Cold temp - Battery issues...

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Sep 27, 2014
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#1
Yesterday I hiked for a couple of hours in 20 degree weather with my Phantom 2 batteries in a pack and my phantom hanging open on the outside of my bag. The batteries were pretty cold and the Phantom itself was of course VERY cold.

When I tried to fly, I almost instantly got low battery warnings which I assume must be due to the cold. I saw some things about "battery heaters" you can get to put your batteries in before flying. Also, saw tips suggesting you should run your motors for a bit to warm everything up.

My question is...should you keep the phantom warm as well? If I had batteries that were very warm...but the inside of the phantom was very cold, would that cause issues as well?
thanks.

-Michael
 
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#2
Maybe a P2 owner will chime in here because I have a P4, and that is all that I have experience with. That said, I think the general consensus here is that the battery is the issue when flying in the cold. In 'extreme' cold - say, below 10 degrees F - I think the craft could cause an issue, but at 20 degrees F, the battery is what typically causes a problem.

Chemical hand warmer packs will work if packed against the battery in an insulated package, but cheaper - and what I use - is uncooked rice in a zipper lock bag stuffed into a wool sock. I microwave the rice until it is well warmed, and since many microwaves are different, you have to experiment with yours as far as time. Start with a minute, monitor, and go from there...

Another issue can be the device attached to your remote. My iPad Air II has given me issues at 20 degrees F, and according to Apple, the minimum operating temperature is 32 degrees F.

The general consensus is to also hover the copter nearby for a minute or so after takeoff when it is cold, as this allows for it to warm up a bit more, and it's close if there are problems.

If you search the forum for 'cold weather flying' or 'winter flying' or something of the like, you will find lots of info on this, and some have reported flying their systems in near zero degree F with a warm battery and a bit of hover time. I am bit more conservative though...
 
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#3
Not as important to keep the Phantom warm as it is to keep the batteries warm. If you have an easy way to keep the Phantom warm as well prior to flight that's going to help as the electronics and transmission all perform better at their warmer optimal operating temperatures. Most importantly you should be keeping the batteries warm.
 
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#4
Maybe a P2 owner will chime in here because I have a P4, and that is all that I have experience with. That said, I think the general consensus here is that the battery is the issue when flying in the cold. In 'extreme' cold - say, below 10 degrees F - I think the craft could cause an issue, but at 20 degrees F, the battery is what typically causes a problem.

Chemical hand warmer packs will work if packed against the battery in an insulated package, but cheaper - and what I use - is uncooked rice in a zipper lock bag stuffed into a wool sock. I microwave the rice until it is well warmed, and since many microwaves are different, you have to experiment with yours as far as time. Start with a minute, monitor, and go from there...

Another issue can be the device attached to your remote. My iPad Air II has given me issues at 20 degrees F, and according to Apple, the minimum operating temperature is 32 degrees F.

The general consensus is to also hover the copter nearby for a minute or so after takeoff when it is cold, as this allows for it to warm up a bit more, and it's close if there are problems.

If you search the forum for 'cold weather flying' or 'winter flying' or something of the like, you will find lots of info on this, and some have reported flying their systems in near zero degree F with a warm battery and a bit of hover time. I am bit more conservative though...
Thank you!
 
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#6
Maybe a P2 owner will chime in here because I have a P4, and that is all that I have experience with. That said, I think the general consensus here is that the battery is the issue when flying in the cold. In 'extreme' cold - say, below 10 degrees F - I think the craft could cause an issue, but at 20 degrees F, the battery is what typically causes a problem.

Chemical hand warmer packs will work if packed against the battery in an insulated package, but cheaper - and what I use - is uncooked rice in a zipper lock bag stuffed into a wool sock. I microwave the rice until it is well warmed, and since many microwaves are different, you have to experiment with yours as far as time. Start with a minute, monitor, and go from there...

Another issue can be the device attached to your remote. My iPad Air II has given me issues at 20 degrees F, and according to Apple, the minimum operating temperature is 32 degrees F.

The general consensus is to also hover the copter nearby for a minute or so after takeoff when it is cold, as this allows for it to warm up a bit more, and it's close if there are problems.

If you search the forum for 'cold weather flying' or 'winter flying' or something of the like, you will find lots of info on this, and some have reported flying their systems in near zero degree F with a warm battery and a bit of hover time. I am bit more conservative though...
Thank you!
 
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#7
May take a bit longer for the imu to warm up to the calibration temp. Not a problem, just another thing that will cut into your flying time.
 
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#13

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