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Jun 30, 2013, 05:16 PM
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CamDAX's Avatar

Increasing quadcopter flight time

Hey everyone

I have been enjoying my new frame from value hobby and getting MUCH better at flying. Since then I have been getting annoyed with my flight times! My flights average about 5mins and I am going to be adding more weight soon (OSD, better control board, gopro). Does anyone have any suggestions on how to increase my flight time? Here is a video of my old and new frame.

Quad Specs
Flight control board - KK V5.5 MultiCopter
ESCs - FMT 2A/5v BEC 11.1v 25A
Motors - A2212/13T 1000KV
Props - 10 x 4.5
Battery - Zippy 3s 2200mah 30c

900MHZ 100mW Tx/Rx & 1/3-inch CCD Camera NTSC
Last edited by CamDAX; Jun 30, 2013 at 08:49 PM.
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Jun 30, 2013, 05:21 PM
Registered User
Get some 2216 900kv motors on 4s 4000mah 9" props, should provide around 10 min flight time
Jun 30, 2013, 05:25 PM
Registered User
For a short fix, just increase your batteries in mah, go from 2200 to 4000 or 5000, that will give more flight time on the lower budget deal.

Jun 30, 2013, 05:27 PM
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CamDAX's Avatar
I do have a Turnigy 4000mAh 3S 30C Lipo coming in the mail hopping for 10min flight times. Also the 2200mah lipo I have gets hot after my 5min flights. So hot I have to hold it by the plug.
Jun 30, 2013, 08:43 PM
Registered User
10,000kv? Are you sure?

You could try getting a second battery and make a wire harness to connect them in parallel. When I did that I got almost twice the flight time (sort of, 10min on 1, 16 on two) but the batteries were cooler by the end of it since the load was split between them.

The batteries shouldn't be that hot, mine just gets warm even with just one battery o_0 It's a 980kv with 10"x4.5 on a 22003S. Did you weigh the two? The motors should be rated for about 3kg, if your quad is heavier than 1.5kg, that may be why.
Last edited by Hajile; Jun 30, 2013 at 09:01 PM.
Jun 30, 2013, 08:49 PM
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CamDAX's Avatar
Sorry type-O 1,000kv

This is my frame apparently 430g
Jun 30, 2013, 09:14 PM
jackerbes's Avatar
Originally Posted by CamDAX
I do have a Turnigy 4000mAh 3S 30C Lipo coming in the mail hopping for 10min flight times. Also the 2200mah lipo I have gets hot after my 5min flights. So hot I have to hold it by the plug.
Batteries that get much more than just warm (105F or so) are being permanently damaged. Unrecoverable damage starts at 115F or so and the higher it goes the more damage there is. Too hot to hold onto is about 130F for most people.

And you are putting the pack at risk of puffing, rupturing, and even bursting into flame. If they are puffed now, you need to be very careful when charging them to make sure they don't over heat. A healthy battery taken down to 80% of it capacity will usually take a little more than 80% on recharge. As a battery ages the recharged capacity will get smaller and smaller and the battery will drop to the 3.7-3.8V under load more quickly. A develops all the aging and used up symptoms more quickly.

A battery taken down to 3.7V while under load is 80% discharged and that should be the end of it's day. And it should not be more than warm then either. If you land with a battery at 3.7-3.8V and shut down it will start recovering immediately and may be back up to 3.9V or 4.0V within minutes. But it is still depleted. If you run the motors up the voltage will drop immediately.

Everyone needs a watt meter so see load on their battery and how the battery is doing as far as dealing with the load. If you really want to know what is going on a data logger like the eLogger can be flown to see what is going on. The image is the eLogger data from a flight, the red line is the battery and you can see how the voltage falls as the flight proceeded.

The flight was a stable hover, then three full throttle punch outs, then a few circuits of fast forward flight, then a brief hover and landing. The red line is the pack voltage. The 3S pack was down to 11.15V at the lowest point and that is your 3.7V quitting time. The voltage recovered a little as he back off on the throttle, hovered, and landed.

Jun 30, 2013, 09:27 PM
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CamDAX's Avatar
The LiPo was given to me used and its just a bit out of shape, but like I said it gets pretty hot. I estimate that my whole setup without motors & ESCs weighs 759.9 grams. I found all my parts online and added up there there spec weight. I have been thinking about using two batteries.
Last edited by CamDAX; Jun 30, 2013 at 10:22 PM.
Jun 30, 2013, 09:45 PM
Registered User
If you're going to fly dual packs, (I always do), be certain they are well matched before connecting them in parallel, same maufacturer, same age, same batch, new if possible. One can discharge into the other if not, not the end of the show, just not an optimal arrangment.
Jun 30, 2013, 09:58 PM
jackerbes's Avatar
It that is the Suppo motor I think it is, it will be rated for 10A continuous and 12A peak for 60 seconds. So if you are flying at 8A that would 32A on the four motors.

You "C" rate at 32A would be 32 divided by 2.2 (2200 mAH = 2.2A) so you would be flying at a 14.5C rate. That should not be too hard on a 30C battery. A 66A draw would be the 30C rate (66 / 2.2 = 30). But you don't want to use the 30C rate for too long. Especially on tired average quality and tired batteries...

If your 2200 mAH battery will give you 80% of usable capacity you can use 1760 mAH out of the 2200 that is supposedly there. So your available capacity would be:

1760 mAH = 1.76A
1.76A x 60 = 105.6 Amp/Minutes

At a 32A discharge rage your flight duration would be:

105.6 / 32 = 3.3 minutes (3 min 18 seconds)

So guess what? You've been beating that battery up pretty hard if you flying it for 5 minutes..

Two batteries in parallel will give you the capacity of both batteries and they will both share the load so the C rate would drop in half from the above if it was the same batteries. It would be best if the batteries were the same capacity and even better if they were same brand and bought at the same time.

If you keep an eye on the pack temperatures and amount of capacity that is put back when you recharge it will do a lot for battery life. Keep the recharges down around 80% or so. And checking the pack voltage immediately on landing will tell you a lot. If you land and find the cells at 3.8-3.9V 10-15 seconds later, you were most likely down to 3.7 or less under load.

Jun 30, 2013, 10:22 PM
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CamDAX's Avatar
Theoretically if I eventually have 2x Turnigy 4000mAh 3S 30C Lipo's in series, I estimate 1252.9 total grams (weight is without motors & ESCs) 8ah (8,000mah) would I get 20min flight times?

But I think that would be over 1.5kg
Jun 30, 2013, 10:39 PM
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I get about 10.5 Minutes on a custom 800 hex frame using a crius AIOP v2, sunnysky 2212 980KV motors with GPS, buetooth, Telemetry Kit 915 Mhz on 1038 props on a single 2200mAh 20C 4 cell lipo, and HK 30A ESC flashed with SimonK firmware. Pretty happy with the flight times on such small props for this frame. But it works
Jun 30, 2013, 10:46 PM
Registered User
Don't expect to actually be able to fly decently for 20min and still maintain your concentration. Endurance builds are just as much for the pilot as it is for the heli. Just target under five minutes for hard flying, and max at 10 minutes for casual. Any longer than that and you risk crashing.
Jun 30, 2013, 10:49 PM
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CamDAX's Avatar
I want the casual time. right now its like I get in the air and I'm all ready low. Today I took some bad quality video of a burnt down house flyover its was interesting to see it form above!
Jul 01, 2013, 03:42 AM
Registered User
We are getting 30+ min on MT4008, RCTimer 14x4.7 carbon props, and RCTimer ESCs. It's about the same with the Quatro ESC. Thats with 4s10000 batteries and a 2.5kg flight weight. On 3s10000 it gets 28min.

For smaller, try the smaller 600kv pancake motors with 14 or 15in carbon props. the props make a HUGE performance difference. Switching from APC 13x6.5 props to the RCTimer 14x4.7 carbons increased flight time by 10 minutes or 30%.

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