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Batteries Caused AT&T VRAD Explosion
AT&T still exploring exactly why...
by Karl Bode 09:11AM Friday Aug 10 2007
Light Reading reports that AT&T is still on the case of the exploding DSLAM, which sent shrapnel hurtling some fifty feet away and scorched some properties in the Houston suburbs last October.
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quote:
"Our investigation is focused on the batteries, which were previously supplied by Avestor, a company that went out of business," an AT&T spokesman writes in an email sent to Light Reading last week. "As a result of Avestor's closing, we turned to three other battery manufacturers with whom we already had a relationship."
While Avestor filed for bankruptcy in October 2006 and closed shortly thereafter, there's apparently still 17,000 Avestor batteries deployed in cabinets throughout AT&T's network (more photos here).

"At this point, we have not concluded that the Avestor batteries pose any threat to the public or our employees," says AT&T.

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inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

1 edit

shrapnel 50 feet is not a threat?

Maybe in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, but here shrapnel is not an every day occurance. Miniature car bombs in everyone's front yard? ATT is a terrorist!
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"

supergirl

join:2007-03-20
Pensacola, FL

Re: shrapnel 50 feet is not a threat?

Gee, I guess AT&T shouldn't have bought all those DELL Laptop batteries they recalled and refurbished, huh?

FicmanS
Premium
join:2005-01-11
Brownsburg, IN
Have we confirmed it was not a WMD?

Somebody call W and get a crew out there...LOL

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Attacking Americans

I wonder if the houses affected by the explosion were those of Pearl Jam fans.
--
Only SHATNER is Kirk.

KA3SGM
- -... ...- -
Premium
join:2006-01-17
West Chester, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Cricket Broadband
·Verizon FiOS

Warning, This V-Rad Will Self Destruct In 5-Seconds....

Maybe it wasn't the batteries.

Could just be that someone didn't want a refrigerator sized box sitting in their front yard, and finally found a way to...um, eliminate it???

Didn't they have a nut job driving around Australia a few months back with a tank??

The guy was knocking over cell phone towers, because apparently his Tin-Foil hat was not protecting him from the cosmic rays well enough???
--
We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat !!
MADx

join:2005-05-25
Richmond, IN

Bad batteries?

Why is AT&T still using the battery of a company that went out of business? It always takes some type of embarrassment our injury for a company to get their sh** together. What ever happen to safety first.

Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL

1 recommendation

Re: Bad batteries?

Why would a company replace a battery that, as far as they know is perfectly good, just because the manufacturer went under? If your shoe company went bankrupt would you just go out and by new shoes?
jkb246

join:2000-03-18
Carmel, IN

Re: Bad batteries?

I would because i couldn't trust those dr sams vs the dr schols

Heterman
Premium
join:2004-02-28
Fayetteville, AR
Because Sir, safety has never been first. Ever.

phattieg

join:2001-04-29
Winter Park, FL

Re: Bad batteries?

said by Heterman:

Because Sir, safety has never been first. Ever.
Bull crap. Anyone with a brain, who has read the warnings on a car battery, and knows a little about electronics knows that a battery that is charging emits HYDROGEN GAS. Hydrogen gas is HIGHLY explosive. Something in that cabinet had to spark, causing the hydrogen gas to explode. The REAL questions are A) what caused the spark, and B) why in the hell are the batteries in the same cabinet as the damn electrical equipment? Those batteries should have been stored in the power distribution box, away from the telephone crap. I myself would consider the fact that some jack ass may have a telephone that could have shorted out perhaps. Think about it, these boxes serve customers who are not very far from the box at all. Less length on the loop means greater possiblity of a short in someones loop to this DSLAM. Oh well, thats just my take on the situation. Nice to see the melted fiber line. This is a perfect example of me taking up for AT&T's decision to continue to use this bankrupt companies batteries, and to continue installing their VRAD based service for those of you that thing I only defend Comcast because I'm a "fanboy".

Sorry to hear that this kind of issue happened. Hopefully, going forward there will be no more incidents like this one.
--
SIPPhone/Gizmo # 17476200648 / PIMPNET Chatline / Ran by Asterisk & Slackware 10.1.
Devistater

join:2004-02-13
Clovis, CA

Re: Bad batteries?

The batteries were likely there so that if the power goes out, your phone doesn't also die
Those kinda boxes are usually small and self contained, so it wouldn't make sense to move the batteries elsewhere outside of it.

Note: I've never seen the inside of any of those and I dont work for a phone company, so this is just my 2 cents and a little logical reasoning.

Heterman
Premium
join:2004-02-28
Fayetteville, AR
Ok then, you tell me why ATT decided to put those batteries in the cabinet with the electrical equipment.

I'll give you a hint, the first character is a $.
NightHawke

join:2002-02-28
Rockport, TX
They need to be also checking on the state of their UPS modules too. It probably was malfunctioning, pumping raw amperage into the batt, causing it to boil and crack it's water into oxygen and hydrogen. One spark and BLOOEY! Scratch one VRAD.

If the UPS was tapping into the battery too much, for instance, pulling power from it due to the main taps not suppling enough juice, it can put a strain on them that way too.

Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2

Typical

Sure is easy to blame the company that went out of business. Typical workplace move: blame the guy that isn't there.
bamabrad

join:2006-01-27
Port Orange, FL

A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

There has to be other interjectors added to the equation to make this happen.

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

uh yeah...tell that to dell and sony.
bamabrad

join:2006-01-27
Port Orange, FL

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

Did they blow up"?

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

said by bamabrad:

Did they blow up"?
Yup.
bamabrad

join:2006-01-27
Port Orange, FL

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

If I remember correctly, the batteries your are talking about overheated-am I wrong?

AnonProxy
Premium
join:2001-05-12
Just because some news reader doesn't know the difference between deflagrate and explode doesn't mean it exploded.
Those batteries in the Dell deflagrated, and did not explode.
bamabrad

join:2006-01-27
Port Orange, FL

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

Deflagration "caused a house to shake"?

AnonProxy
Premium
join:2001-05-12

1 recommendation

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

I am talking about the news report about the Dell Batteries, not the VRAD. Note the post and replies...all sub to the Tell that to Dell and Sony post. The Vrad batteries seem to have exploded, the Dell and Sony Bats did not.
bamabrad

join:2006-01-27
Port Orange, FL
Sounds like to me that the explosive gases from the (over?)charged battery was not properly vented and a spark from inside the cabinet set off the gases-to cause an explosion of this magnitude.

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

1 recommendation

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

you sound like an insurance adjuster. To the person who had something blow up they could give a shit as to the mechanics....the result is something FUCKING BLEW UP!
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"
bamabrad

join:2006-01-27
Port Orange, FL

1 recommendation

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

I never stated that they didn't blow up- just that there had to be other things involved-and on a personal note - is it really necessary to curse to get your point across?

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

said by bamabrad:

is it really necessary to curse to get your point across?
yes, now thank you please drive through.

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

ME-OW!

Sharpening your claws there, catty??

AnonProxy
Premium
join:2001-05-12
He's just discussing a topic, it is possible to do so without calling names, cursing, and being "snarky".
bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus
said by inteller:

you sound like an insurance adjuster. To the person who had something blow up they could give a shit as to the mechanics....the result is something FUCKING BLEW UP!
Contrary to what you so eloquently stated here, most people want to know what happened so it doesn't happen again. You know what happens, you can take steps to fix them problem.
--
Prove it...
Save the Internet Time (NTP) service, use the pool.
vinnie97
Premium
join:2003-12-05
US
kudos:1
living up to your avatar, I see.
davl

join:2006-01-28
Furlong, PA
Yep, I have experienced that gas build up. Back in the late 60s when rechargeable electric toothbrushes were new, I purchased one and had the the brush end blow off when I turned it on. Fortunately it was not in my mouth at the time. That hydrogen is powerful stuff.

Raptor
Not a Dumptruck

join:2001-10-21
London, ON
It does seem quite convenient that they place the blame on a non-existent company. Easy for them....hmmm.
--
....where's my fiber?
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

3 edits
Avestor batteries are not your run of the mill sealed lead acid battery.

My company tested a few of these for use in our UPS products a couple years ago.

I believe they were some lithium-ion technology.

Edit: They were Lithium-Metal-Polymer (LMP) batteries. (we still have a couple in the lab)

I also remember that each "battery" was a cell pack that output 48 volts and had an integrated microprocessor controlled "smart" charger with full communications. It's strange seeing a com port on the side of a battery.

Lots of stuff in there to go wrong.

LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

Re: A battery doesn't "just blow up"-

Yeah, we looked at them, as well, because of their light weight... But the more we looked, the less we liked.

Integrated heaters, because the internal temperature of the batteries had to be held at 94 degrees or something like that. Very impressive, but not mature technology, either - we opted to strengthen the floor, and go with good old VRLAs... 56,000lbs of them!

Laz
ShadezeRO

join:2006-04-24
Fort Lauderdale, FL

It's a Sign

I think it's a sign. ATT needs to stop placing VRADS, and go straight FTTH!

hehe, I just felt like starting the whole debate again. If i didn't say it, someone else would have!

odreian615

join:2006-01-18
Chicago, IL

Re: It's a Sign

You sir wins the thread

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

BBR member done it

I still say one of whinny cry babies on here did it. With all the hate propaganded from here, it wouldnt surprise me.
bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus

Re: BBR member done it

said by ninjatutle:

I still say one of whinny cry babies on here did it. With all the hate propaganded from here, it wouldnt surprise me.
I was thinking it was more likely one of their customers...

"What do you mean I can't watch the football game in HD while the wife is watching her romance movies in HD ?!? F#%$!!!"
--
Prove it...
Save the Internet Time (NTP) service, use the pool.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
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1 recommendation

co-location

Hmm.. you might not want to build a bridge, or for that matter a daycare center within pitching distance of at&t's VRAD's..

What was that slogan again?

Your world, delivered?, What? by IED?!

AT&T redefines the IED:

Improvised Explosive DSL!
Impressive Exploding Data
Iraqi Expatriated Downgrade

I have more, but I'll give everyone a chance to tear AT&T a new one for this fiasco..

••••

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

PON anyone?

Passive Optical Networks do not require batteries.
ScrawnyB

join:2004-05-18
Carlisle, PA
kudos:1

Durka Durka

Wait wait... so AT&T plays both sides of the field?

They [can?] spy on you without warrants...
and... now they are terrorists?

Oh my, AT&T... you really are putting the 'Death' in the 'Death Star' that you have (re)become.
--
Home: Verizon DSL @ 3Mbit/768Kbit [29.95/mo]
Dorm: AtlanticBB Cable @ 5Mbit/512Kbit [44.95/mo]
SlyM_

join:2002-07-19
Etobicoke, ON

doesn't make sense

Lithium doesn't 'explode', it reacts with air and burns. Thats weird. I bet some dumbass kid stuck an M80 in or on the DSLAM, blew the box up, and in the process ruptured the Li-ion cells and started the subsequent fire.

wilbilt
Pronto Resurrected
Premium
join:2004-01-11
Oroville, CA

Gassing Batteries?

Maybe overheated/overcharged and gassing? Explosive vapors ignited by a stray spark?

Fire Marshal Bill Burns could tell us what happened.
--
We were taking a vote when the ground came up and hit us.

No_Competition

@verizon.net

If you build it, we blow it up!

This is a warning to the competition-- do not build your network beside ours or we'll blow ours up and take you down with us!

/sarcasm, however.. knowing telcos it isn't far from the tree mentality of the good old Ma Bell, old AT&T days-- of course, back then there really was no competition. Nobody would dare.

Cudadown

@sbc.com

Exploding Vrad

No it was not a kid with a M80. Vrad cabinets are very heavy steal. The door, if taken off its hinge, weighs upwards of 100 pounds. Also, The cabinet is divided into 3 chambers; 1 for the fiber loop and splices along with copper pairs from xbox. Another chamber houses the actual electronics cards and modules. A chamber in the bottom of the Vrad which is isolated from the electronics houses the 3 battery strings. Each battery is a 24 volt Avestor with lighting protection in a separate module. the battery compartment even has its own cooling fans. The whole thing is triple grounding to the earth, the xbox and the power pedestal which is 18" from the Vrad.

Anyone have any questions regarding the build of Lightspeed (Vrad) systems as far as the construction side.. send me a note to knockballs@yahoo.com. I am a at&t engineer wno is currently involved with the Uverse build up in SE Mich.
RichE0

join:2004-04-15
Madison, WI

an explosive issue

I'm not a techie, so please walk me through this.

Are we talking about the same kind of batteries that started laptops on fire?

If so, what did the laptop companies do?

And (drum roll, please) what will AT&T do?