Re: Bad replacement battery

Gregory Urban (kragmeister@po.father.com)
Fri, 13 Sep 1996 22:51:11 -0400

Hello Hank,

You sent your reply to me rather than to the list. Because of some odd
quirk in the list server the "reply to" is not changed at the server to the
ultralite list address as happens with other e-mail lists I subscribe to.
At any rate...

At 05:42 AM 9/13/96 -0700, hkohlman@ix.netcom.com wrote:

>I have had a similar experience. I participated in the battery exchange and
>sent in two batteries that worked just fine in my UL. NEC through the
>battery exchange program sent me two new batteries. I left these on the
>charger for 24 hours and they appeared to charge up fine and the light went
>off. However, I was only able to get 10 to 15 minutes on each battery.

The original owner of my UL had the "bad" batteries and exchanged them
for the NiMH replacements. One of which he put into the machine and used
and I've been using it without a problem. The second battery that he had
gotten was still new in the wrapper and never used. I tried charging it and
it would only charge for about 1 hr. and then I would only get about 5 min.
of use out of it. Bear in mind that I have a "good" NiMH battery that takes
a full charge in about 8 hrs. and runs for about 45 min.

>The message which indicated that the batteries have electronics in them is
>intriguing. So I will eventually sacrifice one of my four batteries and see
>what this electronics is all about. Could be some kind of regulator or
>other voltage control.

This is where I figure that the problem lies. I have not chopped up
any batteries yet to see what is inside but someone indicated that there are
some sort of circuits inside that may be adjustable. Perhaps the
replacements are not properly calibrated to function with the charger.

>In order for NEC to do anything there is a $250.00 flat rate charge for
>"repair." So far you have had better luck with NEC. YOU WERE ABLE TO
>ACTUALLY TALK TO SOMEONE. I have tried calling the same number you did and
>have left messages but cannot get through.

I won't put any more money into this machine to get batteries to work.
I have one that does work fine and in the archives for the list there are
plans for building a "D" cell NiCd pack that plugs into the power port and
will run the machine for about 10 hrs. This is a cheaper option than
blowing $250 to have NEC calibrate the replacement batteries that they
should already have set up for the machine they are intended to be used in.

As far as I'm concerned this is just sloppy quality control and nothing
else!

Also after speaking to Lisa Schoenberg last week at NEC I've not been
able to get hold of her again this week concerning the bad replacement
battery. The other day I managed to get through to the operator at
800-366-3632 and she rang Ms. Schoenberg's number and I got an answering
machine. Today I tried again and the operator never answered, it just rang
and rang for minutes before I gave up. I'll have to try again next week.

>Perhaps if we all keep at it we will eventually get to the bottom of this
>problem. Could simply be an adjustment to accommodate the new battery that
>we were not told about.

Perhaps there is something in the service manual? Anyone on the list
have a service manual for the UL?

Best Regards,
Greg

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