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Thread: Do campfires and convoys mix?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* degarb's Avatar
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    Default Do campfires and convoys mix?

    My wife dug a fire pit where we were cooking marshmallows over, the other evening. It had been a hard day, and I almost fell asleep in the chair with a round single 18650 flashlight in my hand, which nearly rolled off my finger tips into the fire.

    This seems a scenario that will become more and more common as single 18650 cylinder lights are sold.

    I wonder if someone here has or will make a youtu.be video which puts a 18650 convoy in a fireplace or pit. I really think it would be very useful for understanding and respecting the danger of having these lights around camp fires.
    Some people are all lumens and no lux, while others are all lux and no lumens. Some just thank God they have neither.-- All of my lights have throw--some pretty darn far, into the garbage.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Ah, no! Horrible idea. These type of cells will easily vent under that type of scenario. And the person standing by the fire, putting the light in; risks inhaling the toxic fumes when the battery inside decides to vent and likely vent rather violently.

    I mean, if knowing that the chemistry inside is toxic when it vents isn't understood or respected by some folks, a video isn't going to cause them to smarten up.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Flashaholic* degarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Are there any fumes that a campfire produces that are breathable? I would be interested in the pressure pipe bomb aspect of such an incident. Probably would run or frantically scoop it out, if it ever happened. Though, how long I would have, is a big question.
    Some people are all lumens and no lux, while others are all lux and no lumens. Some just thank God they have neither.-- All of my lights have throw--some pretty darn far, into the garbage.

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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Hello Degarb,

    Toxic fumes in the outdoors are less of an issue than toxic fumes in a confined space like indoors. While it is possible to inhale enough to do some damage it is unlikely.

    I believe the bigger issue is how the light will handle internal pressure. Usually the end cap is stronger than the circuit board and LED at the other end so I would expect the lens and board on that end to blow out enough to relieve the pressure.

    I have never tested this so consider it speculation...

    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...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    I honestly hope this is one question we never learn the answer to. It's one thing, for example, to sit near a small butane fuel canister with a small stove screwed on top of it, outdoors. Another one of those things never to use indoors. But inhaling a tiny bit of butane vapors outdoors is far different than inhaling toxic fumes if one accidentally stands too close to a campfire with an 18650 inside a light, inside the fire. What would happen if.... Some questions are best left unanswered.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Flashaholic* degarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    "Some questions are best left unanswered. "

    Certainly, I will pass on answers in an uncontrolled environment. But, you can't avoid or solve problems without knowledge, which is best verified through controlled experiments.

    I am guessing no one wants to sacrifice a light to learn. My concern is the camera exposure, looking at a flame. Might need to tape a sunglass lens over the lens. Also, getting kids away.

    Also, after watching faa, airbord videos of cells on stove, I too am stupid enough to assume end results, inline with silver fox. Though, very often real life surprises-as often as not.

    I have some cheap cells and 3aaa lights that would be easy enough. Also, getting a fire going is a pain. I have no YouTube following ambition either.
    Some people are all lumens and no lux, while others are all lux and no lumens. Some just thank God they have neither.-- All of my lights have throw--some pretty darn far, into the garbage.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by degarb View Post
    "Some questions are best left unanswered. "

    Certainly, I will pass on answers in an uncontrolled environment. But, you can't avoid or solve problems without knowledge, which is best verified through controlled experiments.
    Normally, I would agree with you. And whole-heartedly so. But not in this case. Sometimes in Life, it's best to look at things the way an actual mercenary would. Weighing the rewards against the risks of taking a job. That's their mentality. If the paycheck just can't compete with the job's risks, they turn it down.

    I mean honestly, what would there be to gain through experimentation? We already know that the chemistry inside such a cell is toxic when it vents. We already know anyone nearby needs to get immediate medical attention while hightailing it away from a cell that has vented. (Sadly we know this because a well-respected member posted about it and has kept the CPF community up-to-date on what he has gone through over the years. Including serious, long-lasting health issues which have lead to financial hardship dealing with the medical bills.)

    There's another factor that hasn't been considered. What would a knowledgeable person do if such a light ended up in the fire? Normal reaction would be to immediately put the fire out and then get far, far away from it. Another factor?.... One light might have thicker walls that would delay such venting possibly seconds longer. Results with one light or a small sample of lights would at best, prove inconclusive. Again, assuming a CPFer doesn't immediately put the fire out in the first place.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Hello Monocrom,

    As a point of reference...

    When my lights end up in the fire, I simply kick it out of danger...

    This also goes for plates, utensils, water bottles, pillows, blankets, and anything else.

    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...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Hi Tom.

    I like to sit barefoot by the fire. But you bring up an excellent point.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* degarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Normally, I would agree with you. And whole-heartedly so. But not in this case. Sometimes in Life, it's best to look at things the way an actual mercenary would. Weighing the rewards against the risks of taking a job. That's their mentality. If the paycheck just can't compete with the job's risks, they turn it down.

    I mean honestly, what would there be to gain through experimentation? We already know that the chemistry inside such a cell is toxic when it vents. We already know anyone nearby needs to get immediate medical attention while hightailing it away from a cell that has vented. (Sadly we know this because a well-respected member posted about it and has kept the CPF community up-to-date on what he has gone through over the years. Including serious, long-lasting health issues which have lead to financial hardship dealing with the medical bills.)

    There's another factor that hasn't been considered. What would a knowledgeable person do if such a light ended up in the fire? Normal reaction would be to immediately put the fire out and then get far, far away from it. Another factor?.... One light might have thicker walls that would delay such venting possibly seconds longer. Results with one light or a small sample of lights would at best, prove inconclusive. Again, assuming a CPFer doesn't immediately put the fire out in the first place.
    MONOCHROME, true, true.

    But you are bringing up yet another area that I haven't seen proof and barely any avocation. That is, which tube lights are safer in a thermal Runaway, this kwalled/thin, extreme ipx/less ipx. And are there mods we can make, like drilling into negative sidewall and filling hole with silicone or stopper.

    Lack of knowledge is a burden. I wouldn't perspire doing the experiment with a handy respirator and clear acrylic bomb screen, as scene on Mythbusters. (They seemed to start with a question, then research, then to forums for expert opinion, then small scale, then full with blast Shield. A small scale might be with a 123 light.)
    Some people are all lumens and no lux, while others are all lux and no lumens. Some just thank God they have neither.-- All of my lights have throw--some pretty darn far, into the garbage.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    A simple explosion is one thing. And even the MythBusters have had things go horribly wrong there. (Especially the Jaw Breakers myth.) Toxic fumes though are far too unpredictable. If someone else wants to try it, they're welcome to it. Yet again they'll face the issue of inconclusive results without relying on a huge sample of different models from different brands. With each test bringing the risk of exposure to those fumes and the life-altering medical issues that would follow. Just seems that preventative precautions would be the best bet.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* degarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Would also need the Mythbuster compressor to bench mark the psi of each brand tested, I suppose.

    NOW, here is another common scenario that I bet will also occur : Forgetful people leaving 18650 in their pocket and them going through the wash, going through a hot dryer!

    Too expensive to test under Controlled conditions, will need to test by accident. People keep telling me, here, that single cell lights are safer than my two series lights. But then I can get 8 to 100 hour work day straight with my infinitely variable buckpuck 374 lumens two watt xpl v6 4300 Kelvin headlamp, and never have to fiddle with or carry dangerous spare cells, as I do with a single cell light.
    Last edited by degarb; 07-15-2017 at 06:09 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    To be honest, I treat my 18650s and similar cells like little demons locked up in cages, locked up inside my lights. Honestly, I keep a closer eye on my lithium rechargeables (and primaries) than many parents do on their little children. (That would be funny if it wasn't horribly true.) A loose 18650?? NEVER!!!! (Okay, only if it's stored away or on one of my chargers.)

    And yes, I got rid of all my multiple 18650 lights. To me, just isn't worth the risks involved. Sadly, yes; have to agree that it's only a matter of time before the laundry accidental experiment takes place.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Hello Monocrom,

    If it makes you feel any better...

    Operating temperature for a dryer is around 135 F.

    Storage temperature for a Li-Ion battery is around 140 F.

    A light in the dryer is not ideal but within the specified limits.

    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...

  15. #15

    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    Hello Tom.

    Have to be honest... a 5 degree difference doesn't ease my concern. While a properly made 18650 or similar type of rechargeable should be fine, I've seen a few too many cheap, poorly made cells. I'd have zero concerns regarding any of my AW's that went on an unexpected Whirlpool ride. Let's just say I'm glad I got rid of my Ultrafire branded cells long ago.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* degarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do campfires and convoys mix?

    "I treat my 18650s and similar cells like little demons locked up in cages."


    Great quote!

    Probably, a stoner on the vape forums will be the first to run their ultrafires through their dryers. The banging aroun, damage to the cell might also be of concern. It is possible to that they could make it through, seemingly fine,only to vent on the charger.



    Way off topic, but my two series lights use protected Panasonics, I test voltage on and off charger for parity, I put switch in for zero parasite drain, also can put fiberglass from charger bags to insulate cells. I also found borate doped silicone,factory silicone, fireproof caulk over thick aluminum or fiberglass, can make it blow torch proof, which is better than fiberglass alone, as used in charging bags and we're tested on YouTube for containing 18650 fire. But I don't wish to debate here single cell lights v. Series. Just that done right, a buck and series seems safer, as the reverse charging is not possible with switch and protection circuits. Concern over chain runaway can be mitigated more easily than in my two cell carriers that are shipped with cells made of flammable plastic. PVC is fire resistant as chlorine gas extinguishes flames.
    Some people are all lumens and no lux, while others are all lux and no lumens. Some just thank God they have neither.-- All of my lights have throw--some pretty darn far, into the garbage.

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