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ST16 Remote Controller Li-Ion Battery 0v

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Hello,

I am experiencing issues with my ST16 Battery. I usually charge my controller after every flight. When I attempted to fly yesterday, the blue power indicator LED on the ST16 controller lit up, but the controller did not turn on. I measured the voltage on the ST16 Li-ion battery pack (YP-3A with the EC2 connector). The voltage read 2.74v, way lower than the expected 3.6V on the label.

All I could do was attach it to the controller again and leave it on the USB cable, attached to the battery charger that came with the Drone. Leaving it overnight, I tried to turn on the controller, this time no blue LED or anything else. I took out the battery and measured the Voltage, which this time read 0v. I checked for continuity and there is still continuity over the battery pack.

I have tested the voltage at the controller side, and it is reading 0.96v at the ST16 connector.

I obviously hope the fault is with the battery and not the controller. What do you think?

Thanks

Steven
 

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DoomMeister

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I have tested the voltage at the controller side, and it is reading 0.96v at the ST16 connector
Is that while the charging cable is attached?

If you have a USB charger for a phone plug the cable into it and see what voltage you get at the connector. You should see 3.6 V or more.

You can try charging the battery directly if you have a third party charger. Set it for a 1S Li-ion and 2.9A max charging current (battery is 1S3P and 8700mAh, so 8.7Ah/3 gives 2.9A for a 1C charging rate).
 
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That battery pack has 3 good old 18650 LIon's inside.
Some of the guys here carry a "power bank" to plug into the ST16 while flying.
I'm planning on doing that myself.
 
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Thanks for your advice!

There is doubt over the accuracy of my cheap volt meter. However, it was reading a voltage across the battery last night (2.74V), this morning it now shows nothing. I can still get a reading across a 1.5v battery etc, so I'm fairly sure the volt meter is still working. Anyway, my ST16 won't even turn on now (previously had a blue light).

I have a USB Volt and Amp meter (China special, so I'm not expecting major accuracy) but it is supplying 5V at only 0.2A. 20190414_182530.jpg20190414_182552.jpg

Voltage on the port on the back, without the battery is only 1v. Is this the correct charging voltage? Should I be able to power-on with only a power bank (removing battery)?
 

Steve Carr

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I have never been able to operate the ST16 using the USB charging port. It simply cannot supply enough power to run the ST16. It can easily take 16-20 hrs to charge a completely dead controller battery using the charging port. An aftermarket charger will take about 2 hrs or so.
 

Fred Garvin

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I use a USB 20kmAh brick with my ST16S.....of course, it cannot charge it during use, but it sure slows down just how fast that bugger eats the battery.....and leave it connected between flights, like an hour or so when transitioning to a new location, and it does give a little back. (@Sureshot )

A proper field charging solution would be welcome.
 

DoomMeister

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I charge my ST-16 using the 2A 5V USB power cube for charging my ASUS 8” tablet. 200 mA current is probably too low to run the charging circuit on the ST-16 as it will normally power up the fan and the screen during charging.

I just plugged my ST-16 into the ASUS power cube and the battery starts charging. I pulled the battery and placed the leads of my DMM across the battery leads in the ST-16 and I get a 2.00V reading for a moment and then it cuts out. It keeps repeating this as if checking for a battery attached. Without the battery in the ST-16 it will not power on as if the external power is not enough to run it or there is a protective circuit that prevents power up when power is too low or the battery is not present.

At this point you need to get another battery, or use another means to try to restore the present battery.
 
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Thanks for all your great advice!

Yes, I suspect I am going to have to make a purchase here. It will just not lift the voltage for love nor money. I wish I still had my charger from my DJI Flamewheel F550 days. It had Li-Ion charging capabilities.

I'm hoping the charging circuitry isn't goosed inside the ST16. I've asked the same question to Yuneec to see what they recommend. Yuneec sell a replacement battery for £39.94 all in.

ST16 Ground Station Battery

Did @Sureshot say he opened a battery pack? Is it simply 3x 18650? I have an 18650 charger if they can be individually removed. Any recollection of what was inside?
 
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Thanks for all your great advice!

Yes, I suspect I am going to have to make a purchase here. It will just not lift the voltage for love nor money. I wish I still had my charger from my DJI Flamewheel F550 days. It had Li-Ion charging capabilities.

I'm hoping the charging circuitry isn't goosed inside the ST16. I've asked the same question to Yuneec to see what they recommend. Yuneec sell a replacement battery for £39.94 all in.

ST16 Ground Station Battery

Did @Sureshot say he opened a battery pack? Is it simply 3x 18650? I have an 18650 charger if they can be individually removed. Any recollection of what was inside?
Yuneec UK are pretty good, and that's s good price, I always add a few spares, final dampers or arm clips etc to make the postage worthwhile, if you are local to them you can pick up.
 
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Thanks, Yuneec responded to me yesterday and have advised that the best course of action is to return the controller and battery to them for inspection. Does anyone have any experience with out of warranty returns? Is this going to cost me a fortune?
 

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I agree with sending the ST-16 to Yuneec. The power switch may have failed, achieving a position that would turn off the indicator light but still leave the circuit open to discharge the battery. Replacing just the battery would only repeat deep discharge of the battery as you have already experienced.

If the -16 is at fault you have a 50-50 chance Yuneec will replace it for free. If not they will probably notify you of the problem and inform you of the estimated labor cost. My guess is labor would be less than 2 hours.
 
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They are very good Yuneec UK, they resolved issues and problems quickly, even emails exchanged out of office hours, perhaps it's because they are a smaller outfit, you can ring and check and drop off and have a chat if local.
 
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I read somewhere, maybe on here, and it was with a Lipo, to hit the battery with a large input to get it over the minimum and then revert back to regular charging.
Don't know if that works with an ion battery but they are basically the same (yes/no?)
Similar minimum/maximum figures
If that doesn't work I guess you're fried either way
Please don't try it until you verify it is ok!!!
Cheers
 

Phaedrus

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Trying to revive lithium-based cells by zapping them is not something I recommend. Send it in, see what Yuneec says.
 
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Perhaps the wording I used was .....inappropriate
What I was suggesting would be no different to "fast charge" on an aftermarket charger.
Sorry if my suggestion was out of line
I WAS NOT suggesting to wire it up and turn on the 240/110!!! duhhhh!!!
cheers 😁
 
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PatR

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Trying to revive lithium-based cells by zapping them is not something I recommend. Send it in, see what Yuneec says.
Agree. Doing that is akin to grabbing a stick of dynamite with a broken fuse and lighting it to see if it still works.

Every lithium cell that’s been depleted below it’s minimum voltage, we’ll use 3v for an example, has sustained some level of damage and attempts to salvage them does nothing to reverse the damage. Trying to revive one carries risks that continue long after it might have been tricked into achieving useful voltage again. Just the attempt can be enough to call out the city fire department.

Those that do try it need to know how these batteries work. The process required very low charge rates until a battery achieves minimum voltage but be advised the attempt can create a thermal runaway and put you smack in harm’s way.
 
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Trying to revive lithium-based cells by zapping them is not something I recommend. Send it in, see what Yuneec says.
You can leave the lithium ion battery fulled charged in your controller. No need to leave that one discharged.
 

Phaedrus

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You can leave the lithium ion battery fulled charged in your controller. No need to leave that one discharged.
Not saying anything about that. I was responding to the idea of "zapping" lithium based cells to revive them. Not a recommended practice.
 

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