DJI’s “battery charging station” allows you to charge 3 batteries… in sequence. The manufacturer does not emphasize this word, but it is important if you are in a hurry! because it means that this charger charges the 3 batteries one after the other, starting with the most charged.
The charging time for 3 batteries is therefore 3x 70 minutes with a 100 W USB adapter, and 3x 100 minutes with a 65 W adapter. That is at best 3 hours 30 minutes, but the charging time can reach 5 hours. It's long !
The solution ?
It is a charger capable of recharging several batteries simultaneously. This is the principle of the Parbeson charger, which is also found under the Yx brand. Note that this charger was loaned to me by studioSPORT. As usual, let me know if you think the practice influenced my judgment.
This charger is a 17,9 x 5,4 x 3 cm block that weighs 135 grams. It has 3 slots for 3 batteries of Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Cine, Mavic 3 Classic, Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine. Next to these slots is a 1,6-inch color LCD screen. On the right side there is a power connector socket and an on/off button. On the front panel, there is a USB-A socket. No fan inside, the case is perforated for passive ventilation.
The charger is accompanied by a fairly large power supply, with a switch: 16 x 7 x 4 cm excluding cables. On one side there is a plug to plug into the charger, on the other it is a European mains socket. It weighs 413 grams, or 135+413 = 548 grams overall.
The Principe of fonctionment ?
It's simple: connect the power to the mains and charger. You must then use the switch to turn on the charger. The screen lights up. To start charging a battery, simply place it in one of the 3 cradles.
The screen displays a charge indicator with a percentage indicator, battery voltage, amperage, temperature, and the number of mAh which alternates with the number of cycles. Interesting, especially the number of cycles! Add 2 more batteries: their charging starts instantly and the screen, separated into 3 parts, displays information from all the batteries at the same time.
With batteries between 15 and 17% charge, it took 2 hours to reach 96%, and 2 hours 40 minutes to reach 100%. It's better than with the original charger and a 100 W adapter, and it's much better than with the original charger and a 65 W adapter! I haven't driven the car enough to test the charge with the cigarette lighter cord.
The charger is also capable of placing the batteries at 65% charge, a value which corresponds to battery storage when not in use. To do this, you must plug in the small USB box supplied with the charger. It is equipped with a fan to reduce temperature rise due to discharge.
To start the storage procedure, you must also plug in the power supply, press the charger button for 2 seconds, the screen indicates “Storage”. Then, you must turn on the Mavic 3 batteries (short press, long press) and place them in the charger. Which takes care of charging (or discharging the battery) so that it reaches 65% charge.
The charger can also discharge the batteries, which allows them to be transported while reducing the risk of a fire. Here again, you have to plug in the USB box. But not food. You must turn on the Mavic 3 batteries (short press, long press) and place them in the charger.
The screen indicates “USB Out”: the battery is discharged to the value indicated on the screen. By default, it is 15%. The procedure is long: it takes between 8 and 9 hours to complete! but you can change the discharge threshold. Pressing the charger button increases the percentage in 5% steps (up to 80%).
The discharge function can be transformed into Powerbank use! Instead of plugging in the small fan box, connect a USB-A cable: the current from the batteries provides the 5 V / 3 A power supply. As with the discharge function, you can set the percentage corresponding to the discharge threshold so as not to over-discharge your batteries when using Powerbank.
In practice ?
I used this charger quite intensively for several weeks, as I used it to carry out long sessions of 2D mapping and 3D photogrammetry. I used it with a noname 220 V portable power supply (purchased several years ago for use in a van). No crashes, no heating even in high temperatures, it gave me complete satisfaction.
You just need to know that when the batteries are close to full charge, that is to say above 90%, the charging mechanism does not always activate. The solution, in this case, is to carry out a short discharge session to get below 90%. The cigarette lighter cable is very practical when you want to recharge a little between two flight spots, especially batteries that are not completely discharged (because the total charge cycle still requires several hours of driving).
…that charging and discharging a battery are potentially dangerous operations. DJI has a good handle on the chemistry and electronics of its batteries, but zero risk does not exist. Therefore, never, ever, ever leave a battery charging without close supervision. A fire is not that rare, it doesn't just happen to others, and the damage can be considerable, especially in an apartment and when there is no very quick way to get rid of it. a battery on fire.
Should I buy it?
If you are looking for a tool to quickly recharge your Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Classic and Mavic 3 Pro batteries, yes, this Parbeson charger is very practical. Faster than that of DJI, with additional functions such as indicating the number of cycles of a battery, it is also less expensive.
Because positioned at €80 at studioSPORT (taxes included), it includes mains power and a cigarette lighter cable for charging on the go. The equivalent at DJI is worth €89 (charger and power supply) + €79 (cigarette lighter cable), or €168!