Drones take hours to charge, but only a few minutes to drain. Whether you’re an experienced pilot or an enthusiast, one thing holds true: you want to get more out of the quad battery. Luckily, there are steps you can take to extend battery life and enjoy more flight time with your quad.
Drop the Camera
Cameras have propelled drones to greater heights. The DJI Phantom 3 review posted on Sciautonics shows just how cameras are becoming the main selling points for quads. A quick look at the DJI Phantom 3 camera specs and you’ll know why the cam is a must-have.
At times when you just want to fly a quad and not capture aerial videos and photos, however, it might be best to leave it on the ground.
The extra weight of the camera adds to the load that needs to be carried, which means the propellers need to work harder. For quads without a detachable gimbal or those with built-in cameras, turn off the camera when not in use.
In a quick battle between the Phantom 3 vs Chroma, the Chroma wins this round with its 30 minutes of flight time and two versions without a camera (only a camera mount).
Go with the Wind
You need extra energy when going against something—that’s science. You can literally experience this when flying a drone against the wind.
Going against the wind increases the load on the propellers, which consumes more battery juice. If you go with the wind, however, you not only reduce resistance, you also boost speed. This might give you better control over the Phantom 3 Autopilot, for example.
Follow the 40-80
At one time, it was the accepted practice to fully charge the battery and then completely drain it. For lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries, however, things have changed. Draining it completely before a full recharge may actually be shortening its life.
Each time you charge, the battery grows weaker and its life diminishes. A way around this problem is to charge it up only halfway, or around 40 and 80 percent. While this may reduce flight time, it does extend battery life, which is always a great compromise. Recharge only in a cool environment and avoid overcharging.
Too much of a good thing can be bad, which is probably why drones have limited battery life. That, however, should not keep you from pushing your quad to stay in the air just a little longer.