You have just had some fun flying your drone, but when you plug in the battery to charge, for no reason they won’t seem to charge. Bebop 2 batteries are Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. This means that the batteries need to be handled and stored with care to maximize their lifetime.
If your Bebop battery is not charging, read on for a step-by-step process on how to identify the problem and fix your Bebop 2 battery.
Why Your Parrot Bebop 2 Battery isn’t Charging
There are two main reasons that could be causing your battery to fail to charge. Your drone battery may not be charging because of:
1. A broken or faulty charger
2. A damaged battery caused by poor maintenance, damage, or aging.
Let’s discuss how to identify which problem you are facing and how to fix it.
1. A Broken or Faulty Charger
This is usually an easy issue to identify. Do a bit of investigation to find out if your charger is broken. The steps in finding out if this is the problem are similar to all drone chargers. Here’s what you need to do:
- Plug the charger in a socket that you are sure is working correctly; that is, the socket is not faulty.
- Then connect a battery that is turned on. Before connecting to the charger, the turned on battery should be flashing red.
- Continued red flashing by the battery after connecting to the charger means that the charger is not providing power to the battery.
Another way to check and see if the charger is the source of the issue is to use a voltage tester. This will help tell you if the problem is the charger. If there is no voltage, it can only mean that your battery charger is not functioning.
However, if the charger passes the tests and is working perfectly, it must mean that the problem lies with the drone battery itself. If the battery fails the following tests, it will most likely mean that you need to purchase a new one.
2. “Bricked” or Damaged Battery
A bricked battery means that the battery has turned into a brick. When your battery is bricked, it’s as valuable as a brick. If this is the case, however, all is not necessarily lost – there’s still a possibility of reviving the bricked battery.
A drone battery might get bricked if it has been stored for a long time without being used, poorly maintained, or maybe damaged. Chances are usually that it has gone into a deep discharge mode, and the cells of the battery have lost their storage capacity and cannot be recharged using the standard method.
How to fix a Lithium Polymer Battery
The tools you will need to revive your battery include:
- The bricked LiPo battery.
- A LiPo balance charger.
- A Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery (NiMH) charger.
Follow these steps to restore your bricked battery:
- Connect the LiPo battery plug to the Nickel Metal Hydride battery charger and start charging with the lowest possible current, usually 0.1A. If you can select the voltage output from your charger, select a voltage that matches your LiPo battery’s nominal voltage.
- After about two minutes of charging, your battery should recover to about 3.3 volts per cell. To confirm this, divide the total voltage of your battery by the number of cells.
- When the voltage per cell is about 3.3 volts, you can move it to the Lithium Polymer balance charger and balance the charge at a rating of 0.5C. This will take longer to charge than charging at 1C, but it’s safer.
- When the balance charge has finished balancing, you should have a recovered Lithium Polymer battery.
How to Prevent Battery Damage
Some of the ways to prevent battery damage and improve its lifespan include:
- Store your battery correctly.
- Do not continue using the battery if it’s visibly damaged in any way. This could include swelling or leaking.
- Do not let your drone battery get wet.
- Only use the official charger of the drone company to charge your drone battery. Different chargers charge at different voltages, hence a generic or alternate brand could damage your battery.
- After flying, do not charge it immediately. You should first let it cool down for some time before charging.
- When charging, you should keep checking the status bar to prevent overcharging the drone battery as this could damage it.
- When planning to store the battery for some time without using it, you should leave the battery with a charge of about 40 to 60 percent since they tend to self-degrade when unused for an extended period.
How to Increase the Lifetime of a Battery
- Store the battery with at least 20% charge
- Fully charge the battery before using it the first time
- Do not charge when the battery is still warm
- Recharge the battery after using it
- Do not use a swollen or leaking battery.
Storing a LiPo battery
Before storing your battery, there are a few things to make sure of, like first recharging it first. If the battery level is at 60% even after you have finished using it, don’t worry, your battery should be automatically programmed to discharge down to a recommended storage level after not being used for several days.
Keep re-checking your battery charge level at least once per month. If it’s below 40%, you should recharge it to avoid damaging the battery.
Also, avoid storing a battery unused for more than three months as this could also cause permanent damage to it.
Storing Batteries For Traveling
Before traveling on an airplane with your drone batteries, there are some things you need to do to store them well and avoid being flagged down at the airport check. Here are some of the things you will need to do:
- Before traveling, make sure your batteries are discharged to storage levels which are around 60%
- You can tape up the gold plates to prevent the batteries from short-circuiting as an extra safety measure.
- The FAA flight rules also say that you should store your batteries safely to prevent them from being damaged. The best way is to store the batteries in a fireproof drone travel case or a camera bag; you can also keep them in the battery sleeve.
- Never leave the batteries unattended.
- Keep your batteries where it will be easy to take them out for the baggage check, as you may be required to remove them to show them to TSA agents.
- Also, you can call your airline to find out if they have any flight policies on drones. Most airlines require spare batteries to travel in your carry-on, and not in your checked luggage.
- Make sure you print out the TSA’s drone battery regulations. It’s not unheard of to come across a few agents who are not aware of their own rules and regulations. It will help reduce arguments.
» MORE: For more information about how to travel with your drone (and batteries), read our Ultimate Guide to Traveling with a Drone.
How to Charge Parrot Bebop 2 Battery Properly
For optimal charging, just connecting the battery to the charger is not enough – there are a few other things to keep in mind. First, use only the Bebop 2’s official charger. It has a feature that ensures the battery is healthy. Also, do not keep a charged battery near flammable material or unattended.
Charging a new battery
When a battery is new, it’s usually shipped at a charge of about 40%. For the first few times you use the battery, do not completely discharge it. To optimize a battery’s capacity, it’s essential to keep it at its optimum condition.
A LiPo battery has a lifetime of approximately 300 charge cycles but will also depend on your battery maintenance.
When to charge a discharged battery
After using a battery, you will need to recharge it; if it’s still warm, it’s a sign that you should leave it for some time before charging it.
Since batteries will tend to lose some of their charge when unused, the best time to charge your batteries is shortly before you plan to use them, like the day before or several hours before your planned flight.
How long does it take to charge your battery fully?
To fully charge your battery, you will need about 50 minutes. It’s a best practice to fully charge the battery before connecting to your drone, rather than charging it up partially, and then having a shortened flight time.
Image Credit: Parrot