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

  1. #391
    Flashaholic dyyys1's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I'll second that. It's nice to see that there are still good people in the world. I for one have started buying batterystation batteries. It's always good to know that your suppliers really care about what is going on and the results of using their products. Thanks Lunarmodule and thanks batterystation!

    By reading this, you have given me temporary control of your mind.

  2. #392

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

    It doesnt matter how much they want to make it correct, it still failed when it shouldent have. If My ell phone battery exploded while I was using my cell phone. Motorola would be dued big time and I would do the exact same thing for this comany and every company. If your product puts me in danger and did not give me a warning or risk assesment that if I use this product then I could be hurt(like fireworks), I would due them without a doubt.



    He wants the issue studied and tested to possibly find a solution so that others don't have the same thing happen to them...greater good and all.
    I think LM made his wishes clear in that he was not interested in legal action and wanted this to be solved in the realm of scientific investigation. He believes that this is in the best interests of protecting ALL of US from future mishaps. I admire and respect his position on this.
    Both of these are irrelevant here becasue these are jobs for the manufacturers engineers to take care of, not us, nobody here unless they are a engineer for the manufactuere will ever do anything about the subject. All this post can actually ever do is hurt the dealer(battery station),somebody like myself after see a thread like this, would personnaly never buy a batteryStation battery. No matter how they fix the problem they are over just because of one mistake. Why the hell would I want to put myelf in danger.

    The reason Duracell and Energizer and other big name batteries are better is because they understand this, they know a smart consumer would sue the hell out of them if a battery exploded. So they make sure they dont. Thats the extra money you are spending.

    Think about it, ive made my position here and we have been asked to stop so I will.

  3. #393
    Flashaholic* nethiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I would take the last moderation attempt seriously. This is a great thread of timely importance on a serious matter. Please don't trash this thread by ignoring the moderator.

    Thanks.
    ~Greg

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  4. #394

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Size15's
    Lets have no more talk of taking legal action please.
    I second that. It's off-topic guys. Please take that discussion somewhere else and let's return to the thread's topic.

    Hey, LM, how are you doing now?
    Ray
    Good people need to be there for each other. It's the only way to stay sane in a sometimes insane world.

  5. #395

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

    Quote Originally Posted by nethiker
    I would take the last moderation attempt seriously. This is a great thread of timely importance on a serious matter. Please don't trash this thread by ignoring the moderator.

    Thanks.
    sorry, i didnt see any moderation attempts. but back on topic

  6. #396
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    Ooo Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    One comment: It needs to be known that every battery manufacturer on the planet has had batteries explode. They have all been sued. Every one. Things just happen that we do not completely understand. I believe that there are even big companies that care, but things still happen. Some bad things happen due to stupidity but a lot happen for unknown random reasons that we may (but sure hope to) never fully understand.

    I am very thankful that nobody was hurt more seriously with this event but not because of being sued, because I am also a consumer and I know first hand what it is like to have a product (car) hurt someone. I am no different than anyone else here in that respect. We shoot for 100% safe and pray we come as close as possible. Battery technology again continues to push the envelope ever higher and more compact. This is no excuse for failure, it just adds to the potential for trouble in daily use of millions of every type of battery. I don't believe a "perfectly safe" battery exists unless you can come up with a way to run your light on a potato battery.

    We interviewed 40 companies before putting our name on a battery. We chose half a dozen that had UL ratings and narrowed it down from there. I felt three years ago that we had made a good choice and after one upgrade, I still do. But we have also now implemented further QC testing as one more way to close that failure gap along with further testing. I do however completely understand ones desire to not purchase our battery and I respect that without debate.
    USA Made CR123A $1.25, Surefire Lights, HDS Twisty Lights, Pelican, Streamlight, Tek-Tite + MORE http://www.batterystation.com/cpf.htm
    Kevin

  7. #397
    Administrator Size15's's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Perhaps my post is now easier to spot

    Al

  8. #398
    Flashaholic* StoneDog's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Has anyone tried a 40/100 test with a lower current (< 500ma) light, something like an Inova X03? I have no way of knowing when a CR123 hits 40% otherwise I'd volunteer mine.

    Jon
    winter is coming

  9. #399

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mdocod
    this theory "water in the cell" actually makes some since to me..

    The fact that so many tests have been attempted- that have not generated an explosion (Topper being the exception to this).... suggests that the issue may be related to the heat generated by a cell that has a defect (water)....
    It also fits Lunarmodule's observation that the brightness of the light seemed normal until just before the problem. That's a data point that didn't seem consistent with a reverse-charging scenario. Although, it does seem reasonable that a cell with a marginal crimp seal might be more likely to develop a problem over time and thermal cycles. So the problem might be more prevalent in used batteries?
    Last edited by Nubo; 06-13-2006 at 01:14 PM.

  10. #400
    Flashaholic* metalhed's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Could the relatively high spring pressure of the Pelicans contribute to compromise of the crimps? Perhaps in combination with a high temperature environment? As OutdoorIdiot suggested, the front battery may be subjected to higher thermal loads than the rear cell. This might contribute to cell failure, right?

    I wonder how resistant 123A cells are to deformation under heat and pressure?



    One more question tho'.

    If a crimp seal failed, what level of atmospheric moisture would be necessary to contaminate the cell? Would contamination be more likely at high humidity levels?

    Ok, I guess that was two questions.

  11. #401
    Flashaholic* RA40's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    How well sealed is the PM6 to moisture?

    Thought:
    LM being in HI the humidity and storage of cells may be a factor. (?)
    Mike

  12. #402
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Quote Originally Posted by RA40
    How well sealed is the PM6 to moisture?

    Thought:
    LM being in HI the humidity and storage of cells may be a factor. (?)
    It gets pretty humid here (Jonesboro Arkansas) and Kevin is literally just right up the road (about 2 hours give or take) so I would guess the humidity is not THE factor. I did start with 2 new 100% cells and ran one down. I ran it down a little at a time and for the most part had the light in my hand, when it got warm I would shut it off wait awhile then check on the ZTS mini. I most likely had it on and off perhaps 8 times till I tried to make something happen.
    That might mean something it might not. I have given this some thought and I doubt I have just turned any light on and left it till the cells go dead with out it being in my hand.
    I have noticed that for me the cell closest to the bezel always as in every time I have checked it runs down a little faster than the cell near the tail cap.
    By holding the lights the lights do not have the chance to get as hot because I am part of the heatsink plus if it gets HOT I turn it off. Not in the least sure that sounded smart but it makes sense to me.
    Topper

  13. #403

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



    Just subscribing on through.

    Hopefully I'll have time to read all 14 pages at some point.

    Oh, and...

    Glad you're o.k.

  14. #404

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

    Topper, in your 40/100% experiment, how long did it take for the light to become dim? That information could help assessing whether LM's M6 explosion can be due to battery mismatch or not.

    LM, 20 minutes of operation for a high current light is a very long time to build up a tremendous amount of heat. If you left the light on a sofa, for example, heat dissipation would be reduced, leading to substantially more excessive heat buildup. Heat weakens the sturtural integrity of a battery. It litterally makes them mushy. Add an extremely stiff spring in the M6, and the pressure might be just enough to cross the structural threshold for failure, leading to a short, followed by fireworks.

    The catastrophic failure is probably due to a combination of some or all these factors:

    - exceesive heat buildup, due to poor heat dissipation in M6 or interference with dissipation due to mode of usage
    - excessive spring pressure of the M6
    - slightly off spec structure for the battery (defect)
    - structural weakening during transport, perhaps due to very wide temperature swings
    - battery mismatch generated excessive heat

    Moral of the story for all of us: don't run your high current lights longer than you need to, and if the body is starting to feel a little too warm, play it safe and turn it off.

    LM, I hope you will recover quickly.
    Last edited by pilou; 06-13-2006 at 03:22 PM.

  15. #405
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Pilou, that is a good question, I can't answer it though. I got tired of standing outside in the sun and heat. It went 20-25 minutes before I checked the temp it was around 110, about 5 minutes later it was up to 122 and started to cool a little...That is when I noticed it was dimmer (this was in the middle of the day) and I assumed as it was cooling all danger was past and I failed to have a "planned event" I went back inside and about an hour past before going out to smoke.
    (I do not smoke in the house) that was when I realised something happened AFTER it had already started to cool down. Sorry I should have paid more attention but fact is I did not.
    Topper
    Last edited by Topper; 06-13-2006 at 04:18 PM. Reason: My spellin is not good

  16. #406
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    well i just did a test with an golston 7watt rechargable flashlight

    two batterystation cr123 one at 100% and one at 50% according to my ANSMANN.

    I put the 50% cell towards the emitter end and turned it on and put the flashlight in the garden and started timing.

    after 2 hours, nothing had happened and the light output was quite dull, so i end the test and turned of the flashlight.

    the flashlight was cold to the touch, when i removed the battery`s their was no pressure inside the torch and the batteries were cold also.

    I again measured their level with my ANSMANN, both cell were at 0%.

    no fireworks for me.

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  17. #407
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Topper seems to have come closest to replicating the problem.

    It would seem given what we know, that heat and pressure together along with one half or more dead cell and one very live one gives us BOOM.

    My PM6 is modded with the spring on the back of the LM trimmed and bent to cross the top of the nipple, and a Kroll switch so SEEMS impervious to danger...

    I'd very much like STILL to get the final word! Though I trust getting Flash Amps with a DMM will keep me safe...

    If we take moderate precautions, like I say I do with my Li-Ions, I feel we haven't got TOO much to worry about.

  18. #408
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I guess I need to look for another light to try. I used different cells than Battery Station and I did not and will not mention what I used ( I am so not into witch hunts) so I used the PM6 because I had 2 of them that I did not use. I have several G2's....Nope not going there I like them. I honestly think the biggest factor for me is hands on or off the light. I think other things may very well be involved but I cannot help but notice the hands off being a factor. Mine was placed on a concrete driveway.
    TinderBox, you mentioned yours was in the garden. So on the ground or on a pathway? I would guess a hot sunny day with light placed on asphalt would speed things up abit but I am guessing as I am guessing if placed on grass or dirt it would stay cooler.
    Topper

  19. #409
    *Flashaholic* bwaites's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    So, if heat is an issue, why haven't we seen this with more lights?

    I've had my PM6's so hot I couldn't touch them, I've had lots of my 2 cell Surefires the same. Heck, I'm running a P91 in a 2 cell Surefire and haven't been able to replicate the problem, even with unprotected RCR123's!!

    I left a PM6 in my car for months during the summer, with exterior temps as high as 110 degrees and interior temps that had to be 140-150, and no problems.

    I really am starting to wonder about water being an issue. Once water gets into one of these lights, it can't get out, and everyone knows what happens with water that gets hot!

    So Kevin, how about putting a 1/2 cc of water in a light, then running it?


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  20. #410

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

    Quote Originally Posted by bwaites
    So, if heat is an issue, why haven't we seen this with more lights?
    Exactly. In spite of my own eagerness to get to the bottom whether heat is an important factor, I have to say that I second your sentiment.

    There is no evidence to suggest that it is a big, or even relevant, factor. However, I think that it is an avenue that is worth exploring, even if it only means that it helps replicate problems. It may turn out to be irrelevant, relevant, or highly important.

    I look forward to Kevin's findings on Saturday.

  21. #411
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I tend to dissagree a little (not a big deal). The lights I am aware of that had problems were not held. The PM6's, A G2 in Iraq (lamp broke was placed in pocket left on; burns resulted) Spyder unattended (not held) I am sure there are more but I just recall what I recall. I am thinking if you have one in your car and its already 100 plus then you turn that light one with a 100/40 mix you may have problems. I do not mind being wrong in the least.
    I do not recall any light going off that was in fact turned on and held. I am not saying it has not happened just saying all the ones I am slightly aware of involve a 2 cell light not held.
    Topper

  22. #412
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I recall reading/hearing that moisture from atmospheric water vapour leaching into damaged/poorly chrimped batteries is what causes them to go wrong.
    Certainly the damaged/incorrect chrimp is the significant factor in why some batteries have been recalled.
    Whether or not there are circumstances which compound the situation I am not sure. I believe it is reasonable to assume that a battery miss-match and heat do not help but like others I do not see how these factors can be the cause by themselves.

    Al

  23. #413
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    If those batteries air-travelled they might have been subject to severe differences in temperature, moisture and pressure which may have cause some water to condensate ...
    bernie
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  24. #414

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

    Quote Originally Posted by bwaites
    So Kevin, how about putting a 1/2 cc of water in a light, then running it?
    In defending the angle that I'm currently thinking of, I neglected to support this angle.

    If the batteries in Lunarmodules' PM6 were transported by plane, could this perhaps increase the chances of ingress of moisture? I'm thinking that if they get very cold (someone earlier suggested that they might be placed in a non-heated compartment while in the air), then shrinkage of metal or other components might compromise seals?

    As an attempt to replicate this, how about placing the CR123s in a domestic freezer (i.e. v. cold and plenty of water present), as well as placing water in the flashlight, before running it?

    I regret that I don't wish to try to cause an explosion myself (having read Lunarmodules descriptions about his health, or lack of!), nor do I have any flashlights that I regard as expendable, however if Kevin has the resources to do this safely, then this certainly seems like a very valid avenue to explore.

  25. #415
    Administrator Size15's's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    Cargo containers (by sea) are subjected to significant changes in temperature and humidity. However, changes in air-pressure from being flown may not help matters.

  26. #416

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

    Quote Originally Posted by OutdoorIdiot
    Exactly. In spite of my own eagerness to get to the bottom whether heat is an important factor, I have to say that I second your sentiment.
    We are talking about heat that is being generated within the light itselfs, while it is operating. Obviously, the heat has to be dissipated, otherwise it builds up inside, raising the temparature until something melts, shorts, and blows up . This is true even for residential light fixtures. So anything that interfers with the heat dissipation might increase the chances of raising temperatures to dangerous levels. These include very hot outside temperature, covering the body of the torch, etc.

    Perhaps the P6 design has inadequate heat dissipation for certain extreme circumstances. Perhaps some of the circuitry inside melted and shorted. Or perhaps the batteries where slightly off spec and succumbed to extreme temparatures combined with the very stiff spring. Perhaps is was a rare combination of all these possibilities that pushed the system over the builtin safety margins.

    PS: increasing the temperature of most electrical devices reduces their resistance. This probably applies to batteries and the onboard circuitry of the P6. Note that reduced resistance further increases current draw, which in turns reduces resistance, creating a vicious cycle until failure.
    Last edited by pilou; 06-13-2006 at 05:45 PM.

  27. #417
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I would love to hear PK's opinion about all of this. PK are you around? email sent.
    Last edited by MikeF; 06-13-2006 at 05:46 PM.

  28. #418

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pilou
    We are talking about heat that is being generated within the light itselfs, while it is operating. Obviously, the heat has to be dissipated, otherwise it builds up inside, raising, the temparature until something melts, shorts, and blows up . This is true even for residential light fixtures. So anything that interfers with the heat dissipation might increase the chances of raising temperatures to dangerous levels. These include very hot outside temperature, covering the body of the torch, etc.

    Perhaps the P6 design has inadequate heat dissipation for certain extreme circumstances. Perhaps some of the circuitry inside melted and shorted. Or perhaps the batteries where slightly off spec and succumbed to extreme temparatures combined with the very stiff spring. Perhaps is was a rare combination of all these possibilities that pushed the system over the builtin safety margins.
    Yes. This is what I was saying in post #363, and so as you can imagine, I agree with you!

    I am attempting to be balanced when I say there is "no evidence" to support this, as yet. If Kevin gets repeatable results on Saturday, due to deliberately raising the temperature of batteries, then this I would regard as fairly solid evidence.

    I am trying to keep an open mind, as seems appropriate at the moment. There is no compelling (this is a matter of taste, of course) evidence that BatteryStation batteries, the PM6, air travel, moisture or heat are sole or contributing factors, as yet.

  29. #419
    *Flashaholic* mdocod's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    I'm running a P91 in a 2 cell Surefire and haven't been able to replicate the problem, even with unprotected RCR123's!!-bwaites
    Li-ion chemistry is an entirly different subject- rechargable cells are generally built to a higher level of ruggedness because they expect you to use them over and over again- primary batteries only need to survive a single "use" so probably don't have as stiff a can or endcaps....



    PS: increasing the temperature of most electrical devices reduces their resistance. This probably applies to batteries and the onboard circuitry of the P6. Note that reduced resistance further increases current draw, which in turns reduces resistance, creating a vicious cycle until failure.
    Generally- the reduced resistance of electrical components applies to components like transistors- that can suffer from thermal runaway... My understanding has always been that for simple circuits- like a copper wire, or switch, the colder the tempurature, the lower the resistance.. Hence- Superconductors achieve near 0 resistance when chilled to ~-320F... Whan a flashlight heats up- the resistance of the tungston filament in the bulb increases- and so would every path that the electrons flow along to make their way through the bulb... like you said- the opposite is true for the internals of a battery- where heat actually seems to "excite" the battery into delivering greater voltage... maybe it all ballances out

  30. #420
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: ROAR of the Pelican (CR123 Explosion during use, firsthand account)

    What if the thick spring transfers more heat to the 1st cell than a thin spring would?


    I don't have a pelican, or I would take a look at the bulb/spring assembly.
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