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'[EE]: Battery repurposing'
2005\02\13@080949 by Philip Pemberton

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Hi folks,
 I've just got back from a hamfest having spent £30 on batteries, laser
pointers and hard drives. What I'd like to know is, has anyone ripped apart a
Compaq Evo n600c series (PP2040 series) laptop battery? Anyone got pinouts?
 I went and bought two of the things and aside from working out that they're
"smart" LiIon batteries (with Japanese cells.. hmm..), I haven't done much
with them. Mainly because no-one seems to have the pinouts...

 I also picked up five Samsung mobile phone Li-Ions. 3.7V, unknown capacity.
I bet a 3V PSU and a Maxim LiIon controller chip will charge them quite
well. They're reading 3.76V, which suggests that they're good and working...

 Also picked up three 3mW laser pointers.. anyone got any suggestions for
fun experiments I could try with them? A PIC-based vector display is right at
the top of my list, as soon as I find some mini stepper motors and a few
mirror tiles...

Later.
-- Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
spam_OUTphilpemTakeThisOuTspamphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
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... "Bother", said Pooh, as he saw "Filecore in use.

2005\02\13@164406 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <.....4af9943c4d.philpemKILLspamspam@spam@dsl.pipex.com>
         Philip Pemberton <philpemspamKILLspamdsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> Compaq Evo n600c series (PP2040 series) laptop battery? Anyone got pinouts?
>   I went and bought two of the things and aside from working out that they're
> "smart" LiIon batteries (with Japanese cells.. hmm..), I haven't done much
> with them. Mainly because no-one seems to have the pinouts...

Just ripped one apart.. seems it's got a UCC3957 Li-Ion safety monitor, a
Benchmarq Bq2050H Smart Battery Monitor, a 24C01 EEPROM... and a PIC16C63A.

I think I've also worked out why it isn't producing any output... Four cells
times 3.6V is 14.4V.. I measured 12.7V on the battery pack (about 3.2V per
cell). Eep. Guess it's flat :-/

Now for the million dollar question: How the hell do you charge lithium ion
batteries, anyway? Ideally I'd like to avoid converting the battery pack into
a charred, smouldering mess in the process, especially seeing as the cells
are actually pretty good quality (Sony Fukushima US18650GR type) and seem to
be in reasonably good shape.

That still leaves the mobile batteries though...

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
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2005\02\13@184728 by Bob Axtell

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You want to use a Linear Technologies  LTC400242 / 84. I use the 8.4V (84)
as I am charging a pack with two cells in it, but they have a
single-cell pack.

--Bob

Philip Pemberton wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2005\02\14@053113 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

L-ion cells are quite fussy about charging.  It's essentialy a constant
current charge with a very critical termination voltage of 4.2volts.  If
you try to charge the cells much past 4.2 volts you are likely to end up
with a fire.  A typical charge rate for laptop batteries are 0.7C,
smaller cells can often be charged a little quicker.

One important point, if the cell voltage has fallen below 3.0volts, then
a trickle charge of 0.1C should be used to bring the cell voltage above
3.00volts before attempting to use the full charging voltage.

Do not keep L-Ion cells on a trickle charge, they cannot accept
overcharging without becoming potnentialy dangerous.

Regards

Mike

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2005\02\14@054451 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <23075D38FE1C8144847DFAECA3565F2704E54D45EraseMEspam.....pai-smx-01.europe.bkhm.net>>          "Michael Rigby-Jones" <EraseMEMichael.Rigby-Jonesspambookham.com> wrote:

> L-ion cells are quite fussy about charging.  It's essentialy a constant
> current charge with a very critical termination voltage of 4.2volts.  If
> you try to charge the cells much past 4.2 volts you are likely to end up
> with a fire.

I've been reading up on that - IIRC charging LiIons at more than 4.2V causes
metallic lithium to plate out on the anode, then that ends up reacting pretty
badly with the electrolyte.. Shortly afterwards, the cells "vent with flame"
(which I assume means "go off like firecrackers").

I've left the safety protection circuitry in place - hopefully if my PSU
loses regulation, the protector should stop the cells at 4.2V.

> A typical charge rate for laptop batteries are 0.7C,
> smaller cells can often be charged a little quicker.

I've got one of the Compaq laptop batteries on charge at 14.2V (rated voltage
is 14.4), at about 1A (4AH rating), which works out at about 0.5C.

> One important point, if the cell voltage has fallen below 3.0volts, then
> a trickle charge of 0.1C should be used to bring the cell voltage above
> 3.00volts before attempting to use the full charging voltage.

Thankfully that hasn't happened to the laptop battery, but a few of the
mobile phone batteries seem to require that treatment. Thanks for the heads
up.
Now I need to find out what the capacity of these Samsung batteries is...

> Do not keep L-Ion cells on a trickle charge, they cannot accept
> overcharging without becoming potnentialy dangerous.

Duly noted.

Thanks.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
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2005\02\14@065209 by Russell McMahon

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{Quote hidden}

Here's an excellent short article on the subject which addresses most
points and explains the chemistry behind the process.

       http://www.motorola.com/ies/ESG/pdf/motorola.dec.02.pdf

The methods behind the electronics are actually SIMPLER than for NiCd
and NimH charging - it's just that they are more critical and there is
a higher chance of REALLY bad things happening if you stray too far
from the fold.


       RM


2005\02\14@114023 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Just be very cautious with Litium technology. There are instances where this
stuff has burned down houses. Do your charging with the cells outside if
possible or at least in a fireproof container. When they fail it is
sometimes like a road flare!

Properly harnessed they are the best technology available. two years on my
laptop & going strong...

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\02\14@114737 by Bob Axtell

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And, in most communities, they cannot be tossed... Every store selling
Li-Ion batteries in our state
is legally OBLIGATED to accept bad batteries, to prevent landfill fires
and protect the environment.

I just replaced my 5yo Fujitsu Laptop Li-Ion Batteries a few days ago.
Cost $60. Best bargain in town.

--Bob

John Ferrell wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2005\02\14@121857 by William Chops Westfield

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On Feb 14, 2005, at 2:41 AM, Philip Pemberton wrote:
>
> I've left the safety protection circuitry in place - hopefully if my
> PSU
> loses regulation, the protector should stop the cells at 4.2V.
>
I don't know if you can count on that.  "protection circuits" for
li-ion normally do UP TO three things:

1) under-voltage protection : prevent the cells from discharging
   below that 3V/cell magic number.

2) over-current protection : prevent the cells from discharging at
   a rate that would be dangerous.  Usually this includes fuse-type
   structures, and sometimes electronics as well.

3) charge protection.  what you're hoping for.  I think this is
   actually pretty uncommon, and left to the chargers, but that
   may depend on the complexity of the packs.

While NiCd and NiMH batteries can overheat and "explode", there
are a couple of things that make li-ion cells especially dangerous:

1) There's apparently a thermal runaway reaction that occurs at a
   moderately low temp (185F?)  Internal components of the battery
   start to react with one another in a thermite-like way, leading
   to that "vent with flame" condition.

2) Both the electrolyte and electrode materials in li-ion cells
   are flammable.  An Ni-xx cell can overheat and violently spew
   hot electrolyte and metal pieces everywhere, or short out and
   heat wires to incandescence, but when it's all over you have
   basically metal bits and aqueous electrolyte.  No "burning."
   The corresponding components of a Li-ion cell burn just fine.

(there's some other things to note.  For instance, if you're
rescuing li-ion cells from the dumpster and they're 'free', you
don't have to worry as much about getting the maximum capacity and
maximum number of charges from them.  You can charge to only 4V and
still have a very useful battery, and you can discharge below 3V and
not care too much that that might destroy your cell pretty fast!)

BillW

2005\02\14@123209 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <RemoveME4210D61E.7060500spam_OUTspamKILLspamcotse.net>
         Bob Axtell <RemoveMEengineerTakeThisOuTspamspamcotse.net> wrote:

> And, in most communities, they cannot be tossed... Every store selling
> Li-Ion batteries in our state
> is legally OBLIGATED to accept bad batteries, to prevent landfill fires
> and protect the environment.

That's interesting. Around here, none of the household waste sites have
facilities for battery disposal - last time I tried to get rid of some
nicads, I was told "Jes' chuck 'em in the bin. 'Swhat everyone else does!"...

It seems the Compaq cells want a Magic Incantation to unlock the output...
Looks like the only way I'd be able to use them would be to run the cells
individually, or in pairs (the pack uses a series-parallel system, 4x pairs
of paralleled cells). Catch is, I now need to get some Li-ion protection ICs
and support components to match. Yay.
So.. Here's the million dollar question: Anyone know where I can get a few
Li-ion protection ICs, or preassembled protection PCBs?

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
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... I may not always be perfect, but I'm always me.

2005\02\14@124401 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
How serious is it?

One of my client's vendor would not make the dual cell
packs for them until I provided them with the ACTUAL
working charger so they could make sure they weren't
gonna be liable. I used the LT2004 device, very VERY
precise charging rate, built into the product itself ('cause
you can't depend on what the user will charge it with.
You might give 'em a charger, they drop and break it, go
to Radio Shack for a "battery charger".. and its flames).

--Bob

William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2005\02\14@145819 by Dwayne Reid

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At 09:47 AM 2/14/2005, Bob Axtell wrote:

>I just replaced my 5yo Fujitsu Laptop Li-Ion Batteries a few days ago.
>Cost $60. Best bargain in town.

Did you use a 3rd-party supplier?  URL?

Thanks!

dwayne

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2005\02\14@150632 by Bob Axtell

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Dwayne Reid wrote:

> At 09:47 AM 2/14/2005, Bob Axtell wrote:
>
>> I just replaced my 5yo Fujitsu Laptop Li-Ion Batteries a few days
>> ago. Cost $60. Best bargain in town.
>
>
> Did you use a 3rd-party supplier?  URL?
>
> Thanks!
>
> dwayne
>
Nope, I had to get it from Fujitsu by phone. Battery itself was NOT on
the Fujitsu website.
I like this thing but it's stuck in the dark ages, i.e. Win98. No
upgrading possible.

--Bob

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2005\02\14@152355 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <KILLspam421104C0.40602spamBeGonespamcotse.net>
         Bob Axtell <EraseMEengineerspamEraseMEcotse.net> wrote:

> I like this thing but it's stuck in the dark ages, i.e. Win98. No
> upgrading possible.

I've got a Panasonic CF-25 Mk-II ("Toughbook"). 1h30m battery life out of the
internal li-ion pack. Magnesium casing, shock-absorbing HDD mounting,
shock- and vibration-resistant LCD mounting, water resistant covers,
allegedly dustproof. It's only a 32MB P133 (need to get a 64MB 60nS 144pin
EDO SODIMM for it at some point - that and a 6GB or larger HDD), but it runs
Win98 and MPLAB pretty well. Haven't tried it with the ICD2 yet, though.

Despite its obvious flaws, it's nice not to have to drag it around in a
laptop bag and treat it with the proverbial "kid gloves". The only real
problem with it was the LCD hinges - the locking screws came loose. Took 20
minutes to remove the case and tighten the two screws that held the hinges
in...

Later.
--
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... It is fatal to live too long.

2005\02\14@154435 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <spamBeGone4210E35C.4050406spamKILLspamcotse.net>
         Bob Axtell <.....engineerspam_OUTspamcotse.net> wrote:

> How serious is it?

"DANGER: Risk of flaming battery components. Do not overcharge,
overdischarge, overheat, underheat, deep freeze, short-circuit, use with
unapproved chargers, deep-fry or store near metal objects"...

> I used the LT2004 device, very VERY
> precise charging rate, built into the product itself

I'm thinking of trying out some of the TI parts - the UCC3957 (or maybe
UCC3952) protection IC and bq2057 charge controller. The bq2040
charge monitor ("fuel gauge") looks interesting, too (mostly because it uses
an SMBus interface instead of DQ or HDQ, less proprietary). I'll probably put
a PIC in the charger though - why put a charge monitor in the pack if there's
nothing to use it? :)

As far as the Cpq batteries go, finding the "Magic Incantation" required to
unlock the pack may well be impossible. I suspect the PIC16F63A on the PCB is
code protected, so reading it out would be impossible without a full
semiconductor lab. I don't have a full semiconductor lab, so I'll take the
other way out - a UCC3952, a 100nF capacitor, a li-ion cell, a PCB and a
case. Depending on what I can salvage from the Cpq batteries, I might install
a fuel-gauge as well.

> ('cause
> you can't depend on what the user will charge it with.
> You might give 'em a charger, they drop and break it, go
> to Radio Shack for a "battery charger".. and its flames).

"When you're finally convinced that your product is foolproof, nature creates
a better fool."

Later.
--
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2005\02\14@160208 by Robert Rolf

picon face
Philip Pemberton wrote:

> It seems the Compaq cells want a Magic Incantation to unlock the output...

It may just be that some cells have too low a voltage on them.
I have been recycling Nokia Li_Ion packs by cracking them
open an manually charging individual cells to get them above
1.8V (cutoff for the chip it would seem). Once they're
above cutoff, the regular charging circuitry works.

My guess is that the packs were left in a discharged state
for long enough that the charge leaked off enough to get
below the chip cutoff and so the packs would no longer charge.

You have nothing to loose by doing a MONITORED slow charge
(1/100 C) on weak/dead cells. If you dump current in,
and see a slow steady rise in voltage, and the voltage
HOLDS for several minutes when you disconnect the
charging current, the cell is probably OK. It is overcharging
that causes Li metal to plate out and make a cell explosive,
according to the readings I've done. Taking a cell up to 2V
should be sufficient to make the charge control chip happy.
Make sure all cells are at the same voltage before putting
the pack on the regular charger. This ensures that all cells
charge at nearly the same rate.

But since it's Li, you use my advice AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Robert

> Looks like the only way I'd be able to use them would be to run the cells
> individually, or in pairs (the pack uses a series-parallel system, 4x pairs
> of paralleled cells). Catch is, I now need to get some Li-ion protection ICs
> and support components to match. Yay.
> So.. Here's the million dollar question: Anyone know where I can get a few
> Li-ion protection ICs, or preassembled protection PCBs?
>
> Later.

2005\02\14@161646 by Peter L. Peres

picon face


On Mon, 14 Feb 2005, Philip Pemberton wrote:

{Quote hidden}

You can say 'like huge tantalum capacitors'. Look in the periodic table
of elements for a reason.

Peter

2005\02\14@180228 by Howard Winter

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Phil,

On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 20:21:53 GMT, Philip Pemberton wrote:

> I've got a Panasonic CF-25 Mk-II ("Toughbook").

Ah yes, I saw one of those demonstrated at Comdex once, it was thrown across the stage (literally, about 30
feet!) and then picked up and connected to the cable for the Big Screen, where it was shown to be running
normally.  It was even running when they did it!

I was well impressed, but couldn't afford one...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\02\15@032553 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <RemoveMEE1D0pEZ-0000Jb-00spamspamBeGonepop-a065c32.pas.sa.earthlink.net>>          "Howard Winter" <spamBeGoneHDRW@spam@spamspam_OUTh2org.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> Phil,
>
> On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 20:21:53 GMT, Philip Pemberton wrote:
>
> > I've got a Panasonic CF-25 Mk-II ("Toughbook").
>
> Ah yes, I saw one of those demonstrated at Comdex once, it was thrown across the stage (literally, about 30
> feet!) and then picked up and connected to the cable for the Big Screen, where it was shown to be running
> normally.  It was even running when they did it!
>
> I was well impressed, but couldn't afford one...

I bought mine off Ebay, £125 second hand including CD-ROM, power adapter and
a battery (tested for 90mins - I usually get about that out of it). It came
with a 2GB HDD, which I've upgraded to 3GB. Next step is fitting more RAM. At
least it uses a standard module, unlike my Toshiba T2130CS - aka "Let's use a
standard connector with a proprietary pinout". Ugh.
The only two things I would have liked my CF25 to have are Cardbus-capable
slots (so I can use WLAN and USB cards) and maybe USB. The CF-25 Mk3 has
Cardbus, but not USB... Still, it makes a nice software development machine,
considering it's a P133 :)

Later.
-- Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
TakeThisOuTphilpemspamspamphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... See that megaphone, That's your modem that is

2005\02\15@073129 by Howard Winter

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Phil,

On Tue, 15 Feb 2005 01:16:28 GMT, Philip Pemberton wrote:

> The only two things I would have liked my CF25 to have are Cardbus-capable
> slots (so I can use WLAN and USB cards) and maybe USB. The CF-25 Mk3 has
> Cardbus, but not USB... Still, it makes a nice software development machine,
> considering it's a P133 :)

USB was out at that time (I remember seeing it demonstrated at the *previous* Comdex) but so far MS had
ignored it, so although some motherboards were appearing with USB included, at this stage just as a
motherboard DIL connection, there were no Windows drivers for it, and almost no hardware to plug in either.  
MS didn't move for a couple more years, which lead to the strange situation of PCs with USB ports that were
pretty-much useless.  For a technology that is now so ubiquitous (can you have degrees of ubiquity? :-) it's
amazing that it had such a long gestation period.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\02\15@120407 by Steve Halla - LEAP

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Any battery can and will explode given enough time and excessive
voltage/current.

Rechargeable batteries ALL work better for longer is they are NOT constantly
charged, just consider the battery in your vehicle that lasts 4-6 years.

Batteries are chemical components in an electrical system.

Being under steady charge is the most damaging situation for rechargeable
batteries.  Good for battery companies, bad for consumers.

A simple circuit can be used for charging Lithium batteries, or any other
batteries.  Minimize peak charge voltage to 4.0 for lithiuim cells, and the
battery will hold 87-92% of nameplate charge capacity.  Better yet, to
extend service life use a circuit that pauses charge (10-50 ms pause for
1000 ms charge period) will yield significant benefits.  NASA uses this
basic approach on many ISS and Space Shuttle rechargeable applications.
Again, it efficient use of battery chemistry.

Steve Halla



{Original Message removed}

2005\02\15@190508 by Harold Hallikainen

face picon face
www.linear.com and http://www.maxim-ic.com make charging single
cell lithium ion batteries pretty easy. I've used the LTC1733 and LT4058
in a couple projects. As I recall, the LTC1733 terminates on current
dropping to 10% of the programmed current or on a time-out, whichever is
first. The LT4058 terminates on current dropping to 10% of programmed
current. Both are linear chargers with interesting thermal management. If
the temperature is getting too high, the current is backed off. So, if you
have a high ambient temperature or a small heat sink, your only penalty is
that it takes longer to charge the battery.

Harold




--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com

2005\02\15@191336 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
But the LT4002 is a SWITCHING charger. I can charge at 750Ma and the
PCB is cool. What a country.....

--Bob

Harold Hallikainen wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2005\02\15@194451 by Harold Hallikainen

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Also kinda neat at the Pulse Chargers (like the LTC1730) which moves the
heat sinking problems with linear chargers from the chip to an external
current limited power supply (wall wart). Clever idea!

Harold


{Quote hidden}

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