Drones are very cool and have become “buzzingly” popular in recent times. They are really fun devices and allow you to see a bird’s eye view of the world around you. And, if you have just purchased a new drone, then you’ll realize that the drone’s battery is a very important component.
And, taking utmost care of your drone battery not only helps to optimize the battery function but also prolongs the life of the battery. However, if you’re out in the open flying your drone and it runs out of charge, you may be in a panic about how to charge your drone.
Most drones are equipped with rechargeable LiPo (lithium polymer) batteries and come along with a battery charger, which connects to a regular USB port. Nowadays, some of the drone models allow you to charge the battery using normal Micro USB cables too so that you can charge your drone on the go.
So, if you’re wondering how to charge your drone battery using a USB cable, then read on to know more.
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How to Charge a Drone Battery with a USB Cable
There are many different types of batteries used in drones such as NiCad (nickel cadmium) batteries and NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries; however, the most common and most preferred batteries are LiPo (lithium-polymer) batteries because these more reliable and retain the charge better than NiMH and NiCad batteries. Even if you store the LiPo battery for a month after charging it, it will not lose more than 1% of the charge.
As we mentioned earlier, most drones come with rechargeable LiPo batteries and a battery charger that can be charged by connecting it to a regular USB port. The drone battery is the most important component of the drone and you must ensure that you care for it properly, otherwise, the performance of your drone is likely to suffer.
Charging your drone battery is very easy and you can do it even if you’re on the move. All you need to do is to use the USB charging cable, which you connect to your drone and the other end can then be connected to your laptop, computer or even a power bank conveniently by using the USB connector.
Once your drone has been fully charged, you can simply unplug the USB cable and keep it in your bag. The best thing about the USB cable is that it is very easy to store and carry around wherever you go and you charge your drone whenever needed.
Drone Battery Charging Tips
The battery of your drone is an integral part of the machine and must be cared for properly so that the coverage of your drone is extended. Charging your drone battery is very critical and doing it the right way can help to maximize the function, as well as the life of the battery.
Here are some tips and techniques that you can follow to ensure that you’re charging your drone battery in the right way.
If you have just purchased your drone and the battery is also new, but you want to use your drone straight up, then charge the battery up to 100%. If you’re not planning on flying the drone and plan to do it later, then it is recommended to charge your battery to 70%, which is the optimal storage level for the LiPo battery short term.
Charge the drone battery up to 100% a day or two before the battery’s first operation. When you have finished your flights, then charge the battery again to around 70% till you use it again.
Avoid charging your drone battery immediately after a flight. The battery may be too hot and charging a hot battery can damage it. So, it’s a good idea to wait for the battery to cool down to when you can hold it before recharging it.
Despite charging the batteries fully, if you see that there is a significant drop in the available flight time of your drone, then it is best not to charge your battery or continue using it. There may be an internal fault, which may be causing this reduced power capacity of your drone.
Never charge a battery that is leaking, swollen or damaged.
When charging your battery, if you notice any strange noise, smell or smoke coming from the battery or the charger, disconnect it from the power immediately.
Always ensure to charge the drone’s battery using the charger that comes along with the drone or one that is approved by the manufacturer. Avoid using any 3rd party charger that you may be able to find online at cheaper prices and never use a charger that is damaged to charge the battery.
Always try to charge your drone batteries in a metal box or a LiPo guard bag. These bags are specially designed and help to limit an explosion or spread of fire.
When charging your drone battery, there is always some risk of the battery catching fire and so it is advisable not to charge the batteries near or on conductive or flammable things like car seats, carpets, wooden furniture, wooden flooring, etc. Always try to charge the batteries on non-conductive and non-flammable surfaces like in a ceramic bowl.
Never leave your batteries unattended while they are charging, especially when you’re not at home or when you’re charging them overnight and never cover the battery or store it near a heat source. Always monitor the batteries when you’re charging them.
Make sure to disconnect the batteries after they are charged.
Never charge the drone batteries if the ambient temperature is less than 32°F (0°C) or above 104°F (40° C). The general rule is to charge the batteries at room temperature i.e., between 71.6°F and 82.4°F (22°C to 28°C).
Do not charge the battery when it is still installed inside the drone.
Avoid depleting the drone batteries fully and never store fully charged or completely discharged batteries for long periods.
Make sure to charge your drone batteries to 100% at least once in 2 or 3 months.
Charging the drone batteries at a lower rate, never overcharging it and never letting it get fully discharged can help to increase the lifespan of the batteries immensely. Just these precautions can help you get a minimum of 300 charge cycles on your LiPo drone battery.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Charge a Drone Battery?
When you receive your new LiPo battery for your drone, it will be already charged partially and the partial charge is known as storage voltage, where each cell of the battery is charged to around 3.8 volts. 1 or 2 days before you operate your drone, charge the battery fully to 100% and when you complete your flights charge the battery again up to 70% until your next use.
The safest way to charge the battery without putting a strain on it is to charge at “1C” or 1x capacity. At the 1C rate, the battery will be charged in 1 hour if you’re charging a fully discharged battery. For instance, if your LiPo battery is 1,000 mAh, then the charger must be set for 1 amp, similarly, if the battery is 3,500 mAh, then the charger must be set for 3.5 amps and so on.
Can You Charge A Drone With a Phone Charger?
It is recommended that you do not charge your drone battery using your phone battery. You must use only the charger that is provided with the drone or is one that is recommended by the manufacturer to charge it.
The drone battery may not be the same as your phone’s battery type and if you use any other charger, including a phone charger to charge the drone batteries, you could end up damaging the batteries.
Can You Charge a Drone Battery with a Power Bank?
If you’re on the move and need to charge your drone batteries on the go and you don’t have a power source or you want to extend your flying time, then you can use a power bank to recharge your drone batteries.