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Old Feb 17, 2004, 08:26 PM
theKAT is offline
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Bloomington, IL (Hell's Cornfield)
Joined Dec 2001
1,096 Posts
Guess I'll add my experience here so others may benefit.

I have read all the warnings about LiPo's and take a due amount of care in handling and storing them. I do sometimes leave them unattended while charging. If I didn't I'd never get to fly, because I can't spend several hours a day in my shop sometimes. I usually keep an eye on NEW packs pretty closely the first couple of charges.

Today, I was planning on some indoor flying, so I got up and started an E-tec 2x700 on my Triton. I have a charging station set up in my basement shop that has a small power supply with a cooling fan housed in a plastic box. The cooling fan doubles to cool the packs if they get a little warm while charging.

Went upstairs, took a shower and was getting dressed when I heard the Triton's alarm, but instead of the usual few beeps, it kept beeping. About that time I smelled the smoke. I hurried downstairs, but it was already over with. There were the extremely charred remains of my pack sitting on the melted top of my power supply. Black soot was everywhere and little ember ashes were spread far and wide. I can only imagine the intensity of the fire that took place, aggravated by the steady flow of air provided by the fan.

All in all, I got off pretty easy on the deal. My JR tx charger got charred pretty good, but I think I can salvage the wart part and just splice in new cords. The cord to the power supply was charred, but it didn't get through the insulation. I cut away the melted part of the case, and the power supply still works. My charging lead from the Triton and the charger itself were fine. Best of all, it did'nt spread and burn down my house.

What was the cause? When I later went to charge my remaining pack (still gotta fly) I noted that I had chosen a preset for a 3-cell pack for my 2-cell. IE, charging was set to 10.8 volts. What will I do differently?

Going to re-do my presets and number the packs accordingly.
Going to order the temp sensor for the Triton
Going to refine the surface for charging the packs (fireproof)
Adding a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm to the shop

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