An early complaint of mine concerning my first UAV was the poor flight time. I enjoyed flying, learning to maneuver, and streaming video but 10 minutes of fun followed by 90 minutes of charging was just unacceptable. With that in mind I knew my first upgrade had to be a higher capacity battery for more flight time.
After some shopping, I found the a fellow AR Drone enthusiast turned internet business owner who runs a website aptly titled drone-mods.com, dedicated to “Products that enhance your experience with the Parrot® AR Drone.” I was drawn in and found a couple of battery options but purchased the 2000 mAh High Performance Battery. What follows is my initial review.
Price – Priced at $34.99 this unit is less expensive than the stock replacement battery from Parrot ($39.99) or any of the third party after market vendors on Amazon and delivers more mAh than any battery I was able to find.
Capacity – The battery delivers 2000 mAh which will significantly extend your flight time with the Parrot. In my initial testing I’ve flown 18-23 minutes on a single charge providing a much more enjoyable experience.
Convenience – The battery is compatible with your Parrot 2.0 charger and you don’t need to make any modifications to charge or use the unit. Just plug it in and wait for the green light. Other after market batteries with increased capacity require modifications to your drone, power leads or new leads. Not here, simple and straightforward.
Weight – My high performance battery weighs in at 137 grams which is 38 grams more than my stock Parrot battery at 99 grams. This isn’t an issue if you haven’t made many mods that add additional weight. The stock Parrot is approximately 420 grams with the indoor hull and approximately 380 grams with the outdoor hull. Flight becomes challenging as you approach the 500 gram mark so adding 38 grams is really a non-issue in my opinion.
Size – The high performance battery is 5 mm taller than the stock battery, with identical length and width. This additional height, while minimal is the maximum you can squeeze into the battery compartment and still secure the hull with the magnet. I’m considering removing a little bit of the underside of my hull to make the fit a little less snug, however if you mount the battery perfectly every time you’ll be fine.
Key Metrics – In evaluation I’ve identified a two key metrics mAh/gram and mAh/dollar. These are important because you want the highest battery capacity per gram of weight to extend your flight time and you want the highest battery capacity for your dollar when picking an upgrade. The numbers are shown below.
Stock Battery: 10.1 mAh/gram, 25.0 mAh/dollar
High Performance Battery: 14.6 mAh/gram, 57.1 mAh/dollar
Additional Specifications from the website:
Capacity: 2000 mAh
Discharge Rate: 20c
Discharge Plug: mini-Tamiya
Balance Plug: JST-XH
In summary I consider this battery a required upgrade. The increased flight time improved my experience dramatically. The higher capacity, at a lower cost than the stock battery makes this upgrade an must have. The added weight and size are minor drawbacks that don’t impact flight performance significantly.
What do you think about my review of the 2000 mAh high performance battery? Are you flying the stock battery or have you found something better? Leave your feedback here or drop me an email at [email protected] this blog’s url and let me know. Finally (and most importantly) sign up for my mailing list to keep in contact with me and the projects I’m pursuing. I promise no spam, just periodic updates on the projects I’m working on and topics related to them.