Niwalker BK-FA02S --WARNING: a direct short waiting to happen in the batt carrier

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tatasal
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Niwalker BK-FA02S --WARNING: a direct short waiting to happen in the batt carrier

Hello,

I received today my Niwalker BK-FA02s.

I tested it a while ago and this is what happened:

I put in 4 30Q cells and fired it up. The light could hardly shine, regardless of the position of the rotary mode selector.

Perplexed, I removed the tube, took out the batt carrier and notice two cells were warm.

I removed all four cells and nearly got burned by the 2 (-) springs inside the batt carrier which are now collapsed, while the remaining 2 springs were still of normal height, and the real hot springs are now almost half of the height of the original springs. What could possibly caused the short ? I am sure I observed the correct polarity.

What could possibly have happened? Is the carrier of the BK-FA01s of different internal connection in the carrier and it’s the one I received?

Below is the aftermath….

Edit: Jan. 26
Note in the photo below, the 2 original stainless-steel springs that collapsed at the bottom of the carrier were replaced with the newer ‘golden’ springs of the same base diameter.

I decided to have the collapsed springs changed with the ones I bought from Ric of Int’l Outdoor about 3 years ago to use in my K40’s carrier.
After the ‘melted’ springs were changed with the new ‘golden’ springs, I tested to carrier again. I put in a storage-charged 30Q and oh boy, a spark of flame and a puff of smoke erupted, then, as I hurriedly took out the cell, the photo below will show what transpired.

A Direct Short is waiting to happen!! (of which admittedly I failed to notice about the protruding, original solder)




Fast forward to Mar. 20, 2017:

Today I received the supposedly “new, improved” battery-carrier from Niwalker.

In the photo below, while the solder blob that caused the electrical short in the original carrier is now smaller and shorter in the new carrier (right), it is still well within ‘striking distance’ as to rub and tear off the cell’s insulator (as has happened in the original carrier) and create another direct electrical short.

Photo below shows even while the cell is still not properly seated and still at angle inside the carrier (not straight up yet), the cell’s negative casing is still dangerously close to rubbing and tearing its insulator when it hits the ‘smaller’ solder blob of the the new carrier if seated properly. I did not attempt to seat the cell straight up because of two reasons: the solder blob is just microns away, and the springs of the carrier are too stiff for comfort. In fact, I even ground away some of the solder blog to make it shorter.

Well, another result of the ‘too stiff’ springs:
I tried to put in cells in the carrier’s side where there is no solder blob, but when I removed the cells, due to the extreme force exerted by the springs, it forces the cell’s insulator to ‘plow’ into the brass protruding positive ends that it deforms, if not tear, the insulation. Remember, I even use the shortest cells around.

Edited by: tatasal on 03/20/2017 - 09:09
chrisc
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I shorted out my TM16GT and one of the springs is now not quite right. I had to pull it out with a pair of needle nose pliers but that was whilst I was supidly doing a current check ages back.

Good luck at finding the problem and you’re lucky the light didnt go bang!

tatasal
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chrisc wrote:
I shorted out my TM16GT and one of the springs is now not quite right.

You mean you shorted it? My case is different, as explained above.

Ricflair
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Interesting:
Sounds like what I had happen to a Acebeam a few years back, with a battery carrier issue. They had to redesign it to Properly handle the amperage draw. So, that makes me think you got a carrier that has a problem. Maybe a bad connection or cold solder joint? I don’t have one of those lights, so not sure how the carrier is designed. Have others with this light had this problem before?
It also sounds like what happened to a carrier I made for a OL custom maglite. It melted too, and the cells burned my hand. All because the Amperage draw was too high for my design.

Good luck.

RicFlair is on the air with blonde hair & pink underwear!! Whaoooooo!

tatasal
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I just noticed that the voltage of the BK-FA09 is 11v to 16.8v, while the BK-FA02s/BK-FA01s are 4.9v to 8.4v.

Assuming batt carriers were mixed-up, will it have a bearing in my case?

chrisc
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yes. I shorted the light out by accident. the spring pretty much welded itself into a shorter length.

Lexel
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my first though is when you put the wrong battery carrier in the light two cells were in series but facing with both plus or minus poles together
like +-+—++- instead of +-+-+-+-

chrisc
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Lexel wrote:
my first though is when you put the wrong battery carrier in the light two cells were in series but facing with both plus or minus poles together like +-+—++- instead of +-+-+-+-

Yup, that is my thought too. The carriers will almost certainly be wired differently so by putting the carrier in you would have basically shorted it out with the carrier. maybe you can check the carrier connectors on the light to the carrier connectors on the carrier. Might be more obvious that way.

tatasal
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Lexel wrote:
my first though is when you put the wrong battery carrier in the light two cells were in series but facing with both plus or minus poles together like +-+—++- instead of +-+-+-+-

I’m sure I inserted the cells in its correct polarity, and though the manual says the batt carrier can be inserted either way, this carrier can only be inserted in one way only as there is a clicky switch on one end of the carrier and it goes to the end near of the tailcap with a rubber clicky cover.

chrisc
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Sounds like you’ve got the wrong carrier if you can only put it in one way round as the website clearly states “Battery holder can be loaded into searchlight either way”

EDIT.. .this website: http://www.ms-it-consulting.biz/blog/tag/thrower/

Gute Sache: Beide Vostro-Modelle haben nun einen Clicky am Lampenende, der zum Ein- und Ausschalten und damit auch zur Unterbrechung der Stromversorgung gedacht ist. Damit lassen sich die Lampen “hart” ausschalten und es gibt keinen Kriechstrom mehr.

Good thing: Both Vostro models now have a clicky at the end of the lamp, which is intended to switch on and off and thus also to interrupt the power supply. This makes the lamps “hard” off and there is no leakage current

Jerommel
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Battery carriers suck.

But good luck solving the issue.

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

(I’ll be back around the 28th)

Lexel
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if the battery carrier can rotate in the light, it provides 2 poles to the light,
good thing is you have not fried the light with 4s voltage

My thought is one battery was in wrong direction, so you get an effective voltage of 2s
inserting the battery carrier to the light and closing the circuit over a FET or converter
now current starts to flow through all 4 batteries, but one is in different dierection

the outcome is that one cell will work against the other 3 cells as it doesnt like to be reverse charged

but as you said the carrier can be separated by the switch in the tailcap you arenot having a 4s carrier
instead you have a 2s-2s carrier
positive light +-+- switch +-+- negative light 16.8V
positive light 2+2- switch 2+-2- negative light 8.4V
you end up with 16.8V and most likely burn the driver down turning on the light
positive light +-+- switch – ++ – negative light 8.4V but wont allow an effective current flow, and all current will heat up one cell
while a high reverse current will flow through the +-+- cells heating em up

kramer5150
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tatasal wrote:
I just noticed that the voltage of the BK-FA09 is 11v to 16.8v, while the BK-FA02s/BK-FA01s are 4.9v to 8.4v.

Assuming batt carriers were mixed-up, will it have a bearing in my case?

(borrowed images)
Heres the BK-FA02s carrier… is this what yours looks like? It looks like a 2P-2S arrangement for 8.4V. Not sure what would happen if you connected your light to a 16.8V (4S) carrier. But thats 2x the voltage. I would think most definitely that would have a significant bearing. Flashlight circuits have some degree of safety factor built into them to accommodate for production variations… but double the max Vin would be pretty unlikely.

cera@1967
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 If your carrier is the old type one , without the switch means that can be put in ,  disregard witch side going in (double sided) !

BUT... in a review done here , on BLF, I do not remmember by who , has been noticed that inside the body that hold the carrier is a spring that COULD short the center (+) of the carrier with the heads of the screws (-) . I've noticed that on mine , so , using a long nose plier I insulated the spring up to the first turn with silicone insulation (was a 18 size or so...). Maybe is your case , I'm just saying...

Good luck !

Adrian

tatasal
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kramer5150 wrote:
tatasal wrote:
I just noticed that the voltage of the BK-FA09 is 11v to 16.8v, while the BK-FA02s/BK-FA01s are 4.9v to 8.4v.

Assuming batt carriers were mixed-up, will it have a bearing in my case?

(borrowed images)
Heres the BK-FA02s carrier… is this what yours looks like? It looks like a 2P-2S arrangement for 8.4V. Not sure what would happen if you connected your light to a 16.8V (4S) carrier. But thats 2x the voltage. I would think most definitely that would have a significant bearing. Flashlight circuits have some degree of safety factor built into them to accommodate for production variations… but double the max Vin would be pretty unlikely.
!{width:60%}http://imageshack.com/a/img923/4953/cSWqlr.jpg!

Yes, the carrier that arrived with the light looks like that.

tatasal
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Warning: A direct short waiting to happen in the battery-carrier of this light…see the op.

aginthelaw
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the same thing happened to me in the original model. i thought i put the batteries in wrong. when the light wouldn’t come on i opened it up and the batteries fell out because the springs shrunk. i put in protected button tops because flattops wouldn’t fit any more. used the light a few minutes and it was fine but the next time i turned it on it wouldn’t work. i inspected the battery carrier and found a trace on the battery carrier’s circuit board melted. i believed it was caused by the wide anode on the flat top making contact with the trace. of course i didn’t figure that out until i paid $30 for the repair

never fear shadows…it means a light shines nearby

tatasal
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aginthelaw wrote:
the same thing happened to me in the original model. i thought i put the batteries in wrong. when the light wouldn’t come on i opened it up and the batteries fell out because the springs shrunk. i put in protected button tops because flattops wouldn’t fit any more. used the light a few minutes and it was fine but the next time i turned it on it wouldn’t work. i inspected the battery carrier and found a trace on the battery carrier’s circuit board melted. i believed it was caused by the wide anode on the flat top making contact with the trace. of course i didn’t figure that out until i paid $30 for the repair

I will be contacting Niwalker about this, for IMO, this design is not only faulty, but extremely dangerous. Facepalm

tatasal
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In the meantime, I wonder what safe remedy can be done to the battery carrier? (Please read the op)

I hope some of our more experienced members here have a thing or two on this matter.

Thanks in advance.

zeremefico
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You reminded me BTU shocker modding days.

₪₪₪₪ ΟΥΔΕΝ ΚΡΥΠΤΟΝ ΥΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΗΛΙΟ ₪₪₪₪

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Flashlights & edc gear

K40M F16

teacher
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tatasal wrote:
In the meantime, I wonder what safe remedy can be done to the battery carrier? (Please read the op)

I hope some of our more experienced members here have a thing or two on this matter.

Thanks in advance.

Hmmmm, these are my thoughts on the subject.
  • If there are any of those raised rectangular solder blobs left, shrink them down a bit. Either re-solder, file, or Dremmel to make them lower.
  • Then insulate anything that could possibly cause a short.

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

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tatasal
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teacher wrote:
tatasal wrote:
In the meantime, I wonder what safe remedy can be done to the battery carrier? (Please read the op)

I hope some of our more experienced members here have a thing or two on this matter.

Thanks in advance.

Hmmmm, these are my thoughts on the subject.
  • If there are any of those raised rectangular solder blobs left, shrink them down a bit. Either re-solder, file, or Dremmel to make them lower.
  • Then insulate anything that could possibly cause a short.

Thanks for taking time to analyze…l have thought about this approach but it still can be a little too risky for 2 reasons:
1. The positive protrusion in the carrier is just high enough for a flat top to make contact
2. The original and my replacement springs are quite stiff.

lt will be just practically be a few mm away from another short, but filing the rectangular solder blob then covering it with an insulating material might just raise it nearly as tall as the positive contact, and still be too close for comfort.

teacher
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tatasal wrote:
teacher wrote:
tatasal wrote:
In the meantime, I wonder what safe remedy can be done to the battery carrier? (Please read the op)

I hope some of our more experienced members here have a thing or two on this matter.

Thanks in advance.

Hmmmm, these are my thoughts on the subject.
  • If there are any of those raised rectangular solder blobs left, shrink them down a bit. Either re-solder, file, or Dremmel to make them lower.
  • Then insulate anything that could possibly cause a short.

Thanks for taking time to analyze…l have thought about this approach but it still can be a little too risky for 2 reasons:
1. The positive protrusion in the carrier is just high enough for a flat top to make contact
2. The original and my replacement springs are quite stiff.

lt will be just practically be a few mm away from another short, but filing the rectangular solder blob then covering it with an insulating material might just raise it nearly as tall as the positive contact, and still be too close for comfort.

My pleasure to try to help. I hear what your saying too.
You could try ‘button tops’, they would give you some extra room.
But even with the flat tops, it seems to me if you have the problem spots insulated well that should solve it. ???

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

        Texas Lumens Flashlights  <>   M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$

         Rudeness Level /\ mΩ /\ {width:70%} /\ LightWiki /\ LED Tint Chart /\ LED Tint Picture /\ Xlamp size chart /\ BatteryU                   Flashaholic? Need Professional Help???   wink   /\ TheOriginal /\ TAB /\ LightSearch /\ BatterySearch /\ 14500's /\ DiCal                                                       

Speed4goal
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Should be fixed under warranty I wouldn’t say you soldered new springs on and tried again. As that is 99% sure to void the warranty and if damage was done to the light they have grounds to not have to fix it. Id tell them I tried to turn the light on and two of the springs melted. And say there is a solder blob protruding by a positive contact on further inspection. And you would like to send the carrier and light back for inspection. That the manual says the carrier can be inserted eaither way but mine has only one direction it can be inserted it has a switch on the other side. I believe I was sent the wrong battery carrier for this light and if their is any damage to this light from a wrong battery carriee or short from no fault of my own I want it fixed especially for the price I paid

teacher
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I totally agree, ‘Speed4goal’ has the best solution for sure. Thumbs Up

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

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tatasal
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Still awaiting news from Niwalker after the CNY celebration.

tatasal
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Fast forward to Mar. 20, 2017:

Today I received the supposedly “new, improved” battery-carrier from Niwalker.

In the photo below, while the solder blob that caused the electrical short in the original carrier is now smaller and shorter in the new carrier (right), it is still well within ‘striking distance’ as to rub and tear off the cell’s insulator (as has happened in the original carrier) and create another direct electrical short.

Photo below shows even while the cell is still not properly seated and still at angle inside the carrier (not straight up yet), the cell’s negative casing is still dangerously close to rubbing and tearing its insulator when it hits the ‘smaller’ solder blob of the the new carrier if seated properly. I did not attempt to seat the cell straight up because of two reasons: the solder blob is just microns away, and the springs of the carrier are too stiff for comfort. In fact, I even ground away some of the solder blog to make it shorter.

Well, another result of the ‘too stiff’ springs:
I tried to put in cells in the carrier’s side where there is no solder blob, but when I removed the cells, due to the extreme force exerted by the springs, it forces the cell’s insulator to ‘plow’ into the brass protruding positive ends that it deforms, if not tear, the insulation. Remember, I even use the shortest cells around.

migad
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Solved ?

tatasal
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migad wrote:
Solved ?

Are you kidding? Haha, I don’t know if Niwalker is willing to completely redesign the carrier to make it safe.

hIKARInoob
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I.Don’t.Like.This.

Really, it seems that the carrier of only this light is super tight. Why did Niwalker change the dimensions of the carrier?

tatasal
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hIKARInoob wrote:
I.Don’t.Like.This.

Really, it seems that the carrier of only this light is super tight. Why did Niwalker change the dimensions of the carrier?

If you mean the dimensions of the carrier that came with the light and the supposedly ‘new and improved’ one, no, the dimensions are the same, also with the springs’ tension. They did made the offending rectangular solder blob smaller and shorter in the new carrier, yet it was still dangerously close to the cell’s edge insulator that, as you can see in the one of the pics with the cell slightly at an angle, if I continue to put in the cell straight up and put in the cell where it should be, the insulation will again touch the solder blob (as seen on the bottom of the carrier in the pic) chances are almost 100% the solder blob will again tear off the insulation and create a direct short like what happened to the first carrier.

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