Battery Handling

Discussion in 'MōVI M5' started by Nicolas Teeuwen, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Nicolas Teeuwen

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    Be very careful when handling lipo batteries.

    Always plug the lead wires into the charger before plugging into the battery.
    Always unplug the battery before unplugging the lead charges.
    The order is important!!!

    Never move the charger with a battery plugged in, even if the charger is unplugged.

    I was filming at a Tap festival over a 4 day period. On the last day of the festival, I had one of my batteries charging on one side of a big room. I was getting ready to pack up all my gear so I quickly unplugged the charger, took the entire setup and placed it in a case and carried it across the room. In the time it took me to do this, the leads from the charger came unplugged, came in contact and got rather warm. When I had opened the case I saw a bit of smoke and quickly tried to figure out what had happened.

    The two leads had come out of the charger in the brief transport across the room. They had touched shorting out, since the battery was connected. They shorted out until they melted clear off the leads cable.
    Melted Leads.jpg
    This was a good thing because if they had not, the battery would have continued to short and likely caught on fire or worse. It wasn't until this moment that I began to realize how careful I must handle these batteries. I have now done my homework and have a good appreciation for how to handle lipo batteries. The one lesson big lesson I learned here is above in red. The order you plug the lead cable and battery in, as well as the order you unplug is very important. I had paid attention to the order for plugging in when reading the manual but didn't pay much attention to the order when done. I never even thought that it would become unplugged when moving it across the room. Lesson learned.

    I kept a close eye on the battery and stored the battery away from my good battery, which was still in the M5. I have kept a close eye on it since the incident as well. It has been about 2 weeks.
    Battery and leads.jpg I checked the battery with a voltage monitor and each of the cells reports about ~4.17 volts with a total of about 16.9. I realize I need to discharge this battery but I am hesitant to use it in my M5. I have no other means at the moment for discharge. I am also weary about using the battery due to it having been shorted out long enough to melt the leads off the charging wire. The battery has not swelled and appears visually unscathed. I am currently discharging it by leaving the voltage monitor plugged in. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064SHG0Y/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 It will probably take a while for that device to discharge it.

    Anyone have thoughts on what I should do with the battery?
     
  2. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    These batteries and chargers are so damn dangerous. Such a liability for Freefly. They really need to address this before they start causing some serious damage.

    Just last night… 3am, night shoot, very inexperienced camera trainee had a major short out with the charger. (Despite being well briefed by the rest of the camera department). He pulled the wires out a bit too quickly and had a large spark and a major fright).

    This equipment is not professional. It does not match up to the rest of the MoVI equipment. It is for hobby users and has no place on a film set.
     
  3. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Indeed, these batteries have a huge amount of potential, and have to be handled carefully. I was changing the connectors on one of the LiPo batteries I use on my copter, and using a screwdriver to press the connector into its sleeve (it’s an EC5 for those who are keeping score). I’ve done this dozens of times, and I guess I got a little careless. This was a good screwdriver. Now it’s just a souvenir and a reminder to be more careful. BTW, the battery is fine. :eek:

    IMG_9690.jpg
     
  4. Ariel Ferrer

    Ariel Ferrer Member

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    Hi Nicolas I wolud recommend you get a Lipo Charger/Balancer with Storage option!! these chargers are widely available in Hobby Shops and Online!! I have one from Hobby King and I can BalanceCharge, and "Storage" (3.80v per cel) 4 batteries at one time!! You also need a Power Supply!!! For this Lipos is very important to put it "Storage" or they will degrade!!
     
  5. Nicolas Teeuwen

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    Hello Ariel. Is there a specific model you recommend I get? I looked into getting one briefly. I do have a voltage monitor so I can verify the voltage of the batteries but it is a poor discharge.
     
  6. Nicolas Teeuwen

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    Do you suppose the battery I have is fine?
     
  7. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    While I make NO guarantees, I would guess it’s fine. The best way to tell is to put it on a proper smart charger and run it down to “storage” voltage, then charge it back up. But do so carefully in a safe container. If, however, the only charger you have is the one that came with the MōVI, you may be out of luck. Still, my guess is your battery is ok. LiPos are most often damaged by being severely discharged, and one little short and some collateral damage are probably not enough to do it in.
     
  8. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    ProgressiveRC have a good selection of chargers at a decent price.

    http://www.progressiverc.com/chargers/charger-combos/200-500w
     
  9. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Also Quadrocopter since they are both a copter and MoVi dealer.
     
  10. Nicolas Teeuwen

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    If you could recommend a specific charger, considering I am only ever charging Movi batteries. The smaller it is the better.
    Thanks.
     
  11. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Call Quadrocopter and let them guide you to something that will do the job and has the features that make sense.
     
  12. Ariel Ferrer

    Ariel Ferrer Member

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    I am no expert in chargers or Lipos but this is the Charger That I have: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...ger_Plus_Accessories_200W_USA_Warehouse_.html Also You need a Power Supply and some balance jst balance boards:http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=10360 and a few odf the battery banana leads:http://store.freeflysystems.com/col...ts/replacement-leads-for-movi-battery-charger
    it is working fine and I can Charge/Balance and or "Storage" 4 batteries at the same time. Maybe someone from the copter world can advise on another charger! or you can go to a local Hobby Shop and they will have a few ones!! Here is a very informative Lipo Battery info video:
    Hope this help!!
     
  13. Nicolas Teeuwen

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    From what I read in other thread on the M10 forum, the batteries here are picked because they can deliver a lot of power in a short period of time, and have a good weight to power ratio. Apparently these type of batteries are now being used in phones but they phone battery is probably physically smaller and I am sure contains a lot of extra electronics to prevent fire and other such. I think it might be good for FreeFly to post a really good link to a "handle with care" video on the batteries to make it even more clear for those who have never had to deal with these batteries. They do seem to require more respect and care then say the LP-E6 that powers my camera.
     
  14. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    I have never seen a more complicated charger with leads that can come out and short, and switches that can be bumped into the wrong position.

    (I have worked with pretty much most camera systems, steadicams, hot heads, follow focuses and so on… on some of the biggest sets in the world. This charger is unique, and it is not good).

    The M10 to M15 Upgrade is an opportunity to improve on it. It is dangerous. It causes accidents. I am surprised that an American company is selling it with all of the liability potential.

    Professional Film Crew do not want a work around. They want a system that just works. Can be left charging in a camera truck overnight. Can be given to a PA to travel back to unit base and 'put it on charge'.

    (We will see how things change one the first feature loaded camera truck burns down overnight…)
     
  15. Nicolas Teeuwen

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    I wouldn't call the charger complicated. It is not too much more complicated then other battery chargers I have used. It does seem a bit more generic then is needed. The switches on the charger seem unnecessary if one only uses the charger for the M5/M10 since one is never meant to change them for those batteries. It would also be nice if the leads didn't come out as it would be one less thing to worry about. That being said, it does make the charger potentially more useful to other people who have different leads to plug in, and different options. Now that I know what I am handling and how important it is to treat the batteries with care, I am not too concerned.

    I do wish the charger also offered an option to discharge the batteries so that I would not have to run them in my Movi just to get them to a good storing charge. The storage issue is less then ideal. All of my other batteries have a good shelf life (LP-E6 and Sanyo AA/AAA batteries.) I leave all my gear with everything charged so I am ready at a moments notice to use it. The Movi is an exception to this.

    I suspect anyone who has been working with aerial filming has already had to deal with the Lipo battery and potential hazards they can present. This device expands the aerial filming genre to hand held. It will be nice if one day they can improve on the battery situation to simplify it but I am content to just be more careful until then.
     
  16. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    Nicolas, no offence. But it sounds like you have not worked with a full selection of battery chargers.

    Here are some of the standards:

    http://video.antonbauer.com/Products/CINEVCLXbattery

    http://lentequip.com/collections/power

    http://www.idx-europe.co.uk/?p=products&n1=1

    On a large shoot there is a camera truck. In that camera truck there is a charging shelf. That is where all of the batteries and chargers are plugged in each night. That truck is then closed up by the camera assistants, and later driven by a truck driver to the next days location. At this point the truck is externally plugged into mains power and all of the batteries will begin to charge. This driver does not open the back of the truck. He does not look in side to see if any delicate leads have jiggled out during the drive (because there are none… just professional power solutions).

    Like you say, this is all fine for a hobby aerial flyer. But it is not good enough for use on a real working filmset.
     
  17. Nicolas Teeuwen

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    I could definitely see how that sort of setup would be an issue for that sort of setup. I am all for easier battery setups. Perhaps some day they will be able to make it simpler.
     
  18. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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  19. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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  20. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    Very aware of that. Thanks Gary. Been flying internationally with camera batteries for many years now.

    Also… I previously owned a company that supplied camera batteries to the film industry here in Queenstown, New Zealand.

    Who here remembers the Chicago Studio Fire caused by a block lithium battery some years back? (One of the reasons the cinema industry stuck with NiCADS).

    Moving from the M10 to the M15 is a great opportunity for Freefly to build in a professional battery option and power distribution system. Keep the current LiPo as an option for the octo guys, or owner's who want it. But, why not take the opportunity to migrate professional users to industry standard V Mounts? (Honestly, where is the downside?).
     

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