Drone Battery Guide & Battery Charging

Drone Battery Guide & Battery Charging

Welcome to HSE's Battery Charging Guide and Battery Info Page!



How To:  Battery Tips & Maintenance

There are many different types of batteries and the best way to care for your batteries really depends on the type. Currently, the best batteries for drones are Lithium Polymers (known as LiPo). These batteries pack a lot of power in a fairly small package and can withstand rapid charging and discharging - very important for the demands of our larger aircraft. LiPo batteries are great but also deserve a level of caution considering the amount of power they hold. If you haven't already taken our flight training class, you should! We spend a lot of time discussing proper charging, storage and use. In the meantime, please use this as a quick and simple guide. Keep in mind, this is supplement to battery manufacturer's guides and instructions - always follow those. 

Handling

  1. Just be smart! Don't drop them, don't let anything puncture them, and don't have them anywhere near an open flame
  2. Don't let the leads touch - never plug them into a charging cable where the other ends are exposed or disconnected
  3. Protect the batteries from extreme heat, cold, direct sun, or sudden pressure (altitude) changes (i.e., don't fly on a plane with these)
  4. If the battery is hot, swollen, damaged or otherwise abnormal, do not use or charge the battery. Place it in a firesafe container and contact us or the manufacturer immediately. 
  5. Treat these batteries with care and use common sense. These are big batteries can have thousands of amps of power draw if short circuited!

Storage

  1. To get the most life out of your battery, it is important to store them at a storage rate (around 23V for a 6S, or 46V for a 12S). If you won't be flying within the next day or two, you should place them in storage mode. Do this by using your Charger feature, or - fly them! 
  2. When storing your batteries for an extended period of time, think about the location - is it firesafe? Is the temperature going to be constant? Could children or rodents get to them? We recommend storing batteries in firesafe bags, and an airtight case like a Pelican-style case. 

Usage

  1. Only use the batteries designed for your aircraft. Discharge rates vary and using the wrong kind of battery or voltage can ruin your drone, battery or checkbook! 
  2. When in the field or transporting, please pack the batteries in a way that prevents leads from touching, and from excessive vibration/bouncing around.
  3. When not in flight, keep the batteries in a place away from direct sunlight and excessive heat or cold.

How To:  Flight Battery Charging

Improper use, handling or charging of batteries can result in damage, fire or injury. Please follow directions carefully.
Watch Out: Be sure not to connect the battery to something with open leads as they will arc!

We suggest you review your drone manual in full - certain batteries might require additional steps. Think of this as your quick-guide :)
The first thing to do is get yourself familiar with the battery and its plugs / connectors. You'll see two main connections: 1) Power plugs, 2) Balancing plugs. These connector types vary based on the type of battery. If you look at the power plugs, you'll see an identifier - that is the plug type... it might be AS150, XT150, XT90, AS150U or similar. The balancing plug can have between 6 and 14 pins.

Some of the newest batteries (Like for the 14 cell battery M6A-Pro G200) actually do not require a balance cable, as the main power connector has additional data pins that handle the cell balancing.

Next, take a look at your charger and see how the charging cables and balancing board or balancing cables will connect together. Note that your charger might have come with additional balancing plugs or charging cables that don't fit your battery - set those aside. 


TTA UB5 10 Port Chargers (Used for M6A-Pro G200, M6E, and 12 cell equipped M8A-Pro models)

  1. Plug in and turn on the charging station, confirm charging current settings are appropriate for the outlet and battery you're connected to
  2. If required for your battery, turn on the battery (short press, and then press-and-hold) the battery button
  3. Connect the power plugs
  4. Connect the balancing plugs
  5. Hold down the start button to begin charging
SEE REFERENCE VIDEO HERE: 

UltraPower All-in-One Charging Stations (Used for M4E, M6A-Pro, M8A-Pro, Heavy Lift and Fixed wing models)

  1. Plug in and turn on the charging station, confirm charging current settings are appropriate for the outlet you're connected to
  2. If required per your battery, turn on the battery (short press, and then press-and-hold) the battery button
  3. Connect the power plugs
  4. Connect the balancing plugs
  5. Charger starts automatically
SEE REFERENCE VIDEO HERE: 


(See attachments for manual)

Hyperion AC/DC Charging Station (retired)

  1. Connect the charger to the output plugs on the AC/DC Power Supply 
  2. Plug in the AC/DC Power Supply, the charger will now be powered
  3. Confirm charging settings (battery type, number of cells / voltage, capacity & charging current)
  4. Connect Balancing plugs
  5. Connect Batter plugs (be sure the exposed charging plugs are already in the charger!)
  6. Begin Charging on Charger (series of short presses and long presses to proceed through the menus)

How To:  Remote Controller (RC) Charging

Did you know? Letting a rechargeable battery go completely dead can shorten its lifespan and even cause damage. When storing your remote controller, be sure it is fully charged before placing it in storage and keep it safe from extreme temperatures. 

R3 or R4 Controller

Using the supplied Micro-USB cable and plug it into a standard USB plug 
The LED Indicator will begin to blink indicating charge. The LED indicator will remain solid when the battery is fully charged. On the R4 controller, the level of the battery can be check by short pressing the power button.
Note: be sure your USB plug can provide at least 1 amp of output current - otherwise, the controller may not charge properly, and can even damage the internal battery
Warning: do not use the standard USB sized plug on your controller - that is for diagnostics and data only. 

FrSky X90E Controller

Use the provided charging cable and wall plug to charge your controller. The charging light will turn green when it is fully charged. 

Futaba / Other

Use the provided charging cable and wall plug to charge your controller. The charging light will turn green when it is fully charged. 

Battery Type Guide:

With our full lineup of Agriculture, Commercial and Fixed-Wing drones available, the long list of battery options might be a bit confusing. Continue reading to learn about the key differences of each battery. Be sure to review the attached PDF guide for a visual chart. There are four things that will help you identify your battery...

Voltage:

listed by how many cells (strangely with a "S", this is derived from the number of cells in Series). Our batteries are 6S (22.2V), 6S-HV (22.8V), 12S (44.4V) and 14S (51.8V). Easily said, the higher the voltage, the more flight time you can achieve and generally, the fewer batteries required per flight. The larger voltage batteries sometimes are limited by which chargers can provide the high voltage. 

Capacity:

listed in milliamp hours as 14,000   16,000    22,000  or 25,000   essentially, the larger the capacity the longer flight and charging times. 

Type / Style:

listed as Standard, Plus (or Smart... including a battery management system, LED status lights, etc.,) and then custom-size batteries. The Plus/Smart batteries are slightly larger and may not fit under certain drone covers/domes. 

Plugs / Connectors:

There are three different battery plug styles as follows, some which have changed over time (if you have an existing drone, take a look at the plugs on your battery to confirm) 
All Agriculture (except M6E and M6A-Pro G200), and Commercial Drones: AS150, we call this China OEM as it is the global standard since most batteries are manufactured in China. 
M6E:  Reverse AS150, these batteries are proprietary and have a reverse plug style to ensure the correct battery style and type.

Fixed-Wing: use a AS150 style plug and 6S-HV batteries. 
Earlier Drone Models: use an AS150 & XT150 plug style, we call this US OEM as it was a domestic standard for a period of time. 
For example, a battery will be listed including the factors above. It would look something like this:  Tattu Plus 16,000 6S Battery.  This means it is a Smart battery, 16,000 milliamp hours and 22.2V (called 6 cells or 6S)


















AS150U



Battery Manufacturer Video Intro

For the 16,000 12S Agriculture battery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0rAwa2oJPw
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