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Help! Can't charge my Lipo

RC6-VSR displaying cell voltage error

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Nigel R10/07/2020 12:36:32
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3981 forum posts
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David

Stop the charger immediately.

Discharge the pack.

Do not use it again.

I have bought from wireless madness before, they are a decent shop and will understand if the pack turned up with one dead cell.

David Ramsden10/07/2020 12:47:46
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27 forum posts
13 photos

Dickw - the way I got it to do a balance charge was - Adam at Wireless-Madness talked me through it.

We connected without the balance plug and told the charger in was a different kind of battery (Nimh I think) gave it two lots of charge, then tried charging it as a Lipo and then the charger did recognise that it had three cells rather than two and commenced a balance charge. That has now been running for 92 mins at 0.5A and the pack is up to 12.24v so far.

EarlyBird10/07/2020 13:01:59
193 forum posts
158 photos

David

For me that is very bad advice from Adam at Wireless-Madness because all the readings indicate it is a faulty battery and therefore dangerous to use.

I would follow the advice given by Nigel R.

What has Adam gained by his bad advice?

Saved having to refund you?

Totally compromised Wireless-Madness's good name?

Bob Cotsford10/07/2020 13:02:30
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8637 forum posts
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Did you mean 3.xx volts in your earlier post where you typed 5.xx twice? Seems more likely, I've heard of cells getting to 4.6v but nothing higher. Usually because the smoke obscures a clear view of the charger! Even so, .4v out of balance on the two 'good' cells doesn't bode well.

Dickw10/07/2020 13:13:37
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Posted by David Ramsden on 10/07/2020 12:47:46:

Dickw - the way I got it to do a balance charge was - Adam at Wireless-Madness talked me through it.

We connected without the balance plug and told the charger in was a different kind of battery (Nimh I think) gave it two lots of charge, then tried charging it as a Lipo and then the charger did recognise that it had three cells rather than two and commenced a balance charge. That has now been running for 92 mins at 0.5A and the pack is up to 12.24v so far.

David. I have done that myself, but would never suggest that approach to anyone else as I regard it as high risk.

Don't take your eyes off that Lipo during the curent charge process, and during the follow on discharge - do discharge it immediately and note capacity and voltages, then leave it discharged for now! Let us know the results.

The others have been giving you good advice - that Lipo will always be suspect.

Dick

Richard Wills 210/07/2020 13:52:02
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208 forum posts
7 photos

If you have had 2 cells overcharges to that degree you are very lucky to not have had a fire. GET IT OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW. Then discharge it to zero volts and bin it, the battery is dangerous and faulty and cannot be shipped with any carrier.

David Ramsden10/07/2020 14:20:30
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27 forum posts
13 photos

No Bob, the cells were definitely reading 5.26v, 5.65v, and 0.41v. I abandoned the balance charge at 12.3v and I'm just about to put the battery outside the house for safety.
The cells are now reading 6.9, 7.3, and 6.8 (but the balance charge had not quite finished).
I will ask Wireless-Madness for another one.

Thanks all.
David

Paul Marsh10/07/2020 14:39:35
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4068 forum posts
1223 photos

If your cells are reading over 4.2v you have overcharged the pack and are inline for a fire. There have been a few fires caused by Lipos, one burning his garage down.

Stop messing with the pack, discharge it and buy a new one, before someone gets hurt or worse...

 

Edited By Paul Marsh on 10/07/2020 14:41:44

Simon Chaddock10/07/2020 14:46:11
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5733 forum posts
3034 photos

David

If you have put the battery on charge, as distinct from trying to charge it, I seriously doubt you will get any recompense from a supplier. Most state in the small print that any sort of 'use', charge or discharge, negates their warranty.

I presume your charger can display the individual cell voltages during the balance charge. It is good practise to monitor them during charging. It will be very evident if one cell is 'weak' as it will reach 4.2 V whilst the good cells are still charging at less than 4 V. With a 'good' LiPo the cell voltages should not vary by more than 0.02 V during the entire charge process.

The opposite will happen if you try to use it. The weak cell will drop voltage (and become exhausted) much more quickly than the good ones. Once the weak cell is below 3 V it will be damaged further and is likely swell up. This situation will get worse each time you try to use it and could quickly lead to serious trouble.

A 'weak cell' LiPO is potentially dangerous, hence the advice to safely discharge it fully and bin it.

Dickw10/07/2020 14:55:57
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736 forum posts
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Posted by David Ramsden on 10/07/2020 14:20:30:

No Bob, the cells were definitely reading 5.26v, 5.65v, and 0.41v. I abandoned the balance charge at 12.3v and I'm just about to put the battery outside the house for safety.
The cells are now reading 6.9, 7.3, and 6.8 (but the balance charge had not quite finished).
I will ask Wireless-Madness for another one.

Thanks all.
David

6.9 + 7.3 + 6.8 = 21 volts, and yet you say you abandoned the balance charge at 12.3 volts!

Something very odd there. Definitely leave that battery somewhere safe outside, and do watch carefully next time you use the charger - just in case.

Dick

Bob Cotsford10/07/2020 14:59:26
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8637 forum posts
483 photos

I suspect that a LiPo cell at over 6v would at the very least look like a balloon. If those voltages were displayed on your charger then the charger needs binning as well as the battery. Any working charger should have cut off the individual cell charge at 4.2v, if they were over that when plugging the battery in then the charger should have complained of over-voltage. Something is very wrong!

Are you sure that you have selected a 3 cell balance charge?

Richard Clark 210/07/2020 15:15:26
418 forum posts
Posted by EarlyBird on 10/07/2020 13:01:59:

David

For me that is very bad advice from Adam at Wireless-Madness because all the readings indicate it is a faulty battery and therefore dangerous to use.

I would follow the advice given by Nigel R.

What has Adam gained by his bad advice?

Saved having to refund you?

Totally compromised Wireless-Madness's good name?

He's certainly lost me as a potential customer. All in an attempt to avoid giving David his money back.

Keith Miles 210/07/2020 15:22:31
407 forum posts
6 photos

Agree with others.

NEVER take chances with any LiPo!

Cells should be balance charged and kept in balance for a reason and once any cell has dropped below 3 volts it is likely to have already suffered damage and should be discarded.

Furthermore a Lipo cell should NEVER be charged above 4.2 volts and any significant voltage differences between cells is also something to be very wary of.

And NEVER use any setting on a charger other than the correct setting for the battery type and cell count/voltage!

A good battery and charger and correct use of both will avoid potential dangers!

I would also suggest that you get yourself a battery checker. Plenty of choice. Pocket sized and more convenient to use than a multimeter.

If you want to see what can happen when you mistreat a Lipo, you will find a number of clips on YouTube!

P.S. Oh, I see someone has since posted such a clip and having watched it, and despite claims, in the clip, that the victim is a “professional”, human error cannot be ruled out especially as this was, apparently, his second such experience! My view is that if Lipos are inherently dangerous and unpredictable they would not be on sale! 

 

Edited By Keith Miles 2 on 10/07/2020 15:25:53

Edited By Keith Miles 2 on 10/07/2020 15:47:28

Richard Clark 210/07/2020 15:38:37
418 forum posts
Posted by Keith Miles 2 on 10/07/2020 15:22:31:

Agree with others.

NEVER take chances with any LiPo!

Cells should be balance charged and kept in balance for a reason and once any cell has dropped below 3 volts it is likely to have already suffered damage and should be discarded.

Furthermore a Lipo cell should NEVER be charged above 4.2 volts and any significant voltage differences between cells is also something to be very wary of.

And NEVER use any setting on a charger other than the correct setting for the battery type and cell count/voltage!

A good battery and charger and correct use of both will avoid potential dangers!

I would also suggest that you get yourself a battery checker. Plenty of choice. Pocket sized and more convenient to use than a multimeter.

If you want to see what can happen when you mistreat a Lipo, you will find a number of clips on YouTube!

P.S. Oh, I see someone has since posted such a clip!

Edited By Keith Miles 2 on 10/07/2020 15:25:53

Not only did he do it twice, he didn't put a door on his 'fireproof' cabinet.

Dumb or what?

Keith Miles 210/07/2020 15:55:02
407 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by Keith Miles 2 on 10/07/2020 15:22:31:

If you want to see what can happen when you mistreat a Lipo, you will find a number of clips on YouTube!

P.S. Oh, I see someone has since posted such a clip!

Not only did he do it twice, he didn't put a door on his 'fireproof' cabinet.

Dumb or what?

Richard Clark, yes, indeed!

And I had edited my post before seeing your reply.

There are “professionals” and “enthusiastic amateurs” and some of the latter might claim to be the former!

Edited By Keith Miles 2 on 10/07/2020 15:57:08

David Ramsden10/07/2020 16:16:25
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27 forum posts
13 photos

The battery in question is outdoors and Wireless-Madness have asked me to "Open a Returns Case" on Ebay. They will arrange for Hermes to collect it from me.
Dee from Wireless-Madness just told me on the phone that people on forums are often over cautious with regard to Lipos and that packs with a low voltage cell can usually be recovered and thereafter work fine. He said between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 overlander batteries are like this and once recovered (by the process they talked me through) are fine.

That advice seems directly contrary to all the advice I've received on this forum.

As a complete novice, it is baffling to be confronted with this situation with my very first battery and charger. I am sending the battery back but obviously I still want one!

Who would you go to for a good overlander 2900mah 3s by mail order?

Richard Clark 210/07/2020 16:42:50
418 forum posts
Posted by David Ramsden on 10/07/2020 16:16:25:

The battery in question is outdoors and Wireless-Madness have asked me to "Open a Returns Case" on Ebay. They will arrange for Hermes to collect it from me.
Dee from Wireless-Madness just told me on the phone that people on forums are often over cautious with regard to Lipos and that packs with a low voltage cell can usually be recovered and thereafter work fine. He said between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 overlander batteries are like this and once recovered (by the process they talked me through) are fine.

That advice seems directly contrary to all the advice I've received on this forum.

As a complete novice, it is baffling to be confronted with this situation with my very first battery and charger. I am sending the battery back but obviously I still want one!

Who would you go to for a good overlander 2900mah 3s by mail order?

Go to?

Overlander itself. Their online service is quick, they have more of their own brand batteries in stock than anyone else (obviously), and they actually test the individual cells and 'assemble' the pack themselves (I don't think anyone in the UK actually manufactures the individual cells). So they do have a clue, unlike some unknown bloke on Ebay who will probably be selling garden buckets or naff jewellery next week, or even some model shops.

Much of their business is ' industrial' so they are are a fairly big and well known business with a reputation to protect. If you should need to call them their guys are competent too.

Why waste time on 'middlemen', well known or not?

And why   'recover'  a  new battery? You shouldn't have  to do that whatever he says. 

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 10/07/2020 16:54:09

Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 10/07/2020 16:55:06

EarlyBird10/07/2020 16:55:14
193 forum posts
158 photos

David

It looks like Wireless-Madness are going to continue dishing out bad advice and defending themselves by accusing us of being over cautious.

I wonder if they will sell the battery to someone else and if you are not the first to be sold it. Judging by the high voltage readings on the two cells it could have been charged by someone who did not know what they were doing.

When I started and knew nothing I received a new 5000mah 3s lipo with exactly the same issue in that it would not charge. As you have done I checked the cell voltages and one was down to 1.5 volts. I contacted the supplier received an apology and a store credit. As for the lipo they told me do not send it back but dispose of it myself. I buy all of my lipos and much more from them simply because in my mind their response to my problem was excellent.

Anyway well done and I for one can stop worrying about you burning your house down by listening to all the over cautious advice.

Overlander are here.

Lipo 2900

Steve

Edited By EarlyBird on 10/07/2020 17:01:37

Edited By EarlyBird on 10/07/2020 17:05:38

Edited By EarlyBird on 10/07/2020 17:06:52

Richard Wills 210/07/2020 17:18:48
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208 forum posts
7 photos

Listening to the advice that you have got, and the fact that they want to go against the carrier terms and conditions and transport a potentially dangerous pack putting more people at risk, I doubt i'll be darkening their door to make an order in the future.

Keith Miles 210/07/2020 17:25:41
407 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by David Ramsden on 10/07/2020 16:16:25:

The battery in question is outdoors and Wireless-Madness have asked me to "Open a Returns Case" on Ebay. They will arrange for Hermes to collect it from me.
Dee from Wireless-Madness just told me on the phone that people on forums are often over cautious with regard to Lipos and that packs with a low voltage cell can usually be recovered and thereafter work fine. He said between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 overlander batteries are like this and once recovered (by the process they talked me through) are fine.

That advice seems directly contrary to all the advice I've received on this forum.

As a complete novice, it is baffling to be confronted with this situation with my very first battery and charger. I am sending the battery back but obviously I still want one!

Who would you go to for a good overlander 2900mah 3s by mail order?

Firstly, if you what you say is true, I would get a refund and never again seek advice from Dee or Adam or, perhaps, anyone else who works for Wireless Madness! Perhaps they are aptly named?

”Over cautious”? No. Scientific fact that when a Lipo cell discharges to 3v or less, the internal chemistry deteriorates. This is also the case with batteries in general but Lipos require particular care as the chemistry is more volatile. This is widely understood within the model flying community and I am baffled that a company would embarrass itself and potentially damage its business by providing such poor, and potentially dangerous advice, especially to a beginner! Then again, they might not have tried it with an experienced flyer!

If you remain unsure, there is plenty of information on line about Lipos and not necessarily associated with any retail business! It is a common mantra that Lipos require a Lipo dedicated charger. Period. Multi-chargers are set up to suit specific individual chemistries and have inbuilt safety features for each individual battery type. Charging a battery, or attempting to, with a charger/battery mismatch is not only misusing both battery and charger but could be dangerous in addition to invalidating the warranties of both!

Do you have to have an Overlander 2900? If so, or you just want to keep things simple for now, you can order direct from them via their website. In fact, as long established suppliers of batteries, with a pretty good reputation, you could even ask their opinion of the advice that you were given by the aforementioned duo, especially the bit about recovering the occasional low cell (that 1 in 100 or 1000) rather than the alternative of simply returning it to Overlander for a refund or replacement!

The choice of possible alternatives to an Overlander 2900 might be a little baffling at first, as you probably need to consider similar dimensions and C ratings, for starters and, as in all things, whilst expensive might not mean best, cheap might not be good either and, again, opinions can vary about various makes!

Welcome to the jungle!

Edited By Keith Miles 2 on 10/07/2020 17:43:07

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