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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:23 PM
I'd rather be Flying
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Nashville, NC, USA
Joined Mar 1999
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It's not a fault. It's simply a matter of guys, who should know better, not following the instructions. Every piece of equipment has to be operated in the way it was designed to be operated. To deliberately NOT use the equipment as it's meant to be used means the fault lies with the user. Is it really too hard to wait 3 minutes and recheck the cell count? I'm certainly glad no one was injured, but I have to say that to repeat the same mistake says something about the person who does so. Like almost all reports of LiPo fires, it's not really the LiPOs, or the charger. IT' S THE USER NOT FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS!
Dave
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Ijamsville, MD, U.S.A.
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Rigorous

I think readers might want to review the series of posts from others such as the one Dan posts. Personal experience that led to concern was not at all complex: A 4S2P pack, ordered by Keith Shaw for a large scale Bearcat, had just been completed, had a 50% charge, and was put on my brand new A109 purchased from Radical RC. The knob was set for 0.5 amps and it was observed that the charger selected 4S. I watched for some three minutes then reset to 3 amps. The pack was being charged in our fireplace. Just as I turned to walk back to my shop, the charger jumped cell count so I was fortunate enough to catch it before it could ruin an 8-cell pack. This was all certainly unexpected.

Since I was prepping to go to the Toledo show, time did not permit fooling with it. The charger was taken to the service department and it was requested to see if the fault could be replicated. Methodically, over the next two weeks, some 20 packs were charged using the 109. The procedures in the manual were followed. Two packs were ruined and it was felt that Mr Scholefield who has had a life-time career in batteries, including Li Pos, might be able to replicate the problem since it seemed to be a random event. It does not happen every time and it is not an event that can automatically be triggered by just mis-setting the pot. At that time, we were not certain what was causing the event. Greg Covey had encountered the problem as had several other users. Urgency was felt to see if a solution was readily available.

Understand that it is our objective to make Li Pos as safe as possible and not to pick on the 109. We were very happy when the 109 came out to allow charge of higher AH packs. Unfortunately, those large packs make the biggest blaze. Also understand that valuable information was derived from these events that was applied to our own new chargers.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:34 PM
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"whatever"..
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:42 PM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
Nashville, NC, USA
Joined Mar 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Marks
The knob was set for 0.5 amps and it was observed that the charger selected 4S. I watched for some three minutes then reset to 3 amps. The pack was being charged in our fireplace. Just as I turned to walk back to my shop, the charger jumped cell count so I was fortunate enough to catch it before it could ruin an 8-cell pack. This was all certainly unexpected.
Had the charger entered Mode 2? You don't specifically say that. The cell count is supposed to be frozen in Mode 2. If that is the case it puts a different light on things.
Dave
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Marks
I think readers might want to review the series of posts from others such as the one Dan posts. Personal experience that led to concern was not at all complex: A 4S2P pack, ordered by Keith Shaw for a large scale Bearcat, had just been completed, had a 50% charge, and was put on my brand new A109 purchased from Radical RC. The knob was set for 0.5 amps and it was observed that the charger selected 4S. I watched for some three minutes then reset to 3 amps. The pack was being charged in our fireplace. Just as I turned to walk back to my shop, the charger jumped cell count so I was fortunate enough to catch it before it could ruin an 8-cell pack. This was all certainly unexpected.
Fred, your story is the first instance ever reported of a ASTRO 109 ever jumping the cell count after entering stage 2. Astro Bob has stated that that is impossible as the cell count in locked after stage 1.

So are you sure that three minutes has passed and the charger was in stage 2 or was it just a mis-type that three minutes had passed?

Brad
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:52 PM
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United States, WA, Puyallup
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjpaul
Fred, your story is the first instance ever reported of a ASTRO 109 ever jumping the cell count after entering stage 2. Astro Bob has stated that that is impossible as the cell count in locked after stage 1.

So are you sure that three minutes has passed and the charger was in stage 2 or was it just a mis-type that three minutes had passed?

Brad
If the 109 was pre-version 1.3, it is possible. The cell count lock started at version 1.3, according to Astro Bob.

Bill
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Haralson County GA. USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Baldwin
If you check this post, you will see an example of an Astro 109 jumping to the wrong cell count while charging at 1C. It includes photos of the charger before and after jumping the cell count.

Dan
And what is the fully charged voltage of a 5S LiPoly?


http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...5&postcount=58

In my opinion if someone connectsd a 5S LiPoly see 21 plus volts on the displays and continues to charge the pack they need a new hobby or a lesson in math.


Set the AF 109 to zero charge rate if the cell count is correct leave it set to zero ,wait three minutes and then set the charge rate after it has entered stage 2.


Charles
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:23 PM
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We could try to find everybody in the world that might possibly buy and use a 109, and educate them as to how to use a 109 without burning their house down, but wouldn't it be easier to just change the charger so it doesn't burn houses down?

As far as the 109's that are already being used, I am indeed trying to do everything I can to educate people about this potential problem, but I haven't been able to reach enough people. Most people still use it like they would any other charger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by everydayflyer
In my opinion if someone connectsd a 5S LiPoly see 21 plus volts on the displays and continues to charge the pack they need a new hobby or a lesson in math.
I absolutely agree. Now how do we enforce it?

Dan
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:27 PM
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Here is the smartest thing I have heard so far.Why have auto detect if it doesnt work it just creates one more step that can go wrong.
I think If it had a stop mode that has to have you give it the ok to procede, then it would cure the whole problem with this cell count jumping issue.It isnt auto detect it is auto guessing as far as i am concearned,and with lipos being so volitile you cant be guessing.I was also talkin w afriend about it today and he has puffed 2 packs in the last month that didnt explode.
He was lucky.He said he didnt realize what was causing it until he saw it jump the cell count on friday.
If this charger is so good why is it so flawed .
It is a major issue not minor.If i got hurt or it burnt down my house someone would b in trouble. the charger should have a warning that tells about this problem with big red lettering on it.
ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectRick
When it comes to LiPo charging, IMHO the machine should never be allowed to make its own decisions--at least during the cell detect mode. I agree that it ought to beep, and wait for a deliberate confirmation by the user before proceeding.

Rick
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:31 PM
Kou
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Andover,MA.,USA
Joined Aug 2001
735 Posts
Going back to the 109 cell count problem

I have a 109 and it has been working perfectly except it did give me a wrong cell count once.... during the first few minutes. The problem was traced back to a loose Dean aftermarket connector. If the connector is loose, somehow, the charge can mis-count the cell number. I have since removed all the Dean aftermarket connector and go to the real Dean connector. Never have a problem since.

MK
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Colfax, WA
Joined Oct 2001
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I have been using my 109 since they came to market. I have never had a problem although that is not to say there isn't a problem. I will keep a closer eye on mine from now on.

Rob
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:41 PM
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United States, CA, Norwalk
Joined Apr 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davecee
It's not a fault. It's simply a matter of guys, who should know better, not following the instructions. Every piece of equipment has to be operated in the way it was designed to be operated. To deliberately NOT use the equipment as it's meant to be used means the fault lies with the user. Is it really too hard to wait 3 minutes and recheck the cell count? I'm certainly glad no one was injured, but I have to say that to repeat the same mistake says something about the person who does so. Like almost all reports of LiPo fires, it's not really the LiPOs, or the charger. IT' S THE USER NOT FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS!
Dave
I don't think that anybody deliberately doesn't use the 109 as it's meant to be used. I just think that most people don't read the manual because the only control on the charger is 1 knob, and all you do with it is set the current to 1C.

Are you really saying that anybody that doesn't read the manual and follow the directions deserves to have their house burned down?

Dan
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:43 PM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
Nashville, NC, USA
Joined Mar 1999
2,720 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by klique
I was also talkin w afriend about it today and he has puffed 2 packs in the last month that didnt explode.
He was lucky.He said he didnt realize what was causing it until he saw it jump the cell count on friday.
ck
Was the charger in Mode 1 when the cell count jump occurred?
Dave
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:44 PM
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Joined Mar 2003
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Its a good charger,but can be dangerous.Put a fully charged 3s on mine [v 1.4] and have the charge rate set high [both dumb things to do] and my 109 has told me it is charging a 6c pack.Use the charger per instructions and it's hard to beat.I would like the discharge function set by switch,a brief supply break turned a good 3s pack into a 2s by going into discharge and not stopping.Al.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 04:47 PM
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United States, WA, Puyallup
Joined Oct 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everydayflyer
And what is the fully charged voltage of a 5S LiPoly?


http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...5&postcount=58

In my opinion if someone connectsd a 5S LiPoly see 21 plus volts on the displays and continues to charge the pack they need a new hobby or a lesson in math.


Set the AF 109 to zero charge rate if the cell count is correct leave it set to zero ,wait three minutes and then set the charge rate after it has entered stage 2.


Charles
I trust you realize that was an intentional violation of the AF 109 instructions - the drill was to see what might happen if the instructions were not followed.

Bill
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