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Proper Battery Care for TH Pro ?

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Jul 28, 2018
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#1
I quickly learned that one does not maintain these batteries like lithium batteries in other electronic devices and power generation/storage applications. I am curious how the highly experienced fliers here maintain their batteries.

I am retired and just 5 weeks into this hobby, so I try to practice every day that I am comfortable with the weather conditions. I get to fly probably 2 out of 3 days this time of year. What level (% overall or volts per cell) do you suggest that I recharge the batteries to after a flight session? Assume it is highly likely that they will always be used again within 4 days, and highly unlikely that they would ever go unused over 10 days.

I have use "EV-PEAK 2 Ports Typhoon H Drone Battery Charger with Storage Function" and 4 Yuneec brand batteries. I started with the original 2 and added 2 non-Yuneec 6300mAh ones. Mistake! the 1st only lasted about 80% of the life of the Yuneec 5400. On first use the 2nd lasted 14 minutes before giving the battery alert, and then I could not get it out. It took 2 hours of 65 degree temp before it came loose. Fortunately I could return both, then bought 2 more Yuneec's.


Thanks
 
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#3
Thanks Ron,
I don't know how my first search missed that Thread at the top. I just saw it a couple minutes after I posted. Good info there.

I guess my real question is/remains: Is it okay to charge all my batteries back up to 100% after each flight if they will likely be used again in less than 4 days. And if it appears they might go over a week without use, I then use my charger to discharge them down to "what charge level per cell ?"
 
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#4
My experience says yes, that's safe. If longer than that then discharge them to "storage" level.

Others with greater knowledge than I have may want to chime in.
 
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#5
I concur with RD - packs can be left for about 4 days without suffering too many detrimental effects, but it's not something to get in the habit of doing if you really are gunning for maximum cycles. I have read articles which suggest chemistry starts changing as soon as 1 hour after full charge (albeit at a very small rate) so I'd say that it is good to get into the habit of charging the same day (or late the night before) you want to fly, then flying each pack down to no less than 14.7V (under load), so that when the flight is complete and you are landed you have a standing voltage of 15.2, which is a decent storage level in case weather goes duff thereafter...
 

Eagle's Eye Video

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#6
Personally, I would reduce that timeframe window to 2 days, before storage discharging... also it takes quite a while to storage discharge from a fully charged state. Just for less time commitment, I would just do a hover flight to bring the battery level to about 14.6V... then you will be able to storage discharge in about 30 minutes.
 
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#7
I tend to agree with Eagle’sEye. Two or three days max as far too often 4 days grows to 5-10 days as other things distract us and we forget about the batteries. Charging back to 100% and only infrequently leaving them sit for several days won’t be much of a problem but if that occurs often the effects of storing on a full charge accumulate. Your batteries will have a longer life span if the amount of time they spend fully charged is minimized to only the period they will be needed for use.

Yes, it’s a pain in the butt, adds more work where we don’t want to do any more work, requires more time management planning, etc., but it’s a task we assumed when we bought a drone. I’ve ruined many a battery leaving them charged for a few extra days but my pockets just aren’t deep enough to maintain that practice. Better to charge up the night before when you know you’ll need them and use them. Even if you have a lot of batteries, if you have dual battery equipment you can charge a lot of batteries in 6-8 hours. Same applies to performing a storage cycle.

Realistically, the “how long can I leave batteries charged” question comes down to finding a way to avoid doing something we know we should get done for those with decent charging equipment. For those that don’t obtain better chargers and stick with the factory charger it’s more of a problem as they can’t use the charger to storage cycle, and they take longer to charge a battery.
 
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#8
I am not really concerned with how long it takes to do a storage discharge, I am concerned with how long it takes when I wake up in the morning to bring at least 4 batteries back up to full charge. I am going to order a 2nd 2-Port Balancing charger.

With autumn approaching, I hope to do a lot of whale and dolphin watching and videoing with my drone. I never know which morning they'll be out there and when the weather will allow me to fly.
 
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#9
Depending upon how deep we choose to get into this stuff, having more than one charger can make a big difference. For me it’s a necessity as drones I fly don’t all use the same battery, so one type pair runs on one charger while another type pair run on another. When only the 920 is to be used having two chargers means 4 batteries can be charged per hour.

Fickle ocean side weather and migrating whales add a few more dimensions to the situation.
 
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#10
For speed (relative) and convenience, the Venom four port Typhoon H specific chargers allow multiple battery charging at once without a myriad of cables. Also balancing and storage functions, but without the displays. That solves the hassle of quickly getting ready for a days’ flights. (I have two!)

For precise monitoring when time permits, with respect to individual cell voltage monitoring, the Venom dual port multi-chemistry works great. Just need extra charge leads.

Can’t beat the dy3 (H480) as well as DY5 (H520, Plus) for ultimate convenience as well, with respect to the H’s.

Top it all off with a simple discharge set-up (aka car headlight, fog light complete with an H style battery voltage checker - google one) and life is good.

Word of caution about manually discharging: while saving wear and tear on craft, and much quicker than the discharge/storage function of chargers, one must set a timer; that is, pay attention to voltage during discharge. Easy to get distracted and forget, totally discharging a battery, rendering it garbage. The exact thing we are trying to postpone!

Jeff

Forgot to mention one additional technique: after manually discharging, one can hook up to a charger and bring to official storage levels. Should result in balanced, proper voltages, and much less time to accomplish.
 
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#11
True. If we’re not using an auto sensing cut off we need to remain alert and stop the process no lower than 14.8v while subjected to the discharge load. Voltage will rebound to ~15.2v shortly after it’s removed from the load. Storage a tenth or two higher than 15.2v is no problem but we don’t want to get below 15v, especially if they are going to sit for some time. They do self discharge over time.

For those that check individual cell voltage before charging, something to look out for is voltage disparities between cells of 1/10v or more. Such disparity is often an indicator of a weak cell, one that may not re-charge to a level equal to other cells in the pack. We want to check cell voltages a half hour or so after re-charging to determine if all the cells achieve a state within 1/10v of each other. If they won’t there are problems on the horizon. If a difference of much more than 1/10v exists it’s possible the charge cycle may time out before achieving a full charge and additional charge time will not complete the process. Batteries in this state will have high internal resistance and generate more heat.
 
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#12
I never charge batteries up unless I KNOW I'll be using them the next day. I never store my batteries for any amount of time above storage level.

In the years that I've been flying multi-rotors I've only ever had one battery go bad. On another brand of drone that I have I'm still using batteries that are almost 4 years old, and those batteries I have for my H are the original ones obtained in early June 2016... so I must be doing something right.
 
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#13
Top it all off with a simple discharge set-up (aka car headlight, fog light complete with an H style battery voltage checker - google one) and life is good.
The adapter I ordered from Carolina drones is still in airmail limbo... Can I just ham it up with a banana or alligator clip to the +and - terminals of the battery, then parallel with a led voltage readout display like the one attached, then connect to a car headlight bulb?
 

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