Extreme Speed Prop Planes Discuss the need for speed with fast prop planes (Screamin Demon, Diamond Dust, Shrikes or any REAL sound breakin'''' plane)

FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

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Old 07-14-2007, 07:01 PM
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rmenke
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Default FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Guys:

I am posting this here so you can benifit from my experience today, yesterday was Fridy the 13th. Frday, I was called by my 73" QQ Yak 54 to go out and exersice something other than go fast, turn left. Charged up my nicad receiver and lipo ignition battery, went to the field, pop pop pop, no run. Oh poo. Sat. night, pull the carb apart, nothing noted but blew out anyway. Cleaned plug, all must be ready? Sunday, stayed home to check it out. Pop, pop, pop, nothing more. After several hours of yelling, cursing, asking for help from above, I drug it back into the shop. Yes, plug was wet. Did some research on the web, pulled the plug again, straped it to the muffler and turned on ignition. Thin has a turn on 1 second activation to clear plug. No spark at plug, but could hear buzzing at the plug cap. Pulled plug from cap, noted the interior sort of spring cap connection was pushed down quite a bit. Pulled it out, put cap on plug, now plug would spark. Whoppee, gonna run, gonna fly. Now, the flight pack and ignition lipo had been going for a while, so a charge is in order. Stuck things on my Sirus ni cad charger, and the lipo on a Astro Flight 109 , two of the best chargers available in my book. The lipo batterie is burried in the airplane engine box area and behind the hatch for the ni-cad, so no reasonable way to pull them out. After all, all the big guys are installing the stuff this way? TV is front of my charger all metal bench, dumb but also non combustible. So I watched the SiFi channel while things were cooking. About 30 minutes into the charge, there was a fairly loud wooosh, and flames about 2' high poured out of my baby. Fire extinguisher in the kitchen, not time enough so pulled it out of the door by the tail as it blazed away with all the smoke detectors in the house screaming, wife screaming, dog barking. Once in the back yard, the water hose put things out quickly, and I could quit wondering if I had empted the 14oz gas tank where the fire was. As it turns out, the gas tank was empty, the tank and lines did not burn through even though the plywood engine box was burned through at several locations. Had the tank been full, doubt if I would be around to tell you about this. I will continue to use lipos, just never for an receiver or ignition power inside a airframe. Plane, 10X receiver, ignition, two servos switches, and the carpet is gonna make the insurance co. mad, but thats what they get the big bucks for. Gonna try to send you some decent pics here.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:07 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Gonna try to send some more
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:57 PM
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The Internet Killer
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

WOW , that sucks!!!


My condolensese for your loss.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:59 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO


ORIGINAL: rmenke

So I watched the SiFi channel while things were cooking.
You can say that again...

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Old 07-14-2007, 08:08 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Help us out... any idea WHY it flamed? Usually there's a reason, wrong connections, charger set to NiCd not LiPo... Any ideas?
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:11 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Gonna try decent pics ONE MORE TIME!!!!
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:32 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Evan:
We all hate to admit we did a bo-bo. This was a "Cheap Battery Packs.com 2200mah lipo" sitting in the cabinet when I built the plane. It worked fairly well in a electric motor install, and should be adequate for a ignition install, a 9 to 18 V Elvo 26 gasser sysstem. I charged the bat friday, and today twice after running the system several hours. I did not bo-bo the charge rate, was set for 2200 mah from the first and second use. The 109 charger is a pure lipo charger that has been great in the past. I suspect that although trying to start the stubborn engine for several hours, or at least felt like several hours, the battery was still near peak charge. The charger probably did not recognize the high state of charge and goosed it over its limits. This is about all I can think off, the astro flight 109 is one of the best out there and has been bullet proof for me to date. Guess I will bite the bullet and buy a newer one with the cell ballancer built in. Hate to spend another $175.00 or so for another good charger, buts compaired to the Yak fire, penuts. Thats a 10 channel pcm rx, cooked and several JR 9411 high torque servos at around 150 each. Oh well, could have crashed doing low rolling circles as I have been working on with the little stuff, and done worse I guess. Hate to have another insurance claim this year, in May I backed into a car pullilng in behind me. The adjuster did not think I should go after the girl in the short shorts with great legs as the true cause of my distraction. Almost worth it. Down old man!!! ENJOY
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:49 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Obviously your charger setup doesn't have any thermal probe to detect the temperature of the battery while it's charging, does it? If it had, or if you had one of the other chargers that are "not in your book" that does have a thermal cutoff setting, maybe things would have been a little different.
Why, I'll bet that right now you'd be complaining 'cause the !@#$!@$ charger won't work, complaining about an overtemp condition. [&o]
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:20 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

I don't hold a lot of faith in those probes, as by the time they register a problem, the thermal runaway in a lipo pack is well in progress.
There is also nothing wrong with using lipo packs for receiver and ignition batteries either. You just need to locate them where you can remove them for safe charging.
I never, never, ever, charge a battery while it is in the plane. No exceptions. That includes my 30%'ers and even my jets.

You are lucky in that you were there to attend to the fire. I can think of some serious alternate endings.... consider yourself very, very lucky.

Spar
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

The Astro 109 was your problem. Get rid of it and get rid of your lipo problems.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:58 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Spank me again Big Daddy, feels sooooo ? Think there may be sonething to the cell ballancer system!.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:59 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Spar: Amen!
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:03 AM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Drag:

Charger has served me faithfully for several years. Generally charg quality batteries like Thunder Power, and they stay right at rating or more. Do you have a recommendation for a good charger incorporating a ballencer system? Not opposed to something better, if its better.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:33 AM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

I would think that a thermal circuit breaker could lower the charge rate or open the circuit to meet certain variable conditions, but never would consider another gizmo in the equation a guarantee. Still have to treat those packs like they are bombs.
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:21 AM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Wow, Roger.

That really bites, but it could have been worse.

Thankfully you were nearby.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:02 AM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Very lucky, indeed. Glad to hear that no one was hurt, inlcuding the pooch.

I have charged NiCd/NiMh Rx batteries inside models forever. I can see how doing it with a LiPo would seem like a natural thing to do. Thanks for the heads up. Since LiPo will become more and more common as time goes by this is a strong lesson for us all.
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:54 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Dave:

Good part is that the Rusty Miss Ashley hanging on the ceiling above was not hirt. Ordered it as a Christmas guift to me and the gang. The Jett 60 LX is back from a checkup and looking for a home. Will not drag out the fast stuff until the gang is consistently beating the 55 Webra powered Avi-Star with 40" wing. They are resorting to LR-1's with 40's now, but they still gotta fly them. One has a Jett 40 Q-500 with a carb added, I'm supposed to be so ignorant I don't know what it is, I guess. Regardless, ENJOY
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:58 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Wow, that is a bummer. There are two ways to look at it: Thank goodness it didn't spread to the house and the family is safe... and bummer your Yak is torched! #1 is always on top!

I don't own the Astro 109 but if it uses an auto cell count detector it probably thought it was a higher cell count and cranked up the volts. That's generally what I've heard of packs having such a violent reaction. That or a major balance issue... Either way, it's a reminder for those who play with Lipos and what the potential is for this. Your humility in sharing this deserves our respect not to thrash on you since you are cleaning up and paying for the mess. []
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:18 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Troy:

As things are calming down and clean up and repairs are ongoing, I found something of interest. The battery involved here was at the bottom of the fuse, almost enclosed by the plywood engine box. It did not explode as you would call like a gunshot or firecracker, it clearly went Poooooooosch with 2-3 foot flames following. I am finding dime sized burns in the carpet 6 feet away. Thats a lot of potential for flame spread in most environments. And yess, like Combat Pig, all future lipo charging will be done outside the airframe (normal for me with this one exception), and now in a non combustable enclosure treating them like a bomb and a close by fire extinguisher. There are extinguishers in my kitchen and outside workshop where I paint etc., never got around to this room. Changing that one today.

Thee Astro Flight 109 must be manually set for the charg rate, 5C, 10C etc. and shuts off at detected peak. I have used it for several years with the quality batteries such as Thunder Power. After having almost all the other packs end up with issues and the TP's staying strong with no issues, I use them exclusively at present. I have not purchased a charger with ballencer and/or probe as the TP packs stay very close at all 3 cells when occasionally checked. Gonna have to get on Red Schoefield's site and see what would be the best overall system to purchase, or mayby add a good ballencer to the 109. Thank God for people like Red, he's is a priceless asset to our hobby. I try to stay with good self setting automatic equipment hopefully avoiding problems. I enjoy flying the electrics very much, but hate the electronic learning curve, and stay with the good shops that test and recommend motor/esc and battery size systems. It ends up cheaper in the long run to buy what is known to work rather than buy several guesses. I stay with AXI, and Hacker motors, Castle esc. and tp batteries as the performance and quality is known to be there, and they have been smart enough to provide thrust numbers as a excellent guide.

I continue to be amaized buy the quality of people we enjoy within this hobby group, their careing and sharing. Not to mention things like the mind games of Daven vs the other go fasters intending to compete in the Min. races later this month. Reading their banter gets my competitive juice's flowing hard. After racing dragsters, sport cars, moto-cross and go carts for many years, no way am I ever ever ever ever ever going to take a Q-500 or formula to a national event. I hope to go watch a few in the next year, just to meet some of you nuts in person and enjoy the company. I ramble, by. ENJOY
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:22 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Roger,

I shared a couple beers with Rusty down in Muncie a few weeks ago and your name came up

Thanks for the kind words, the Minnesota Big Race is this Saturday!!! Still time for you to enter, if your ok with coming in 2nd
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:40 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

rmenke: This may be common knowledge to those who use lipo's so forgive me if I am preaching to the choir. Last May at Sepulveda Basin model airport Hobby People held their annual Engine Clinic. At the afternoon session the discussion was electrics, focusing on lipo batteries. Mike G. told us that in experiments he had conducted to make a lipo ignite, that it was like water balloon developing a pinhole leak. He has seen a lipo shoot 2000°F (or whatever) lithium 20' across a room. He said it all depends on the size and capacity of the lipo. If it is a very large battery, the potential to shoot flaming lithium a greater distance exists. And along with that, the larger the capacity the longer it will continue to spew the flaming goods. Scary indeed.

From the time I purchased my first lipo battery, and I only own four of them now, I have stored and charged them in a BBQ. I figure if it can withstand red hot coals it can handle a rupturing lipo. I do not want my house to burn down. [X(]
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

From the time I purchased my first lipo battery, and I only own four of them now, I have stored and charged them in a BBQ. I figure if it can withstand red hot coals it can handle a rupturing lipo. I do not want my house to burn down.
Well I'll be dawged!! I thought I was the only one who had come up for a use of the old Weber!

Roger... Glad you're safe, and thanks for the post. A discussion with another flyer about charging my ignition lipo (evidently same engine as your's) inside the airframe has been validated. Hopefully you save someone's family or home with your near tragedy.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:19 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

Dave:

Now I see what king of guy you are. Come on and fly with us, your gonna settle for second. Nothing like cranking up a poor old over the hill racer. You have no idea what kind of monster you may create here. This is one large character flawed human your kicking. I know there must always be someone bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, lurking aoround, but 2nd is just not acceptable until you pry my transmitter out of my cold dead hands. It does happen a little more frequently now at 73. Imagine me standing next to you in a close heat. "O'h Dave, did I trip you? No Dave, had to be someone else who reached over and pushed full down. What ya mean, I am swerving and blocking your line, go high like everyone else." Bet you would be the first to snivle at my modified 60LX with Q-500 venturi engine? You really should not call out someone with these character flaws, the epitome of the word tretcherous. I will get to one of the good races to goad you guys in the near future, but not going to open that door again. Thanks for the appreciated guidance. ENJOY Roger
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO

LOL Roger, love your spirit! Rusty mentioned you were quite a character. One of my dearest friends turns 70 this year, and still flies Q40 routinely. If your character flawed, your flying the right planes, thats for sure. Your going to have a hard time blocking my line, although I might get in your way at nearly 6'4".

I kinda like the old, jab em' with the antenna routine, or yell out "Rogers got a cut"!!! Good enough to throw you off for a lap or two.

Hope to see you at the races, the one in PHoenix in February is a great one.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:12 PM
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Default RE: FIRE FIRE FIRE--LIPO


ORIGINAL: rmenke

Drag:

Charger has served me faithfully for several years. Generally charg quality batteries like Thunder Power, and they stay right at rating or more. Do you have a recommendation for a good charger incorporating a ballencer system? Not opposed to something better, if its better.

Roger, I am one to push the limits of lipos and consistantly blow them up due to the high amp draw. But as far as charging them I use the simple Triton charger and balance my packs after every 3rd charge. If you want better any of these Hyperion or Extreme chargers should serve you well.

http://1301774.estore.networksolutio...+%26+Balancers

There will probably be many people tell you they've had their Astro forever and have never had a problem with it, but I mention the the Astro because I've read countless cases of people burning up their packs, cars, houses, flying fields etc... and the common denominator was that charger. Not to say it couldn't happen to another but the Astro does seem to run into voltage cutoff issues when the pack become unbalanced.

Good luck and be careful.

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