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Lipo Fire Incidents and How they Occur

Old 10-18-2005, 08:10 PM
  #26  
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I think he meant that he plugged 2 packs into each other, instant short and problem.

Another thing to be very careful of. You need to observe polarity and setup your system to not allow this to happen. With Anderson powerpoles and creating a polarization scheme of your own, yu will never make this mistake.
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:26 PM
  #27  
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Dick, how can he do that?
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Old 10-18-2005, 09:49 PM
  #28  
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By not having a good scheme to maintain polarization. I have in the heat of battle plugged my charger into the speed control, and they don't like that, and speed controls aren't cheap. So with the Anderson powerpoles I make sure they cant come apart, making them impossible to plug in wrong. They have a groove in the side of them, and you put in a roll pin that makes sure they don't come apart. Total polarization, and safety.

http://www.powerwerx.com/category.asp?CtgID=3271
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:28 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by DickCorby View Post
By not having a good scheme to maintain polarization. I have in the heat of battle plugged my charger into the speed control, and they don't like that, and speed controls aren't cheap. So with the Anderson powerpoles I make sure they cant come apart, making them impossible to plug in wrong. They have a groove in the side of them, and you put in a roll pin that makes sure they don't come apart. Total polarization, and safety.

http://www.powerwerx.com/category.asp?CtgID=3271
I quit using Anderson Power Poles three years ago after having one loose contact when the plane was in mid flight. You can imagine the rest of the story.

Three days later while I was back at the field with another plane, a similar situation happened to a felow club member, though in his case the false/intermitent contact made the connection 'so hot' that it began melting the insulation of the wires!

How this story ended? I didn't fly that day, came home and threw all my Power Poles in the trash can (where they belonged to begin with). I now use Deans Ultra and Mini plugs exclusively. Although occasionally I use the Astro "Zero Loss" (?) connectors when flying Astro motors and their ESCs.
 
Old 10-18-2005, 10:57 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Heidelberg Germany Flyer View Post
qban flyer, Thanks for the tip with the plastic container to store the Lipos!

Check www.purehobby.com/SafetyNotes.htm for the disconnection advice, it's printed in red...

Keep safety first!

Heidelberg Germany Flyer
Thanks for that link. It's an eye opener!

The only other type of storage/carrier I would use is a ceramic one. I have one but besides been rather heavy and cumbersome, people stare at me when I bring my Li-Pos out to the field in what they refer to my "Battery Bunker"!
 
Old 10-18-2005, 11:07 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by DickCorby View Post
I think he meant that he plugged 2 packs into each other, instant short and problem.

Another thing to be very careful of. You need to observe polarity and setup your system to not allow this to happen. With Anderson powerpoles and creating a polarization scheme of your own, yu will never make this mistake.
OUCH!!!

Thanks for the clarification. I just couldn't imagine anyone being able to hook two batteries up to one charging connector or to each other with most of the plugs available today. Enter Power Poles into the equation and I can see what is it he did. I stopped using them three years ago for different reasons, I am glad I did since at times I am rather absent minded and may made the same mistake.

The very reason I use Deans Ultra Plugs. Rather hard to plug two Deans female plugs into one another.
 
Old 10-18-2005, 11:18 PM
  #32  
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On the anderson powerpole website there is an article on the care and feeding of them. I've been using them for years, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Another thing I do regularly is pull the wire and contact out. Clean the contact with bond paper, or fine crocus cloth if they are real bad. Then before putting them back in, lifting on the spring to make it give better contact.

The most important thing overall is to make sure that you hear a slight click when the contact goes over the spring. This is the only time I've had problems. If the lip of the contact doesn't catch the spring, of course they can back out, and/or vibrate and create heat and possible fire.

I also use the 45 AMP size in any pack where the current might be a problem, usually on any packs bigger than 3S.

In addition, the best way to do the wiring is crimping rather than soldering. That way you don't take a chance of getting solder on the outside of the drum, which will keep it from seating properly. The plugs have come a long way baby! and they are pretty darned good.

The ratings on these plugs is much lower than their capabilities. They are capable of 3000 watts without heating, and have been tested at that level. Way above what our planes should generate.

Another neat thing about them is that you can take off part of the plastic cover (there's a mark for this) and make them even more compact for smaller planes.

I also make it a point to use Astroflight Zero Loss plugs on the motor and the motor output from all my ESC's. Another way to insure polarization within my system.

Maintenance of any part of your package makes the difference between good flying days and bad flying days.
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:27 PM
  #33  
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Something else I do is put industrial strength Velcro on the plugs, and the other side to the plane. After plugging them together, I push them down on the velcro, and voila - cant come undone in flight. Just a little added insurance.
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DickCorby View Post

I also use the 45 AMP size in any pack where the current might be a problem, usually on any packs bigger than 3S.
I always used the large ones. One loss of contact was more than I could stomach, so out they went when I lost plane, motor and damaged servos. Astro connectors are nice but rather expensive.

It's a matter of choice though. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Deans offers my often absent mindedness the security of an extremely low probability for a screw up. BTW, I do clean my connector's contacts on a regular basis.

Been doing that with my fancy pants audio system set up for the better part of 47 years. A clean electrical connection is the only good electrical connection.
 
Old 10-18-2005, 11:37 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by DickCorby View Post
Something else I do is put industrial strength Velcro on the plugs, and the other side to the plane. After plugging them together, I push them down on the velcro, and voila - cant come undone in flight. Just a little added insurance.
Good practice to follow with all types of connectors.
 
Old 10-19-2005, 06:43 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by qban_flyer View Post
I am rather confused by your statement, the one quoted above.

Please, forgive me for sounding stupid but I have a question that has been bugging the daylights out of me. How can anyone hook up two batteries to the same charger using a single charging cable with a single connector on its battery end?

My charging cables (all of them, since I've been in e-flight) will only accept one (1) battery pack exclusively, not two or three, so it is difficult for me to picture what is it that you are talking about. How you managed to plug two battery packs into one single connector is hard to fathom for this old brain.
Hi Qban

The batt packs in question were for my flat foamy and they are 830 mah so I used Micro connectors. These connectors have one pin sticking out of the plug and the other recessed. My charging plug is (of course) similar.
When I disconnected the batt that was on charge I kept the batt lead in my one hand and took the other batt lead (thinking it was the charger lead) and plugged them together and not both into the charger, saw smoke and immediately broke the connection.

As I said S T U P I D !!!!!

Geoff
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Old 10-19-2005, 11:24 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Geoff_Gino View Post
Hi Qban

The batt packs in question were for my flat foamy and they are 830 mah so I used Micro connectors. These connectors have one pin sticking out of the plug and the other recessed. My charging plug is (of course) similar.
When I disconnected the batt that was on charge I kept the batt lead in my one hand and took the other batt lead (thinking it was the charger lead) and plugged them together and not both into the charger, saw smoke and immediately broke the connection.

As I said S T U P I D !!!!!

Geoff
OUCHHH! Expensive mistake.

I see what you mean. I use Deans BLACK Micro ones on the charger end and of course RED on the battery end. Not by design but because I ran out of RED ones when making my charging pigtail. I'm glad I had no more RED ones since it is very easy to make the mistake you made, and being as absent minded as I can be at times, I am sure the same thing could happen to me were it not for the color difference. One thing I don't like about the way those are supposed to be connected is that they have the HOT battery pin exposed all the time.

Sorry to hear of what happened to you. I hope everyone has read your post and learn from it.

Thanks for getting back to me. BTW, I love your avatar!
 
Old 10-19-2005, 12:59 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by qban_flyer View Post
I am sure the same thing could happen to me were it not for the color difference. One thing I don't like about the way those are supposed to be connected is that they have the HOT battery pin exposed all the time.
Using Deans ultras will solve both of these problems. No exposed pins on the battery and impossible to plug into another battery.

Doug
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:12 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by qban_flyer View Post
Thanks for that link. It's an eye opener!

The only other type of storage/carrier I would use is a ceramic one. I have one but besides been rather heavy and cumbersome, people stare at me when I bring my Li-Pos out to the field in what they refer to my "Battery Bunker"!

No problem! Just another thing to keep in mind after charging.

With the Lipo storage container... I decided to get a flat heavy metal box that included a light plastic tray holder that allows me to separate storage for each lipo battery- hopefully preventing any metal contact.

I'm not laughing at your Battery Bunker...

Hopefully, I'm setting a safety example for some of our club flyers who walk around with Lipos in their pockets.
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Old 10-19-2005, 06:45 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Heidelberg Germany Flyer View Post
No problem! Just another thing to keep in mind after charging.

With the Lipo storage container... I decided to get a flat heavy metal box that included a light plastic tray holder that allows me to separate storage for each lipo battery- hopefully preventing any metal contact.

I'm not laughing at your Battery Bunker...

Hopefully, I'm setting a safety example for some of our club flyers who walk around with Lipos in their pockets.
I just got back from the flying field, and yes, I had my heavy ceramic BATTERY BUNKER with me. I took it along since reading all the posts in here regarding Li-Po accidents made me re-think my battery transportation method.

Hauling that BUNKER out of the car (measures 12X10X8 inches) is a chore, but at least I won't burn the car to the ground in case "something" nasty happens.

That idea of a metal box with a plastic liner is great and I will be looking into it as well. It will be lighter and just as safe as the BUNKER!
 
Old 10-19-2005, 06:50 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Unbalanced prop View Post
Using Deans ultras will solve both of these problems. No exposed pins on the battery and impossible to plug into another battery.

Doug
I know, but for my lightweight planes the Ultras are too heavy. I don't like the JST connectors that much either. Too cheap looking, and they don't have quite the "right" feel to them.
 
Old 10-21-2005, 05:07 PM
  #42  
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qban, I just (and I mean just as in 20 minutes ago) swapped all my JST connectors for deans Micro's. Just as light, but 15-17 amp capable if I recall.



-Mike
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:13 PM
  #43  
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The Deans Micro Connectors have a recommended limit of 10A (info from the manufacturer). Some are using them above that value. YMMV
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:56 PM
  #44  
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Hoppy,
Thanks for posting the recommended limit from the man, as I couldnt remember. I tested them at 20a bursts and while they got a bit warm, they stayed together pretty well. I think that is the extreme of what I would take them. Most of my setups are 9-12 amps, but I have a couple that run 15a wot and they come down cool as a cucumber. Granted they are hanging out in the wind and not enclosed in a fuse. I think they underate them, but that is just based on my experience.
I have had JST's melt on me at 14 amps before.
-Mike
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:11 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
The Deans Micro Connectors have a recommended limit of 10A (info from the manufacturer). Some are using them above that value. YMMV
Interesting tidbit of information, though Great Planes has them installed in their C-7, C-12, BL-8, SS-8 AND SS-12 ESCs from the factory.

The C-12 and SS-12 are both rated @ 12A continuous, so perhaps Deans stiopulates 10A on their site as a "disclaimer" just in case someone goes above their true rated current capabilities.

The JST connectors, on the other hand, are rated for no more than 8A continuos and the metal inside them is rather thin, leading me to believe that 8A is really their maximum.

Dean Ultras are nice, but I won't add that extra weight to planes that would barely use 9A of current (statically measured) when I can achieve the same result with something one third the weight of the Plus connectors. Most of the motors I use them with do not draw 10A in flight, and that include canned as well as B/L types.

For any models of mine using Speed 400 types and larger motors (above 10 - 11A) I use Deans Ultra Plugs exclusively.

BTW, not being confrontational here, but I've just come off the Deans web site and found no specs on either type of connector. Thought it was an interesting fact that no specs are given.

http://www.wsdeans.com/products/plugs/micro_plug.html

Last edited by qban_flyer; 10-21-2005 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Correction
 
Old 10-21-2005, 07:16 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Mike Parsons View Post
Hoppy,
I think they underate them, but that is just based on my experience.
I have had JST's melt on me at 14 amps before.
-Mike
The ones I used @ around 10A did the same. So did the wire that comes with the pigtails.

All one has to do is compare the thickness and gauge of the connector pins and it becomes obvious that the Micros will stand 12 to 15A easily. Micros use a solid bar while the other uses a thin hollow tube. I don't think G/P would put them on 12A (15A burst) ESCs if they were not able to stand that much current draw.

BTW: No specs given at the deans site on either type, though I know the Ultras will handle as much as 40A continuous.
 
Old 10-21-2005, 07:59 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by qban_flyer View Post
The C-12 and SS-12 are both rated @ 12A continuous, so perhaps Deans stiopulates 10A on their site as a "disclaimer" just in case someone goes above their true rated current capabilities.
Good call. If you look at the SS-12 along with being 12 a continuous it has a 15a burst rating.

**edit** I need to read all the posts before replying

I couldnt find their ratings on the website either, but Hoppy and I travel in the same circles and has a bit of experience under his belt. I trust his quoted ratings are accurate.

Another interesting bit (and why I believe Deans underate their plugs) is the Ultra deans is rated at 70 amps. I am personally pushing these @ 90a without problems and I have friends who push them 120 amps without fail.
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:49 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by qban_flyer View Post
BTW, not being confrontational here, but I've just come off the Deans web site and found no specs on either type of connector. Thought it was an interesting fact that no specs are given.

http://www.wsdeans.com/products/plugs/micro_plug.html
That's true...that's why I called them on telephone.. Myself, I use them for up to 15A burst applications and haven't had any heating problems yet.









i
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Old 10-22-2005, 12:26 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Mike Parsons View Post

Good call. If you look at the SS-12 along with being 12 a continuous it has a 15a burst rating.

**edit** I need to read all the posts before replying

I couldnt find their ratings on the website either, but Hoppy and I travel in the same circles and has a bit of experience under his belt. I trust his quoted ratings are accurate.

Another interesting bit (and why I believe Deans underate their plugs) is the Ultra deans is rated at 70 amps. I am personally pushing these @ 90a without problems and I have friends who push them 120 amps without fail.
Good to know and thanks for the tips Mike. I don't use them above 10 to 12 amps anyway so I don't have to fear frying them out as I did with JST. I am in the process of replacing all my JST connectors in over 16 smaller models, even the ones on my GWS tiger Moth (2 amp current draw WOT) will be history after tonight.

I have found the JST to have made an unreliable connection on six separate occasions, five on the ground and one while airborne. I can't trust them anymore as I don't like intermittent connections when using electrical equipement of any sort, regardless of cost.
 
Old 10-22-2005, 12:31 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
That's true...that's why I called them on telephone.. Myself, I use them for up to 15A burst applications and haven't had any heating problems yet.









i
Glad to know you went to the Dean's horse and got the info directly from its mouth. I wonder why aren't any specs published the on their site?

Thanks for letting us know!
 

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