Battery review: Drone Lab CHAOS Edition 4S 1300 mAh 75-150C

UK distributor and RC manufacturer RadioC has its newest Drone Lab CHAOS Edition lipo packs out on the market. The Drone Lab series is specifically designed for use in race quads with highest power demands. This review looks at the 1300 mAh version of the CHAOS 4 cell pack.

How to use charts:

This battery review contains some charts which can be interactively utilized. You are able to:Attention

  1. Highlight any value just by clicking on the corresponding key below the chart.
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Appearance

Some competitors almost started a contest on the “most beautiful” lipo. Well RadioC is taking the other route, aware of the fact not to win any design prices. That said: The Drone Lab packs come in a simple black shrink wrap. A blue-ish sticker on the front – that’s it. As a purist I kind of like that approach. The new CHAOS Edition features a big “CHAOS” lettered on top of the old sticker. On the back you find¬†the usual safety instructions.

Technical Design

The Drone Lab CHAOS Edition 75-150C pack is a standard 4S1P config flight pack for high power use. A foam layer on the front and back provides extra impact protection on the cell edges.

Build Quality: Very good. Pack feels very well made on the outside. Connection terminal looks solid.

Plugs: The Drone Lab pack comes with standard black XT60 connectors equipped.

Cables:¬†RadioC¬†uses 12 AWG wires on this packs. The high flexible silicon layer is rated up to 200¬įC. Cable length is about 8 centimeters.

Balacing plugs: Standard XT-system. Balance wires are rather short (4,5 cm) which is a benefit in terms of getting them out of the prop-range on the aircraft. Main power line is coming out of the top, balancing wires are connected at the bottom.

Technical Details

ManufacturerRadioCDroneLab CHAOS Edition 4S 1300 mAh 75-150 C - Front

DroneLab CHAOS Edition 4S 1300 mAh 75-150 C - Back

DroneLab CHAOS Edition 4S 1300 mAh 75-150 C - Terminal

DroneLab CHAOS Edition 4S 1300 mAh 75-150 C - Top

DroneLab CHAOS Edition 4S 1300 mAh 75-150 C - Bottom

(Click to enlarge.)

TypeDrone Lab 75-150 C
Cell chemistryLithium Polymere (LiPo)
Cell typeDrone Lab CHAOS Edition
Cell count4
Pack configuration4S1P
Capacity1300 mAh
Max. Charge Current 5 A
Max. Discharge Current
Continuous
Burst
65 A
130 A
Weight
w/o plugs
with plugs

ca. 152 grams
Measurements
as listed
measured
74 x 34 x 31 mm
75.9 x 35 x 29.8 mm
Price£19.99
NoteThis battery has been directly donated by the manufacturer / distributor for review purposes.

Break-in documentation

The battery followed the standard break-in-process: The pack is charged at a rate of 1C until CV-phase ends with current of 1/10C. The break-in phase consists of four charging cycles at 1C and four corresponding discharges at 1 C / 4C / 10C and 20 C.

Anomalies: No anomalies during break-in.

Internal resistance measurements during break-in phase

CycleCell 1Cell 2Cell 3Cell 4Total
After first charge5.34.65.05.120.0
After second charge 5.4 4.9 4.0 4.8 19.1
After third charge 5.4 4.9 4.5 5.0 19.8
After fourth charge 5.0 6.0 4.1 5.1 20.2

Charging process


CV-Phase is really short on this cell type. Balancing in normal mode took only 1:15 min. Cell drift during charge was unobtrusive. This is for 1C charge (1,3 A).

Load Testing

The main part of this battery test will consists of different load test settings showing the battery performance. Constant load testing is used to judge the advertised C-ratings as well as look at cell drift under high loads. We also check on internal resistance once more. Next up is the dynamic current test, which simulates a “real” flight with changing (=dynamic) loads. For test methodology please check the dedicated methodology page!

Constant Load Testing

Constant load testing follows a certain load pattern of different constant currents. Base load is 10 C. Current pulses at 50 C, 35 C, 20 C and 30 C are maintained for time intervals between 10 and 20 seconds. For more details please refer to the test methodology page.

Capacity Usage

During this test the pack delivered 982 mAh. This is 75,6 % of nominal capacity. A solid value.

Average cell voltages

The following table lists the average voltages per cell, of the total pack, as well as the averaged value per cell as fraction of total voltage during phase of active load.

Cell 1Cell 2Cell 3Cell 4TotalAverage per cell
Avg. Voltages3.724 V3.732 V3.737 V3.727 V14.919 V3.730 V

Just looking at average values the DroneLab pack performs good. All cells stayed well above 3,7 V on average. An average value above 3,75 V / cell can be considered very good.

Focus Voltages

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Exceptionally interesting when testing a battery under a constant load for a longer period of time: the lowest voltage per cell just before load impulse is disabled. On top, you should have look at voltage recovery rate, that is: how fast do cell voltages rise again once load impulse is cut.

PhaseCell 1Cell 2Cell 3Cell 4Total
End of 50 C3.444 V3.489 V3.542 V3.535 V14.028 V
End of 35 C3.51 V3.529 V3.551 V3.555 V14.145 V
End of 20 C3.366 V3.325 V3.278 V3.296 V13.265 V
End of 30 C

The average cell voltage stability on the DroneLab pack can be considered good. Cells dropped below 3,5 V benchmark during the first twocurrent pulses, though.

Average voltage recovery per second

Those values are specific to the test setting and not valid for the pack in general! Still they allow an estimated guess about how fast voltages rise again after current spikes.

Cell 1Cell 2Cell 3Cell 4Total
Avg. Recovery0,049 V / s0,044 V / s0,038 V / s0,0347 V / s0,1658 V /s

Even though voltages dropped down relatively strong during current pulses the recovery rates show that the pack is able to recover voltage pretty fast when switched from current pulse to base load.

IR-Measurement

IR measurement is conducted using the four current pulses. Resistance for each cell is calculated in all four discharge phases. Shown values are averaged to cancel out different temperature points due to different discharge states during measurements.

Cell1234Total
Resistance [m‚Ą¶]3.753.412.993.219.4

Interpretation: The internal resistance of 3.34 m‚Ą¶ average per cell indicates a “true” C-rating of around 37 C (48.3 A). This is on the conservative side and represents a current draw that will make the pack last for a long time.¬†The pack had no problems delivering during high C discharge pulses. The Ohm-matching is a little off on this cell. Cell #3 is significantly performing better than the rest of the cells.

Cell drift under load

Discharge Phase50 C35 C20 C30 C
Max Cell drift (V)0.102 V0.45 V0.088 V

Cell drift is relatively high under large loads on this DroneLab battery.

Key Temperature Facts

Temperature Development - DroneLab 4S CHAOS Edition 1300 mAh 75 -150 C

Temperature Development

Max. temp during discharge was around 58,5 ¬įC on side of pack. Note that heating of stressed LiPo packs will continue for some more time even when load is¬†cut. The pack had to be cooled down immediately after discharge operations.
Market Comparison

The following chart shows all reviewed LiPos in the same product segment for direct comparison of performance. Higher values under load are better.

Constant 25 C Discharge

Pretty much a standard benchmark in the LiPo industry.

Cut-Off /warning value for this battery should be chosen 3,5 V minimum. After this point voltage drops very quickly. The battery provided 970 mAh (74,6 %) during the 25 C discharge.

Market Overview

Comparison of different reviewed 1300 mAh batteries under 25 C load.

Dynamic Load Testing

The dynamic load testing setting consists of two separate discharge scenarios that have been developed of two different real-life FPV flights. Pattern one represents a high speed low proximity flight around the open field with some hovering to the end. Average load is around 22 A. Second pattern is a free-style flight around trees in the park with some current spikes near 70 A. Average load on this flight is around 13 A due to longer floating periods.

Capacity Usage

During the test of pattern 1 the pack delivered 984 mAh. This is 75,7 % of nominal capacity. A very good value. In patter 2 testing 999 mAh (76,8 %) could be used before first cell reached cut-off voltage.

Market Comparison

The following charts give an overview of all tested packs in the 1300 mAh class so far.

The last chart of this review sums up the usable capacity during all four load scenarios. Please note that this is only the capacity consumed by the electronic load! There are losses due to heating of the pack, which could be approximated (see testing methodology page). All four tests are cut when any cell goes below cut-off voltage of 3,3 V (or pack goes above 58 ¬įC on any of the three probes). If you would push further and go down to 3,0 V/cell you will be able to squeeze out some mAh more, but at the cost of excessive heat generation and shortening of pack life-span. This value will most likely differ from what you get when flying on a quad as most people don’t monitor voltage on a per cell basis and therefore don’t even notice if voltage drops below 3,3 V/cell during punsh-outs (what’s not necessarily a good thing, though). For comparison, used capacity until 3,3 V/cell is reached is the base line in all battery reviews on Drone-Zone.de.

 

Conclusion

The DroneLab 4S CHAOS edition 1300 mAh 50-100¬†C battery is a usual sized¬†pack with a capacity to weight ratio of 8.55 mAh/g. The measurements are¬†standard for the 1300 mAh¬†class. Overall build quality is good. The design is best described as modest. Perfect for everybody looking to put a black pack on there full carbon style mini quad! Average voltage stability is very good on this pack. Nevertheless, one should be aware of the relatively strong¬†voltage drop to¬†the end. Once cell voltage goes below 3,5 V its time to come in for landing quiet fast. Usable cell capacity under real-life flight setting is very good. Ohm-matching is okay,¬†I noticed quiet some cell drift unter high loads. As most of the packs in this performance class the C rating is a little over the top. If¬†long term continuous currents are needed, make sure to stay within the real rating of around 37 C. Nevertheless, the pack is able to handle short currents spikes way above this without any problems. I would recommend to use this packs for continuous loads up to 48 A maximum. Notice that under this circumstances heat generation of the pack will be strong (assure proper cooling!). Looking at the overall results the CHAOS edition is a real upgrade over the standard DroneLab cells. Part of it’s great performance is bought by having some extra mAh as a buffer, but being labeled as a 1300 mAh pack. Looking at weight and charger readings I¬†would think this battery is closer to a 1400 mAh pack in reality, but I well keep judging based on the marketing value. (As long as you get more than advertised!) ¬†Pricing of the DroneLab 4S CHAOS Edition 1300 mAh 75-150 C battery is still hot. For around 24 ‚ā¨ this pack is highly competitively priced and almost 10 Euros cheaper than some of its competitors products. The great price might even let some buyers overlook the rather strong cell drift. Quality wise the DroneLab CHAOS edition continuous to make a good stand for it’s really low price tag.

Nils Waldmann

Nils Waldmann

Graduated as an industrial engineer and quality manager, I am currently working on my master's degree in information systems. Besides, I am loving battery technology, flying FPV and having fun with RC in general.

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