Lithium Ion battery concerns


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Lithium Ion battery concerns. Light and powerful the LI batteries are in our cell phones laptops and now detectors. If one of the pack goes bad the result is impressive. Since they don’t handle shock well I just wonder if they are really the cats meow for detectors. I was ready to order a GPX but not sure I want what happens in the video to take place on my hip out in the sticks beeping. So my question to dealer Rob is what testing has ML done on the charging/battery system to give us all warm fuzzy’s that the new setup won’t as-plode while charging on in use? There sure has been a bunch of these LI batteries recalled lately. Maybe you could ask the factory for me/us?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeWq6rWzChw&eurl=

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Hello Stealth,

I've always heard stories about Li-ion batteries exploding, but never seen a video on it. Very interesting video to say the least. I guess the advantage of the "Pocket Rocket" batteries is the fact they are not encased in metal, so you would see them smoke first and could get them away from you.

Overall, Li-Ion batteries are really reliable. I'm not sure it's that easy to force them back into an unstable state where they will explode. Like all products, I'm sure the manufacture has weighed in the liability factor and feel they are safe for normal day-to-day use.

By any means, I'm not a battery expert, so others feel free to jump in.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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I'm no expert but I do deal with LiIon cells daily. That clip would be worst a case scenario and would require several negative factors to occur at the same time. Generally, most good quality packs have a built in safety or protection circuit that will not allow it to over discharge nor overcharge. In that clip, they probably disarmed the thermal switch and then either hooked up a dead short or to a way too high charge rate. In any case, as you could see in the clip, they do not actually explode but rather just burst into flames... :blink:

By the way, to get maximum life out of your cells avoid running them flat, give them time to cool off before charging and number of charge cycles have a bearing on the life span of your cells...

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Further investigation reveals that a short in that long power cord we all know likes to reach out and grab all flora nearby is all it takes to overheat a cell in the battery pack. In cell phones, PDA’s or portable PC’s a short is unlikely. The coiled cord of my ML really works hard at trying to short in the bush.

http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithiumion_psds.pdf

I have trashed 4 power cables in the past 3 years on my extreme. Does the new machine have a better cord than previous models? From my reading on LI’s I understand I must not store it without first charging to at least 25%. Don’t jar it, don’t let it sit in the sun or discharge it above some un-known rate and if the thing sparks up, be careful of drenching it in H2o or they go boom boom!

Has Coil-Tek figured a fix to use their system on it yet? I would rather have the option of simply setting the smoking beeper down and running from a fire over scrambling to get an impromptu bomb belt off my shoulders and away from my important parts. I know LI fires are rare but it just looks to me like ML is asking for trouble with all the wires still hanging around looking for something to short out on. Before you just lost a battery and maybe toasted a pc board and now the same short may burn the ol’ buns badly. Burning nylon against skin is a bitch! Burning nylon on skin in the bush 25 miles from help… Priceless!

Just wondering Minelab guy’s?

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I was a radio operator in the USMC and 6 time rifle expert. We would get these same warnings about how dangerous Lithium batteries can be and what does a bunch of Jarheads do with this information? Well we try like hell to duplicate these catastrophic results. I personally haven't seen one go unstable yet and if you knew me you would know I tried every thing I could and then some. They didn't call me Pyro Joe for nothing believe me. Having a problem with the Li batteries is the last thing on my mind when I am out detecting. You should worry more about how much more gold you will find and what to do with it.

God Bless the USMC

-Joe

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Hey Joe, did you just short them or cause them to overheat without the short protections being able to interrupt the circuit when you played with them. My laptop was recalled so I started reading up on them and it seems that the main problem is heat. To high of a discharge rate while the battery is already warm "can" start a cascading effect leading to fire like the video shows. I've blown ni cads up a couple of times while racing rc cars years back but they never did anything like what the video shows.

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We did crazy stuff like shorting them out, tossing them in a bucket of saltwater and throwing them in a fire. The best thing I saw happen was with a magnesium battery BA-4386 that we threw in a fire. The individual cells would pop up about 30" or 40" hi and I would smack them like a baseball with a mast section from an RC-292 antennae. Your tax dollars hard at work to be sure. I am sure that if you tied a stick of TNT to one of these lithium batteries eventually you just might get something interesting to happen, but without a blasting cap I wouldn't count on it. I do believe though if you are a stupid human being you will be rewarded justly sooner than later.

-Joe

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I've been using the lithiums from the time they came avalable. Only one problem and it wasn't serious. A dead short in the power cord overheated the batteries. They didn't explode or melt or anything like that. The shrink pack that held the bundle together did melt though. A fresh bundle of batteries fixed the problem and it's still going strong. I have no fear that they will blow up and it is the best thing to happen for detectorists in years. I've dropped my Reeds lithium battery in the rocks a number of times and it never hurt it. Read the manual for the GPX4000 in the battery maintenance section. Those in cold climates be sure to take note that they will not take a charge at temps below the freezing point. I always charge my battery off the power supply in my car and learned the hard way that freezing weather will stop the charging process. The great thing about the new Minelab battery is that after detecting for 5 or 6 hours, I plug it in on the way home and it is charged in less than 2 hours. Does anyone remember the bullshit scare stories about bic lighters exploding in peoples pockets? It was all bullshit as we now know . I have seen no verifiable report of anyone being hurt by an exploding lithium ion battery.----Bob

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