So today DJI quietly released a new version of the Phantom Assistant software, version 3.6. This is obviously the patch they have had to get out to fix the issue with a certain percentage of smart batteries getting bricked when people updated the battery firmware using the Assistant 3.4
I haven’t been able to find any acknowledgement of the problem by DJI, if anyone can point me to one it would be appreciated. Whilst I can understand that they don’t want to draw particular attention to it what strikes me as disingenuous is that they have re-written the change log that they had previously published as if they had never attempted to release smart battery firmware yesterday. In yesterday’s changelog reference was made to the new smart battery functions, and that Assistant 3.4 was to upgrade the battery.
In today’s version of the same changelog you’ll see from the screen shot below that they have re-written history, removing all references to smart battery from Assistant 3.4 and making 3.6 the smart battery update. Interestingly they now also put a caveat to say that smart batteries with an older loader or firmware can’t be upgraded. So if you are the proud owner of a stack of early batteries it looks like yours will not be quite so smart as everyone else’s. My suspicion is that it was these older batteries that were the ones bricking after the firmware update yesterday, and I suspect this is less a fix than an amendment to prevent older batteries from taking the update.
On the positive side there is a bit more information about what the auto-discharge function will do. After 10 days storage at full power the battery will start to auto discharge to prevent damage – a welcome feature as it help prolong battery life for those unaware of the fact that lipo batteries can suffer shortened life and swelling, or “puffing”, if stored at anything higher than around 40-50% (the “storage charge). The improved cell balancing feature is also to be welcomed, as it should hopefully reduce the instances of false auto-land and/or low power warnings when one cell is out of balance and reporting a lower voltage, especially under load from around 60% down.