A narrow escape!

I think I narrowly avoided a battery fire or explosion in the shack this morning. For the last 18 months or so I have been using my old HTC Touch 2 smartphone as my 2m APRS iGate (I hated it as a phone.) All that time it has been sitting in the desktop cradle talking to my Kenwood TM-D710 TNC via a Bluetooth connection and providing a 24/7 gateway that is silent (unlike my PC) and uses less power.

This morning Colin M0XSD sent me an APRS message and I took the phone out of the cradle so I could use its keyboard to reply. I noticed that it felt quite hot. After about 5 minutes conversation the battery died. Having been on permanent charge that should not have happened.

My dead Touch 2 battery – can you see the bulge?

I took the still warm Li-Ion battery out of the phone and noticed there was a distinct bulge on both sides of the casing. So I suppose that it was on the way to exploding or catching fire. Unfortunately the phone won’t work with the battery removed and powered only from the desktop cradle. So my G4ILO-2 iGate is off the air. I will think again about the wisdom using a permanently-charged smartphone as an iGate in the future!

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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