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HelicopterMain Discussion › Lipo care
10-24-2009 04:07 AM  8 years agoPost 1
windshear

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Dallas, TX

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I just set up a 2 cell lipo to power my heli's receiver through a regulator. Since I don't have a switch I disconnect the lipo after every flight. My question is do you guys remove the lipo from the helicopter when you get home from flying? Do you keep them in a fire proof container? What about removing for charging? I saw the pictures of the helicopter burnt to a crisp when charging the battery in the heli.

Thanks

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10-24-2009 04:19 AM  8 years agoPost 2
fenderstrat

rrProfessor

Aston,Pa

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you should remove the lipo for charging

as for storing in something,I can see the safety aspect of charging in a fireproof container(I dont,personally,I prefer to watch them while charging)I see no need to store a lipo in any special container.you will have many guys who for some reason fear lipos like they are C4,but a lipo WILL NOT explode for no reason.when treated with common sense and follow the rules, they are safe.most lipo fires are human error and the new generation of chargers that are designed from the ground up for lipos are making lipo incidents very rare.

any other question,just ask

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10-24-2009 04:32 AM  8 years agoPost 3
what_the_helli

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cookeville, tn USA

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I leave my RX lipo's in the heli's all the time, even when charging. I do take out my main power packs for charging just because it is easier. Also I leave my RX lipo's hooked up all the time, but I do have a switch. at the field I charge my lipos from my truck battery and just set the batt right there under the hood as my grill has a small ledge. At home I charge them on the kitchen counter, as I have one that sticks out 3' past my cabinets "just in case" I also charge all my packs at a 2C charge rate. Next round of batts I buy will go to 5C.

If your using a good charger you should not have a problem, as most charging issues come from over charging.

Some guys like to use lipo sacks, ammo cans, ceramic flower pots and fire retardant ceiling tiles. I don't bother with any of it, I just make sure my insurance doesn't lapse

I put the fun in dysFUNctional :)
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10-24-2009 04:35 AM  8 years agoPost 4
FlaG8r

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Florida

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I'd remove the lipo. Chances are nothing would ever happen, but as you can see by the below picture from our club a few months ago. The gentleman was charging a lipo in his plane and poof. No need to burn down your equipment to save the trouble undoing the lipo.

Life is tough, it's tougher if you're stupid

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10-24-2009 04:41 AM  8 years agoPost 5
fenderstrat

rrProfessor

Aston,Pa

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thats a nice pic but without any info,it doesn't mean too much.

sure there may be a few instances of fire,but if you consider all the lipos in use right now(hundreds of thousands),the percentage is very very small.ESC's and BEC's have also been known to catch fire,but no one freaks out about them

and removing the battery for charging eliminates that completely

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10-24-2009 04:48 AM  8 years agoPost 6
jbdww

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Round Rock, Texas

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A Lipo can catch on fire during charging if you charge on the main leads with one of the cells way out of balance causing a cell to go past its max voltage.

Skids Up
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10-24-2009 04:53 AM  8 years agoPost 7
fenderstrat

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Aston,Pa

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A Lipo can catch on fire during charging if you charge on the main leads with one of the cells way out of balance causing a cell to go past its max voltage.
none of the new generation chargers will let that happen,and this is why you ALWAYS balance charge a lipo,with a charger/balancer set up that communicates

and many other chemistries will catch fire if the cells are overcharged

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10-24-2009 04:55 AM  8 years agoPost 8
Wingman77

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Pulaski Tennessee

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lol I hooked a 3s lipo up to my solar panel a few weeks ago....should of had a camera, it was awsome!

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10-24-2009 02:09 PM  8 years agoPost 9
w.pasman

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Netherlands

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I charge the two cells of my lipo separately and at low charge speed overnight. I can't get them out of my heli as they are completely built into the frame... I hope I'm safe because of the two safety options (1) always voltage for 1 cell charge only so can't get over-voltage errors (2) never high currents.

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10-24-2009 02:46 PM  8 years agoPost 10
FlaG8r

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Florida

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I wouldn't charge them unattended overnight.

Life is tough, it's tougher if you're stupid

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10-24-2009 03:24 PM  8 years agoPost 11
what_the_helli

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cookeville, tn USA

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I don't like to leave anything charge overnight. Of course it takes a steam whistle or a freight train to wake me so you can see why
a 1C charge rate has been safe for a long time. At that rate it will only take them an hour to charge. When ever I am charging batts I do stay when I can keep an eye on them.

I put the fun in dysFUNctional :)
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10-24-2009 03:59 PM  8 years agoPost 12
Gyronut

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Martinsville In.

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Everytime I see a pic of something like this I wonder what the circumstances were...

What charger, What charger program was called up. Was the batt damaged or puffed, sloppy wiring...

Rick

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10-25-2009 03:42 PM  8 years agoPost 13
billiano

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Greece ,Patras

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Nowadays we all try to catch on time but..One of the things that keeps us in the hobby is patience so let's give our small fortunes the time they need..than giving them fire extinguisher's foam or CO2..

Esprit Model Flight Team
Kasama Srimok 90N FBL
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10-25-2009 04:15 PM  8 years agoPost 14
nickt919

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New Orleans, Louisiana

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none of the new generation chargers will let that happen,and this is why you ALWAYS balance charge a lipo,with a charger/balancer set up that communicates
This is most definitely the safest way to prevent over charging of any one cell. The thing that scares me about lipo packs is the small gauge balance leads coming out of the end of the pack with the heavy power leads. I always have it in the back of my mind that two or more of these balance leads can short together, break inside the isulation, or something like that from repeated handling or the pack assembler dude just having a bad day the day he made my pack up. Right now I'd never charge a lipo without a charger that gives me individual cell read outs alhough I used to. I don't use ammo cans or containment devices but then I'm stuck watching the batteries charge. I'm new to lipos but not electricity. It only takes a few seconds for it to get out of it's intended path to create havoc. The great thing about the lipos is the amount of energy you can store in a small package but it's that very thing that makes them command the attention then they need. As long as you use common sense to charge you can all but eliminate the chances of a fire charging lipos. And this means don't put them up on a charge at 2C blind and go off for a few hours to do something else.

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10-26-2009 04:05 AM  8 years agoPost 15
Band1086

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Kennewick, Wa. USA

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I've been flying/charging lipo's for three years now, all mahs, 2-6S without incident. I am careful to follow all instructions of both battery and charger manufacturer's(THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT). Common sense as stated above is your best friend when using these. I would NEVER leave a lipo charging all night. That is why most new chargers have a time out feature for safety. Don't take "Tim the Tool Man Taylor's" advice that the instructions are just the maufacturer's opinion on how to do it!

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10-26-2009 08:26 AM  8 years agoPost 16
itsjojo

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North East Pennnsylvania

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My friend from a local club had 2 helis burn up in the back of his car. For this reason alone I do take the packs out for transport. I am guilty of not doing it all the time but his lesson did make me bet a fire box to transport all my lipos. I am sure a simple short caused this. One rule is that I do unplug my lipos and don't rely on the switch. I don't think it would be to hard for lipos being roughed up a little to short. Yikes!

JoJo
Foreseeing My Flybarless Future!

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10-26-2009 02:17 PM  8 years agoPost 17
nickt919

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New Orleans, Louisiana

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I don't think it would be to hard for lipos being roughed up a little to short.
That's what I'm thinking too. Lipos don't come in a steel can. They appear to be in an aluminum foil case and can get penetrated easy. That along with all the tiny guage balance leads leaves me feeling they can short out much easier than a nicad or nimh battery. Just rubbing on the heli frame from normal vibes can wear through a wire or the lipo case and go undetected if it stays in the heli. Sometimes proper charging isn't the cause of a lipo fire. Now I need to go take the lipos out of my helis to look at them. I've never taken them out since the build.

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10-26-2009 02:31 PM  8 years agoPost 18
jbdww

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Round Rock, Texas

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Heat is a big factor in catching a lipo on fire. Do not leave them in a car with the inside temperature going above 160 deg.

Skids Up
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10-26-2009 03:40 PM  8 years agoPost 19
Band1086

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Kennewick, Wa. USA

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160 inside the car couldn't be good for anything... including the car!!!

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10-26-2009 06:09 PM  8 years agoPost 20
pgoelz

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Rochester MI

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Whether or not it is a good idea to store and/or charge LiPos without a safety container is the same argument as whether or not helis are safe.

Under normal circumstances, both are fairly safe.

But just like a link can pop off or a radio can fail, things CAN go wrong with LiPos and with chargers. The charger can fail and go full on (ie., overvoltage), a connection internal to the battery and covered by packaging can short, the cell itself can short from a defect or from abuse.

There is a LOT of stored energy in a LiPo, even a discharged one. Because they are in a thin plastic bag instead of a metallic casing, any combustion is self-sustaining, will not be contained at all and will ignite anything in the vicinity.

I am not willing to risk it, and the solution is stupidly simple. All my packs are stored in an ammo box when not in use. At the field I charge on the ground and away from the car by several feet. On the rare occasion when I charge at home, I charge in that same ammo box. I feel very well protected. I find it no inconvenience at all (you need to carry your packs in SOMETHING, after all), and the ammo box only cost $4.95 at the surplus store. I much prefer it to a lipo sack because it should completely contain any flames or sparks as well as most of the heat. I know the lipo sack is supposed to also, but I prefer a steel ammo box.

Those of you who charge in or on the car or in the house without a safety container..... are you REALLY willing to risk losing the car or the house to a freak failure? Because that is exactly what you are doing. You can argue all day about how there are millions of cells out there and they don't just spontaneously ignite. Very true under normal circumstances. But things can and do go wrong and chargers can fail. It is rare but it can happen.

Paul

Paul Goelz
Rochester MI USA
http://www.pgoelz.com

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HelicopterMain Discussion › Lipo care
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