P3 Firmware Battery Firmware Update

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OK, keeping it simple. 1 "C" for any given battery (a battery being a group of cells) is equal to the current rating of that battery. So for a 5200mAh battery 1C = 5.2a. Not taking into account losses through heat etc of which of course in the real world there are some if you discharge a battery to flat in 20 minutes it will be discharging at 3C or 3 times the rated capacity per hour.

For "dumb" batteries without an onboard controller like those used in R/C models (some) are capable of discharging safely at up to 10C (they get very hot), so you could flatten a fully charged battery in 6 minutes. This is the main draw of Lithium based batteries particularly Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer, the chemistry that makes this possible is also what makes them so volatile if treated incorrectly.

I'm not sure what the maximum rated safe discharge for DJI batteries is but they are not "dumb" batteries and the onboard controller circuit will (should) manage that for you. As far as charging goes, while once again they *can* be charged at greater than 1C, for maximum battery life you should limit charge to 1C. So that 5200mAh battery should be charged at no more than 5.2 amps. In a perfect world this would mean one hour to charge the battery, taking into account losses through heat and other variables it's usually about 70 to 90 minutes. Once again the onboard controller on the DJI batteries manages that for you. The charger I use for my dumb batteries cost me $600 but it charges on 4 channels simultaneously and manages cell balancing and all the other factors once pre programmed. DJI batteries are a blessing for those who don't want to go that far into it as they just use a "dumb" charger and let the batteries circuitry mange it all for you.



Yes you have that correct. The Genuine DJI P4 dock I have makes it very clear it is only charging one at a time when set to "Charge" although it manages all three batteries at once when set to "storage" as some may be discharging while others charge. You're not the only person I have heard report dis satisfaction with 3rd party charger docks. It's also why I have a preference for OEM batteries over after market, I know that it has the genuine charger circuitry onboard not just a cheap knock of that does nothing but make the LEDs flash. I have been told that there are some good after market batteries but as I am a commercial operator I am obliged to use OEM to keep my liability insurance sweet.

For people with older DJI birds, because let's face it there is going to come a day when genuine batteries are not available, I would be thinking of putting your old and tired batteries into cold storage for the future and having them repacked professionally by a local battery specialist as that way you will be keeping your genuine DJI controller circuitry.

The Spark Dock seems to do all three at once also but they are a much smaller rated battery so the charger pack can probably manage it.



Yes this is correct although the way it is worded can be confusing.

Because it is a smart battery it is constantly doing things behind the scenes and communicating with the R.P.A. in flight to check on discharge rates, report on remaining capacity so your DJI app can report it to you and many other variables.

When they update the firmware on your RPA or it's controller this may effect the required communications between the bird and the battery or the manufacturer may decide to change the maximum allowed discharge rate for some reason, for example when the P4P V2 got sinusoidal ESCs and motors over the old square wave of the version 1. So for this case they have made the smart controller circuitry in the battery able to be updated also.

What is claimed to be the case and indeed what has happened for me (although I don't own a P3) is that when a new firmware update becomes available the App informs me and I go through the update procedure which flashes the RPA, the controller and the battery in one go if needed (sometimes the battery does not get an update as the existing parameters are fine). If the battery IS updated that updated battery firmware is stored on the R.P.A. so all you need to do it shut down the RPA, swap batteres and turn it back on and you will get a message to the effect that you have mis matching firmware versions and you follow the prompts and it will flash the battery for you in a short period of time.

I hope that is of some help and was clear enough to follow.

Regards
Ari
Thanks Yes I see you have a vast knowledge of these batteries.When I purchased my drone I was lied to by the company who sold it to me.Droneworld Cape Town.They said all the updates had been done. The App.gave me no indication that there was a firmware update available.Just by chance I went onto the DJI website and found the very last firmware update for the P3 series.I did the update on the bird and the remote controller.And from there on every OEM battery I have fitted has never asked for a update?Except this one.I also have noticed that there is a 0.02v difference in the 1st.cell compared to the next 3 cells.
 
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So no engines running being on the simulator means a fan is needed to cool down gimbal.Do they burn out otherwise?
Yes they get quite warm with no props cooling them and if they overheat badly you could lose the live video feed.
 
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Thanks Yes I see you have a vast knowledge of these batteries
I actually came out of retirement to start an RPA business (mainly to give my kids a career) but in my life I qualified for 4 trades and worked in other related areas for work and hobby. I first qualified at 18 as a Telecommunications Technician so I have a technical background in electronics and was an instructor at the local R/C flight club for a long time before I tired of the personality politics and packed it in so really it's just a case of having been doing it a long time and being familiar with LiPos since they first hit the market. in other areas I'm totally useless ;)

When I purchased my drone I was lied to by the company who sold it to me.Droneworld Cape Town.They said all the updates had been done.
They may not have intentionally lied to you. DJI are absolutely famous (infamous?) for releasing many MANY firmware updates. Sometimes 3 in a week has happened so it may have been up to date when it left the shop and out of date by the time you got home.

Just by chance I went onto the DJI website and found the very last firmware update for the P3 series.I
You would be using the DJI GO app where I all my birds use the newer GO 4 app so it may be that the update notifications are handled differently. Being an older aircraft the P3 won't have as many updates but I'd just check the website as you did periodically to be sure.

.And from there on every OEM battery I have fitted has never asked for a update?Except this one.
Because they release so many updates and sometimes batteries can sit in stock for so long at the retailer it isn't uncommon to get a "new" battery with a firmware several versions old. Indeed some "new" batteries are uncomfortably OLD when you get them. The last two P4 batteries I bought were 8 months old when I checked their info in the app where of course the one that came with the aircraft was only 1 month old.

I also have noticed that there is a 0.02v difference in the 1st.cell compared to the next 3 cells.
This is not optimal, not critical at that difference but not what I'd like to see in a new battery pack. It lends weight to the possibility it's been in stock quite a while. There is a recommended procedure for this but it makes me grit my teeth a bit.

Charge the battery and then fly the aircraft until it is as flat as you feel comfortable keeping it in the air with ... 10%? Then take it back home and the battery should be cool by then. Without charging the battery start it up and take off and hover once again. When it tries to emergency land keep full up stick over ride on until it just won't have it any more and lands. Do this again if you can after letting it cool. The aim is to get the battery to a displayed 0% charge. Now, I know other and I have said you should never fully discharge a LiPo and this *is* a procedure that you don't want to have to do more than a couple of times in the batteries life (never if you can get away with it) usually however you are not doing it on a new battery but on an old one so you have little to lose.

Generally speaking we think of a LiPo cell being charged at 3.7v (that's a single cell not a battery) and being flat at 3.0v. They are just nominal values. Actually a LiPo cell is fully charged at around 4.2v and discharged at around 2.8 but going below 3.0v risks damage to the cell, not saying it certainly will damage it, but it can and I have seen it happen. The onboard controller in the DJI battery will prevent you from dropping below 3.0v, that's when it shows 0% where as in reality there is a small charge remaining that will (hopefully) protect the cells from damage. You'd be foolish to rely on that all the time but in the case of uneven cell voltage it's only going to get worse so you discharge it as far as it will let you and then charge it up again when cold and see if the cells balance then. If not and it is still new enough I would consider returning it remembering that DJI only warranty their batteries for 6 months from date of purchase.

if you are going to do the above proedure do not take your eyes off the battery at any time during the discharge / charge process. Although ideally you should not do that anyway with LiPos although it's not always possible to baby sit them every time.

Regards
Ari
 
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I have learned so much from this exchange re batteries - THANKS ALL! That’s why I love this group. :p I have been doing it wrong for so long that it is a wonder that I have had only one (expensive) battery related problem with my P3P. I am now going to spend an hour or three setting things up as suggested here, and also buy some genuine charging hubs for the Phantom and its little Spark brother.
 
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Leave the SD card with the latest FW for your P3 in the cam and put the battery with the "old" FW in to the AC and power the system on and your batteries FW will be updated automatically in around a minute.
 
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Leave the SD card with the latest FW for your P3 in the cam and put the battery with the "old" FW in to the AC and power the system on and your batteries FW will be updated automatically in around a minute.
Nothing beats first hand experience!
 
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