Fatshark Battery Mod: 18650 Cells!!

Closed up and partially charged
Closed up and partially charged

Anyone else hate their Fatshark batteries? I have two of the newer style ones and they both are horrible. Really high internal resistance, IR, from the start. So I finally got around to creating an 18650 version of the fatshark battery mods. Why 18650? While they are Lithium Ion they are listed at a 4.2 max. They are readily available. They are cheap. What more could you ask for? In a slightly bigger package I am cramming 3400mah versus 1800mah… and a better IR.

So let’s get started, what do you need?

** When you buy from DigiKey I suggest ordering more. I also suggest ordering some 2S, 3S, 4S and higher plugs so that you save on shipping.

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Tiny Whoop (Blade Inductrix)

The Tiny Whoop has become extremely popular FPV solution for indoor flying over the past few months. So what is the Tiny Whoop? It’s actually a RTF/BNF quadcopter where people throw on a little FPV Pod and fly it around! The official guide recommends upgrading the motors but I find it good enough to at least start with the stock motors. It has great flight characteristics for being so small and it’s not nearly as dangerous as many of the other setups that are available.

I actually feel this is one of the best ways to determine if this hobby is right for you. It’s relatively a cheap entrance to the hobby of FPV.

So if you are new to the hobby here are my suggestions:

Ready-To-Fly Blade Inductrix  – This is the quadcopter, charger, one battery (buy more!), and the remote. While the remote isn’t very “good” it’ll work for “learning” if you like the hobby or not. It’s a great starting point. If you already have a Spectrum radio or Taranis (with module) you should probably get the Bind-and-Fly (BNF) version instead and save the extra $20 for extra batteries or a better charger.

FX797T 5.8 GHz 40 CH Micro Cam VTX – This adds the First Person Video (FPV) aspect to the Inductrix. I recommend this Cam / VTX combo as it gives you all 40 channels available on the 5.8 GHz band, and it is ultra small and light weight!

Eachine VR-007 VR007 5.8G 40CH HD FPV Goggles – These are some of the cheapest FPV Goggles out there. They aren’t great but they are cheap. I’ve seen them as low as $50, as of this post they are $65. They do ship from China so please plan on waiting a couple weeks for them to arrive.

CL-0615-14-6x15mm Coreless Motors – Tiny Whoop suggests going with these motors as they are more powerful (and reliable) than the stock motors. Personally I am running the stock motors until they give out and then I plan on upgrading to these.

Now attaching the Camera to the Inductrix can be done several ways. There are several 3D Printed parts you can purchase or print if you can. I would imagine you could just use a rubber band or hot glue if you are in a pinch.


Tech Tip: LiPo Break-In!

When I get a large amount of new batteries in a lot of people ask me if the batteries need to be “broken in” or not. I point them to this guide I found on multirotorsuperstore.com‘s website.

Break-In Procedure:

  • First Charge of 0.5c up to 100%
  • First Discharge at 0.5c to 3.7 volts / cell
  • Second Charge of 0.5c up to 100%
  • Second Discharge at 0.5c to 3.6 volts / cell
  • Third Charge of 1c up to 100%
  • Third Discharge at 1c to 3.6 volts / cell
  • Fourth Charge of 1c up to 100%
  • First flight with moderate current (gentle flying) to about 50-60% of discharge limit
  • Fifth Charge of 1c up to 100%
  • Second Flight with moderate current (gentle flying) to about 70-80% of discharge limit.

So lets get some terms out of the way for those that don’t know. C means capacity. So if you have a 1300mah battery 1c is 1.3amps, 0.5c is .65amps. How do you know where the discharge limit is? Get a current meter and fly based on current used (mah used).


So I do not follow this guide exactly. I actually do a lot more cycle before I fly the batteries. I typically have them doing charge / discharge cycles for about 48-72 hours. Is this overkill? Probably. I do 1-2 times at 0.5c/3.7v, 1-2 @ 0.5c / 3.6v, then about 5 times at 1c / 3.6v, and then another 2-3 times at 1c charge / 5c discharge (or the highest your charger allows). Following all that I do about 4-5 flights gentle around 50-75% discharge then I start to hammer on them.

Now does all this even matter? I don’t know… I am not a battery chemist. I just know that the batteries I have seem to last a bit longer than most. I also know they don’t get too puffy until I start abusing them where as the batteries I had when I first got into the hobby they were destroyed within 20-30 flights.