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09-20-2009 08:34 PM  11 years ago
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MikeC

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Mosinee, WI

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My first Lipo fire!
I was just charging a TP 3S 2100 packs (my oldest one) in the house and my AF 109 started beeping continuously. I went over to it and saw there was a battery fault on the display. I immediately checked it and found it was puffing quite a bit. I took the pack outside and within a few minutes it started gassing and a few seconds after that came the flames! Wow, that was exciting! Looks like I need a new pack and a new Liposack!

I'm always within sight of my charger and they're always either inside a Liposack or ammo can but I may have to re-think how long I continue to use my batteries after they start to shows signs of age (this pack was definitely down compared to my newer 3S 2100's).

Mike
Century Swift, TREX 450, Blade MCX, Spektrum DX7
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09-20-2009 08:41 PM  11 years ago
MrMel

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Gotland

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Glad you caught it in time.

Get a better charger, AF109 is notorious pack killer/lipo fire starters.
Just search RCGroups battery section if you want too see a pattern.
Gone fishing..or hunting..or something
My site: http://heli.dacsa.net - VBar videos and more
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09-21-2009 02:19 AM  11 years ago
MikeC

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Mosinee, WI

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I have no reason to think the charger had anything to do with it. I have 2 AF109's and they've worked flawlessly for years. This was one of my oldest packs and it was on it's last legs. I only used it on models that didn't tax the battery too much.

Mike
Century Swift, TREX 450, Blade MCX, Spektrum DX7
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09-21-2009 06:38 AM  11 years ago
MrMel

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Gotland

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Fire only start in over-charge conditions, it let it happen...
Search AF109, Fire over at RCGroups.

Your pack probably had a bad cell, which didnt take charge, to compensate (total voltage) the charger overcharged the other cells.
A better charger would have detected over charge situation and shutdown the charge before it happen any dangerous.
Gone fishing..or hunting..or something
My site: http://heli.dacsa.net - VBar videos and more
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09-21-2009 10:17 AM  11 years ago
OICU812

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Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

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Agreed pack going or not a better charger/balancer setup would have prevented this. My only fire situation ever was with that same setup you descirbe....Once upon a time there were Nitros, flybars and frequency pins...
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09-22-2009 04:14 PM  11 years ago
Pistol Pete

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Seffner, FL

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A better charger would have detected over charge situation and shutdown the charge before it happen any dangerous.
absolutely there are better chargers out there, however, a balancer between batt and astro 109 would have prevented same.

Still using mine with upgraded chip and zero mishaps...so far
~~Enjoying the hobby one flight at a time~~
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09-22-2009 04:16 PM  11 years ago
MrMel

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Gotland

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Yup, a inline balancer will always take the security to the next step.Gone fishing..or hunting..or something
My site: http://heli.dacsa.net - VBar videos and more
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09-23-2009 12:41 PM  11 years ago
MikeC

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Mosinee, WI

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however, a balancer between batt and astro 109 would have prevented same.
I had my Blinky on it but I have a theory as to why it happened. A few weeks ago I charged one of my older 3S 2100 TP packs (may have been this one, maybe not) when I noticed I didn't get all 3 lights on initially. I unplugged it and the adapter and reconnected and everything was fine. Assuming it was the battery that just went up in smoke, my guess is the wire on the balance tap was loose inside.

This has got me thinking. I have several older small packs that don't have balance taps on them. I'm either going to add them or toss the batteries. It's a PITA to add a tap to a TP pack. Any of the packs like the Electrifly that have the circuit board for connection of the leads are a lot easier.

Mike
Century Swift, TREX 450, Blade MCX, Spektrum DX7
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09-23-2009 09:26 PM  11 years ago
bexusflexus

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Tulsa, OK

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Use those old ones w/out balancing leads for skeet.even not doing anything would have been better than nothing...
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09-29-2009 02:37 PM  11 years ago
2low

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elkview,WV

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When charging in the house I use a big clay bowl and a pitcher of sand just in case. You can not be to careful with these things.Got to have my cup of heli in the morning.
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10-02-2009 02:46 AM  11 years ago
CRCR

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Aus

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Do Lipos ever tend to explode or catch fire while in storage or flying? or do they only catch fire when charging?
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10-05-2009 10:32 AM  11 years ago
OICU812

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Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

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CRCR, it's been said a few times here and there, but it is not so much when or where it is elements of the user and their education imho. Lipo quality to begin with, how many cycles on the pack, charger quality, balancer incorporated, but MAINLY common sense of the user period!

Getting into electrics in a big way common sense has to prevail in any situation, storage, flying and general care. Here imho are a few good guidlines to understand if you are or are going to be an electric guy, anyone may feel free to add their own points as well.

1.) Always try to abide by flying no more then 80% of the packs MAH capacity.
2.) Observe the packs manufacturers guidlines on charging and discharging rate.
3.) Choose and fly the proper pack for "your" application
4.) When storing, store at "proper" value for the pack
5.) Be smart about tracking your lipo usage, pay attention to how much a lipo takes over time and recognize when a lipo is no good and dispose of it safely and properly.
6.) Don't cheap out on chargers and balancers, do your research and buy something "safe" and "proven", same respect to lipos, do your research!

Those are just a few, if those are followed from day one your journey will be pleasant indeed.
...Once upon a time there were Nitros, flybars and frequency pins...
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10-05-2009 05:17 PM  11 years ago
Cowjock

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Pa.

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Don't cheap out on chargers and balancers, do your research and buy something "safe" and "proven"
+1 cheap charges just don't cut it.
Damn that ground is hard! When's the right time to get out of this money sucking hobby?
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10-05-2009 09:37 PM  11 years ago
misskimo

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Alaska 17 years, before mississippi for 31y

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hey, well with the astro 109 the main thing I sean that went wrong was the end user would top off a charged pack , astro 109 has a auto cell detector. if a 3S pack fully charged is hooked up . the astro will go to 4S and boom. I still charge with the astro 109. mainly because I been charging 2 6S packs in parallel for 3 years now with out a problem. I had astro 109s since they came out. 4 in all. this year Im going with other charges that charge alot of amps. TP will come out with their welder soon I hope. Chris said we need 1000 watts chargers now, he he

T
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10-07-2009 08:28 AM  11 years ago
OICU812

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Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

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More high power charger systems would be great Tony, always nice to have options. ...Once upon a time there were Nitros, flybars and frequency pins...
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