3DR Solo with LiIon 9000mAh battery | up to 30min flight time

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Here is a BMS with SMBus: BMS with SMBus, I2C, RS485, RS232 Communication for 4S Lithium/LiFePO4 Battery Pack at 60A rate
Maybe a bit heavy and expensive. Basically all BMS are pretty big and heavy, it seems difficult to find a suited one. A solution might be to contact the battery manufacturer and ask where they got them from.

I don't see any parameter that specifically sets a threshold value per cell. There must be a value where "used mAh" stops counting when discharging. Because at every discharge/charge the BMS sets FullChargeCapacity accordingly. Or have I overseen it?

Ah yes that would be an easy method to use the Pixhawk Cube 2.0 for DIY drones :) Do you have a picture of yours?

Removing the BMS board and connectors saved me 40g of weight :) Now the drone is "only" 100g heavier with the LiIon battery. Could make a new benchmark for flight endurance ...
 
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This board will fit for buildind Solo new battery but hte price will be a problem.

RemainningCapacityAlarm (0x01) and RemainningTimeAlarm (0x02) will set the threshold. For voltage per cell i don't know how .

Here is my DIY drone with HMF U580 frame and DJI Inspire ESCs and Motors. I've remove the Pixhawk 1 for my F450, always with DJI propulsion and 10" propellers. The HMF frame is too small for extension so i plan to create new one like someone else in this forum has done. So with a carrier board for the stock Cube it will fly again.
20180225_220431.jpg
 
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The price of smart BMSs seems to be a proplem. It came me just to mind that it may be possible to use other smart batteries like from a DJI product and use them with Solo. Maybe one has to tewak the software a little bit and of probably solder another connector to it.
 
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Because we are looking to purchase 1 piece the BMS is costly, a battery manufacturer would purchase lets say 10 thousand at a time it would come out to 15 dollars a piece, unfortunately we are DIY'ers and single piece buys have no savings for us. The SOLO honestly needs a 9000mAh battery pack, 13 min flights are like taking off and landing in rapid succession when using the 3d gimbal and GoPro.....I feel since their aim with the SOLO was more towards cinematic they dropped the ball on flight duration, hell I believe the manual even mentions a 20 minute flight time and we all know thats impossible with this 5200mAh battery.....than again if a battery manufacturer were to take up the task of building up a 9000mAh with respective SmBMS V1.1 it would damn near cost 200 a battery but who knows if it would gather enough interest for a larger company to make that investment....as it stands the making of the battery pack with a viable SmBMS would be under 150 if you had the tools to spot welder, soldering iron and etc....etc....without the tools your are 300 plus perhaps rough guess.....
 
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Actually costs are not so high. I paid ~60$ material costs per battery (tools I had them all). Again if somebody is interested I m willing to make batteries for ~100$.

Massproduction is cheaper. I think you can produce it for less than 50$ per piece.
 
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Actually costs are not so high. I paid ~60$ material costs per battery (tools I had them all). Again if somebody is interested I m willing to make batteries for ~100$.

Massproduction is cheaper. I think you can produce it for less than 50$ per piece.
I would pay $100 for battery that I could replace the cells in.
 
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I would pay $100 for battery that I could replace the cells in.
For that you can open an old or defective Solo battery and salvage the BMS out of it. That would be cheaper than 100$. If you cant/dont want to do it yourself have it done by somebody else. With it you can connect any LiPO / LiIon 4S battery to it.

The LiIon battery that I build will last at least 4 years and 500 cycles.
 
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With it you can connect any LiPO / LiIon 4S battery to it.
Are you sure? You will need to calibrate the Solo BMS to the LiIon cell voltage level and to actual capacity in order to get meaningful results in Solex displayed.
 
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Are you sure? You will need to calibrate the Solo BMS to the LiIon cell voltage level and to actual capacity in order to get meaningful results in Solex displayed.
Please read my first post in the thread. Especially section 8b. In short, you need to tweak it, but it works. If you connect a 4S LiPo to it and it is 4000-5500mAh you don't need to change anything.
 
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According to 3DR one would need to program with SMBUS v1.1 standard and it should be fine.
https://dev.3dr.com/hardware-batterybay.html
https://dev.3dr.com/hardware-battery-charging.html

To be done:

1. Find a SMBMS that can handle max. 50-60A
2. Programm it according to the cells used
3. Produce the battery

Me I like to approach with a power module much better as you can plug in any RC battery. Downside is battery percentage is not so accurate for example if you start flying with a half full battery. What you normally don't but still. And this would be less "fool prove".

For photography 20700B cells should be fine but not for this kind of flying:
Lengthwise space could be a problem.
Hey, that's me! I actually have better videos than that one, BTW...
 
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Please read my first post in the thread. Especially section 8b. In short, you need to tweak it, but it works. If you connect a 4S LiPo to it and it is 4000-5500mAh you don't need to change anything.
Yes I got that.
Rather than tweaking the Artoo code and manual overwriting the max batt capacity parameter it would be better to have a tailored and configured BMS. This would allow to use standard Solo batteries in parallel to custom built ones.
Also you would then be able to charge a custom pack through the Solo battery plugs.
 
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@fpvsteve I agree. The problem is finding a suited SMBus BMS that is affordable, supports currents up to 60A and is not too big and heavy. I dont believe users are willing to pay just 50$ for a BMS plus the battery. For me the power module is the best solution. I have an original Solo battery with 75% (3900mAh) capacity left. Compared with the LiIon batteries it does not make much sense to use it. I could take it a part and make normal 4S battery out of it. For now I keep it for testing purposes. The Solo batteries wont get any better.
With the original BMS you can charge any 4S battery of any size that supports 3.4A charging current up to 4.2V per cell. What this means is lets says you have 6 LiIon batteries and a power module installed. You take Solo on your holiday trip and take one original BMS with plugs and the Solo charger with you in the Solo backpack. Like so you are able to charge all the batteries without the need of a (bigger) RC charger.
What batteries would you like to be using?
 
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For that you can open an old or defective Solo battery and salvage the BMS out of it. That would be cheaper than 100$. If you cant/dont want to do it yourself have it done by somebody else. With it you can connect any LiPO / LiIon 4S battery to it.

The LiIon battery that I build will last at least 4 years and 500 cycles.
Maybe you could go into the refurbishing business? User sends in old battery, you send them back one (for a cost) that is ready to go?
 
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Here are some pictures how it finally looks from the outside with a new Solo body :)

In the mean time there took a new record flight place with 32:30min static hover at 15m altitude (without gimbal). AUW 1580g and quite windy conditions :)
 

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Here are some pictures how it finally looks from the outside with a new Solo body :)

In the mean time there took a new record flight place with 32:30min static hover at 15m altitude (without gimbal). AUW 1580g and quite windy conditions :)
Derriell, can you please send me the flight log from the 32 min flight I would like to see some of the curves, current and voltage, Its amazing that the flight without gimbal buys you 10 extra minutes, it goes to show what a load the 3 axis gimbal puts on the battery
 
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Will it talk SMBus to the Solo and can you use it with more than one battery? $150 is acceptable if I can hook any battery to it. Right now if you tear a bad battery apart for the electronics, you can calibrate it to work with one other battery. It will be good only on that battery, if you add another you have to calibrate it to work. If this worked so that out in the field I could disconnect one battery and lay in another that would be what I am looking for.
 
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@carloliveira I will send you a PM later when I downloaded thelog.

@rmasci You can do it with the Solo BMS. But after changing the battery before the next flight you will need to set the capacity in parameters. Then it should work. But what I think would work best for you is with a power module.
 
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@carloliveira I will send you a PM later when I downloaded thelog.

@rmasci You can do it with the Solo BMS. But after changing the battery before the next flight you will need to set the capacity in parameters. Then it should work. But what I think would work best for you is with a power module.
I have a power module that came with my green cube, however the power module mod you have to solder in to some pins off of where the pixhawk seats in... Is there an easier way?
 

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