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Old Mar 02, 2004, 09:37 PM
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USA, MO, O'Fallon
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LiPoly Battery Warnings are for real

I just wanted to pass along a warning to all the LiPoly battery users out there. The things do explode, and I mean explode!!!

I had one go up about an hour ago. I lost my GWS DragonFly and some other stuff. My house was 'saved' because I had the battery in a Pyrex dish (bought it Sunday).

Anyway, this is a real threat folks.
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Old Mar 02, 2004, 10:01 PM
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Be interested to know what you did to make it explode!

Dave
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Old Mar 02, 2004, 11:01 PM
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What battery was it and what was your charge rate??
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Old Mar 02, 2004, 11:14 PM
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Was your dragonfly and other stuff sitting on top of an open pyrex dish that held your battery? How did they get destroyed and nothing else? Just curious.
Thanks,
Matt
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Old Mar 02, 2004, 11:52 PM
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Because the Dragonfly is a bit sensitive to CG location, I taped the battery in place when I got it all adjusted. I just set the nose in the dish, connected the charger and went upstairs - much like I have been doing for several months. I did nothing that I have not been doing all along (except that I just bought the dish Sunday on a whim). So when the battery went off, it ignited the plastic helicopter. It also melted/destroyed the other two (smaller - 230 maH and fully charged) Lipo batteries that were in the dish.

I do not recall the battery, but I was using a Kokam Lipo-402 charger. I am not casting blame, just listing the set up.
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 12:19 AM
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Austria/Europe
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Martimer, sorry for your equipment. Look to the Batteries and Charger forum, you will see you are not the only one. And there are many DO`s and DONTīs with lipoly cells listed.

Cheers!

Herbert
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 12:25 AM
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It is a good thing you were cautious.
I store my 3 smallish lipo packs in a pyrex type dish with a cover on my bathroom vanity - my poor wife has to put up with my chargers and batteries in there!
Does that charger have different rates for different number of cells? Does it have different charge rates for different cell capacities?
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 07:20 AM
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Your warnings are well received. Quite frankly the things scare me a little and that may be a good thing. I have never seen a lithium fire and, God will'in and the crick don't rise, I never will. Storage and handeling with these little gems is a real concern

Thanks for reminding us again! -LY
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 07:32 AM
Gravity is a harsh mistress.
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Why I seldom go to the Batteries and chargers forum.
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 07:56 AM
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Matt, yes. The Kokam Lipo-402 uses two jumpers, one for rate and one for voltage (cells). I have been using it successfully for a few months now.

If I get around to it, I will see if it is still working. I am still debating whether to keep using Lithium batteries. Great products except for the explosion thingie! The risk might not be worth the reward for me.
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 09:18 AM
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I still don't understand how the batteries went off! They don't go off just like that!

-Uttam
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 09:50 AM
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You and me both.

I have read that it is a problem with the cells being out of balance (voltage wise) that causes the problems. It was a two cell pack. How they got out of balance is a mystery to me.

I have also read that overcharging is the problem. I would have thought the charger would 'detect' this and stop charging. In any event, the pack had not been charging long enough for this to be a problem. It had only been plugged in for about half an hour.

The plot thickens. My blood pressure rises. My bank account empties. Life goes on.
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 10:25 AM
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I am posting this for the opposition to the fear of these batteries:
Maybe I just got lucky I dont know. I recetnly switched to Mini Deans connectors on all my small lipos. I use an SC2 charger, and have already blown up a $50 pack because of the mechanical settings. I charged a 2 cell pack on 3 cells and it ballooned. It was replaced by the MFG, no complaints for $20.

I had my batteries out on the computer desk for charging. Wife was on the PC and dsughter was playing. I was busy with other chores. I go in an hour later and daughter has plugged a 2 cell pack into a 3 cell pack. (Mini Deans connectors major draw back, easy to plug into the wrong thing). Crap. Niether pack exploded, so I got a pyrex and plugged the 2 cell into the charger to see what happens...it gets immediatly hot, so I take the battery out and set it in the drive way incase. I stuck the 3 cell on the charger next and it showed to charge fine, and it runs a plane fine as well. So the 3 cell was undamaged, but the 2 cell drained completely and must have reversed polarity..

A week later, the pack still sits in my garage floor in one piece. Now I am trying to figure how to dispose of it properly.

"No wife or daughter we hurt in the writing of this story."

Kirby
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 10:30 AM
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Kirby,

Glad all are well!

I think the disposal technique is to submerge it in warm salty water for 20 minutes or so and then poke a hole in it. Let it soak for another 20 minutes (the water can apparently get cool now). The issue is that Lithium reacts VIOLENTLY with oxygen and I think the salt in the water binds it into a safe form (non-explosive). I have not had a chemistry class for a few years, so no fair quoting me on what the salt water actually does.
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Old Mar 03, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Springfield, Missouri, United States
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I have the same setup as Kibry.
Pluged in a 1 cell 140 mAh and plugged the pack in the wrong lead. I was charging 3 cell 1500 mAh packs on that one.
Went in the house for a bit.

It had turned into a burnt blotted pup.

There must have been flames but saw no damage to anything.

I have shorted pack and the swell up in no time. But I really don't worry too much about them.

JUST BE CAREFUL.
Got a TRITON also so I don't have to pull the little jumpers to chang my settings.

But what really kills me is leaving a nice pack in your plane for a week without unplugging it. Having it drained to low to get it to charge back up. Money Down the drain.

Larry
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Last edited by SPFD-E-FLYER; Mar 03, 2004 at 11:39 AM.
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