The Problem: Need Help!
This is just weird... and a little disturbing, too. This evening I smelled a strong vinyl smell, like that of a newly-purchased vinyl beach ball fresh out of the packaging. Couldn't place it... then I remembered a batch if NiMH cells charging in the Milky Labs. (More on those cells in a moment.) So I took the cells out and sure enough, one was noticeably warm to the touch. Figured the jacket was outgassing.
...but when I reached into the charger to feel the plastic under where the cells would sit, to my horror my finger sunk right into a small pool of molten plastic! Which despite having no cells left in the charger, seemed to be getting worse.
THIS IS BAD! ...so I thought. I immediately unplugged the charger and proceeded to pull it not-so-gently from the mass of wires in which it was entangled, and out of my charging tray completely, then out of the house where it now sits. Needless to say, I have permanently retired that particular charger.
The Questions: Anyone?
This brings up two immediate issues I want/need to resolve...
1. Does the Maha MH-C808M have a history of melting like this? Ever? Anyone heard of such a thing with this unit??
2. What do I replace it with, to become my workhorse charger for Eneloops (mostly) and possibly larger-format (C, D) NiMH cells, that would put a good charge on the cells and perform in trouble-free, safe fashion??
Addendum: The Cells Might Have Been A Factor, Too
At the time I was charging Ray-o-vac 15 Minute IC3 NiMH cells of 2000mAh capacity. I had these left over after having disposed of my IC3 charger. These cells are designed to disconnect from the circuit briefly when they reach capacity, then reconnect themselves after a short delay. I'm thinking it might have contributed to the melting issue.
Then again, maybe not: I've charged these cells a number of times previously with no problems at all using this same charger. Even this time, 5 of the 6 cells charged perfectly. So did that final one, but the plastic under it was molten. Curiously, the cell itself was very warm, but not burning hot... certainly not of sufficient temperature to melt the plastic.
The plastic melted under the rightmost bay.
I'd appreciate the big guns over here in the battery part of the forum lending some assistance here. To be honest, I'm a little freaked out that this happened at all and could use my confidence restored. (And a good charger to replace the 808M, for that matter.)