New fear/concern and first hand experience while charging batteries. - RC Groups
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Jul 28, 2005, 09:28 PM
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Kyle G.'s Avatar

New fear/concern and first hand experience while charging batteries.

I had a scary incident the other day while charging one of my lipos. I had it on my Triton and everything was good. I take a clance at it. And its done charging. I unplug the triton from my car outlet but leave my battery plugged into the triton. I look down for some other reason and see a glowing orange. the banana jacks had come in contact. This was really low (high?) gauge. (really thin wire) going to my battery. So in panic and rush to unplug the battery from the charger and banana jacks. In the process, a sharp pain through my hand, along with the smell of burnt rubber. The wires became red hot because of the high resistence. My dad finnally, carefully got the plug undone not long later. The battery was fine. My hand on the other hand, burnt and a nice slice through my index finger. The Lesson? don't touch hot wires haha. But I never thought in my wildest dreams the wires would get so hot when it shorted out, so I just though I'd make it aware.

Solution to solve problem: I've put a 3 amp inline fuse between my battery and triton. Problem should be no more
Happy flying everyone.
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Jul 28, 2005, 09:33 PM
Always right
Hovertime's Avatar
Ouch Kyle.....
Wires not just get hot, sometimes they even evaporate.
Good tip on the fuse BTW.
Jul 29, 2005, 12:16 AM
Does anyone hear a cat?
headless's Avatar
Damn, that looks painful. I've gotten the same type of burns but not nearly as bad from a nimh pack that was plugged into an ESC that fried and turned into a dead short... always a danger when dealing with batteries...

If it was a lipoly pack, i'd be very careful with it for the next 10 cycles. Could be permanently damaged even if you don't see it puff immediately; at least check all the cell voltages and make sure it stays in balance.
Jul 29, 2005, 12:22 AM
Dead shorts are bad! When I first started flying I dead shorted a KAN 1050 pack. I went to cut the JST off to attach my deans, and was not aware of the fact that you can nearly vaporize a #11 X-acto blade

Can't even imagine dead shorting a 3 cell pack. Be careful. High voltages and amps can melt rings and cause loss of fingers. One of my dad's mechanics welded his wedding ring to the frame of a car.

Mike (the other one)
Jul 29, 2005, 11:57 AM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
I guess we all learn the hard way. I have always known not to wear jewelry while handling batteries however many years ago I forgot to remove my wedding band and while handling a NiCad pack shorted it out. Burnt the ring finger and the thumb and fore finger on the other hand trying to remove it.

Jul 29, 2005, 01:44 PM
Registered User
Yup. Those things get pretty hot very Fast and you can't tell how hot until your fingers come in contact with the shorted wires, up to that point it's, too, late. Had a TX pack shorted out, and it was just a 600mah 9.8v, was changing connectors to JST for ease of swapping. Somehow soldered to the radio in reverse, when I turned on the radio smoke started rising up from the back, quickly turned it off, disconnected the battery, but not until the poles of the battery has gone really really hot that it melted the heatshrink cover and burned a part of my forefinger. Re-learned a good lesson once again, in electronics, if something is smoking, chances are something that caused it to smoke has got to be really hot! So be careful out there. What was interesting about the pain was that it was a whole lot painful than getting burned by a lighter or match.

Oh the pain!
Jul 29, 2005, 01:45 PM
Oldie but goodie
Popsflyer's Avatar
I have found on several occasions that live (powered) exposed clips, wires, plugs, etc, have a natural instinct to come together and mate (ZAP!). Seems like no matter how far apart you place them, they have the ability to locate each other and make contact.

For this reason, I take extra precautions to keep this from happening.
Jul 29, 2005, 03:33 PM
Does anyone hear a cat?
headless's Avatar
i just looked at that pic of the burns again. Freakin' owww man. Reminds me of the burns i got when i accidentally shorted the poles of my camry's battery with a set of allen keys. kabloowie!
Jul 29, 2005, 04:23 PM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
If you don't think a 200W power pack can make things hot, look at a 200W lightbulb..
Jul 29, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Kyle G.'s Avatar
I really don't think it put a lot of stress on the battery. The battery wasn't not even warm after. I think all the resistence and burning of the wires might have saved the lipo. I still keep an eye on it, but have used it since with no problem. My hand didn't hurt too bad. But it stung sharply on the ride to the hospital. After that, no pain. No blood either on the index finger. I'm glad I didn't burn the car down too.
Jul 29, 2005, 05:47 PM
Does anyone hear a cat?
headless's Avatar
Electrical burns cauterize instantly -- no blood. thankfully
Jul 29, 2005, 07:40 PM
Registered User
Sorry to hear that Kyle. Be careful. Batteries can heat wires instantly if they short.

Tom Moody
Jul 30, 2005, 07:26 AM
Formerly of mcba fame
Matthew Allen's Avatar

Where in your system do you have exposed plugs? - I'm not too clear from your explanation.

Jul 30, 2005, 09:57 AM
Registered User
Kyle G.'s Avatar
No exposed plugs, one of the banana plugs that go into the triton got pulled out from moving of the charger and battery. it just happened to touch the other banana plug and short out the deal.
Jul 30, 2005, 12:33 PM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar
That looks painful Kyle- hope it heals quickly for you.

I did exactly the same thing years ago with a 4.8v receiver pack that I was fast charging. The HiTec charger that I was using has sprung terminals into which just a pair of bare wires are inserted. I had a harness forcharging consisting of a Futaba socket and two wires with bared ends. The receiver pack was charging and when Jingle Bells played out I went to remove the pack. The charger also has a charge tester and instead of unplugging the battery via the socket I just undid the spring terminals and the two bare wire ends touched and welded together. The insulation on the thin wires, which I was holding just vapourised and as much as I tried to throw the battery pack to the floor it was just stuck to my hand.

My fingers weren't quite as badly burned as yours look to be, but I had blisters in all the same places and the receiver pack was destroyed. That was the last time I ever just undid the spring clips.

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