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Left RCR123a on Charger for 3 Days...Did Not Burn Down Condo

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by GuywithSocks, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. GuywithSocks

    GuywithSocks Loaded Pockets

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    I went to Vegas over the holiday weekend...too bad I spent a bit of it wondering if I was going to come back to the charred remains of a condominium building.

    The night before leaving, I put my RCR123a on the Nano charger to top it off. I got to airport security and had one of the biggest OMFG moments. "I didn't bring the flashlight, and I left the battery on the charger!"

    After 3 days on the charger, neither the battery nor the charger were warm to the touch when I unplugged it. A validation of AW's IC protection, I guess. However, the life of the battery was probably shortened.

    Lots of lesson's learned on my part.
    1) Getting one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003P2UMS0/ref=ox_ya_os_product
    2) When travelling, leave the Lumapower Incendio; take the Streamlight AA
    3) Leave extra key with trustworthy neighbor or friend
    4) Don't forget...argh! :brickwall:

    FYI, this page about the battery internals helped calm my fears a bit: http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/battery%20protection%20UK.html
     
  2. Dr Jekell
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    Dr Jekell I had fun once, It was awful.
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    I am pretty sure that Nano chargers have over charge protection to reduce the chances of a boom event.

    Edit: Yep "Microprocessor-controlled auto-cut-off charging"
     
  3. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    I have left a battery in the nano charger for weeks with no problem at all. I think the dangers associated with these cells are greatly exaggerated.
     
  4. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    All great ideas! I really like that device in your first suggestion. Personally, my travel light is a Quark MiNi AA NW that I feed Battery Junction's 3.0V CRAA cells. Great performance with a standard battery size that I can replace anywhere in the world.

    FWIW, I try to make a habit of plugging things in right next to the door to the garage if I'm going on a trip with something big enough and obvious enough I won't forget (and/or my keys). I typically always take a messenger bag and leave it sitting on the floor next to anything that is charging.

    Rawls is probably right, but I would still hate to leave something like that plugged in while on vacation. I unplug most appliances when I'm out of town - I tend to be a little paranoid.
     
  5. Joe Talmadge

    Joe Talmadge Loaded Pockets

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    Those bags were originally meant for cradle-less hobby chargers; you'd put just the batteries and leads in the bag, and leave the charger outside. I wouldn't put a production cradle charger in those.

    The dangers of Li Ion batteries, and chargers that don't follow the proper algorithm, are real. Luckily, not every mistake results in a fire, more often just drastically reduced battery life, but there's always that chance...
     
  6. GuywithSocks

    GuywithSocks Loaded Pockets

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    Nice! Thanks for the follow up

    I should have posted this topic while I was on vacation because I would have felt better with your reply :sigh:

    I'll post a mini review when I get the Belkin socket timer.
     
  7. Dr Jekell
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    Dr Jekell I had fun once, It was awful.
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    If and I stress the IF you are using quality cells, a quality Li-ion charger, and following the basic safety precautions when using them you should not have any problems.

    The reason the dangers of Li-ion cells are always being beaten into everyone's brains is the fact that there are people who don't do the above or do something stupid with the cells.

    That is where you get most of the venting & venting with flame incidents.

    How may incidents have you heard of which had an AW cell &/or a Pila charger at fault? Versus a "****fire" cell & and a cheepo charger?

    TL; DR - There are reasons that the dangers are portrayed the way they are.
     
  8. Joe Talmadge

    Joe Talmadge Loaded Pockets

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    The nanocharger does seem to have a cutoff, though you're betting against destroying the cell or lighting your house on fire that that component will never fail. Hopefully, it won't fail. I think it's just a plain good idea not to rely on it, though.

    The nanocharger does not follow a proper cc/cv algorithm, and its cutoff voltage is higher enough that I'd expect it to drastically shorten the lives of any batteries not removed as soon as the light turns green...
     
  9. Aleister

    Aleister Loaded Pockets

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    I would be as worried as you if the same happened to me but the odds for something bad to happen are, generally, very slim.
     
  10. Dr Jekell
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    Dr Jekell I had fun once, It was awful.
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    Just as a post script to this.

    Today on CPF there was an old thread (just recently revived) about a Solarforce L1200 flashlight with 3 x "Trustfire" 18650 cells in it exploding with enough force do heavy damage to a coffee maker & injure the man holding the light.

    The thread points out how the lights owner made several mistakes that contributed to the event as well as the batteries themselves.

    The CPF thread
     
  11. Slumber

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    I guess the batteries didnt live up to their name. Buying quality is always a good idea.
     
  12. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    I know a guy who on previous occasions has had bears walk right into his house because of a giant bird-feeder he keeps on his porch. When food is a bit scarce, the bears show up. When I politely suggested locking his front door and taking down the bird-feeder, he flipped out on me. Accused me of telling him what he should do on his own property. Indignantly pointed out that there hadn't been a case of a bear attack in 40 years in his town.

    That's a great mentality . . . I've lived in my working class neighborhood for about a decade. Many of my neighbors are Black. Never been physically assaulted by any of them. Still, I'm not going to walk outside and shout that special word starting with "N."

    RCR123 cells and 18650s along with similar cells can be very dangerous if not handled properly. The danger isn't exaggerated. You can step off the curb and cross a busy street without looking both ways numerous times and not get hurt. Doesn't mean it's the smartest course of action. Doesn't mean that you'll always avoid getting hit by a car. Just means it just hasn't happened, yet.