Melted battery holder, and melted radio...

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TheJerk

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I had been running Duracell 2650mah rechargeable batteries in my GRE 300 with excellent results. Haven't used the radio is a week or so, been sitting on the front seat of my truck plugged in. I have been using this combination for around a year...until a month or so ago, it was carried daily back and forth on my 100 mile daily commute.

Decided to replace the programming back to local stations last night and retrieved the unit from the truck...no power, which I thought was funny since it should have stayed charged that long. I take it in, plug it into the charger and reprogram it...after a couple hours I take it off the charger and, no power?

I then attempt to take the battery cover off...its swelled and stuck? So I figure I would find an exploded battery...I pry the cover off and find not only the battery holder completely melted, but the inside of the radio is melted too. I find this very disturbing as it could have potentially burnt up, and burnt my truck to the ground as well (not to mention I occasionally charged this in my house). None of the batteries were swelled, only appeared to have gotten real hot.

As it stands now, I'm not sure what to do...I doubt a replacement battery pack will fit into the unit because the battery slot is distorted (so the scanner is pretty much useless as a hand-held). Not even sure I would trust using this again, since charging it typically means leaving it plugged in unattended overnight.

Any ideas???
 

N8IAA

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Sorry for your loss:( I am surprised it didn't happen sooner:eek: There certainly have been enough posts on RR telling about the horrors of charging the batteries in the radio. You truly are lucky that you didn't start it on fire. Time to replace the radio, and taking the battery holder out when using external power. Sometimes we all need a reality check:)
Larry
 

N8IAA

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Nothing wrong with charging batteries in the radio. Just not 24/7/365. The best way is to get a really good separate battery charger, and a couple of sets of batteries. That way, you don't run the risk of what has happened to you and others. Again, don't leave the battery holder in when using external DC power. Radios just don't like all that heat:wink:
Larry
 

cfr301

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I charge My Batteries in the Radio for Several Hours at a time. But after reading post like this one NEVER over night anymore. I use the same batteries as the OP has they have never got hot. The Radio will get a bit warm, but I set my charging program to 9 hrs thats the max I charge them in the radio.

After the many discussions here I have purchased the Lacrosse charger and some commercial use batteries, I have refreshed all my dura cells and recharged them with the Lacrosse and they work much longer charging them that way.

I WOULD NEVER leave any kind of battery charger un-attended in a vehicle as this often leads to dead car battery or worse a fire. I have Mag Lights in my Trucks I use for snow plowing business, those are hooked up on the starter side of the vehicles electrical circuit so the battery in my trucks don't run dead.
 
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TheJerk

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Time to replace the radio, and taking the battery holder out when using external power.
Larry

There will be no replacing it with the chance of a potential fire hazard. This radio will probably get chucked into the trash tonight. I guess I will just continue to use my GRE400...and upgrade to something else (read: another brand) later.

One thing to mention is that it WASN'T charged 24/7/365...it gets charged when the truck is either running or overnight in the house when I use it in the car. While it sat in the truck for a week, it wasn't being charged.

And although I didn't search for this specific problem...I researched this GRE 300 quite a bit before I first bought it, and I do not remember ever seeing anything about a melted battery holder due to charging the batteries.
 

TheJerk

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I only found it this AM...was heading out the door for work. Will post pictures tonight. The battery holder got hot enough to "flow" and mold itself to the interior of the radio, as well as distort the radio's housing.

I agree, this was an "WOW, what if?" type of thing...I would not have been too pleased if a $150 scanner or $10 set of batteries burnt my $40k truck to the ground and all the work I've put into it...let alone thinking about the house and family.

I will be scouting the house for other "rechargeable" devices...I would have expected this unit to function like a cellphone, and simply stop charging at either a predetermined temperature (to prevent melting due to overcharging) or voltage.
 

N8IAA

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And although I didn't search for this specific problem...I researched this GRE 300 quite a bit before I first bought it, and I do not remember ever seeing anything about a melted battery holder due to charging the batteries.
It isn't brand specific. Unidens, as well as, GRE's have meltdowns. It is truly a bad idea to recharge batteries in the radio.
Larry
 

TES

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. . . I set my charging program to 9 hrs thats the max I charge them in the radio. . .
The selectable charging time in the Pro106 is only functional while the radio is turned on. With the radio turned off & attached to a powered external power source charging will be continuous.
 

DonS

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One thing to mention is that it WASN'T charged 24/7/365...it gets charged when the truck is either running or overnight in the house when I use it in the car. While it sat in the truck for a week, it wasn't being charged.
TheJerk said:
it could have potentially burnt up, and burnt my truck to the ground as well
It would only burn your truck to the ground if it was left charging for an extended period, unattended. That probably wouldn't happen if you were in the truck.

The only time I've ever heard of these scanners suffering "meltdowns" is when they are left unattended for a long time, connected to external power, with the yellow battery holder installed.

Are you absolutely sure that the power supply in the truck is only hot when the truck is on? It would be quite strange if the batteries had "overcharged" if the scanner was only receiving power during a 100-mile commute. Are there any signs of heat damage on the seat where the scanner was sitting for a week?
 

cfr301

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The selectable charging time in the Pro106 is only functional while the radio is turned on. With the radio turned off & attached to a powered external power source charging will be continuous.
Yep That's why I never turn it off when its charging!
 

TheJerk

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Are you absolutely sure that the power supply in the truck is only hot when the truck is on? It would be quite strange if the batteries had "overcharged" if the scanner was only receiving power during a 100-mile commute. Are there any signs of heat damage on the seat where the scanner was sitting for a week?

I hooked this particular plug up (dual cigarette sockets) to a relay under the driver's seat that is only powered when the ignition is on. The trigger is the ignition, and that particular circuit powers/powered both my scanner and my GPS, and both the GPS and 300 powered off when the ignition was turned off. That's the reason I assumed the scanner was discharged...it had sat not being charged for a week (or more).

The truck does see more than 100 miles commute occasionally, but it gets driven for several hundred miles, shut down for 30 minutes or so, driven, shut down, driven, shut down...but this is rare anymore, and I would have assumed I would have noticed something if it had happened while I was driving (an odor?). I also make a habit of disconnecting the scanner once in a while on these longer trips to allow it to discharge (to prevent battery memory). This is even more disturbing because this would indicate it happened while it was charging in the house.

The entire "pack" got hot, as the entire thing is melted...not like a single "cell" shorted...for what that's worth.

It was dark last night when I grabbed the scanner from the truck...so I did not notice anything on the seat. But its also in a fabric case (bought at the same time)...and I didn't notice anything odd about it. The battery door was swelled out and, now that I think about it, was likely melted partially shut.
 

Drafin

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I gotta agree with N8IAA. This is not brand specific. I always recharge outside the radio and never leave the scanner on an external power source unattended.

Draf
 

SCPD

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I don't know how many times people have to comment in these threads that charging your batteries inside your scanner is a dumb thing to do. If people want to put their scanners at risk it is their business and they take their chances.

I have NEVER charged my batteries inside my scanners and have never had a problem.

Recommendation to those that do charge in their scanners .. go out and buy a real charger. You pay for it once and you never have to risk damaging your scanner. Besides you can charge your batteries in like 2-3 hours and not have to wait 16 hours. I personally am way to impatient to wait that long for something that can be done way quicker in an external charger.

If you want to buy an excellent charger .. I would recommend the following. They also sell cheaper models without all the features.

MAHA / POWEREX MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer for 4 AA / AAA
 

RadioDaze

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Kevin recommends a great charger. It will also detect a fault with a battery, such as an overly high internal resistance.

It should also be mentioned that "fast charging", such as with one of those 15 minute or 30 minute chargers, will probably reduce the useful life of the batteries because of the higher heat levels reached during charging.
 

cfr301

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I don't know how many times people have to comment in these threads that charging your batteries inside your scanner is a dumb thing to do. If people want to put their scanners at risk it is their business and they take their chances.

I have NEVER charged my batteries inside my scanners and have never had a problem.

Recommendation to those that do charge in their scanners .. go out and buy a real charger. You pay for it once and you never have to risk damaging your scanner. Besides you can charge your batteries in like 2-3 hours and not have to wait 16 hours. I personally am way to impatient to wait that long for something that can be done way quicker in an external charger.

If you want to buy an excellent charger .. I would recommend the following. They also sell cheaper models without all the features.

MAHA / POWEREX MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer for 4 AA / AAA
I'm PRETTY MUCH in agreement here. I really only chg my batteries in the unit if I am going to be there with it, AND ITS TURNED ON!!! When I first got the radio I charged the batteries in the radio all the time until I started reading these Horror stories on here!

But I really think that the BEST policy is to charge externally. Now that's not possible in your vehicle but for HEAVEN sakes Don't leave the unit in the vehicle plugged into the charger. That's just asking for problems.

I really like what the Lacrosse charger had to offer, I'm guessing its pretty much the same as what you have and WELL worth the money.
 

TheJerk

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I don't know how many times people have to comment in these threads that charging your batteries inside your scanner is a dumb thing to do.

Please show me where it states in the GRE300's owner's manual, that your are not supposed to charge the batteries in the scanner. So before chastising that its a "dumb thing to do", point me to the exact verbiage in the owner's manual that states that.

FROM THE GRE PSR-300 OWNER'S MANUAL (Page 8)
::

CHARGING RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

Your scanner has a built-in charging circuit that lets you charge nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) or nickel cadmium (Ni-CD) rechargeable batteries (not supplied) while they are in the scanner. To charge Rechargeable batteries, you need to use a supplied AC adaptor. To charge batteries with a DC adaptor from a DC power source, you must use a 9VDC at leaset 400mA adaptor with 4.75mm outer/1.7mm inner plug. It takes about 16 hours to recharge fully discharged 1600mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. You can operate the scanner while recharging the rechargeable batteries, but charging takes longer.

Notes:
• The scanner can also charge Ni-Cd batteries. 600mAh batteries require 6 hours and 850mAh batteries require 8 hours to charge.
• When you charge Ni-Cd batteries, do not over charge them. Overcharging shortens battery life.
• Rechargeable batteries last longer and deliver more power if you let them fully discharge once a month. To do this, use the scanner until appears. Then fully charge the rechargeable batteries.

::

If your not supposed to charge in the scanner, then WHY supply a battery cradle to charge them in the scanner??? Its counter-intuitive...don't charge the batteries in the scanner, but here's the cradle to charge the batteries in the scanner. FWIW, I did this with a Pro-82 for MANY years and never had a single problem (with the battery charging).

And nowhere does it warn that charging with the battery pack will cause a meltdown. Simply put, if you follow the owner's manual; there is nothing that warns of this potential risk, other than overcharging will shorten battery life.
 

TheJerk

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And don't take that in the wrong way...I now know better. But for someone who buys a GRE PSR-300, and just reads the owner's manual...would you think anything would be a problem???
 
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