After getting your first drone, there is one thing you will discover right away – flying these damn things are fun!
Never forget that your level of fun will always be at the mercy of this one little factor. And this one factor is how long the charge in your battery will last.
Learning to get more life out of your drone battery
Whenever all conditions are perfect, the most life you will get out of your battery will be 25 minutes. The question you must ask is whether or not that amount of time will suffice, and scratch that itch you have to fly your drone.
Here are some things that will help you get maximum use from your drone battery’s charge. Read them and become familiar with them so that you can maximize your joy and pleasure with your drone:
- Reduce the drone weight
- Charge the batteries right before use
- Don’t completely drain your batteries
- Never let your batteries freeze
- Buy new batteries
- Check your battery’s health
- Keep backup batteries on hand
- Watch the weather
- Tether your drone
Reduce the drone weight
Depending on what you’re using your drone for, merely reducing your drone’s weight will maximize your flying time on any given outing. Lighter weight means less work for your drone and less power – meaning your charge lasts longer.
Again, this depends on your drone objectives – you can always remove your camera and propeller guards – if you don’t need them.
Charge the batteries just before use
Never forget that the minute you take your battery off the charger, it begins to lose its charge. So the very best thing you can do is be ready to go flying when that battery is charged.
Incorporating this idea is a matter of good planning and understanding how long certain things take. Over time you’ll understand how long it takes your battery to charge and how long it takes to reach your flying destination.
Don’t completely drain your batteries
Your drone uses lithium-polymer (Lipo) batteries. You can seriously damage these babies if you drain all the power out of them.
When this happens, the chemistry inside that battery will begin to break down. The good news is that many batteries out there contain a controller chip, which will prevent this from happening.
Never let your batteries freeze
Not many things kill a battery like exposing them to cold weather. If your battery ever freezes, they become very dangerous – so get rid of them.
Always store them in warm, dry environments.
Buy new batteries
If you’ve had your battery for a while and you begin noticing that your flying time keeps getting shorter, then it’s probably not your imagination. All batteries have a certain lifespan, and the amount of charge will gradually decrease over time.
Even if your charger indicates 100%, you should replace batteries that are noticeably holding less charge. It is recommended that you replace any battery that has reached a 50% health level.
Check the health of your batteries
Batteries that are used in today’s drones are quite smart. Many of them are equipped with controllers that allow you to monitor your battery’s performance closely.
Pressing the power button on these smart batteries will give you an instant indication of your battery’s current charge level. However, when holding down this button for 10 seconds or so, the lights will blink in specific patterns, reflecting its overall health. Fewer blinking lights mean the battery is getting older and it is holding less charge.
Have backup batteries on hand
The best and most straightforward way to fly your drone for more extended periods is by getting more batteries. I recommend to all beginners to get at least one extra battery for this purpose. When a beginner can fly longer, it means that he or she will learn how to fly their drone much faster.
In addition to this, you will want to consider having the capacity to charge multiple batteries at the same time. Being able to charge several batteries simultaneously means you can have all of them ready at the same time – so none of them will lose their charge by waiting.
Watch the weather
There are a couple of reasons to pay close attention to the weather on drone flying days. Like we mentioned earlier, your drone battery is susceptible to cold weather. Cold batteries have difficulty releasing their charge.
Secondly, remember that the wind is not your friend. Attempting to fly your drone through harsh winds will not only drain your battery quicker it can also inflict physical damage. Propellers are particularly vulnerable to strong winds, and when propellers can’t operate properly, you’ll struggle to control your drone – meaning more likelihood of crashes.
Tether the drone
Should you need to fly your drone for a prolonged time, you might consider a drone tethering system.
Few drone enthusiasts use them, but these systems use a long cable to feed their drones from the ground. This allows you to fly indefinitely, but the cable length limits your range.