So you just finished flying your DJI Phantom drone or brought it out of storage and decided to charge up the battery. Then you discovered that the battery isn’t charging. You are completely livid as you have no idea why your drone’s battery isn’t charging. We know how you feel!. And in this article, we’ll be discussing reasons why DJI Phantom batteries may not charge and how to fix it.
The most common reason that a DJI Phantom battery isn’t charging is actually a faulty charger. Check if your charger is working and replace it if it isn’t. Another common solution to battery charging problems is to bring your battery out of hibernation mode if it hasn’t been used in a while.
Drone batteries have evolved over the years to become very advanced. Typically, most batteries are made using a lithium polymer blend because it is lightweight, charges quickly and efficiently, and also has a long life span. But with lithium batteries come a number of maintenance and storage practices that must be performed to ensure the batteries remain in top condition for as long as possible.
If you don’t carry out these maintenance and storage practices, your battery may become permanently damaged. While we know you are eager for all the possible solutions to the issue of your DJI Phantom battery not charging, it’s important you understand all the reasons why your battery may not be charging.
Why Isn’t Your DJI Phantom Battery Charging?
So what are the reasons why your drone battery may not be charging? We investigate them below.
Faulty or broken charger
The first thing to check off your list is whether the charger is faulty or broken, because it’s the easiest issue to detect. Also, faulty chargers are one of the most common reasons why the batteries of many DJI Phantom users are not charging. So if your DJI battery isn’t charging, the first thing you should do is to check if your charger is working.
First of all, ensure that the power outlet/wall socket you are connecting the charger to is working. Be sure to confirm this. After you are sure that the problem isn’t from the wall socket, then plug in the charger, after which you should connect a battery that is turned on.
A battery that is turned on will be flashing red before it is connected to a power outlet. Now after the battery has been connected and is charging, the flashing red light should stop. But if the battery is still flashing red and stays red after connection, then it’s obviously not charging. This most likely means the charger isn’t working.
If you don’t have a charged battery handy to test if the charger is working, you can also use a voltage tester. No voltage implies that your battery is dead
This is another reason why your battery may not be charging. If you have been using DJI drones for a while now, then you’ll be familiar with the DJI GO app. If you get any notification informing you of an “inconsistent firmware”, then this may be the reason why your battery isn’t charging. Some of your drone’s functions can be controlled from the DJI app. Head over to PlayStore or AppStore depending on your device, update the firmware, then head over to the aircraft firmware in your DJI app and update it.
Temperature of the battery is too hot to charge
As we said earlier at the beginning of this article, drone batteries have advanced a lot over the years. Manufacturers now embed sensors in batteries to protect the batteries from unsafe charging conditions. One of such conditions is charging your drone when the battery is too hot. There’s a huge chance of your drone’s battery getting damaged if you charge it when it’s too hot. And there are a number of reasons why the temperature of your battery may be too high for safe charging.
Your drone’s battery may get hot/warm after a flight or when it is left in the sun. In any of these cases, the battery will not charge until it has sufficiently cooled down. This is why you should always wait for your battery to cool down a bit after flying your drone, before putting it in the charger.
It’s also possible for your battery to refuse to charge if it’s too cold, usually below 5°. If this is the case, you’ll have to wait for the battery to warm up to room temperature which can take up to 30 hours depending on your location.
High amperage detected
Your battery may also not charge if the embedded sensors detect that the amperage is too high. High amperage may damage your batteries. Also, if an alternating current is used to charge the battery, the battery will not charge. Alternating current needs to be converted to direct current to charge your battery. Your drone charger should be able to make this conversion and if it’s unable to do this, your battery may not charge. But again, this is technically a problem with the charger, and not the battery.
Damaged or ‘bricked’ battery
You may have heard of bricked batteries before and be wondering what the term means. Well, a bricked battery is one that has become damaged and may not be recoverable through normal means. So if your drone battery turns to brick, it’ll be as useful as brick or in clearer terms, almost useless.
There are a number of reasons why drone batteries may become bricked but the most common is long storage coupled with poor maintenance. There are things you should do before storing your drone for a long time to maintain the integrity of the battery. Also, some basic maintenance practices must be carried out occasionally. Failure to do this may result in the battery becoming completely discharged. And if a battery is completely discharged, you’ll be unable to charge it using the normal method as the cells would have lost their capacity to store a charge.
How to Fix a DJI Phantom Battery That’s Not Charging?
We’ve discussed the various reasons why your drone battery may not be charging. Now, it’s time to talk about the solutions. Below are specific ways you can fix the issue of your DJI Phantom battery not charging:
Replace faulty charger
Faulty or broken chargers are a very common cause of drone batteries not charging. We already discussed how to check if your charger is working or not earlier in this article. If you find out that your charger isn’t working, then you’ll have to get another one.
Be sure to get good quality chargers so your battery can be charged safely and efficiently.
Bring the battery out of hibernation mode
We’ve been talking a lot about the sensors embedded in drone batteries and how they protect the batteries from high amperage and short circuits. The sensors also protect the battery during long storage as they prevent the cells from being completely discharged. Should the cells become completely discharged, there’s a high chance that the battery may become permanently damaged.
DJI batteries have a hibernation mode that prevents the cells from being completely discharged. And that is why a battery that has been stored for a long time will not charge until you bring it out of hibernation mode. And how do you bring the battery out of hibernation mode? It just takes a bit of patience.
You need to first know when a DJI battery is in hibernation mode. A solid red light is one of the indications that a battery has entered hibernation mode. Wait for about five minutes and see if the red light goes off. If it does, then it’s another indication that the battery is in hibernation mode.
Plug in the battery again and wait for a few hours. The battery will eventually come out of hibernation mode without you needing to do anything except wait patiently.
Fixing a bricked battery
You can’t charge a bricked battery by normal means. To charge a bricked battery, you’ll need the following materials: The bricked LiPo battery, a LiPo balance charger, and a NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride Battery) charger.
If you have these tools available it should be pretty easy for you to recover your drone battery.
Start by first connecting the bricked battery to the NiMH charger. Charge the battery by using the lowest current which is usually 0.1A. Depending on the type of NiMH charger you are using, you may be able to select the output voltage. And if this is the case, choose a voltage that’s the same as your battery’s nominal voltage.
Your battery should have about 3.3 volts per cell after charging for a few minutes. Dividing the total charge of the battery by the number of cells will give you the charge per cell. So after you get about 3.3 volts per cell, it’s time to use the Lithium Polymer balance charger and then balance charge the battery at 0.5C or 1.0C. 0.5C is safer but will take longer to fully charge your battery than 1.0C.
After you are done balance charging your battery, then you are good to go as you now have a working full battery.