The High Pro Glow

Welcome! The topics introduced in this blog will vary wildly. Here, you will find a lot of odd topics that are here to help somebody in need. I post off-beat information, hard to find history, & stuff that is otherwise seldom regurgitated in our modern place. Sit back & find something interesting. Comment if you have a need or suggestion.

Thank you for crossing paths!

Christopher R. Smith (aka. Littlehorn)

I've got it on! Have you got it on?

Monday, December 26, 2016

How To Measure Parrot Bebop 1 & 2 Battery Voltages with a Multimeter!

Parrot Bebop stock OEM batteries are good quality but need attention. Knowing the individual cell voltages is a great thing even before you suspect a pack is unhealthy. You only have the stock charger and don't know how to see the individual cell voltages. Just use a Multimeter to find out. Each individual cell of a standard 3S (3-cell) 11.1 volt LiPo pack can be measured easily and all should be within .2volts of each other especially when balanced and healthy. Each cell should be under 4.20 volts (4.35v for B2Power batteries) when fully-charged, at 3.75-3.85 volts for storage, and never allowed to discharge below 3.2 volts per cell least damage or LiPo death is your preference. Never store a battery below 3.2 volts per cell and never store a LiPo fully-charged for more than a day or two. Discharging to zero equals LiPo death. A failing cell will not hold a charge as well as the other cells..or have the capacity or performance. It could be target-charged to bring it up to match the other voltages and become balanced with the other cells...but it may be dying anyway.

To measure individual voltages of a 3S LiPo battery use a common Multimeter (set to the 20volt range) and probe the battery contacts as shown in the pics below.

Handle the probes with care and aim well! Though, there isn't much risk of shorting due to the way the contacts are recessed in the connectors.

To complicate life to even higher levels..Parrot has created another charger and two more charge cables for the FPV line of equipment all using 5-pin connectors. The FPV Bebop2 Bundle includes a small Skycontroller 2 with a 2S (2-cell) LiPo battery. The SC2 battery should be removed from the SC2 for voltage checks. The new Bebop 2 FPV and B2Power 5-pin charge cable can be used as in the pictures below. Just disregard the far left unused recess/socket is not needed for voltage checks.

How To Measure Parrot Bebop 2 & B2Power Battery Voltages with a Multimeter. The Bebop 2 Power battery's voltages will be higher. 4.35v per cell, 13.05v total when balanced at full-charge.

How To Measure Parrot Bebop 1 Battery Voltages with a Multimeter
Or, find one of these inexpensive little voltage checkers in shops everywhere. Any of these little buggers provide a quick check with instant evidence and nothing has to be remembered.

Now, these voltage measurement devices (or some) and this method do not measure the battery's ability to supply enough power to meet the demands of flight. The measurement methods detailed here are quick primary voltage level check without the battery under a load and is useful for spotting cells that are unbalanced and may be failing. A weak battery pack can appear strong when measured at rest..but one internal cell can be failing to have the performance capacity as expected. Weak cells cannot hold as much power or be able to keep up with the other cells in the pack. This can cause power shutdown/failure/loss during flight. The pack could not produce the required output. Additionally, Cold weather saps LiPo abilities of even more performance. Check them..Your Bebop depends on them!


At 1:16 PM, Blogger Steve Nicklin said...

so having done this - whats the recommendation for 'uplifting' a cell that is a bit down (3.86v on cell #3 versus 4.04v for the other two cells)?

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

Target charge the low cell with a LiPo charger other than the stock charger. A 4-button charger can use a 1S charge mode connected to the contacts for that cell. The connections may take some creativity.

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chris. Total volts is 12.20. #1 4.13, #2 4.13, #3 3.97 Parrot 2700 Mah OEM

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

#3 still ok but it is fading. Your stock charger may not be balancing well..and if you pull too much power out these cells have more problems recovering.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Roy Evans said...

Really useful Article. Thanks for your time in putting this up. Checked my battery pack and it's great. Using a standard parrot charger at the moment, but getting an aftermarket balance charger soon. Cheers. Roy

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi christopher, I dont have a multimeter but I do have the digital diagnostic meter which reads single cell 3.7v lipo's but nothing registers on it when connected to my BB1 Battery, it looks like it is completely dead.
Thanks Andy

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

Andy, the best you could do with that checker is to somehow connect it to the associated contacts for each individual cell one at a time. And Probably should not connect the contacts that measure the total voltage of the pack. A multimeter or LiPo checker are the best options and are pretty inexpensive in big box stores, online, and in hobby shops.


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