Phantom 3 Intelligent Flight Battery issue

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Hi. I've got some issues with my two DJI Phantom 3 Intelligent Flight batteries. They show "battery life" 90%-100%, but they don't seem to charge. I've been doing a lot of debugging and created this video to show my findings. There is literately no one that sells these batteries in my country so I'm therefor trying my best to get them working. They haven't been used much and my Phantom 3 Professional is almost in perfect condition. It would be a shame to just throw this away.


Anyone here has any tips, pointers or anything at all that could help me?
 
In the beginning of the vid, it's difficult to see what you're doing with your fingers. Your fingers are blocking the view of the contact with your fingers and the buttons. At about the 20 sec mark, it appears you powered up the left battery. It appears to have powered up correctly and it's showing 0-12% power. That is not a good sign because it means you didn't maintain it correctly and it very well could have irreversible damage.

Re hibernation mode, many if not most batteries die in hibernation mode because they were allowed to stay in hibernation mode too long and allowed to starve.

That battery that stays on successfully must be charged immediately. But if it doesn't take a charge, it may be too late to save it. I think your only chance is to keep it plugged in for a long time and hope for the best. But it's unlikely it can be saved. Even if it somehow became charged and showing 100%, there's an excellent chance it will turn itself off in less than a minute of flying.

The battery with the third lamp blinking during charging is almost certainly dead. I'm not sure I've ever seen or heard of one being recovered. Personally, none of mine have ever recovered from the "third lamp blinking."

Sorry.

Good luck
 
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These batteries have a few little batteries (cells) inside, if just one fails the battery is toast. With lipos it's 'use it or lose it', that includes regular recharges to maintain in working condition. Sorry but you will need to find replacements to fly again.
 
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it's showing 0-12% power. That is not a good sign because it means you didn't maintain it correctly
It's all good as long as they will get charged now. If any diodes are blinking, then the battery wasn't damaged yet.
This is how the marking works at least - 0% does not mean it has no ability to discharge anymore, it means more discharge would damage the cells.

We keep batteries in storage at 50% not because they get damaged below that. They don't, unless the charge is really small - what the BMS says is 0%. But the batteries self-discharge over time, so 50% give them a proper margin - if they're at 50%, then you can be certain they won't self-discharge to 0% in half a year (usually they won't discharge 50% to 0% even in a whole year, but there's no reason to try).

If the battery is at 10%, then leaving it for a few months will surely damage it.

but they don't seem to charge.
Check you charger. If the issue is really with batteries, then you'd have to talk to the BMS chip to figure out what happens. Very likely your BMS raised the Permanent Failure flag.

BMS chip communicates using Smart Battery Specification, on SMBus interface, which in turn is based on I2C.
So you need a device which can talk I2C, like a dongle or Raspberry Pi. Or the official device from BMS chip manufacturer, EV2300 if I remember correctly.

The I2C communication lines are on the board inside battery, they're not available on external terminals in this model.

I only used the Raspberry Pi in the past.
 
In the beginning of the vid, it's difficult to see what you're doing with your fingers. Your fingers are blocking the view of the contact with your fingers and the buttons.

The first click is just one press to check the battery level. The second is holding them down for 5 seconds to check the battery life.
At about the 20 sec mark, it appears you powered up the left battery. It appears to have powered up correctly and it's showing 0-12% power. That is not a good sign because it means you didn't maintain it correctly and it very well could have irreversible damage.
Yeah, I can do this with both batteries by turning them on (click twice and hold). You mean 0-20%, right? I'm no battery expert, but it seems that the batteries are not so dead that they can't be charged, but rather the BMS is restricting me charge them?
Re hibernation mode, many if not most batteries die in hibernation mode because they were allowed to stay in hibernation mode too long and allowed to starve.
Hm. Though, isn't it weird that I still can "interact" with them as much as I can if they were dead?
That battery that stays on successfully must be charged immediately. But if it doesn't take a charge, it may be too late to save it. I think your only chance is to keep it plugged in for a long time and hope for the best. But it's unlikely it can be saved. Even if it somehow became charged and showing 100%, there's an excellent chance it will turn itself off in less than a minute of flying.
Both batteries stay on, that's what I find a bit weird 🤔. Leaving them in the charging-state, with the charger connected will eventually put them in hibernation mode. As seen in 00:35. Not sure if there is a way to kick them out of this mode or something?
The battery with the third lamp blinking during charging is almost certainly dead. I'm not sure I've ever seen or heard of one being recovered. Personally, none of mine have ever recovered from the "third lamp blinking."
Yeah, that one might be a gonner :(
 
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These batteries have a few little batteries (cells) inside, if just one fails the battery is toast. With lipos it's 'use it or lose it', that includes regular recharges to maintain in working condition. Sorry but you will need to find replacements to fly again.
:( Well, given that's the case there is literately no one selling these here. And seemingly overseas there is only copies on EBay and AliExpress where you can get replacements. Any thoughts on getting those? I feel like it's usually no-no getting Chinese copies when it comes to batteries.
 
It's all good as long as they will get charged now. If any diodes are blinking, then the battery wasn't damaged yet.
This is how the marking works at least - 0% does not mean it has no ability to discharge anymore, it means more discharge would damage the cells.
That's what I kind of find strange. Why am I able to "interact" so much with these, even leave them on for a long time, if they were completely dead/damaged 🤔. Even the battery life check shows 90%-100%. I'm kind of feeling that it's just the BMS restricting me to charge them as they have surpassed some sort of threshold that DJI have set, and that the batteries MIGHT actually be fine.
Check you charger. If the issue is really with batteries, then you'd have to talk to the BMS chip to figure out what happens. Very likely your BMS raised the Permanent Failure flag.

BMS chip communicates using Smart Battery Specification, on SMBus interface, which in turn is based on I2C.
So you need a device which can talk I2C, like a dongle or Raspberry Pi. Or the official device from BMS chip manufacturer, EV2300 if I remember correctly.

The I2C communication lines are on the board inside battery, they're not available on external terminals in this model.

I only used the Raspberry Pi in the past.
I'm fairly sure that the charger is good. It charged my controller fine, and it looks brand new (no external damages). Um. Well, I do have a Raspberry Pi, but you did mention some flag. Let's say I manage to disconnect the battery controller (?) and connect it to a PC via a RPi. Would I be able to reset this?

Another question:
I see there is no one selling any genuin Phantom 3 batteries anymore. Do you have any thoughts on getting Chinese copies from EBay or AliExpress? I mean, I don't really see any other choices than getting these batteries charged or buying some copies.
 
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It charged my controller fine, and it looks brand new (no external damages).
I never disassembled one, but if I'd design such a charger, I'd keep the USB circuit separate from high power output. The only common part would be the transformer, with separate secondary winding.

It is easy to check the voltage with multimeter.

Let's say I manage to disconnect the battery controller (?) and connect it to a PC via a RPi. Would I be able to reset this?
You do not need to disconnect. Actually you shouldn't, that by itself triggers the PF flag.
And yes, with RPi you can unseal the bms and reset the flag, there's a tool for that in dji-firmware-tools.
You can also read all the flags, to figure out what is really happening.

For details, you can look into videos on resetting Mavic Pro battery - it is basically the same circuit, only fitted into different board size. At least when I was doing this, videos were only available on the Mavic.

Oh, and I remember that some Ph3 batteries have the communication pads marked incorrectly; the correct info you can find on dji-firmware-tools project wiki.

Why am I able to "interact" so much with these, even leave them on for a long time, if they were completely dead/damaged
For that you'd have to read BMS specification. I'm not even sure if the diodes and button are controlled by the BMS, or by the additional micro-controller (the one to which you can communicate on battery terminals).
 
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I never disassembled one, but if I'd design such a charger, I'd keep the USB circuit separate from high power output. The only common part would be the transformer, with separate secondary winding.

It is easy to check the voltage with multimeter.
Yeah, I need to get me one of those 😅, but atm I have no way of checking, though I'm fairly certain it's working fine.
You do not need to disconnect. Actually you shouldn't, that by itself triggers the PF flag.
And yes, with RPi you can unseal the bms and reset the flag, there's a tool for that in dji-firmware-tools.
You can also read all the flags, to figure out what is really happening.
Yeah, I actually found that Github repo. Couldn't see if it's possible to reset any there though.
For details, you can look into videos on resetting Mavic Pro battery - it is basically the same circuit, only fitted into different board size. At least when I was doing this, videos were only available on the Mavic.

Oh, and I remember that some Ph3 batteries have the communication pads marked incorrectly; the correct info you can find on dji-firmware-tools project wiki.


For that you'd have to read BMS specification. I'm not even sure if the diodes and button are controlled by the BMS, or by the additional micro-controller (the one to which you can communicate on battery terminals).
Oh, okey. Thanks for the heads up. I'll do some research, but I'm afraid this might be too complex for me. Never in my life worked with batteries or circuits 👀.
Another question:
I see there is no one selling any genuin Phantom 3 batteries anymore. Do you have any thoughts on getting Chinese copies from EBay or AliExpress? I mean, I don't really see any other choices than getting these batteries charged or buying some copies.
Any thoughts on this btw?
 
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any thoughts on getting Chinese copies from EBay or AliExpress?

Never used them. I remember people writing about that, so search the forum.
I'd imagine it's like with everything - there are god products, but also a few bad ones. All depends on quality of the cells, which you can't easily judge for such batteries.

For very bad ones, you may see "battery error" after flying for some time or generally short flight time.
For bad ones, the battery will be hot after a demanding flight. It can be warm, bus shouldn't be hot.
For average and good, you will see the difference only after like 50 cycles.
 
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Not sure what country you're in, but here in USA, it's against postal regs to export a lithium battery, although you can import them. So if one buys one from China and it's bad, he can't return it. So you might check your country's regs. Good luck.
 
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Not sure what country you're in, but here in USA, it's against postal regs to export a lithium battery, although you can import them. So if one buys one from China and it's bad, he can't return it. So you might check your country's regs. Good luck.
Hm. I haven't actually thought about that, thanks for the heads up. We do have some rules, such as max two batteries or four cells in total. I belive the P3 batteries are 4 cells so I might actually be covered here. Thanks, I might create a new post to see if there is anyone with any suggested sellers.
 
Here's a vid of me testing a questionable P2 battery. It showed full charge, but it charged funny - very slow at first, then zoomed to full charge.

Ready to launch - Had green lamps in back, everything appeared okay. Upon launch, rear lamps began quickly flashing red almost immediately indicating auto-land. I let it hover. Flight lasted half a minute as voltage dropped out and P2 landed on its own.

 
Here's another bad P2 battery - seems okay until it gets down to 21%, then the percentage starts to crash unexpectedly and it went into critical auto land. If I was over woods trying to get home, it would not have ended well.

These are both legit DJI batteries...

 
Here's a vid of me testing a questionable P2 battery. It showed full charge, but it charged funny - very slow at first, then zoomed to full charge.

Ready to launch - Had green lamps in back, everything appeared okay. Upon launch, rear lamps began quickly flashing red almost immediately indicating auto-land. I let it hover. Flight lasted half a minute as voltage dropped out and P2 landed on its own.

Yeah, this is what I'm a bit scared of, but I honestly don't see any other options to buy some 3-party ones from e.g. AliExpress or Ebay. I've asked in Discord channels for help, at DJI forums, contacted local stores... no original batteries to find, nor currently a way to fix the ones I have 😞. The closest I have atm. is the tip quaddamage had above about talking to the BMS.
 
My experience is it's hit and miss with the aftermarket batteries. It's good to get good reviews before you buy. I rarely buy AM. However, I've had a couple that were outstanding and a couple others that were a disaster. If a DJI battery goes bad, it's always my fault one way or the other.

Buying a good used P3 battery is an option, but you don't know what you're getting. Most of the time they are not good batteries, even if the seller claims they are. You have to get a little lucky.

For example, here's a guy on ebay who's selling used P3 batteries. He's got good feedback. But you still don't know for sure if the battery is good. Doesn't matter though, because he can't ship out of the USA.


 
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Thanks for the reminder! Bought a Mavic 3 Pro last year, putting aside the P3A. After reading these posts went immediately to charge the power cells. They were all down to 1 bar and at this point the first one seems to be charging "normally". Will take them home and launch each one and observe the battery data on the controller under load. Mark the Droner's show is a good case in point. I might just sell the 5 coz I have no need and it's a waste to just let them go dead with so much life left.
 
My experience is it's hit and miss with the aftermarket batteries. It's good to get good reviews before you buy. I rarely buy AM. However, I've had a couple that were outstanding and a couple others that were a disaster. If a DJI battery goes bad, it's always my fault one way or the other.

Buying a good used P3 battery is an option, but you don't know what you're getting. Most of the time they are not good batteries, even if the seller claims they are. You have to get a little lucky.
Hm, seems to be very different from person to person. One guy I talked to said that they had 30+ P3 batteries, where only ~5-8 or so was genuine ones from DJI. They only had 2-3 failing the past few years. Buy you're right, it depends hugely on the seller.
Do you think the best way to validate the batteries is the way you did? Just fire up the drone and let it hover and see how it goes? Or isn't that sufficient?
For example, here's a guy on ebay who's selling used P3 batteries. He's got good feedback. But you still don't know for sure if the battery is good. Doesn't matter though, because he can't ship out of the USA.
Yeah... that doesn't really help me. There is no one selling used ones here, already checked. My only option is to fix what I have or buy internationally.
 
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Thanks for the reminder! Bought a Mavic 3 Pro last year, putting aside the P3A. After reading these posts went immediately to charge the power cells. They were all down to 1 bar and at this point the first one seems to be charging "normally". Will take them home and launch each one and observe the battery data on the controller under load.
I'm glad my misfortune could help you 🥲! Good luck 🤞🏼.

Mark the Droner's show is a good case in point. I might just sell the 5 coz I have no need and it's a waste to just let them go dead with so much life left.
Well, if you are willing, and can ship them to Europe you might have a customer here.
 
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