3 Panasonic Univeral Chargers (EY0230 7.2-15.6V) Croak

I've got two Panasonic EY6407 12V Ni-MH cordless drills, five EV9200 12V 3.0 ah batteries and THREE EY0230 7.2-15.6V chargers. The drills were bought three years apart 2000 and 2003 each with a charger. The third charger was bought in 2005.
All three chargers appear to have croaked - at the same time and I've now got five dead battery packs.
They were all plugged into outlets on two different 110VAC circuits in a branch breaker box fed from the main breaker box's 30A 220V breaker. One leg of that 30A 220V breaker wasn't properly seated on it's bus bar when it was installed by a licensed electrician and inspected by a county electrical inspector. That breaker has not tripped since it was installed in 1999.
About three months ago, the 110V outlets for my JET mini/midi lathe started acting up - variable speed changing speed without my touching its controls, 40 Watt fluorescent task lites flickering - then the quad outlet went dead.
Backing up checking for presents of power - at upstream 110V outlets, then to legs on the breaker on that circuit breaker and finally back to the main breaker box.
When that turned no power back to the main breaker box I pulled the 30A 220V breaker. One leg on the breaker, and its contact on a bus bar were visibly burned. Turns out a piece of the plastic case on the back of the breaker apparently broke when the breaker was installed - and kept one leg of the breaker from fully seating properly on the bus bar.
So I break out the VOM, plug a charger in and start reading voltage between the 5 contacts labeled S, +, K, -, - Black lead on first contact, Red on the Second contact
S to + -0.08 S to K +0.25 S to - -0.25 S to - 0.00
+ to S -0.06 + to K -0.32 + to - -0.34 + to - 0.00
K to S 0.00 K to + +0.24 K to - -0.01 K to - +0.20
- to S +0.20 - to + +0.22 - to K 0.00 - to - +0.19
- to S 0.00 - to + 0.00 - to K 0.00 - to - 0.00
Get no lights on the charger when it's plugged into a verified hot 110V outlet, no lights when a battery is installed for charging.
Can't get into the charger case because they used star screws with the a "finger" in the middle. I've got a bit that would fit the screws - but - they buried the screws at the bottom of an inch and a quarter hole.
HELP!
Did the breaker problem fry all three chargers?
You'd think they'd put in some type of circuit protector in these puppies.
charlie b
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Snip

You can get than bit, in a small set of bits, from Northern Tool.

I would bet you would find a burnt diode or the like in there.
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Well after using the VOM on the charger and getting all the readings between pairs of the 5 contacts on the charger, left it plugged in and put a battery in it just to keep them together. Today I grabbed the charger and battery to take them over to the local Panasonic service outfit - conveniently about a half mile from home. Just for fun I popped the battery in the drill and pulled the trigger. SURPRISE - full power! Guess it's The Witness Effect (things screw up - until there's an additional observer, in which case they behave properly - until the witness leaves.
So NOW I'm wondering if I've got an electrical problem in one or more electrical runs in my shop. The little 3 prong plug in thing with the two orange lights and one red one says the outlet the now working charger was plugged into is fine. The little flashlite sized tester with the small "paddle" on the end lights up when the paddle is placed close to or in contact with the Black wire to the outlet, and when inserted into the longer slot in the outlet - and indicates that 110/120 Vac is present.
If I had hair I'd be beginning to pull it out at this point. I took, and passed EE98 - Circuit Analysis and I even remember that RMS stands for Root Mean Squared and know the difference between a half wave and a full wave rectifier - theory. Give me something electrical that stops working and I'm screwed. I guess I skipped the Applied Circuit Analysis lecture.
charlie b
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charlieb wrote:

There is, of course, the BTS or Broken Tv Syndrome. This holds that any TV will give out snow, blurs, diagonal lines, or even blackness until the repair person shows up. At this time, the TV will work even better than when new.     whine,     jo4hn
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Step away from that coffee machine, jo4hn... sloooowly step away...
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Man did this one head off on a tangent about The Witness Effect.
Back to the original problem and questions about the chargers.
I'm hoping that the problem was caused by a voltage spike when one leg of the 30 amp 220V breaker contact arced to the bus bar and that just a diode went - and maybe even the LEDs that let you now the damn thing IS charging. Reaching for a charged battery only to find it isn't in fact charged is kind of a PITA, especially when you've got only a couple more hinge screws to drive or holes to drill.
With luck, when I call the repair guy it'll be something "inexpensive" (read about or less than HALF of the price of a new charger). Wishful thinking on my part.
IF he solves the problem - would it be tacky to ask for the security star head screw bit size and ask if I can buy the parts to fix my other two chargers? Or maybe ask for a Bulk Price and have all of them checked out and repaired?
And I guess it would be prudent to check the circuitS they'll be plugged into to avoid a REPEAT. I HATE making the same mistake TWICE.
charlie b
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jo4hn wrote:

I know that syndrome!
All summer, my airplane was in and out of a radio shop for a navigational instrument that would read 30 degrees off.
Every time we'd fly it to the shop, it would perform flawlessly. On the way back from the shop, it would fail again. _5_ times it did this.
It _knew_ where we were going, like a dog to the vet...
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B A R R Y wrote:

Did you ever get it fixed? If not then you might want to try it on different headings and note the error and see if it is something systematic.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Yup. It was a high resistance connection between a NAV radio and a VOR CDI display, in the CDI selection ring. It was always exactly 30 degrees off from the other VOR receiver and the VOR display derived from GPS. One night we flew circles around a VOR, and did approach after approach with it. When the problem appeared, it was always exactly 30 degrees.
This was our NAV1, which is also our glide scope receiver used for ILS. Since ILS signals don't use the ring, it worked fine on an ILS or localizer, just not with a VOR.
One night last month, right after picking the plane up from the radio shop, I shot a perfect localizer practice approach to Brainard, went missed and went around to do the VOR approach. It was dead calm, so there was very little wind correction angle required on the localizer beam.
Bradley vectored me south past the Hartford VOR (which is actually in the S. Glastonbury / Portland / East Hampton corner) for the approach, and I though it weird that he sent me over to Brainard tower without me being on course. I lined up the needles and continued the approach. My safety pilot, who could see out the windows, was figeting. The VOR problem had unknowingly reappeared. Just as my safety pilot told me not to descend, the tower asked me if I was planning on landing at Brainard, or the Buckland Hills Mall. <G>
We went missed and headed back to the VOR. I was actually able to fly holds off the Hartford VOR, just all courses were 30 degrees off. I then flew down to Madison VOR and did the same, with the same result. I could fly perfect race track holds, with the breadcrumbs on the GPS screen exactly 30 degrees from where the instrument said I was. Trying to fly 360 / 180 on a dead calm night, I ended up with 030 and 210, which is why I was lined up for the mall earlier.
Luckily, we use VIP Avionics at Brainard. They're really good about not charging much for problems they can't duplicate. They finally nailed it about 10 days ago.
I swear the thing knew whenever it was headed to the shop, though!
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"B A R R Y" wrote

Glad you got it fixed. My wife had a car for awhile that had a persistent problem that could not be fixed. The mechanic we went to just opened up his shop and was very upset that he could not find the problem. So he worked on the car again and again at no charge until he found the problem. It took seven or eight times before he got it fixed.
Soooo......, my wife went to work in the kitchen and made cookies, tamales, etc, etc. Then she had me run the goodies up to the shop. They were always happy to see me coming!
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on
That's the type of mechanic you want to find.

tamales,
And, that's how you keep him.
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