Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook

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Dell 6400 battery blinking

Can you help me with this.
this morning the red light blinking, for low battery.
it was fine until today.

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The blinking is a warning that the battery is dying (like all batteries eventually do). Save the life of your next one by unplugging the battery when its plugged into the wall for long periods of time.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008

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  • Dell Master
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I assume you've had this on charge?
The charge monitoring hardware is capable of measuring not only the state of charge to prevent cooking batteries but also how long they have been on charge.
Your battery pack has multiple cells in it and when one of those cells shorts (turns into a piece of wire), the circuit watching over things compares the time charged and the current state of charge and concludes that it ain't never gonna get there because of that one bad cell. The voltage simply won't rise far enough to make the monitor happy.
I suggest to everyone that they have a cheap Chinese digital multimeter at home to check things like that. You don't need a diploma from Stanford to use one and even at Radio Shack they are well under $20 US and include a sometimes intelligible Chinglish instruction sheet. With one of these, you can remove the battery pack, read the specs from the label and then start randomly measuring between any two contacts. You will eventually find two that give you a reading on the 20 VDC range. Nimh cells (the most common) have a characteristic voltage of ~1.5 volts each and if the pack (for example) says it should be 12 volts, it then needs 8 cells to deliver that.
If you are measuring ~10.5 volts or thereabouts after it should be charged, one cell is dead; this = new battery pack.      

Posted on Dec 18, 2008

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Dec 19, 2008

    A correction to my earlier post; NiMh cell voltage is ~1.2 volts, not 1.5.
    So a pack specfied at 12 VDC would need 10 cells and the loss of one cell would result in a maximum terminal voltage of ~10.8 volts.
    Alkalines, carbon-zinc (older type 'flashlight' battery) supply ~1.5 V and the previous 'king' of rechargeables, NiCad cells are also 1.2 V.


    Just another step in senile dementia -

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