Red Scholefield’s Battery Clinic

RC Battery ClinicWhen I’m not tied up maintaining Oracle or blogging one of my favorite hobbies is flying (read crashing) radio controlled airplanes.

Filled with information about everything from lead acid to lithium polymer, Red Scholefield’s R/C Battery Clinic is a great reference for battery information for R/C and non-rc applications.

Red’s unique knowledge comes from years of working in the battery industry (for GE) and even more years of building and flying models. The one thing to keep in mind is that R/C flyers take their batteries more seriously than almost any other group. Loss of a battery in flight means a loss of control of the airplane which all adds up to a crash. With hundreds to thousands of dollars in the air there’s no room for error on your battery pack.

The concepts Red presents can be applied to other devices. Knowing how to properly charge and use rechargeable batteries will extend their lives considerably and though this site could be organized better there is still a wealth of information here.

rc, rc flying, batteries, battery, rechargeable batteries, nicd, nicad, lithium ion, lithium polymer, nickel-metal hydride

iPod Battery Claim Fulfillment Schedule

Nearly a month after iLounge reported the settlement schedule for the iPod battery claims there is now a schedule posted on the official settlement website.

The dates are a bit different than originally reported, but it’s good to have official notification. Here are the highlights:

March 24, begin fulfillment of generation 1 and 2 claims which requested $25 cash settlement.

April 7, begin fulfillment of generation 3 battery replacements in the order claims were received.
Begin mailing discount codes for store credit settlements.

Those eligible for a claim under AppleCare should have already received their $25 check.

So I look forward to having a functional iPod again, but I can’t help but feel cheated for the year I’ve been battery-less. Oh well.

ipod, battery, apple, apple computing, mp3

Finally Some News on iPod Battery Settlement

On December 22, 2005 the Apple iPod Settlement Administration website posted that the settlement of the iPod battery class action suit was final and that “the Settlement Administrator can move forward with claims administration and claims fulfillment.” In the two months since then there have been no updates on what exactly that meant.

Today on my routine web crawl for information on the topic I found this article on which outlines the following timeframe for settlement:

February 17, 2006 – The Claims Administrator will mail $25 checks to Class Members who purchased the AppleCare Protection Plan and obtained battery repair/replacement under the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Beginning of March 2006 – For Class members who own a First or Second Generation iPod and who selected the $25 cash payment, the Claims Administrator will begin mailing $25 checks to those who submitted valid claims.

Middle of March 2006 – For Class members who own a Third Generation iPod and who selected battery/iPod replacement, the Claims Administrator will begin mailing letters containing instructions for battery/iPod replacement to those who submitted valid claims.

Middle of March 2006 – For Class members who own a First, Second or Third Generation iPod and who selected a $50 store credit, the Claims Administrator will begin mailing letters with certificate codes for the $50 store credit to those who submitted valid claims.

Around March 17, 2006 – The Claims Administrator will begin sending deficiency letters to Class members who submitted an incomplete/incorrect claim.

End of March 2006 – The Claims Administrator will send denial letters to those individuals who do not fit the class definition or who submitted their claims past the claims deadline.

It’s been almost a year since claim forms went out, but hey, at least there are signs of action. Thanks iLounge for reporting on this. Now why couldn’t the settlement administration have posted this timeline on the official website?

ipod, apple, apple computing, battery, technology

What’s New with the iPod Settlement

It looks like the class-action suit for iPod owners got final approval last week. The suit forces Apple to replace batteries in iPods which failed early in their use. For the full details on the suit check out the Apple iPod Settlement Administration website.

iPod users have until September 30, 2005 (or two years from original purchase if it is a third generation iPod) to place a claim. It is still unclear how the claims will be processed; will Apple ask folks to send in their iPods, will they send out special shipping boxes, will owners be able to take their iPods to local service people?

The claims are expected to cost Apple around $15 million, but as an owner of one of these iPods, I have to say this claim is legitimate. The battery in my iPod has been flakey since the day I bought it and in the past year has been nothing short of terrible.

Hopefully the sting of $15 million will encourage Apple to consider a user-replaceable battery in their next iPod. I can only imagine a large portion of that $15 million is the “Authorized Service” necessary to replace these.

For more on the claim check out these links:

Apple iPod Settlement Administration website
Article on settlement from
Article from

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Your Friday Evening Explosion

Battery ExplodingDon’t try this at home!

These guys took a lithium ion battery (you know, like we all have in our cell phones) and forced it so far into over-charge that it exploded!

Obviously any properly functioning charger on an undamaged battery would not cause this type of reaction. In fact, all lithium batteries have a charge limiter (either on the charger or battery) to protect the battery. For this demonstration the charge limiting was bypassed. Even with all the precautions they took it seems like it was a bigger explosion than expected.

This was set up with a radio controlled model airplane battery. Check out the video and be thankful for those charge limiter.

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