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Emergency Charging of Li-Ion Battery??

 
 
terry@terryking.us
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      08-22-2006
I need to temporarily recharge the Panasonic CGR-S006 batteries for my
Lumix FZ30 without the normal charger which has been lost.

I'm in Africa, and a new charger will take 14 days to get here.

I have a variable power supply, meters, some electronics parts
available.

Can someone tell me what the 4 connections to this type battery are??

Can I get away with recharging at a low rate for several hours?

Any suggestions or pointers greatly appreciated!

Terry King
....On the Mediterranean in Carthage (North Africa)
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)

 
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Martin Brown
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      08-22-2006

(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> I need to temporarily recharge the Panasonic CGR-S006 batteries for my
> Lumix FZ30 without the normal charger which has been lost.
>
> I'm in Africa, and a new charger will take 14 days to get here.


Your best bet is to find someone else with exactly the same kit. Or try
the duty free electronics shops in the airport.
>
> I have a variable power supply, meters, some electronics parts
> available.
>
> Can someone tell me what the 4 connections to this type battery are??


Two are the battery outputs and the others are sense signals for safe
charging. Li-ion batteries have a very bad tendency to self immolate
unless charged exactly right.
>
> Can I get away with recharging at a low rate for several hours?


Probably not. And if you abuse it the thing should self protect blowing
an internal fuse rendering the battery safe but unusable. You might get
a more complete answer and possibly a jerry rig lashup suggestion on
sci.electronic.design or misc or repair.

Try at your own risk - it is all too easy to wreck these high energy
density batteries and/or start an unpleasant fire. See for example the
Dell portable Li-ion recall problem:

http://informationweek.com/news/show...leID=192201677

> Any suggestions or pointers greatly appreciated!


Next time use a camera that takes AA batteries!

Regards,
Martin Brown

 
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SimonLW
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      08-22-2006
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>I need to temporarily recharge the Panasonic CGR-S006 batteries for my
> Lumix FZ30 without the normal charger which has been lost.
>
> I'm in Africa, and a new charger will take 14 days to get here.
>
> I have a variable power supply, meters, some electronics parts
> available.
>
> Can someone tell me what the 4 connections to this type battery are??
>
> Can I get away with recharging at a low rate for several hours?
>
> Any suggestions or pointers greatly appreciated!
>
> Terry King
> ...On the Mediterranean in Carthage (North Africa)
> (E-Mail Removed)
>

As stated by the other reply, sure you can attempt a recharge, but you run
the risk... They really need to be recharged on the equipment designed for
them.

Perfect example why I HATE proprietary lithium technology. If you forget or
leave the charger, your screwed. No electricity around, your screwed.
Performance degradation starts after a year and battery needs replaced after
2-4 years. Batteries are expensive, and some models hard to find (not
available at the local super store).

Canon proved to me how alkaline AAs can work just fine in digital with the
A160. 500 shots on one set in a decent camera.
-S


 
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ASAAR
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      08-22-2006
On 22 Aug 2006 01:13:03 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> I need to temporarily recharge the Panasonic CGR-S006 batteries for my
> Lumix FZ30 without the normal charger which has been lost.
>
> I'm in Africa, and a new charger will take 14 days to get here.
>
> I have a variable power supply, meters, some electronics parts
> available.
>
> Can someone tell me what the 4 connections to this type battery are??


I've seen one hacker's messages that disassembled and tested
numerous Li-Ion batteries, and they all had 3 terminals. Two for
the battery's terminals and one for the camera to get readings from
the battery pack's heat probe (thermistor). I can't say what the
fourth terminal of your CGR-S006 might be used for. If you don't
mind a slight risk to your battery in exchange for possibly being
able to use it for two weeks, you could try building a *slow*
charger. Don't try using a voltage too close to the battery's full
output voltage. For example, if the battery is rated at 7.4 volts,
use a transformer that provides a rectified DC voltage of at least
12 volts. This will minimize the sensitivity to A.C. voltage
fluctuations. Use a power resistor that will limit the current to a
rate that should allow a fully depleted battery to fully charge in
from 15 to 20 hours. The idea is to manually stop the charging
process before the battery is fully charged, but if you forget, or
aren't available to stop the charging, the slow trickle charge rate
won't be so high that runaway heat buildup will occur. Example: a
1,000 mAh battery might be expected to take 10 hours to charge using
a 100ma charge rate or 20 hours at 50ma. Due to charger
inefficiencies, it usually takes about 40% longer to fully charge at
these calculated rates, so a 100ma charge rate would normally need
14 hours to finish charging, and similarly, the 50ma rate would take
24 hours.

BTW, I've seen non-rechargeable lithium batteries sold in many
types of stores (camera, computer, pharmacy, electronic boutique,
etc.) that are designed to fully charge the batteries in cell phones
or PDAs 3 or 4 times before they need to be disposed. I believe
that some similar battery cases have been sold that use AA batteries
instead. If you built something similar that used AA alkaline
batteries it probably would be even safer than building an AC
charger, since a fresh set of AA batteries probably wouldn't have
enough capacity to fully charge your CGR-S006 more than once (or
twice if it wasn't completely discharged to begin with). By the
time the CGR-S006 was fully charged, the depleted alkalines would be
unlikely to have enough remaining energy to dangerously overheat the
CGR-006. What else could you do? While charging, don't rest the
battery on something that doesn't conduct heat well, such as a book,
newspapers or a piece of lumber. These also have a tendency to
burn. A large hunk of thermally conductive metal, such as a
frying pan or pot with a thick aluminum base would be ideal.

 
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terry@terryking.us
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      08-22-2006
Eeveryone, thanks for the suggestions and comments....

I will try a careful C/20 or so charge tonight, assuming I can find the
right connections. I have two batteries and one is pretty far down
anyway....

Initially I was afraid that these batteries had some internal smart
chip or something, but I don't that's the case from what I can find out
so far.

My previous Camera Love, and still a favorite was the UZ2100 which uses
AA batteries. I would have preferred them again, but the features of
the FZ30, and the fact that all the cameras of that class seemed to use
Li-Ion made me switch. I've been very happy with the battery life and
charging, up to losing/leaving the charger back in the States last
week.

I have a replacement charger ordered; I just need to get thru the next
10 days or so...

I'll look around the camera stores and the Souk in Tunis to see if I
can find something, also...

Thanks, and any further comments will be appreciated!

Terry King ...On the Mediterranean in Carthage

 
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Bill
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-22-2006
Martin Brown wrote:

>(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>> I need to temporarily recharge the Panasonic CGR-S006 batteries for my
>> Lumix FZ30 without the normal charger which has been lost.
>>
>> I'm in Africa, and a new charger will take 14 days to get here.
>>
>> I have a variable power supply, meters, some electronics parts
>> available.
>>
>> Can someone tell me what the 4 connections to this type battery are??


I can't help with the connections, but you should only need two contacts
for the positive and negative terminals.

Look closely at the battery pack. Usually the two power contacts are
marked with +/- symbols.

>Two are the battery outputs and the others are sense signals for safe
>charging. Li-ion batteries have a very bad tendency to self immolate
>unless charged exactly right.


This is generally incorrect.

Most Li-Ion battery packs contain their own charging circuits and they
control the charge level and duration themselves. Battery chargers are
merely sources of DC power with suitable voltage and current. This is
partly why you can top up Li-Ion batteries, they don't rely on the
charger to control the power.

Take a look at any of these types of battery chargers, and you'll
usually find only two contacts to provide power to the pack. Even the
multiple contact packs like the Sony Info-Lithiums which can report
battery condition to the camera, do not use the extra contacts when
charging.

A look inside chargers usually reveals nothing more than a transformer
and a rectifier to convert the AC to DC. Some units may have an IC
regulator to control voltage, and any similarly rated power source
should work fine to recharge the battery properly.

Now a caveat is that this applies to most Li-Ion battery packs, not all,
so try it at your own risk.



If you do decide to try it, remember to use 8.4v to charge, not the 7.4v
that shows on the battery pack. The peak voltage of a two cell pack is
actually 8.4v, while the nominal rating is 7.4v. About half an amp of
current for a 750mAH battery pack for 2 hours should be enough.
 
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JohnR66
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-22-2006
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> Eeveryone, thanks for the suggestions and comments....
>
> I will try a careful C/20 or so charge tonight, assuming I can find the
> right connections. I have two batteries and one is pretty far down
> anyway....
>
> Initially I was afraid that these batteries had some internal smart
> chip or something, but I don't that's the case from what I can find out
> so far.
>
> My previous Camera Love, and still a favorite was the UZ2100 which uses
> AA batteries. I would have preferred them again, but the features of
> the FZ30, and the fact that all the cameras of that class seemed to use
> Li-Ion made me switch. I've been very happy with the battery life and
> charging, up to losing/leaving the charger back in the States last
> week.
>
> I have a replacement charger ordered; I just need to get thru the next
> 10 days or so...
>
> I'll look around the camera stores and the Souk in Tunis to see if I
> can find something, also...
>
> Thanks, and any further comments will be appreciated!
>
> Terry King ...On the Mediterranean in Carthage
>

If you find yourself SOL with the charger, consider renting or buying a
digital camera. It will be better than not getting the shot, blowing
yourself up, or wasting time searching. You can get a good camera in the
$150-200 (US) range. Most of the ones by major brand names will likely be
very good. If you keep the screen off and be frugal with the flash, it just
might last the trip. You may want to cut back on some shooting of less
interesting subjects as well.

I was in Maui when my camcorder battery decided to run for 2 minutes after
charging. That little island has several stores including Radio Shack, Wally
world and such. Could not find a battery or substitue, so ended up buying a
whole new camcorder!! Had the digital Rebel with me too and could shoot the
whole trip on a charge, but I charged it nightly. Now the crappy litium
battery doesn't last half as long. The Hawaii trip was 2.5 years ago.
John


 
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terry@terryking.us
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      08-27-2006
> > I will try a careful C/20 or so charge tonight, assuming I can find the
> > right connections. I have two batteries and one is pretty far down
> > anyway....
> >
> > Initially I was afraid that these batteries had some internal smart
> > chip or something, but I don't that's the case from what I can find out
> > so far.


The battery has 4 contacts, (+) (blank) (T) (-)

The + and - seem to go directly to the cells. The "T" (Actually more of
a T shaped symbol) I assume is a thermistor within the battery pack. I
will try to confirm that later, when I have a better physical
connection scheme...

For now, I have been charging at about 50 mA (from +9.0 thru a 22 ohm
resistor) for about 3 hours and the battery voltage has slowly gone
from 7.42 to 7.60 so far. This is less than C/10 for the 850MaH
battery.

I plan to stop at 8.4V or 20 hours... ?? Any data on this??

I'll post how this works out. I hope to run this way for the next 2
weeks..

I should have a working commercial charger and 2 more spare batteries
and 2 1.0Gb data cards when I head out into the Sahara for 6 days,
starting in about 3 weeks.

Yes, I will be on a camel, and no, I don't think there'll be a place to
plug in my charger!

I'll post a URL for photos, later.

Thanks for all the advice.

Regards, Terry King ...On The Mediterranean in Carthage

 
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terry@terryking.us
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-28-2006
OK, This worked OK, I believe...

I charged at 50Ma (.05 Amps) for 10 to 15 hours (1 battery was only at
1/2)

The batteries were about 7.5 volts at start of charge, and I stopped at
8.0 to 8.1V

Batteries are shown as 'full' by the camera.

??? Anyone have a pointer on the 'best' stopping point for slow charge
of a nominal 7.2V
Li-Ion battery, in Volts?? ???

Thanks for the help.. I'm temporarily 'saved' and out shooting....

Regards, Terry King ...On The Mediterranean in Carthage

 
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Bill
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      08-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>OK, This worked OK, I believe...
>
>I charged at 50Ma (.05 Amps) for 10 to 15 hours (1 battery was only at
>1/2)


You could have changed at a much faster rate, about 400mA, which would
be close to the normal charge rate for an 850mAH pack.

>The batteries were about 7.5 volts at start of charge, and I stopped at
>8.0 to 8.1V


That's close enough. And since topping up the packs is not harmful, you
don't have to worry about full charges.

>Batteries are shown as 'full' by the camera.
>
>??? Anyone have a pointer on the 'best' stopping point for slow charge
>of a nominal 7.2V
>Li-Ion battery, in Volts?? ???


Typically the battery pack will stop the charge current itself when the
pack is fully charged at about 8.2v or 8.4v. Most of the little chargers
for these packs are simply power sources.

But to be on the safe side, you stopped at a good point.

>Thanks for the help.. I'm temporarily 'saved' and out shooting....


Good stuff!
 
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