Battery Problem

RoninJoliet

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I charged 2 Energizer 2500 rechargeable batteries in my Opus 3100 charger at500mil as usual and when finished the button end was somewhat ballooned and now won't fit in the scanner ... Never saw this happen before....There date was 9/19 ......
 

mule1075

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Get a new set of batteries. Rather that than potentially burning down the house. From the description sounds like a cell went bad Chuck it away and grab a new set. Better safe than sorry.
 

WB9YBM

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I charged 2 Energizer 2500 rechargeable batteries in my Opus 3100 charger at500mil as usual and when finished the button end was somewhat ballooned and now won't fit in the scanner ... Never saw this happen before....There date was 9/19 ......
Sounds like a heat expansion problem, like the battery might've been charged too fast (500 mil sounds pretty high)...how hot did it get during charge?
 

RoninJoliet

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It happened to both of them , I saw the charger read full so I removed them and they were not hot t all, I have since charged the other two and there fine , thanks for the info
 

kruser

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I don't know. I'd be hesitant to use a charger that can supposedly automatically detect which voltage to use for the charge.

I'm sure it very convenient to have a single charger that does all but I'd think a purpose specific charger for 1.2 Volt NiMH or NiCd cells and the various Li types at 3.7 VDC with different chemistries to boot, would be much safer than a charger that claims to auto detect the cell chemistry and normal operating voltage.
Too many chances for error if you ask me. The NiCd and NiMH types maybe not so much but the various varieties of Lithium cells out there these days can all burn your house down rather quick and easy.

If you asked me, this Opus 3100 charger sounds like it mistook the cells inserted and charged them at the Lithium 3.7 VDC voltage.
500 mA does not sound overly high of a charge current for a cell claiming a 2500 Ma capacity but giving it 3.7+ charge voltage at that rate could be disastrous.

I think I'd be cautious of this charger in the future. If you insist on using it, I'd watch things with an external meter at the same time if you can clamp onto the charging contacts.

I also read in the manuals I could find that there is a hidden switch inside either under a rear cover or on the PC Board that can select a couple different and off charging voltages. That's not really a good design but either way, a look at the switch and maybe exercising it to clean dirty contacts may be a wise idea.
 

wtp

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would you be charging a 1.2 volt battery in a 3.7 and 4.35 volt charger ???????

the 3100 says it is to charge 18650 batteries....!
 

wtp

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1. Intended Use The product is intended to charge and discharge NiCd, NiMH or 3.7v Li-ion rechargeable batteries in size type of 16340, 10440, 14500, 16340, 18500, 18650, 26650, 26500

The charger can charge batteries of different type and size and with different capacity at the same time. It also integrates the minus delta voltage (-ΔV) for NiCd or NiMh battery charging termination, and for Li-ion batteries charging to 4.2V

and the unit will turn off when a cell reaches 140 F...toasty.
 
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kruser

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would you be charging a 1.2 volt battery in a 3.7 and 4.35 volt charger ???????

the 3100 says it is to charge 18650 batteries....!
That's what I was getting at! The Opus 3100 is a dual voltage charger that claims to auto detect 1.2 or 3.7 volt cells which if done correctly, would work but I myself would never trust it not to ever make a mistake.

I know it's just a small scanner battery in this case but many of todays small batteries can bring down your house and maybe cause some serious bodily injury up to and including death from a resulting fire.

I will admit I'd never seen this charger before. After reading about it, a lot of its functions work very similar to the La Crosse BC-700 charger.
The exception is the Opus 3100 claims to automatically detect and charge both 1.2 volt NiCd and NiMH cells as well as 3.6 or 3.7 volt Lithium cells along with a couple oddball Lithium cells that run at 4.35 and one other voltage that I forget now if you change a manual selector switch inside the charger.

So no, I'd not use it for any type cells myself!
I'd never trust using it unattended like at night when I sleep.
I'd actually be surprised if this charger is UL rated here or rated for use with some of the other well established safety ratings used in other countries beside China.

Of course anyone can throw a fake rating sticker on the thing.

Oh, another page also said it can charge NiMH and NiCd C and D size cells as well as long as you slip a penny or something in one of the contact ends so it makes a proper contact! I wish I would have bookmarked the site that said that!
 

kruser

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1. Intended Use The product is intended to charge and discharge NiCd, NiMH or 3.7v Li-ion rechargeable batteries in size type of 16340, 10440, 14500, 16340, 18500, 18650, 26650, 26500

The charger can charge batteries of different type and size and with different capacity at the same time. It also integrates the minus delta voltage (-ΔV) for NiCd or NiMh battery charging termination, and for Li-ion batteries charging to 4.2V

and the unit will turn off when a cell reaches 140 F...toasty.
You found some more specs that I missed in my searches!

I had a bad NiMH AA size cell here a year or two back. It was one from one of my oldest sets of four white Eneloops.
When I placed it in a MaHa or LaCrosse charger (I forget which), it said the voltage was something crazy like 2.6 VDC for one of the cells!
Of course that was false and it along with the other cells from that Eneloop set went in for recycling. And no, whichever charger I was using did not attempt to perform a charge! I did try though just to see if it could be fooled.
I've always coded my sets of batteries when I open the package to try and keep them in an original set for charging and normal use. After time, usually if one cell in a set is failing, the others in that set are not far behind. I've seen exceptions to this but I find it accurate more than not.
Even cheap no-name cells seem to start failing when a cell from the set starts showing failure.

That makes me wonder if that voltage would have tripped up a charger like this Opus 3100 and caused it to charge at the 3.7 volt cell range.
That's the kind of stuff that worries me. It's also anybodies guess as to how 'Smart' some of these 'smart' chargers for today's power cells really are.
 

wtp

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some of the ads do say AA and AAA, but do not show them in the specs ??? i am checking now...
aliexpress does show them.
 

kruser

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some of the ads do say AA and AAA, but do not show them in the specs ??? i am checking now...
aliexpress does show them.
Yep, I noticed the same thing about specs showing different at different sites. I kinda figured that may be due to the unit having different firmware (hardware)versions when tested at different sites.
I've figured the 3100 model was available in at least one older hardware version than the current one. The current hardware version looks to be 2.2 but it's hard to tell if that's even accurate. It seems there could be misleading info across all the sites that mention this model.

Some sites call it Firmware version but after reading into it more, it appears to be more hardware changes or mods. I've seen it listed both ways but the sites with pictures show it more as hardware mods.
One of the mods calls for a cooling fan mounted below the 3100's case! That's kinda scary! It said they shutdown during discharge mode when the unit overheats.
I'm still not clear on if this charger has fan(s) when purchased new of if end users are just adding them. Some of the sites with pictures do show a fan assembly and it does look like a factory part. If not a factory design, it was a very well done user mod.
I guess the next mod we will see is a water cooled heatsink for "overclocking" your Opus 3100 charger!

I also saw mention of fan speed control that also mentioned firmware so maybe there really is something in firmware.

One of the sites talked about a 'possible' design flaw where the output voltage could be varied between 8 and 16 volts! This does not sound like a good feature for something intended to charge smaller Li cells or lower voltage NiMH cells.

There seems to be a ton of info on this 'intelligent' battery charger available all over the internet. Trying to read it all is becoming confusing!

Now I'm wondering if people are using this charger for other purposes beyond its intended purpose. Mods to get 10+ amps out of the thing for example. If that's true, no wonder why it needs a cooling fan! Sure, you can hookup a higher current input supply but try and pass that extra current through devices inside the Opus 3100 that can only handle 2 or 3 amps and something will surely cook in short order. If anything, the power connector jack and pcb traces would probably limit its current carrying capacity anyway.

It was fun reading about the thing but I think I'll stay away from it.
 

kruser

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There sure are a lot of these so called 'intelligent' chargers available out there.
Maybe I've just not studied small cell chargers for so long that I'm behind the times?

If anyone knows anything about the safety of these auto sensing intelligent type chargers, please chime in here.

It still seems to be a bad idea in my mind mixing 1.2 and 3.7 volt charging capabilities into one box that automatically detects and sets the correct charging voltage. Just too many things that could fail relying on this thing. Maybe for NiMH and NiCd cells where the cells can overheat but usually don't go up in flames within seconds like most Lithium cells will do.

Skimming quickly through my Google search results did not reveal any of the known name brand chargers many of us are used to using for our NiMH AA cells used in our expensive radios. Not in so called dual voltage intelligent models anyway.
The search did reveal several Opus models along with several unheard of brands before. And many of them looked mysteriously alike even though they had different brand names. That's often a sign of a Chinese rip from an otherwise quality product.
 

RoninJoliet

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Yes it has a cooling fan , it comes on in various times during the charging...I have used it for three years to charge my AA rechargeable batt from Energizer and Harbor Freight 2200 mah and this is the first time this happened. Thanks to everyone for there info and warnings, I'm taking them very serious and will visually keep close watch on it ....
 

WB9YBM

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Sounds like a bad design if it needs a cooling fan.
Not necessarily: for example in radio design, where radios are getting increasingly compact, there's not as much room on the rear as there used to be for heat sinks, long transmissions make adding fans almost mandatory...
 
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