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  1. #1
    rcheli1's Avatar
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    # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Just received the following on another FORUM thought everyone should read this really Terrible Tale of DESTRUCTION:-

    Last Sunday I lost 20+ planes to a lipo fire in my integral garage. I only ever charge at 1c and I was only balance charging two smaller packs (850 3s and 1050 3s) Both lipos were in good condition but I made the mistake of leaving them on their own for 20 mins and had them sitting on a plastic shelf. Yeah, I know, real dumb. Even dumber was fighting the fire with a hose after the 1 & 2 kg dry powder jobbies had been exhausted. See the fire was raging in between the gas main/meter on one side and the incoming mains electric supply on the other. Got it out by the time Fireman Sam arrived who were not happy I was in there. However, I reckon if I hadn't, both my house and my neighbours would have been taken out in a gas explosion. The gas pipe is meant to be protected by foam pumped between it and the outer metal tube but the dumb a** contractor who changed the meter a few years ago skipped that part. The tangled chunk of plastic racking,storage boxes, spare motors,ESC's, props and 360 to 1550 mAh lipos were left on the drive as I didn't want to risk another fire. I was right to be cautious as on Wednesday morning at 4:45 the pile self ignited with flames shooting 6' into the air. I used both my new 2kg fire extinguishers to put it out and Fireman Sam played his hose around for a while until the were happy. So rest in peace MPX Blizzard, HK RareBear,Phoenix 2000,Parkzone F4F, GWS Me262 & FW190, Freeair Fokker D VII & Mitchell, Phase 3 F-16, Graupner Tiger Shark, FMS P-47 and all my scratch built foamies. Also toasted my DX7, an old Futaba 35 mHz TX, 2 cordless drills, a heat gun and pistol soldering iron. The moral of this sad story is NEVER leave your lipos unattended for even a minute and ALWAYS charge in a lipo bag on a non flammable surface. Keep your charging area free of any of your other precious RC stuff. The list for the loss adjuster is going to be quite a long one if I can remember all of my spares. Andy


    I feel so sorry and so shocked for this chap

    Steve

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    As usual , I wonder why this happened? what went wrong?
    and airplanes were in

  3. #3
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    This is why you take care of your lipos. I've had one for 2 years, still runs fine. Treat them with care, and you won't be in the ER.

  4. #4
    rcheli1's Avatar
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Good of you both to reply
    Collector1231?

    Why do we assume, it is because the batteries were not taken care of?the number of times I hear this.THESE LIPOs are unstable simple as that and what hapepned to Andy could happen to anyone of you out there,weather you look after them or not.I admit if you do not follow the rules ,there is far more chance of accident,but these things are not to be trusted.

    Lets all hope either lipo technology moves to a more stable product ot the LIFE batteries become better

    cheers Steve


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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    I agree- no mention of abuse, poor guy but then you've got to be Alice to be "poor.!"

    I've had some lipos on the go for 3years, no problem. I do look after them well but I also keep them stored an charging in a safe place- no trouble yet....
    Happy Landings

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    There will be safer LiPos one day, why you keep scaring yourself, I feel sorry for the owner but has he given the exact information. He was balance charging two smaller packs on sunday. He put his other LiPos on the drive on wed they went up, most people would make sure they was safe or dispose of them not laying on a drive, What happens if a kid or animal see's them.
    1st question how was he charging the two smaller packs 850 and 1050 3s, did he connect in series or parallel using one charger.
    In series it wouldn't work because of the different capacity, and even then you have to connect up a certain way to avoid a short, in parallel the charge only recognises it as a 1900 3s.

    Did he use two chargers or a dual charger and get the capacity setting the wrong way round for each battery, easy mistake to make if he got distracted by something.
    What brand was the packs, what brand charger.
    Was the lipos charged in a sack or just laying on bench.
    again i feel sorry for the owner but without as much info as possible it doesn't help nobody. I think i have read maybe about 4 people where lios have combusted, consider how many lipos are sold thats a very small amount.
    Here is a link to someone who had a fire and gives full info in the safety link.
    check out the links for more help
    Sorry officer i thought the speed limit only applied to people with driving licenses.

  7. #7
    rcheli1's Avatar
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Surprised at your reply Trax de Max but I am just the novice here..so I bow to your wider knowledge but this guy owned 20 planes modelling for years and knows what he is doing...Sure all can make mistakes but I contend LIPO`s are unstable full stop! you say you had heard about 4 people who`s lipos had combusted even during my very short time and no searching out lipo disasters I have many examples of lipo combustion...some sure will be down to human error but still..these things are not the best.

    This is one of those debates that could end up going no where,because everyone as a view and most would,i suspect be on your side Trax De Max

    anyway I am thinking of waiting a bit and looking at the alternatives available in the near future

    cheers Steve

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Google search car crashes- yet we get in them every day? 
    Again, not wishing to be flippant as I feel sorry for the guy in question. 

    Point is if treated well and human error is reduced once they are stored/charge in an adequate fire proof etc container even if (or of you take view point when) lipos go up nothing much will happen.
    Happy Landings

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    The leeds university have developed the mouldable lipo and nasa, yep nasa are working on safer less volatile lipo I d.on't know what the battery manufacturers are doing while other people research this.
    If you search for lipo fires you would find all day long and over 95% of them stories don't give the full info.The videos are deliberate over charging.
    Nobody just happens to video a lipo charging normally for 60Min,
    Sorry officer i thought the speed limit only applied to people with driving licenses.

  10. #10
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Hi Goldenduff Trax de Max

    Comparing car crashes is not a very good comparison me thinks. because you can then open a whole new can of worms and include most things that are potentially dangerous.

    Andy admits his battery routine had slipped over recent years and he paid a very high price for that,all i`m saying is anyone could/can make a mistake and bingo! so I am ending it there...I am to inexperienced in RC to get in to deep debate.

    Trax De Max

    I never even included,or reffered in my comments all those silly Tube vids..I only took first hand experiences of Rc folks own disasters

    But I will wait and see how batteries progress before I do anything

    all the best Steve

  11. #11
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Don’ts

    • Do not use a charger that is not specifically designed to charge Lithium Polymer cells.
    • Do not leave cells un-attended when charging. You should always remain close to the charging cells to
    monitor the charging process and react to potential problems should they occur.
    • Do not charge LiPo batteries in the model.
    • Do not charge LiPo batteries in a vehicle or in the engine compartment of a vehicle.
    • Do not carry LiPo batteries in your pocket. They have been known to short against coins and keys and cause
    fires.
    • Do not puncture the cells.
    • Do not place LiPo batteries in a fire.
    • Do not short the wires of your LiPo cells/battery. This is very dangerous and can cause a fire or even an
    explosion. If you accidentally short the wires of your LiPo cells/battery, either cover it in sand, or put it in a
    non-conductive container and place it outside away from all flammable objects for at least 30 minutes.
    • In the event of a crash, remove battery(s) and place it/them in a safe open area away from any combustible
    material for approximately 30 minutes. On no account should you place it in a vehicle for at least 30 minutes
    as a delayed chemical re-action can occur causing a fire.
    • Do not ‘Top up’ your cells. Even if you charged them up to 1 year ago. LiPo cells loose less then 1% of their
    capacity per month. Just use them and then re-charge them as normal.
    Over-charging LiPo batteries will damage them and possibly cause a fire.
    • Do not charge cells that have been stored in cold conditions (below 10ºC/50ºF), let them warm up (above
    (10ºC/50ºF), for a minimum of 30 minutes.
    • You risk an explosion if you attempt to use cells that have been stored at or below 0ºC (32ºF), Warm them
    first for at least 60 minutes above 10ºC (50ºF) before charging or discharging.
    • Do not store your cells for extended periods of time (more then 1 hour) in a hot place (i.e. in your car on a hot
    day) as this may cause them to catch fire of even explode.
    • Do not ingest contents of LiPo cells. If you do accidentally swallow the contents of LiPo cells seek medical
    attention immediately.
    • Do not charge hot cells. Warm cells are OK, let hot cells cool before charging.
    • Do not allow charging to continue above 4.25V per cell. This is VERY important as a fire could result.
    • Do not discharge you LiPo cells below 3.00V per cell (e.g. 9.00V for a 3S pack) as this will damage the cells
    and dramatically reduce the life of your cells. If you do accidentally discharge them below 3.00V per cell,
    leave them for 30 minutes and if the voltage recovers to over 3.30V per cell then they should be OK to use
    them again. If they do not recover to at least 3.00V per cell then I’m afraid you have damaged them and they
    should be disposed of (Please see below as the correct method of disposal).
    • Do not charge dissimilar or un-matched packs in series or parallel with any difference in cell type, cell
    capacity, manufacturer, age, pack capacity or charge state (+/- 0.03V per cell). If in any doubt, charge them
    separately.
    • Do not charge any pack containing one or more damaged or swollen/puffed cell as there is a high risk of a
    fire.


    Lifes to short for all this and Lipos need to be improved very much

    cheers Steve

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    That was exactly the point I was making- many things are dangerous, human procedures and mechanical fail safes limit the danger. 

    If anyone can seperate fun/excitement from danger let me know....
    Happy Landings

  13. #13
    rcheli1's Avatar
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Even you must agree there are degrees of risk/Danger..and there is a line which it`s just not worth that risk
    This topic is about LIPOS and to me they are a big worry..more so than many other examples you could give.
    they just feel more of a worry than some things.and if you are paying a lot of money for a product like a quality lipo..I would want something better than appears to be available at this time.because sure we can all make mistakes.

    cheers Steve

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Fair enough but I disagree. I would rather charge my batteries in a gun safe, old cooker bucket surrounded by sand etc and buy $20 lipos than use Nicd. You can take the choice. Crossing the road is dangerous I you do not take simple precautions.
    Happy Landings

  15. #15
    rcheli1's Avatar
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Ok
    How far behind are these alternative batteries compared to lipo`s?
    are they likely to close the gap and become a valid choice?any time soon.

    all the best Steve

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Sorry officer i thought the speed limit only applied to people with driving licenses.

  17. #17
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Hi Again Trax de Max many thanks for the nasa link that sounds just the ticket to me...but if I read it correctly they are trying to find a commercial partner to actually make them is this correct?

    Lightweight radio-controlled cars and aircraft
    I noticed the above under uses? does this mean it will only apply to low powered RC?

    and we wil still have to wait a while for something to power the bigger more energy hungry Rc

    best wishes Steve

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Members,
    A seasoned R/C modeler located here in central New Jersey was charging a Lipo battery pack without the balancer circuits connected in his garage just a few weeks ago and you know what is coming next. The resultant fire gutted his garage and he lost a number of his models. The quote from his insurance company is well over $40k to repair the garage and I don't know about the loss on his R/C equipment. He was monitoring the charging cycle, but got side-tracked on something else and then a big surprize.

    I well understand that a cell balancer circuit ( shunt regulator at 4.20 Volts ) accross each cell will protect the cell from going into overcharge, but if any one cell balancer circuit should fail open you then will yield an over-charged cell. I don't know if these chargers have a self test routine to verify that each cell balancer circuit is active.

    I obtained the above story from the R/C modeler himself.

    FYI,
    Jim Meighan

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    rcheli1 I agree with you 100%
    There us a safe,reasonable alternative to Lipo's.
    There are called A123's
    I have used them for 5 years with no problems.
    They absolutely do not explode or catch fire so you can get rid of all of those donots you have listed.
    The only disadvantage is they only come in one size
    dirty old men need love too.

  20. #20
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Hello Dirtybird

    Good to hear from you again...
    Just before I answer you I just wish to make it clear, that I as a complete novice find it extroidinary that folk can pay ip to 100s of $£ e.t.c. for such an unstable product that in theory can be dstroyed after one flight due to crash or heavy landing damage...This was never a debate on which battery was the best for RC Heli`s,I have no doubt lipos are best as it stands,the arguament is/was that the product is not worth the risk no matter how small.

    Dirtybird

    The only disadvantage is they only come in one size

    Please excuse this dum question but if the A123S only come in the one size,which is basically what I had learnt,although i do think I did see some different sizes somewhere??? how are you able to use them in all applications?IE Heli/Aircraft,RX e.t.c.(if that`s what you do)

    be interested to hear

    all the best Steve





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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    I'm sticking to Glow engine.
    Feel sorry for the guy whos garage burned down though.
    Glow engines still rule.[8D]

  22. #22
    rcheli1's Avatar
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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!


    Les1troubles

    I think on this particular subject I must agree with you

    all the best Steve




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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!


    ORIGINAL: rcheli1

    Good of you both to reply
    Collector1231?

    Why do we assume, it is because the batteries were not taken care of?the number of times I hear this.THESE LIPOs are unstable simple as that and what hapepned to Andy could happen to anyone of you out there,weather you look after them or not.I admit if you do not follow the rules ,there is far more chance of accident,but these things are not to be trusted.

    Lets all hope either lipo technology moves to a more stable product ot the LIFE batteries become better

    cheers Steve

    You have started to threads on here about Lipo problems. The guy you posted about never mentioned if anything about the battery except that it was in good condition. Well the battery could have been sitting for a while and became unbalanced, it could have been damaged internally causing it to short out, there are any number of factors that could have caused the fire.

    If you are so worried about lipos than don't use them.

  24. #24

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    most of this is b.s. about these lipo monsters. been around them from day 1 since the came out for r/c use. never had any of these so called issues. i have even tried to recreate these so called problems from old or damaged cells. no fires, no explosions!!!, just smoke, puff and vent!!! for these so called monsters to come alive there has to be absolute abuse or lack of know how. most likely both. and after all this info out there about the safety on use, we still have those people who charge and walk away from the charging process and wonder why???. if you would just research and read!!( and there is plenty to go around on all the forums) you would have to be a complete idiot to walk away while operating a charger. spend a little extra money for some monitoring and testing equipment and observe what is going on and you will be just fine whith any "monster battery".

  25. #25

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    RE: # Everyone-Should Read The following L-I-P-O DISASTER!!!

    Please post a link to original , I can't seem to find it. Thanks.
    and airplanes were in


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