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  • RC car and batteries

    Last night my sons RC car that he had just gotten for his birthday (Its a traxxis, Im not sure if that matters or not) Burst into flames while the battery was on charge. It was a lithium battery, and can stay in the car while being charged. Thankfully we were not only home but in the same area of the house the car was being charged in. Quick action on my son's part allowed him to pick up the car and battery with the fireplace tongs and throw it out the back door. David opened the door while I ran around in circles in a panic...

    Please be extra careful with any gifts you get this Christmas if you give one with a rechargeable battery express concern with charging while not under supervision. This includes the ride on jeeps/atv's and so forth toys toddlers love so much.

    We didn't short cut on either the car, battery, or charger, but even when you follow all the rules accidents can happen.

    Were still not sure what when wrong, the battery burnt to a crisp and wires are all toast too.

    Keep your loved ones safe and pass on the warning.
    08 sunny brook sunset creek 341SRD -sold after several years of amazing memories
    2014 Open Range 397fbs. For the next stage of camping.
    2008 Ford F-450 King Ranch.
    hoping to make memories that last a lifetime, and shared over the campfire.

  • #2
    Sara, I would be contacting the manufacturer about this. Might even want to consider contacting the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I'm not a fan of big government, but these companies need to produce safe products as well. I used to mess with RC cars when I was younger, but of course they were all Nimh batteries at that time. It was amazing how hot that motor and battery could get on those cars after just a few minutes of run time. Most of mine ran the 7.2v long battery packs. I think at that time the batteries were $30 each. I think I had a dozen of them. Not bad for a kid with just a paper route.
    Jim
    2009 Jayco 32BHDS
    1999 Chevrolet 1500 ECSB 4x4

    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was going to blame you.

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    • #3
      Sara,

      You need to pull the battery and place it in a clay pot dish while charging. You cannot exceed the charging voltage based on the number of cells. Check battery requirement for that battery nor can you let the battery exceed the amount of time it takes to fully charge the battery. I fly RC airplane some of mine are electric. There are web sites that you can search on how to charge LiPo battery, and what safety measures are needed. These battery will catch on fire if not properly monitored
      Last edited by BobM; 12-12-2011, 03:33 AM.
      2005 Mobile Scout 31' BWSF Titan
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      • #4
        Where were you 3 days ago ? LOL Because Cole put the car and so forth together the directions were not saved and I guess we assumed that you charge them just like the others. Either way I'm going to be overly cautious from now on.
        08 sunny brook sunset creek 341SRD -sold after several years of amazing memories
        2014 Open Range 397fbs. For the next stage of camping.
        2008 Ford F-450 King Ranch.
        hoping to make memories that last a lifetime, and shared over the campfire.

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        • #5
          World's Most Dangerous Battery! - YouTube

          This was what it looked like.
          08 sunny brook sunset creek 341SRD -sold after several years of amazing memories
          2014 Open Range 397fbs. For the next stage of camping.
          2008 Ford F-450 King Ranch.
          hoping to make memories that last a lifetime, and shared over the campfire.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by muddy princess sara View Post
            World's Most Dangerous Battery! - YouTube

            This was what it looked like.
            Whoa....that must have got your attention
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            PAULA AND GARY

            2014 Phaeton 40 QBH
            2015 GMC Sierra SLT 4x4

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BobM View Post
              You need to pull the battery and place it in a clay pot dish while charging. You cannot exceed the charging voltage based on the number of cells. Check battery requirement for that battery nor can you let the battery exceed the amount of time it takes to fully charge the battery.

              These battery will catch on fire if not properly monitored

              is it safe to believe that the Lithium batteries now being uses in various power tools do not fall into this category

              Jim
              Jim
              '06 SunnyBrook Titan 34BWKS
              '07 Freightliner Sportchassis
              '11 Chevy Silverado 1500
              '16 Camaro RS

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JEBar View Post
                is it safe to believe that the Lithium batteries now being uses in various power tools do not fall into this category

                Jim
                It might depend on the country of origin.
                Lee
                Lee & Mamie http://www.youtube.com/v/4FrGxO2Fn_Msigpic
                Buy American, The Job You Save May Be Your Own
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                • #9
                  It can depend on the design of the charger and the design of the cell enclosure. Heat management is the issue, can the heat escape or will it build up? I wonder if the instructions called for the battery to be removed for charging? If not I would be on the phone with someone about this today!
                  2016 Jayco Pinnacle 36 RBTS
                  2016 F350 DRW, Lariat
                  B and W Companion hitch

                  ...of all the liars among mankind, the fisherman is the most trustworthy. ~William Sherwood Fox, Silken Lines and Silver Hooks, 1954

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JEBar View Post
                    is it safe to believe that the Lithium batteries now being uses in various power tools do not fall into this category

                    Jim
                    Jim,

                    I never go to sleep with a drill battery charging, or a computer battery for that matter. The only exception is cell phones which I place on a ceramic counter top. The way you get into this category is after the fact and I don't want to be the source of the discovery.
                    2016 Jayco Pinnacle 36 RBTS
                    2016 F350 DRW, Lariat
                    B and W Companion hitch

                    ...of all the liars among mankind, the fisherman is the most trustworthy. ~William Sherwood Fox, Silken Lines and Silver Hooks, 1954

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JEBar View Post
                      is it safe to believe that the Lithium batteries now being uses in various power tools do not fall into this category

                      Jim
                      This is a problem with Lithium batteries. The Chevy Volt has not been recalled, but GM even offered to buy-back Chevy Volts from wary owners because of lithium battery fires in crash test cars.
                      "As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of darkness."___Supreme Court Justice William Douglas

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                      • #12
                        This issue is well known in the RC world - the store that sold you the car, battery and charger should have been more diligent in informing you.

                        It should be noted that this is an issue with Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries, not the Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries found in power tools.

                        I've charged cordless phones, cell phones, laptops and power tool packs unattended for years with nary a problem. You really have to watch the LiPos, though.

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                        • #13
                          We have spoken to the maker of the battery and a replacement is being sent along with a bag it can be charged in... It was explained that if for any reason it catches on fire again this bag is a fire retardant safety bag that allows us extra time to put it out or get it out. They said they are also sending out paperwork on the best ways to charge.

                          After speaking with the guy on the phone and explaining how scared we were to even bring one back in the house again. he offered a free bag to charge it in. He also advised that we could in fact charge it on a flower pot plate in the fireplace if we felt more comfortable doing so. I flat out asked him, will this one catch fire too, if so Don't send it. He believes it was the charger that caused the problem and not the battery itself.

                          Currently Cole is using the "other style" battery for the car and I think it does just fine. but he says their is a difference. oh well
                          08 sunny brook sunset creek 341SRD -sold after several years of amazing memories
                          2014 Open Range 397fbs. For the next stage of camping.
                          2008 Ford F-450 King Ranch.
                          hoping to make memories that last a lifetime, and shared over the campfire.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sara,

                            If you do get another LiPo, be aware that it should not be subjected to sharp impacts - and if the plastic sheathing ever starts to puff out, it's time to dispose of the battery.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JD and Beastlet View Post

                              It should be noted that this is an issue with Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries, not the Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries found in power tools.

                              I've charged cordless phones, cell phones, laptops and power tool packs unattended for years with nary a problem. You really have to watch the LiPos, though.
                              I have to respectfully disagree. The LiPo's may be involved as well, but I have had to deal with a Lithium Ion fire at work. We use 190WH batteries to power cameras and transmitters for broadcast. We used to leave the batteries on "smart chargers" that would shut down when the correct voltage was reached. We had one that didn't, but we're not sure if the charger was defective or a short in the battery gave it a bad reading. I lean toward the latter, others toward the prior. In any event, the battery kept charging and caught fire. I got it outside the shop. Otherwise, it would have burned amongst about 50 other batteries of like size (very large) and
                              probably burned our shop down by time all was said and done.

                              Lithium Ion fires are becoming so prevalent that the Pilot's Association is trying to ban ALL lithium ion from passenger planes. They won't succeed in banning cell phones or laptops, but flight attendants now have training in how to put the fires out. They are probably going to succeed in banning all of our batteries, though. Right now, in order to ship our 190's, we have to certify them as Class 9 Hazmat and jump through a bunch of hoops, including shipping cargo only. Rumor is that the TSA is going to lower that limit, maybe down to as low as 25wh in February. That will make shipping batteries to our broadcast projects around the country and world much more difficult!
                              Last edited by PhotoJoe; 01-04-2012, 05:22 PM.
                              2002 Excursion V10
                              2006 SunnyBrook Sunset Creek 298BH
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