Solo in Cold Weather?

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Jun 20, 2017
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#1
Howdy folks,

I live in Minnesota and we're supposed to have a high temp today of 21 degrees. Question - is there any documented or recommended lowest flight temperatures that are known about with Solo?

I don't want to venture flights outside in cold weather if it's ill advised.

Thanks in advance!
 
Likes: thedrones
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#2
3dr recommends to not fly below freezing.
I do a lot of cold weather astronomy and nothing shortens the life of plastic like cycling between warm/cold.

You may get away with 30, personally I think 21 is too cold. I wouldn't.
 
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#3
There are/were some cold weather pilots here on the forum. Main complaint is the reduce battery capacity, which is common with LiPo type batteries. Many keep the batteries warm prior to flights.

Use the forum's search and I'm certain there will be several threads discussing your question(s). More than two years worth of conversation and solutions discussed by some fairly smart DIY people.
 
Joined
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#4
There is message on here from a guy who had a motor failure due to cold weather...according to 3DR's interpretation of his log file. Not sure what temp he was flying, but he sent logs to 3DR and they reported back to him that he was flying in temps too low, and that caused the motor to fail.
 
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#5
I flew once in 8 degrees searching for a $200,000 exotic deer that got out of the breeder pens.
The Solo took off, got about 500 yards away and started acting crazy! Lost connection, then reconnected and several other odd readings. Requested a RTH and it finally made it back.
I would advise against below freezing as others have suggested.
In that case I would have rather lost a $6,000 Solo over a $200,000 deer!
 
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#8
Your experience may vary, but I've done several flights in ~15degF weather and the Solo performed fine.
 
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#9
We flew in AK in March. Most days were 17 to 20 degrees. Solo worked fine but the tablets and gopros struggled. Seen the same at the hot end as well in So Cal last summer.
 
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#10
so, my first flight in cold weather....it was 8 degree's here in Arkansas. Battery's went from 85% to 15% in less than 5 minutes. RTH, and cycled through modes just after takeoff. I managed about 10 minutes of video from two batteries
 
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#11
Your hands and fingers will fail before the Solo fails. Your tablet/phone will also probably fail before the Solo fails. The important thing to do is power it up and lit it sit for about 5 minutes warming up, then reboot it. That reduces the temperature changes experienced by the IMUs.
 
Likes: RichWest
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#12
i was afraid it was gonna crash the way the battery was draining... got to 10% quick... but i was able to land without crashing. So by warming up, you mean just connected, but not motors running
 
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#13
so, my first flight in cold weather....it was 8 degree's here in Arkansas. Battery's went from 85% to 15% in less than 5 minutes. RTH, and cycled through modes just after takeoff. I managed about 10 minutes of video from two batteries
Where are you in Ark?
 
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#14
Flew in 29F weather, kept Solo and battery in car till flight.

No noticeable reduction in flight time.

It seems that Solo likes the cold dense air—seemed quieter (as in lower RPM maybe).
 
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#16
The important thing to do is power it up and lit it sit for about 5 minutes warming up, then reboot it.
So set Solo outside in cold, power up...no running motors, let sit for about 5 minutes, reboot, then fly? I need to fly this morning in 12 deg. to check out the hill exiting my neighborhood, and want to do all I can to be sure I don't have a problem.
 
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#17
Yes. What can cause it to act squirrely is large changes in IMU temperature. So letting it set for a little while outside allows the IMU temperature to stabilize.
 
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#18
Suggest that you use a different battery for your 5m acclimation, and after the "reboot" you use the actual flight battery, which you will have been keeping warm in your pocket.

Used Solo many times in cold weather with no real problems. Can't confirm it, but it "seemed" like I had reduced range in single digit weather, and it "seemed" to take longer for Sololink to reconnect.
 
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#19
Suggest that you use a different battery for your 5m acclimation, and after the "reboot" you use the actual flight battery, which you will have been keeping warm in your pocket.
Just flew in 14 deg. temp. Set it outside, powered it up, waited 5 minutes, rebooted it, and flew it. Solo, Gopro, tablet, battery, all operated as normal.
 

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