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Oct 30, 2005, 10:40 AM
Registered User
Thread OP

Another LiPo fire....sorry no pics…

A flying buddy/co-worker almost lost his boat, motorcycle, garage, and house due to complacency.

He was charging a 3cell 2100mah Predator LiPo with a Hobbico MkII. Because the charger will only charge a Lithium battery at 1amp max he had gotten into the habit of “quick charging” by setting the charger at 2amps on the NiCad setting, watching the volt meter till the battery was mostly charged. He would not actually let the battery fully charge using this method, just enough to fly for 10-15 minutes.

This time how ever he got distracted and eventually left the house to go to soccer practice, he’s the coach for a kid’s team, and was gone a few hours. Later when he and his family had gotten home and had just started to eat dinner they heard an unusual noise from the garage. When he heard the beeping of the charger a few seconds later he immediately knew what it was and why and ran to the garage. They had been home maybe 15 minutes.

He had the battery and charger on the bow of his boat near the cockpit using the boat to power the charger. Over that spot he had his Nylon riding jacket, and under that was his motorcycle. Both the battery and jacket were in flames. He was able to use an extinguisher to put out the flames before they spread.

Had he and his family gotten home just 15 minutes later the entire garage would have been in flames, and it is attached to the house.

As it is he lost a $50 charger, $60 battery, $100 Jacket, and he thinks about $1000 to repair the fiberglass damage to the boat.
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Oct 30, 2005, 11:18 AM
prop wash
biggy boy's Avatar

Battery fire

This is my weekend charging results.
from charging a puffed cell.
Putting this out there for others to see what happens when you get lazy.

Good thing for both of us that no one got hurt.

Oct 30, 2005, 12:09 PM
Registered User
I hope this sends a message to all others trying to get bye with the wrong equipment. The correct charger for that pack is only $50.00. Man how many more times will this happen before a law suit comes up and they stop selling us those lipo's. This is by no means a new subject. Be Safe Yogi
Oct 30, 2005, 12:26 PM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Even a $13 FMA Safety Guard would have most likely prevented such an event.

Oct 30, 2005, 12:39 PM
Low AltiDude
PGR's Avatar
Originally Posted by ProudTexan
As it is he lost a $50 charger, $60 battery, $100 Jacket, and he thinks about $1000 to repair the fiberglass damage to the boat.
Even makes a $100-$150 charger sound cheap, doesn't it?

Oct 30, 2005, 12:42 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
My friend was not using the wrong equipment. He was using it incorrectly. It is my opinion the Hobbico MkII is one of the safest on the market. I have used one since my first LiPo battery, and still use it. One main reason being that it's Lithium cut-off voltage is for LiIon and not the higher LiPoly. If I feel the need for a more full charge I use a different charger to top off the battery.

He gave me the ok to post his story in the hopes that someone else won't make his mistakes, those of being impatient, complacency, and not using equipment correctly.

This is another example of "Operator Error".

Be Safe!!!

Oct 30, 2005, 12:48 PM
Suspended Account
as lipos become more and more popular and inexpensive....I would guess we will hear of more accidents/fires...most of which are preventable...most of these accidents can be avoided with a lil common sense / care...which unfortunatley..sometimes us humans are not the best at...about 2 months ago..I posted on a specific thread on this site...some of the posters were talking about doing air to air combat..with r/c planes..using sharp metal objects..{ dangerous enough on its own } ..and doing this in planes using LIPOS...a couple of the posters even had the audacity to suggest that a lipo falling sevral 100 ft from the sky to the ground..would probably not be damaged/ explode/ or start a fire within the lipo itself...IMO..this was very dangerous info to post on a thread..ecspecially since I feel it was also wrong...and any person new to lipos,,,that may read such incorrect and careless info..may actually believe it...and cause them to dis-respect lipo packs...I actually P.M"D one of the moderators that they may want to read this specific thread and shut it down...but evidently they didnt feel the info warranted this...which I found amazing...I predict we will hear of lawsuits in the near future regarding lipos..
Oct 30, 2005, 01:07 PM
Motors beat engines!
Originally Posted by everydayflyer
Even a $13 FMA Safety Guard would have most likely prevented such an event.


You are correct. I know first hand since I use a hobbico 2 with a safety guard on the nimh setting for exactly the same reasons, faster charge rate and fuller charge, and it works perfectly every single time.

If he'd had a safety guard in his circuit, all that would have happened is he'd have had a properly charged battery.

I actually use another safety guard to charge a 3s 11p li-ion flield charge battery I made up using my duratrax car charger because A) chargers up to 6 amps rate, and B) plugs into the wall, a nice thing since my power supply died on me. Whebn the safety guard clicks off, I know its fully and properly charged.

Dean in Milwaukee
Oct 30, 2005, 01:25 PM
Registered User
Sillyness's Avatar
I just got my battery bunkers... they are sweet units. I battery could go thermonuclear on my and I'd just have some smoke... they contain all the heat.

Of course, for chargers I use the Duratrax ICE (wil charge at 1C up to 10 Amps) and the soon to be released TP-1010 (will allegedly charge at 3C). I take care of my stuff and don't do anything that could result in catastrophy... my family is too important to me.

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