Since it is imperative when planning auto missions to know your flight times I have been testing with stabilize/loiter hovers and measuring air time while I familiarize myself with the Arducopter platform.
I now have 17 full flights with respect to battery failsafe at 10.5 volts. I bought 3 batteries with the IRIS.
On these batteries the best hover time I can get is 10.5 to 11 minutes.
Yesterday I bought a more expensive Thunder Power RC G6 Pro Performance 3850mah 45C battery and a HI-Tech X1 MF balance charger. On the first flight with that battery I got 13 minutes hover/loiter. I hope to try it again today. Maybe it will get better after a couple of cycles. I only charged it with 1.9 amps for the first charge.
BTW - The $74 I spent on the charger was worth it. It charges the IRIS 3500 packs in an hour at 2 amps(well below 1C). The stock charger was taking 2.5 hours. it also displays the individual cell voltages and has a storage charge feature.
All battery tests were done with no payload. No legs, no camera, just like it comes out of the box.
I am curious to know what others are getting. The IRIS was advertised 10 to 15 minutes flight time. Assuming that it means 15 minutes with no payload and 10 minutes with legs and gimbal I would obviously like to be at 15 minutes with no payload. Doesn't seem possible as delivered.
I am coming to a similar conclusion.. it has been so windy and chilly here I will not risk anything over 5min
Questions on multiple posts here:
1) I understand that the wind makes the motors draw more current to stay on course, but how much is the temperature really affecting things? Aren't you taking a room temperature battery from your house and then running it inside the center of the Iris (which makes it heat up)?
2) When comparing the Iris to other quads like DJI, are you comparing their published flight time to our tested flight time -or- do some of you have both quads and you're comparing two tested flight times (apples to apples)?
Flight in general changes between cold and warm temperatures. it has to do with the density of the air. So that could increase or decrease your flight time somewhat. As for the battery the LiPo likes to be kept cool. Heat is not good for it. as for the comparison of flight times I think most manufactures rate them with the least amount of extras so it looks better to those wanting to buy. What upsets me is when they are so far off and you make the purchase believing you will be able to fly this long only to find out the opposite.
If I wanted to send my Iris with all my equipment on it 1/2 mile away to fly around and take some video there is a good chance I will not make it home. So if you plan on use the Gimbal and Autonomous waypoints you might as well forget it unless it is within a few hundred feet. If you want to just fly Autonomous and nothing else, then take everything off the iris and you might have better luck.
If I was the one manufacturing a product like this and knowing what will draw people in, I would have found a way to build it giving some of the highest flight times. I know the cost would change, but look how many people are buying the Phantom Vision!
nTemp has a big draw on flight time. For example my Phantom 2 with full fpv and gimbal with go pro at 65 to 75 degrees I can get about 19 minutes before voltage is down to 10.7. if I want I can push a few more minutes out of it.
At 10 degrees im down to about 11 to 13 minutes of flight time.
Battery gets cold real quick Their is nothing keeping it warm inside the quad copter. What I used to do with my original phantom is wrap the battery with a hot pack for keeping you hands warm. I would put that into a sock with the battery. It didn't help much. Maybe a minute or so more flying time. But it helped
Cold weather flyers keep their battery's as warm as they can before they get ready to fly. Just waiting the 2 minutes or so before you take off will cool down a battery real quick when its below freezing.
no different than a gopro battery in the cold. U can video a lot longer on a charge in the summer than u can in the winter.
BTW, Djis published flight times are very close to what they say. But again that's with optimal flying conditions. And they are with camera and gimbal installed.
The way I look at it is 3dr put a quad on the market that will compete with the phantom, blade and walkera. Yes you can fly full autonomous missions with it. A big plus!! But it needs more flight time. What good is having the ability to have all them way points if you can only fly for 6 to 7 minutes. I can bet it wont be too long before they come out with some type of smart battery and more efficient props. I believe they will have to too compete with the other brands
I would love to know if a different battery would help or not and where we could find ones to try. I have a battery coming from a company that is willing to work one that will give us better flying time. He is going to send it out tomorrow and depending on my results he will provide some pricing.
Just for the heck of it I took the Iris battery and placed it under my Phantom 1 nothing else on it except my fpv camera and transmitter. I know there is some extra weight but I was figuring on around 10 minutes of flight. I forgot, I did have the small voltage buzzer on it just to be safe. I went around the neighborhood figuring I would be out some extra time. At exactly 6 minutes I heard the buzzer going off!!!!!! Panic, I made a V line to my home and landed. Wow was I surprised it lasted only that long.
So I am anxious to test this new battery.
That sounds good about a battery company helping you with finding a battery. We need something around 5500 that's very light!! LOL "not asking for much"
I am waiting for some different battery's too arrive also, but they are on a "slow boat from china". LOL Its been 3 weeks since I ordered them. I have never had too wait that long for a hobby king order before. Normally 10 days max. I got a bad feeling about these not getting delivered!!
I just ordered the ZIPPY 5000mah 3S from Amazon last night. I will let y'all know how it works as soon as it comes in. I don't buy from HK since they only accept PayPal or AsiaPay.
the battery failsafe works on voltage level but in the MP config you can set an alarm for voltage as well as an alarm for percent remaining. The default is 20% and you are probably still configured for a 3500mah battery. The verbal warning alarm comes in at volt or pcnt, whichever comes first. The 20% trigger most likely came in before the batt voltage got low. It's just calculated % of whatever you batt mah setting is base on the current draw.
I put the % alarm at zero so I don't get the false alarm if the % limit is reached before the low batt voltage trigger.
Let us know what you get in loiter if you go down to 10.7 volts. I wouldn't be surprised if you get at least a couple more minutes. One guy got 17 minutes with 4400mah 3S Nanotech with no payload.
Thanx for sharing,
Why is everyone here using 3S and not 4S batteries ? You will need a separate small 3S to power your video transmitter and camera but it also gives you 33% more power.
I haven't found one that fits yet at 4500mah to 5000mah.