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Anafi charging station?

AugerIn

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There was another thread with some discussion on this.

My take is it’s a bit of a niche product, kind of expensive compared to just buying a couple usb-c pd chargers, that can be used for both batteries and the controller and all the other usb-c devices you’ll likely get in the future.

They probably don’t balance charge the batteries, but at 2S it’s not a huge concern, but if not it’s the kind of thing that shortens the life of the batteries somewhat, and might be a warranty concern if there was any way parrot could see how they were charged ( I don’t think they could, though).

Just seems like a solution to a problem that isn’t there. Why pay more for a thing that is less versatile and frankly a bit sketchy compared to a standards based charger built to spec, that charges the way parrot designed it to be charged?
 

IM35461

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I have one and have used it twice.

Batteries are hard to pull off and worried they may deform the power connection with the drone.

Picture also does not show the large brick power supply that feeds the very lightweight charging base.

It does hover charge 3 x batteries in about 70mins plus the controller and nothing gets hot.

Best I suspect to charge the batteries via the USB-C connection.
 
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CraigCam

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I got one and I love it. It definitely gives the battery a better charge.


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Dirk_ANAFI

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Ok, but as AugerIn wrote:
Batteries are not charged balanced with this docking station. So it would be good to do every 4th or 5th charging over USB-C.
 
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CraigCam

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I’m not sure a battery is getting properly balanced if I can’t hook it up to a real charger. No ones that I’ve seen had made a cable yet and this product is nice for me as I’ve got seven batteries now and try to fly everyday.

Fast non balanced charging is used all the time in RC across many types of vehicles with different battery size and cell counts. The Anafi battery is using good materials as I’ve got no puffing on any of mine. All my batteries are numbered and flown sequentially and logged post flight. Since I can’t easily see the end voltage, I use the percentage given by the controller as saying one light left on battery is meaningless without a real voltage reading.


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CraigCam

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Yup but it’s a two cell so it’s not as critical to know this with these batteries. I am surprised there is no charging lead made by anyone yet but there is also little reported actual battery issues so maybe Parrot got it right.


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jmbsmt63

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Anyone try one of these charging stations or is this a bad idea? I would hate to fry $300 worth of batteries.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KG6DHD...olid=14FKKLFTCCGOM&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I have that same charger but it is sold by a different company that was also through AMAZON it is the same just sold by a different company "Lemontree"?
I opted for that particular one as opposed to the "Anabee" you linked since it had a coupon that reduced the price.

It seems to work just fine and I have noticed no excessive heat of puffing after aprox 10 cycles using the charger.
I currently have 2 batteries and the charger will charge both batteries (from aprox10%) and the remote in an hour!
It comes with a car adapter also and that works just as if plugged into the wall.
All that being said, I would say it isn't a bad idea to charge with the normal USB C connection, if not in a hurry, occasionally, just to make sure?
 
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IM35461

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Just using my one again and was hoping to fly today but rain now expected.

Anyway, I was wondering how well the smart discharge feature works when they are charged this way.

Does the smart electronics know it has been charged so the ten days start from now or could it confuse them?
 

CraigCam

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The charger is not affecting the smart feature. It cannot because it only contacts the true + and - poles of the battery and non of the other electronics.


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Nidge

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I’ll preface this post with the caveat that there is a very strong possibility that, putting it mildly, the word salad below is complete Science Fiction.

I have a suspicion that Parrot migh employ a similar balancing method that Fatshark employ on their 2s LiPo’s used to power their goggles. The Fatshark batteries have what appears at first glance to be a balance port put this is actually just a tap from the cells to power the goggle’s internal fan, and balancing is achieved with an internal circuit connected directly to the main power plug.

From the only teardown video of an Anafi battery I have seen the board with the micro USB C socket serves as:

1. A USB to serial converter for accessing the Anafi’s SD card and diagnostics.

2 A circuit to provide a slow and controlled discharge after a period of time (SMART).

2. A voltage converter/regulator for upping the voltage from 5Volt to 8.4Volt.

The 8.4Volt is passed to a smaller pcb which, as well as supporting the primary power plug, also has two discrete IC’s which “may” monitor the charge of the two cells and “maybe” responsible for balancing, based on the two wires in addition to the two primary power wires connected from this board to the two cells.

If the above is actually the case then there is a probability that the Anafi batteries will still be balance charged when using the charging device linked by the original poster.

The eight tiny pinouts between the +ve and -ve on the battery connector will probably be used for serial communications, and for sensing when the battery is connected to the Spark as the batteries will not provide any output when not connected to the Anafi.

As jmbsmt63 commented it would still be prudent to charge via USB once in awhile if what I wrote above has no semblance on the real World. I will admit that at one weekend race meet I forgot to pack the balance leads for my four port charger so the only option I had was to charge without. I estimate I charged and discharged the six LiPo’s I was using about twenty times each over the two or so days and I didn’t notice any deterioration in performance. Four years down the line I’m still using the same packs and each cell (four in each pack) are within just a few milliVolt of each other.

Regards

Nidge.
 

Dirk_ANAFI

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@Nidge :
I agree to nearly all you say. I also watched a video with a teardown of Anafi's battery.
But 1 point:
The use of the 8 pins between the +/- poles is not yet documented. But I measured 5 V at some of these pins (battery not charging), so there is perhaps an output. But I don't know what this voltage is used for.
 
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CraigCam

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Camera power I’d think or the WiFi video link.


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IM35461

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I have been trying to determine if charging the batteries not using the USB C connection confuses the auto discharge / storage feature.

Anyway 17 days after charging the batteries all still show all four bars.

I am not sure if it is pressing the test button daily that has been preventing them from draining or the non standard charger.

Thus I shall now only press the test button on one while recording that battery voltages daily (batteries never connected to drone).

On day 1 they were at 8.55v 8.69v 8.66v
17 days later 8.40v 8.60v 8.58v

Typically they have been dropping 10mV a day.
 
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Nidge

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I have been trying to determine if charging the batteries not using the USB C connection confuses the auto discharge / storage feature.

Anyway 17 days after charging the batteries all still show all four bars.

I am not sure if it is pressing the test button daily that has been preventing them from draining or the non standard charger.

Thus I shall now only press the test button on one while recording that battery voltages daily (batteries never connected to drone).

On day 1 they were at 8.55v 8.69v 8.66v
17 days later 8.40v 8.60v 8.58v

Typically they have been dropping 10mV a day.

Just checked my batteries which were last used 2weeks ago ,and I can confirm they still go into hibernation mode if charged via the multicharger. Tapping the battery check button will reset the timer used to set the hibernation process.

Regards

Nidge.
 

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