The DJI Avata has come out, and with it, a new battery and set of goggles, the Goggles 2. We can’t say the motion controller is new as we’ve seen it before. Nor can we say the controller is new, which does require an additional purchase, as it is not included in any of the packages that the Avata is being sold in.
The needed controller is simply the FPV Controller 2, with some rumors running around that there may be some backward compatibility coming soon – come on, FPV Controller 1!
Whether any of those rumors are true, we’ll just have to wait and see. There’s a lot to be said about the Goggles 2. Maybe we’ll cover that later.
Right now, though, let’s look at the New Intelligent Flight Battery for the DJI Avata.
Whenever DJI comes out with a new product, they always have a new battery as well. As an FPV cine-whoop style drone system, we really expected no less.
DJI certainly wasn’t going to go with the more traditional whoop battery or pack as they are referred to in the FPV world.
No, DJI, as with all of their products, would bring out a smart battery for the Avata, and if you’re just starting out in FPV, it’s a godsend for sure, as it takes a lot of the worry out of charging and maintaining your batteries to get the best and longest life from them.
Let’s take a quick look at Avata’s Battery Specs.
Specifications for the Avata Battery
- Charging Temperature Range: 5° to 40° C (41° to 104° F)
- Chemical System: LiNiMnCoO2
- Charging Voltage Limit: 17 V
- Battery Capacity: 2420 mAh
- Discharge Rate: Typical: 7C
- Energy: 35.71 Wh@0.5C
- Weight: Approx. 162 g
- Voltage: 14.76 V
- Type: Li-ion
The DJI Avata battery is rated with a capacity of 35.71 with a DJI flight time of 18 minutes. In reality, it is around 13 to 14 minutes when flying.
See, when companies like DJI conduct their flight test, they do so within a controlled environment.
Here we’ll just take DJI’s own words for it. DJI states this: “Tested when hovering in an environment without wind or interference.”
This is how they achieve these numbers, so it has come to be expected that they are always inflated a little bit.
Of course, you are not just going to hover in a protected, controlled environment, oh no. You’re going to fly the H-E-Double hockey sticks out of the Avata. I know you are!
So, you can reasonably expect flight times in the area of 13 to 14 minutes from the DJI Avata. That’s the real-life battery expectancy per flight.
For an FPV battery, the Avata battery weighs in at 162g on its own, so not too bad of a weight, considering an equivalent battery would usually be right around 245g.
When I say equivalent, I mean an FPV battery with a similar capacity. Most importantly, though, as with all DJI batteries, it is an Intelligent Battery, using DJI’s proprietary Smart Intelligence system.
What makes a battery intelligent?
If you’re a DJI product user, then you are already familiar with DJI Intelligent Flight Batteries. If you’re not, though, there’s a lot to know.
DJI Intelligent Batteries are different from other batteries in that they have many safety features built-in, and provide you with the ability to monitor and maintain them with ease.
Those features include:
- Battery Level Display
- Battery Life Display
- Balance Charging
- Over Charge Protection
- Temperature Detection
- Over Current Protection
- Short Circuit Protection
- Battery Cell Damage Protection
- Battery Information History
Did I just dump a lot on you? I sure did! It’s not my fault. There’s just a whole lot going on inside of a DJI Intelligent battery, that’s all.
Inside the app, you are able to display how much remaining power the battery has, and the system can automatically analyze and calculate the power and time required to return home and land safely so that pilots won’t always have to worry about a low battery during flight.
The Intelligent Battery also displays the voltage of each battery cell, the total charging and discharging times, the health status of the battery, and so on.
One of the biggest benefits of the Intelligent Battery is its over-discharge protection. When using a battery, pilots often worry about over-discharging, and for good reason.
To avoid this problem, DJI battery designers installed an over-discharging protective circuit. Discharging will stop when the battery reaches a preset voltage.
This protects the integrity of the battery. Hence, automatically stopping discharging is the last level of battery protection; this same battery circuit also calculates the endurance of battery life and warns users to take safety measures when necessary.
Being integrated with flight control data, the intelligent battery can provide three levels of battery warning protection.
1. Low Battery Level Warning
When the battery level indicator displays that the remaining battery level is 30% (the exact percentage can be set by users through the app), the red light starts slowly flashing.
Users are notified of the remaining battery level and should return to the Home Point as soon as possible.
2. Critical Low Battery Level Warning
The drone will automatically return to the Home Point if the remaining battery level can only support the drone’s return home.
The thresholds for the warning are automatically determined based on the current flight altitude and distance calculated with intelligent battery data and flight control data.
3. Intense Critical Low Battery Level Warning
The drone will automatically land if the remaining battery level cannot support a normal RTH (return time being delayed by headwinds, for example) to avoid crashing.
The endurance of battery life is determined based on the current flight distance, altitude, and current output power of the motors. Since all of these elements are dynamic and constantly changing, all data requires being calculated in real-time.
All this requires exceptional battery cell management and algorithm design.
DJI has managed to get all of this into the Intelligent Flight Battery and has had years of experience in improving the coding, so these systems work flawlessly together.
Differences between the Avata battery vs standard FPV batteries
When deciding to make a large purchase or investment, such as breaking into FPV piloting or just droning in general, you will weigh all the positives and negatives – you shop around.
When making the choice to either purchase or skip over the DJI Avata, the battery care and maintenance is one of the factors that helped me decide. It really was.
The idea that I could still have the level of safety and protection that DJI offers in their battery technology kind of clinched it for me.
Standard FPV batteries do not offer any of the above safety features.
No, standard FPV batteries actually lack most of the above, and in order to have some of the above features, you would need additional equipment.
When comparing the two types of battery systems, first and foremost, the thing you will notice is the pricing.
For comparison purposes, we will look at XILO 2250mAh 4s 75c Lipo Battery.
It’s similar to the battery capacity of the Avata’s at 2420 mAh. This Xilo battery costs right around the $40 mark. In contrast, the Avata’s is closer to $129.
The Xilo offers such features as high 75C discharge rating, quality grade-A cells, all-black design, and lightweight, compact Size. The Xilo battery weighs 246g and is equipped with an XT60 connector.
The Xilo does not offer any of the Intelligent Battery features listed above for the Avata Battery. It’s just a battery.
As such, if you wanted to monitor the voltage of each cell, a battery checker would be needed and can be used with the charger or out in the field, although some chargers are available with this built-in.
There is an increased risk of fire with the standard FPV battery similar to the one shown above.
Since Lithium batteries store large quantities of energy in a small profile package, they are occasionally prone to catching fire. This is a rare scenario.
One cannot stress that enough; it is a rare thing.
It is also most likely to occur when charging, discharging, or if a battery becomes damaged in some way. Regardless of the odds, a LiPo fire can result in a house fire, self-injury, or damage to gear.
So having a charging box something like the BAT-SAFE or some other safe method of storing your LiPo batteries is just being a savvy user and is highly recommended.
The point is as an FPV pilot, you are far more involved with the charging process than if you are flying with a DJI Intelligent Flight battery. You will need to check things yourself that the DJI battery will do for you.
These things can be intimidating to a new FPV pilot and can quickly become overwhelming. Even if it has become old hat to the more seasoned FPV pilot, for someone new to the FPV hobby, it makes things easier by far.
Although you will still most likely go full ACRO FPV at some point!
Fly Safe, Fly Always, Always Fly Safe!