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Connecting an AC adapter directly to Dell Inspiron 8200's battery jack

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February 5, 2013 12:51:17 PM

I have an old Dell Inspiron 8200 which is in good working condition except for the laptop's (inner) converter that is responsible for using the power supplied by the laptop's AC adapter, using it to both charge the battery and to power the computer while the battery is in. This is a known issue with this laptop model that has caused problems to a lot of people once these laptops start getting old.

Aside from the laptop's original AC adapter (with an output of DC20V 4.5A), I also happen to own another high quality AC adapter (from another laptop long gone), which happens to have the exact output as this laptop's battery, that is, DC15V 4.5A.

Now, what I would like to do is to bypass the faulty laptop's (inner) converter (that is, the problematic circuitry inside the laptop), get rid of the laptop's battery (which does not work anyway), and connect my quality DC15V 4.5 AC adapter (which as I said provides the exact same output as a fully charged battery for this laptop) directly to the battery jack inside the laptop.
Basically, this way, the laptop will "think" that a fully charged battery is in. I've tested it with another working battery from the repair shop, and the laptop works perfectly fine with the power supplied by a battery inserted in the battery jack.

However, I am not sure to which two out of the six or seven battery jack connectors (of the battery jack inside the laptop) I need to solder the + and - output wires from the DC15V 4.5A AC adapter (actually, I will not solder the output wires from the adapter directly to the battery jack, but will make it unpluggable, for convenience/safety reasons).

Could someone who exactly understands what I'm talking about here please provide some directions in this regard? All I need to know is which (two) battery jack wires I need to connect the DC15V 4.5A adapter output to. Thanks.

More about : connecting adapter directly dell inspiron 8200 battery jack

a b D Laptop
February 5, 2013 6:19:44 PM

claudem said:
I have an old Dell Inspiron 8200 which is in good working condition except for the laptop's (inner) converter that is responsible for using the power supplied by the laptop's AC adapter, using it to both charge the battery and to power the computer while the battery is in. This is a known issue with this laptop model that has caused problems to a lot of people once these laptops start getting old.

Aside from the laptop's original AC adapter (with an output of DC20V 4.5A), I also happen to own another high quality AC adapter (from another laptop long gone), which happens to have the exact output as this laptop's battery, that is, DC15V 4.5A.

Now, what I would like to do is to bypass the faulty laptop's (inner) converter (that is, the problematic circuitry inside the laptop), get rid of the laptop's battery (which does not work anyway), and connect my quality DC15V 4.5 AC adapter (which as I said provides the exact same output as a fully charged battery for this laptop) directly to the battery jack inside the laptop.
Basically, this way, the laptop will "think" that a fully charged battery is in. I've tested it with another working battery from the repair shop, and the laptop works perfectly fine with the power supplied by a battery inserted in the battery jack.

However, I am not sure to which two out of the six or seven battery jack connectors (of the battery jack inside the laptop) I need to solder the + and - output wires from the DC15V 4.5A AC adapter (actually, I will not solder the output wires from the adapter directly to the battery jack, but will make it unpluggable, for convenience/safety reasons).

Could someone who exactly understands what I'm talking about here please provide some directions in this regard? All I need to know is which (two) battery jack wires I need to connect the DC15V 4.5A adapter output to. Thanks.


It is usually more than just 2 wires that carry the power. The pins for the battery carries with it information about the battery, and some casual exchanges of data from the computer to the battery on the SM Bus.

To get this to work, you will need a battery with a working circuitry inside, discard the internal cells, FIND A WAY TO FOOL THE BATTERY CONTROLLER (hard part, you MAY have to resort to installing some regulators outputting 3.7V and wire that to each cell's wire that goes to the controller), since the cells inside the battery are individually balanced for newer designs (see the 2nd link by ratedk), and wire the cells to a jack, probably mounted to the battery casing pointing out the backside.

ALTHOUGH, the usually easier way is to open the laptop up and see if the power board is replaceable...
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February 5, 2013 6:25:27 PM

Cant you just fix (Solder) the circuit that is messed up on the Motherboard/Daughter Board?
I've done this about ten times so far on all kinds of dells.
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February 5, 2013 6:34:28 PM

Your going to hit a snag there, because belive it or not it`s not as simple as you think supplying the 12v, can I make a suggestion to you here.
Crack the battery open since it is dead anyway. in there you will be able to work out where the Plus and minus need to go solder the wires to there from the power supply.
If you look you will see a small circuit board. So wire the + - from the battery, unsolder them. Then solder the + - of the the power adapter feed to that. Tape the board with electrician tape avoiding shorting obviously.

Why am I telling you, well because that little board sends information of the status of the battery, data. If it is good, safe to use.
So if the laptop does not see it, then it may just say no way if you did it the other way as you were intending to do ok, just a heads up and yes it works.
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a c 249 D Laptop
February 5, 2013 9:41:49 PM

Hi :) 

I own a laptop repair company... you are replacing a 19/20 volt charger with a 15 volt charger... that will be fun... ever heard of OHMS LAW... I think you need to Google and understand it...

Also even if you do manage this... you ARE going to get a LOT of nag messages about incorrect charger/battery both on Boot and in Windows...

Is it REALLY worth the effort....just get it fixed properly by any decent lappy repair company...

All the best Brett :) 
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a b D Laptop
February 5, 2013 9:52:14 PM

Brett, I think you miss-understand the OP
They are talking about hacking the BATTERY to take the voltage(or just soldering right to the proper pins) and pass it.

The laptop gets more to from the DC jack to allow it to perform all the needed conversions and cover any losses(should be quit minimal).

Also you know most DC-DC converters do have a range they will operate in.

I would still recommend a PROPER fix, but if you have nothing to loose(its this or trash), very carefully hack that battery to bits :)  do NOT ever push power into the batter cells as they WILL burst.

This is kind of like taking an old portable cd player that has a 4.5 volt charger and instead soldering a 3 volt adapter onto the 2 x AA batter connector inside the battery compartment of it and NEVER running it on batteries again(and clearly never running it off its old DC in jack).
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a b D Laptop
February 5, 2013 11:21:56 PM

To the OP:

I thought just occurred to me. You didn't mention if the power circuitry problem is physical or electrical. If the jack is not making good contact anymore, the best repair is to unsolder the jack and replace the jack.

If the problem is electrical, the DC-DC regulation circuitry inside the laptop is shared between the 15V battery and the 19V DC input. Since both voltages needs to be stepped down to 5V for the onboard electronics, if the DC-DC converter doesn't work anymore, then the battery method LIKELY won't work either.

You used the words "Inner Converter" which confuses me a bit...
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a b D Laptop
February 5, 2013 11:52:20 PM

I am willing to bet the changer(in the laptop not the power brick it self) is the problem. The OP says that a second changed battery would run the system.

Yeah, if it was just the plug, those are straight forward enough to re-solder. If it has been like that for a while, some arc damage may have been done(so a bit of cleanup would be in order).
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February 6, 2013 3:51:55 PM

ratedk said:
Here's what I could find. Good luck, I'd like to know how it turns out. These are not specific for your model, but should give you a push in the right direction. :) 

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_repai...

http://www.neurotikart.com/id4.html


Thank you so very much for this very useful information.
I'll take some time to look into it and then post here how it turned out.
These links are very much appreciated! :) 

Maxx_Power said:
It is usually more than just 2 wires that carry the power. The pins for the battery carries with it information about the battery, and some casual exchanges of data from the computer to the battery on the SM Bus.

To get this to work, you will need a battery with a working circuitry inside, discard the internal cells, FIND A WAY TO FOOL THE BATTERY CONTROLLER (hard part, you MAY have to resort to installing some regulators outputting 3.7V and wire that to each cell's wire that goes to the controller), since the cells inside the battery are individually balanced for newer designs (see the 2nd link by ratedk), and wire the cells to a jack, probably mounted to the battery casing pointing out the backside.

ALTHOUGH, the usually easier way is to open the laptop up and see if the power board is replaceable...


What you wrote make sense, given the way smart batteries operate. If it boils down to having to go through all that you have described, then it would be unfeasible, as I don't have on my hand all the time or be willing to go through all the effort required.

Kurz said:
Cant you just fix (Solder) the circuit that is messed up on the Motherboard/Daughter Board?
I've done this about ten times so far on all kinds of dells.


These inspirons are very peculiar as to the AC adapter they accept. I didn't give out too many details in my initial post so as to make my questions more easily followed. My reason for wanting to do what I described in my initial post is based on two facts: 1) I don't have an original Dell AC adapter for this laptop and have already gone through two replacement ones (the first one simply got fried after a few minutes of the computer functioning properly with it, with battery inserted....it simply expired, and it was a proper 20V 4.5A 90W replacement charger designed for this family of laptops. The second one, simply was not accepted by the system as a suitable one, even though it had the same specs as the first one and is also designed for this family of Dell laptops, though a different brand than the first one. These laptops are very finicky as to the power supply they accept. And 2) I will not be using a working battery in this laptop...so I thought it would be great if I could find a way to bypass the charging system and supply the current directly at the battery port.
To answer more specifically your question, though, I have no idea as to what to solder on the Motherboard/Daughter Board to fix the problem, which you are pointing to.

weaselman said:
Your going to hit a snag there, because belive it or not it`s not as simple as you think supplying the 12v, can I make a suggestion to you here.
Crack the battery open since it is dead anyway. in there you will be able to work out where the Plus and minus need to go solder the wires to there from the power supply.
If you look you will see a small circuit board. So wire the + - from the battery, unsolder them. Then solder the + - of the the power adapter feed to that. Tape the board with electrician tape avoiding shorting obviously.

Why am I telling you, well because that little board sends information of the status of the battery, data. If it is good, safe to use.
So if the laptop does not see it, then it may just say no way if you did it the other way as you were intending to do ok, just a heads up and yes it works.


I know what you are referring to. If it is this simple, I could do it easily... however, after reading what was written by Maxx_Power (see above), I am no longer so sure. Do you think it would still work this way, that a direct connection like you describe would fool the battery? I hope so, because this would be exactly the simple solution I am looking for.

smorizio said:
if it the dc/dc board your talking about it 14.00 for a replacement board.
http://www.impactcomputers.com/6c464.html
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Latitude-C800-C810-C840-DC...
that one is 9.00
for 9.00 and some time i would try replacing that board. also check that the power pin is fine.


This could work, OR it may not. For instance, I took this laptop to a friend's repair shop yesterday, and after a few unsuccessful trials he plugged into it some (obscure) (non-dell) replacement AC adapter, and the computer worked fine with it and a dead battery in. I have several of the 15V 4.5A AC adapter I mentioned with the exact same output as a fully charged battery, and if I could make this concept work.....I have access to a couple more Inspiron 8200s with seemingly the same problem as this one that I could get to work this way and so extend their useful life.

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 

I own a laptop repair company... you are replacing a 19/20 volt charger with a 15 volt charger... that will be fun... ever heard of OHMS LAW... I think you need to Google and understand it...

Also even if you do manage this... you ARE going to get a LOT of nag messages about incorrect charger/battery both on Boot and in Windows...

Is it REALLY worth the effort....just get it fixed properly by any decent lappy repair company...

All the best Brett :) 


Actually, I'm not thinking of replacing the 20V adapter with a 15V one. 15V is the voltage supplied by a fully charged battery, and I was thinking of using that to make the system think a fully charged battery is inserted in the bay.

nukemaster said:
Brett, I think you miss-understand the OP
They are talking about hacking the BATTERY to take the voltage(or just soldering right to the proper pins) and pass it.

The laptop gets more to from the DC jack to allow it to perform all the needed conversions and cover any losses(should be quit minimal).

Also you know most DC-DC converters do have a range they will operate in.

I would still recommend a PROPER fix, but if you have nothing to loose(its this or trash), very carefully hack that battery to bits :)  do NOT ever push power into the batter cells as they WILL burst.

This is kind of like taking an old portable cd player that has a 4.5 volt charger and instead soldering a 3 volt adapter onto the 2 x AA batter connector inside the battery compartment of it and NEVER running it on batteries again(and clearly never running it off its old DC in jack).


Exactly, nukemaster, you got it. Certainly, the battery cells will have to be taken out of the way or they will, as you say, burst. I wish this can be done, am just a little concerned about what was written earlier by Maxx_Power.

Maxx_Power said:
To the OP:

I thought just occurred to me. You didn't mention if the power circuitry problem is physical or electrical. If the jack is not making good contact anymore, the best repair is to unsolder the jack and replace the jack.

If the problem is electrical, the DC-DC regulation circuitry inside the laptop is shared between the 15V battery and the 19V DC input. Since both voltages needs to be stepped down to 5V for the onboard electronics, if the DC-DC converter doesn't work anymore, tghen the battery method LIKELY won't work either.

You used the words "Inner Converter" which confuses me a bit...


Nope, it's not a matter of the AC adapter jack not making good contact. As I described earlier, one AC adapter was "fried", a second one had the power light of the laptop go on but it was not accepted as a proper charger, and finally another one worked fine (but I cannot have that one as my friend from the shop needs it for his work). These laptops are just finicky as to the power supplies they accept, and even more so as they get older, for some reason. A fully charged battery powers this laptop just fine.

nukemaster said:
I am willing to bet the changer(in the laptop not the power brick it self) is the problem. The OP says that a second changed battery would run the system.

Yeah, if it was just the plug, those are straight forward enough to re-solder. If it has been like that for a while, some arc damage may have been done(so a bit of cleanup would be in order).


So should I go ahead and disassemble the battery, get rid of its cells and connect the +/- DC from the 15V DC charger as described in the link provided by ratedk in the first reply and see what happens? The points provided by Maxx_Power in his first post, however, have me concerned a bit... The battery is dead anyway and if this doesn't work, the laptop will probably be disassembled for parts and be retired for good.
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a b D Laptop
February 6, 2013 5:11:20 PM

Sure, you are at a point of nothing else to do aside from replacing the onboard charger, chances are its a part of the board and not too easy to replace.

Be careful with the cells as li-ion is known to not like any kind of crushing/cutting/excessive shock.

If you leave any other hardware in the battery in place(and ensure nothing is shorted out as your new power supply will not like that), with some luck, you may be able to get it to work.
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a b D Laptop
February 6, 2013 10:26:45 PM

I think, based on what you said about the power adapters, it seems like your power jack's center pin(s) is/are making intermittent contact. Some AC-DC adapters have a tip/tips that is/are slightly narrower (due to tolerances in manufacturing), so they may work with your laptop when you have a power jack contact issue.

IF this is the case, you need to solder a new jack (not very expensive) to replace the old one. I'm suggesting based on your symptoms, and the fact that this is the most COMMON reason, especially on Dell-HP machines, for why the power inlet has intermittent connectivity but battery runs fine.

I know you didn't ask for what the problem is, but just as a thought, before you try something much more difficult.

These power jacks are offered in TONS of places on the web, for example here:

http://www.powerjackshop.com/Dell/Dell-Inspiron-8200.html for $6.55. It looks like this:

, not sure if yours looks like that.
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a c 248 D Laptop
February 6, 2013 10:43:20 PM

Quote:
So should I go ahead and disassemble the battery, get rid of its cells and connect the +/- DC from the 15V DC charger as described in the link provided by ratedk in the first reply and see what happens? The points provided by Maxx_Power in his first post, however, have me concerned a bit... The battery is dead anyway and if this doesn't work, the laptop will probably be disassembled for parts and be retired for good.


If you disassemble the battery make a diagram of how everything is connected. Cells , circuits, and the rest and post it in your answer. That way I will determine how you should replace the cells with the psu you have.
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a b D Laptop
February 6, 2013 10:47:25 PM

jarotech, We all know you would just sonic that sucker back together :) 
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a c 248 D Laptop
February 6, 2013 10:52:48 PM

nukemaster said:
jarotech, We all know you would just sonic that sucker back together :) 


Sorry but I don't know what you are talking about, maybe because I am french.
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a b D Laptop
February 6, 2013 11:01:15 PM

But you have the TARDIS(Police Box) forum avatar(Sonic screwdriver from doctor who, fixes anything in a flash. does not work on wood). I will stop :p 
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a c 248 D Laptop
February 6, 2013 11:11:23 PM

OK I understand now what you are talking about, but that was not my purpose of that avatar, I use it for the purpose that what you see is not always what you encounter in life. Sometimes you will get more than you expect.
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February 6, 2013 11:47:06 PM

Maxx_Power said:
I think, based on what you said about the power adapters, it seems like your power jack's center pin(s) is/are making intermittent contact. Some AC-DC adapters have a tip/tips that is/are slightly narrower (due to tolerances in manufacturing), so they may work with your laptop when you have a power jack contact issue.

IF this is the case, you need to solder a new jack (not very expensive) to replace the old one. I'm suggesting based on your symptoms, and the fact that this is the most COMMON reason, especially on Dell-HP machines, for why the power inlet has intermittent connectivity but battery runs fine.

I know you didn't ask for what the problem is, but just as a thought, before you try something much more difficult.

These power jacks are offered in TONS of places on the web, for example here:

http://www.powerjackshop.com/Dell/Dell-Inspiron-8200.html for $6.55. It looks like this:

http://www.powerjackshop.com/images/pp13276.JPG, not sure if yours looks like that.


No, unfortunately these dell laptops have the notorious three-hole charger plug, like this:
http://www.level8technology.com/catalog/ac-dl05.jpg

EDIT: I'm sorry, you were right, that's the laptop's AC adapter jack.
I've already gone ahead with disassembling the battery and am ready to go ahead with the project. I would like to show you guys some pictures of the gutted out battery first, though, to get some feedback.
If the problem was intermittent contact between plug and jack, then why would one charger consistently light the power led? (it had an output of 3.18A, while this computer will not start unless it gets the full 4.5A, this is a well known fact talked about in many forums.) The charger that expired was probably defective in the first place, one of those cheap ones imported from China. As I said it is well known that the 8200 series is very finicky about adapters. The other charger, the one from my friend's shop, would consistently start the computer. And we tried a few times. I don't think it is a matter of intermittent contact and honestly don't feel like throwing away 6 bucks + shipping costs and waste any additional time on this one. Just my thoughts. I have a possible solution and would like to go ahead and give it a try. And I like the idea of making it work out this way, if successful.. :)  Just my thoughts. Thanks however for providing the link and your suggestion.

EDIT2: Should the DC-adapter-output-to-battery approach not work, I could test your suggestion by bypassing the AC adapter jack and connecting the 20V 4.5A 90W output directly to the wires that connect to the jack. I already know the way to make this connection. The problem is, I don't have a proper charger for this machine, now that the Chinese one I had bought for it has expired. So I would have to re-order a new AC adapter for the laptop, and a good quality one would be $30-40. Don't feel like ordering another Chinese-made. Now maybe you see why I'm trying to make this solution work. This is an older PC I don't feel like throwing too much money into.
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a b D Laptop
February 7, 2013 12:00:27 AM

That looks like the jack linked by Maxx_Power.
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February 7, 2013 12:11:23 AM

nukemaster said:
That looks like the jack linked by Maxx_Power.


Yes, you are correct, that's my jack then. My bad :( 

Anyway, I've disassembled the battery pack. It is a Dell Battery Module, Rechargeable Li-on Battery, type 66Whr, Capacity 66Whr, Rating: 14.8V 4460 mAh. It consists of 8 battery cells, 4 groups of 2, each two in parallel and the four groups in series which achieves the battery rating above. Cells are Sony Fukushima STG US 18650GR. I've taken 8 pictures showing the details and the connections, but don't seem to find a way to post them here. How do I go about posting the pictures I've taken? Advice?

There are one red wire and one black wire which emerge from the battery pack and go into the battery circuit, which I assume to be the positive and negative to which I should attach the output from the AC to DC adapter. I would like to post the pictures first, though, to see what you guys think and receive any suggestions you may have before going ahead with the deed.
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February 7, 2013 12:41:13 AM

jarotech said:
If you disassemble the battery make a diagram of how everything is connected. Cells , circuits, and the rest and post it in your answer. That way I will determine how you should replace the cells with the psu you have.


I've disassembled the battery and taken a few pictures. I think I've located the the two wires I need to attach the PSU to, but would like some feedback before I go ahead. Does tomshardware allow pictures uploading, or should I place them elsewhere and link to them?
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a b D Laptop
February 7, 2013 12:54:20 AM

in general, you just upload to a host like dropbox/imageshack ect

You can embed with BB code IMG tags
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a c 248 D Laptop
February 7, 2013 7:19:11 AM

You can replace each group of cell with a resistance of 100K ohms, connect the positive (+) to the terminal 1 and negative (-) to the terminal 7. We'll see if the four resistors will replace the cells.
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February 7, 2013 1:37:34 PM

jarotech said:
You can replace each group of cell with a resistance of 100K ohms, connect the positive (+) to the terminal 1 and negative (-) to the terminal 7. We'll see if the four resistors will replace the cells.


It doesn't seem very easy to do what you suggest *at this point*. Unfortunately, your directions to replace each battery group with a 100K ohm resistor came after my disassembling the battery and all those connections that were in there between the cells have now been destroyed in the process. I didn't know I was supposed to replace each battery group with a resistor, in which case I would have preserved them. Sorry. Perhaps I can reconstruct the connections by looking at the pictures.
From the pictures it can be seen that there are two short wires (red and black ones) that from the battery groups go to the circuit board of the smart battery. I assume those to be the DC14.8V 4460mAh from a fully charged battery. The path to the actual jack terminals is solidly enclosed and not easily accessible without breaking up something. So the DC output from the 15V 4A charger, I think, should probably go to those two wires in order to simulate the presence of a battery in the bay. As it can be seen, there are three longer wires (one yellow and two white ones) that go from the smart battery circuit board to the middle and to the back of the battery groups. I assume those to have to do with the recharging regulator, SMB clock, data, etc. Plus there is a sensor located near the middle of the battery groups (the black one, not sure if it can be seen in the pictures) which goes to the circuit board, which I assume to be the temperature sensor.

Please take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think.






















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February 7, 2013 1:48:07 PM

Unfortunately, I can see that somehow the pictures are now less clear after uploading than they are on my computer.... Hope they can still be useful, though.
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February 7, 2013 5:37:30 PM

UPDATE: I went ahead and soldered the DC15V 4A output to red wire (+) and black wire (-) - the wires attached to the smart battery circuit board, then turned the power on. I then measured with a voltmeter. As expected, there was DC15V at red/black wire connections, however no current whatsoever at battery terminal.
I think it's much more complex than what it appears to be and that the smart battery system checks that cells be present and that there be a handshake between all components *before* allowing power to the terminal. The smart battery is like a small computer system, independent, within the laptop system.
The following is some very interesting reading for those who want to learn more about the SMB bus and its implications:
http://media.blackhat.com/bh-us-11/Miller/BH_US_11_Mill...
What I'll try next (I have nothing to lose a this point) is I'll get rid of the circuit board within the smart battery and all other connections and then apply the DC current from 15V 4A adapter directly to battery terminals 1 and 7 as suggested. I have a very important question, though, which I'd much appreciate to have answered before I go ahead with it:

"You can replace each group of cell with a resistance of 100K ohms, connect the positive (+) to the terminal 1 and negative (-) to the terminal 7. We'll see if the four resistors will replace the cells."

Would you please refer to the pictures above and let me know which one is in your opinion terminal 1(+)? Is it the one near the outside edge of the battery or is it the innermost one? Many thanks.

EDIT: Is terminal 1 (positive +) A or B in the picture below?

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a c 248 D Laptop
February 7, 2013 9:04:39 PM




Li-Ion Battery Pinout

1 - bat voltage
2 - smbclk
3 - smbdat
4 - ground use in laptop for battery presence connected to 7
5 - syspress
6 - nc
7 - ground

From your picture I don't really know if A or B is the positive. But what you said about the handshake between the battery and laptop is true.
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February 7, 2013 9:36:25 PM

So, is there a way to find out which one is the + positive and which one is the ground? The battery is a Dell Battery Module, Rechargeable Li-on Battery, Type 66Whr, Capacity 66Whr, Rating: 14.8V = 4460mAh

it reads:

Made in Japan
2-171-008-12

and there is a sticker on it reading:

JP-02U265-48330-2CS-3FDH
REV. A02

If anyone knows how to learn more about the wiring of this battery, please post here and please let me know. I'm interested in knowing, concerning terminals 1 and 7 , which one is the positive + and which one is the ground. Thanks.
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a b D Laptop
February 7, 2013 10:34:52 PM

Look for connections on the battery's board, near the pins, that share a common conductor, that is most likely the ground
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February 8, 2013 12:20:45 AM

I found out from a reliable source that the correct terminal numbering for this specific battery (Dell Battery Module Type 66Whr) is this:



1 gnd
2
3
4 gnd
5 data
6 clk
7 +

So, having gotten rid of everything inside the battery shell except for the terminal, and connecting the DC15V 4A transformer ground to 1 and 4 and positive to 7, and inserting the battery shell thus powered into battery bay, I finally attempted to start laptop. Pressing on the power button, the battery led lights up intermittently for a while (intermittent green light on, as if battery is being charged), then, after about 20 seconds of that, led goes steady orange (meaning battery is not sufficiently charged) and the computer shuts off (as it would with an insufficiently charged battery in bay and no AC adapter connected).

I think the laptop's SMB system is getting highly confused because while it is getting proper values from battery terminals 1, 4 and 7, it receives no expected values from 5 and 6....since there is nothing attached to 5 and 6. If only there were a way to put to sleep the laptop's SMB mechanism seeking handshake with smart battery data, this setup would work out perfectly well.......

EDIT: Question: Could it be that it simply needs more amperage? It has also just occurred to me that perhaps power management could be possibly turned off in the BIOS....but I have no idea if it would affect this behavior (problem is that I cannot access the BIOS unless the computer turns on). Do you have any ideas or suggestions you would like to contribute along the lines of getting the computer to work this way? Thanks.
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a c 248 D Laptop
February 8, 2013 1:14:21 AM

I don't know what is your source, but the terminals 5 and 6 are not connected to your laptop. The SMB is seeking information with terminals 2 and 3. If you made a graph of your connections when you removed the battery, it will be easier to connect the resistors in place of the cells.

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February 8, 2013 1:29:23 AM

jarotech said:
I don't know what is your source, but the terminals 5 and 6 are not connected to your laptop. The SMB is seeking information with terminals 2 and 3. If you made a graph of your connections when you removed the battery, it will be easier to connect the resistors in place of the cells.


Unfortunately, as I have already said earlier, I can no longer access that information as the battery was gutted out before my reading your suggestion that I attach resistors in the place of the cell groups. All I have now as reference is the pictures I posted, and you can see those too. I have no other way to make a graph of those connections at this point.
However, the info you posted earlier, with terminal 1 being the positive and 7 being the negative is incorrect for this battery (Dell Type 66Whr), which is demonstrated by the fact that connecting positive to 7 and negative to 1 as I did I get an initial response from the charging system which would be impossible if those polarities were inverted. Where did you get your information from?

Is there a way to find a diagram of the connections for this specific battery online? It should definitely be available somewhere, and then we could try the resistor thing. If anyone knows where to find this type of information specific to the Dell Type 66Whr battery, would you please post it here? Thanks.
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a b D Laptop
February 8, 2013 1:43:02 AM

@jarotech

Since I have NEVER tried to hack a laptop battery into a power supply, I have a question. Are you using the resistors to create a voltage divider(well a bunch of them) so that the chip sees a voltage for each cell? or does the chip look for resistance from the cells them self

Do you do lots of electrical work?
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February 8, 2013 1:30:01 PM

I've just modified this thread's title to reflect that we are talking specifically about the Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop and its battery module.
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a c 248 D Laptop
February 9, 2013 1:49:26 PM

nukemaster said:
@jarotech

Since I have NEVER tried to hack a laptop battery into a power supply, I have a question. Are you using the resistors to create a voltage divider(well a bunch of them) so that the chip sees a voltage for each cell? or does the chip look for resistance from the cells them self

Do you do lots of electrical work?


Yes I use the resistors to create a voltage divider to simulate the cells, Claudem said five wires are connected to the cells, red positive, black negative, two white and a yellow wire, that means each group of cells are connected to the circuit inside the casing of the battery. But if the circuit check also for the current from the cells, then the value of the resistors are not good. I have to start some place because I never did that before.

I am an electronics technician and I work in electronics since 1976.
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a b D Laptop
February 9, 2013 6:29:59 PM

I was guessing that. I do not do too much electrical, but play a bit.
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February 11, 2013 3:04:12 PM

UPDATE: My friend from the repair shop ended up giving me the AC adapter (the one that worked) for free... :) 
I've been using it yesterday and today, and the laptop works just fine. I no longer have a working battery, so I have
no way of telling if the laptop would be charging the battery if there were one. Just as I guessed, it was not a problem
with the AC adapter jack in the laptop. I had read in several forums that this laptop family is very finicky about
the AC adapter they will recognize as suitable. The one that works flawlessly is rated at 20V, 4.5A, 90W.
Thanks guys for all your feedback. It was an enjoyable experimenting in what might have worked. It would have
been nice to see if jarotech's resistor approach would have worked, given that this is a smart battery system with
the laptop trying to establish a recognizable handshake with the circuits in the battery: that would have been quite
an achievement and an excellent learning experience. However, I'm now past that and enjoying my inspiron 8200,
from which I'm writing this post. Thank you all again!
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a b D Laptop
February 11, 2013 4:29:42 PM

Well, I have a pile of 100k's kicking around so if I ever have a laptop battery fail. I will try this just to see what it does(assuming I have a working adapter or other stable voltage source and have not used the resistors by then) :) 
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a b D Laptop
February 11, 2013 6:25:16 PM

claudem said:
UPDATE: My friend from the repair shop ended up giving me the AC adapter (the one that worked) for free... :) 
I've been using it yesterday and today, and the laptop works just fine. I no longer have a working battery, so I have
no way of telling if the laptop would be charging the battery if there were one. Just as I guessed, it was not a problem
with the AC adapter jack in the laptop. I had read in several forums that this laptop family is very finicky about
the AC adapter they will recognize as suitable. The one that works flawlessly is rated at 20V, 4.5A, 90W.
Thanks guys for all your feedback. It was an enjoyable experimenting in what might have worked. It would have
been nice to see if jarotech's resistor approach would have worked, given that this is a smart battery system with
the laptop trying to establish a recognizable handshake with the circuits in the battery: that would have been quite
an achievement and an excellent learning experience. However, I'm now past that and enjoying my inspiron 8200,
from which I'm writing this post. Thank you all again!


Sounds like a good fix!
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a c 249 D Laptop
February 12, 2013 5:35:31 PM

This topic has been closed by Brett928S2
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