the battery is unhealthy it can be fully charged, but then a short time (a day) later it's empty again... dispose of it.

What's more difficult to see just from a visual inspection or a hover test & can give you a major surprise... is the change in internal resistance. You can get an indication about that it got worse if the battery suddenly is much hotter after a flight (which in it self increase the risk for swelling), but other than that you need to investigate the battery data by pushing the battery for amp draw & there check for cell voltage deviations & major voltage drops. Both deviations & drops gets worse with an increased internal resistance... & can lead to sudden "forced low battery voltage landings" which you can't cancel... furthermore it can cause one or several cells to totally fail permanently.
 
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Just be aware that a low hover test will not say much about the health of a battery...

A possible flight time change can maybe be noted if testing it regularly, then looking at the results (trend) from many, many tests. Sure, if the flight time is dramatically shorter than when you used it the last time it certainly indicate a fault... but usually the flight time decreases so little & gradually that you hardly will notice between the tests.

Swelling is much more noticeable... if the battery is already bulging even the slightest when cold, dispose of it. Don't forget to check also immediately after a flight, there the battery is hot & the risk for swelling is greatest... if bulging, dispose of it.

Another clear indication is if the battery can't hold the charge... if the battery is unhealthy it can be fully charged, but then a short time (a day) later it's empty again... dispose of it.

What's more difficult to see just from a visual inspection or a hover test & can give you a major surprise... is the change in internal resistance. You can get an indication about that it got worse if the battery suddenly is much hotter after a flight (which in it self increase the risk for swelling), but other than that you need to investigate the battery data by pushing the battery for amp draw & there check for cell voltage deviations & major voltage drops. Both deviations & drops gets worse with an increased internal resistance... & can lead to sudden "forced low battery voltage landings" which you can't cancel... furthermore it can cause one or several cells to totally fail permanently.
On of my 3 batteries has an imbalance that I haven't been able to fix by charge/discharging (using the usb adapter), this is the reason I'm down to 2.
 
If you will continue to...

-Nearly not fly at all (12h during 7 years frequency)
-Be happy with the result the camera produce now
-Fly in places where a drone heavier than 250g doesn't matter
-Fly where stronger winds is to be expected

And...

-Can find new MP batteries to buy
-The MP + controller still are good to go & without damage
-Don't want to spend more than necessary to achieve the above

...the most logical is to buy a couple new batteries instead of a new/(newer) drone for 10-20 times more $$$.
A couple of the reasons for looking at a change are that it's not legal to fly the drone due to weight in my home country, and having a smaller drone will be easier to travel with. We're travelling on this 11 day trip with just a carry on, so keeping weight/size down is important. If I bought another drone, I'd probably be looking at something used, and maybe offsetting the cost by selling my MPro.
 
A couple of the reasons for looking at a change are that it's not legal to fly the drone due to weight in my home country, and having a smaller drone will be easier to travel with. We're travelling on this 11 day trip with just a carry on, so keeping weight/size down is important. If I bought another drone, I'd probably be looking at something used, and maybe offsetting the cost by selling my MPro.
In that case, go with anything DJI call "Mini X"... but stay away from the very first (& oldest) iteration of this sub-250g series, the one they named DJI Mavic Mini. That one was way too underpowered & was really bad in even moderate winds. Also maybe avoid those models that have "SE" in the naming, those had Enhanced WiFi instead of DJI Occysync as transmission protocol, which lead to much shorter range & more prone to WiFi interference.

Mini 2, Mini 3, Mini 4, (PRO or not...) all give good pic quality in good lightening, good flight times, great portability & are sub-250g. (Also thoroughly read up regarding drone regulations with licenses/registrations even for tourists in each country you intend to fly in, it's not enough that you have everything sorted in your home country).

Just be aware that the wind resistance is a function of the max speed the drone can achieve in each mode... if max 12m/s & facing a head wind of 12m/s the drone will not make any ground speed at all. Lighter weight drones can also be twitchy in gusty winds due to the lower inertia, but that only becomes a problem if the gimbal reaching the end points when trying to keep it leveled, haven't seen anything about this theoretical issue here at the forum though.
 
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