Author Topic: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?  (Read 1260 times)

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Offline tggzzz

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Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« on: February 10, 2020, 10:11:34 pm »
Does anyone know of couriers that allow NiCds inside equipment to be shipped?

I'd like to sell a rather nice Tektronix 1502 TDR, the same type as discussed here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/rf-microwave/tdr-for-measuring-cablesconnectors-what-is-it-worth-to-radio-hams/msg1014762/#msg1014762

Now it contains 9 NiCd cells in a battery, which allows it to be used literally in a field. The design is such that it will not function on mains unless the battery is working. (Some people claim capacitors and resistors can mimic a battery, but I've found that unreliable at best). I've replaced the original leaking cells with new NiCd cells.

Now unless I specify "collection only" which indirectly limits the price, I will have to use a courier for shipping. But many couriers don't like batteries, for understandable reasons.

For example, Royal Mail has four categories, and ParcelForce is similar...
  • Batteries that are classified as dangerous goods and certain used batteries
    (including wet spillable lead acid/lead alkaline batteries (such as car batteries), used alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd), zinc-air batteries, solo lithium batteries, power banks and damaged batteries of any type)
    Prohibited
  • Batteries, specifically new alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd), zinc-air and zinc chloride
    Packaging guidelines: Must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging. Surround with cushioning material e.g. bubble wrap.
    Allowed
  • Batteries, specifically new and used lithium batteries when not sent with or connected to an electronic device
    (including power banks)
    Prohibited
  • Batteries - new wet, non-spillable (e.g. sealed lead acid batteries, absorbed glass mat and gel cell batteries)
    Packaging guidelines: No more than one battery in any one parcel. Maximum weight 1.5kg. Item must be protected against short circuit (by insulation of exposed terminals) and securely packaged. Package must be marked. “NOT RESTRICTED” and “SPA67 / SP238”.
    Allowed in UK, prohibited internationally

The battery does fit category 1, which is no good.
Since I've rebuilt the battery, it cannot fit category 2 :(
Category 3 is ambiguous, since they aren't lithium and are connected to a device.
Category 4 is probably not for NiCds, since they aren't wet.

So, does anyone know of couriers that allow NiCds inside equipment to be shipped internally in the UK and/or internationally?

I'm not interested in "ignore regs and ship it anyway" comments, thanks!

Yes, I could discharge each cell individually so it wouldn't cause a fire. But I doubt that subtlety would cut much ice.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 10:25:51 pm by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 10:20:20 pm »
I don't see how any of the regulations applies to NiCd batteries inside a device. Especially since the device has been designed to use NiCd batteries. IMHO you are misunderstanding the regulations; the regulations are about seperate battery cells and not about batteries mounted inside a device. How else would they deliver any laptop, cordless drill, etc, etc??? IOW: just send it.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 10:25:35 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 10:22:29 pm »
I don't see how any of the regulations applies to NiCd batteries inside a device. Especially since the device has been designed to use NiCd batteries. I'd just send it.

Why doesn't category 1 apply?
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 10:25:55 pm »
See the edit I just made.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline TopLoser

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 10:28:59 pm »
No restrictions at all pertaining to nicads within equipment. Li-Ion within equipment gets a specific mention (even then basically no restrictions), but not nicad.

Ship it, no restriction.


For those playing along at home:
https://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/royal-mail-prohibited-and-restricted-items-may-01-2018--23745440.pdf
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 10:33:07 pm by TopLoser »
 

Offline alextwin007

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 10:41:01 pm »
I don't know much about regulations, but I don know that with LiIon there are different restrictions for inside a device and outside of a device. 

I also received a Sony/Tek 323 in the mail and I don't think that there was any special shipping that was necessary, at least I didn't pay a lot of shipping that would have indicated special shipping was necessary.

Kinda disappointed that you are in the UK, because I would be interested in the 1501 depending on the price. just noticed it's a 1502 not 1501
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 10:45:21 pm by alextwin007 »
Having a test equipment addiction is difficult when you don't have a lot of room.  The solution, only collect small adorable test equipment.

Looking for a tek 1401 / 1401A, if you have one message me
 

Offline aix

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 07:29:35 am »
The regulations you quote apply to "Batteries not connected to or posted with the device it is intended to power" (emphasis mine).

Source: https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/96/~/prohibited-and-restricted-items
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 08:31:17 am »
The regulations you quote apply to "Batteries not connected to or posted with the device it is intended to power" (emphasis mine).

Source: https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/96/~/prohibited-and-restricted-items

Excellent. Thanks for spotting that :)

Part of my attitude is conditioned by experiences from 40 years ago. I had to take a NiCd powered optical attenuation test set by air as hand baggage, and the regulations were that the cells had to be discharged.

Lithiums are worse than NiCds; I don't know what they would do if someone's phone ignited while aloft. I suspect dump it in a heatproof sealed container.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2020, 09:55:29 am »
That statement does imply you can send batteries contained within equipment or shipped with associated equipment.
But thats so vague.
Cant they just clearly state cell types / max number of cells / max Wh that can be shipped within equipment   |O
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2020, 11:16:13 am »
Lithiums are worse than NiCds; I don't know what they would do if someone's phone ignited while aloft. I suspect dump it in a heatproof sealed container.
Nope. A bucket of water.
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2020, 06:20:07 pm »
Lithiums are worse than NiCds; I don't know what they would do if someone's phone ignited while aloft. I suspect dump it in a heatproof sealed container.
Nope. A bucket of water.

Or stick it between two slices of bread...

Can't be worse than a lot of airline food!
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2020, 09:24:30 pm »
I've been having another look at this, and have found a couple of relevant US-centric documents.

https://www.prba.org/wp-content/uploads/Overview-of-Battery-Transport-Regulations.pdf contains statements to the effect that:
"Dry cell" batteries, such as alkaline, nickel cadmium, and carbon zinc are not listed as hazardous materials or dangerous goods in the U.S. and international regulations. However, don't let them overheat!

There is no official definition of what constitutes a “dry cell” battery. However, the U.S. DOT has issued numerous interpretation letters over the years confirming that alkaline and nickel cadmium batteries as “dry cell batteries. (See http://phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/Interpretations/2011/110313.pdf )
 
That link is dead, but googling reveals a "legacy" document https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/sites/phmsa.dot.gov/files/legacy/interpretations/Interpretations/2011/110313.pdf which contains statements to the effect that:
Common dry batteries (as in class "Batteries, dry, sealed, nos") include alkaline, zinc carbon, NiMH, NiCd. These batteries are distinct from "Batteries, wet, non-spillable" and "Batteries, dry, containing potassium hydroxide solis"

So, it looks like it is OK to ship NiCds in a sane safe way.

For the avoidance of doubt, lithium batteries are classed differently and must be treated very differently; they have caused loss of aircraft, unfortunately.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 09:26:20 pm by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2020, 11:03:42 pm »
Lithiums are worse than NiCds; I don't know what they would do if someone's phone ignited while aloft. I suspect dump it in a heatproof sealed container.
Nope. A bucket of water.
Nope to your “Nope”. They have special lithium battery fire containment bags:

https://qz.com/809827/airlines-including-delta-dal-are-using-containment-bags-after-smartphone-fires/

https://www.newtex.com/nes/fire-containment-bags

These have become standard equipment on passenger aircraft, as I understand it.
 

Offline jake111

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Re: Do any carriers allow NiCd cells to be shipped in equipment?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2020, 06:19:55 am »
Restrictions?  None if you're from China!  I got an iPhone battery in a bubble pack a couple years ago.  They just tossed the battery in the bubble pack, and it must have gotten crushed during shipping.  It burned through the package on both sides of the battery.  US postal service delivered the package with the burnt holes without even a note.  Hilarious.
 
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