Review of the Fuel Gauge for PCB of Li-Ion Battery Pack

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Kurt_
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Review of the Fuel Gauge for PCB of Li-Ion Battery Pack

Post by Kurt_ » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:41 pm

Review of the Fuel Gauge for PCB of Li-Ion Battery Pack: Optional for 7.4V – 25.9V (Order Number 136179).

I recently purchased the new LED fuel gauge and the Lithium-Ion protection circuit that accompanies this item from http://www.batteryspace.com. As I took the gauge out of its static-proof package, I was pleased to see that the gauge was even smaller than I had expected it to be. The gauge is no thicker than my thumb, less than half as long as my index finger, and so thin it can be stuck virtually anywhere without disrupting other circuitry or items. The only downside to its size is the plug that connects it to the specially designed protection circuit board. The plug sticks up a little bit, but it is enough to more than double the size that the circuit board would have been without the plug. However, the wires were easily soldered directly to the board once the plug was removed. After that, the gauge was extremely flat, and fit perfectly underneath the plastic case for my project, taking up virtually no room at all.

The lights are clearly and easily viewable through the sheet of light dispersing plastic I added, which creates a very professional and extremely pleasing view of the battery’s charge. The LEDs shut off one by one every 20 percent of the batteries’ charge as the charge drops. When it is imperative that you stop using the batteries, (less than 3 volts of charge left in a single cell, or less than 20 percent of charge remaining) the remaining LED flashes, indicating that you should stop drawing power from the batteries as soon as possible and charge them, which is a very useful feature if you wish to optimize the longevity of your batteries. The only downside is that all of the lights are red. I would have preferred that the first two LEDs were green, the next two LEDs were yellow, and the last one was red. However, it is not a significant problem. In fact, it is barely a problem at all. I simply feel it would create a nicer feeling when you look down at your battery gauge. In a society where red is generally accepted as being a warning, even if you battery is still 80 percent charged, it is a little unnerving. When I look down and see that it is halfway gone, I feel more worried than I would probably feel if the middle was a yellow colour.

In addition to the LEDs, there is also a switch to turn the lights (and possibly the whole gauge) off. This is a very useful little feature when you’re watching a video or something similar that requires concentration on a near object. This feature does little to save battery life, simply for the reason that the battery gauge draws almost nothing to begin with!


Overall, this is a stellar item due to its size, quality, and features. I give this item 8 out of 10, simply for the fact that the lights are not different colours. Otherwise, I would give this item 10 out of 10.
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Post by Turbo Tax 1.0 » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:05 pm

do you think you could just drill a few holes and it would look fine in a case?
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Post by Kurt_ » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:02 pm

Possibly. I posted this here in hope that I'll get a $30 discount from batteryspace.

I suppose if the LEDs were close enough and the surface was thin enough then it would work. You'd have to remove the little connector (smt, held on my 2 solder joints). But if the plastic or whatever is too thick, you'll only be able to see it looking directly from the top.
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Post by tom61 » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:57 pm

A picture and/or a direct link to the item would be helpful.

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Post by Kurt_ » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:11 am

Here you go:

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?P ... rodID=2775


Keep in mind there's a special protection circuit you must also get:

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?P ... tegory=988
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Post by timmeh87 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:20 am

i have different coloured leds that will work.
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