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Thread: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

  1. #91

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    My BC-9009 overheated yesterday upon the first use. I used the Lacrosse branded 4 AA 2600 maH batteries supplied. In the test mode, the 4 batteries each topped off to full charge using the 1000ma charge rate in approx. 10 minutes at which point the charger switched to discharge at the 500ma rate. In about 5 hours the first battery reached the 100% discharge threshold (0.90v) and this channel switched back to charge although it showed only 250ma rate and this was quite variable. Within several minutes I felt a hot spot through the bottom at this battery position. Within 10 minutes and before the other batteries could reach their respective discharge terminations, the button at this first battery position had melted down and sunk.

    Interestingly, the charger still retains full function. Perhaps if I hadn't intervened so quickly the failure may have been more progressive. So this isn't a irreversable failure of a component - but something physically incorrect in this particular charger by design or build.

    Update:

    I repeated the test cycle above. Again, the same channel [2] reached the discharge threshold and the charger switched into charge mode, charging at indicated apprx 250ma. The electronics at that position reacted and overheated in the same manner. After about 10 minutes the LCD began to flash between "full" and the subnormal charge current. Then position 1 switched over to charge. The channel 1 button proceeded to meltdown in the same manner and that channel reached the same end point after about 10 minutes. Then positions 3 & 4 switched to charge but, after a brief time at 250ma, these went to the proper 1000ma charge current. Channels 1 & 2 after the thermal event appear to shut down or stabilize.


    Update 2:

    Even with buttons 1 and 2 melted down the charger still functions. I next decided to try the test cycle again, selecting down to the 700ma charge rate. All 4 channels successfully made the complete round trip. So, with no big surprise, my thermal problem appears to be related to the 1000ma charge rate, and maybe using a completely discharged battery.
    Last edited by jeober; 12-27-2009 at 07:22 AM. Reason: update

  2. #92
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by joeparker54 View Post
    I still asked for one despite the meltdowns.
    Unbelievable. You have to be kidding me - despite all the information that demonstrates that the BC-9009 charger doesn't have any relevant safety certifications, CPF members discussing how the circuitry isn't adequate, recent photos showing damage, and assertions from the Underwriters Laboratories that the AC adapter is a fake and never underwent 3rd party safety testing and is illegally using the UL mark, you still feel the need to support this company and be a part of the PROBLEM and the reason they have been able to get away with this for so many years.

    Add to that Amazon has pulled the product and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission opened an investigation.

    Here is another NEW STORY from a user who had a Christmas Day meltdown!

    These things aren't safe and a fan is not going to protect you. All of the safety mechanisms that prevent overheating and overcharging aren't working and the unit is pumping 1,000 mA to a full battery. I'm not an electrical guy but I understand that the battery can't handle any more charge and the only way to dissipate it is to create heat - lots of it. It doesn't take long for these units to melt - only 2 hours from start of charge for mine.

    So even if you don't burn down your house you will wreck your batteries as the trickle charge mode won't engage.

    I apologize if this might sound harsh but I've got a baby on the way in a few weeks and my charger almost burned my house down just before Christmas so I'm not taking this lightly and won't rest until something is done to remove this threat. I also want to show that someone doesn't need to die before this charger gets recalled.
    ______________


    So if you want to be part of the solution here are a few easy steps you can do. No one is going to thank you but we can make our homes dramatically safer with a few simple actions:

    1 - Call the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. 1-800-638-1772. Tell them that you had a meltdown (if you had one) or that you purchased a battery charger and your research tells you that it is defective and a fire hazard and you would like them to investigate and remove it from the marketplace. You can also file a report online here.

    2 - Call your retailer (the one who sold it to you) and tell them the product is unsafe and you would like a refund and for them to no longer carry the product. Tell them the AC adapter has fake UL certifications and this is illegal. Retailers are being tricked too and need to be educated. They will listen to their customers.

    If you bought it online and the company asks for feedback (Amazon) then add your voice - don't recommend the product, leave negative feedback, educate future consumers, and provide links to sources (like CPF).

    3 - Call La Crosse and tell them you would like them to recall the product as it is not safe and has fake UL certifications.
    608-782-1610. Here is the direct line to the VP and National Sales Manager, Dick Norford. 608-782-1982 x 146

    Tell them you will keep educating consumers and retailers until such a time that they fix their product and get proper 3rd party certification. They currently have a European CE mark but even if it looks official it is a self-assessed certification and no 3rd party testing was done.

    ____________

    If you have any other ideas how we can stop La Crosse from selling this unsafe product, reply to this forum. Together we CAN make a difference. We all know we can. Now lets do it.
    Last edited by ShawnLam; 12-29-2009 at 09:49 AM. Reason: added report link

  3. #93
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by jeober View Post
    My BC-9009 overheated yesterday upon the first use. I used the 4 AA 2600 maH as supplied.
    jeober - thanks for sharing. Please take photos.

    I was thinking the same thing - take some video of the destruction and post it online but have my defective units promised to US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Please do your part by contacting them and sharing your experience. They take a long time to move but once they do they will probably make the biggest difference.

    Also feel free to cross-post on my blog to make sure your story gets shared and consumers can be warned.

  4. #94

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    I updated my previous post. I witnessed the failure twice before my eyes with the charger in my hands. This had nothing to do with the user abuse, wrong batteries, EMC issues, or operating ambient.

    The charger will go back to Amazon.

  5. #95

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Good, spend the extra bit and please get a Maha. You will love it man.

  6. #96
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    Exclamation Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnLam View Post
    I just experienced a melt-down...
    Quote Originally Posted by jeober View Post
    My BC-9009 overheated yesterday upon the first use...
    ShawnLam and jeober,

    Please VOTE and then add your 'Meltdown' Details to:

    Thanks!

  7. #97
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    Sigh Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnLam View Post
    ...Result: Amazon is no longer selling the BC-9009 directly and lists it as "Product Under Review". Unfortunately marketplace sellers can still sell the charger. So I'm calling this a "small victory"...
    It appears that the 'Review Period' has ended and Amazon.Com is now selling the BC-9009 directly again @ $39.99.

  8. #98

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Well i just hope people heed the words of wisdom and know what there getting into when they order the charger.

  9. #99
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    The first post has been updated with hyperlinks to nine more melt-down reports. They involved a total of eleven chargers.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com ... post3193233
    .
    I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves

  10. #100
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    While reviewing the most recent melt-down reports on Amazon, I noted this somewhat misinformed reply that's most notable for how subtly it misleads:

    jbat says:

    Did you report this to LaCrosse? I don't understand this. I was just on The Candlepower forum and the moderator had stated that he hadn't heard of a meltdown in years and assumed the problem was fixed. Mine works fine. However on any charger I always calculate how much time the batteries take to charge and pull them out if it's past the time needed. I don't think any charger is safe as they all can miss the "signal" that the battery is fully charged and overcharge the battery. Also the heat sensors may be defective since all charges in this class have a built in overheat sensor.
    I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves

  11. #101

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    I almost had a metldown while using a fan. One cell overheated, melted a bit of plastic on the charger, and vented. The charger was mostly OK though.. as far as these things are okay to begin with.

    I wish Maha C-9000 had better availability, it's so hard to get them at <$150 if you aren't in north america...

  12. #102
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowjk View Post
    I wish Maha C-9000 had better availability, it's so hard to get them at <$150 if you aren't in north america...
    Standard price is £49.95 direct from Maha in the UK. You have not filled in your location so I don't know where you are though...

  13. #103
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Hello Bones,

    I just tried to post a comment to Jbat's remark, but since I haven't purchased that charger from Amazon, I can't post a comment.

    I was trying to post this...

    "Hello Jbat,

    You should go back to CandlepowerForums and read a little more...

    The last time I checked there were reports of 11 melt down problems with this charger.

    Tom"

    Oh well, if someone from Amazon makes it over here perhapes they will find this thread.

    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...

  14. #104
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by alfreddajero View Post
    Well i just hope people heed the words of wisdom and know what there getting into when they order the charger.
    Amazon needs to post on the LaCrosse page one of those helpful shopping suggestions... "People who bought the LaCrosse BC-9009 also bought the American LaFrance Fire Extinguisher."

  15. #105
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Another safety feature LaCrosse ought to add is a speaker and have the charger say "I'm melting, I'm melting" with the voice of the wicked witch on the "Wizard of Oz" after Dorothy accidenlty poured water on her. But it probably wouldn't work anyway because the charger doesn't detect when the batteries overheat.

    Other features to add: built in smoke detector, built in fire extinguisher, 4 amp fuse,

    One thing I noticed on my AC adapter it says on the bottom sticker "nicad rechargeable battery Ac Adapter". Upper case and lower case are exactly as shown. My charger is 3 1/2 years old and version 3.2. What do the newer adapters say?
    Last edited by Light Sabre; 12-27-2009 at 02:47 PM.

  16. #106
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnLam View Post
    Unbelievable. You have to be kidding me....
    Oh, believe it. I'm not kidding.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnLam View Post
    Add to that Amazon has pulled the product and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission opened an investigation.
    ...and renounced it a whopping 2 days later. It was back up for sale the 24th.


    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnLam View Post
    These things aren't safe and a fan is not going to protect you.
    you make a good point. Hey, the next time your by your desktop, open up the case, reach on in and disconnect the fan on the processor - oh and stick a pencil in the one on the power supply. What the heck are those there for anyway???


    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnLam View Post
    So even if you don't burn down your house you will wreck your batteries as the trickle charge mode won't engage.
    I have working smoke alarms and homeowners insurance and the batteries cost about a buck apiece.

    I understand the product is flawed and should be fixed, until then I think i found a way to get the features i want. I intend to use the charger to test/refresh and catalog all of my batteries. If i can finish in less than 30 days, i'll take it off life support (the cpu fan) and let it fail with some old cells

    I apologize if this might sound harsh but you're not at all a regular at cpf, you're just looking for a place to spread your message. I'm not saying it's not warrented, but what i'm saying is that you don't understand the way some people around here view the subject. You said yourself that you're not an "electrical guy", some of us around here are. I happen to be an EE student who loves to poke and prod around in electronics. I look at the bc-9009 as a mod project. I simply want to see if I can create a way to get the features that i want in a charger and reliability. If in the end, all that costs me is a few hours of time, some spare fans i have laying around, or even a few dollars worth of resistors, caps, and some shrink-tubing - I'll still be happy.

  17. #107

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Joeparker54, please dont ever leave the charger unattended......And if you have little ones around like i do make sure they keep away from it. I keep rcr's that are in my lights away from my littlest one, since she likes to put the light in her mouth and loves to bang the light on the furniture and of course my head.....lol.

  18. #108

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Summary of my melt-down. I posted earlier on this.

    My failure results during a discharge cycle followed by a 1000ma charge cycle using 4 batteries. Whichever channel reaches the reversal point first, that button melts down within 10 minutes. Then that channel goes into a thermal shut-down mode. There is no hard failure -- the channel will reset and recover after re-powering. I have done this 3 times, melting down three buttons separately. If the buttons where made from higher temperature plastic I wouldn't have a issue except I couldn't use 1000ma charge mode, at least starting from a 0.9v discharge point with one battery.

    I'm on vacation in FL presently but when I get home I will measure my power supply voltage. I suspect the issue might lay here. What is normal open circuit voltage from a unit with no issues?
    Last edited by jeober; 12-28-2009 at 07:18 AM. Reason: typo

  19. #109
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverFox View Post
    Hello Bones,

    I just tried to post a comment to Jbat's remark, but since I haven't purchased that charger from Amazon, I can't post a comment.

    I was trying to post this...

    "Hello Jbat,

    You should go back to CandlepowerForums and read a little more...

    The last time I checked there were reports of 11 melt down problems with this charger.

    Tom"

    Oh well, if someone from Amazon makes it over here perhapes they will find this thread.

    Tom
    I posted a reply at Amazon linking to our thread here.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2KH46D...x2HD6LBMILWOW1
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  20. #110
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    SilverFox:

    Tom, please stay out of this discussion. Your expertise and common sense has no place in this thread.
    Dan Quayle (May 8, 1989), "What a waste it is to lose one's mind, or not to have a mind ..."

  21. #111

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Phew...Glad I checked on these...I almost bought one but not now...Thanks

    Sorry to hear about all the "lost" $chargers$

    Should I get a hobby charger/conditioner or Maha C-9000 or ???

    I have
    NimH AAA,AA,D
    Li-ion 14500, 1634, 18650, 18500 etc.
    Last edited by Mark620; 12-28-2009 at 04:50 PM.

  22. #112

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Dang that's crazy the meltdowns still continues??. I have 2 of these chargers and have charged duraloops, rayovac hybrids. Sometimes I charge 8 cells at a time at 1 amp. 2 hours later or so they are done charging.

    Are you guys saying that the later ones that are being manufactured are worst?

    It does get quite warm to almost hot but nowhere near the melting point. Just curious what they did with the recent manufactured ones.

    after all the extensive testing using this charger, I think mines does not have that issue. I am also curious about the power supply that these units are being shipped now. Mines are 3 volt 4 amps on both of these chargers.

    as for joeparker54 I use a fan for both these chargers as I don't want them to warm up. Most have stated that the fan won't prevent the overheating. If that is the case sounds like something shorted inside. I wonder if they made any changes to this charger from the day that I bought mines from Amazon to what they are selling now??. Just because the charger looks alike does not mean they are alike. I say this because I been using this charger quite frequently and has not failed me. Done refresh cycles on lot of cells, test cycles too. I practically have used every featured on this charger and its still going.

    And yes this charger is back up on Amazon. Whoever requested to have this charger be pulled off from Amazon, clearly Amazon was probably laughing or did not take this individual seriously lol.
    Last edited by MarioJP; 12-28-2009 at 08:41 PM.

  23. #113
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Hello Conan,

    Thanks.

    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...

  24. #114
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Hello Elliot,



    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. #115
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverFox View Post
    Hello Conan,

    Thanks.

    Tom
    +1...
    I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves

  26. #116
    Flashaholic* Bones's Avatar
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by MarioJP View Post
    ...

    And yes this charger is back up on Amazon. Whoever requested to have this charger be pulled off from Amazon, clearly Amazon was probably laughing or did not take this individual seriously lol.
    MarioJP,

    Considering how closely you've been following this thread, you know very well that it was forum member ShawnLam that caused Amazon to pull the BC-9009. You also know very well that rather than return the charger for a full refund, he elected to incur the additional cost of forwarding the power supply to Underwriters Laboratories and the charger to the United States Consumer Protection Agency.

    I find it utterly incredulous that rather than appreciate these gestures that could ultimately benefit us all, you would go so far as to actually prove your utter dearth of character by instead subjecting him to your mockery.
    I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves

  27. #117

    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    No I was not trying to mock him. I am just saying that Amazon does not care obviously. Normally this product should been recalled already.

  28. #118
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by joeparker54 View Post
    I have working smoke alarms and homeowners insurance and the batteries cost about a buck apiece...
    Three cheers for balls of steel, I say! That's like saying I'm not going to fix those grinding brakes in the car because it hasn't let me down yet, and anyway, it has air bags and I have life insurance. BTW, you'll be paying a lot more than a buck for the deductible on that homeowner's insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeparker54 View Post
    I understand the product is flawed and should be fixed... I simply want to see if I can create a way to get the features that i want in a charger and reliability.
    But you could have accomplished all that with the BC-700. Could have gone to Amazon and simply clicked on this instead of that, but rather chose to roll the potentially deadly dice for no logical reason. I have three BC-900's and one BC-700, so I'm not anti-LaCrosse, but I wouldn't touch the new BC-9009 with a ten foot pole, and I have smoke detectors just like you.
    Last edited by Turbo DV8; 12-29-2009 at 12:39 AM.

  29. #119
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by MarioJP View Post
    No I was not trying to mock him. I am just saying that Amazon does not care obviously. Normally this product should been recalled already.
    That being the case, please accept my apology for interpreting your initial statement otherwise and responding accordingly.
    I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves

  30. #120
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    Default Re: LaCrosse BC-9009 / BC-900 - The Melt-Downs Continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Sabre View Post
    One thing I noticed on my AC adapter it says on the bottom sticker "nicad rechargeable battery Ac Adapter". Upper case and lower case are exactly as shown. My charger is 3 1/2 years old and version 3.2. What do the newer adapters say?
    The new ones say the same thing. 3.0v - 4.0A

    I thought investigating the UL listing was an avenue I could explore, and my initial investigation led me to believe that the AC Adapter was not properly listed with UL, despite a UL listing mark. The listing number was also shared with a known counterfeit AC Adapter but that appears unrelated.

    I spoke with 3 individuals (including a UL investigator) and none of them was able to verify the certification. However it turns out that the UL mark is valid, just very difficult to verify as the listing was grouped under: KSAFExxxyyyyW1US, rather than with the long form mark of KSAFE0300400W1US

    So looks like we are only dealing with a defective battery charger and the AC Adapter is fine.
    Last edited by ShawnLam; 12-29-2009 at 09:23 AM.

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