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I have recently asked two of several questions about LiPo batteries on the site:

Both were commented on by the same user saying this is offtopic and would better fit on another site like Electronics.SE. Are these questions on topic?

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Drones and batteries are inseparable. That much is true, and saying you can't ask about batteries is infeasible.

That having been said, sometimes we need limits on what can be asked (from Space.SE)

A lot of stuff involved is not just dangerous for you, but anyone near you as well. Rocket fuel can cause large explosions which is why manufacturing and testing is done in remote areas. If something goes wrong, it limits damage and casualties. The same goes for rocket launches. If your launch vehicle fails, it will cause a lot of damage wherever it crashes.

I would propose we make the following rules

  1. Questions about using, charging or replacing lithium batteries in the recommended ways are on-topic
  2. Questions about battery safety are on-topic
  3. Questions about modifying, repairing, or trying to salvage a damaged battery (where it is known to be damaged in the question) are off-topic since they can cause fires or explode if improperly done
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In my opinion, they relate to drones and the usage of drones, what our site is about and should be on topic.

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    $\begingroup$ Completely agree. $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 16 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ I agree - 100%! $\endgroup$ – Schome1 Apr 22 at 21:08
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Yes, but only so long as they are framed in ways which are specific to drones. SE.Drones is not a technical support forum, and it should attract drones experts as well as drone users. Expertise is a hard word to precisely pin down, but if we don't have people from Aurora, Boeing, Flyability, DJI, etc... hanging out here then we are missing a huge section of drone expertise.

SE is about signal to noise ratio, which is increased by questions which are domain specific and decreased by questions which are generic or overly subjective. A question such as what are examples of in flight LiPo fires is on topic. It turns out that fires in aviation behave very differently from fires on the ground.

General questions along the lines of How do I know if my Lipo is done charging? are very good in a general sense, but they are 1) not a relevant question and 2) answered in other SE sites. These should be avoided, and we should close the questions with a gentle push to the questioner to ask it on the appropriate site.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not quite sure why you are pushing in this direction. LiPo batteries, or batteries of any type are quintessential to the use and flying of electrically powered drones/aircraft. If you substitute nitro fuel in for batteries, it's the same question, different power source. Should the care and storage of nitro fuel be off-topic as well? You state about inclusion of drone expertise, yet your answer is suggesting limiting users from the get go. This is a bad road to travel. $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 16 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 I don't follow. I'm saying that questions which are specifically relevant are appropriate. Ones which are general are not. To build on your example, would you find it appropriate to ask a question about which has more energy, gasoline or diesel? This is important for powerplant choice, but without drone specifics I don't see the relation. $\endgroup$ – Kenn Sebesta Apr 16 at 17:14
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Lipo battery management is such an integral and important part of the quadcopter/multirotor hobby, I can't see anyone becoming successful in the hobby without learning the techniques about proper lipo care and usage techniques if not for just the safety reasons. Many people especially when new are confused about the terminology/labelling and proper selection. I think technical questions about battery management are definitely worth fielding. Philosophical type questions like why don't we use different fuel sources etc.. are not as relevant however.

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Performance and use case (less misuse case) are way too relevant to ignore. I'm pretty content with storing some 'best practices' information here and having it in buried/locked/sticky threads outlining what to do and what not to do.

I have quite a bit of useful knowledge about why various LiPOs perform the way they do, how to build performance trade trees based on those... it's way too relevant for performance questions to ignore. Probably ditto for charging practices - for a newer pilot, there is still relevance in understanding what you can and can't (or at least shouldn't) do, because there are budget aspects related to that

The only stuff I'm not interested in is lowering SNR on useful topics, because this isn't the best forum for understanding misuse cases

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