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Thread: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

  1. #301
    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Here is a loose theory about the lens (window) blowing out.

    The PM6 in question is an early model with focusing capability. The LA (lamp assembly) is separate from the reflector unlike in the second iteration of the PM6 which is non-focusing. The LA screws into the battery tube. This results in two separated atmospheres, one existing in the head and the other existing in the tube.

    The second path of least resistance for gas/flames/pressure would be the potting surrounding the lamp. The first path would apparently be the tail switch. Before the first explosion there was venting and gray haze coming out of the tailcap.

    It could be that there was also some unseen fiery out-gassing from the anode end of the first battery that burnt and pushed a small hole through the potting. Or...it could be that the first explosion blew a small hole through the potting. Also, during the second explosion a jet flame was observed coming out of the tailcap.

    I'm thinking that one of these events blew or burnt a hole through the potting surrounding the lamp. That would cause the head chamber and the battery tube chamber to share the same atmosphere. When the second explosion took place the lens received quick, high pressure and blew out in shards carrying toxic material.

    If we look closely at the glass envelope we can see a black wisp on it. This may be evidence of the defeated potting and a small yet powerful jet-blast flame having traveled close to it.



    Last edited by Icebreak; 06-11-2006 at 04:02 AM.
    The oldtimers are forever bound to the universe of flashlights. They reside just above the torch lit stratosphere where the good photons pass by. As these oldtimers locomote on their appointed ways, occasionally an unusual glimmer from below catches their attention.

    They may give a nod or a word.

  2. #302
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    it's late, read all the threads too tired to write all of what i am thinking, howerver one or two things sure leap to my mind

    One glad everyone is getting better and that it wasn't worse, and that looks like thru enough shaking of the tree, we might end up w/a safer battery solution,

    the other was an eyeopener for me, i certainly was aware of the battery warnings of explosions, to be honest wasn't really aware you could suffer toxic effects that easily, but i sorta treated it like getting hit by lightning, i mean everything you use and eat has warnings so i am sorta desensed and kinda ignore it

    I am now conciously aware of the danger potentiial now.. Perhaps some real scientific evidence will show it's a one in a billion thing maybee not but inthe mean time I will sure treat these lights/batts carefully

    I honestly don't know if i am being paranoid but i have a surefire it still has the 2 sf bat's that came w/it if i use it on high (or any mode) what is the level of risk i am running

    do most lights like my SF have a barrel thick enough not to produce shrapnel or burst on the body? are they designed to 'vent' oon the ends??

    what are the odds that my single cell lights such as a lsh or hds aka a one battery unit can explode? i only use disposables in them typically bat station or duracell ultra i feel those brands are best(maybe sf too)and still do

    I have a little orb baby ns, w/the rechargables in it, i always charge them in a place where if it exploded, it's ok, but the cell in the light on high? it's a solid light except for the led top what is the risk potential of a)single recharg and using it in such a heavy constructed light?

    Just kinda wondering because i don't know maybe there are things i can do?


    if anyone wants to start a collection for either some scientific post mortiem forencics or research or a fruit basket to Lmodule i'd contribute
    arc:LSH/aaa/aaap , SF:L2, Raw NS w/Tritiums,LW400,UV-x1,glotoob,hds,RiverRockAAwaiting for more...whats next?

  3. #303

    Ooo Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    This is an eye opening thread for me, I usually carry my 123 lights in my left front pants pocket. Lets just say that having something like this blowing up that close to some appendages I would like to preserve has me thinking maybe one of those belt mounted magazine and Flashlght holders/holsters might be a good Idea. Flames and exploding glass near Mr Happy are a pretty scary thought.

    LM I hope you are feeling better. I once had a tramautic interface with a slave cylinder and a sticky check valve and when something goes BOOM right in front of you it takes a long while to get your wits back about you.

  4. #304
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Everyone doesnt have to worry about their single celled lights blowing up in there pocket. What happend to LM was VERY RARE, and this thread is just trying to understand what happend, so we can prevent it. Two celled lights are what you should be more concerned with, all you have to do is pay attention to the batteries you install, just make sure they are both brand new. IF you do this, then you are 99.99 percent fine. I will still carry all my lights and not be afraid of them blowing up, but, i have removed cells sitting in lights that dont get much use. In the other pelican thread, the batteries exploded WHEN THE LIGHT WAS OFF. But really, i doubt any single cell lights are just going explode at random in your pants. If that does happen, play the lotto right away.
    MLR<3

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Steve (Lunar),

    I just found this thread and I want to add my voice to the large chorus of well wishers. I particularly want to thank you for the mature and sophisticated way you are using this incident to improve safety for all of us.

    Regards. ;-norm (nrk)

  6. #306
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Success! I got tired of watching so I missed the fun.
    PM6 with a 40% cell and a 100% left outside to see.
    They were NOT Battery Station cells but it appears that
    something bad happened. I watched awhile and the light got
    to 122 degrees then started to cool down so I went inside thinking
    game over. I was wrong I will need to look for the tail cap rubber section
    and in an hour or so check the light. I have all day so I will not jump in to fast.
    Topper

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Man, this is not good!!! My only two cell light is a Brinkmann Maxfire so I hope single cell setups are ok!! Topper, keep us updated on your experiment! LM, I hope you are doing ok, you are very lucky, it could have been way worse! Maybe I should try toppers experiment with the Brinkmann outside?? Nah!!! Doug
    Last edited by dtsoll; 06-11-2006 at 01:14 PM.
    Grateful friend of Bill W.

  8. #308
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Quote Originally Posted by Topper
    Success! I got tired of watching so I missed the fun.
    PM6 with a 40% cell and a 100% left outside to see.
    They were NOT Battery Station cells but it appears that
    something bad happened. I watched awhile and the light got
    to 122 degrees then started to cool down so I went inside thinking
    game over. I was wrong I will need to look for the tail cap rubber section
    and in an hour or so check the light. I have all day so I will not jump in to fast.
    Topper
    So the switch boot (tail cap rubber section) is no longer on the light?

    Remember to take as many safety precautions as possible.
    The oldtimers are forever bound to the universe of flashlights. They reside just above the torch lit stratosphere where the good photons pass by. As these oldtimers locomote on their appointed ways, occasionally an unusual glimmer from below catches their attention.

    They may give a nod or a word.

  9. #309
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I found the rubber tail cap button, it is intact one piece it just blew out.
    I found a white plastic (shim?).
    The PM6 was on the ground and about 6 feet from a white plastic fence.
    I found the blast patterns on the Fence (Wife is gonna kill me if I can't fix it)
    I still have not picked up the light. The blast residue is around 2 feet off the ground so there must be "Stuff" on the ground. Looking at the light it seems very clouded on the lens but I am not in any hurry to pick it up right now.
    Topper

  10. #310
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    The recall of those products was because of the batteries that were packaged with the lights, not the lights themselves.

    With regards to the distribution channel .vs direct accounts, it can get a bit complex sometimes sorting things out. For the most part though, a retailer buying inventory through a distributor is not an indicator that they are not an authorized dealer. It only indicates that the manufacturer does not sell directly to that retail vendor. I haven't checked recently, or at least haven't encountered any recently, but there have been times when Costco has stocked "grey market" items, and it was made reasonably clear to the consumer that they were not an "authorized dealer". Seiko watches were one example that stood out as they were sold from a New York importer rather from Seiko's own US sales network. As for DeWalt tools, it would be hard pressed to call them "grey market" if they were sold from Black & Decker to an authorized distributor who in turn sold them to Costco. It's not as if they were products that B&D had previously exported and then re-imported again by a distributor for grey market sales in the U.S. to by-pass the U.S. distribution channel. And as far as I know, I think Black & Decker/DeWalt sells all of their products through a distribution channel rather than directly to retail accounts.

    Some of the warehouse clubs are a bit of a different animal though when it comes to the products they sell. They often require special packaging or unique bundles (e.g. with included accessories that you may not get in conventional retail packaging) and special arrangements have to be made. That may involve a distribution partner or may be done by the manufacturer themselves. The most common example are the large heat sealed packages that the warehouse stores require both for display and shipping purposes, as well as a loss prevention deterrent. Others would include multi-item packages, such as those for the Dorcy Spyder, and other products that are generally packaged in single units. The packaging in itself is a cottage industry that is only done by a few companies, and the service is provided to manufacturers (and distributors) solely for marketing their products through warehouse stores like Costco, Sam's, and BJ's.

    Just so that the whole thing doesn't get belabored, Costco's in-house return policy pretty much outweighs anything that most manufacturers provide in a warranty, so it's not really anything that I would be terribly concerned with. I don't know of any other retailer who would accept a return for a product years after it was purchased, and issue a refund (or credit if it was returned without a receipt.) As for stability, Costco is the nation's 4th largest retailer trailing Wal*Mart, Home Depot, and Kroger's, in that order. Target is number 5.


    Quote Originally Posted by bwaites
    Good point Brighteyez, and I misstated what I intended.

    I simply meant that a light that had also been sold by Costco had been recalled.

    As you mentioned, the Costco version I saw had Duracells, but the lights were the same.

    Although, Costco sometimes buys from 3rd parties. I was told by a reliable DeWalt insider that DeWalt tools were intially bought through a distributor and Costco was not an authorized dealer. That may not be true at this point, though.

    Bill

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Purely a speculative thought here, but do you suppose this had anything to do with Pelican going to the fixed lamp assembly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Icebreak
    Here is a loose theory about the lens (window) blowing out.

    The PM6 in question is an early model with focusing capability. The LA (lamp assembly) is separate from the reflector unlike in the second iteration of the PM6 which is non-focusing. The LA screws into the battery tube. This results in two separated atmospheres, one existing in the head and the other existing in the tube.

  12. #312
    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Topper -

    WOW!
    The oldtimers are forever bound to the universe of flashlights. They reside just above the torch lit stratosphere where the good photons pass by. As these oldtimers locomote on their appointed ways, occasionally an unusual glimmer from below catches their attention.

    They may give a nod or a word.

  13. #313
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Yeah, wow topper!! be careful!! matching cells is important huh? I'm still concerned about all my single cell lights, someone please reassure us!!! Doug
    Grateful friend of Bill W.

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    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    Purely a speculative thought here, but do you suppose this had anything to do with Pelican going to the fixed lamp assembly?
    The motivation to make the design change was a suit from Mag. I'm not sure if the new design allowing both the head and battery tube to share the same atmosphere was a consideration or just a collateral benefit.

    It certainly could have been an additional motivating factor.
    The oldtimers are forever bound to the universe of flashlights. They reside just above the torch lit stratosphere where the good photons pass by. As these oldtimers locomote on their appointed ways, occasionally an unusual glimmer from below catches their attention.

    They may give a nod or a word.

  15. #315
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Quote Originally Posted by dtsoll
    Yeah, wow topper!! be careful!! matching cells is important huh? I'm still concerned about all my single cell lights, someone please reassure us!!! Doug
    Best I know; you have to have two to Tango. I have no reason to think anyone using a single cell should spend time worrying about that.
    I was trying to cause a problem and I did. I decided to not use Battery Station cells as I thought it was possible with other cells (I was correct).
    I got to pick it up but I think I might have tried the same thing in a different light and got the same results. I used the PM6 only because I have 2 and I did not use them.
    Topper

  16. #316
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Hey Topper ... you got ballz !
    Now try some different cells with your U2 ...

    For my peace of mind ... a LED setup with a down converter would dim significantly before catastrophic failure then, wouldn't it?

    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
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  17. #317

    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Quote Originally Posted by Topper
    I was trying to cause a problem and I did. I decided to not use Battery Station cells as I thought it was possible with other cells (I was correct).
    I got to pick it up but I think I might have tried the same thing in a different light and got the same results. I used the PM6 only because I have 2 and I did not use them.
    Thank you very much! This is a really important step towards determining what's happening.

    The next logical step would be to do this experiment with a different light that draws as much current as the PM6 to get closer to the root causes of these incidents. Hm ... The trouble is my G2 is at my parents' place at the moment, and I won't have a chance to pick it up any time soon.

    Hans

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I think batterystation needs to do more tests with uneven cells. He had kind of eliminated that as a probable cause when the batteries he tested did not explode. It appears, however, that this makes an explosion much more likely even though it doesn't make it certain. I think we are on the right track. Thanks, topper, for sacrificing your light. This test tells us a lot.

  19. #319
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Steve - sorry for your accident! I wish you a speedy recovery!
    You have bad luck with batteries! I remember when I shipped your some CR2 primaries and they arrived leaking! Have you talked to you mail delivery person?


    Topper - thanks for your sacrifice!

    Just adding my 2 cents / recap

    One runs a risk with mismatched cells in ANY application, perhaps the older PM6s are more susceptible to this issue, especially after the light has heated up, and the heavy springs decrease the amount of expansion available?
    Last edited by Geologist; 06-11-2006 at 03:21 PM.

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Hello Bernie,

    Perhaps now you will see why some of us prefer to run the U2 on a single 18650 cell...

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I want to say one more time. I did not use Battery Station cells.
    This planned event was with another brand most CPF'ers have.
    I have no intentions of hitting them or Pelican up for replacement.
    Bernie, I have lost my U2 so no chance of that.
    Hans, I have several G2's but I like them so no dice on blowing them up.
    I still need to pick it up and see but I am not looking forward to that.
    Topper

  22. #322
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    All in the name of science, way to go Topper!
    Light is sweet and pleasing to the eyes....

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I probably don't have to say this, but I will anyway.

    Topper, be sure to wear protective clothing when you handle that stuff. And a filtration mask wouldn't be a bad idea either.

    Most of all...be careful. Don't contaminate yourself or your property.

  24. #324
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Hello Topper,

    You said that you were using a cell at 40% and a cell at 100%. How did you determine that the 40% cell was at 40%?

    Thank you for running this test, but please be careful with the left overs. I don't mean to sound like your mom, but remember to wash your hands afterwards...

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  25. #325
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I have a ZTS MBT mini? (I got the cheap one) so I started yesterday by getting two cells that showed 100% set one aside and placed the other in a single cell light and ran in till it dropped to 40%. I placed the 40% cell first (close to the lamp). I have noticed that in two cell lights one cell will lose more every time (for me anyway) may be true in 3 and 4 cell use but I have not checked that.
    Topper

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Topper, did you get any pics of your blown light?? Just wondering, thought it would be cool to see, carry on! Doug
    Grateful friend of Bill W.

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Pelican probably will replace it if you submit it to them, though it will probably be with one of the newer models with the lamp assembly.
    The battery vendor should be the one replacing it, but if it's one of the $1 battery vendors other than Battery Station, they probably won't even acknowledge your communications.

    Quote Originally Posted by Topper
    I have no intentions of hitting them or Pelican up for replacement.

  28. #328
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Wow, Topper....you really did it........thank you for doing this. I'm glad you are safe. I guess now we need to see if it happens with a light drawing similar current to the PM6. Good job Topper
    The only light I need now is the "light at the end of the tunnel".....

  29. #329
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Just found this, glad youre OK Stephan. It could have been alot worse for sure, kinda makes me wanna only use singled celled lights....
    -PSM

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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    Pelican probably will replace it if you submit it to them, though it will probably be with one of the newer models with the lamp assembly.
    The battery vendor should be the one replacing it, but if it's one of the $1 battery vendors other than Battery Station, they probably won't even acknowledge your communications.
    I thought I was real clear on not hitting anyone up for a replacement.
    I do have integrity.
    This was not an accident I was trying to.
    Sorry no pics, the tailcap was bent up I guess due to pressure.
    Topper

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