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TB48 Battery Tips - please advise

Joined
Jul 18, 2018
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Hi everyone,

I bought an Inspire 1 (a few years back), and enjoyed it for a good while. Then, due to work and other stuff I didn't get around to flying it much (read: not flying at all). A pity, I know.

Anyway, last year (August 2017) we were about to leave on holidays and I wanted to take the Inspire with me. Hadn't used it for months on end (probably even longer). Of course, when I took out both the TB47 and TB48 batteries which had been in the flight case all along, I noticed they were swollen and did not want to take a charge (not even after leaving them plugged in for +1 hour). I ran out of time as we had to leave on holidays so I ended up not taking the drone with me.

We're another year later now. I've given up on the old batteries as I probably killed them due to not taking the right care of them. After some trouble finding them, I ordered two new TB48s online which I intend to take on my upcoming holidays. However, now I'm paranoid with regard to taking correct care of the batteries (which, as I have found out, takes much more effort than I would've thought). I haven't touched the new TB48s (apart from pressing the power button once) and I already noticed they have slight bulges at the bottom, but I hope that's not too much to worry about. They're just sitting on my desk, waiting to be hooked to the charger for the first time.

With the first batteries, I acted like a complete newbie and didn't pay much attention to proper care and usage: just charged them to 100%, flew until (I assume, because it's a long time ago) they were almost discharged, then either charged them again or left them like that depending on whether or not I was planning to fly again...in short, not proper usage.

I've been reading around now, and would like to verify my current understanding of how to optimise battery care and usage, as well as ask some additional questions.

The battery should be 'calibrated' ~every 10 cycles according to the manual
=> I read that during the first 10 cycles, it is better not to discharge the battery too much but to apply a 'break-in' period in which the batteries are discharged to about 50%, before re-charging them fully to 100%
=> after these 10 first cycles, I should then perform a deep discharge (until around 8% or lower?) and recharge the batteries

Question 1: is the 'break-in' period correct? (i.e. better not to discharge below 50% for the first 10 cycles)? Should this really be 10 cycles, or can it be fewer as well? (before performing the first deepcycle)

Question 2: I have read that it is better to watch the voltages instead of the remaining battery % to monitor remaining power; i.e. not flying at lower than 3.45v, bringing it in around 3.65v with the aim of landing around 3.6v (which would be around 17-18% remaining battery percentage apparently). Is this correct? After the break-in period (assuming it is correct that I should avoid going much below 50% for the first 10 cycles), to which percentage/voltage can I discharge the batteries while flying without ruining them?

Question 3: How should I perform the discharge for deepcycling practically? Bring it in and keep it hovering above the ground until it reaches x%? x voltage? What amount is recommended before deepcycling?

Question 4: Storage/charging: this is how I ruined my previous batteries, probably. Apparently, I should never store batteries completely drained nor completely charged. I've read that 50% is about good. I've also read "a storage charge of around 3.86v per cell, charging them from there whenever they are needed again". However, I have no idea how to charge until 3.86v specifically. I merely have the standard DJI charger which illuminates the lights on the battery. Would the best practice here be to charge until 2 out of 4 lights on the battery are illuminated, and then store it like that?

Question 5: Storage/usage: even if I store them at a correct charge (which I currently assume is around 50% - please correct if wrong), I guess it's not good to leave them unused for months on end. What is a good practice here? How often should I use them to keep them alive? And in doing so, would this then amount to charging them from whatever charge they are left with to 100%, and then using them until they reach around 50% again, after which I can store them again for x amount of months?

I know these are a lot of questions, but I just spent almost $500 on batteries and I don't want to ruin them again. Also, given the difficulty I had in finding them and the age of the Inspire 1, I'm worrying I might not find any replacements again in the future so I'm really looking to maximise the use out of these ones.

Thanks in advance for your help/input!
 
1. Yes you should run in Lipos. Basically put no heavy load on them at all (no big throttle punches etc)
for 4-5 flights and keep them above 50%, You can kill their ability to deliver high load otherwise as i found out with a lipo years ago i flew 3d with right off the bat.

2. This is a moot point, the general consensus is to not take a lipo below 20% so however you read that it does not matter. I have been using % for years on my cheapy lipo checker for RC stuff

3. A occasional discharge does apparently benefit batteries but it did nothing for me when i had cell imbalance issues. I wouldnt do it in the air. I used to fly them and finish them off from 20% to 5% just running on the ground once i got home so no big load.

4. Its considered the standard to store at 50% correct but temperature humidity etc are also just as important. Ive stored batts at full charge for long periods just fine in the right consistent conditions although yes its not recommended. Keep them in a consistent,controlled safe environment at roughly 50% and you should be fine

5. Just jeep them stored well and use them every few months and they should be fine. I have RC lipos i have used on and off for 5 years now that are still just fine.

Hope this help
Mick :)
 
1. Yes you should run in Lipos. Basically put no heavy load on them at all (no big throttle punches etc)
for 4-5 flights and keep them above 50%, You can kill their ability to deliver high load otherwise as i found out with a lipo years ago i flew 3d with right off the bat.

2. This is a moot point, the general consensus is to not take a lipo below 20% so however you read that it does not matter. I have been using % for years on my cheapy lipo checker for RC stuff

3. A occasional discharge does apparently benefit batteries but it did nothing for me when i had cell imbalance issues. I wouldnt do it in the air. I used to fly them and finish them off from 20% to 5% just running on the ground once i got home so no big load.

4. Its considered the standard to store at 50% correct but temperature humidity etc are also just as important. Ive stored batts at full charge for long periods just fine in the right consistent conditions although yes its not recommended. Keep them in a consistent,controlled safe environment at roughly 50% and you should be fine

5. Just jeep them stored well and use them every few months and they should be fine. I have RC lipos i have used on and off for 5 years now that are still just fine.

Hope this help
Mick :)

Hi Mick, thanks for taking the time to respond to each of my questions - I appreciate it a lot and yes, very helpful!

I put my first new battery to the test yesterday evening: just flew a few meters above ground, without making any harsh accelerations etc.; took me about 11 minutes to go from 100% to 50%, which is a lot so not too much load on the battery I assume.

I will take the above into account and hope these batteries will last longer than the previous ones!

Thanks again :)
 
Hi Mick, thanks for taking the time to respond to each of my questions - I appreciate it a lot and yes, very helpful!

I put my first new battery to the test yesterday evening: just flew a few meters above ground, without making any harsh accelerations etc.; took me about 11 minutes to go from 100% to 50%, which is a lot so not too much load on the battery I assume.

I will take the above into account and hope these batteries will last longer than the previous ones!

Thanks again :)

Glad i could help. Dji batteries are smart batteries so to speak so do alot of the hard work for you. Just run them in, dont drain them too low and they should last years.
 
The easiest way to maintain most all of the DKI Batteries is by using a version of the Phantom Angel manufactured especially for the Inspire 1 Series. I use a Combo Angel that maintains both my Inspire 1V2 and Phantom 4 Batteries. I also have a version that maintains my Mavic Pro Batteries. I don't have Alex's Website at the moment but his email is: [email protected]
 
Glad i could help. Dji batteries are smart batteries so to speak so do alot of the hard work for you. Just run them in, dont drain them too low and they should last years.

:) guess I was the stupid part in the equation then over the last few years, because I managed to kill two of those batteries anyway by not storing them properly (although it remains a mystery to me what exactly I did wrong; even if I would've put them in the flightcase at 100% charge, they should've automatically discharged to the recommended storage level, right?)...guess I'll never know :) probably not using them often enough, although I've read about other people here on this forum taking their batteries out of 1-2 years storage and working perfectly...

The easiest way to maintain most all of the DKI Batteries is by using a version of the Phantom Angel manufactured especially for the Inspire 1 Series. I use a Combo Angel that maintains both my Inspire 1V2 and Phantom 4 Batteries. I also have a version that maintains my Mavic Pro Batteries. I don't have Alex's Website at the moment but his email is: [email protected]

Thanks for the info/link! Looks interesting, although I wonder: it appears that the product's main selling points are 1.discharging the batteries to the ideal storage level (~50%); and 2.discharging them at a constant rate to enable deepcycling. In both of those cases, I wonder if: 1.is flying the drone and landing at ~50% not an equally good (or perhaps slightly less good) option to reach the recommended storage level of 50%?; and 2.if I fly the drone until it reaches about 20%, land it and then keep it on until it switches off automatically; would that not be an equally viable option to deplete the battery towards 0% under as few stress/strain possible?

I'm probably missing some technicalities here, which is why I ask :)
 
:) guess I was the stupid part in the equation then over the last few years, because I managed to kill two of those batteries anyway by not storing them properly (although it remains a mystery to me what exactly I did wrong; even if I would've put them in the flightcase at 100% charge, they should've automatically discharged to the recommended storage level, right?)...guess I'll never know :) probably not using them often enough, although I've read about other people here on this forum taking their batteries out of 1-2 years storage and working perfectly...



Thanks for the info/link! Looks interesting, although I wonder: it appears that the product's main selling points are 1.discharging the batteries to the ideal storage level (~50%); and 2.discharging them at a constant rate to enable deepcycling. In both of those cases, I wonder if: 1.is flying the drone and landing at ~50% not an equally good (or perhaps slightly less good) option to reach the recommended storage level of 50%?; and 2.if I fly the drone until it reaches about 20%, land it and then keep it on until it switches off automatically; would that not be an equally viable option to deplete the battery towards 0% under as few stress/strain possible?

I'm probably missing some technicalities here, which is why I ask :)

The piece of kit others have shown is just a easier way to do it without running the motors. Some people also 3d print little stuby fan props to create a bit more load without generating lift. Personal preference and budget i guess.

I have never personally got the whole discharge thing anyway as i was always told that Lipo cells incur damage when taken too low and become volatile.

But follow manufacturers advice to be safe.
 
Once upon a time I also did the runaround trying to maintain my P3P and then my P4 Batteries. Then I found about Alex Protogerellis and his Angels. Even Mark, the Editor of the InspirePilots uses one. With the high cost of the batteries it is a no brainer. It is a fast automatic method of accurately maintaining your batteries.
 
Once upon a time I also did the runaround trying to maintain my P3P and then my P4 Batteries. Then I found about Alex Protogerellis and his Angels. Even Mark, the Editor of the InspirePilots uses one. With the high cost of the batteries it is a no brainer. It is a fast automatic method of accurately maintaining your batteries.

The sad thing about it is in the hobby word or custom rig world most people just have a good charger you can link to the pc like a revolectrix and it does everything you want through it. I always wished Dji had offered a link up to a good charger so you could look after them yourself.
 
1. Definitely doesn't hurt to go easy on them the first few cycles. Stopping at 50% is pretty conservative but no harm done.

2. Definitely doesn't hurt to monitor the voltages however even flying them down to 10% is not taking them anywhere near the danger zone. The percentages are a reference only. 0% does not equal a dead battery. I have many TB-47 and 48s that I have historically flown down to 10% with zero problems.

3. My deep cycling process.
Fly to 10%, hover to 0%, let battery cool, turn on in the bird and let it sit till it till it turns itself off,charge.

I do this every 20 cycles or if the Go app throws a warning.

These batteries protect themselves. I have batteries with well over 100 cycles that have been maintained like this.

4. Storage at 50%. Chances are your other batteries trickled down over time. they need to be maintained.

In reference to the new batteries. They have a small bulge in the bottom when they're brand new




Hi everyone,

I bought an Inspire 1 (a few years back), and enjoyed it for a good while. Then, due to work and other stuff I didn't get around to flying it much (read: not flying at all). A pity, I know.

Anyway, last year (August 2017) we were about to leave on holidays and I wanted to take the Inspire with me. Hadn't used it for months on end (probably even longer). Of course, when I took out both the TB47 and TB48 batteries which had been in the flight case all along, I noticed they were swollen and did not want to take a charge (not even after leaving them plugged in for +1 hour). I ran out of time as we had to leave on holidays so I ended up not taking the drone with me.

We're another year later now. I've given up on the old batteries as I probably killed them due to not taking the right care of them. After some trouble finding them, I ordered two new TB48s online which I intend to take on my upcoming holidays. However, now I'm paranoid with regard to taking correct care of the batteries (which, as I have found out, takes much more effort than I would've thought). I haven't touched the new TB48s (apart from pressing the power button once) and I already noticed they have slight bulges at the bottom, but I hope that's not too much to worry about. They're just sitting on my desk, waiting to be hooked to the charger for the first time.

With the first batteries, I acted like a complete newbie and didn't pay much attention to proper care and usage: just charged them to 100%, flew until (I assume, because it's a long time ago) they were almost discharged, then either charged them again or left them like that depending on whether or not I was planning to fly again...in short, not proper usage.

I've been reading around now, and would like to verify my current understanding of how to optimise battery care and usage, as well as ask some additional questions.

The battery should be 'calibrated' ~every 10 cycles according to the manual
=> I read that during the first 10 cycles, it is better not to discharge the battery too much but to apply a 'break-in' period in which the batteries are discharged to about 50%, before re-charging them fully to 100%
=> after these 10 first cycles, I should then perform a deep discharge (until around 8% or lower?) and recharge the batteries

Question 1: is the 'break-in' period correct? (i.e. better not to discharge below 50% for the first 10 cycles)? Should this really be 10 cycles, or can it be fewer as well? (before performing the first deepcycle)

Question 2: I have read that it is better to watch the voltages instead of the remaining battery % to monitor remaining power; i.e. not flying at lower than 3.45v, bringing it in around 3.65v with the aim of landing around 3.6v (which would be around 17-18% remaining battery percentage apparently). Is this correct? After the break-in period (assuming it is correct that I should avoid going much below 50% for the first 10 cycles), to which percentage/voltage can I discharge the batteries while flying without ruining them?

Question 3: How should I perform the discharge for deepcycling practically? Bring it in and keep it hovering above the ground until it reaches x%? x voltage? What amount is recommended before deepcycling?

Question 4: Storage/charging: this is how I ruined my previous batteries, probably. Apparently, I should never store batteries completely drained nor completely charged. I've read that 50% is about good. I've also read "a storage charge of around 3.86v per cell, charging them from there whenever they are needed again". However, I have no idea how to charge until 3.86v specifically. I merely have the standard DJI charger which illuminates the lights on the battery. Would the best practice here be to charge until 2 out of 4 lights on the battery are illuminated, and then store it like that?

Question 5: Storage/usage: even if I store them at a correct charge (which I currently assume is around 50% - please correct if wrong), I guess it's not good to leave them unused for months on end. What is a good practice here? How often should I use them to keep them alive? And in doing so, would this then amount to charging them from whatever charge they are left with to 100%, and then using them until they reach around 50% again, after which I can store them again for x amount of months?

I know these are a lot of questions, but I just spent almost $500 on batteries and I don't want to ruin them again. Also, given the difficulty I had in finding them and the age of the Inspire 1, I'm worrying I might not find any replacements again in the future so I'm really looking to maximise the use out of these ones.

Thanks in advance for your help/input!
 
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1. Definitely doesn't hurt to go easy on them the first few cycles. Stopping at 50% is pretty conservative but no harm done.

2. Definitely doesn't hurt to monitor the voltages however even flying them down to 10% is not taking them anywhere near the danger zone. The percentages are a reference only. 0% does not equal a dead battery. I have many TB-47 and 48s that I have historically flown down to 10% with zero problems.

3. My deep cycling process.
Fly to 10%, hover to 0%, let battery cool, turn on in the bird and let it sit till it till it turns itself off,charge.

I do this every 20 cycles or if the Go app throws a warning.

These batteries protect themselves. I have batteries with well over 100 cycles that have been maintained like this.

4. Storage at 50%. Chances are your other batteries trickled down over time. they need to be maintained.

In reference to the new batteries. They have a small bulge in the bottom when they're brand new

CSPenceFLY's method is close to ideal in my opinion. I too hover them down and fly them till 8-10% or when they attempt to land themselves. The hover load's discharge isn't extreme, and load percentage is different than rest percentage; you'll see they quickly gain percentage after landing. If time allows, I'll let it run down while I examine the video or logs, if not time I'll run them all down in the evening. The little Angel device or small fan is something to explore for evening draining... looks like a handy tool(s) to place on multiple batteries at one session.

I always let the batteries fully cool before charging, LiPo's Internal Resistance (IR) is much higher when hot/warm and can effect a full charge capacity and the LiPo chemicals ability to accept is lower when warm compared to cold.

Out of balance cells: I've never had success in getting the cells to balance by deep cycle discharge (DJI recommended procedure) it's more of a maintenance procedure, not a repair. For out of balance cells which I often get when purchasing new or used TB48 or TB48S, I've found popping the top, using a custom balance lead and a standard LiHV charger will correct the balance issue and restore full potential of the battery. NOTE: Not applicable for TB50 / TB55 batteries since glued & sealed.

Fear of damaging the TB48 is low on my fear meter. The LiPo (TB47) and LiHV (TB48) has a minimal voltage of 3.0v, avg 3.7, and Max 4.2 LiPo and 4.35 LiHV. The 3.0v is not reached while flying, it requires on-ground drain to reach that low level when monitoring.

All the above posts are all very effective in maintaining your batteries. Basically if they have a charge 40-75% for storage, stored in 50-70 F temps and brought out and used every 12-18 months for maintenance... they'll last normally without issues.
 

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