Battery charging advice please

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Dasher
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Dasher » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:33 pm

I see that Strikalite have them on their site but you will need to determine whether it is a MkI or MkII LJ as the voltages are different.

My Harlech Castle has played up from new - and it has only recently been suggested to me that it may be faulty. Mine will charge and change from red to green - but not be fully charged. If I unplug, replug and continue then it goes back to red. I can do this three or four times before it remains green. I'm no electronics expert but it is as if some cells charge on the first pass, others on then , etc..
If your pack is showing dead to the charger dead then one way of resurrecting it is to connect its to a fully charged NiMH battery of equivalent value (i.e.2300) directly to it. This can often break any short due to chemical crystal formation that can occur with NiMH batteries. I've done this successfully with bike light batteries - it sticks enough charge in the pack (not much is required) for the charger to then recognise the pack as 'undead'.
NOTE: - DO NOT DO THIS WITH A LIPO BATTERY.

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GTB
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by GTB » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:42 am

Andrew wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:23 pm
It's a shame electricity's invisible (?!!), I've got no idea what's going on. Feels more like religion than science...
That's why they make digital multimeters (DMMs). Using a suitable voltage scale and taking a reading on the battery connection will tell you if a battery is charged or not and confirm that the charger is actually doing something.

Check the charger manual to find out what the coloured lights mean. It may be trying to tell you it can't work out what, if anything, is connected to it and so it can't start the charging process. In which case a dumb wall wart type charger might do the job if you have one with the right voltage and current rating, plus the right adaptor plug.

All the TVT rc controlled locos and the manual speed control railmotors have headlights controlled by the power switch. The RCS transmitters also have prominent red lights in the on-off switch. The chief engineer has a memory like a sieve and got tired of replacing dead battery packs.......... :roll:

If electrickery no longer appeals, there's always clockwork........

Graeme

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Andrew
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Andrew » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:26 pm

Thanks for the ideas chaps - including clockwork propulsion!

However I end up getting out of this particular mess I need to learn some lessons I think - like not draining batteries, and perhaps some sort of organised charging regime...

In the meantime, my steam-powered, manually operated Regner struggles on (and might see service tomorrow), so we're not in the realms of a motive power crisis just yet!

Andrew.

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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by ge_rik » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:58 pm

If you could remove and dismantle the battery pack, it might be possible to revive some or all the cells.


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FWLR
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by FWLR » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:16 am

Great video has usual Rik. That EBL charger you have looks to be better than mine. I have two, one won't change from RED at all, no matter how long I have them charging for. Also I have to put two in for them to light up the red charging lights. If there is only one in, nothing happens.
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by ge_rik » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:12 pm

FWLR wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:16 am
Great video has usual Rik. That EBL charger you have looks to be better than mine. I have two, one won't change from RED at all, no matter how long I have them charging for. Also I have to put two in for them to light up the red charging lights. If there is only one in, nothing happens.
Hi Rod
Not one of my videos this time, just one I found on the web. But you're right, it is clearly explained.

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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by philipy » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:48 am

By coincidence this morning I have been looking for some info on power tool battery packs and came across this video for rejuvenating dead drill batteries https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtngXAZPNqY

I did sucessfully use a similar technique on a loco battery some time ago.

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Andrew
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Andrew » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:01 am

Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

Looking at the battery pack more closely found that it was manufactured by Strikalite, and that a replacement is readily available from them - so, I think I'll buy one of those to get the loco up and running again, then perhaps try some of the techniques suggested on the old pack at my leisure... I'll let you know how it goes...

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Andrew
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Andrew » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:13 am

Dasher wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:33 pm
I see that Strikalite have them on their site but you will need to determine whether it is a MkI or MkII LJ as the voltages are different.
Ah! Sorry Dasher, I've just realised what you meant by that - I should have read it more carefully! Thank you! It's a Mk I model, I believe...

Andrew

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gregh
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by gregh » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:41 pm

Andrew wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:01 am

Looking at the battery pack more closely found that it was manufactured by Strikalite, and that a replacement is readily available from them - so, I think I'll buy one of those to get the loco up and running again, then perhaps try some of the techniques suggested on the old pack at my leisure... I'll let you know how it goes...
Cheers,
Andrew.
I think that a new battery is the best decision. Despite all that is written about rejuvenating dead flat batteries, My experience is that you will never get the original capacity back, even though the battery might look like it is taking charge.
Greg from downunder.
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Jimmyb
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Jimmyb » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:40 pm

A few valuable lessons to be learnt here for battery users:

1. Never allow your batteries to go completely flat, i.e. ensure switched off after use.
2. Have a charging regime, i.e. ensure your batteries are put away fully charged.
3. If not in use for any substantial time, check and re-charge batteries.

I appreciate that this is common sense to experienced users, but new comers may just need a reminder.

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Busted Bricks
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Busted Bricks » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:10 pm

Perhaps worth mentioning the above advice is for NiMH og NiCd cells. Lithium Polymer cells need to be treated differently.

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Andrew
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Andrew » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:28 pm

Jimmyb wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:40 pm
I appreciate that this is common sense to experienced users
You'd think so, wouldn't you? Hope so even. Alas, I've been playing trains in the garden for over 35 years now and still make basic errors! Still, I'm learning, and there are some helpful and generous people around to help me put things right...

Cheers,

Andrew

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FWLR
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by FWLR » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:37 am

Andrew wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:28 pm
Jimmyb wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:40 pm
I appreciate that this is common sense to experienced users
You'd think so, wouldn't you? Hope so even. Alas, I've been playing trains in the garden for over 35 years now and still make basic errors! Still, I'm learning, and there are some helpful and generous people around to help me put things right...

Cheers,

Andrew
Has am I still learning Andrew.... :lol: :lol:
Rod

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Andrew
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Re: Battery charging advice please

Post by Andrew » Sat May 23, 2020 2:07 pm

Hello all,

I rather late "PS" to this one - I got my RH "Little John" up and running again today!

It was an unexpected (and, of course, unimportant) victim of coronavirus in that Strikalite's supplies from China were disrupted for a while.

The new battery pack arrived this week and I switched them over today. Such is my lack of faith in my own soldering abilities that simply connecting two pairs of wires felt like an achievement - it was quite a relief when the thing worked!

Pictures of the loco back in action over on the Railway thread shortly...

Thanks again for all the advice, it's much appreciated.

Andrew.

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