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Feb 02, 2006, 10:16 AM
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Discussion

Lithium fires fault of some chargers!


I am a very experienced lithium polymer battery user. Two of my fellow modelers are also. Recently the three of us bought the same WELL KNOWN (I won't name it because I don't want to get sued) 9 cell, 8 amp dedicated lithium charger.

I had a close call when the charger decided 2/3 of the way through the charge cycle that the battery had more cells than it did. The instructions say to watch when first plugging the battery in to make sure the charger detects the right number of cells. I did that. About 30 minutes later, without warning, the charger changed from 3 cells to 4 cells and started pumping way too much voltage into the pack. It puffed up like an elephant. I caught it in time and disposed of it.

My two friends were not so lucky. One burned the back end of his car, the other almost burned down his house.

All I can tell you is that it is not always the stupid modeler not following directions. For those that buy the $129 charger in question, watch it like a hawk!
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Feb 02, 2006, 10:21 AM
Registered User
grouchy1's Avatar
Maybe yout pals and you should look here:

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=473324
Feb 02, 2006, 10:25 AM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Oh goody another Astro Flight AF 109 ,it was the charger's fault Thread.

Well all I can say is there has never been a case reported where the instructions were followed completely where a fire resulted.
The latest firmware is ver. 1.5 and has been out for well over a year.
The cell count can change during stage 1 (first 3 minutes) however it can not change after stage 2 starts. Fires are caused by over discharging a LiPoly battery that does indeed change cell count during stage one when the battery reaches the voltage level that it should have been at at the very beginning or by charging a battery which was already charged..

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=362850

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...5&postcount=58

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...42&postcount=8

The best graph I have even seen showing possible LiPoly cell / voltages overlaps.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...12&postcount=5

Charles
Last edited by everydayflyer; Feb 02, 2006 at 10:37 AM.
Feb 02, 2006, 10:54 AM
Registered User
I hate to argue with you but my 109 has changed the cell count in stage 2 MORE THAN ONCE! Same with other users I know. We have stood there and WATCHED it!

The three of us never run our lipos down to the destruction point either.

Consider this THREE CASES REPORTED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by everydayflyer
Oh goody another Astro Flight AF 109 ,it was the charger's fault Thread.

Well all I can say is there has never been a case reported where the instructions were followed completely where a fire resulted.
The latest firmware is ver. 1.5 and has been out for well over a year.
The cell count can change during stage 1 (first 3 minutes) however it can not change after stage 2 starts. Fires are caused by over discharging a LiPoly battery that does indeed change cell count during stage one when the battery reaches the voltage level that it should have been at at the very beginning or by charging a battery which was already charged..

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=362850

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...5&postcount=58

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...42&postcount=8

The best graph I have even seen showing possible LiPoly cell / voltages overlaps.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...12&postcount=5

Charles
Feb 02, 2006, 11:00 AM
Registered User
I need to add that I was charging at the 1C rate...in stage 2, when the cell count jumped from 3 to 4. I backed off the charge rate and it went back to 3 cells. This is a fault in the charger, clear and simple.

Give me a manually selectable cell count OR a cell count confirmation button.
Feb 02, 2006, 11:00 AM
Registered User
grouchy1's Avatar
WOW! 3 friends with the same charger, all have the same problem We have 3 people with the same charger at my field and only had 1 incident and the fellow admitted it was his own fault Maybe you 3 guys never read the instructions and were all making the same mistake It's kind of strange that 3 people that fly together all have the same problems Probably whoever got theirs first only guessed how to use it and when you other guys got yours, did what he told you, not knowing he didn't know what he was talking about That's what friends are for
Feb 02, 2006, 11:01 AM
Registered User
Dan Baldwin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailr
I hate to argue with you but my 109 has changed the cell count in stage 2 MORE THAN ONCE! Same with other users I know. We have stood there and WATCHED it!

The three of us never run our lipos down to the destruction point either.

Consider this THREE CASES REPORTED!
What is the firmware version of your chargers?


Dan
Feb 02, 2006, 11:04 AM
Registered User
Grouchy, your flaming doesn't contribute to the discussion. The three of us have extensive experience with lipos and all the chargers on the market. WE KNOW HOW TO READ INSTRUCTIONS! We do not fly together and never had any discussions together about the charger UNTIL we all experienced the same problems. Bob needs to admit he has a problem before someone gets seriously injured from PROPERLY using the 109 and suing him. The insurance company for my friend's house fire is investigating. I'm sure the reaction from Bob will be HE DIDN"T READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! Bob knows this modeler and knows he is very meticulous and careful. That ain't gonna wash! Bob, I hope you're reading this thread. I love your products and your company. I wouldn't wish anything bad on you in any way but the problem has to be acknowledged and dealt with for your own good. I would hate to see you lose everything over it.
Feb 02, 2006, 11:12 AM
Registered User
How do you tell the firmware version. It's not market outside or inside the charger or on the instruction sheet. The grey plastic case is stamped JUN 05 inside. I don't know if that's the date the case was made or the charger was assembled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Baldwin
What is the firmware version of your chargers?


Dan
Feb 02, 2006, 11:15 AM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Quote:
How do you tell the firmware version.

It is displayed for a few seconds in the lower right hand corner of the LCD screen when 109 is first powered up.

Charles
Feb 02, 2006, 11:20 AM
Registered User
It is on the start up screen, I thought everyone that owned and used the 109 knew that? Have used mine for well over two years and even updated the version, all with out a single misfire. Not being judgemental, but with thousands in use now, strange that you report [3] three in a group bad. Did you all buy them at the same location and time? I suggest that you send the charger in for inspection and testing. Dick
Feb 02, 2006, 11:21 AM
Registered User
Dan Baldwin's Avatar
The version number will come up on the display when you power the charger up. If it was MFG Jun of 05, it should be version 1.5, which according to the MFG is incapable of changing cell count after stage 1. Very early versions of the firmware (don't know which) were capable of changing cell counts at any time during the charge, but they haven't been sold in a long time. Perhaps a booboo crept into the firmware that no one had found before. Is it possible that the chargers actually did increase the cell count in the first 3 minutes, but you didn't notice it until later?

Dan
Feb 02, 2006, 11:31 AM
Registered User
Well gee Dick, why would we KNOW that? We do now that you have told us. Yes, all three chargers were bought from the same location and within a month of each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
It is on the start up screen, I thought everyone that owned and used the 109 knew that? Have used mine for well over two years and even updated the version, all with out a single misfire. Not being judgemental, but with thousands in use now, strange that you report [3] three in a group bad. Did you all buy them at the same location and time? I suggest that you send the charger in for inspection and testing. Dick
Feb 02, 2006, 11:34 AM
Registered User
Dan,
Thanks for the civil answer! I just powered up the charger and it is indeed V1.5

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Baldwin
The version number will come up on the display when you power the charger up. If it was MFG Jun of 05, it should be version 1.5, which according to the MFG is incapable of changing cell count after stage 1. Very early versions of the firmware (don't know which) were capable of changing cell counts at any time during the charge, but they haven't been sold in a long time. Perhaps a booboo crept into the firmware that no one had found before. Is it possible that the chargers actually did increase the cell count in the first 3 minutes, but you didn't notice it until later?

Dan


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