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Hot swapping batteries

Captainrisky

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Hi all,

I did a day working with a spray drone contractor (running Agras T20 and T30), and the thing I immediately noticed was how roughly the batteries were treated by normal RC standards. I was pretty much horrified actually, but once the work started there didn't seem any other way to do it for continuous operation.

He gave them absolutely no mercy, slapping them straight on the charger while hot to the touch straight off the bird. I was always taught that this was a big no no, and that a battery should cool at least for the same amount of time as the flight itself.

I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of treating mine like that. I've ordered the T20 with 4 batteries and an extra charger at his recommendation, the idea being that I run them hot for continuous use. I'd really prefer to at least run them in a bit with a couple of light cycles, cooling and slow balance charges just to "wake them up" gently, but then of course you lose time waiting. I know people say they don't have a memory etc, but I've always found that batteries I ran in and treated well with storage charges etc lasted and performed much better. I guess they'll get some light work and rests as I'm setting the thing up etc.

I should point out that the T20 had 2500 flights on it, and the T30 had 1700. He said he did have a couple of batteries fail, but they were replaced under warranty. Is this the done thing with these new smart batteries?

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Norstar

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I know the proper protocol for battery usage as far as the manual is concerned, however... When I fly, I am generally running for the maximum hours a day will allow, (dawn until dusk, up here in June about 04:30- 22:00). I am probably one of the worst on battery abuse there is. I have two charge stations and six pair of batteries for my Matrice 300. I continuously hot swap and fly without stopping. The charge stations only charge the batteries after they cool down (I have an air conditioner in my ground unit to control temperature). This is the reason for so many batteries. I would recommend you have a couple of “extra” sets to maintain operations, if you want to run consistently. I just let the battery charge station take care of the battery maintenance and treatment when I am flying. I have never had a battery failure with this method, and I have been running like this for three years. I do believe that storage in off season is critical and must be done properly. I have had batteries not work after storage.
I have done this with all of my aircraft which include Phantom 4 and 4 pro (12 batteries), Matrice 600 and 600 Pro (30 batteries), Matrice 210 V2 (12 batteries), and the Matrice 300 RTK (12 batteries).
 
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Captainrisky

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I know the proper protocol for battery usage as far as the manual is concerned, however... When I fly, I am generally running for the maximum hours a day will allow, (dawn until dusk, up here in June about 04:30- 22:00). I am probably one of the worst on battery abuse there is. I have two charge stations and six pair of batteries for my Matrice 300. I continuously hot swap and fly without stopping. The charge stations only charge the batteries after they cool down (I have an air conditioner in my ground unit to control temperature). This is the reason for so many batteries. I would recommend you have a couple of “extra” sets to maintain operations, if you want to run consistently. I just let the battery charge station take care of the battery maintenance and treatment when I am flying. I have never had a battery failure with this method, and I have been running like this for three years. I do believe that storage in off season is critical and must be done properly. I have had batteries not work after storage.
I have done this with all of my aircraft which include Phantom 4 and 4 pro (12 batteries), Matrice 600 and 600 Pro (30 batteries), Matrice 210 V2 (12 batteries), and the Matrice 300 RTK (12 batteries).

So basically it's follow the guidelines if it's at all reasonably possibly in your work environment, which to be honest is fair enough. You've got to get the job done.

I might try to satisfy my OCD by starting the day with a cool "slow" charge, using them as required during the day then letting them cool right down before a slow storage charge. A few more batteries wouldn't hurt either, and if I get to the point of paying customers I'll get another 2-4.
 

Norstar

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Yes, my practice is to always have at least one spare set fully charged when I install the second last set of charged batteries. If I don’t, I purchase more batteries, and/or get more chargers.
Another thing I have noticed is that the motors on the aircraft stay at a pretty stable temperature unless I am pushing it hard to get back home. I monitored motor temperatures for a few days when I first started out of curiosity. Having said that, while I am working the flight speed is usually pretty slow at around 5 knots, and only when the wind is less than 11 knots.
The Agra sounds like a cool unit and should be fun to fly. Enjoy
 
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Captainrisky

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The Agra sounds like a cool unit and should be fun to fly. Enjoy

Thanks.

They're actually not without their issues, and a lot of people get into trouble with them it seems, but I've bought one of the simpler/tried and tested models (T20), and I have a lot of experience with weed spraying/fertilizer/etc.

The licensing is a total pain in the arse... I'll be lucky to be up by Christmas, but hopefully I'll be OK to at least spray my place if not customers.
 

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