Stephen

Feb, 4, 2013: And on a separate note... battery Safety!

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I saw this today on MTBR and thought it worthy of repeating here. This kind of thing scares the @%&! out of me, and reminds me that I need to be more fastidious about my charging habits. I've charged so many batteries that I've gotten lax about using fire safe enclosures.

Since the very beginning I've either used premium Sanyo (and now) Panasonic 18650 cells in my packs, and I've torn several open and been VERY impressed with the PCB quality, solder, and insulation methods. From everything I've seen, they seem to be extremely well made. Unlike some other packs that I've seen where the individual cells are only constrained by their solder connections, and/or tape + shrink wrap, my cells are all individually super-glued to each other along the entire length of the battery, forming a very rigid structure before they are double shrink wrapped and rubber coated. I've confirmed that the PCB on my packs is accurately balancing the cells to within 1 to 2 milli-volts of each other, which is VERY beneficial for extending the life of the pack and preventing individual cell over-charge conditions. However, at the end of the day, they're still Li-ion, and contain an HUGE amount of energy in a very small volume and need to be handled with great respect.

When you buy these packs, you're assuming all the risk that goes along with them. I HIGHLY recommend that you spend the extra few bucks necessary and get a fire-safe charging bag, just for extra insurance. They're cheap, and readily available at about any hobby store or on Amazon.

I'll also keep posting on the current build blog...
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