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Old 05-09-2009, 08:14 AM   #1
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Default IB4200 questions - Identifying bad cells

Hi all,

I've got a few older IB4200's and I know that the last time I used them a few of the cells were on their way out. They've sat since late September. I want to know if there's a good way to figure out which cells are going bad or gone without the risk of venting or popping the bad cells. I've got access to a good Fluke voltmeter and I've got an LRP Pulsar 3 charger, as well as a Tekin BC112C (older software though). Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!!!

Adam
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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You won't know until you try and charge them unfortunately.

First, check the resting voltages of the cells. If they have been left some time many will probably have self-discharged down to 0V. This is where the troubles begin...

You can try jump-starting the cells by charging them individually with a peak lockout for about 500mAh capacity. While doing this check the cell voltage and cell temperature. If temperature rises high (above 45C) or voltage goes above around 1.55V for a long period, stop charging - the cell is dead.

With a bit of luck you should be able to get a small charge in each cell.

Then, equalise the pack, and try charging normally. Check once again that the cells don't drop to 0V, rise over 1.55V or overheat. You should have a usable pack, but performance will be below par.
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosidge View Post
You won't know until you try and charge them unfortunately.

First, check the resting voltages of the cells. If they have been left some time many will probably have self-discharged down to 0V. This is where the troubles begin...

You can try jump-starting the cells by charging them individually with a peak lockout for about 500mAh capacity. While doing this check the cell voltage and cell temperature. If temperature rises high (above 45C) or voltage goes above around 1.55V for a long period, stop charging - the cell is dead.

With a bit of luck you should be able to get a small charge in each cell.

Then, equalise the pack, and try charging normally. Check once again that the cells don't drop to 0V, rise over 1.55V or overheat. You should have a usable pack, but performance will be below par.
Thanks for the reply sosidge! I'm assuming a charge rate of 5 or 6 amps as with the normal pack isn't such a great idea....? I was thinking about somewhere in the 1-2 amp range. Think the same process would work for GP3300's? Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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I wouldn't charge any cells at over 1C these days, and really at 1C you're not going to see any ill effects, no more so than you would see at 1 or 2A anyway!

GP3300's will respond to the same treatment.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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The above given points are good. Another idea is to use the Pulsar Charger. I have the Pulsar 2 and I have made several really good packs from a pile of older packs. Just use the matching feature on 1 cell at a time. This takes a long time, but it is well worth it in the end. If they have been sitting for a long time you may want to cycle them a few times before recording the measurements.

I came into about 5 new 18V Dewalt packs a few years back. I used the matching feature on each cell and recorded the results. I ended up with a few packs that were stronger than some "zapped" and matched packs I had spent $80 on.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:19 PM   #6
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I usually look at the wrap and look for "Intellect SC-4200" - sure give away that its bad
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
I usually look at the wrap and look for "Intellect SC-4200" - sure give away that its bad
Exactly what I was thinking...
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:45 AM   #8
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I.ve been useing Tekins BC112C, for 12years now, Version h31 was the last upgrade done.

Breaking them in since been sitting so long. Useing the Tekin charger. Use profile 0 (P0) minimal peak [email protected] 3 amp to start. Shouldn't take long, maybe 30 minutes ar less. Check each cell with your Fluke DVM. 1.2v-1.4v is fine. anything lower than .9v-0 is suspect. 6 cell should read 7.2v- 8v. anything lower 6v, a bad cell.

Discharge the pack to .9v. Recharge at 4 amps @ P0(minimal peak), recheck each cell. Discharge battery pack running your car. Then let it rest(cool down). Discharge at .9v or less. Charge pack at 4.2amps profile at CS(cold start) or timed charge at 1 hours.

Take your time on doing this procedure. Packs are probably good. Storing the battery that long with no use should the checked once a month at half the mah of pack.

Use of tekins on procedure above. Tekin adjustable in amps such as 4200mah at 4.2 amps. Tekin profiles of CS(cold start) and Timed charge use them sparingly. Profiles P0 & P1 use mostly for peak charge and quicker charge.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezatec View Post
I.ve been useing Tekins BC112C, for 12years now, Version h31 was the last upgrade done.

Breaking them in since been sitting so long. Useing the Tekin charger. Use profile 0 (P0) minimal peak [email protected] 3 amp to start. Shouldn't take long, maybe 30 minutes ar less. Check each cell with your Fluke DVM. 1.2v-1.4v is fine. anything lower than .9v-0 is suspect. 6 cell should read 7.2v- 8v. anything lower 6v, a bad cell.

Discharge the pack to .9v. Recharge at 4 amps @ P0(minimal peak), recheck each cell. Discharge battery pack running your car. Then let it rest(cool down). Discharge at .9v or less. Charge pack at 4.2amps profile at CS(cold start) or timed charge at 1 hours.

Take your time on doing this procedure. Packs are probably good. Storing the battery that long with no use should the checked once a month at half the mah of pack.

Use of tekins on procedure above. Tekin adjustable in amps such as 4200mah at 4.2 amps. Tekin profiles of CS(cold start) and Timed charge use them sparingly. Profiles P0 & P1 use mostly for peak charge and quicker charge.
I think I've got h26 or something older like that. I've debating sending it in for an update but haven't had the funds or time for it. Thanks for the response!
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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With IB's, if you label each cell 'one' to 'six', the sixth will certainly be dead, as will every cell with an O or an E on the numbered label
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