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Old 05-16-2009, 08:18 AM   #1
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Default Inside an Orion 4800 LiPo

I'm sure its a question that you might have thought about once in a while....it did to me yesterday when I was doing some car prep.

Last year I had my trusty Orion 4800mah LiPo pack die on me. When connected to the charger, it wouldn't read a full circuit, so something had broken the connection inside the pack. I would have had a look at the time, but it was over 800 cycles old, never been balanced either, so time for replacement. I got an Orion 3800mah pack and relegated this to the bottom of my pitbox.

But, curiosity gets the better of me, and out comes the tools......

Under no circumstances should you do this unless you are prepared for the consquences. LiPo fires are dangerous, and will cause more damage than you can imagine. I take no responsibility for your actions.

Right, firstly, the pack.





Its a well-used Orion 4800mah LiPo that has served me well. Until the last time I used it, it was performing just as well as the day I got it. The only mods I did was to trim the top and bottom labels off the pack to aid fitting into a HB Cyclone (but that didn't help much, see the rub marks... ).

With the side decals removed, the pack is double-sided taped to the cells, so it takes a bit of prying before the lid is off. I used a pair of curved scissors to *carefully* trim up each corner and bend the sides outwards.



More careful pulling takes the lid off the pack:









Same process on the bottom, and the pack is free:







The remains of the case:



And finally, the possible culprit. It looks like one of those tabs broke as it wasn't soldered to the PCB like the others were:



Anyhoo, I took the cells apart and discharged them using a fan to flat, before salt bathing each, and disposing. Kinda boring, but techy to us geeks.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:49 AM   #2
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The Kokam cells in that pack use one of the tabs on the battery like a fuse. It's designed to vaporize during a short, reverse polarity, etc.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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Would you not have been able to resolder that tab back together and have a functioning battery again?
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:10 AM   #4
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Ahh, I don't remember it being plugged up backwards either in the chassis or on the charger, just it not working one week that I came to use it, but that tab in the last pic was certainly not connected to the PCB, so I assume it might have happened the last time it got used (and I didnt realise).

It looks like the balancing plug can be unsoldered and moved upwards to the top edge of the pack like Trakpower and other brand hard cased packs.

Adam, I could, but it was beyond the Orion-stated 600 cycles so I didn't want to see how much more life I'd get out of it.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:17 PM   #5
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I have that same pack in my VTA car. I actually took it apart like you did, sanded down the case, and re-painted it black to go along with my "black-out" theme on the car. My only complaint is the 20C rating, but it works good enough for slower classes.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:03 PM   #6
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With all that work to get it out of the case you could of had fun with the disposal of it and put a nail or screwdriver through it, send it to a firey death
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:34 PM   #7
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You should have re-soldered it and over charged it till blew up in little pieces of crap, then burn what's left of it.. Then piss on the ashes
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:01 AM   #8
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I don't understand how you got 800 cycles from this pack.My Orion 4800 after 20 cycles (always charged through balancer and never used it below 6.4v.) lost 30% of its power and punch.What motor are you running with this pack?Mine was a 7700kv.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born2Run View Post
I don't understand how you got 800 cycles from this pack.My Orion 4800 after 20 cycles (always charged through balancer and never used it below 6.4v.) lost 30% of its power and punch.What motor are you running with this pack?Mine was a 7700kv.
He maybe ran stock with it... a 7700kv motor has more power draw.. Not sure if that could be a reson just sayin tho
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:08 AM   #10
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I can't see which tab got unsoldered, could someone point it out?

On a side note, it would be interesting if someone posted inside pics of a cheaper lipo (say, a yeah racing, or a zippy) so that the differences in their respective construction can be seen. Especially since most of these batteries copy the appearance of an orion lipo...
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:47 AM   #11
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Good luck with a Kokam cell, you'll be lucky to swell one of the cells up

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You should have re-soldered it and over charged it till blew up in little pieces of crap, then burn what's left of it.. Then piss on the ashes
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:25 AM   #12
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I've charged mine at 10 amps once because I was in a hurry and it didn't cause any problems

But I don't recommend doing that to a 4800 pack......
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiscnitro View Post
With all that work to get it out of the case you could of had fun with the disposal of it and put a nail or screwdriver through it, send it to a firey death
Erm, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyde View Post
You should have re-soldered it and over charged it till blew up in little pieces of crap, then burn what's left of it.. Then piss on the ashes
Erm...nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born2Run View Post
I don't understand how you got 800 cycles from this pack.My Orion 4800 after 20 cycles (always charged through balancer and never used it below 6.4v.) lost 30% of its power and punch.What motor are you running with this pack?Mine was a 7700kv.
Used in a touring car with 27t brushed and 13.5 brushless, used regularly every week for about 18 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by panda racer View Post
I can't see which tab got unsoldered, could someone point it out?

On a side note, it would be interesting if someone posted inside pics of a cheaper lipo (say, a yeah racing, or a zippy) so that the differences in their respective construction can be seen. Especially since most of these batteries copy the appearance of an orion lipo...
In the last photo, its the tab furthest away, its kinda folded back on itself.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by academygaz View Post

....Used in a touring car with 27t brushed and 13.5 brushless, used regularly every week for about 18 months.
That's why you got 800 cycles.Unfortunately i didn't know that those first generation lipo car packs like ORION 4800 & Trakpower 4900 cannot used with low turn motors.That's why my 2 ORION & 4 Trakpower packs didn't last over 20 cycles.Wasted money
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:02 AM   #15
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WoW !

You ran that battery 44 times a week ?


O-sure .....
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