Rechargeable batteries are ubiquitous these days, freeing us from the expense and hassle of using disposable cells. However, this has come with the caveat that many manufacturers demand their equipment only be used with their own official batteries. [aeropic] wasn’t a fan of this, so built a circuit to allow his DJI Mavic Mini to fly with any batteries he pleased.
The Mavic Mini uses I2C to communicate with official packs, making the hack relatively straightforward. [aeropic] built a board nicknamed B0B, which tells the drone what it wants to hear and lets it boot up with unofficial batteries installed. The circuit uses a PIC12F1840 to speak to the drone, including reporting voltage on the cells installed. Notably, it only monitors the whole pack, before dividing the voltage to represent the value of individual cells, but it shouldn’t be a major problem in typical use. Combined with a few 3D printed components to hold everything together, it allows you to build your own cheap pack for the Mavic Mini with little more than a PCB and a few 18650 cells.
It’s always good to see hackers getting out and doing the bread and butter work to get around restrictive factory DRM measures, whether its on music, printer cartridges, or drone batteries. We’ve even seen the scourge appear on litter boxes, too. Video after the break.
Continue reading “How To Run Alternative Batteries On The DJI Mavic Mini”
Apparently, in the drone scene, sticker wraps are popular for a custom aesthetic. [Useless Mod] wanted to go a little further, however, and decided to build a full crystal enclosure for his Mavic Mini, facing some hurdles along the way. (Video, embedded below.)
The first stage of the build was disassembly, with the compact 249 gram drone requiring a deft touch to avoid damaging the delicate ribbon cables and mechanisms inside. With the drone stripped down to its bare components, a silicone mould was made of each individual piece of the case, with new parts being cast in clear epoxy. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, with many undercuts and complex features to contend with. However, [Useless Mod] managed to produce the parts and get it all back together.
An initial test flight ended poorly, when the drone entered an uncontrollable wobble due to the case not being fully assembled. However, with fresh internals and with everything properly put together, everything worked! It’s not a build we’d suggest for the inexperienced, as the moulds required are complex and the electronics quite fragile. The final result is a good one though, and it even weighs 10 grams less than the original casing!
For those in the US, the world of drones is set to change drastically in short order.
Continue reading “Mavic Mini Gets Custom Clear Case”