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(Probably) a basic battery question

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by dbarak, Apr 25, 2010.

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  1. dbarak

    dbarak

    16
    5
    Apr 25, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here and new to electronics, so please forgive me if this is a ridiculously basic question.

    I received a small battery-powered video monitor that operates from 12 Volts. It came with an unmarked rechargeable battery, supposedly NiCd, and two A/C power adapters. The monitor runs fine on battery and fine using one of the adapters, specified at 12 Volts output voltage. However, the other adapter outputs 15 Volts. Supposedly one of these two is a power supply for the monitor and the other one is a charger for the battery.

    So my question is, is it safe and prudent to charge the battery using the 15 Volt adapter? Or could it be that the 12 Volt adapter is the charger, and the other is for directly powering the monitor from A/C? Or maybe the 12 Volt unit is a power supply AND a charger, and the 15 Volt unit was included by mistake? I haven't hooked the battery up to either adapter yet.

    I did some checking online and learned a bit about NiCd batteries in general, but I couldn't find anything about charger output voltages.

    Any ideas?

    Dave
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,497
    2,839
    Jan 21, 2010
    Is there a separate charger for the battery, or does the 12/15 volt unit plug into the battery?

    Does the monitor have a voltage rating near the plug?
     
  3. dbarak

    dbarak

    16
    5
    Apr 25, 2010
    Hi Steve,

    There are two separate adapters.

    >>The 12V adapter doesn't have any branding information on it, just the basic input and output specs and "AC Adapter."

    >>The other adapter is a generic Cincon brand unit. (I looked it up online using the model number.) One label on that one has the specs, including the mention of 15V, and that says "Power Adapter." A second label, with the model number on it, says "Travel Charger."

    My main concern is doing something spectacular like setting the battery on fire by using the 15V unit. If I just kill the battery, I can always get another one. The battery doesn't have any markings other than a label advising to not charge it for more than 2 hours.

    I've never thought about what would happen if you hooked up a battery to a charger that supplies more voltage than the battery puts out. Fireworks? :)

    Dave



     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,497
    2,839
    Jan 21, 2010
    Let's try again...

    How does the 12 volt battery charge? Is there a separate charger, or does an adapter plug into the battery pack, or does it charge whilst it's in the monitor? Note: I am NOT referring to the adapters!

    Does the MONITOR have any voltage ratings etc near where the power adapter plugs into it?
     
  5. dbarak

    dbarak

    16
    5
    Apr 25, 2010
    Aha, gotcha' now. Sometimes I aren't too pretty smart. :)

    Okay, the monitor is marked for 12V DC tip positive.

    The battery is purely external and charges outside the monitor. There are two jacks on the battery - IN and OUT. Connecting the battery to the monitor using the OUT jack powers the monitor, and the 12V adapter does the same.

    So the kit (refurbished) came with the 12V monitor, 12V (I assume) external battery (no specs, but only chargeable outside the monitor), a 12V wall wart and a 15V wall wart.



     
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