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Mr.RC-Cam

EE Times Article: Fake Batteries Blow Up

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A very interesting article appeared in the Sept 20, 2004 issue of EE Times that concerned battery explosions. Apparently there are a lot of imported lithium batteries that are either name brand counterfeits or low cost alternatives. The problem is that they either got cheap with the charge protection circuit or used the wrong cell for the intended application. The result is cell phones that blow up and other nasty issues.

One article passage reads: "Indeed, the reported battery failures are "the tip of the iceberg," said Stuart Lipoff, a battery consultant with IP Action Partners (Newton, Mass.). "Most of the cases are under gag orders or settle out of court."

Counterfit recall link: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml04/04559.html

Kyocera Smartphone recall link: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml04/04068.html

The thing that interested me is that this problem is happening outside our R/C application. I have seen arguments on other R/C forums that the cells are not experiencing fire/explosion problems when used correctly in cell phones, PC's, or cameras. As the argument usually goes, users that have problems are always at fault. Not so, according to the details in the article. The problem can be due to the shoddy work of the mfg too. And we are not alone when we report battery fires.

Here is the full article: http://www.eet.com/showArticle.jhtml?artic...icleID=47900158

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There has been a TV programme on that subject a few months ago here. They did some tests on phone batteries, and the worst problem is the short circuit protection. It seems to be stripped, and any piece of metal in the pocket that could short the pack will cause it to melt or catch fire. Of course 15A is a bit too much for these 800mAh cells...

Under normal conditions they cut when the current is over about 1A, and the built-in charger is safe.

In conclusion one should avoid no-name spare batteries that are half the price, but I would say that if you know how Li-batteries work you should not have issues...

I've personally charged many times my digital cam or phone battery with my field Li charger. It's always the same. If you know what you do, and you do it correctly you won't have problems. For the lambda user it's another problem.

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I make car batteries for a living, 21 years, and I can tell you that anything can be shoddily made to the point of being dangerous, and Lipos are no exception. I've seen car batteries short out internally and go off with the force of half a stick of dynamite. I've also seen car batteries that have lasted eight years or more.

With any battery, longevity and safety are a matter of proper manufacturing and quality combined with proper handling and charging.

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randall1959

"I make car batteries for a living, 21 years, and I can tell you that anything can be shoddily made to the point of being dangerous, and Lipos are no exception. I've seen car batteries short out internally and go off with the force of half a stick of dynamite."

Perhaps we should ban car batteries ;)

Dave Jones

AUAV.net

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Perhaps we should ban car batteries ;)

Dave Jones

AUAV.net

:D

So we'd have to ban cars themselves :rolleyes:

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I make car batteries for a living, 21 years,......

I've also seen car batteries that have lasted eight years or more.......

Dude, what kind of car batteries??? I can't keep one more than 1-2 years!

I also live in an area that experiences 2-3 months/year of over 110* temps; and I regularly subject my battery to 60-100 amp loads (Nothing fits under the truck seat with all the radio gear bolted down there!)

Dawg

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