You’re out with your drone on a trip but suddenly it runs out of charge. Now the only charging cable you have on you is a USB cable.
So, wondering how to charge a drone battery with a USB cable?
Charging a drone battery with a USB cable is very easy. You only have to connect one end of your cable to your drone. Then plug the other end with a power source such as a laptop, power bank, carport, etc. Once your batteries are fully charged, your drone will be good to go.
This is only the snippet of the whole process. Now we know this might’ve piqued your interest. So what are you waiting for? Keep on reading!
Basics to Charge a Drone Battery with a USB Charger
To charge a device accurately you need to know some basics about it. This might include battery type, charging options, etc. Since these are very important aspects of your drone, let’s get to learn about it!
What Kind of Batteries Does Drone Have?
Usually, drones are powered with LiPo batteries because of their huge capacity and quicker output. Moreover, they also run for quite a long time. At times, NiCad and NiMH batteries can also be found in a drone.
Normally, drone batteries are divided into two types by the amount of the released current. One is a high-multiplier discharge, named a high-multiplier drone battery. The other one is the usual discharge C-rate, mainly named a drone battery.
Now when choosing a drone battery you should choose it based on the model’s requirement. Because aerial drone batteries, agricultural drone batteries, toy drone batteries will vary in capacities. So, it’s better to use the model info.
Now besides battery type, the charging option also matters. So, let’s discover about it in the following section.
What Charging Option Does the Battery Offer?
Now you can use the cord that comes with the drone. But if you’ve misplaced it, there’s good news. The drone batteries also offer the USB DC charging option by default.
So now you might be asking how to charge drone battery without charger?
To charge a LiPo you need to balance all the cells in the battery. You can use your trusty USB cable for this. Here the power adapter will produce a 5 volt DC average as required by USB. Generally, the amperage ranges between 0.07A to 2.4A.
Now different power sources can be used for USB charging. But it’s useful to know which of them are good to use. So, let’s find out!
What Power Sources are Good for USB Charging?
There are quite a few power sources that can be used for USB charging your drone. You can use laptop ports, power banks, carports, etc. We’ll talk about them thoroughly and if they serve as a good source or not. Have a look:
You can charge your drone by USB if your PC/Laptop has a “Powershare” USB Port. Just plug in your cable and it’ll start charging your device. The power from your laptop will transport into the drone battery.
Generally, laptop USB ports are 5V at 0.5 amp. Since the USB provides half the current, it’ll charge your device at half the speed.
Now as you can see the charging might be slow, but that’s a good thing. Because it helps to retain more charge compared to the fast charging method. You can end the charging at 80% if it’s taking too long. The drone should work fine!
Now a power bank can charge your drone comparatively faster. However, this might vary depending on the output port.
You can receive several output qualities such as 1A, 2A, 2.5A, etc. The greater the Amps the quicker your gadgets will charge. So if you need a fast charge plug your USB into the port with the highest Amps.
Normally, car USB ports have lower amperage. It’s only about 0.5A compared to the 2.1A of laptops. That’s why they aren’t effective enough to charge your device fast.
But if you charge the drone battery in the car it’ll charge but very slowly. So this might only come in handy if you have no other option.
Moving onto the next section we’ll see the advantages and drawbacks of USB charging. Let’s get into it!
Pros and Cons of USB-charging A Drone Battery
Like every other method, this USB charging method too comes with its pros and cons. Here we’ve listed some so that you’re aware of everything.
- USB charging supplies the precise power rate to the device
- Therefore, the battery doesn’t get damaged
- If you charge magic air battery with USB the battery won’t strain quickly
- The protocol in USB doesn’t let the battery overcharge
- This is because the charging process is slower comparatively
- Charging by USB reduces the vitality of the battery
- Because it produces extra heat which would lessen the battery durability
- Fluctuations of the power output can damage the battery
- Bad quality USB charger can cause poor AC to DC conversion
- Therefore, it can cause problems with the drone battery
Therefore, if you really want to charge your drone with a USB cable, get yourself a good-quality one. We’d recommend the 6.6FT+6.6FT Ainope USB 3.0 cable. Using a good cable will protect your drone battery from any damage.
Steps to Charge a Drone Battery with a USB Cable
If you’re worried about how to charge my drone battery then relax! We’re going to explain all the charging steps in this segment. You can even charge a sky rider drone in this way. But first, you’ve to choose the right USB cable for your drone.
Let’s check out some of our options!
First, Pickup the Right USB Charger Cable
Here, we’ve listed some of the best USB cables for your drone battery. So, in case you’ve misplaced your DJI spark battery charger cable, you can use one from here.
|Image||Charging Cable||Why is it Good?||Price|
|Syma RC Quadcopter Replacement DIY USB Charging Cable||It’s a durable USB cable and has a portable size structure. Also, it allows you to charge your RC drone anywhere||Check Price|
|Micro USB Cable, 3Pack 6FT Android Charger Cord Long Nylon Braided Sync and Fast Charging Cables||Fast charging cables and compatible||Check Price|
|Amazon Basics Double Braided Nylon USB 2.0 A to Micro B Cable||Portable connector head fits with maximum cases, enhanced charging capacity up to 2100 mA||Check Price|
Now, you can get any of these cables to charge your drone battery. So, let’s now check out how to charge using one!
Step 1: Connect your USB to the Power Source & Drone
First, connect one end of the USB charging cable to the drone. Then connect the other end to your preferred power source. It can be one of the power sources we’ve mentioned above. These can either be as a laptop, computer, power bank port, etc.
Step 2: Confirm the Charging
If you’ve plugged everything correctly then the USB will start flashing the red light. This would mean your drone battery started to charge itself. But if there’s no red light blinking you would need to check the connections again.
Step 3: Unplug the USB Cable
Unplug the USB cable once it starts flashing green light. It means your drone batteries are fully charged. In that way, the batteries won’t be overcharged.
Isn’t charging your drone battery with a USB cable so easy? However, you need to know about another thing before we let you go. That is the charging time. So, let’s have a look!
Drone Battery Charging Time with a USB Cable
Mainly, the charging time depends on the charging port and the battery capacity of your drone. To be more specific, your charging time will vary based on the battery capacity or mAh. So, here are the steps you can use to calculate the time!
Step 1: Calculate Charging Current
Suppose your drone battery’s capacity is 8 Ah. So firstly, we’ll measure the charging current for the battery. This current needs to be 10% of the Ah grade of the battery.
Therefore, the charging current for 8Ah Battery = 8 Ah x (10/100) = 0.8 Amperes.
Step 2: Calculate Charging Time
Now due to some fluctuations, we consider the current range to be between 0.8-1. Let’s say we took 1 Amp for charging purposes. Then, charging time for 8 Ah battery = 8/1 = 8 Hrs.
Now, this above-mentioned method is a definitive case. But in some cases, the losses can be 40%.
Then 8 x (40/100) = 3.2 (8Ah x 40% of losses). Hence, 8+3.2 = 11.2 Ah ( 8 Ah + Losses). Now Charging Time of battery = Ah/Charging Current
Putting the values: 11.2/1 = 11.2 or 11 Hrs (in actual case)
Thus, an 8Ah battery would need 11 Hrs to completely charge with a USB cable. In this case, the delivered charging current is 1A.
Is USB Charging the Only Option for Drone Batteries?
No, USB charging isn’t the only option for drone batteries. You can also charge the batteries with a solar panel. In this case, you would need your charger controller. This will charge your drone batteries from the solar charger.
However, you can also use an alternative battery charger to charge your drone batteries. Here are some recommendations for drone battery chargers for you.
Now you can use any of these chargers to charge your drone batteries safely.
Tips to Avoid Charging Damages for Drone Battery?
Here are some important tips for you to avoid damaging your drone batteries. Following these tips can save you from a lot of unwanted issues.
Tip 1: Charge Your Drone Batteries Outdoors
Now, this is very unlikely, but sometimes the drone batteries can blow up. That’s why to be on the safe side, charge your drone batteries outside the house. So that, even if it ruptures, you won’t be near the lethal smoke it discharges.
Tip 2: Don’t Keep the Batteries Fully Charged or Discharged
Never store your drone batteries either completely charged or discharged for more than a month. Because this can have an impact on the batteries’ durability.
Moreover, it might even defect them with all the chemical spillage. Therefore, you won’t be able to use it again.
Tip 3: Partially Discharge the Batteries
You can partially discharge the batteries to lessen pressure on them. This will extend the battery lifetime. Nonetheless, before activating your drone ensure batteries are upgraded to the recent firmware.
That’s all about drone batteries and charging them with a USB cable. We’ve discussed the basics of drone batteries and the steps for charging as well!
How long does it take to charge a drone battery?
Usually, drone batteries take around 60-90 minutes to charge. The time percentage relies on if you’re using a USB charging cable or a battery charger. USB charging will take more time than a charging hub.
Can you charge the drone battery with a phone charger?
Yes, you can charge the drone battery using a phone charger. Just plug your drone charging cable into the phone charger’s USB port. Then your drone batteries will start charging with the correct voltage.
How can I charge my drone battery faster?
You can charge your drone battery faster using a charging hub. Because it’s programmed to charge batteries that need to charge faster. After that, it’ll look for the battery that needs the least amount of charge.
Hope you got a clear idea about how to charge a drone battery with a USB cable.
Now, always remember to check the drone batteries before buying. Because some drones are not compatible with other charging methods like the USB cable. Hence this might create an issue if you lose the designated charger.
That’s all for now, enjoy your flying!