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RED Batteries on Airplanes


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#1 Travis Cline

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:08 PM

My AC told me that you are not allowed to take Red on-board batteries on airplanes, but he did not know all the details. Does anyone know about this? Is it only as a carry on or can you check them? I have not flown with a Red package yet, but will be doing a bit of travel soon. Any info would be great. Thanks all.

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#2 Emanuel A Guedes

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 05:43 PM

Why not? It does seem odd and, at first glance, more disinformation than everything else.
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#3 Emanuel A Guedes

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 06:11 PM

OK, they're old news (Anders added some useful information):

http://www.reduser.n...read.php?t=7073

Here's a second route, same way anyways:

http://www.reduser.n...mp;postcount=10

Hope this helps.
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 03:46 PM

Why not? It does seem odd and, at first glance, more disinformation than everything else.


Never ever check in lithium ion batteries, its very dangerous and illegal.
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#5 Travis Cline

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 05:40 PM

Thanks for the replies all. So, do you have to carry block batteries with you? I suppose we might be able to pick up the on-boards when we get there, but are there any other options? Thanks all.


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#6 Jean Leclerc

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 07:09 PM

Never ever check in lithium ion batteries, its very dangerous and illegal.



Where's this information? A good part of similar information posted at that thread is later refuted.
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#7 Mike Thorn

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:11 PM

Where's this information? A good part of similar information posted at that thread is later refuted.

See the original post from Brent at RED regarding this issue:

http://www.reduser.n...ghlight=lithium
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#8 Chris Millar

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:21 PM

hmmm,

yeh seems pretty arbitrary ...

Flew all around the world with my EX1 - got to Liberia, on the way out was told I wasn't allowed the extra batteries in my hand luggage - had two UP60's (the biggies) and one of the smaller types - odd, they let me put one UP60 on the camera which was fine but the other two they showed me the rubbish bin to put them in .

Awesome

Not happy as I had already checked in my luggage - so anyway, I put them back in the bag, pulled out some AA's I had in there and threw them in the bin instead - told them they were more useful for them than my camera ones were and they should use them - winked and walked off ;)
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#9 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 03:06 AM

hmmm,

yeh seems pretty arbitrary ...


As burning littiium Ion batteries have been responsible for bringing an aircraft down I don't think so.

To give you an idea of what happens when there is a problem.


Liberia Airlines don't have to transport your batteries, it's done at their goodwill.
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#10 Keith Walters

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:16 AM

As burning littiium Ion batteries have been responsible for bringing an aircraft down I don't think so.

To give you an idea of what happens when there is a problem.


Liberia Airlines don't have to transport your batteries, it's done at their goodwill.

Actually the problems with Lithium-Ion batteries are not terribly well understood, by both the media and transport companies it seems.

A lithium-ion battery has a charging characteristic broadly similar to a lead-acid battery, in that the terminal voltage slowly increases as it approaches full charge. This makes it easy to detect when it is fully charged, and allows a simple "float charge" mode where a fixed DC voltage is applied to the battery. This is in stark contrast to Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride batteries which require complex circutiry to prevent overcharging.

The biggest problem with Lithium Ion batteries is what happens if the charger goes faulty. Even moderate overcharging will cause the internal polymer membranes to melt, causing a catastrophic short-circuit. However, once the battery is removed from the charger and cooled down, it is no more likley to cause trouble than any othe type.

By law in most countries, all Lithium-ion batteries have to have a "belt and braces" safety system to prevent overcharging. The batteries themselves must incorporate an internal circuit board that has over-voltage and over-current shutdown, and any chargers used must have their own, entirely separate, over-voltage and over-current shutdown system. The idea is that if one system fails, the other will still provide protection. The odds of them both failing is considered negligible.

Unfortunately a lot of manufacturers, particularly in China, simply don't understand this principle. It's frightening the number of products I've rejected, because the manufacturer apparently thought that because the charger has protection, it was not necessary to put it in the battery. Just about all the cases of laptops bursting into flame etc, have been the result of Li-Ion batteries where the manufacturer accidentally or deliberately left out the internal circuit board!

A casual test of the battery won't necessarily tell you whether it's there or not, it requires some pretty detailed analysis. Apart from that, I always hack the battery pack open anyway to check that the circuit board matches what is shown in the safety test report! Which it quite often doesn't...
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#11 Chris Millar

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:20 AM

As burning littiium Ion batteries have been responsible for bringing an aircraft down I don't think so.

To give you an idea of what happens when there is a problem.


Liberia Airlines don't have to transport your batteries, it's done at their goodwill.


It was a Nigerian based carrier and was purely an attempt to extort cash out of me, but not on their behalf but instead the 'helpful' airport staff who realized we weren't in need of assistance (at a fee naturally) - as predicted the AA's were enough to get past... The airline however was the type you'd find mosquitos between the external and internal glass:

Posted Image

I'd say I'm maybe I dunno one of thousands (?) who fly around regularly with Sony products such as the EX1...

As the youtube video says "We intentionally created conditions in which the Li-ON battery pack would explode" - not your average cabin stowage conditions...

heh heh, nice little fire there though huh :o

(btw. the part numbers were BP-U30 and BP-U60)
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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:43 AM

I
I'd say I'm maybe I dunno one of thousands (?) who fly around regularly with Sony products such as the EX1...

As the youtube video says "We intentionally created conditions in which the Li-ON battery pack would explode" - not your average cabin stowage conditions...

heh heh, nice little fire there though huh :o


There has a been a camera truck burnt out in a fire started by Li-On batteries and I seem to remember a film set suffering the same fate.

You should be OK with the EX1 batteries, just protect them as out lined in air travel guidelines. The RED batteries are much larger than the usual EX1 batteries.
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#13 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:54 AM

It was a Nigerian based carrier and was purely an attempt to extort cash out of me, but not on their behalf but instead the 'helpful' airport staff who realized we weren't in need of assistance (at a fee naturally) - as predicted the AA's were enough to get past... The airline however was the type you'd find mosquitos between the external and internal glass:

Posted Image

I'd say I'm maybe I dunno one of thousands (?) who fly around regularly with Sony products such as the EX1...

As the youtube video says "We intentionally created conditions in which the Li-ON battery pack would explode" - not your average cabin stowage conditions...

heh heh, nice little fire there though huh :o

(btw. the part numbers were BP-U30 and BP-U60)


The danger is that it's impossible to put out a lithium battery fire on board a plane. I am actually surprised they are allowed on board at all. A ban would exclude most laptop & mobile phones.
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#14 Chris Millar

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:03 PM

A ban would exclude most laptop & mobile phones.


Hitting the bottom line a$ people would chose the other carrier$ that $till allowed them on no ?
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#15 John Sprung

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:22 PM

.... and I seem to remember a film set suffering the same fate.


I remember that being with batteries left to charge there over night.



-- J.S.
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#16 Keith Walters

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:49 PM

The danger is that it's impossible to put out a lithium battery fire on board a plane. I am actually surprised they are allowed on board at all. A ban would exclude most laptop & mobile phones.

Because they're reasonably satisfied that Li-Ion batteries sitting in a device and not connected to a charger don't just spontaneously burst into flame. As they said in the YouTube video, they "intentionally created conditions in which the Li-ON battery pack would explode" which I would imagine involved disabling the protection circuit.

Normally, if the battery is not being charged, the only thing that will make it catch fire is if the cells are crushed, causing a short-circuit. Even then the most likely outcome is that it will simply self-discharge rapidly, getting hot, and possibly bursting, but not actually catching fire. Batteries are usually protected against this sort of damage by being mounted inside the plastic case of the Laptop or whatever. Large batteries of the type used with video cameras and the like are obviously more problematic.

By the way, here's a fine example of the sort of crap you encounter in certification/QC Test Labs and why Safety Certification can be such a horrendously expensive process.
These are Lithium-Ion battery packs out of portable DVD players. The one on the left is what was in the manufacturer's advance sample; the one on the right was what turned up in the actual shipments! Hence my policy of cutting them open to see what's inside....
Posted Image

Most of stories I hear about exploding Li-Ion batteries sound suspiciously like somebody (manufacturer or consumer) has screwed up, and are trying to direct the blame elsewhere. Years of working for Film Rental companies has unfortunately sensitised me to this :rolleyes:
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#17 Chris Gloag

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:09 PM

hmmm,

yeh seems pretty arbitrary ...


I agree. There isn't consensus from that reduser thread. That danish poster seems too sure.
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#18 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:46 PM

I agree. There isn't consensus from that reduser thread. That danish poster seems too sure.


Hi,

It's for a criminal court to decide after you have been arrested, not a consensus on Reduser. With the possibility of a large fine and many years in prison it's seems odd that people don't want to take the matter seriously. Remember ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Stephen
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:11 PM

I've assembled lots of lithium ion packs, but you can do that safely by using protected cells. The cost of doing it is negligible.

There's a not-insignificant performance shortfall doing it this way, since you'll get a combination of one cautious cell's charge limit trip, and another cautious cell's discharge limit trip - they won't ever read "charged", the charger will simply scream "open circuit", and you won't get any warning of low battery before suddenly the power goes away.

On the upside, it won't catch fire.

The reason I mention this is that you can do all this and you still won't have something that's certificated or approved in any way. Truly, it is a minefield.

P
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#20 Keith Walters

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:10 PM

I've assembled lots of lithium ion packs, but you can do that safely by using protected cells. The cost of doing it is negligible.

There's a not-insignificant performance shortfall doing it this way, since you'll get a combination of one cautious cell's charge limit trip, and another cautious cell's discharge limit trip - they won't ever read "charged", the charger will simply scream "open circuit", and you won't get any warning of low battery before suddenly the power goes away.

On the upside, it won't catch fire.

The reason I mention this is that you can do all this and you still won't have something that's certificated or approved in any way. Truly, it is a minefield.

P

And to think, Lithium is also used as a treatment for depression :(

Another not-insignificant problem is that the MOSFETs used to switch the cells in and out of circuit have a small, but non-zero, resistance. If you have four individually-protected cells in series to make a 12V pack you will then have the resistance of four MOSFETs effectively in series, increasing the output resistance of the battery. A technically better approach is to have just one sensor and one MOSFET pair for the whole bank of cells, but this requires more expertise. The required "supervisory" chips are readily available, but only in micro-sized surface-mount packages, which means getting custom circuit boards designed and made. No trouble for somebody like RED, but problematic for someone who just wants to make up a few packs.

Personally, where weight is not an issue, I much prefer Gel Cells. They're dirt-cheap, reliable, and easy to get hold of. You can also now get 12V car adaptors for laptops that basically replace the mains power supply. Many of them can be set to anywhere between 16 and 20 Volts at 100 Watts and more. One of those would probably make an excellent replacement for a Lithium battery pack.
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