Portable Tools Charging Trend

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
Hello,

I just picked up a beard trimmer and found that it had an Li-ion battery in it rather than the old NiCd type they used to use. This is interesting and very good for consumers for a couple reasons.

First, the device runs well on these types of cells, and second the charging regimen for Li-ion cells is such that it forces the manufacturer to develop a charger that terminates the charge at some point and therefore does not keep constantly charging the cells over and over again and thus causing the cells to prematurely fail. So they are forced to charge these cells correctly and that means they will look good in the long run because they appear to have developed a good product. So everybody wins. I see this in portable drills too and as the cell prices come down we will see mostly these kinds of cells in everything i think.

This particular product was a low end model and although the build quality seems good it doesnt have a charging indicator. That was a mistake i think because the user can not tell if the charger is doing anything once it is plugged in. Everything else i have like this as least has one little LED that tells you that the charger is plugged in even if it does not tell you the charge state, and most things i have has at least some indication of what the charge state is. One such device has four tiny LEDs that indicate zero, 25, 50, 75, or 100 percent charge state. But even an LED that goes off when the charge is complete is good. This trimmer has none of that though, so checking it with the power meter i can see that ti really does work and turns off when the charge is complete.

I was thinking of making a wall wart adapter that accept the connector from the wall wart (looks like a 3mm power type) and plugs into the tool, and has a single LED in it to indicate that the charger is plugged in. I'll probably have to order the connectors though as i dont think i have any of that type only the 2mm type.

But anyway, the trend to use Li-ion seems to be a good thing in this world where many new products have a down side to them as well as being improved in some way.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,179
Some have a very small Red/Green LED. Red to tell you it is charging and Green to tell you it is fully charged. Unfortunately, they are too tiny for my colorblind eyes to get enough saturation to tell which color they are...
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
Some have a very small Red/Green LED. Red to tell you it is charging and Green to tell you it is fully charged. Unfortunately, they are too tiny for my colorblind eyes to get enough saturation to tell which color they are...
Hi,

If you can replace it with a single color LED it would then be on/off so you could probably then tell the difference much easier.
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
11,975
Unfortunately, they are too tiny for my colorblind eyes to get enough saturation to tell which color they are...
I have the same problem with tiny LEDs. Since about 1 in 7 of the male population (only 1 in 2000 of the female population) has defective colour vision and red/green distinction is a common problem, it's a pity that blue isn't used more often as an indicator.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
191
I have the same problem with tiny LEDs. Since about 1 in 7 of the male population (only 1 in 2000 of the female population) has defective colour vision and red/green distinction is a common problem, it's a pity that blue isn't used more often as an indicator.
Filtering white light with a blue filter is pretty inefficient so blue filters were rarely used for old-school indicators and Blue LEDs were the last color to be widely available so, again, not many common indicators for Blue colored light.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
Or just clip the green lead. No biggie, I just give it time to charge...
Oh yes at least you have SOME indication it is charging i have no way to know, just yet.

But are you saying your device has 2 distinct LEDs or is it one bi color LED?
If it is 2 physical LEDs you could just mark one as the termination LED, but if it is bi color then you may not be able to clip a lead depending on which type of bi color LED it is. If it is a three lead LED you can clip one lead, but if it is a two lead LED then you can not clip one lead. The 3 lead types of course have one common anode (or cathode) and two separate leads for each color, but the 2 lead types have anit parallel connected LEDs one green and one red so if you cut one lead you of course kill the entire LED.
On the other hand, if you could find a trace going to the LED (most likely it is on a circuit board) you could cut the trace and insert a Schottky diode which would allow conduction in only one direction so only one color would appear. Alternately if you feel confident enough you can solder a regular Si diode across the two LED leads and that would short one LED inside there out meaning only one color would light. That could damage the circuitry though in some cases.

What would be ideal for my case where there is no LED would be to get two mating connectors so i can plug a current monitor circuit inline with the charger wall wart. The charger only draws current when the device is charging the internal cell(s) so i could have an LED light when it is detecting a current. I checked the wall wart with a watt meter and was surprised to see that the entire wall wart only consumes 0.9 watts when charging the cell but 0.0 watts (to within the resolution of the meter which is 0.1 watts) when it is not charging. I would have suspected the charger to draw more current when it is not charging but then again i forgot that the new trend in chargers is to go with a regulared charger which has more sophisticated circuitry where it can actual draw very little current when not in use but still plugged in. The only wall warts had a 50/60Hz transformer that would always draw current with or without a load.

Whatever you get around to doing, if anything, would be interesting to hear about too.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
I have the same problem with tiny LEDs. Since about 1 in 7 of the male population (only 1 in 2000 of the female population) has defective colour vision and red/green distinction is a common problem, it's a pity that blue isn't used more often as an indicator.
My power pack has 4 tiny tiny LED's on it that are used to indicate charge state. I can see them but wow ware they tiny tiny. The color of all four of them is blue.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
I recommend the Andis T-Outliner Lithium.

Shave, cut hair or whatever. The battery lasts forever.
I'll take a look but i just purchased this one not sure if i want to buy another one right away. This one also has hair attachments for trimming hair also. It works very well for a 20 dollar (USD) device in the USA i was surprised at the build quality itself and the power in cutting beard hair as my hair is very thick.
It also has self sharpening blades and oil-less operation (no oiling required).
They may two more higher grade devices. This one is the Phillips 3000 series and the other two i have seen are the 5000 series and 7000 series. The 5000 series is the one i wanted but they did not have a reasonable price when i went to buy one, and the 7000 was overpriced and not what i wanted anyway;
they all have slightly different features.

But i will take a look at that one you mentioned too.

Later, i took a look at the Andis 32400 priced at 60 dollars USD on Amazon. I see another model for 170 dollars USD wow.
The 32400 looks pretty decent but i also wanted to find out what you would get these days for 20 bucks.
Mine also has beard and hair attachments with beard detailer attachment and nose attachment.
The thing i was really after though was a WIDE cutting blade. I found it hard to tell what the width of the cutting area was so i had to guess a little. I was lucky i got one with a wider cutting width although it could be wider like a regular plug in hair cutting tool.
Do you know how wide the 32400 is or what yours is and what model do you have?

I used to use a Remmington shaver that had a slide up beard trimmer must have been 1.5 inches or even 2 inches wide. That worked really well and it was fast because it was so wide. But the next model they came out with had a little dinky pop up sideburn trimmer which really really sucks because it is so flimsy and gets jammed too much. Those kind suck on every electric razor i have ever tried so the original Remmington was great. I have the new model now with the tiny pup up trimmer which i cant really use because it is just too flimsy.
 
Last edited:

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,202
Hello,

I just picked up a beard trimmer and found that it had an Li-ion battery in it rather than the old NiCd type they used to use. This is interesting and very good for consumers for a couple reasons.

First, the device runs well on these types of cells, and second the charging regimen for Li-ion cells is such that it forces the manufacturer to develop a charger that terminates the charge at some point and therefore does not keep constantly charging the cells over and over again and thus causing the cells to prematurely fail. So they are forced to charge these cells correctly and that means they will look good in the long run because they appear to have developed a good product. So everybody wins. I see this in portable drills too and as the cell prices come down we will see mostly these kinds of cells in everything i think.

This particular product was a low end model and although the build quality seems good it doesnt have a charging indicator. That was a mistake i think because the user can not tell if the charger is doing anything once it is plugged in. Everything else i have like this as least has one little LED that tells you that the charger is plugged in even if it does not tell you the charge state, and most things i have has at least some indication of what the charge state is. One such device has four tiny LEDs that indicate zero, 25, 50, 75, or 100 percent charge state. But even an LED that goes off when the charge is complete is good. This trimmer has none of that though, so checking it with the power meter i can see that ti really does work and turns off when the charge is complete.

I was thinking of making a wall wart adapter that accept the connector from the wall wart (looks like a 3mm power type) and plugs into the tool, and has a single LED in it to indicate that the charger is plugged in. I'll probably have to order the connectors though as i dont think i have any of that type only the 2mm type.

But anyway, the trend to use Li-ion seems to be a good thing in this world where many new products have a down side to them as well as being improved in some way.
I got one of those trimmers at a yard sale really cheap but I did not get the charger. So I am seeking the charger specifications and the connector polarity. Is it center positive or center negative? Or AC? and what voltage. I can locate a replacement on line for much more than I paid for the trimmer, but every photo has the specifications obscured. Thanks, if you can provide any help.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
I got one of those trimmers at a yard sale really cheap but I did not get the charger. So I am seeking the charger specifications and the connector polarity. Is it center positive or center negative? Or AC? and what voltage. I can locate a replacement on line for much more than I paid for the trimmer, but every photo has the specifications obscured. Thanks, if you can provide any help.
Hello,

Center pin is positive.
See attachments for more info.
Note the tool itself says "8v" but the wall wart that came with it says "8.5v 100ma" and the connector is a power cylinder type with 3.5mm OD and 1.3mm ID.
Also note that i have seen a lot on eBay and they all say they are for this trimmer (MG3750) but when i look at the picture they display it always says the wrong voltage. On Amazon, they say also it is for this trimmer but on that site the pictures all show on the case of the wall wart "OUTPUT" but then nothing after that as if they removed the writing.

I measured the output voltage but let me check that again and verify again the center pin is positive before you hook anything up.

LATER:
Ok when i measure the voltage output of the wall wart no load it reads "8.47v" and when i reverse the leads it reads "-8.46v" so the center is definitely positive. I put the red lead on the center first to check the voltage and make sure the minus sign does not show up, then flip the leads to make sure the minus sign does show up, just in case there is something wrong with the display of the minus sign. If the minus sign is not displaying for some reason then a minus voltage would be measured as a positive voltage and thus the polarity may be the opposite of what we think it is during the first measurement with the red lead on the center pin.

The model of the wall wart is HQ 840 pic-1,
The second pic-2 is the tool itself.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
EXACTLY!!! The Amazon pictures are definitely edited to remove information. So there must be some fraud intended somehow.
The only other thing i can think of is that maybe they wanted to use a different wall wart just to take the picture of a wall wart for display. But you could message the seller and specify that it has to have the right voltage for that tool or else you will demand a refund. Amazon is pretty good about that stuff so if you do get the wrong one they will make good on it one way or another. eBay i dont know about though i dont deal with them anymore.
 
Given that no voltage or current information is provided for the images that I have seen, and that the images show different items, it seems far more likely that there is a hidden reason, not so innocent.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,060
Given that no voltage or current information is provided for the images that I have seen, and that the images show different items, it seems far more likely that there is a hidden reason, not so innocent.
Yeah that is weird that both sites have the same issue, so i guess you should contact the seller and make sure they understand what you need for the tool. Most of the sellers i have contacted are very reasonable because they dont want to lose their good seller status on Amazon. I could tell you some stories that would be hard to believe about free items i got and purchasing credits with Amazon because something wasnt right. I just wish the airlines were like that :)
 
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