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Contacts in a Parkside Charger from Lidl's.

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Swarf, Mostly!23/05/2020 10:24:41
544 forum posts
47 photos

Hi there, all,

Many years ago, I was taught the 'First Rule of Electrical Engineering', namely that 'Everything in Electrical Engineering must have a "come from" and a "go to".

I recently bought a Parkside tool from our local branch of Lidls. These are supplied 'bare' so I bought a battery and charger to go with it. The charger part number is PLGK 12 A2.

Before I go any further, I want to emphasise that my experience with the Parkside brand has been very good. What I am about to describe is no exception to that - it is a matter of curiosity rather than displeasure.

The battery concerned, has three electrical contacts, positive, negative and a third. This third contact is common with rechargeable battery packs and is, I understand, used by the charger to sense battery temperature.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that the charger (well, my charger) has only two electrical contacts. Let's see if I can insert the photos:

parkside charger #02.jpg

and

parkside charger #01.jpg

The positive contact is there as is a contact with an unfamiliar symbol, but while there is clearly a provision for a negative contact, that position is empty!

I addressed an enquiry by email to the address given in the User Instructions booklet for service matters, namely grizzly@lidl.co.uk, but my query has been intercepted by Lidl's customer services department who have given a non-technical response!

I intend to persevere with my attepts to reach some Grizzly techie but, knowing that members here often patronise Lidls, I wondered if anyone else has bought this charger? If so, how many contacts does your charger have? Is mine unique?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

P.S.:  I'm suddely afflicted with doubts concerning apostophes!!!
 

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 23/05/2020 10:29:18

roy entwistle23/05/2020 10:29:44
1257 forum posts

Does it work ?

Swarf, Mostly!23/05/2020 10:38:27
544 forum posts
47 photos

Hi there, Roy,

My, you were quick off the mark!!

As to 'does it work?' well it appears to work but the User Instructions say the battery is supplied 'part-charged' and advise that it will require several charge/discharge cycles before it develops its full capacity. I have not yet got the feel of the red & green LED charge signalling facilities.

I'd like to resolve this apparently missing contact topic before proceeding further.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

SillyOldDuffer23/05/2020 12:08:26
Moderator
6333 forum posts
1389 photos

If it works I wouldn't worry about it. There's more than one way of skinning a cat and battery chargers are no exception. Just an example, imagine the charger uses a relay (it would be electronic rather than mechanical) to disconnect the battery when the positive line rises above a certain voltage.

The relay can be inside the battery, in which case there are three wires (left circuit), or outside the battery, in which case there are two wires (right circuit):

batterycontrol.jpg

This is just an example. Unlike a car battery and NiCADs etc, modern rechargable batteries are often stuffed full of electronics. Rather than an external controller in the charger deciding when a battery is charged, the battery either cooperates by signalling internal state back to the charger, or takes over entirely. Batteries and their chargers range between plain stupid (like my car battery charger), or highly intelligent like the battery in my newest laptop.

So the two wires on the Parkside might mean:

  1. Manufacturing error (in which case it either won't recharge or run the motor) , OR
  2. Cost has been reduced by simplifying the battery and charger. The long-term effect would be reduced service life. OR
  3. The battery has been upgraded so it doesn't need a control wire. (This isn't unlikely, because the charger will be based on an integrated circuit, and is likely clever enough to handle two wire thicko batteries, three wire semi-smart batteries, and brainy two wire batteries.)

Signalling has moved on; for most of my life extra wires were necessary to control equipment. Not so today - it's quite common to find devices exchanging control data over power lines, or a bus. Conversations are decoded by microcontrollers which can read sensors and operate switches to make stuff happen. No need for lots of wires.

Who understands how this particular device works? Not the user, or Lidl's Service Department! Parkside is a brand badge sold by Kompernass, website in German. The actual products are probably made in China, and are decent mid-range quality rather than dirt cheap. They could come from any of several factories working to a design. I've no idea who the designer is. Might be Chinese, quite likely it's Western: Germany, Japan, UK, USA, and several others commonly develop electronic products for manufacture abroad.

Not sure it's worth the effort of trying to penetrate through several layers to find the truth. Lidl will replace it if it's broke and they are very unlikely to know how it works. Might be possible to find a Service Manual on the web, but  these tend to be terse. Probably the easiest way is to take it apart, but even this will be difficult if the components have proprietary part numbers and you don't know what to look for.

I'd just use it. I wouldn't twitch just because the contacts are a bit different, though it would be nice to know why.

Dave

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 23/05/2020 12:12:29

Chris Shelton23/05/2020 12:30:45
avatar
92 forum posts
46 photos

Hi, techguru, does a teardown of Parkside batteries on youtube, the electronics for control of the battery and charging control is housed in the battery.

not done it yet23/05/2020 12:54:45
5026 forum posts
20 photos

It is likely, should it be a Lithium ion battery, that it will have a BMS (Battery Management System) within the battery which will control not just the charging, but other things like discharge voltage switch off, short circuit protection, prevention of charging if below freezing point, balancing the cells - and probably etc. The C- likely means the item attached is not actually directly connected to the negative of the battery, but fed (in and out) through the controller. The difference between a proper ‘battery’ and items powered by single cells (which are commonly called batteries due to people not knowing the difference🙂 ).

Edited By not done it yet on 23/05/2020 12:57:12

KWIL23/05/2020 13:07:25
3309 forum posts
63 photos

Kompernass website has an English optionyes

Clive Foster23/05/2020 13:18:16
2385 forum posts
76 photos

The third contact on the battery may be to control other features such as very fast charging or extra sensing from a multiple voltage charger.

Odds are the battery packs are to some degree generic and made to interface with chargers having more features than the Parkside branded ones. Or at least the ones they bring into the UK.

I believe some of the very fast charge systems partially bypass the battery packs own internal electronics. Being locked into the Makita LXT system I've not looked closely at Parkside but have the impression that the chargers aren't that fast by current standards.

Clive

Ady123/05/2020 13:20:26
avatar
3867 forum posts
522 photos

I have two different parkside chargers under my pooter desk and both are the two contact type

old mart23/05/2020 13:48:55
2000 forum posts
155 photos

I have just looked at my Parkside 20V Team charger and it has three contacts. These lithium ion batteries have some sophisticated electronics in the battery, so I have no idea what the third contact is for.

My very old Makita charger for ni-cads had a third contact which was connected to a thermistor, I believe that the heat increase when fully charged caused the thermistor to switch off the charging.

Swarf, Mostly!23/05/2020 13:50:03
544 forum posts
47 photos

Hi there, all,

My thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread.

I did quote the charger part number in my original post - perhpa I should also have stated that it is a member of the Parkside X 12V Team series, i.e. 12 Volts.

Ady: to sew the matter up completely, which two positions in the charger? Plus (+) and minus (- ) or Plus (+) and the other one? Just out of interest, is one of your chargers the type that charges two batteries simultaneously?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

old mart23/05/2020 14:24:09
2000 forum posts
155 photos

I have just got my 12V Team angle grinder out of the garage for a look, and it is the same as yours, with the + and C- contacts in the charger which connect with the + and T on the battery, which also has a - connection. Confusing isn't it. Take the end off the battery and the circuit board is exposed.

Cornish Jack23/05/2020 15:40:31
1173 forum posts
163 photos

Re. Parkside batteries - can be problematical!! One area is recharging, where the battery can be difficult to recharge if it goes below a defined value as measured by the internal circuitry. This can be sorted, apperently, by a momentary 'tickle' (NOT trickle!) charge from a higher voltage source.

The other problem is dimensional inaccuracy. I have two replacement batteries which are unusable because they are marginally too big.

rgds

Bill

Phil Whitley23/05/2020 15:51:22
avatar
1257 forum posts
147 photos

That third symbol looks like it indicates "insertion" (oooh er missis!) does it perhaps turn on the charger as you push the battery in?

Phil

Speedy Builder523/05/2020 16:32:28
2109 forum posts
146 photos

Yes that 3rd slot, get a small mirror and see if there is an opt device to sense battery presence ???

Martin Connelly23/05/2020 20:50:17
avatar
1466 forum posts
168 photos

It is the symbol found on a lot of illuminated power switches. You've probably seen it before but not thought about it.

Martin C

Lofty23/05/2020 21:08:07
8 forum posts
2 photos

Julian Ilett took one apart today
Lidl Parkside PLGK12 Battery Charger Strip Down

Youtube

lofty

Neil Wyatt23/05/2020 21:52:02
avatar
Moderator
18241 forum posts
714 photos
77 articles
Posted by Lofty on 23/05/2020 21:08:07:

Julian Ilett took one apart today
Lidl Parkside PLGK12 Battery Charger Strip Down

Youtube

lofty

A lot of guesswork there...

The blue 'capacitors' are the transient voltage suppressors he couldn't find.

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