FOCBOX UNITY $299 | R-SPEC DRIVE KIT $588

LiPo protection?


#1

After doing some post-purchase reading on LiPos, I now kind of regret not going with a s.p.a.c.e cell and also never want to charge my batteries.

That being said, to avoid a not-small cash-wasting, I think I still plan on building version-one using the parts I ordered, including the LiPo’s.

From what I read, having them on the bottom of the board can be dicey though. It seems like a good place to pick up scrapes and impacts which could turn into problems when charging later on.

Is having them inside an ABS (or similar) housing safe enough? Does anyone do anything stronger? Or have I made the rookie mistake of reading too much internet about this?


#2

I have 4 functioning boards right now, all with lipos on the bottom. Not sure where you’re planning on riding or your riding style, but I have yet to damage a cell. I did at one point roll up and over a steep transition and bonked an abs enclosure, but aside from the subtle rash on the cover there was no damage to the batteries. If you can go space cell you should just for the ease of charging. If you don’t though, you’ll find with a methodical approach, a good charger, a balancing board and a little patience lipo really isn’t that big of a deal.


#3

Good to know. Do you put them into the fireproof bags for charging?


#4

If I had a malfunctioning cell I would. (Sometimes a cell drops lower than the rest) I have a couple of those bags but, don’t always use them. Do you have a cement floor in your garage? I have a 3x3 space I use in the shop to charge. If you use them all the time it doesn’t hurt.

If you have a damaged cell though just don’t charge the battery. Dispose of it properly. Pretty sure thats where people get in to trouble.


#5

That’s one thing that does concern me. We live in a townhouse so there is no garage or concrete floors. So it would be charged inside or on the front doorstep. My neighbors would be pretty bummed if I burned the building down because I didn’t want to push my skateboard up hills!

It sounds like a failure is rare. But a space cell is now on my list to upgrade to sooner than later. More volts and a longer range won’t hurt either. I can always sell the LiPo’s and charger if it’s like-new, I suppose.


#6

Yuuuup! You’ll be fine. Just don’t do any guess work.


#7

besides the lipo bags - a good alternative to charge in is a pyrex or big ceramic bowl.

Pyrex can be a bit $, so i keep planning to swing over to a local value village or similar in my area to get one used off their shelf. be really cheap and should work well.

I have the temp probe as well for my iCharger - the idea being that any lipo will show significant heat before it’s truly a problem and the temp probe will automatically stop charging.

HTH - GL!


#8

I always have my LiPo’s on the bottom of the board, haven’t scraped on yet.
just get yourself a $2 lipo alarm so that you don’t over discharge them. thats the golden rule.
never over discharge!
as long as you don’t over discharge and then try to recharge again lipos arent really that scary.
and never leave them charging unattended.


#9

Enertion SPACE Cell is a great carefree pack that has laptop style charging easily available.

However, lipo’s aren’t as bad as you think. I literally have over 20-30 packs just laying out. Of course, I have the packs in series and in a 7/8/9" tablet case (purchased on ebay for about $1/ea) and the connectors on one side each to prevent a short.

IF you want to be safe. Just don’t charge unbalanced packs. Use a battery medic and/or a voltage meter to check the voltage of each cell. If they are too far apart don’t charge them.


#10

All good tips. Thanks everyone. I’ll definitely add a LiPo alarm too.


#11

I’ve never had a problem with LiPo either. It made me nervous at first, but after a while it was fine. My battery stays in my board’s enclosure and i use an external port for charging. At the moment the pack is suspended in the box using hot glue at all four corners, so there is about a 1/4" gap between the pack and all sides of the box. It helps absorb some of the vibration and also allows the box to take a hit without passing damage on to the cell.

I also have a volt meter on the outside of my box to tell me where i’m at at all times. I have a 6S, so its charge to 25, store at 22 and get off the board at 20. In fact the battery is probably the only thing I have had zero issues with.

I’m probably going to move the volt meter to the nose of the deck so i can see it while i’m riding instead of relying on performance characteristics to tell me when its time to stop and look.


#12

Awesome question; there are a lot of horror stories on the web with people frantically running from fires! I’ve watched about 30 “how to charge your lipo” videos on youtube at this point, similarly wanting to avoid an expensive accident. I also read and re-read my charger’s manual

What I’ve picked up is that as long as you balance-charge your lipos correctly, and they are not physically damaged, they are very stable. It seems that when they are overcharged and punctured/dented: that is when trouble occurs.

I will keep mine enclosed in some kind of box while riding, always use my balance charger with the temp monitor, and always charge in the safety bags and monitor the charging as it is happening. Based on all the feedback I’ve seen, this is enough to use them confidently.


#13

Just a thought, VESC has a built-in “Adjustable protection against
Low input voltage” but I’m not sure that it includes and alarm.

Also, AFAIK, over-discharging lipos negatively impacts their performance but I do not believe that it poses a safety threat. Still a very good idea to monitor voltage to avoid over-discharge.


#14

Really good tips. I actually am awaiting a VESC so that’s also nice to know that it has a built-in low voltage protection.

My concerns were compounded initially by the fact that I went with 8S batteries and there really isn’t a normal off-the-shelf way of charging them, it seems! They have two 4S connectors each so I suppose I need some kind of balance board just to charge a single pack. From what I can tell, that’s almost impossible to find in-stock…

I ordered a volt meter lipo bag too to be safe.


#15

Which 8s is it? Some of them are just two 4s packs physically connected with heat shrink, but they function separately for charging (you charge each like a 4s) and then connect them in series to use on the road.


#16

That would be super convenient if that were the case! I have two of these: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=33179&aff=560211


#17

There’s this:
http://www.usastore.revolectrix.com/Products_2/Cellpro-10XP_2/Cellpro-10XP_310

It allows you to charge a single 10S pack (or 8S of course) or two packs up to 5S each.

I found it this morning when I was looking for a companion for Turnigy’s newish 10S 5Ah pack.


#18

Hmm, It looks like it only has one set of charge leads, so it’s not the “two batteries glues together” style I suspected. There are some notes from other buyers on the listing on HK. It seems that you can buy a balance board for ichargers that will work.


#19

Are you referring to this one @longhairedboy ?

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/_20679__Turnigy_nano_tech_5000mah_10S_25_50C_Lipo_Pack_US_Warehouse.html


#20

Yes. I saw that this morning while making my usual “what’s available this week” rounds and about shit my pants. Its no space cell killer, but its definitely a less expensive option if you don’t care about charging convenience or a super slim enclosure. Two of these in parallel would be serious business, but at that point you may as well get a space cell since you’d have to get a charger too and for a battery this size you’re looking at $150 and up for a charger. And a bigger box under the board, but it could still be a sexy build if the box received the proper application of curves or angles. Options are always good.

Also you could re-pack this cell to be two side by side cell stacks instead of a single vertical cell stack and you would save some ride height when just using the single pack.