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View Full Version : What do you charge your Lipo's in?


JimClark
11-23-2005, 08:40 AM
I am interested in what people use to charge lipo's in? I have seen the pottery urn's thought i can't find a link now, I was wondering if you had any pictures of your setup. Like how you modified a ammo box ect.
Jim Clark

larrymcg
11-23-2005, 10:13 PM
I store them and charge them in a metal bucket. The lipos sit on a bag of sand and there is another bag of sand on top of them. Both bags are plastic food storage bags. I think the theory is that if the batteries get too hot or catch fire the plastic melts and the sand puts out the fire. Luckily I haven't had to find out if the theory is correct or not! :)

--Larry

Twmaster
11-24-2005, 05:01 AM
I use an old porcelain bowl to charge them in. Otherwise they just stay in my field box.

PBY-5A
11-24-2005, 06:02 AM
Inside a covered old crock pot.

qban_flyer
11-24-2005, 07:02 AM
Three pictures are worth more than whatever I can say. :)

Don Sims
11-24-2005, 10:53 AM
I charge mine in an old cinderblock on a sand floor out in the barn. All my planes are out there so the batteries are too.

ragbag
11-24-2005, 12:51 PM
Three pictures are worth more than whatever I can say. :)

Qban,

Pictures do say a lot.
I like the urn? in picture one and two, with Bert on it. Is that something you modified or bought?

If you bought it, what is the source?

The crock pot is an excelant idea and they are everywhere at flea markets and yard sales.

I'm using a pyrex bread "pan" now, cover it with a piece of floor tile. It is almost the same shape as the container in the first picture, but I have almost dropped the tile on the "pan", so something with a handle would serve me better.
By George

hoppy
11-24-2005, 02:20 PM
I will not use anything that fractures when it breaks. This includes anything made of glass. If it did overpressurize to the point that it breaks, it could throw glass pieces all over.

Walmart sells a small dome shaped BBQ for about $10 which has a top that locks down with the handle. I put a heavy dinner plate inside to hold the batteries. Hasn't been tested yet (and I hope it never will be) so I can't say how good it is.

qban_flyer
11-24-2005, 02:55 PM
I charge mine in an old cinderblock on a sand floor out in the barn. All my planes are out there so the batteries are too.

You're lucky to have a barn. I charge mine on the concrete floor of my backyard patio. Far away from any and all wooden structures. :)

Solcat
11-24-2005, 03:02 PM
Bbq

qban_flyer
11-24-2005, 03:03 PM
Qban,

Pictures do say a lot.
I like the urn? in picture one and two, with Bert on it. Is that something you modified or bought?

If you bought it, what is the source?

I'm using a pyrex bread "pan" now, cover it with a piece of floor tile. It is almost the same shape as the container in the first picture, but I have almost dropped the tile on the "pan", so something with a handle would serve me better.
By George

By George.

Both are available from Suzie Goose Hobbies in Rockville, MD. Roy Smith closed shop October 31st. but is still selling these containers from home.

He cut the "slot" and put my name on the white one before firing it (@ 1900 degrees), he's done the same for other club members. I have known Roy since 1971, he's a great guy. He charges $17.50 for the white one. He is best contacted vial e-mail: Suzgoose@aol.com :)

qban_flyer
11-24-2005, 03:10 PM
I will not use anything that fractures when it breaks. This includes anything made of glass. If it did overpressurize to the point that it breaks, it could throw glass pieces all over.Good point hoppy. Flying glass would act as shrapnel.

Walmart sells a small dome shaped BBQ for about $10 which has a top that locks down with the handle. I put a heavy dinner plate inside to hold the batteries. Hasn't been tested yet (and I hope it never will be) so I can't say how good it is.I feel the same about my containers. I hope everything remains the way it has been for the past three plus years. Though I keep a five gallon bucket full of play sand next to the Li-Po charging station "just in case". :)

hoppy
11-24-2005, 05:19 PM
For those of you who have not seen what a lipo ignition of a large pack does in a closed container, check these threads.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355739&highlight=explosion+

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3100510&highlight=explosion+#post3100510

ForestCam
11-24-2005, 05:39 PM
I use an old porcelain bowl to charge them in. Otherwise they just stay in my field box.

Doesn't the water hurt them? And would blue water be more detrimental?
:p

Bigfoot21075
11-28-2005, 03:04 PM
I charge them on the grill on my kitchen range under the hood.

qban_flyer
11-28-2005, 03:59 PM
I charge them on the grill on my kitchen range under the hood.

Now, that's a great idea to charge them indoor in the coming Winter months.

I usually do it outdoors on the concrete patio inside a fire proof container, but in Wheaton it gets kinda cold to do so from November through March. :)

Matt Kirsch
11-28-2005, 04:03 PM
Being a bachelor, I'm not exactly the casserole type. That didn't stop an overzealous mom or aunt from buying me a Pyrex dish set that included two covered casserole dishes for Christmas some years ago...

Three guesses where I charge my LiPoly packs :)

LuckyArmpit
11-29-2005, 12:58 AM
I charge mine full at 7 amps on top of my kerosene container. :D
I have a metal tray that I use and the packs sit on it. All done in my basement. I don't charge them without being in the shop though.
After charging, I inspect for bulges and heat and then they get quarranteened for 1/2 to 1 hour. Same thing after I'm done flying a pack.
They get set aside and inspected for bulges. After a couple of hours, they get put in a drawer. I don't push the packs to the limit. They are too expensive to be frivolous with.

Dave...

Big_Bird
11-29-2005, 02:24 AM
Today I went down to the local Army / Navy store to buy an ammo box. What you see including the box, grommets, and tax cost all of $5.50. I used plywood partitions to protect other batteries if one should catch fire. Yes, I know, plywood will burn but not that quickly.

Ken

qban_flyer
11-29-2005, 02:41 AM
Nice, inexpensive and effective. I will stop by and check what my A/ N surplus store has on hand.

Your container looks like the perfect one for transportation to and from the field.

Big_Bird
11-29-2005, 04:33 AM
I am still pretty new to electric flying. I have been taking some of these "scare" stories about lipos with a grain of salt. It doesn't make sense to me that such a dangerous item as this could be sold in this country without restrictions. Also, none of the "local experts" that I have talked with seem to have any fear of lipos. That all changed when I received an e-mail from a good friend, who I trust, who lives in another state. That's why I bought the ammo box today. Here is the e-mail:

"Yes, That appears to be a good piece of equipment. I was of the first in this area a couple of years ago to start my learning curve on the Li-po front. We have had a couple of incidents during this time. The worst by far was a flying friend of mine that uses high end equipment, but he made a mistake and it nearly burnt down his chrysler van...in his attached garage, while he and his wife had dinner.
The best we can tell is that it misread his pack and he did not see it on the readout ( or problem with charger?? ) either way he broke rule #1...never, never charge a lipo when it is out of your sight, never....and rule #2, always charge in a fire proof container..always, always, no exceptions. It nearly burnt his house down but he caught it in time to get the van outside before it got out of hand. Lucky they were having a quick dinner and went back outside when they did. It burnt the rear of the van out and burnt up around a grand worth of field and elec equipment, batteries, and modeling supplies...around a 2K loss because he did not follow the rules, he was charging a cell in the rear of his van, on carpet. AstroFlight replaced all the chargers burnt up during the incident as they think it was at least possible there could have been a flaw in a charger but all was melted into a huge mass of molten plastic..damn decent of them I think. Since then he has had a single pack swell to near bursting while charging. Possibly a bad cell.
No matter the stories make sure you remove the pack and charge it in an ammo can, covered pyrex dish, cement block with similar lid....and never ever turn away to do other projects, it is easy to forget that the charger is running. Maybe a timer would worth having as a reminder? Another friend that has not had an incident was telling me last week that he has forgotten about charging cells twice this summer and come home later to find them still connected and all was well. It scared him each time to think he had forgotten them while charging.
Enough from me...they are great but be safe, I can relay more personal stories but I don't think you want or need to hear more from me. They are a time bomb very unlike any cells we have ever used before. Extreme energy in a small package just looking for a way out.. : ) "

I'm still of the opinion that crashes and mis-handling are primary culprits.

Ken

qban_flyer
11-29-2005, 09:07 AM
Hello Ken,

Thanks for sharing your friend's e-mail with us. It is very iluminating. I am also glad to see that Astro Flight replaced the chargers as a positive customer relations gesture. Although it could not be determined they were the cause of the mishap since all that was left was a large mass of molten plastic. AstroFlight is a great outfit to do business with.

I also like the way your frind closes his e-mail with words of encouragement as well as important warnings that need to be followed to the letter. Those last two sentences are worth their weight in gold.

Again, thanks for sharing your friend's experience with us as well as providing us with a source where we can obtain a safer charging container. I say safer, because we still have the human factor involved, the one manning the controls of the entire charging operation, and as well as you, I do believe that we can minimize the risks involved. They could never be eliminated 100%.

Take care :)

Bigfoot21075
11-29-2005, 10:55 AM
A few things to keep in mind. The lithium polymer batteries we use are really a hybrid lithium-ion-polymer battery in that true lithium ion batteries use a dry thing film like material, where the ones used commercially today all have a gel mixture as well (This is the only functioning polymer battery for portable use today.)

Cell phones and laptop computers use Lithium Ion's and the hybrid Lithium Ion-Polymer with GREAT success! Over charging these batteries is a HUGE danger, however simply setting the charger correctly and monitoring its use will prevent this problem.

If you want more facts and less heresay, check out this simple overview.

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-5.htm

qban_flyer
11-29-2005, 03:49 PM
If you want more facts and less heresay, check out this simple overview.

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-5.htm

Very informative link. An eye opener regarding Lithium battery longevity and technology. :)

johnnywheels
12-01-2005, 10:55 PM
A really good solution to charge Li-Po's in is the Battery Bunker container made by Kevin Kelley Ceramics, 760-247-6980 or kevinkelleyart@yahoo.com. Web address is http://mysite.verizon.net/kevinkel/index.html . These will keep you safe!

Elfi Flyer
12-03-2005, 12:33 AM
Brinks security box, from Walmart. $9.95, all steel construction, serves as a carrying case for a charger and LiPos when going to the club flying site.

Rittenflyer
12-03-2005, 06:17 PM
I am interested in what people use to charge lipo's in? I have seen the pottery urn's thought i can't find a link now, I was wondering if you had any pictures of your setup. Like how you modified a ammo box ect.
Jim Clark


I use a Pyrex measuring cup. Big one.

Unbalanced prop
12-05-2005, 08:47 PM
I use a cinder block on a cement floor far away from combustibles while charging at home. At the field I just charge on the ground far away from my vehicle. I always remove packs from my planes also.

Doug

cyclops2
12-05-2005, 09:01 PM
Do I need to buy a WWII Flak Jacket to fly a Electric ? Opps. Forgot my full face shield. Where am I? Iraq? :rolleyes:

Big_Bird
12-05-2005, 09:58 PM
Do I need to buy a WWII Flak Jacket to fly a Electric ? Opps. Forgot my full face shield. Where am I? Iraq? :rolleyes:
Cy, that's funny, :) however, we only hear about the tragedies with Lipos. Flying many many good flights with Lipos without a problem doesn't make news. Firearms are very deadly when mishandled but very safe when treated with respect. Same with Lipos. I would say that most problems are caused by mishandling, which includes improper charging, and crashes. Use good common sense with these batteries and you won't have a problem.

Ken