Li-ion Battery Charger and Laptops

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by iONic, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. iONic

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
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    OK... I am planning on checking out a Dell forum, maybe even their "knowledgeable" tech support concerning my questions, but I thought I'd get some "non-insider" opinions.

    My niece has a new Dell Inspirion that she has dad for about 6 months. The battery is dead, reading 0%. She almost exclusively uses the power cord.
    Dell tech support has told her that you can not keep the battery connected to the computer and not use it or it will have memory effects and discharge and kill the battery. Personally I think with Li-ion batteries this news is popycock, but I am here to get another opinion. First off I think that some, if not all the charging circuitry is included in the battery pack. And if not there it is in the computer. An I would also assume that this circuitry bears some resemblance to the external charging units in that they first by charging to the full and then maintaining a safe trickle charge, one that will not damage the battery.

    Q1: does the battery pack have the complete charge management system.
    Q2: will li-ion batteries have memory effects and die being permanently connected to the charging system.

    While diagnosing her computer the bad battery was indeed at 0% charge and not charging. I took the battery out and turned the computer on. Then I checked the power cord out, bending, twiddling and although there was some cracks near the reinforced input connector, the computer remained on and did not flinch. So I put the new battery in that Dell sent us. The battery monitor icon registered the battery, stated it was at 38%, and that it was NOT Charging!.

    Now given my uncertainty with the charge management system I am not sure if the computer has an issue or the new replacement battery circuitry is faulty. By the way, the computer did run on the new battery and the % charge did decrease, but the battery still did not charge with power attached.

    Q:3 Given what you know, do you think it is a faulty computer, or faulty battery?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  2. urefowei

    New Member

    Nov 28, 2008
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    something might be wrong with the charger and not the battery
     
  3. iONic

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
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    In other words you believe the charge management circuitry is in the computer and not the battery pack.

    I know that I have taken a couple Dell battery packs apart and found not only heat sensors but a fair amount of circuitry, IC's... as well. Can't remember the IC part numbers. This was not the case in older IBM battery packs that I have dismantled.
     
  4. Externet

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 29, 2005
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    Seems to me the wall adapter is fine, the batteries are both fine, the charging path fuse or contact inside the laptop is kaput.
    The charging management is inside the battery packs, the laptop only conveys the path from the wall adapter. No, the batteries should not die/memory anything by letting them long time plugged to AC, that is what the circuitry inside the packs manage.
    Dismantling the laptop to confirm continuity is to be done with the disassembly manual, usually available on the net.

    Miguel
     
  5. iONic

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
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    This is the same conclusion I have been coming to the same conclusion. It's a good thing that the computer is under warranty as I am not a pro at messin' with such small surface-mount components.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  6. Externet

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 29, 2005
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    I will feel better if I make a correction...:(
    The first battery pack MAY be bad if caused the fuse or whatever to fail in the laptop.
    Miguel
     
  7. iONic

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
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    I was pretty much writing that battery off anyway, but may still sneak a peek inside and maybe try to jump-start them...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
  8. iONic

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
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    Well, to continue the saga:

    My niece returned from college with her laptop.I took a Valium and called Dell tech support. They said the power supply was the issue and sent a new one to us via overnight shipping. My skepticism was well founded as I pugged the new power supply into the laptop, connected the battery and turned the laptop on.

    Again I received the battery information stating that the battery was 34% and NOT Charging. Tomorrow after a lengthy HDD regeneration process on a 300GB HDD I will follow the above procedure once again. I wonder what they will come up with next.

    Now to top it all off when I called Dell again regarding the new power supply the battery began to charge just fine.

    Wacky!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
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