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News Modding MacBook Air Could Cause Fire

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Claave, 9 Nov 2010.

  1. barndoor101

    barndoor101 Bring back the demote thread!

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    if they are anything like iPhone 3G batteries then they will smoke and set on fire if punctured. One of my colleagues replaced his battery in his old iPhone 3G, so we had a spare battery pack lying around - if you havent seen one then imagine a squishy bag filled with gel.

    we had a bright idea to put a screwdriver through it - theres still a scorch mark on his desk. the office had an acrid smell too.
     
  2. lp1988

    lp1988 Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense, the Air is all about being thin, and that is what you get. by soldering everything to a single board you:

    1. Only have one layer so the board is more stable.
    2. You don't rely on electrical connections that may disengage or become unstable in other ways
    3. you lose the extra layers of protection that otherwise should protect one PCB from rubbing against a different PCB

    I see the reasons and you have to say that they are very good at what they are doing, I'm no fan of apple, as a company they are complete *******s. but they are smart none the less.

    I may be mistaken but doesn't British law include bonus pater familias, unlike US law where nothing is ever your own fault.
     
  3. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    They probably are. The 3G uses a Lithium Ion Polymer battery. Yes, it looks like a bag of gel if you want to be that untechnical about it. The first gen MBA also uses a Li-Po battery, but from what I can tell from the teardown photos, the polymer cells are contained within fireproof material designed for lithium batteries. If the battery in the new generation MBA really is made up of Lithium Ion Polymer cells, then they must have found a way to make them safer and also...

    What he said.

    What? *hangs and shakes head*
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2010
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  4. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    On a MBP you can. But due to the alu unibody, the "simple plate" is the bottom panel. I upgraded my RAM this week (8GB rocks!) and it took 2 minutes tops to upgrade. It would have been quicker but you have to take your time when you've got three year old twins looking over your shoulder!
     
  5. Jehla

    Jehla Member

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    "Wait! Explodes if hitted in the right place, and airport safe? All in a white an shiny exterior?"

    "Could this not be an issue if the casae gets a bit too much pressue over the battery?"

    I'm not saying you should not mod it, just that I would not worry about it blowing up if you knock the laptop with it's case on.
     
  6. Optimaximal

    Optimaximal New Member

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    Wait a sec, i'm an Apple hater (whatever one of those is), yet you basically agreed a few posts later with someone who essentially said the same thing?

    Grow the **** up.
     
  7. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    You'll notice that there is a very distinct difference between preventing users from opening a device, and making a device which has no practical purpose for being opened. Your post was arguing for the former, while Unicorn agrees with the latter.

    You effectively said that the product was made purposefully dangerous to tamper with as an attempt to keep people from opening the case. An applicable term would be "booby trapped".

    What Unicorn agrees with is that there is no legitimate reason to a user to open it in the first place, so the danger of the contents is irrelevant provided it poses no threat during normal operation. The design saves them space and increases the effectiveness of the product while doing no harm during intended operation, so they use it. Not some secret plot by Steve Jobs to harm those who try to steal his magic smoke.
     
  8. barndoor101

    barndoor101 Bring back the demote thread!

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    shouldnt that be iSmoke?
     
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  9. eternum

    eternum *blam* shotgun fanhole

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    Oh hi Mac Fanboi. Welcome to bit-tech. Your arrogance is well... predictable.

    Obviously. Including you, since you could only conjecture later that it was similar to the 3g battery, and then make a speculative guess based on... nothing, that they found a way to make them safer. It's a battery in a device that is not meant to be opened except for service by a trained technician who is provided with a plexiglass plate to cover said battery while he works. It is obviously unsafe while the case is open, and the case is obviously not intended to be opened by the end-user at all. Obviously.

    Which would be... oh yeah, you don't know what type they're using. It must be superior to other types however, since Apple wouldn't dare sully their devices with the same barbaric and crude technology as other companies.

    Ok, I understand you really, really like Apple products, but you either have a woeful lack of understanding of ballistics, or are taking the piss. I really don't think that there is any reason at all to assume that the type of battery in the MBA (which you could only guess at) is actually bullet-proof. I guess those plexiglass covers that Apple issued to their repair centers are just there to make it look pretty while the techs work on the laptop - it is a Mac, after all. That being said, I applaud your unswerving confidence in these new(?) batteries (that you don't know the specifics of). Seriously, man? Talk about fanboi Bull****

    I'm not a Mac hater, BTW. I think they are fine machines - easy to use, trim and streamlined software, and generally quite usable. They are also generally priced 1.5x to 2x what they are worth. Of course, I hadn't taken into account the *cough* bullet-proofing...
     
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  10. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    Looking at the pictures at http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Air-11-Inch-Model-A1370-Teardown/3745/1 I notice something very interesting, they are li-ion polymer batteries... this gives me the notion that the batteries on the MBA are more dangerous than the batteries on my laptop.

    Yes it is a nice machine, but i would really hate it if those batteries were hit... or the aluminium bottom was hit thus squeezing the batteries...

    I am not an Apple hater, I consider their hardware very interesting and very beautiful and as any hardware maker they have their flaws and I personally consider the MBA battery a really bad thing.
     
  11. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    I admire people who mod, but don't cry when the thing breaks.
     
  12. morris8809

    morris8809 Member

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    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Unicorn
    The "protective casing" on other laptop batteries which use more volatile chemistries is only there because those are inferior to whatever type Apple are using here. I'm willing to bet that I could shoot a MBA battery whilst it was being over charged and it still wouldn't make a difference.

    ^^ Why don't you go do that? Let me know how it comes out.
     
  13. desertstalker

    desertstalker Member

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    Is it just me or are those flat cells suspiciously LiPo like, you know the sort that get put in RC planes, helicopters and cars and hardly ever explode... Just dont stab them with a screwdriver and you'll be fine.
     
  14. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

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    @desertstalker: you mean the ones that most people charge within a cinder-block, as they're rather prone to catastrophic failure with even the slightest bit of over-charging (or charging too quickly)? The few times I've looked at upgrading my Revo to LiPO I've been warned and shown examples of exploded batteries, so I'll hazard a guess that they're a rather "touchy" technology. They also typically are housed within a rather tough exterior casing, which is a good chunk of metal to prevent puncture or deformation.
     
  15. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    I will take you up on that bet. You don't have to shoot it though - just stick a screwdriver through it. I'm willing to bet my new i5 system that it WILL "make a difference", especially if you do it while it's "being over charged"
     
  16. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    To clarify the discussion about LiPoly-batteries I've found a nice guide how to handle them on a RC-forum.
    Note however, that this guide is back from 2005 and does only speak about LiPoly-batteries using gel or fluids.

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209187

    The most modern LiPoly-batteries (introduced in 2010) use dry polymers instead of gel or fluid and can be manufactured in 1mm-thickness.
    They are not prone to the above mentioned failures and risks anymore due to the lack of material that can evaporate, but are less effective aswell.

    So the only question that remains is, what type of LiPoly-batteries are used.
     
  17. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Uni... stop the fanboy-bashing while acting like a fanboy yourself. :nono:

    I don't see what the problem is, to be honest. People who open notebooks should always be careful, right? I mean, if they don't they break something and that's most likely expensive. Now stop crying about Apple being a threat to humanity or people who say that Apple's moves are (sometimes) hard to understand being PC fanboys... grow up.

    /rant
     
  18. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    I've never owned a Mac computer in my life and my comment was totally justifiable. He made a brash, blatantly arrogant comment which made absolutely no sense in any context and I am sick to death of people hating Apple computers or Apple products or Apple as a company and not actually having any good reason for it. In my opinion, you cannot hate something for the sake of it... and I hear very few reasonable explations for all the "I hate Apple" comments flying around this forum all the time. I build and work on computers for a living - in a way, Apple are competition for me, but I have as much respect for them as I have any other company. I actually like their products, their technologies and where they are taking the computer industry as a whole. I'm no fanboy though.


    You need to read what I said more carefully. I don't know what battery is used in the new generation MBA, but the older generation MBA - as stated in the official Apple environmental report for that product - uses Lithium Ion polymer batteries. I speculate that they are using Lithium Polymer batteries because that is the only type of battery that I know of in existence which can be used in that sort of application. My speculative guess that they have found some way to make them safer was not as speculative as you may think. I have been involved in Radio Control as a hobby for about 5 or 6 years, and in that time the development of battery chemistries and Lithium battery safety has come a long, long way. The bigger companies who produce racing packs for brushless cars, planes and helicopters have spent a lot of time and money making the most efficient (power:weight) power source for RC vehicles much safer and more stable. Most modern Li-Po packs are now manufactured with several layers of fireproof material as the outer skin and are safe enough to be used without hard shells.


    Wow, really? We need some [sarcasm] tags in this thread I believe... I actually was taking the piss.
    You just lost the game.

    They are not more dangerous than the batteries in your laptop. Even if we could say with absolute certainty that they are li-ion Polymer batteries and Apple are using the same type of cells as they put in the iPhone back in 2007 - why is there such an uproar about this now? Can nobody see that this entire thing is a pointless argument and that HardMac have just stirred the pot for nothing? I think this was just a "give us more hits please" article to be brutally honest. I've been working with Lithium cells using different chemistries for years and years. I know most of the risks that are associated with them, I know how to avoid those risks, I know how difficult it is to make Li-Ion batteries actually dangerous and volatile and I know how stupid and careless you would have to be to actually cause a fire by mistreating them. This whole article has caused even more unnecessary bad publicity for Lithium batteries and Apple notebooks and there was absolutely no need for it.

    Learn how to quote. Please.

    There are plenty of studies and demonstrations which prove that safe Lithium Polymer batteries which can withstand major trauma like puncturing, crushing or tearing without catching fire have been developed and are in existence.

    I'm not bashing fanboys and I'm not acting like one either. You couldn't have gotten this more backwards. Go back and :read:
     
  19. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Well, this has been informative.

    And people can be idiots. "No user serviceable parts inside" is obviously not a clue. So we have microwaves that have to be explicit about not drying your pet poodle in it and coffee cups explicitly stating that the coffee is hot. Idiocracy, anyone?

    Now people are warned not to try and open an Airbook because it may damage the batteries. Like people have been warned not to sit on their iPhone 4 or drop it on a hard surface because the high-tensile scratch-proof glass may break. Gosh, Apple sure makes crap products if they can't cope with being crowbarred open, dropped from a height, sat on, dunked in water, driven over... or perhaps contrary to what Apple hateboys suggest, Apple products are just not targeted at idiots.

    MmmyeahOK. Modding is always at your own risk. You are taking delicate electronics beyond the envelope of their normal use and limits of normal operation. If it blows up in your face you entirely have yourself to blame. Stop being pussies.

    My point exactly. Independent research by a mobile devices insurance company showed that Apple iPhones have the most reliable batteries on the market. Even the old Edge models are still fully functional. Right up to upgrading my 3G earlier this year its battery was just fine. So for starters I have to question why your colleague felt the need to change his.

    Anyway, you whack a screw driver through it. You mean a metal screwdriver? One that perchance caused a short in the battery and a massive electrical discharge? Just sayin'.
     
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  20. billysielu

    billysielu Member

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    Could even go as far as to call Apple "irresponsible".
     
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