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Using cordless tool batteries to power a drone

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John Doe
Guest

Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:45 am   



Easier to fly than my Rodeo 110. Flew the Runner 250 for a minute or two
until it started losing power. The batteries were not hot, but
apparently their ability to source current diminishes quickly even
though they remain charged. Reconnected and took off again, this time
confidently applying throttle. It ZOOMED up so I dropped the throttle,
then experienced the infamous "flip of death" (FOD). Messed up a
propeller or two. That's enough testing for now.

With no load... The batteries started at 4.19 V. Now they are at 4.05 V.

Apparently the Samsung INR18650-25R will not drive the Runner 250.

John Doe
Guest

Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:45 am   



The bulky batteries are
Sanyo NCR20700A









I wrote:

Quote:
So the question is... Should I order a fat battery holder and sack
my Dewalt 6 amp hour battery. They are 3 amp hour batteries, up from
the 2.5. Maybe I can pull the pack out, get a peek at the part
number, and see what the battery sourcing capability is. I have a
LOT of lithium ion batteries.



Guest

Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:45 am   



John Doe wrote
Quote:
So the question is... Should I order a fat battery holder and sack
my Dewalt 6 amp hour battery. They are 3 amp hour batteries, up from
the 2.5. Maybe I can pull the pack out, get a peek at the part
number, and see what the battery sourcing capability is. I have a
LOT of lithium ion batteries.


Maybe you have better results with 2 lipos in parallel, works for the Hubsan.


Guest

Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:45 am   



John Doe
Quote:
Easier to fly than my Rodeo 110. Flew the Runner 250 for a minute or two
until it started losing power. The batteries were not hot, but
apparently their ability to source current diminishes quickly even
though they remain charged. Reconnected and took off again, this time
confidently applying throttle. It ZOOMED up so I dropped the throttle,
then experienced the infamous "flip of death" (FOD). Messed up a
propeller or two. That's enough testing for now.

With no load... The batteries started at 4.19 V. Now they are at 4.05 V.

Apparently the Samsung INR18650-25R will not drive the Runner 250.


Looks like you will come to the same conclusion as I did,
lipos are better.


Guest

Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:45 am   



John Doe wrote
Quote:
gnuarm.deletethisbit_at_gmail.com wrote:

John Doe wrote:
698839253X6D445TD_at_nospam.org> wrote:
John Doe wroye

It flew! It flew! My battery pack stayed cool as a cucumber.
At first, increasing throttle would not get the drone off of
the ground, until after the throttle was turned to 0 and
then reapplied.

How is your flight time compared to the lipos? What drone do
you use?

I am using a modified Walkera Runner 250. The unknown electric
unicycle 18650 batteries won't work. That flight was extremely
short/limited.

The bulky Dewalt 6 amp hour battery (not FLEXVOLT) uses 2 x5 rows
of 3 amp hour (26650 or close) batteries.

The Dewalt 5 amp hour battery uses 2 x5 rows of 2.5 amp hour
18650 batteries (INR18650-25R). That's what I will try now,
already have 3 prepared and in the charger.

If you mean there are 5 cells in series to make nominally 20
volts, then these are likely LiIon cells. I don't know what you
have 3 of in the charger. Is that 3 cells, 3 strings or three
battery packs?

The "INR18650-25R" is a lithium-ion cell.
I just took three batteries from a cordless drill battery pack.
Stuck them in my drone battery compartment and now I will go see if it
flies.

Further response to the other reply.
Assuming it flies... Not sure about testing how long, yet. I just
recently started flying non-GPS drones. I can barely fly my Rodeo 110
around the yard. This will be my first flight with the (old model)
Runner 250.


Yes GPS drones are a lot more stable,
and allow all sort of games, like these:
http://panteltje.com/panteltje/quadcopter/index.html

And then I am not even mentioning the dark side:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS_K4caj7vc

For that we have a faster plane (160 kmh), axion laser arrow.


Guest

Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:45 am   



John Doe wrote
Quote:
698839253X6D445TD_at_nospam.org> wrote:

John Doe wroye

It flew! It flew! My battery pack stayed cool as a cucumber. At
first, increasing throttle would not get the drone off of the
ground, until after the throttle was turned to 0 and then
reapplied.

How is your flight time compared to the lipos?
What drone do you use?

I am using a modified Walkera Runner 250.


Just looked it up, bit cheaper than my Hubsan,
size is about the same I think.


Quote:
The unknown electric unicycle 18650 batteries won't work. That flight
was extremely short/limited.


I see.
The hubsan uses 2 cell lipos 2700 mAh 7.4V 10C


Quote:
The bulky Dewalt 6 amp hour battery (not FLEXVOLT) uses 2 x5 rows of 3
amp hour (26650 or close) batteries.

The Dewalt 5 amp hour battery uses 2 x5 rows of 2.5 amp hour 18650
batteries (INR18650-25R). That's what I will try now, already have 3
prepared and in the charger.

And they just drop into the battery holder.

If they don't work, I might order a battery holder for the bulky
batteries. Not sure what they are, but they probably source more
current than any of the others. I paid $75 for the battery pack with
big, high current, and high capacity genuine batteries.


I used batteries with welded connection strips, they do that on order here.
http://panteltje.com/pub/li_ion_batteries_IMG_6684.JPG


Quote:
Dewalt now has 12 amp hour 20 V MAX batteries. I'm remaking my
electric bike, I'll probably add some spacing so it can handle those.
That's a whopping 24 amp hours carrying only one spare drill battery.


An other experiment I did was power the drone via a coax cable:
http://panteltje.com/pub/h501s_drone_remote_power_flight_test_1_IMG_6274.JPG
http://panteltje.com/pub/h501s_drone_remote_power_test_ground_control_1_IMG_6276.JPG

Couple of hundred volts at 100 kHz over a thin coax, stepdown transformer and rectifier at the drone side:
http://panteltje.com/pub/h501s_drone_remote_power_drone_side_IMG_6278.JPG
The diodes are in the air stream, and the transformer too on the other side for balance,
battery is in the drone too as backup against power failure.

Unlimited flight time, was intended to put an antenna up there,

John Doe
Guest

Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:45 pm   



<698839253X6D445TD_at_nospam.org> wrote:

Quote:
John Doe wrote

So the question is... Should I order a fat battery holder and sack
my Dewalt 6 amp hour battery. They are 3 amp hour batteries, up
from the 2.5. Maybe I can pull the pack out, get a peek at the
part number, and see what the battery sourcing capability is. I
have a LOT of lithium ion batteries.

Maybe you have better results with 2 lipos in parallel, works for
the Hubsan.


I have so many spare 18650 batteries (and 3 cell holders), I might do
that and see if my Runner 250 will cope with the weight. It is chopped
down otherwise, so who knows. With 2500KV motors it is more than enough
for me, so this is a good stress test.

The bulky batteries in my Dewalt 6 amp hour pack are Sanyo NCR20700A.
Looks like they are near the top end for lithium ion current sourcing,
so I will try those before giving up on 3 in series.

Apparently 20700/21700 battery tray/holder/sled are scarce, but there
are some single and double battery units on fleaBay so I ordered 3 of
the singles.


In case anyone does not already know... The diameter of lithium ion
cells is simply the first two numbers, like 18 or 20 or 26.

John Doe
Guest

Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:45 am   



Not for lack of interest, but... I just got around to trying the Sanyo
NCR20700A. This racing drone, in a 7 x 7' area. Seemed more difficult to
control than last time. It stayed up for maybe two minutes until I
couldn't handle it (maybe because the propellers are slightly damaged,
maybe because of the wind currents, maybe because the batteries were
supplying more power).

The battery voltage after perhaps two minutes was 4.09, and they were
still cold. Then again, the Samsung INR18650-25R did not get warm
either. However, the 18650s did apparently trigger the low-voltage
warning signal. These didn't.

Will go again later, outside. Will try to measure time hovering in the
air. Would be nice to have a current meter, but what really matters is
that the thing works. According to YouTube videos, drones require a
small amount of current compared to what their reputation claims.

Droning is FASCINATING. The flight simulator aspect is awesome, but
there is also the science-fiction-like reality. The impact drones will
have in the not too distant, if not near, future is becoming obvious to
me.

John Doe
Guest

Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:45 am   



https://www.flickr.com/photos/27532210_at_N04/?

The minor battery damage was done by DeWalt, when shoving it into their
battery holder.

John Doe
Guest

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:45 pm   



A measly six minutes in the air.
The batteries were still cool.
With no load they measured 3.86 volts.
I will note the charge.


Guest

Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:45 pm   



John Doe wrote
Quote:
A measly six minutes in the air.
The batteries were still cool.
With no load they measured 3.86 volts.
I will note the charge.


Yes, quite similar what I had, lipos are better.

John Doe
Guest

Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:45 am   



<698839253X6D445TD_at_nospam.org> wrote:

Quote:
John Doe wrote

A measly six minutes in the air.
The batteries were still cool.
With no load they measured 3.86 volts.
I will note the charge.

Yes, quite similar what I had, lipos are better.


All three charges were about 950 mA hours. So less than one third of
their capacity was used. I don't get it, but for now I'm stuck.


Guest

Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:45 am   



John Doe wrote
Quote:
698839253X6D445TD_at_nospam.org> wrote:

John Doe wrote

A measly six minutes in the air.
The batteries were still cool.
With no load they measured 3.86 volts.
I will note the charge.

Yes, quite similar what I had, lipos are better.

All three charges were about 950 mA hours. So less than one third of
their capacity was used. I don't get it, but for now I'm stuck.


To what voltage level did you charge?

John Doe
Guest

Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:45 pm   



<698839253X6D445TD_at_nospam.org> wrote:

Quote:
John Doe wrote
698839253X6D445TD_at_nospam.org> wrote:
John Doe wrote

A measly six minutes in the air.
The batteries were still cool.
With no load they measured 3.86 volts.
I will note the charge.

Yes, quite similar what I had, lipos are better.

All three charges were about 950 mA hours. So less than one third of
their capacity was used. I don't get it, but for now I'm stuck.

To what voltage level did you charge?


To the level it was before use, the usual level it is charged to, about
4.2 V (no load).

Why don't we use a simple single pole single throw (SPST) switch instead
of plugging/unplugging the battery? What switch ratings will do for
that?

Thanks.


Guest

Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:45 pm   



Switches for that much current are heavy.
And you want to be able to quickly change batteries,
I have several lipos so I can fly longer,
so you need the connectors anyways,
and there is for the lipos the charge balancing connector.
for charging, use a special charger for that.
The liion I charge one at the time.

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