Who’s used swollen batteries?

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Two of my original p4p batteries are very swollen. They’ve been swelling up more and more for around a year now and they’re now to the point where it is somewhat difficult to get them in and after flying they are very difficult to get out.

I have another battery that I purchased maybe a year or 18months after the originals and this is now also starting to swell - yet nowhere to the extreme as the other two.

Today whilst flying with my newest battery, within 2 minutes of flying I got an error message up the top of screen saying “Damaged battery.” I have taken the attitude that now every time I fly it may be my last flight so I proceeded with the flight taking images without further incident. I only discharged it to around 55%.

The two older ones however have never caused me an issue. They don’t drain fast, they don’t show errors, and apart from the swelling you would never know there’s an issue. I want to point out that yes I am aware charging these can potentially be dangerous so I always charge these when I can supervise it completely.

Call me crazy but this drone cost me a lot of money and I’m not prepared to fork out for new batteries so the writing is on the wall. I’m curious if anyone has used a pin or similar to release the swelling of the battery to make getting it in and out easier?
I have seen people on YouTube suggest putting them in the freezer (which must work as I know on colder days they aren’t as swollen) but they still swell up further during flight and it’s difficult to get them out.

Thanks for any comments.
 
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I’m curious if anyone has used a pin or similar to release the swelling of the battery to make getting it in and out easier?
This way you can take the hydrogen out, but also:
- You make a hole by which the chemicals inside can evaporate, destroying the cell soon later
- You may get some air in, and air contains water and oxygen; those will oxidize the cell, and may make it explode

How Lithium reacts to water:

You can only "refurbish" lithium cells if you're a specialist in the field. Otherwise, you will just change it into smoke grenade, with delayed activation.

Personally, I am unable to fix Lithium cells, but I do experiment on the ones I have. I did released the hydrogen from one, but its voltage became even more unpredictable after that, even though I taped the hole.

Just make sure you keep your experiments safe. I keep mine in military ammo boxes.

I got an error message up the top of screen saying “Damaged battery.”

There is a battery control chip inside the cover, one from Texas Instruments. You can reset error flags in that chip using TI evaluation software and TI programmer box. Though the box costs almost as much as new battery. And if you won't replace the bad cell, the underlying issue will still be there.
 
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Thanks for the info greatly appreciated.

When you say the voltage became more unpredictable, was that immediate or slowly over time? And is it possible this was coincidence of an already failing battery?

It’s strange I’ve been using these original 2 for so long whilst swollen and not once have they ever produced an error or shown any signs of decreased performance.

I’d love to get a few more flights out of them but I am very hesitant.
 
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Before releasing the hydrogen, the cell would discharge normally 1/3 of its capacity before making a big dip in voltage. But when I disconnected the load, it immediately came back from 2.9V to 3.8V. Then I could re-charge it to that 1/3 capacity. It wouldn't charge more on a standard charger, because its voltage rise was large enough for the charger to assume it's full.

When I tested it circa 4 days after the hydrogen release, its voltage without load was 4.1V. Connecting it to a load would make the voltage drop to 3V almost immediately; this makes any device which supports lithium cells to immediately turn off. But it wouldn't charge either, as the voltage would rise to 4.3 V in around a minute, which makes any Lithium cell charger assume it's fully charged.

Normal li-po cells, when without load, typically have:
3V - deeply discharged
3.3V - discharged
3.7V - 50% charge
4.1V - 100% charge
While charging, the voltage rises by 0.2V. While at large load, the voltage drops by 0.2V.

The more swollen a cell is, the less it adheres to these rules.

(disclaimer: the data here are huge simplification - all the changes are really non-linear, and there are different types and grades of li-po cells, and everything changes over time and over the amount of cycles; so this is only for basic understanding - for precise knowledge, read datasheets and papers)
 
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Everything I've read would suggest the safest thing to do would be bite the bullet and buy new batteries. Better than having one fail in flight and ending up with a crash that costs a lot more than a battery. Good luck however you decide.
 
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"Call me crazy but this drone cost me a lot of money..." so you're ready to risk your expensive drone with swollen batteries that common sense, manufacturers instructions and FAA 107 training say to discard?
 
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"Call me crazy but this drone cost me a lot of money..." so you're ready to risk your expensive drone with swollen batteries that common sense, manufacturers instructions and FAA 107 training say to discard?

Yeah sorry I should have probably explained that a little better. Honestly I’ve never really been happy with this drone - I mainly use it for stills and the quality, or should I say lack of sharpness around the edges is actually quite appalling for its price. It’s complete mush.

Yep it cost a lot of money and I’d love to get some more life out of it before it falls out the sky but I won’t shed a tear and I’m sure not going to spend another cent on it.

Was expensive then, wouldn’t be worth much now. Even the remote battery only lasts one full drone battery before it needs recharging.
 

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Its been two years now since the Phantom Battery Imploded in the Garage creating a Mount Saint Hellens Explosion of thick black smoke. it was only a pin hole . Had it happened in the house im quite sure everything would have been ruined.

Were risk takers , but I wont ever risk that again.

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Its been two years now since the Phantom Battery Imploded in the Garage creating a Mount Saint Hellens Explosion of thick black smoke. it was only a pin hole . Had it happened in the house im quite sure everything would have been ruined.

Were risk takers , but I wont ever risk that again.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly your Phantom 4 in the Rain and Float on Water.

Very good info mate thanks heaps. I think I’m giving up on the idea of the little pin prick now. Think it’s game over for my p4p. Such is life.
 
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Everything I've read would suggest the safest thing to do would be bite the bullet and buy new batteries. Better than having one fail in flight and ending up with a crash that costs a lot more than a battery. Good luck however you decide.
Very good info mate thanks heaps. I think I’m giving up on the idea of the little pin prick now. Think it’s game over for my p4p. Such is life.
If it's a P4P with 1.3.509 firmware, I think you can find a buy for that, even without a battery. Those are like gold, allowing unlimited parameter modifications.
 
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Very good info mate thanks heaps. I think I’m giving up on the idea of the little pin prick now. Think it’s game over for my p4p. Such is life.
I have 2 in the garage in Lipo bags that I poked holes in. Stinks like hell and they still swell. Time to dispose of them.
I bought a PowerEdge battery off Amazon for like $85 and it works great. Don't listen to people that preach "OEM all the way".
There are reputable manufacturers of replacement batteries.
I did not get the high capacity because if you do the math you're paying almost double for 3 minutes longer flight.
Not a good bang for buck IMHO. As far as people saying you should just buy new batteries and not experiment.
Well, I'm not a trust fund baby and I have to work for my money and it's all precious. Heck yeah I'm grudging $170 a battery!
As far as crappy image quality around the edges - not sure what you mean by that but I've been a photographer for decades and it's a rare lens that doesn't have artifacts in the corners. I find the images from my P4P to be unexpectedly good.
Maybe you should send it to Dji if it's really so horrible that dropping from the sky would be a relief. ;)
 
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If it's a P4P with 1.3.509 firmware, I think you can find a buy for that, even without a battery. Those are like gold, allowing unlimited parameter modifications.
Been considering selling mine for just that reason.
Finding a buyer that is willing to pay tho...
 
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> Who’s used swollen batteries?

Here.
Without issue.
For two years now, about 30 flights.
Original P4P+ battery.
Pin pricked once center of each broad side at severe angle
so pin only goes through top vinyl layer, no deeper.
As usual, I go straight up to take photos, then down to land.
Have never done any "sport" flying.

I only read Most Popular Topics digest.
Almost every issue has a "my drone crashed" thread.
I have NEVER read within those that a pin-pricked battery was involved...
Still, I'm reporting as requested, not advising...
 
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> Who’s used swollen batteries?

Here.
Without issue.
For two years now, about 30 flights.
Original P4P+ battery.
Pin pricked once center of each broad side at severe angle
so pin only goes through top vinyl layer, no deeper.
As usual, I go straight up to take photos, then down to land.
Have never done any "sport" flying.

I only read Most Popular Topics digest.
Almost every issue has a "my drone crashed" thread.
I have NEVER read within those that a pin-pricked battery was involved...
Still, I'm reporting as requested, not advising...
I agree - nobody has ever pointed to a pinprick.
But I'm also betting they wouldn't tell on here due to the grief they'd catch.
 
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Been considering selling mine for just that reason.
Finding a buyer that is willing to pay tho...
You'll need to find someone that likes to climbs mountains, like me. I've got two of them and love climbing mountains in the Rockies. I climb 14r's from the passes that are at around 11K elevation. It's quite fun. 3000' climbs are doable. I climbed 3800' one time (10 Mile Peak, from I-70) It's ONLY possible with that drone model and firmware version. I'm never selling mine.
 
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Two of my original p4p batteries are very swollen. They’ve been swelling up more and more for around a year now and they’re now to the point where it is somewhat difficult to get them in and after flying they are very difficult to get out.

I have another battery that I purchased maybe a year or 18months after the originals and this is now also starting to swell - yet nowhere to the extreme as the other two.

Today whilst flying with my newest battery, within 2 minutes of flying I got an error message up the top of screen saying “Damaged battery.” I have taken the attitude that now every time I fly it may be my last flight so I proceeded with the flight taking images without further incident. I only discharged it to around 55%.

The two older ones however have never caused me an issue. They don’t drain fast, they don’t show errors, and apart from the swelling you would never know there’s an issue. I want to point out that yes I am aware charging these can potentially be dangerous so I always charge these when I can supervise it completely.

Call me crazy but this drone cost me a lot of money and I’m not prepared to fork out for new batteries so the writing is on the wall. I’m curious if anyone has used a pin or similar to release the swelling of the battery to make getting it in and out easier?
I have seen people on YouTube suggest putting them in the freezer (which must work as I know on colder days they aren’t as swollen) but they still swell up further during flight and it’s difficult to get them out.

Thanks for any comments.
Some they it will not be possible to remove the battery from the drone.One more thing,it will make your drone fall while flying.I used my swollen one to do calibrations,settings and that kind of ground work with it.If you still are within warranty,just replace it.
 

PhantomWetSuits

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If it's a P4P with 1.3.509 firmware, I think you can find a buy for that, even without a battery. Those are like gold, allowing unlimited parameter modifications.
I agree that 509 will be the last of its kind and worth a small fortune to those that are in the know .
Gold is good , but these are really more like Platinum ... but the Mavic Buyers will never be aware of that.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly your Phantom in the Rain.
 

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