LiPoLocker.com Battery Charging Security System Review

It would only have to happen once to make you wish you had used the LiPo Locker system. Designed to contain and snuff a charging fire, the LiPo locker is time and money well spent

Splash

Introduction


Upper Height:10.5"
Lower Height:9"
Weight Upper empty:1.5 pounds.
Weight Upper Full:approximately 4.5 pounds
Weight Lower Empty:1.5 pounds
Weight Lower Full:Approximately 4.5 pounds.
Merchandize return policy:30 days
Sand Required:About 7.5 pounds
Manufacturer:Lipolocker.com
Available From:Dealers
MSRP:$49.95 plus $13.95 shipping

The LiPo Locker is ceramic and constructed to withstand heat and fire, homegrown and designed out of a true industry need by Dan Matushek, and it does what it says it will do. Once you have it prepared for charging, the LiPo Locker is insurance against your garage, shop or even worse, your house being burnt down. I have been charging LiPos for at least five or six years and have maybe 100 that I use. All I can say is that I have been lucky. I use a large piece of fire resistant glass as my counter top, and have never had a battery explode or catch fire. Now with the LiPo Locker I can rest assured should something happen Ė and I believe the odds are working against me Ė I am totally protected.

The Lipolocker is fired fiber reinforced ceramic made capable of withstanding high temperature shocks of up to 1000 degrees. The design of the upper module not only vents the heat and smoke, but also keeps the flames contained by the vent design within the upper module. Dan has invested much time and effort in making sure his design does what it says it does. It squelches the fire, vents the gas and prevents cell explosions. Bottom line is it keeps the flames contained.

Dan Matushek is an artist with a diverse background in painting, sculpture and pottery. I can only imagine his artist skills being employed in his fabrication and automotive customization of interiors that he has been involved with for 23 years, ut don't assume his interests don't include R/C; he is also a proficient pilot.

Kit Contents

The LiPo Locker includes the storage locker or lower module, the upper sand and vent module and the cap/plug for sealing your wires as they exit the lower module. Everything is delivered to you as a set. The upper and lower halves are fit specifically to each other (keep this in mind as replacing one or the other is not an option). Shipping is typically USPS, and Dan does a great job of wrapping and protecting the locker.

Kit Includes

  • Upper module
  • Lower module
  • Wire plug

Kit requires

  • Fine sand
  • Silcon RTV
  • Charging extension to met charging needs

Assembly - Upper Module

Start with inserting a plastic bag into the upper module and filling it with sand. I cut off the excess and then sealed that to the LiPo Locker edge with hot glue. This is important as it keeps the sand from entering the exhaust ports. I pulled my bag across the top rim, but you can cut it off just inside the rim too.

I filled the bag to the brim with sand and shook the upper module to settle the sand, making sure to not get any sand in the vent tube. You can cut off the plastic bag even with the top or just inside the top, but make sure you get a good seal of the cover can fail.

Next, I took a thin layer of plastic wrap and using a medium heat on my glue gun, I sealed this to the lip of the LiPo Locker. Get a good seal and keep the hot glue off the outer edges.

You can now turn the LiPo Locker over and test your seal. Note the purpose of this seal is to melt under the heat of an exploding or flaming battery. When it melts, it drops the sand onto the battery and smothers out the flame.

Assembly Ė Lower Module

The lower section wires require a little prep work. You will need to get some extensions for your favorite balancing plug. I tend to use JST-XH 2S and JST-HX 3S as my standard setup. Likely you will catch all the others with a Hyperion style setup too. You will need an extension of about 12 inches for each of these. I would go ahead and get a Final Charge Cable or multi-cable so you have all your battery leads covered. These are all available at RC Accessory. Figure that you might invest an extra $20.

I slipped all the wires through the ceramic plug slot and then applied some silicon sealer to hold it all in place. Once the silicon dried hard, I poured in some sand to raise the level of the bottom so the battery, when connected, would be near the top. I adjusted the sand level every time I charged a different size battery. You can get up to an 18.8V Lipo into the charging chamber.

Thatís it! I was ready to use the LiPo Locker. I hooked up my battery and slipped the upper module onto the lower module lining up the black marks. The highest part of the battery should be just under the inside lip. Do not let the battery get too deep inside the cylinder, make sure the wires do not touch the plastic seal covering the sand, be careful to not damage the sealed sand as you will have a mess if the sand dropped unexpectedly, always use the LiPo Locker on a non-flammable surface and away from any flammable items and be sure to store the upper section with the sand seal up when not in use.

Is This For a Beginner?

This is for everyone. hOnce you get used to using the LiPo Locker it becomes habit that provides a new sense of security.

Video Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

It only takes one fire to change your mind. This is not just a bag or crock to put your batteries into and hope the fire stays contained; this is a product that actually stops the fire AND keeps it contained. This is an item you really must have in your battery charging area.

Pluses:

  • Fire containment
  • Extinguishes fire
  • Made of reinforced cellulose fiber ceramic
  • Resistant to rapid thermal shock up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The perfect Christmas gift

Minuses:

  • Sand is sand and gets everywhere
Last edited by Angela H; Nov 24, 2010 at 12:14 PM..
Thread Tools
Nov 24, 2010, 12:19 PM
Registered User
Nice looking containment device and well thought-out design!

Users may have some 'splainin to do if pulled over by authorities on the way to or from a flying field though. Reason is that devices resembling this with wires coming out of them usually go BOOM!
Nov 24, 2010, 03:22 PM
Registered User
too much work IMHO, i just charge on a non flammable surface, sit there, then fly
Nov 24, 2010, 05:13 PM
Registered User
Good insurance, but I would never buy this. I'm always around when charging batteries and I store the 6 or so I have in a millitary surplus ammo container. I would think a homebrew version of this made out of a foundation cinder block from home depot would suffice. Just pour a little motar in the bottom, then put in some sand, and finally use a paver stone for the lid. For less than $10 you have essentially the same thing, but don't hold me responsible if you burn your house down!
Nov 24, 2010, 05:59 PM
Registered User
atckirk's Avatar
I love the idea, but I have to admit, for my cheap self I might try and make something similar out of pvc pipe just for economics.

Kirk.
Nov 24, 2010, 09:03 PM
Registered User
nicnaimless's Avatar
I have an old fireproof safe that I wasn't using. I just close the lid on the cables and charge away!!!
http://www.sentrysafe.com/Products/4/1160_Fire_Chest
It closes on the wires without pinching them at. It has worked great.

This idea is nice because they are so much smaller and field-portable. The safe is a bit bulky to haul around.
Nov 24, 2010, 10:00 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Quote:
This is not just a bag or crock to put your batteries into and hope the fire stays contained; this is a product that actually stops the fire AND keeps it contained.
Have you tested it?
What size packs did you test?
Nov 25, 2010, 12:40 AM
characters welcome!
Mark Wood's Avatar
The third video shows a 4s 2350. Works good.

mw
Nov 25, 2010, 06:35 AM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Wow! I missed that completely. Thanks
Nov 25, 2010, 09:03 AM
Registered User
You don't charge your cell phone, i-pod, laptop, video game in one of these, so why go to the expense and trouble to charge your airplane batts in one? As long as you use a charger designed for lithium batteries this is total overkill! It is time to get real folks. Lithium batteries are here to stay and charging them is not rocket science!
Nov 25, 2010, 09:15 AM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Quote:
You don't charge your cell phone, i-pod, laptop, video game in one of these,
You know I really feel sorry for those who think like this.

There is a few major differences between a rather small LiPoly in a consumer device with it own built in charging safety devices and in most cases a rather secure housing and a high voltage ,high capacity hobby battery which gets handled all the time, ends up with dents,dings,creases, lose balancing leads, frayed leads etc.

Even the best hobby LiPolys chargers at times fail and lower priced ones which many use are often assembled from fairly low grade / quality componets which means a higher failure rate.

Charles
Last edited by everydayflyer; Nov 25, 2010 at 10:28 AM.
Nov 25, 2010, 10:08 AM
Registered User
mumblety-peg's Avatar
Electricod... I suggest you take a look at the lithium fires thread. Nothing is 100% fool proof. Electronics fail. Connectors short. And people get over confident over time. This is a very dangerous statement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Electricrod
You don't charge your cell phone, i-pod, laptop, video game in one of these, so why go to the expense and trouble to charge your airplane batts in one? As long as you use a charger designed for lithium batteries this is total overkill! It is time to get real folks. Lithium batteries are here to stay and charging them is not rocket science!
Nov 25, 2010, 10:18 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electricrod
You don't charge your cell phone, i-pod, laptop, video game in one of these, so why go to the expense and trouble to charge your airplane batts in one? As long as you use a charger designed for lithium batteries this is total overkill! It is time to get real folks. Lithium batteries are here to stay and charging them is not rocket science!
There are differences between the Li-Ion pack in your cell phone and the LiPo pack in your airplane. We're talking about slightly different chemistries as well as much higher current rates. Safety starts with charging with the correct charger, yes, you are correct. However, there is no guarantee that charging LiPo batteries is foolproof just because you use the appropriate charger. Care should always be exercised when handling them. As previously suggested, please look at the "LiPo Fires are Real" thread and you will see that even those who are meticulous about LiPo charging and care are still victims of fires... some who have lost everything. There was a very popular thread that went around a few months ago about a high-profile modeler who lost everything... EVERYTHING because of one simple setting on his LiPo charger. Him and his family got out of the house alive, but his house burned to the ground, including everything in it. Please don't let this happen to you.

That is the whole point of a device like this. Sure, it's a bit expensive and some assembly is required. But can one really put a price on protecting their family, their home, and themselves?
Nov 25, 2010, 10:25 AM
Registered User
Even mundane items with small batteries like cell phones, ipods, and electric toothbrushes have caught fire.
Nov 25, 2010, 11:32 AM
Park Stormer
I'd think this would be great if your using something like new Hitec charger that does 4 batts at once. You can safety charge each in their own silo without fear. That combats what I think would be the greatest disadvantage of charging multiple batteries at once: 4 times the risk of failure.

$200 might seems like a lot for 4 of theses, but it looks like these would be around for a long time.

That said, I'd like to see a larger version that can handle BIG lipos. Think the kind of batts that power systems designed to replace gas engines. I wouldn't trust just a lipo bag to something that large.

also, as mrforsyth said, this device does look...interesting. When I first skimmed the article, the pic where the sand is getting poured in made me do a double take. It looked like a model rocket engine packing system.


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