Starting Tuesday and running through December 30, DJI will be conducting it’s holiday sales promotion. Available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Europe, customers will receive a free hardshell backpack ($149 value) with the purchase of any Phantom 3 and a free extra battery ($159 value) with the purchase of an Inspire 1.
Non-drone specials include a free battery with the purchase of a Ronin, Ronin-M or Osmo camera stabilization system and shipping is free on orders over $150.
Bundle deals like this are not a huge surprise, as most tech gadgets see free add-ons rather than price drops this time of year… TVs come with Blu-Ray players, Playstations come with games, phones come with cheaper data packages etc.
We were thoroughly impressed with our experiences flying the Phantom 3 Professional and Standard and hardshell backpacks are an excellent investment if you are planning on traveling with your drone, even if it’s just in the car.
But the additional battery for the Inspire 1 is far and away the better deal.
Flight time is notoriously limited for UAVs, so having a second battery to swap out in the field is a huge bonus.
In addition to kicking off the sale, DJI has also put out an informational email for flying in the cold this winter (if it does, in fact, ever get cold).
The major issue when flying in the cold, according to DJI, is Lithium Polymer batteries drain faster in colder temperatures.
When you combine this with the fact that motors on UAVs have to spin faster at higher altitudes to produce enough lift to stay airborne, the impact on your batteries can be significant.
To help beat the cold, DJI recommends following these four guidelines:
- Make sure your batteries are all fully charged before each flight.
- Warm batteries to 25ºC (77ºF) before use. DJI recommends using a battery heater but, if you don’t have one, letting them come to temperature in the warmest room in your house is probably your best bet.
- Hover your drone for about a minute immediately after take off to allow the battery to warm up.
- Turn on “Show Voltage on Main Screen” on the Aircraft Battery page of the DJI Go app and monitor your battery voltage closely. Do not continue flying of battery voltage drops below 3.2V.
Having lost a Phantom in the winter before, the DroneLife team would like to emphasize the importance of battery care and monitoring.
And we would like to add a fifth recommendation:
Be extra cautious about flying in the wind.
Your Phantom may have been able to handle some strong breezes this summer, but your batteries are going to be working harder and with less juice. The drone’s ability to overcome wind or return to home will be limited.
For more holiday drone deals, check out our Buying Guide for 2015.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com