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View Full Version : Product Warning - MRC 969 Hazard


Red Scholefield
10-23-2005, 04:40 PM
The MRC Super Brain 696 Pro advertises it is Lithium compatible.

"This powerful charger has an ability to deliver 4.5 amps per channel when
using DC input. Now you can charge two batteries of different voltages or
types simultaneously, or charge one battery while discharging another. For
pro users, the 969 Pro has a variety of settings for optimal charge.

AC/DC delta peak charger with patented MicroPeak Technology
Charges NiCd, NiMH, Li & Pb batteries"

From MRC Super Brain 969 Pro AC/DC Delta Peak Charger with Dual Output and
Discharge Function Instruction Manual.

Model Rectifier Corporation
80 Newfield Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837-3817
732 225-6360
www.modelrectifier.com

B. CHARGING LITHIUM ION-POLYMER BATTERIES

Never leave batteries unattended when charging. Monitor the temperature of
the battery occasionally during the charge cycle. If batteries become hot,
disconnect immediately.

Because of the volatile nature of Lithium batteries, great care must be
taken when charging these cells. If improperly or over charged, the is the
risk that the battery will explode or catch fire. Please follow instructions
and/or recommendations from battery manufacturer when selecting proper
charge rate.

You should always select 5mV peak threshold for all Lithium Ion/Polymer
batteries. You should also start with a fully discharged battery and do a
"capacity" charge as stated above in step 8. However, do not enter a
capacity higher than the rated capacity of the battery or damage may occur.
If you do not begin with a fully discharged battery, then you will have to
estimate the remaining capacity in the battery. We recommend that you use a
charge rate at no higher than half (0.5 times) the rated capacity (example
for 6OOmAH battery the charge rate = 0.5 x 600 or 0.30 amps). Also, be
careful not to discharge the battery too low (3 volts per cell), or damage
to the battery may occur. We recommend that you use a discharge rate no
higher than 0.2 amps.


LITHIUM BATTERIES DO NOT HAVE A PEAK, IF THE CHARGE IS NOT TERMINATED THE
VOLTAGE JUST KEEPS RISING UNTIL THE BATTERY SELF DESTRUCTS IN MANNER THAT
COULD CAUSE A FIRE. IF THE USER DOES NOT CORRECTLY ESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF
CAPACITY REMAINING IN THE BATTERY AT THE BEGINNING OF CHARGE OR THE CAPACITY
HAS DIMINISHED WITH USE, A SERIOUS AND HAZARDOUS SITUATION WILL EXIST.

Red S.
The Battery Clinic
www.rcbatteryclinic.com

mclintock
04-24-2006, 03:12 AM
If you own a Superbrain 969 and wish to use it to charge lithium batteries, please first use the MRC contact info above to have the unit updated to 977 specifications, whose new lithium charging mode no longer requires guesswork.
The update includes new printed instructions.

meatball
04-25-2006, 02:49 AM
does it cost a fee to get it updated or is it pay for shipping one way?

mclintock
04-25-2006, 03:17 AM
I think MRC may have recently begun charging for the update, or there may be two different updates. I sent mine in Feb, and it was free, I just paid to ship it there, they paid to ship it back. I just sent in my charger, not the power supply. Others have stated that they were charged 30 dollars, but that included a much better AC power supply, the same as the one supplied with the newer 977.
Just call MRC to get the fresh scoop. Either way, its a worthwhile update.

jhouvener
05-16-2006, 01:05 AM
After reading Red"s thread on the mrc charger, I sure am glad that I have had the Astro lipol charger for some time. It works flaw less all the time.

Ribcracker
05-16-2006, 03:35 AM
I sent mine in about six months ago because of a bad switch. When I got it back (perfectly repaired), they informed me that they had done the upgrade and included the "new" manual. There was no charge for the repair or the upgrade. I liked it before and I like it even better now.

Red Scholefield
05-16-2006, 01:46 PM
After reading Red"s thread on the mrc charger, I sure am glad that I have had the Astro lipol charger for some time. It works flaw less all the time.

Astro Flight is offering an upgrade chip (US$10) that you can easily install and take your 109 to ver 1.7 It has pretty well eliminated the jumped cell count problem encountered in the earlier version. At least I could not make the Ver 1.7 miscount cells in a pack as could be done with earlier version.

tnorton12000
05-26-2006, 08:05 AM
The 969 was never intended to charge li-po cell's, only Nicad and NiMh. The 977 is and works great. TN......

redgiki
05-26-2006, 08:13 AM
The 969 was never intended to charge li-po cell's, only Nicad and NiMh.

See, I don't believe that. I find it much more likely that the Product Management and Engineering departments had different expectations for the device, and that along the way, someone -- or a whole bunch of someones -- screwed up. It probably went something like this.

Product Engineer to Project Manager: "You want us to retrofit this aging peak charger design to charge Lithium Polymer batteries as well? You must be out of your mind!"

Project Manager to Correlation Committee: "We must be mindful as we retrofit this venerable charger to handle Lithium batteries."

Correlation Committee to Board: "This robust, time-tested charger will give you peace of mind when charging Lithium batteries."

Board: "Ship it!"

ragbag
05-26-2006, 10:42 AM
Astro Flight is offering an upgrade chip (US$10) that you can easily install and take your 109 to ver 1.7 It has pretty well eliminated the jumped cell count problem encountered in the earlier version. At least I could not make the Vwer 1.7 miscount cells in a pack as could be done with earlier version.

I came by a 109 recently. I added the upgrade chip and it will now be my
go-to charger from now on.
It was my charger of choice at one time, just got tired of waiting for it to come online.
The LN5014 does fit in the field box nicely, just haven't had reason to charge at the field.
I have four other chargers and this will be the one online most of the time, the little Apache might be used for single cell charging, why hunt rabbits with an elephant gun?:D

Oh yes, when all else fails, do read the instructions. The mode thing threw me off, thought it had jumped cells. If I had read one more page!!



.

Red Scholefield
05-26-2006, 10:50 AM
The 969 was never intended to charge li-po cell's, only Nicad and NiMh. The 977 is and works great. TN......

I don't know what was intended but they advertised it as charging lithium.
From their instruction book:

"Thank you for purchasing MRC’s Super Brain 969 Pro charger. The 969 offers
you the latest technology and many more features over the previous models,
but still at a very affordable price.
I. FEATURES
• AC/DC Delta Peak charger with dual independent outputs
• Discharge function allows you to get the most out of your batteries
• Charge two batteries at the same time – even if they are different voltages
and/or battery types
• Charge and discharge at the same time (discharge on channel A only)
• Charges NiCd, NiMH, Lithium, and Lead Acid".

Of all the chargers tested by the Battery Clinic I would put this one at a 2.5 out of 10 if it were not the claim for charging lithium - that took it to ZERO! :mad:

I'm surprised someone has not sued their pants off!

mclintock
05-26-2006, 12:47 PM
I remember before they released the 977 and also offered the free upgrade of the 969 to 977 functionality, the claim of the 969's ability to be a lithium charger sort of disappeared.
The ad for it in Tower Hobbies site had lost all of the references to charging Lithium types, and I wonder if perhaps an edited version of the manual was sent out with some units. Although hopefully they instead developed and did the 977 update and sent the updated 969s out with the post-update manual.
As to being sued, I suppose if you did follow the directions exactly, guessing the capacity in mah needed to charge the lipo etc., it would charge lipos as stated. Safely? Easliy? No. -But maybe just possible enough not to be sued. More likely most people who bought this are more into charging nimh car packs, like I was when I bought my 969, and airplane people bought the triton instead.

I wonder what the rate of lipo fires-per-charger is for the old style 969 vs triton and others..

Matt Kirsch
05-26-2006, 01:51 PM
Very little can protect a manufacturer from a product liability lawsuit. All the plaintiff has to do is prove in the least little way that there was negligence involved. With the complicated method MRC describes for charging LiPolys and all the possibilities for disaster with the old 969, it'd be a 15-minute slam-dunk in front of a judge and jury.

Your suspicion that few of these chargers were ever used to charge LiPolys is probably correct. They're not a big seller to begin with, and like you, I'd imagine that most were purchased to charge car packs. Plus, there has been an active campaign on this website and others to warn people of the danger of using the 969 to charge LiPolys...

Ledlysstofrør1
09-12-2011, 09:41 AM
Vores løsninger giver store muligheder for besparelser på jeres elregning. Hvis du vil have en indikation på, hvor stor jeres energibesparelse kan blive, så udfyld vores online beregningsskema og få et hurtigt

Henry Sistrunk
09-12-2011, 11:07 PM
Vores løsninger giver store muligheder for besparelser på jeres elregning. Hvis du vil have en indikation på, hvor stor jeres energibesparelse kan blive, så udfyld vores online beregningsskema og få et hurtigt


I Agree
Henry

NJSwede
09-12-2011, 11:33 PM
Vores løsninger giver store muligheder for besparelser på jeres elregning. Hvis du vil have en indikation på, hvor stor jeres energibesparelse kan blive, så udfyld vores online beregningsskema og få et hurtigt

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