Battery Junction - Olight
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 131

Thread: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Scowl ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    OK, I am UPSET.

    This morning I put my Surefire M2 + detonator + G&P tailcap + Chop modded KL3 (LED) into the armrest of a rental Toyota Camry. We're at the beach and I brought it along as I knew we'd be out with friends all day and possibly into the night. I also took along my SF L5 w/ SW02.

    Tonight we went to another beach to watch the Ferry and walk along the ocean with our friends and our kids. I took out the M2+KL3 and noticed it was dead. I then noticed by the light in the interior that the rubber tailcap had fallen off. Odd, as I checked the light (on then off) before I put it into the armrest. If the light was low I was going to grab extra cells, but it was bright (the 3x123s only had about 20 mins of use).

    Well the L5 worked so I took it along for the walk. We get home and I take the lights into the beach house (10 minutes ago).

    THE AMONDOTECH CELLS "EXPLODED" IN THE M2!!! It appears the gases pushed off the rubber tailcap and the modded KL3 is clouded. I AM SO UPSET. What gases were expended? My family would have been exposed to the gases (son 6 and daughter 3 as well as my wife and I) in an enclosed car. I only removed the head and noticed the inside of the head of the light and body as well as the cell are blackened. I removed the tailcap and see the same.

    It did not get hot today. We had the windows closed and even after 2 hours at the beach, when I opened the doors the car interior wasn't hot. The L5 is fine and it was in the same interior.

    Right now I am MAD. I've got several hundred dollars of light ruined. I've got possible noxious gases in an enclosed car. I don't see any obvious reason the cells ruptured. I used three new cells in the light, all from the same batch from Amondotech. I ordered the 2x123 sticks and "broke" one of the sticks so I could have a 3x123 setup. I've done this in the past running a W/E 9v incan bulb and never had a problem. I know the light was turned off as I tested it before I put it into the car. It is a Toyota Camry and was not driven hard enough to knock the light around to turn it on. (The lights were lying on their sides in a short storage bin in the armrest).

    I don't understand what happened. I am stunned. This wasn't a high-draw incan; it was an efficient LED. The cells were new and matched from the same order/batch. The light was lying on its side in an armrest tray alongside an L5 (which I know has to draw more from the cells than the modded KL3). I've used the KL3 for many hours in the past few weeks and never had an issue with drained cells, even when running the G&P tailcap. I swapped a new set of cells just before we left for the beach on Friday.

    However, I would like answers. I'll contact Amondotech on Monday to lodge a complaint. I'll gladly send them my light for evidence. I may even contact an attorney. I may contact a doctor too.

    When I get some time I'll take pictures and post them here.

    Last edited by Chronos; 08-05-2006 at 09:54 PM. Reason: speeling
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    8,965

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and AF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Don't know what's going on with all these cells recently... all these explosions are getting me worried.

    Make sure to use disposable gloves when handling the batteries. You don't want to be touching them with bare skin.
    Last edited by carrot; 08-05-2006 at 09:44 PM.
    [gearcarrot.com] Collector and distributor of (mis)information.
    The Guide to High-End Lights | Flashlight Story Collection updated Sept 28
    CPF Specials | 4sevens | LED Testing | EDCF | #cpf

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* WAVE_PARTICLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and AF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    OMG!!!! I'm glad you and your family are ok and this wasn't worse...



    OK...somebody tell me what the hell is going on? What's with this apparent increase in frequency of exploding cells?


    Time to stick to single-cell applications....

    Question: Why don't we hear similar stories with Li-ions? Anyone ever had a Li-ion explode on them?


    WP
    Last edited by WAVE_PARTICLE; 08-05-2006 at 09:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Christo Pull Hair Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and AF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    I've only handled the light. I didn't know when I first picked it up that it wasn't working. I clicked the tailcap clicky a few times, then noticed the tailcap had fallen off (hey, it is just rubber), and put it down and picked up the L5 instead. I'm not disassembling it again as I don't know what chemicals I may be exposed to. I don't know what chemicals we may have already been exposed to. I don't remember any noxious odors in the car.

    I've already stored it in a ziplock bag and put it on the back deck. I don't want it in the house. I too am worried as this isn't a high-draw light and all the parts are new or as-new, including the cells.

    I'm taking all the cells out of all of my lights tonight and storing everything in the .30 caliber ammo case. There is no sign of intense heat or fire in the car nor in the armrest. I just don't get it. The only visual clue this evening was the tailcap, but I assumed it fell just fell out. Luckily no explosions. But it does look like there had to be some pressure and heat inside of the light as the massive 1st gen KL3 head is somewhat cloudy.

    I repeat: the light was off. The batteries were new. I hadn't taken the tailcap off nor adjusted it since I put in the cells on Friday morning. I used the light + cells for about 5 mins max last night when I walked the dog. I checked if the light worked this morning (I flashed myself in the eyes and saw dots for a few minutes afterwards) and know the light was off when I put it in the armrest.

    WTF???
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    8,142

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    you should read newbies thread on lithium cell failures..
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=124776

    no more clickies with multi-lithium cell lights for me.

    my theory is it takes a combination of factors to cause a lithium failure.

    posted earlier in above link...

    possible primary lithium cell failure mode(s)

    1. user and/or mfg places two or more primary lithium cells into incan and/or LED flashlight.

    2. one or more of cells is in substantial lessor state of charge than other cell(s) in series. 100% for first cell and say 60% for second cell.

    3. operator accidentally leaves light on for extended run.

    4. 100% cell starts to reverse charge 60% cell. large current drain from 100% heats up source cell and 60% cell also heats up from being reversed charged.

    5. if PTC is defective on host cell(s) and heavy internal reverse charge is occuring. This leads to venting with flames by one and/or both cells.

    6. if this venting with flames is contained within an air tight container like a flashlight. explosion will result.

    number of reported primary lithium failures has only recently spiked. past cpf threads will show timeline of failure reports. IMHO spikes in failures is directly related to primary lithium cells mfg in China. there is a need to identify who actual manufactors of failed primary cells are.

    please correct me if I wrong. So far no documented venting with flames has occured with single primary lithium cell lights. No documented venting with flames has occured with li-ion cells in single cell or multiple cell lights. (bare and protected li-ion cells)
    __________________

  6. #6

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Chronos, I'm glad you're okay. Sorry about your ruined light. I can only imagine how pissed off I'd be if one of my expensive lights became a pipe bomb. Hopefully you get some resolution soon.
    U2 | G2L | G2Z | L4 | LX2 | A2 | E2e | Mag2C ROP-LE | ML1 | ML1-X | L1-Cree | SF-III | T1A w/ XP-G | Malkoff MD2 w/ M60L, HAIII 6P w/ M60,M61

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* bwaites's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central Washington State
    Posts
    5,037

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Chronos,

    Thankfully your family is OK, if they were going to have symtoms, it would have been apparent by now.

    That said, I have to believe that the QC on these cells (meaning all of them) has slipped some with the huge volume of cells of this type now being used.

    Newbie is working hard on this, and I expect some others are also, but from what I have seen, no manufacturer is without some failures.

    Bill
    Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
    Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    down the road from Pleasure Point.
    Posts
    3,852

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    My experience has been extremely positive with multi-123 cell lights.

    Of course I only use Surefire, Rayovac and Sanyo cells. I stay away from battery station and amondotech batts. So far, knock on wood, things have been normal.
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Scowl Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    cy,

    Interesting but I don't see much that applies to my situation. Taken from the thread you cite:

    The wisdom at the moment seems to be:
    - never ever mix cell brands
    - never mix a new cell with a used cell
    - cells that measure similar remaining new capacity, I've conducted many, many tests, and seen no failures- BatteryStation is now utilizing a device called a ZTS tester, in order to sift out new cells that have partially depleted themselves
    - Always lock out your flashlight so it cannot be accidentally turned on, some folks are actually removing cells to assure the light doesn't accidentally turn on
    - do not store your lithium flashlight around other items which may be hazardous
    - do not short a 123 cell, it can generate gasses within the cell
    - if your light drops all of a sudden in brightness, or goes out, lock it out (off). If it continues to get hot, vibrate, make funny sounds, or other wierd behavior, you should consider leaving the immediate area. Personally, I'd toss it in a safe direction/area that doesn't pose a hazard to others, but thats my personal preference.
    - never, ever use a cell that has leaked a bit, or is dented/deformed.
    - if the cell/flashlight gets hot, like around flame or in the sun, it may explode or internally vent.
    - if possible, at a minimum, consider measuring the cell voltage with a volt meter. If the cell is low, do not use it.
    - this list is by no means complete, and is only meant to be a starting guide.



    None of these apply. Cells were all from the same Amondotech batch. Cells were fresh, not run down. Light was not accidentally left on. The light was not left in direct sunlight. I didh't tighten and loosen the tailcap multiple times on the same set of cells, which could theoretically gouge the metal in the battery. The light was not exposed to abuse. It was in a carpeted compartment in an armrest in a car that didn't reach 35 mph. Plus a L5 with batteries from the same batch was in the armrest the whole time. Plus the L5 was used for far more time (I have found the KL5's beam to be wonderful) so it's batteries would have been more rundown. Plus I've clicked it's clicky tailcap many more times than on the M2-bodied light.

    It was a multiple-cell light. It did have a clicky tailcap.

    FWIW I'm not trying to argue, just looking for answers. My friends leave tomorrow so I'll try to take some pictures then. I also don't want to alarm my family. Yet.

    Does anyone know if the M2 body is salvageable? The detonator? Can they be cleaned? It looks like that wonderful Chop KL3 is destroyed. Sigh. I'll talk to my father tomorrow. He's a PhD in Environmental Health and spent many years with the EPA on toxin, carcinogen, and pathology studies. Though these cells may produce toxins, there may not be enough of them in these small battery containers to really do damage unless the fumes are concentrated in a confined space (like a car).
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Cape Cod MA
    Posts
    1,100

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Chronos,

    Thank God you and your family are alright. I have to admit the recent uptake in lithium primaries going bad is scary. My best wishes to all of you. Glad you wern't hurt.
    The only light I need now is the "light at the end of the tunnel".....

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Thanks everyone for the kind words! Everyone seems to be fine. They are all in bed and I'm the nut typing on my computer. I guess two things bother me:

    1. A really expensive and probably irreplaceable light may be ruined.
    2. My family could have been exposed to dangerous gases and a possible explosion. In a car.

    Number 2 is what gives me chills. I guess I need to treat the lights as if they are explosive devices from now on and store them in the trunk, probably in an ammo box when transporting them. Oh yeah, the lights travel in a nice Pelican box. Yikes, imagine the carcinogens if the foam and plastic ignited.

    You know, the pipebomb reference is eerily accurate. I don't yet know how bad the venting was, but it couldn't have been that bad as there are no burns on the fabric/carpet stuff in the armrest nor smoke. Yet there was enough pressure to pop off a rubber tailcap cover and obviously push vapors into the LED head.

    I guess I now love my SF L1 (single cell) light a LOT MORE!
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  12. #12
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ashburnham, MA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    There are links to the appropriate MSDSs on newbies thread on lithium cell failures..
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=124776

    MSDS = Material Safety Data Sheet = the basic document saying what chemicals are present and what their health effects are.

    My guess is that this exposure is more common in the workplace than the home, so I suggest:

    You might consider getting copies of the MSDSs to a doctor, preferably an occupational medicine specialist (they would have more experience with such chemical exposures). Alternatively, contact an industrial hygenist. A couple places to find these people:
    Nearest research university or large medical center or medical school.
    Unions, especially chemical workers union (perhaps OCAW, Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, or AFL-CIO)
    masscosh.org helped me with referrals to MDs and lawyers after a workplace exposure.
    Since you're in MD, perhaps see if OSHA can give you a referral.
    If none of these are helpful, email me at:
    snowleopard 'at' newsofearth dot com

    An industrial hygenist would be better than an MD in estimating whether your exposures were high enough to worry about. An MD would, of course, be the one to see to inspect you and your family for injuries.

    If I'm reading you right, it sounds like you weren't in the car when this happened and you say nothing about smelling the smoke of the explosion. If this is the case then your exposures would probably be a lot lower than if you were in the car when it happened. Either way I'd prefer to run it by an expert before assuming no medical effects occurred.

    If it were me, I'd run the situation and the MSDSs by my occupational medicine doctor and an industrial hygenist at my university.
    --Walter

  13. #13
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Oregon- United States of America
    Posts
    4,946

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos
    Thanks everyone for the kind words! Everyone seems to be fine. They are all in bed and I'm the nut typing on my computer. I guess two things bother me:

    1. A really expensive and probably irreplaceable light may be ruined.
    2. My family could have been exposed to dangerous gases and a possible explosion. In a car.

    Number 2 is what gives me chills. I guess I need to treat the lights as if they are explosive devices from now on and store them in the trunk, probably in an ammo box when transporting them. Oh yeah, the lights travel in a nice Pelican box. Yikes, imagine the carcinogens if the foam and plastic ignited.

    You know, the pipebomb reference is eerily accurate. I don't yet know how bad the venting was, but it couldn't have been that bad as there are no burns on the fabric/carpet stuff in the armrest nor smoke. Yet there was enough pressure to pop off a rubber tailcap cover and obviously push vapors into the LED head.

    I guess I now love my SF L1 (single cell) light a LOT MORE!

    I am *so very glad* to hear that everything is okay with you, yours, and most of your property.

    I've seen some of these Primary Lithium 123 cells vent at temperatures as low as 100 degrees F (37.7C). Towards the end of the thread cy mentioned, is a link to a video where just this happens.

    I'm testing one failure scenario right now, in order to learn more about it. Actual tests are in a holding pattern, while I build and program some equipment to better monitor the situation during the testing, to see what further we can learn from it. Unfortunately, I don't have the same resources that I am used to working with, doing all this at home.

    I plan on making the information I gather public, so our designers can take advantage of what we learn, and design in countermeasures. In your case, it looks like the light was not even on, so even an undervoltage cutout wouldn't have stopped it.

    Though, even new cells often end up partially depleted, still in the shipping box, or new from the warehouse. About how much runtime would you say you had on this new set of Lithium cells?

    So, as I understand it, these were new cells from AmondoTech, from the same batch, and never abused, right? Do you know what the typical current drain was on this light?


    BTW, I'm sorry to hear of the damage to a special one of a kind light, it is hard to take the loss of something special like this.


    Thank you very much for relating your experience, so we can all work on this problem, and attempt to make things safe and enjoyable for everyone.

  14. #14

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    One of the factors making it more commonplace, is the greatly increased number of lithium celled lights in use. It wasn't long ago that the only 123 celled lights were Surefires. Now, there's an ever increasing number of manufacturers and models in use, a lot more people acquiring them, and those of us in CPF buying multiples of them.

    Even if it's battery manufacturer non-specific, that huge increase should yield a huge increase in frequency of events.

    I don't think that's the only reason, but it could be a factor. Regardless, we need to find all the factors.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* JonSidneyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Greenfield In
    Posts
    3,439

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    I wonder if price competition is a factor here. You can only bring prices so low and then there is no way to go lower without quality suffering. The absolute demand for the cheapest possible batteries has limits.

    I probably use more batteries than most in here. Yes, I really do use primary cells at times.

    I have never had a problem but I do not seek out the cheapest cells I can find. I use Panasonic and Duracell the most often and Surefire cells at times.

    The truth is the cheapest batteries you can find scare me a bit.
    The Creator of the protected RCR123

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    8,142

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    what I posted above is worth another read...

    we've had several occasions, where cpf'er w/ZTS tested NEW lithium cells way below 100%.
    if you mix a new 100% cell with a new 60% cell. reverse charge will occur as cells try to equalize.

    where clickies possibly becomes a factor. if failure has already started internally. one can easily lose track which click is which. ending leaving switch on if on light is coming out front end.

    then it would also take a defective PTC not to shut down current.

    IMHO based upon evidence gathered so far. this is the logical series of events leading to primary lithium failures.
    If anyone else has a better theory, than what I've posted. please do step forward.

    no reported instances have been reported for single cell lithium lights. as this takes away reverse charge situation.
    so far all reported instances involve multi-cell, primary lithium cells and clicky switches.

    there was an instance of surefire M6 w/LOTC failing, but that was attributed to battery carrier internally shorting.

    that's why I've switched to LOTC (twistie) tailcaps on all multi cell lights. and/or switched to single cell lights.

    I've all but converted to li-ion or NMH cells long before all these lithium failures. so far no reported instances of failures for li-ion.

    does anyone know which factory makes armodo tech's private label lithium cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos
    cy,

    Interesting but I don't see much that applies to my situation. ......
    None of these apply. Cells were all from the same Amondotech batch. Cells were fresh, not run down. Light was not accidentally left on. ..........
    It was a multiple-cell light. It did have a clicky tailcap.

    FWIW I'm not trying to argue, just looking for answers. My friends leave tomorrow so I'll try to take some pictures then. I also don't want to alarm my family. Yet.

  17. #17

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Chronos,
    Like everyone else has stated, glad you an yours are OK. This is a bummer but I would really like to know as others, including yourself, how this event came about and why. I am not familiar with all of the components this light is built up from but the clickie has me wondering. You state the light was off and yet either some circuit was closed for the flow of electricity or one of these cells just went off of its own accord. If a light is sealed like I assume this one is, a pressure differential between the inside and outside will be equalized by the system if possible. In the case of a light with a rubber boot, the boot will expand or collapse to equalize any pressure differential. If the light had been opened in a warmer or higher pressure atmosphere than that which it was left in in the car, the rubber boot might have collapsed some to equalize the pressure. If the clickie has a very soft momentary activation as many do, this equalization could well have activated the light in your absense. This could explain a flow of electricity but of course does not explain why an event took place.

    If I am wrong on this possible chain of events it is probably a good idea to consider the possability anyway. A clickie light is subject to activation from external pressure greater than internal pressure and if a light has a lock out, this should be used when storing a light. Actually any light that has a means of activation which involves a depression of a switch that could also be activated by external pressure is subject to AD or unwanted activation if the external pressure is there. With many of our lights, you could drill a hole in the side of the battery tube and suck on this hole and activate the light! Well in theory anyway. It may take quite a vacuum or pressure differential for some of the switches but I would bet with some hair trigger switches or simple LOTC configurations when the tail cap is just turned off, activation is possible.

    With this particular light, is momentary activation quick and easy with little effort or displacement of the button?
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  18. #18
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    Sitting in the car all day, the batteries were exposed to relatively high heat (over 100 degrees) for an extended period of time. Not sure what the outside temperature was where you are. But, down in Texas, it gets over 100 degrees outside and a locked car with windows rolled up can get up to 140 degrees sitting out in the sun. I had a 2x123 flashlight in my console. I decided to take it out during the summer heat.

    Scott

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    McGizmo,

    What I noticed is the action of the tailcap button was a bit long; that is, I had to depress it pretty hard to engage the light. Keep in mind this is the strobe tailcap with a circuit in it, so I wonder if the circuit was bad, with a slow leak that I did not detect?

    The cells were "new" in that they sat in a clear plastic tackle box in an ammo box in my bedroom closet before use. I had less than a few minutes on these cells in this light.

    NewBie,

    I've read through your information and it is great. I am very, very impressed. The only variables that I see that make sense are the tailcap (it does have a circuit to enable "strobing"), a possible bad cell/suddenly drained cells, and the possible heat in the car. It probably exceeded 100 degrees F. in the car's interior as it was in the high 80's in the sun. The L5 didn't vent so there had to be some other issue other than the heat (trying to follow some semblance of the scientific method- it is kind of control). Did the tailcap suddenly start draining the batteries to a dangerous level? Did the heat then cause a catastrophic failure? Was one of the cells "bad" that in conjunction with possible 100 F heat caused a catastrophic failure? Yikes.

    I too love protected rechargeables but haven't used them in these lights. Since I have used this light with a 9v incan setup I kept rechargeables to a low priority due to the draw of high-powered incans.

    Guess we may want to reconsider using 123 primary lights as our dashboard emergency lights. I swear I thought the 123 failures I'd read about were either flukes or due to misuse. In this case it was a relatively new light, a Surefire body, a well respected modded Surefire head, a detonator extender (all of which to my eyes are pretty much passive in this event) and Amondotech 123 primaries and a G&P strobe tailcap. So again I wonder if McGizmo is on to something, but rather than pressure/temperature differences causing the tailcap to engage if the tailcap had some type of electrical current flow that initiated the disaster?
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Christo Pull Hair Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    By the way, I'll be glad to offer to loan my light for research to anyone who is qualified for forensics research. I'd like to find out what happened so it doesn't happen to any of us again. It is locked in a ziplock and pretty much as I found it.

    cy,

    I see your point. I do. I appreciate all the feedback and ideas from everyone. This morning everyone is up and doing fine, so I guess the light vented in the car and the toxic fumes must have largely vented from the car before we got in it. But again imagine driving down a freeway at speed with a burning, venting flashlight in the console, dashboard, or trunk. YIKES.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Spain, near Cadiz
    Posts
    2,307

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Hello Chronos

    I'm happy to hear, you and your family is ok.
    I'm sad about what happens.

    Good points stated here. Specially I like what McGizmo said. This could be a reason for the accident.

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* nakahoshi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dulles VA
    Posts
    1,059

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Glad your ok!!!! I would agree not to touch the light without propper saftey gear.
    Im done with Cr123 cells too. I had one super heat itself inside my HD45, Im going to use Li-ion from now on. The wrapper actually shrunk itself from the heat. Guess what brand i was using:


    They were brand new out of the shrink wrap and just a few min on time. I still havent figured out how this happend but the one battery was VERY HOT. I thought something short circuted to the body, but its not the case after viewing the cells. Still a mystery!

    Let me know if you get any response from amondotech!

    My thread with CR123 problems

    good luck with getting your light back to normal,
    -bobby
    Last edited by nakahoshi; 08-06-2006 at 12:31 PM.
    MLR<3

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Help Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Thanks Long John,

    I agree that McGizmo's thoughts are interesting and as likely as anything right now, maybe more so. Great deduction at work.

    I opened the light and took a few pics with my camera phone. It looks like the cell nearest the head vented as it is black and smelly, as is the end of the KL3 head. It also isn't nearly as black. I washed my hands thoroughly after handling the light. I'll use latex gloves next time I open it.

    Interestingly the last cell's base almost looks somewhat deformed, as if there was force in the head of the light and the cells were pushed hard backwards against the spring in the tailcap. Or was the tailcap's spring too tightly sprung, compressing tightly against the last cell's base, initiating the failure? I didn't notice that it took any undue pressure to engage the light yesterday morning. It does look like there was a lot of pressure in the light; I wonder if the tailcap didn't expel the gases if it could have done a good imitation of a frag grenade or IED?

    I'll post pics once I take the family out for breakfast. By the way, it is another perfect day at the DE shore! However, I will not be taking any 123 lights with us in the car.
    Last edited by Chronos; 08-06-2006 at 08:48 AM.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    1,753

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    nakahoshi,

    WOW! I did run the light the night before for about 5 mins total, a few short bursts and a couple of longer bursts. I wonder if that was enough to heat up one of the cells (perhaps the one nearest the head) causing the casing to weaken; then the heat of the car caused the casing to contract more, starting a chain event? This is absolutely wild and frightening stuff. I think I'll swear off primaries and move onto protected lithium ions. Sigh. The issue I will have is my Gladius, as it will run on a 17670 but will blink every 15 seconds or so.

    OK, I did run the light for a few seconds in the morning to make sure the cells were fine. I wonder if I started the chain reaction then? I turned it on, blinded myself, turned it off and put it in the console. Hmmm.

    I used to have some AW cells. Are these high enough quality?
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Spain, near Cadiz
    Posts
    2,307

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo
    If a light is sealed like I assume this one is, a pressure differential between the inside and outside will be equalized by the system if possible. In the case of a light with a rubber boot, the boot will expand or collapse to equalize any pressure differential. If the light had been opened in a warmer or higher pressure atmosphere than that which it was left in in the car, the rubber boot might have collapsed some to equalize the pressure. If the clickie has a very soft momentary activation as many do, this equalization could well have activated the light in your absense. This could explain a flow of electricity but of course does not explain why an event took place.
    To complete these thesis:

    This could be the initial ignition to suck the batteries completly empty, the batteries gots hotter and starts to vent out gas. Then the inside pressure changed and expanded and as the result - the accident.

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* EvilLithiumMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    El Cajon, CA
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    How much pressure does the spring exert on the cells when the tailcap is installed? I was going through my lights a few weeks ago when I picked up my Mag-C. It had what was a popular and cheap mod about 2 1/2 years ago: Using tubing to make up the diameter difference, install three CR123's and use them to power a PR118 or similar incandesant bulb. It threw out a lot of lumens for the money.

    The cells were dead, but more importantly, they were all heavily distorted in the base, crushed in by the excessive force of the Mag's tail spring. Nothing bad happened, but I make it a point now when modding a light to try to have no more spring pressure than needed for a reliable contact. The case of a CR123 has far less sturctural integrity than a C-cell.
    SF G2+KT1, C3, E1E. SL Poly Stinger. Arc LSHF-P. MagCharger, AA MiniMag w/ MM+WO LIII S. PT20. PT40. S&W FL10. Etch-A-Sketch. Mister Microphone.

  27. #27
    Silver Moderator
    SilverFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    11,670

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    Hello Chronos,

    It is good to hear that there were no injuries from this incident. I would suggest that if you happen to be driving in the car when something like this happens, it would be prudent to immediately open all of the windows to dilute and exhaust any harmful chemical gasses.

    Newbie and Toppers efforts have shown that when you take a cell, drain it somewhat and couple it with a new cell, drain it at close to a 1C current draw, leave the circuit connected after the lamp has gone out, and add just the right amount of heat, you can cause a rapid vent with flame incident.

    Others have shown that if you pair up a dead cell with a new cell, nothing happens.

    As far as I know, no one has been able to produce a rapid vent with flame incident with two new cells that test differently on the ZTS tester. I believe this may be on Newbie's agenda for further testing, but am not sure.

    I would like to pause a moment and thank everyone that has been doing testing on the various combinations that cause problems, and especially to Newbie for demonstrating a repeatable condition.

    It is my humble opinion (and guess ) that we are dealing with a boundary condition. I have tested cells at a variety of current rates and have noticed that somewhere around 1C they tend to get hotter than at higher or lower current rates.

    We need heat to activate the chemical reaction. If we have too much heat, the PTC will shut things down, but if we have enough heat just below the PTC threshold, we may be able to initiate the thermal run away before the PTC can trip.

    Cells are tested to a variety of "worst case" conditions. I am not aware of any "boundary condition" testing. Clamp a cell in a vice and direct short it and the protection circuits kick in and shut down the chemical reaction. However, taking a cell that is designed for pulse loads (cameras) and subject it to constant loads (flashlight) and you can possibly end up with different concerns and safety issues.

    Let's take a look at the recipe for rapid venting with flame.

    More than 1 cell.
    Cells at differing capacities.
    Enough heat to start the chemical reaction toward thermal run away, but not enough heat to trip the PTC.
    Current draw in the 1C range. (This may be optional, but you need some current to initiate the chemical reaction. Simply storing cells connect in series at high temperatures does not seem to cause problems.)
    A circuit.
    A lack of a low voltage cut off. By keeping the circuit connected after one cell is depleted, we give the other cell the opportunity to try to charge the depleted cell.

    Looking at your case, we have heat, the possibility that the cells were not matched, a reasonable possible current draw, and no low voltage cut off. The only thing we are missing is the completed circuit. It could be that there was a malfunction with the switch that left it connected...

    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...

  28. #28

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    Either electricity was flowing in some type of circuit, designed or inadvertant (a short for instance) or it wasn't, as part of the chain in this event. For a reverse charging case, there would have been some electrical path provided I would expect. Nakohshi's experience is an anomoly to my limited grasp of what is going on as it seems that a chemical reaction might have been initiated with the flow of electricity but that it may well have self sustained and continued after the circuit had been opened (turned off). Is it possible that something similar happened here?

    I have tread lightly on wild speculation because wild speculation can gain momentum and gain credibility even if it is false. By the same token, granting all CR123 batteries, regardless of manufacture, the same level of consistancy, quality of assembly and inherent and effective protective or safety mechanisisms may be putting a blind eye to the actual source of the problem.

    Some of you may recall a certain Ford Pinto that had a propencity of having its gas tank explode in a moderate rear end collision. The source of the explosion was of course the gas tank. One could conclude that a car with a gas tank was unsafe. Have people stopped using cars with gas tanks? Do auto accidents have exploding gas tanks as part of the damage in any significant numbers these days?

    Ok, I'll go out on a limb here and qualify this as speculation. I think some of these events which certainly seem to be in greater frequency these days, significant frequency, may be due to the battery itself and its method of construction, inconsistancy in onboard safety mechanisisms and due to possibly inadequate QC. I believe it is possible to build an unsafe CR123 battery. I further suspect that this may be the case in a limited number and quite likely manufacturer specific.

    I am not ready to stop driving my car because some Pintos used to blow up after being rear ended. Every time I drive, I am at risk and it is very important for me to keep this in mind. It is a calculated risk and I can not calculate in the unexpected or behavior of my fellow motorist. I would like to think I reduce my risk by driving a safe and well maintained vehicle and by driving defensively and safely; or so I believe.

    As Newbie has shown us, the CR123 battery is a small, energy dense. storage devise and an unwanted or unplaned event where this energy is released rapidly in an uncontrolled, not by design fashion, can have destructive and harmful results. By design, Newbie has initiated such events. There seems to be a case where the response of the batteries is not consistant or at the same level of magnitude and this difference is based on brand of battery and not model of battery. What Newbie has undertaken on his own, at his home and on his dime is something we would like to think the batery manufacturers have been doing at a much more scientific and controlled level all along. Have they? Are all manufacturers as conscientious about the quality and conformance to standards in manufacturing as well as final product? I am starting to develop a brand prejudice based on reported events. This may be based on false perceptions and I may be fooling myself on potential risks. I am aware of no evidence or reports that make me feel that in a single CR123 application that this prejudice need apply but in multi cell systems, it does.

    Prior to recent events showing up in significant numbers, I was of the impression that the greatest risk potential was with the Li-Ion platform and more specifically in the realm of charging these cells as well as ganging them in series. I would not have predicted that folks would move from lithium primaries to Li-Ion as a safer haven of lower risk. Regardless of chemistry, it is clear that all of these batteries need to be well designed, well built and the design needs to include reasonable and dependable fail safes because in the real world, sh$t does happen!!

    I leave you with three questions that it would be great to have professional and knowledgeable answers to:

    1) Is it possible to build a reasonably safe CR123 battery for use in flashlights?

    2) Is it possible to build an inherently unsafe or high risk CR123 battery for use in flashlights.

    3) If the answer to 1) and 2) is yes for both, is it possible to identify and control the critical aspects which differentiate 1) from 2) so that 1) is the result?

    At this point, my guess is that the answer to all three questions is yes but it is only a guess and there may be some significant qualifications to a yes answer that would be real nice to know and understand!!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    8,965

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 H

    I'd just like to note that any benefits of "matched cells" is lost by breaking one of the matched pairs in half and adding them to another matched pair to create a triplet of cells. If Amondotech's "matched cells" are paired and tripled as they claim (based on battery capacity), then any safety benefit gained by that was lost in this case.
    [gearcarrot.com] Collector and distributor of (mis)information.
    The Guide to High-End Lights | Flashlight Story Collection updated Sept 28
    CPF Specials | 4sevens | LED Testing | EDCF | #cpf

  30. #30
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,266

    Default Re: ARGH: Accident w/Amondotech 123s and SF M2 + Detonator + G&P Tailcap + Chop KL3 Head!

    Does anybody know of any cases of cells rupturing on their own while not in a light? Or basically spontaniously combusting while sitting on a shelf or whatever?

    I have cells in battery carriers in the glove box of both vehicles and I'm really starting to worry. Especially with the extreme hot and cold temperatures where I live.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •