Lithium battery disappointment


Bought the Hitachi 18v cordless drill 3 months ago. I used it back then and all went well. Yesterday i had to just screw a 1 1/2 screw into my laundry wooden dryier holder...for one of the legs got loose. i got as far into with the drill till about a 3/8 of an inch of the screw. I sort of pushed the drill to complete it, but it could not do so, so i had to finish it with a screwdriver. I then tried to run the drill and it would not start...The battery was pratically full when I stopped using it 3 months ago. The manual says to recharge it again. No timetable for how long. Anyhow I did, the red light came on and waited about an hour or so when the red light started to flicker on and off...so i presumed that the charge was complete, of course the manual doesn't tell you time, color or whatever. OK, its working again...is this typical of these batteries? Are they that sensitive just to try and screw in one screw? I called Hitatchi support and said it was normal.
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Lithium batteries slowly discharge even if they are not being used. My cordless Ryobi has the same issue. Keeping the battery trickle charged will help.
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Li ion batteries will deliver considerable power until near total discharge, and then quit flat. As far as charge retention, I have Milwaukee and Makita Li ion and charge retention has been just fine on both, although my non-use periods are usually only a few weeks at most. Seems to me you should read your literature that came with the charger so you can understand what particular blinking LEDS are telling you.
Joe
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Corded drills are so nice....
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Probably a defective pack or charger, take it back its under warranty , no its not normal. But I only but HDs Ridgid brand now, they offer lifetime warranty on even the batteries, they are the only company to offer this and service- replacement is at my local HD, no bs mail in or service center crap, I dont even need my reciept since I register each tools numbers and model online with Ridgid, then in the mail I get a an additional Key card. LiIon should do 3-5 years, Nicad up to 8-15 years. But if you run packs dead dry you can kill them by individual cell polarity reversal.
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On Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:35:23 -0700 (PDT), novel8

I bought a 14.4v Hit last year. comes with a spare battery. 3 months is a lot of time but I would expect a LiOn battery to lose some of its charge but not to the extent what you describe. A well charged battery should keep enough of a charge to do more than your description. You may be incorrect on the status of the battery when you last used it.
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Jeff The Drunk wrote in

For my cell phone Li-ion battery,the manual says that the battery must be charged/discharged(cycled) several times before it delivers "full capacity".
One thing for all rechargable packs;store them with a FULL charge.
Li-ion cells are supposed to have a lower self-discharge rate than NiCd or NiMH cells. some are advertised as "holding 80% of charge for up to 6 months".
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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I've seen this for phone batteries. I have a spare battery for my Blackberry that I have only charged once and it has been used once in 6 months. I just tried it and it looks like it's still got 4 out of 5 bars on the status indicator.

I would agree. Especially for lead-acid types.

Li-ion batteries have a max number of charge cycles regardless of how deeply discharged they are.. They also have a finite shelf life. Don't know the figures but you can extend the storage life of li-ion batteries by refrigerating them. Nominally expect full capacity for 5 years from what I have read although YMMV. My battery pack in my Asus laptop from 2004 still lasts about 1.5 hours. My Toshiba laptop from 2002 is acting up. Sometimes I run it after the charge indicator says complete and it will last 5 minutes. Sometimes it will go an hour. I think it is a charging issue with the laptop since the battery pack remains cold to the touch while charging. But what is puzzling is the battery will charge for a couple hours until the completion is indicated by an LED regardless if the battery actually charges or not.
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<SNIP to here>

I have familiarity with charging ICs for Li-ion batteries, to extent of having laid out and assembled working circuit boards. The IC that I used times out after 3 hours, even if charge is incomplete or the IC fails to make the circuit deliver full charging current (or any) due to temperature or battery condition or connector issues. However, if after the 3 hour time-out the IC that I used determines that the battery stands to be recharged, it restarts attempted charging for another 3 hours.
Some other circuits may have a time limit without automatic restart after the time limit. I am familiar with a Ni-MH charging IC that stops at 4 hours even if the battery is not fully charged, and only restarts if the charger is turned off and back on.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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There is a circuit in the battery pack that disconnects the battery when the voltage gets too low. This is so you don't ruin the battery by over-discharging it. Lithium batteries do not handle any abuse at all.
Lithium batteries do discharge over time, but not nearly as much as NiCds. On the other hand, NiCd batteries can be abused until the cows come home.
Go back and re-read your damn instructions again, and this time read the ENGLISH ones... It says how the battery charger is supposed to work.
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