Improve drone flight time with RCbenchmark tools and accessories
Want to know how to extend the flight time of your commercial drone? Because time is money for professional drone operators, we design, build and distribute a variety of advanced tools (thrust stands, dynamometers, mounting plates, load cells, circuits, optical probes (measure RPMs), calibration arms, hinges, control boards (RC), airspeed sensors and more) that will assist you in your goal to get more flight time, stability, lift capacity, reliability and, of course, range. Take advantage of our drone testing calibration and measurement tools, as well as our proprietary software, to extend the limits and performance of your quadcopter.
How to improve drone flight time with a second battery
Dual battery setup for a quadcopter or other UAV models
Ok. Flying longer means more fun for recreational drone pilots. But for pro operators, it means more pictures and longer footages for their clients, higher altitude, extended range and peace of mind. That's why most of them keep looking for accessories, gadgets and strategies to increase drone flight time. One of them is to mount a dual battery setup.
Benefits of wiring 2 LIPO Batteries
1. Fly for longer periods of time : That makes your day of work more profitable and raising the bar to one hour (yes, 60 minutes) is not out of reach now.
2. Make sure your drone will come back home (100% sure or so) : Drones come with integrated RTH functions but depending on locations, weather change (sudden wind gusts, rain, temperature drops, lightning storms, etc.), the system might fail and misjudge distance vs. flight time required. So, your drone may land in some unreachable locations for you. If you are just about to start a new career in the droning industry, think twice before buying a $5.000 drone and flying it to a distance of more than 10 miles without having a power backup system ready on-board.
3. Extend the battery life : Draining a battery to 10% or 5% on a daily basis reduces her performance and usable life expectancy. Having two will allow you switch before reaching this point.
4. Lift heavier modules : You can now install a sophisticated FPV video capture system, (connected to a headset real-time display), GoPro, GPS mapper, infrared radar, etc., which weigh more than a typical camera.
How to install a second battery (so you can now improve drone flight time)
1. Do not wire cheap batteries together : Cheaper means heavier and gaining weight will increase the stress on your propellers (then, drains your batteries faster). If you don't want to listen and move forward with that idea no matter what, you will quickly observe a lack of agility and your UAV will take longer to get altitude too. That route is clearly not the one to go.
2. Install a second battery of the same model/type/capacity : It's important because you want a well-balanced aircraft in the sky and something easy to calibrate on the thrust stand too.
3. Install a circuit board that converts/transfers the voltage to the P2V : You don't want to waste power or reduce electrical connectivity. By using an adapter equipped with high quality relays, you actually create a performance monster that works like the military drones.
4. Make a decision based on your real needs (long range vs. short range) : The question is will your drone have to fly a long distance to reach its filming/scanning zones or remain close to you? (ex: 2 miles / 3 km or less). The fact is that flight time depends on voltage. The longer you can generate 12 volts, the longer the UAV fill fly. But! If your aircraft has to travel a long distance (especially if facing the wind), the more amperage it will consume. To make a long story short, you could state that voltage = flight time while amperage = travel distance. Why does this matter? Because if you want more voltage (flight time), you need to wire 2 batteries in series, and if you want more amperage (so distance), you have to wire the same 2 batteries in parallel. So, before doing anything, make sure you know what you need because opting for or setup or another will require you to get the proper circuit board. Keep in mind too that the parallel setup adds more charging time (50%) compared to a series and it might require up to 2 hours of additional charging time if you plan to use a USB cable .
5. Reduce weight : Even if you mount 2 lightweight batteries (with the lowest possible discharge rate like a GensAce or Tattu) in your drone, you are adding weight. To make sure your batteries are not a burden, ordering the lightest ones (delivering the best current/thrust/power/speed and efficiency as well) is the first step. The second step is to find ways to reduce the overall weight of the craft. How? By replacing existing parts with perfomance ones, which are less heavy. Many possibilities here: carbon propellers, smaller FPV transmitters, thinner flight controllers, compact speed controller, lighter motors, frames made of vinyl, and so on.
6. Your goal is 6000 mAh : Cheap and basic drone batteries come with 2200 mAh capacities and they won't last long (sometimes only 5 minutes of flight time). Don't waste your time and opt for thin, light and 6000 mAh / 22.2 LiPo batteries (the same used by remote-controlled racing sport boats).
7. Mix batteries of the same age and use only : Unmatching batteries is the worst idea you can have because drain time, capacity and charge time is related to cycling conditions, age, current state of internal components, chemistry, number of complete draining times and so on. Another problem is that an aged unit connect to a brand new one will tend to shorten the life of its new buddy by draining it faster and/or not allowing it to charge completely (or to overcharging it under certain circumstances).
8. Install your bank in a cool environment : Connecting batteries and powering the distribution board, flight controller motor and propellers during a hot summer day might damage brand new energy cells right off the bat. If you don't have access to a climatised lab or workshop, at least perform the installation in a vehicle with A/C on.
If you do everything the right way, you can expect up to 500 long flights before having to replace your power packs.