The DJI Mavic 3 is the new flagship drone from the Chinese drone manufacturing giant. It comes with improved features, including the camera, and most notably the battery. However, how do you charge it? What are its new characteristics? Let’s discuss these aspects and many more related to the new DJI Mavic 3 battery.
There are two ways of charging the new DJI Mavic 3 batteries – you can use the two-way charging hub to charge up to three batteries in sequence, or plug in the USB cable directly to the drone.
The improved battery life of the Mavic 3 is due to its 5000 mAh capacity, giving you up to 46 minutes of flight time.
If you’ve got any questions about the new DJI Mavic 3 batteries, we’ve got you covered, as in this article you will find an in-depth guide about them, where we will address how long it takes to charge them, how to properly use them, and how to update their firmware, among other aspects.
What battery does the DJI Mavic 3 use?
Like most drones, the DJI Mavic 3 uses lithium polymer batteries (LiPo). This power source is the most common in modern commercial drones because LiPo batteries offer the best performance in volts per cell, watts per hour (Wh), charging rate per hour, and auto-discharge rate per month.
Mavic 3 batteries are anything but ordinary – they are DJI’s proprietary intelligent flight batteries. This type of battery was created to make our lives easier, as charging and checking its power is as simple as plugging it in or simply tapping a button.
Before intelligent batteries were created, the old lithium polymer ones did not have LEDs to show their power status, and they required a special charger (and lots of attention) to be properly recharged. This is still a reality in the FPV drone world, so if you own one of those drones, you know for sure what I am talking about.
The battery is the fuel of our drones, but how do they work? UAS batteries are reversible; simply put, they are rechargeable. This type of battery is called ‘secondary’. The Mavic 3 uses four-cell LiPo batteries. What does that mean you ask? Let’s discuss below.
Characteristics that define a drone battery
Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries are characterized by their capacity to store a high density of energy, and their elevated discharge ratio. These two characteristics allow them to meet the high demands for instant intensity that drones require. As additional benefits, we should include that they are lightweight and that they can be produced in any geometric form.
LiPo batteries are formed by one or several cells, connected in series or in parallel to meet the high demands of tension (V) and Intensity (I) of the system they feed. For instance, a 6S2P configuration indicates that the battery is made of two combinations; two groups in parallel (2P), and six cells in series (6S). Therefore, as indicated on the DJI official website (link), the Mavic 3 uses an intelligent flight battery made of 4 cells in series (4S).
The following parameters must be taken into account to evaluate the features of a LiPo battery.
- V (Voltage): Is the nominal tension between the poles of the battery. It depends on the number of cells connected in series (for a 3S battery: 3 cells x 3.7 V = 11.1 V of nominal tension).
- mAh (milliamp Hour): The storage capacity is measured in mAh. It consists of the amperes that the battery can supply per hour (if it were to be completely depleted).
- C (Discharge Rate): The C indicator in LiPo batteries refers to the continuous and burst discharge rates that they can produce. This multiplier capacity factor indicates the maximum intensity that the battery can supply or demand continuously. For instance, a 5000 mAh battery with a discharge rate of 3C, can be supplied during charging with a maximum intensity of 15,000 mAh (which would reduce its charging time by a third, if compared to the necessary nominal intensity).
Did you get all that? If not, don’t worry, as things are much easier in practice than on paper.
Mavic 3 battery features
The Mavic 3 power source belongs to the Intelligent Flight Battery category. With a capacity of 5000 mAh and a tension of 15.4 V, it has the ability to smart charge and discharge. However, these are not the only great features of this 4S intelligent LiPo battery.
Below is a list of the most prominent features:
- The LED indicator displays the level of battery power.
- Like the rest of the family, the Mavic 3 Intelligent Flight Battery discharges automatically to 96% of the battery level when it has not been used for more than three days. This prevents swelling. After nine days of idle, it discharges to 60% of the capacity, all thanks to the included auto-discharge function. During this process, it could emit some heat, so don’t worry if you notice that it is a little warm.
- Due to Balanced Charging, the voltages that the battery receives are completely balanced, essential to avoid serious problems. Thanks, DJI!
- In a similar way, the overcharge protection stops giving power to the battery once it has been fully charged.
- The battery will only charge when its temperature is between 5° and 50° C (41° and 104° F)
- In the abnormal event that the battery detected an excess of current, the Over-current protection would prevent it from continuing charging.
- Over-Discharge protection prevents the battery from discharging in excess when in idle mode (this is not enabled when the battery is being used).
- In the case of a short circuit, short circuit protection would stop the power supply from providing energy to the battery.
- To avoid accidents, the DJI Fly app shows a message to warn us about any damaged cells in the LiPo battery.
- The hibernation mode shuts off the battery after 20 minutes of inactivity. When the battery level is less than 5%, it will also enter hibernation mode to prevent the battery from being lower than 5% when idle for more than six hours.
- All battery information, such as voltage, current, and capacity is transmitted to the aircraft and can be seen in the DJI Fly app.
How to charge the DJI Mavic 3 battery?
All that theory about LiPo batteries is great because it allows us to understand how our drones work. However, let’s dig into how we should charge the Mavic 3 battery to make sure that it will last for as long as possible. This should be a simple task, but if done wrong, it can have serious consequences for its life expectancy.
Recharging the battery has to be done with the appropriate charger, and always keep an eye on it, just in case something bad occurs. The Mavic 3 manual advises us that we should fully charge each battery before every flight.
In the event of fire, do not use water to extinguish the flames, as this is a Class D fire (combustible metals). Instead, use a dry powder fire extinguisher. This type of extinguisher asphyxiates the fire by cutting off the oxygen it has.
Charging the DJI Mavic 3 battery on the new charging hub
The new DJI Mavic 3 Battery Charging Hub is included in the Fly More Combo and the Cine Premium Combo, but can also be purchased separately for a price of $89.
This new DJI charging hub provides power to the batteries in sequence, prioritizing those with a higher charge. It is compatible with the included DJI 65W Portable Charger and, of course, with the new Mavic 3 Intelligent Flight Battery.
Unlike the DJI Mini 2 Two-Way Charging Hub, the Mavic 3 Charging Hub does not offer the option to charge other devices, so you will only be able to use it to charge your drone batteries.
To safely charge your Mavic 3 Battery simply follow these steps:
Step 1: Remove your battery from the Mavic 3 by pressing the two buttons on the sides.
Step 2: Carefully place the battery in the charging hub (you will hear a click if it has been properly done)
Step 3: Connect the DJI 65W Portable Charger (included with the drone) to the Mavic 3 Charging Hub.
Step 4: Plug the DJI 65W portable charger into the nearest power outlet, making sure that it offers the appropriate input voltage (100-240 V, 50-60 Hz).
Step 5: Wait patiently for around 1 hour and 36 minutes for each battery to be fully charged. You can easily check their status by looking at their LED lights.
Charging the DJI Mavic 3 battery through the drone
If you purchase the regular DJI Mavic 3 version (without the charging hub), you can charge the drone directly with the included cable.
To do so, follow these steps:
Step 1: Make sure the DJI Mavic 3 intelligent flight battery is properly fitted in the drone’s battery space.
Step 2: Plug the USB Type C cable or the DJI 65W portable charger into the rear of the drone, just above the battery.
Step 3: Connect the USB Type C cable to a power bank or plug the DJI 65W Portable Charger into a power outlet. Make sure that the input voltage is between 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz.
Step 4: Wait until the battery is fully charged. You can check the status by looking at the included LED lights. Remember, it should take around 1 hour and 36 minutes to be fully charged.
How long do DJI Mavic 3 batteries take to charge?
As stated previously, Mavic 3 batteries take approximately 1 hour and 36 minutes to fully charge. If you own the Fly More Combo, which includes a total of three intelligent flight batteries, it should take you roughly 4 hours and 50 minutes to fully charge them all.
However, maybe you are a professional who needs twice as much juice to do your job. In that case, charging a total of six batteries should take approximately 9 hours and 40 minutes. In other words, all night long!
How to know when your Mavic 3 battery is charged
Now that you know how to charge your Mavic 3 batteries, it is almost time to fly your new drone. First, let me tell you how will you know when they are fully charged and ready to be inserted in the UAS.
The following table shows the different combinations of LED light displays that you will see when charging. Let us explain them briefly:
- 2 LED Blinking: Battery level between 0% and 50%.
- 3 LED Blinking: Battery level between 50% and 75%.
- 4 LED Blinking: Battery level between 75% and 100%.
- 4 LED On: Battery level at 100%.
Battery protection mechanism
Intelligent flight batteries rarely malfunction, but if your Mavic 3 batteries started charging abnormally, the battery protection system would make the LED indicator display special blinking patterns.
These are the patterns that warn you about charging problems:
- LED2 blinking twice per second means that there is an overcurrent.
- LED2 blinking three times per second means short-circuit.
- LED3 blinking twice per second means an overcharge.
- LED3 blinking three times per second means overvoltage.
- LED4 blinking twice per second means that the charging temperature is too low.
- LED4 blinking three times per second means that the charging temperature is too high.
If the battery protection mechanism is triggered, you will need to unplug the battery and plug it back in to resume the charging process. However, if the mechanism was activated due to a low or high temperature in the battery, you will not need to unplug it. Simply wait for the battery to return to a normal temperature, and it will automatically start charging again.
How to remove a DJI Mavic 3 battery
Flying drones has taught me that taking the necessary precautions when operating the aircraft is essential to prolong the life of the UAS and safeguard the wellbeing of the people surrounding the operation.
An essential part of the drone’s safety is making sure that the batteries are properly inserted, and that we remove them from the compartment carefully. To safely remove the Mavic 3 Intelligent Flight Battery, press the two buttons located on the sides of the LiPo and slowly slide the battery out of its slot.
Precautions to be taken:
Never disconnect the intelligent battery from the drone when it is still powered on.
Always make sure that the battery is firmly mounted when plugged back in.
How long will a DJI Mavic 3 battery last?
One of the most common questions on the Internet about the new Mavic 3 is how long the battery lasts. According to the information provided by DJI on the product website, the flight time is up to 46 minutes.
It goes without saying that this is not the actual average flight time for the new DJI jewel. Several YouTube channels such as “Denis Barbas” or “FlyPath” have tested the battery with interesting results.
When flying normally, the Denis Barbar Mavic 3 battery lasted 32 minutes, while in a hover test, the FlyPath Mavic 3 hovered for 36 minutes until 5% of the battery power remained.
DJI has promised an increase in flight time in future firmware updates, but 32 minutes is already a good mark!
To update or not to update the firmware of the battery
If you are a seasoned drone or computer user, you probably already know that updating your system can cause serious trouble.
With drone and battery firmware, it’s the same story; try not to update as soon as the new versions come out. The latest DJI Fly app (pictured) has experienced some serious issues in the versions that preceded 1.5, and even 1.5.1 have still some connectivity problems.
That having been said, whenever it is safe to update your DJI Fly app, make sure that you also update your drone and the battery firmware. The app will prompt you to do so and you will need to turn on your drone again. However, when the app is in a stable build, it is the recommended way by the manufacturer to operate your equipment.
Precautions to take when using Mavic 3 batteries
We could not finish this guide without giving you a list of the precautions you should take while operating your Mavic 3 with the latest version of DJI’s Intelligent Flight Battery. Remember that users are fully responsible for the operation and usage of the drone.
These are the most important aspects to consider when operating the Mavic 3 battery:
- When flying at low temperatures, the battery will suffer a reduction in performance and capacity. Hover the aircraft for a couple of minutes to get it heated up. You should consider low-temperature environments to be anything between 14° to 41 ° F.
- Never use the battery at temperatures below 14 ° F (-10 ° C ).
- If the DJI Fly app displays a low-temperature warning, abort the operation immediately.
- To ensure proper battery performance, operate your drone at an ambient temperature of at least 20 ° C (68 ° F).
- DJI recommends using the DJI 65W Portable Charger or DJI Mavic 3 Car Charger when charging the batteries with the new Mavic 3 Battery Charging Hub.
- Don’t charge other batteries with the new charging hub.
- Never charge a battery right after it has been used. Wait for it to cool down first.
- You should charge the battery completely at least once every three months.
- If you are planning to travel with them, discharge the batteries to 30% or even lower capacity.
This is it for today, we hope that you have enjoyed this full Mavic 3 Battery Guide. Do you still feel the need to know a bit more about drones? I know that feeling, so just head to the main page, I’m sure you will find something to read to increase your knowledge base.
Image Credit: DJI