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New battery first charge.....??

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  • New battery first charge.....??

    I had to buy a new battery for my cordless drill. I know each tool is a little bit different, and I will probably end up calling the company tomorrow. It did come with a small brochure on how to charge it for the first time, but it is all in pictures and I hate to say it, but it makes no sense. Battery was expensive and as such do not want to ruin it. I checked their website, and it has nothing with regard to this. My charger has two modes, a regular charge and a conditioning charge. The "pictures" appear to show it being charged regular for 24 hrs, and then it shows "40" and then it should be condition charged? The only thing that the manual that came with the charger says is that a new battery needs to be charged for 24 hrs in normal mode or up to 12 hrs in condition mode. This does not appear to jive with the "picture manual" that it comes with.

    I never thought I would say this, but the pictures are confusing.

    There was an individual here that seemed to be a battery expert, my apologies that I do not remember the screen name.

    Any help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

    Here is a link to the manual for my charger. Maybe I am missing something. Thanks in advance for any assistance.


  • #2
    By the way, out of the box, it has a charge, and it feels like a full charge power wise.


    • #3

      As a guy who has spent the last 38 years illustrating and writing technical manuals, I gotta tell you that this is pretty typical fare for someone who just writes and never uses the equipment. I agree with you that it is a lot more confusing than it had to be.

      So, here is my interpretation:

      A new battery needs to be properly charged (top of page 10). You can either use the standard charge mode for 24 hours or the conditioned mode for 12 hours (you need to press and hold the "conditioning" button in for 2 seconds in order to activate the "conditioning" charge mode.

      The charger can be used for Nicads as well as Nickle-metal Hydrides. It appears to be able to tell which is which and will charge accordingly. (Page 9 - Operation)

      The charger has three LED Indicators:

      Green - Will light constantly when the charger is plugged in. If it blinks, then the battery is either not inserted correctly or there is something wrong with it, Refer to the "Care and Maintenance section.

      Red - Will light continuously while the battery is being charged and will blink when the battery reaches full charge. (blinking also indicates that the charger is in trickle mode)

      Yellow - This will light constantly when you have initiated the "conditioning" charge mode. It will blink if the battery is too cold or too hot. You may leave the battery in position and when it reaches proper temperature, the "conditioning" charge will take place, the blinking will stop and the LED lights constantly.

      With either type of charge, you may leave the battery in the charger for long periods because after the initial charge, the charger goes into "trickle" mode. The charger is equipped with a temperature monitor to ensure against damaging the batteries.

      As far as the illustrations are concerning the little icons need some interpretation. The dashed lines illustrate "blinking" and the solid lines indicate constantly lighted.

      On the green LED, I guess that little lightning bold indicated trouble.

      For the red LED the full and almost empty battery icons are pretty intuitive

      The yellow LED was a bit confusing as I thought the top icon was a key... actually it's a thermomenter (horizontal) So blinking means the temperature isn't right and solid means that it is charging.

      Illustration 4 simply shows how to put it into "conditioning" mode.

      So, as I understand it, its pretty straight forward. Your new battery simply needs to be charged. You can do that with the regular method and it takes 24 hours or you can use the conditioning mode and it will take 12 hours. You don't need to do both (at least NOT by these instructions). After you use your batteries for awhile, understand that you will occasionally want to use the conditioning mode to keep them in shape.

      I hope this helps,


      [ 06-10-2005, 01:12 AM: Message edited by: CWSmith ]


      • #4


        that part was straight forward. The part that wasn't straight forward was the "instructions" that came with the battery.

        As per the manual you read, i dropped the battery in the charger in normal mode at 4:30 pm, at about 4:45 pm the red led saying it is fully charged. According to the manual this thing quits charging when the red led starts to blink.

        I did contact them, they said the same thing, let charge for 24 hrs out of the box.

        The indication is the battery has a full charge.


        • #5
          If the battery has a full charge as indicated, I'd use it as is. When the battery runs down, stick it back on the charger and hopefully it will take a reasonable amount of time to charge back up. In my opinion, 24 hours is an awful long time, but then I don't know the amp hr rating or whether it is NiCad or NiMh. However, most tool-application battery chargers do a "quick-charge" which really isn't good for the battery in the long run. So perhaps Hilti has decided that a proper charge, taking 24 hours, is better for the life of the battery.

          Most rechargeable batteries require a bit of a "break-in" period before they reach optimum charge. I'd rely on the charger doing its thing and then use the battery until it no longer operates the tool and then recharge again. It might take two or three times. Unless the battery seems to not have much power after charging it (or doesn't run long), or doesn't seem to want to charge in accordance with the instructions, I wouldn't worry about it.

          Hope this helps,



          • #6
            I bought the 3.0 AH MiMH battery vice the 2.0AH NiCad. The charger does both.

            Don't take me the wrong way, The instructions in the manual for the charger were cut and dry, the instructions that came with the battery did not jive with the manual.

            It is still in the charger and will not be used till tomorrow.

            Will just go with it!



            • #7

              The safe bet is to put the battery on the slowest charge possible right out of the box and then keep them in shape to maintain a healthy life.

              Here is a quote from Dr. Robert Suding who specializes in battery technology amongst other electronic delicacies.

              "Some so called "battery experts" claim that cycling is unnecessary, "memory" being an artifact invented by greedy manufacturers to sell chargers.

              I cycle my batteries every 6 months. Just discharge the pack down to 1.1 volts/cell Then recharge. Repeat a couple of times. The trick is to stop the discharge from going too low."


              • #8

                I understand, sometimes instructions written by two different people or from two different sources will be in conflict. I think you're on the right track, just go with the charger as you said.

                If you're used to using NiCads, you're gonna love NiMh batteries. They provide a lot more power for the size and you don't have to worry about draining them completely before recharging. I'm sure you are going to be real happy with your Hilti.