Panasonic Cordless Drills - Now Junk?

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Thanks everyone. I hate it when a manufacturer wrecks the quality of a line of products.
I didn't know that there are battery replacement stores I'll try to dig one up.
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wrote:

The advice as to discharge of battery levels is good. My strategy (for years) has been to totally discharge a pack overnight/s using a standard 40Watt/240Volt lamp connected across the 'flat' battery. Recharge and allow to float for a minimum of 4 hrs. When I can,I use my PV array to recharge because of the better DC line. Works for me :- )
As an aside,, I hear the comments regarding Chinese manufacture and disagree in general. Their strategy (cheap) is different to that of the US one where 'cheap' means manufactured by an OEM offshore under Licence. The Chinese produce some very high quality reliable products with sound engineering. Unlike the Russian attempts and the early Japanese attempts at entering Export markets,, the Chinese are providing good quality stuff at a competitive value. They also have their 'lower end' products buuut are offering a choice. At the end of the day the purchase remains as a personal decision.
Not all that is foreign is "junk". IF that were the case their is no way DeWalt would have gained any foothold in this countrys Battery Drill market. I personally would not buy one but thousands do !
Cheers
BTZ
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I agree with you on the country of manu issue; I'm not sure that that's the issue here. I think the design is funky, or the manu materials choices are bad; and I'd expect that to be from the parent company.
Are you sure that the discharge to the bone philosophy is good for all types of rechargebles? These are Ni-MH; not Ni-Cad.
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wrote:

all :- ( I was referring to the advice (somewhere) of not running the drill/torch/engraver/vacuum cleaner untill the battery pack is so discharged it will no longer generate even an audible action from the tool. When the motor is obviously under stress from poor supply voltage THAT is the time to recharge.
For cadmium batteries the light bulb process is Good to Go,,for hydroxide packs?..I do not know, never owned one or studied the technology,, sorry <shrug>
cheerio
BTZ
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I've read the NiMH do not last long if you run them totally dead flat. I doubt the nicads do either. Perhaps that run them dead policy didn't help your batteries.
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Christopher A. Young
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IIRC,you run them down to 1V per cell,then recharge. When you run them ALL the way down,some cells will (generally)be flat before others,and then the cells get reverse-charged,damaging them. That's why they match cells in a pack during construction.
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Jim Yanik
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Discharging to 1v vs 1.2 v can reverse polarity on a old pack. RC car hobbiests that spend 10+$ a single cell and want performance for races use very expensive chargers-conditioners that optimise performance. Tool owners risk more damage on a complete discharge, and Tools dont have smart electronics yet .
This may be greatly due to companys profit margins on new packs. These days the replacement packs subsidise the tools.
A slower charge is better as in your car lead acid battery, a 200A charger cooks cells. Although chemistry is different for Nicad and NiMh, as cells membranes get thinner with higher Amp capacities cells get more fragile.
I have a 1986 Makita pack that functions and I used commercialy, and 5 more pre 90 packs. Battery life is more dependant on the user than the pack. Not using or charging a hot pack, 24 hr rest, not over discharging or charging till voltage drop and heat is generated are some of the most important things manufacturers wont tell you. Their big profit is in you buying a new pack.
A fast 15 min charge just does not go with my logic . Sanyo and Panasonic make the best batteries. A 1 hr charge has the logic of being more " cell friendly" than a 15 min charge, regardless of the Tool makers instructions. My Makitas are 1 hr. B&D 4-6.
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I'd been thinking about reverse voltage, but I don't know much about it. From what I know, if one battery in a pack is lower charge than the others, then it is possible for that cell to "reverse polarity" in the pack if the pack is discharged too low. Good reason NOT to fully discharge.
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Well, I can't find anyone that does battery rebuilding, either on the web or locally (SF Bay Area). Can you point me to a candidate?
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Have you checked for Batteries Plus in the phonebook?

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OK, I did find a listing for them now, I'll give them a shot. Thanks.
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Well, they said they only to automotive and commercial batteries.
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<< Have you checked for Batteries Plus in the phonebook? >>
Here in the midwest both Batteries Plus and Interstate Batteries will rebuild your pack. Cost is about half the new ones. HTH
Joe
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I was surprised to hear a construction worker prefer Panasonic cordless over a DeWalt, Makita, or Bosch. Panasonic cordless drills are now made in Mexico. The batteries should last over 1000 charges, but toward the end they hold less power. The batteries cost almost as much as the entire drill. I have a corded Milwaukee drill and it is very high quality, lots of power, and costs much less than any cordless brand. You can see comparison ratings in Consumer Reports.
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Are Panasonics the ones with the 15 minute fast chargers? That could be why their batt. packs are more expensive.
(most have 1 hr fast chargers,and I would not consider anything slower)
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snipped-for-privacy@abuse.gov says...

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What I've read is that the faster charge rates are more likely to "gas" the batteries. Putting electricity into a wet system breaks water down to hydrogen and oxygen.
Slow charge does much less gassing. Fast charge gasses otu the water, and kills the cells. I loved my old Skils, they had an overnight charge stand.
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I think that NiCds are designed to be for fast-charge or for extended 'overnight' charge,and then there are cheapo NiCds. I note that Digi-Key has NiCds expressly for staying ON the charger while not in use.
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One other thing;what often kills NiCds are the crystalline dendrites that grow and pierce the separator,and I believe these are minimized by fast charging(but not overcharging).
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