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Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 14, 2019 02:56PM
So.. at work, thanks to a bad "batch" of Chromebooks we bought close to three years ago now beginning to fail in earnest ( bad SSD's that are integrated into the motherboard)... I have some carcasses in my workspace that will be disposed of later this year.



I look at this pile, and it pains me to get rid of so many components... but even the ones of this model that AREN'T going bad, are four years old on a five year planned (by Google) obsolescence cycle.

So I start looking at 'em... I find the LCD has more wires that I know what to do with... I don't want to tackle that.
But... there's this battery pack.



It says "not to take it apart or you'll release the demon" or some such dire warning...
Naturally, I take it apart.



So there are these three cute little flat pack Li-Polymer batteries, 3.6-ish volts each, in each Chromebook. OK, so each one may be more than one cell, I haven't tried cutting one open to look inside... I probably shouldn't start any fired in my office. It looks bad, right?

But, I'm sitting here, admittedly clueless about Li-Polymer charging circuits, looking at what could be a substantial pile of these compact little Li-Polymer flat-pack batteries of 3.6v and about 1100mah each, and thinking - There's gotta be something cool I could do with these?

What could I turn 'em in to that's useful, or that someone one eBay might find useful?
This would be on my own time, not works time, of course... after clearing salvaging components for personal use with the boss (probably not an issue, since these are non-functional and the manufacturer no longer carries the motherboard that have been failing).

Ideas? Suggestions?



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 14, 2019 03:07PM
Honestly it's going to be difficult.

Shipping them is difficult.. they are hazardous. (USPS pdf guide)
[www.ups.com]

Is there a Wild Science group in your school that wants to use them to power some sort of electric vehicle ? That would be the Best Use. Safety, of course, is a concern. Those demons can really be angry.

Stabbing them can produce vengeful reactions, etc.
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 14, 2019 03:32PM
Don’t!

Look these are already used. Charging is a very delicate affair. I believe discharging is also very delicate business.
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 14, 2019 05:00PM
Are those CTLs? Which model?



C(-)ris
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: March 14, 2019 05:56PM
I would investigate the motherboard and see if there any way to attach a standard SSD. Maybe there's a BIOS setting for not using the built-in SSD.
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 14, 2019 10:18PM
Quote
C(-)ris
Are those CTLs? Which model?

They're EduGear R4's.... I like to think of them as the "turds that drove EduGear out of selling Chromebooks". I don't know what Chinese manufacturer made them or what else they may have been marketed as... I don't know what a CTL is?

The ones we have that were NOT from the "turd batch" have held up OK, except the keys are more prone that other models we have to be broken off. That's a big negative for schools.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 14, 2019 10:20PM
Quote
Forrest
I would investigate the motherboard and see if there any way to attach a standard SSD. Maybe there's a BIOS setting for not using the built-in SSD.

They're really not worth the effort to start de-soldering components, and trying to hack them... I might try it if It was mine, but I could take home one with a bad LCD or broken power port, and fix that up far easier.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: Carm
Date: March 15, 2019 12:24AM
The only thing useful on those chrome books is the LCD if it is unbroken. Those low end LCDs were used by many manufacturers of that time.

The batteries usually come with their own charging/overcharging protection circuits (that board they are connected to) But as mentioned here, they are used and probably have little life left in them.
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: March 15, 2019 07:38AM
I was not suggesting to desolder anything. I was wondering if there was a BIOS setting to ignore the SSD.

FYI the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is surprisingly quick at booting up and web browsing, and it has a 4 core 1.4 GHz CPU, integrated GPU, 1 GB of RAM and runs well off a micro SD card. Benchmark testing Lon.TV
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 15, 2019 09:02AM
Quote
Paul F.
Quote
C(-)ris
Are those CTLs? Which model?

They're EduGear R4's.... I like to think of them as the "turds that drove EduGear out of selling Chromebooks". I don't know what Chinese manufacturer made them or what else they may have been marketed as... I don't know what a CTL is?

The ones we have that were NOT from the "turd batch" have held up OK, except the keys are more prone that other models we have to be broken off. That's a big negative for schools.

[ctl.net]



C(-)ris
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 15, 2019 09:28AM
Those battery packs sure look purty....would hate to just throw them away, but not much you can do with zombies I suppose.
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Re: Gotta be something cool/useful to do with salvaged Chromebook Li-Po batteries? Right?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: March 15, 2019 10:29AM
Not sure what level science courses are at your school(s), but if the charging circuits are intact you could charge them up and give them to a science teacher for a redox demonstration of electron flow: organized versus random. Organized would be a circuit with a meter or light bulb illustrating organized electron flow whereas random would look like the animated gif in cbelt's post (best performed in a fume hood).
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