DJI Smart Battery Tips & Usage

The DJI Smart Battery

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Recently DJI have release firmware updates for both the Inspire 1 and Phantom 3 to address battery performance issues in colder conditions.

As part of these updates DJI have changed the behaviour of the smart pack and craft

The first being the craft will not arm if the battery temperature is below 15c, you will get a battery low temperature message

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The second being that the craft will reduce its power output if battery temperature drops below a certain level or cell voltage begin to sag, the exact circumstances around this are not 100% known but you will get a message Propulsions output is limited to ensure the safety of the battery come up and overall power available will drop.

There also a fair number of reports of overall power being down especially at full throttle when gaining altitude with V1.6

DJI have introduce this to help prevent the battery from having problems in flight, i strongly suggest people update to V1.6 as the benefits outweigh the losses however one option you have if you really don’t want the reduced output is update to V1.6 then make sure you update each battery, then downgrade back to V1.5, when you downgrade FW the battery remains on the latest but the craft does downgrade, this way you would have the battery update to prevent shut down in flight but not have the reduced output.

Note once update to V1.6 you can not downgrade below V1.5

The Firmware

Inspire 1 V1 and V2 

DJI release 2 updates for this model

v1.5.0.30 Addressed level fluctuation issues and pack shutdowns.
This is a battery update and you will need to make sure you update each battery you have after the main craft update.

v1.6.0.40 Improved battery reliability when using the aircraft in cold environments by limiting craft performance under cold conditions.
This is craft only update.

Inspire 1 PRO and RAW

DJI release 2 updates for this model

v1.2.0.50 Addressed level fluctuation issues and pack shutdowns.
This is a battery update and you will need to make sure you update each battery you have after the main craft update.

v1.3.0.60. Improved battery reliability when using the aircraft in cold environments by limiting craft performance under cold conditions.
This is craft only update.

Phantom 3 Pro, Advanced and Standard

DJI released only 1 update

v1.6.0040 1. Improved battery reliability when using the aircraft in cold environments by limiting craft performance under cold conditions
and optimised battery management to precent pack shutdowns.

This contains a battery update as well and you will need to make sure you update each battery you have after the main craft update.

Further to this I have put together some tips and usage recommendations regarding the Smart Battery and usage 

 

Winter is here and recent events have shown some strange behaviour from the DJI Smart Battery in both the P3 and I1, by following a few simple rules you can help ensure your craft returns home every time.

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Take it easy on new packs

A brand new battery can take a number of cycles to realise it full capacity, do not fully discharge a new pack for the first few cycles, ideally don’t discharge below 50% for the first 10 cycles.

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Do not fly a partly charged pack

Only take off with a fully charged battery, if you stop flying do not use the pack again for another flight.

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Only fly a fresh fully charged battery

Fly with in 24 hours of charging a battery, ideally sooner, if the battery has been sitting for over 24 hours put it back on charge before you fly, if its capacity is over 90% you will need to turn the pack on then connect to the charger then it will start.

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Regularly calibrate you battery

At least every 20 cycles discharge you’re battery to 3.35v per cell or discharge it till it turns its self off.

To calibrate, filly charge the battery, discharge to 3.35v per cell then fully recharge.

If you see any irregular behaviour from your battery calibrate it before use.

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Keep a charged battery warm before flight

Temps are dropping and cold weather can have an averse affect on the battery and its performance, try to keep the pack warm between charging and getting to the fly site in colder weather, don’t let the packs sit outside in the cold before you fly try to insulate them.

DJI have insulation pads for the I1 packs as well as a heater, these are not available for the P3 currently.

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Be Gentle

In colder weather avoid full throttle unless its absolutely necessary, especially until the battery has warmed in flight, take off at part throttle as this is when the largest load is on the pack and its cold.

 

 

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