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Universal battery charger
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Universal battery charger

by mightywombat on Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:11 pm

Hey, all! I recently found myself in a tech repair position for a company that is in the middle of a move and is somewhat... disorganized. I've gotten a number of repairs for laptops and hand-held devices with dead batteries and no chargers. I have knocked together a variable power supply to sub in for various batteries, but I'm thinking about the feasibility of a battery charger that can be switched to allow it to be used for batteries of various chemistry and voltages.

I'm looking at the LM3647 charger controller, and hoping I can use a collection of switches and potentiometers to vary the chip's settings. Does anyone have any experience with or recommendations regarding battery chargers?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Universal battery charger

by franklin97355 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:32 pm

A lot of the laptop batteries have connectors that break out the cells in a manner that may be a bit hard to decipher if you don't have the schematics. You can do this but I think it would be a lot of work compaired to getting chargers for the laptops you support or requiring the charger be supplied with the laptop before repair is started.

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Re: Universal battery charger

by Hfuy on Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:36 pm

Dealextreme have in the past had a very widely programmable charger which would cope with more or less anything, although as with most products of the Hong Kong Fly Apart Company Inc you should interpret the maximum ratings with a dose of scepticism. The problem would be getting the specifications for the cells, in order that you know how to charge them, at least without having to open up the battery (which will wreck it). I would reiterate the above concern about the pinout, and add a warning that many (basically all) laptop batteries have somewhat sophisticated electronics in them which can and will brick the battery if you mistreat it more than very fractionally.

Not a good idea, in my view.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.