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Author Topic: New FAA Rules Limit Lithium Batteries  (Read 510 times)
KD0CKW
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Posts: 11




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« on: January 03, 2008, 11:57:42 AM »

In case anyone missed it, effective January 1, 2008 there are new FAA restrictions on lithium batteries (including lithium-ion batteries) in both carry-on and checked baggage on US flights.

These are the newer type of rechargable batteries used in handhelds, as well as laptop computers, camcorders, cell phones, etc.

The rules are clear as mud.  There are distinctions made between batteries 'installed' in a device and 'spare' batteries.

Most consumer sized batteries that are installed in devices will pass if in your carry-on baggage.  However, if you are carrying lots of gear, and lots of batteries, you might run up to restrictions on the total grams of 'equivalent lithium content', or the amount of carry-on items permitted!

I would hate to see someone lose a $60+ battery because they missed this.

More info is available on the official FAA website:

http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html

Phil
KD0CKW
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KJ4AGA
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2008, 01:31:04 PM »

Ok, I'm sure there is probably some reason for this......but I can't think of any.  This is why I do not fly.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12700




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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 03:30:49 PM »

If you've even seen a demo of a lithium battery (D sized) crushed you wouldn't need to ask why :-) I received a shipment of new laptops where one of the boxes was smoking. The battery compartment was melted and you could see the straps glowing red hot inside.
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1735




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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 02:41:59 PM »

  Just heard about those new rules.  It might have something to do with the reports that they have caused some devices to burst into flames.
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KB1LKR
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Posts: 1899




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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 06:30:17 PM »

See: http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071205/NEWS07/712050360/-1/NEWS

UPS DC-8 fire at PHL in Feb 2006 has to be a factor, as do Sony's Li-ion laptop (Dell, Apple, et.al) battery fire issues.

Got delayed by the UPS fire -- was to take a 5:30 AM out of Boston thru Philly to San Diego, got rerouted, only that evening did I find out what had closed Philly.

Reg's look like they're trying to limiting carrying of spares (in addition to what's already in equipment -- (mostly laptops, cell phones, and iPods I'd guess) and limiting what's checked (hidden away) vs. carried on (fairly visible/accessible if there is an event/fire.

Worth paying attention to if you have a Li-ion powered HT (or laptop) and a spare battery pack or more. Doubt too many people travel w/ spare iPod batteries though!

The regulations are more complex if you're shipping them  (Li primary or LI-ion secondary,... type, weight of Li, external labeling, etc.) as freight in quantities.  
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KC9EOT
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 07:17:10 AM »

thats all fine an good. I am not going to take a working computer go sit on an airplane and crush my battery
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KC2MMI
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Posts: 621




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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2008, 01:56:53 PM »

 The FAA is simply addressing the issue of lithium batteries spontaneously combusting, which has gotten plenty of press in the last few years. You don't need to crush one, you don't need to charge one, you don't need to use one.

 Just put it on the shelf, and some of them will spontaneously combust. Apparently there are some problems in the manufacturing processes and some defective batteries can just start to burn. Most likely during charging--but given the temperature and pressure changes (even in the airplane cabin) that might be enough "squeezing" to set one off.

 Is this a PITA? Yes. Do lithium batteries--even from the best makers--sometimes just catch on fire? Yes. So it isn't totally unreasonable that they would ban them, although asking the TSA jokers to enforce that, and asking the public to measure battery equivalents, is probably best left to a slapstick comedy routine.

 At some airports, they used to allow you to leave things behind in an envelope with your name on it, and pick it up on your return. I suppose the TSA is afraid that what you leave behind could be a bomb now too. I miss luggage lockers.
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