NARVA LED Inspection Light Repair
The definition of wisdom is ‘applied knowledge’.
What has that got to do with an inspection light, I hear you say?
After one of my last articles dealing on battery replacement on a stick vacuum cleaner, the comments section below lit up with remarks stating that I should have not soldered directly onto the batteries to join them in series. Others stated that they, like myself, had never had problems in the past. Others said that the excess heat created during the soldering process may shorten the battery life. It was also stated that Lithium Ion batteries were very susceptible to overheating and can in fact burst into flames as I’m sure we have all heard happening in laptops and mobile phones.
So are we willing to learn from the years of experience of others? If we are wise, we will.
One of the most helpful comments made was that batteries are available with tabs, spot welded by the manufacturer, attached so that the soldering can be done on the tabs rather than directly onto the batteries and help alleviate the heating issues.
So I decided to listen to the experience of others on my next project – battery replacement on a Narva LED inspection light (it seems like I am always replacing batteries, but they still need repairing or replacing).
The light is fairly simple in construction with 30 LED’s on a circuit board with individual resistors to create the LED drive voltage.
The crucial step to diagnosing this repair was to put the battery under load when testing. As you can see in the first photo, the battery was delivering the required 7.2 volts, however, when the battery was put under load, after the light was switched on, it very quickly dropped to an unacceptable voltage, where the lights could no longer operate and the charge light came on. This was despite the battery recently being on charge.
Rather than buying a direct replacement of the battery pack, I decided to build up the pack myself, adding individual batteries in series. Once again, thanks to others I was able to make the repair easy, safe and long lasting.
As with my other battery replacement repair, I once again decided to ‘Super-Size’ the batteries to gain longer operation times.
The original batteries were Ni-MH 1100mAh, so I replaced them with a higher available value – Ni-MH 1600mAh (designed to provide MORE POWER!!)
Now this is where listening to others comes in. With these ‘tab’ style batteries, two advantages quickly become evident.
- There was no need to remove the old tabs from the original batteries (a real pain!)
- Soldering the batteries in series was extremely easy, due to the fact that you are only heating a tab, not an entire section of the battery.
From experience I have learned to double check the voltage of the new batteries before soldering. There is nothing more disheartening than soldering all your new batteries into a pack only to find out that some of the new ones were faulty!
I also found it helpful to hold the batteries together when assembling with insulation tape. This makes the job of soldering much easier. Before assembly, a voltage test of the battery pack as well as testing the operation of the light before assembly is essential. In this case, the battery pack was assembled successfully and the light was at full power even before charging.
I guess the moral of this long-winded story, is that we should be willing to listen to others, since no-one knows it all. Thanks to this blog and other tutorials, I have learnt a lot from others with much more experience than myself.
If you are interested in a video of this repair, please follow the link below:
This article was prepared for you by Mark Rabone from Australia.
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Note: You can check out his previous repair article below: