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Battery Maintenance System (plus) WPLN4081BR

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Battery Maintenance System (plus) WPLN4081BR

Postby herontrad » Wed May 10, 2017 4:22 am

Please can anyone help me with the following?
I am using Motorola PMNN4158AR LiIon 7.4V batteries and would like to assess their performance. Some of our stock is over 4yrs old and I suspect some are now underperforming.
I have recently acquired a "Battery Maintenance System (plus)" WPLN4081BR (same as the WNLP4079BR in the USA) but unfortunately don't have the instructions - there is a link to a manual posted on this forum but its over 10 years old and no longer works.

1. Can anyone help me find a manual for the BMS?
2. The BMS seems a little old now - is there something better out there to test my LiIon batteries?
3. Is testing a waste of effort and should I just be disposing of any batteries over x years old?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Re: Battery Maintenance System (plus) WPLN4081BR

Postby escomm » Wed May 10, 2017 3:30 pm

Did the BMS ever support Li-Ion? I thought it did nickel based only. I know the BMSplus and BOS (Battery Optimizing System) supported Li-Ion

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Re: Battery Maintenance System (plus) WPLN4081BR

Postby VE3HKB » Wed May 10, 2017 7:46 pm

As far as I know, the 3-slot BMS unit never supported Li-Ion batteries, only Ni-Cad and NiMH. The original version by I-TECH was Ni-Cad only, and a field upgrade to add NiMH was offered.
The 6-slot BMS plus (P/N ending in AR) was Ni-Cad and NiMH. The B-version (P/N ending in BR) supported Li-Ion, and a field upgrade kit was available from Motorola and I-TECH (for the IQ-five).
Another way to find out is checking the software version. When the BMS or BMS plus first turns on, it displays the version number in the lower half (voltage) of the display. 9.3 supports Li-Ion, 9.2 or lower (my BMS is 4.4) does not.
The BMS plus is an older product, but it is a simple unit to operate. Battery adapters for newer batteries may be difficult to find. Readout is in volts and mAH only.
The newer BOS II system (by Cadex) does support Li-Ion, as well as other chemistries.
It is a lot more complicated to use, but is a lot more flexible. You can usually modify each adapter for multiple battery versions (i.e., Motorola = 1500mAH, Brand A = 1800 and Brand B = 2100) that use the same physical interface. Display is in volts and % capacity.

As to your question about testing being a waste of time - ff you suspect a battery is bad, it probably is. Analyzers like BMS and BOS will quantify the actual condition of the battery. If you work in an organization that has a policy of replacing batteries when they get below, say, 80%, you need a reliable method to determine capacity, especially if warranty is involved. Most analyzers will also cycle batteries in an attempt to clear "memory". My experience in this is that it does work, but tends to be useful only in squeezing out a few more months of service from a battery that would normally be replaced.

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Re: Battery Maintenance System (plus) WPLN4081BR

Postby AD0JA » Thu May 11, 2017 3:12 pm

You are correct, I have a three slot I-TECH BMS and it only supports NiCD and NiMH batteries, it never got an upgrade for LiON. It originally was only NiCD but a there is a firmware chip in it that can be replaced with a newer one.

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Re: Battery Maintenance System (plus) WPLN4081BR

Postby VE3TUH » Sun May 14, 2017 2:44 am

Mine does not show version upon power up, but the firmware chip is labelled with 340143-90441, NICD, NIMH. It would be really good if it could support Lion as well, would breath some life into it as we are slowly switching all of our batteries over. I wonder if a replacement firmware chip exists that would upgrade it to Lion.

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Re: Battery Maintenance System (plus) WPLN4081BR

Postby VE3HKB » Sun May 14, 2017 7:33 pm

The firmware upgrade would be only half of the solution. Personally, I think that ship sailed a long time ago as the last upgrade instructions date from 2000). I have a vague memory of either myself or another tech having contacted ITECH, as we both acquired BMS units around that time. If any easy solution was possible, it would likely have been available 17 years ago.

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