TK Monster Explosion

wyager

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Oh wow... that makes me trust my cheap-o cells even less. It's a good thing there was no flame generated, it could have been a huge fire danger.
 

DuncanHynes

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You're very lucky, at least it was on the window not in a room surrounded by carpet, etc...we all should consider placing chargers in safes. But this was just the light itself anyway. :eek: I have my MD3 Malkoff in a clip holster on a pocket not a belt so if I hear it go sizzle...*throws holster like a grenade
 

Witnessonly

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I'll second the recommendation to go visit your local doctor, the gases generated from this sort of reaction can be very bad for your health.

There's a thread out there that talks about the possible dangers of battery chemicals causing some real health problems from an incident like this. (I'm sorry I can't find it, but I'm sure the guru can point you in the right direction)

A very scary read on reflection.

WO
 

Yavox

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I really started to be afraid of diving with a flashlight. Such an explosion underwater means that a few people diving may never get back home - the impact of underwater blow travels in each direction because the water itself cannot squeeze or compress to absorb the pressure. Considering that 1Kg of TNT can kill everybody in 1km radius, exploding flashlight would surely make people unconsious (at last), if they would be just a few meters away - which most likely means killing them, anyway...
 

Kestrel

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There's a thread out there that talks about the possible dangers of battery chemicals causing some real health problems from an incident like this. (I'm sorry I can't find it, but I'm sure the guru can point you in the right direction)
Well, since no actual gurus have come forth as of yet, I guess I'll post a link to the thread you might be thinking of, all 25 pages of it.
 
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Stress_Test

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From the TK thread

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05-04-2009, 06:23 PM
alantch
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Re: 15K lumen TK Monster owners thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychoBunny
When you first turn it on, does it default to high, or low?

Also, how to you perfer to charge your cells?

P.S. I assume you are using protected cells in this thing?
With 8 li-ions, you could have one heck of a pipe bomb!!

I only have a crapy $10.00 charger that will only do 2 at a time!!


..... modamag provides Konion cells from Sony with the light, which are unprotected cells so you have to be aware of the risks of using them and not to deplete them too much to preserve their useful life. I only have the 2-bay charger (WF-139) from AW, so that's what I use to charge the batteries. It's slow but it works ok, for me at least.
____________________________________________________


Yeeoooww!!! :eek: :faint:

From what I understand, even if you use unprotected "safe" IMR chemistry, if you have a short they still dump enormous current (something like 20C I think?!)



Having a really bright light is fun and all, but DAMN!!
 

Witnessonly

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Thanks Kestral, that was the one. I'm hoping that there's some information they can take in with them to speed up any diagnosis's if required

Take care out there folks

WO
 

CaveDude

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Dang, scary stuff. I think my TK has now obtained "shelf ornament" status for the time being. The weird thing is, I thought the green Sony batts were LiMN's (which supposedly don't fail like this) rather than Li-Ions. If I'm wrong, somebody please correct me!

On a different note, if Li-Ions even appear to be acting strangely, toss 'em. I realize this has already been said, but it definitely bears repeating. I observed a similar charging issue (thankfully, with protected batteries in a different light) and got rid of the trouble cell immediately.


EDIT: noticed my post earlier in this thread, hopefully I'm not jinxing anybody.
 

Databyter

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Dang, scary stuff. I think my TK has now obtained "shelf ornament" status for the time being. The weird thing is, I thought the green Sony batts were LiMN's (which supposedly don't fail like this) rather than Li-Ions. If I'm wrong, somebody please correct me!

On a different note, if Li-Ions even appear to be acting strangely, toss 'em. I realize this has already been said, but it definitely bears repeating. I observed a similar charging issue (thankfully, with protected batteries in a different light) and got rid of the trouble cell immediately.


EDIT: noticed my post earlier in this thread, hopefully I'm not jinxing anybody.

A copy from the original Sales thread, I know you got itfrom someone else but I assume they shipped the same cells.

=== Includes List ===
- Colossus 8 Cells Extended Body
- Colossus 100mm head.
- Your choice of Very Light Orange Peel or Light Stipple reflector
- Configurable 8 Cells Battery Adapter
- 8x 18650 Sony Konion Lithium Ion
- Custom 3-stage high output incand driver
- one installed 250W bulb, plus one spare.

I believe Lux Luther did some testing of these cells, they are a good choice IIRC they outlasted the compared batteries on the graphs.
 
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CaveDude

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Thanks Databyter, looks like I'll be investing in some IMR's (and probably a multimeter) sometime soon.
 

MrGman

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The real question here is whether or not this product had a reasonable amount of safety factors built in or was it something that in and of itself was an unacceptable level of risk.

Using the car analogy, not that the driver could or would crash because he doesn't know how to drive it and went to fast around a turn, but that in turning on the engine the car blew up, this would not be considered an acceptable product. If this were a commercial product from a major corporation it might have been submitted to Underwriter's Laboratories for safety testing. It may have failed or they may have deemed it as potentially unsafe simply in the fact that it uses 8 unprotected Lith Ion batteries and has no venting.

We cannot say that the operator is supposed to know not to have used those batteries because they "showed no charge" and he charged them and then the charger said they were fully charged. They probably weren't but that doesn't mean he was supposed to have known and understood this and all the implications that went with it.

It appears he put faith in his charger and went with the batteries. Not having a better way to test that the batteries fully took a full charge and not a false reading is part of the problem, but still, you can't just give some one a flashlight and 8 batteries and hope that they have the technical knowledge and the proper equipment to know whether or not its safe enough to use the batteries without having a very potentially life threatening explosion literally in your hands and face.

My opinion is the potential risk for this flashlight in the as delivered state is too high, it did explode in the hands of someone who thought he was being careful and safe to a "reasonable" extent. If I were called on to be on the jury for such a case of civil liability damages against the builder by the operator, I would side with the operator for some serious $$ against the builder.

What other companies do with 8 batteries and how they do it, does not dismiss liability or neglect against reasonable risk for this product. It did blow up, it was a pipe bomb. There is no guarantee that using 8 brand new batteries that appeared to be fully charged would prevent this from ever happening again. These batteries don't necessary all carry the exact same capacity and live the same length of time/cycles, especially under high loads.

Some people who say the fault should lie strictly with the end user aren't going to like my point of view. Yeah I wouldn't put a 1500 horsepower dragster in the hands of a kid to drive, but if the engine blew up simply from turning it on, I wouldn't necessarily say its the operator's fault.

And no I am not making a comparison of the operator of this light to a "kid" in my analogy. Just that you shouldn't need to be a battery chemistry engineer to operate a light you just bought without it blowing up in your face. I think the builder is liable for some serious damages here.
 
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dcaprilia

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Thank you again for the concern guys.

Thank you for the kind gesture Databyter.

This morning I went downstairs to look for the remaining light parts. The parts are stuck on top of the driveway roof which is only accessible by portable lift. I had to wait for the maintenance people to retrieve everything. The bad part is that the roof which is made of glass had multiple cracks all over. 6 panels are cracked :( Im worried the cost to fix is going to be even more. I hope that the building insurance will cover some of this (good luck to me). I will know later on today when the contractors come to do an estimate.

In the pictures below- the light was blown in half where it was not threaded. So far, these were the only part recovered.

l4.jpg


l2.jpg


l3.jpg


I know Im at fault for not carefully checking the batteries. I assumed that if there was something wrong that the seller knew about, he would have informed me. I was caught up in the excitement of having one of the strongest lights and I just wanted to light up the night... a very very expensive lesson. Honestly though, I never knew it was this dangerous. Had I read anything like this on the forum, I would have been way more careful. Hopefully, Im the last in the CPF family that this happens to.
 
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Databyter

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Perhaps a person should be required to pass a test before being allowed to purchase an item like these?

like a drivers license, or a gun license, or a doctors license, so the buyer understands the extreme dangers, and how to avoid them?
I agree in principle, except for the license part.
When I first came to CPF years ago I tried to buy a high powered laser from a vendor who also happened to be a CPF member.

To my surprise I could not buy the laser until, I A) provided my purpose for it, and B) called him personally to chat, which was his policy for all lasers over 5Mw.

I approve of these types of responsible policies. If I ever sold the laser or let anyone else use it (that'l be the day lol), I would also use the same care to make sure the purchaser/user knew the danger to himself and others.

When a used item is sold it gets more complicated, but think of this incident as a wake up call and reminder to all of us hot-wire enthusiests to be responsible in this area.

I don't know about licensing and it would just be another way to be robbed and controlled by the govt. in my opinion unecesarily, but I agree with you in spirit for the private sector, it should be controlled with common sense. People should read a descriptive warning about how to handle certain aspects of the product and what the potential for injury is, and then (for some products) maybe even sign (or indicate online) a liability waiver showing they understand the proper use and will not hold seller liable for misuse.

When a battery shorts to a tube there isn't much safety features can do that would mitigate what happened. A smart regulated switch controller (such as Alan B's maybe, it seems quite programmable) might be able to sense pre-failure improper voltages or currents and shut itself down, and a vent might not be a terrible idea, although for all practical purposes would make the light less waterproof unless it was one way valved. A breakaway ring would not have prevented this or stopped the explosion, just changed the direction and the shape of the discharge, perhaps would have broken a small amount sooner making the final boom less dangerous. All that being said putting mixed/bad condition cells in the safest,best made high current light in the world, is a recipe for disaster.

I think the batteries also, are really good batteries, but, documentation warns and explains what happens when you put a dishcarged one in series with others that are fully charged and under current load, The discharged one starts to charge under reverse polarity which it is not designed for and then fails, under this current in a small tube it = all of them shorting/failing, boom.
 
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supergravy

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I am glad you are OK.

This really worries me as the Sony Konion batteries are supposed to be a safe chemistry similar to AW's IMR batteries. I use them extensively and have thought they were great... now not sure what to think. Mine are fully wrapped unlike those pictured by kramer5150.
 

waddup

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but still you get my point.

and *mostly* agree with them.:thumbsup:

altho the owner of a light like this must assume some responsibility for safe operation.

original poster said 4 of the 8 batteries had 'no charge'
 

RA40

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How scary. Quite a situation to find one's self in...glad you are okay. I don't even want to imagine what may have occurred if the light went while you were holding it. Sadly, this is another situation where multi-cells need to be verified before use. The inattention to these aspects can be life threatening. Brr....
 

sylathnie

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I'm pulling around 13 Amps off the 10 IMR cells in my Sublimator. I am very very careful with them and have never had any problems. The cells are always balance charged and tested with a multimeter before use. When not in use the battery pack is removed and all cells stored separately outside of the pack. I never use the light without a fire extenquisher nearby and I am very conscious of the light's temperature and noises when using it. At the slightest hint of an issue (doesn't turn on, not bright, little warm, etc) I turn off the light and remove the battery pack for testing. I have removed the o-ring from the rear cap and cut a small slot into the side for emergency venting. (The side so I end up with a spinning light rather than a missile.)

Even with all of these precautions I am still quite fearful of the power inside of this thing. I will not loan it out and I will not sell it.

I think these hotwires are becoming a bit too accessible in some ways. People don't have the incentive to develop the respect and care that they must to safely own one of these monsters. I would hate to see these devices no longer sold to those who don't have the time to make them.
If you own and use hot-wire lights you must properly educate and train yourself in their proper usage. You are responsible for your own safety!
 

waddup

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not hold seller liable for misuse.

looking at the damage to the building, and reading another newer post where 6 glass roof panels are also cracked,

im *guestimating* a repair bill of $6000 or more.

but that is nothing compared to the loss of a hand or a childs life.
 
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CaveDude

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Attn. Moderators

Come to think about it, this thread would definitely be a worthwhile addition to the "Smoke and Fire, Hot Cells and Close Calls" section. Just a suggestion.
 

dcaprilia

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looking at the damage to the building, and reading another newer post where 6 glass roof panels are also cracked,

im *guestimating* a repair bill of $6000 or more.

but that is nothing compared to the loss of a hand or a childs life.

Very true.... You are close to the estimate as well. One of my neighbors panels broke and he had to pay P73,000 or about $1,500/ panel. So thats $4,500 for my glass and another who knows for the panels downstairs. I really hope Ill get help from the building insurance. Ill be putting up some of my lights for sale within a week or so to pay for the damage (hopefully just the deductable).
 
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