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  #1  
Old 08-18-2015, 10:54 AM
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Stumped on how to charge battery for drill

On line I purchased a new battery for my old Coleman Powermate drill. Although the new battery is Coleman it does not quite fit my charger. I used jumper wires to connect the two and found that the green light came on OK but not the red light (two lights on the charger) and after seven hours - no charge.

So I filed down the ridges on the new battery case. It plugged OK into the old charger and magically the red light came on and I was able to charge the new battery.

Question - what is different; why did the jumper wires not work; why no red light? What made the red light come on when I inserted the new battery.

Not a question of pith and moment but interesting to me.

Thanks.

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  #2  
Old 08-18-2015, 11:59 AM
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Newer batteries have a "smart" feature that is triggered by one of the other contacts. It's a feedback loop that actually enables charging, sort of like closing a relay inside the battery pack. And since that isn't standardized, it's hard to know what to try to get it to work. And if you guess wrong you can kill the smart chip and then the battery will never work, no matter what.

Nice, huh? :/
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2015, 04:54 PM
Redefining normal daily
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyl604 View Post
Question - what is different; why did the jumper wires not work; why no red light? What made the red light come on when I inserted the new battery.
As alluded to by Can't Know: we've long ago exited the era of "put juice in 'til it's done" batteries.

I'm supporting multiple field instruments with smart batteries - lots (no - really - LOTS) of data flowing back and forth between the charger and the battery; even more between the {thing being powered} and the battery.

Best case, 10 years from now standards will have evolved and become entrenched. Until then - your jumper wires approach just might end badly (case in point below).

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  #4  
Old 08-18-2015, 06:22 PM
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Well, am not able to disagree because I just do not know. However intuitively the battery slid into the charger gives metal to metal contact - one charger tab touches one battery tab on the right and same on the left. So if it is just metal to metal there, it makes no sense to me that my jumpers did not work.

So query - why does the red light come on with the battery inserted? Could it possibly press back the tab in the charger so there is some metal to metal contact down there which does not occur when using just a clip?
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2015, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyl604 View Post
Well, am not able to disagree because I just do not know. However intuitively the battery slid into the charger gives metal to metal contact - one charger tab touches one battery tab on the right and same on the left. So if it is just metal to metal there, it makes no sense to me that my jumpers did not work.

So query - why does the red light come on with the battery inserted? Could it possibly press back the tab in the charger so there is some metal to metal contact down there which does not occur when using just a clip?
If the battery you're trying to charge doesn't speak the same language as the charger you're using - it ain't gonna work right.

Smart batteries REQUIRE smart chargers. You can't just apply voltage and expect the battery to charge.
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1972 280SE 4.5: Baby Gustav
1991 300TE 4Matic: Gretel the Snow Bunny - sold
1978 300SD: Katz the Free Man
1980 Redhead: Darling Wife
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2015, 08:45 AM
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The directions on the new battery contemplate the use of both kinds of chargers. Instructions say charge 1-3 hours in a smart battery charger or 7-8 hours in a regular battery charger. This is for the first charge. Then it says do not let it discharge completely and make sure to recharge every thirty days if it is not in use. So it has been completely charged once now (8 hrs on the dumb charger) and works fine in my tools.

Still stumped about the red light.

Last edited by tyl604; 08-19-2015 at 12:56 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2015, 01:04 PM
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What to do When Your Cordless Battery Bites The Dust!
--------------------------------------------------------------

I've noticed most cordless tool batteries have a third terminal, which I assumed was for some type of feedback function. But most irritating is the limited operating time and finite lifespan of all those rechargeable batteries.
So I created a partial solution for the feeble 18V nicads on my Ryobi cordless drill & circular-saw set.
Not wanting to invest in Nimh upgrades and the required smart-charger (which would probably cost about 4 times what I paid for the Ryobi set) I acquired a dead Ryobi battery, gutted the battery-housing, and wired it for a long extension-cable to ultimately connect to my car battery with alligator clips. With the engine running, the Ryobi runs adequately on the 14V from the car's alternator. Not quite as strong as a fully charged nicad, but certainly much better than the power one of my nicads puts out after only about 15 minutes of heavy use.
I've since picked up a couple more cordless drill & saw sets, a Craftsman and a Skil, - dirt cheap at a local thrift-store. Both had expired batteries, missing chargers, and were 14V, which is an even closer match with my car's electrical system. So I also rewired their batteries to use with my 'alligator' car-cord.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Last edited by Mark DiSilvestro; 09-04-2015 at 03:40 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2015, 01:58 PM
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That could work if you don't have corded drills or are in the hills and have no alternating current.

I've struggled with old drills and after market batteries and aging chargers. I've quit messing with that and just buy new Makitas instead. The 18 volt lithium fast charging small Makita (white casing) is appealing. Lightweight and 15 minute charge. Ryobi, Coleman, B&D, etc. are not worth the trouble for my snobbish ass. I use them at times when the client has one out. A shadow of Makita, Bosch, Hilti, or Milwaukee. My experience limited with the latter three but they seem to be adequate.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2015, 02:35 PM
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I just shaved down the 24v Allegheny battery and stuck it in the 18v Coleman charger. The Allegheny battery goes with the original Allegheny set - drill, circular saw, jigsaw, and light - that I have been running on the Coleman 18v battery. They all seem to work OK on the 18v Coleman. But I want to see if the Coleman 18v charger will charge the Allegheny.

After I shaved/fitted the Allegheny into the Coleman charger both the red and green lights came on and I seem to be charging the Allegheny. Will know at 8:30 tonight. Will report back.

Interesting - at first only the green light came on. I shaved it a little more and pushed it farther into the charger and both lights came on. So charge city for now. Pics below show the Allegheny battery stuck in the Coleman charger. Other pic is the Allegheny set.




Last edited by tyl604; 08-19-2015 at 03:03 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2015, 05:04 PM
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Resolved. Now I know why the red light would not come on. There was a short in my red jumper. No juice was getting through. I fixed it, connected the red and black to the battery and put alligator clips on each pole of the battery charger and presto red and green lights.

So it is now charging on the jumpers.

Guess that goes to show - you should always search for the simplest answer first. Learned my lesson. Again.
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2015, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
That could work if you don't have corded drills or are in the hills and have no alternating current.

I've struggled with old drills and after market batteries and aging chargers. I've quit messing with that and just buy new Makitas instead. The 18 volt lithium fast charging small Makita (white casing) is appealing. Lightweight and 15 minute charge. Ryobi, Coleman, B&D, etc. are not worth the trouble for my snobbish ass. I use them at times when the client has one out. A shadow of Makita, Bosch, Hilti, or Milwaukee. My experience limited with the latter three but they seem to be adequate.
I prefer corded tools and already have a really nice Makita corded 3/8 hammer-drill. But I work on rental properties where AC power is sometimes not availible. I've also used my Ryobi/car-cord setup to cut several lengths of cement-board siding outside a Home Depot to fit them in my car.
No AC power in the parking lot and the Ryobi batteries would have been an exercise in futility!

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Last edited by Mark DiSilvestro; 09-04-2015 at 03:37 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2015, 12:29 PM
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May not be the best ideal for very infrequent users to own battery powered tools. All batteries have some form of shelf life. I have gotten to the point of when I use them I do so heavily. At the same time the interval between uses may generally soon be a year or more.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2015, 03:07 AM
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May not be the best ideal for very infrequent users to own battery powered tools. All batteries have some form of shelf life. I have gotten to the point of when I use them I do so heavily. At the same time the interval between uses may generally soon be a year or more.
My car-cord adapters have given all my cordless tools added versatility and saved the ones with dead, obsolete batteries from the junk-pile!
I really don't miss the batteries too much, as so far I've always been able to get my car close enough to any of my jobs where AC-power hasn't been availible.
I wonder if there's any market for a cordless-tool car-adapter, at least for those tools that would be compatible in the 12 to 18 volt range. Or even a home AC adapter that could actually power the tool, vs simply charging the battery.
Of course, every make and size tool has a special battery-pack, so one might need to market a zillion different adapters. And it might be a deal-breaker if one had to pay some kind of royalty to every cordless tool-maker to sell those adapters.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2015, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
That could work if you don't have corded drills or are in the hills and have no alternating current.

I've struggled with old drills and after market batteries and aging chargers. I've quit messing with that and just buy new Makitas instead. The 18 volt lithium fast charging small Makita (white casing) is appealing. Lightweight and 15 minute charge. Ryobi, Coleman, B&D, etc. are not worth the trouble for my snobbish ass. I use them at times when the client has one out. A shadow of Makita, Bosch, Hilti, or Milwaukee. My experience limited with the latter three but they seem to be adequate.
On a related note -
I recently went to a yard sale where the guy was selling a huge pile of assorted corded and cordless power tools. Skil, Ryobi, B&D, Milwaukee, etc....
Was going to grab a nice, brand-new looking Milwaukee 7" circular-saw in a hard case for $20 until I discovered the blade shaft was wobbling badly -apparently the bearing had failed. Looked at the saw's label and found 'Made in China'! Oh well.
Instead, for that $20, I wound up getting a beat-up Makita 7" circular-saw that works perfectly, and a shorted-out Sears Craftsman Table-top drill press. 15 minutes of minor rewiring at the switch and the drill-press is now good as new!

Happy Motoring, Mark

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