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„ Y.M. ANANDAVARDHANA to energise electromagnetic relay RL1. Pushing switch S1 latches relay
Relay RL1 is connected to the collec- RL1 and the battery cells start charg-

his charger for series-connected tor of transistor T1. Transistor T1 is ing. As the voltage per cell increases
4-cell AA batteries automatically driven by pnp transistor T2, which, in beyond 1.3V, the voltage drop across
disconnects from mains to stop turn, is driven by pnp transistor T3. resistor R4 starts decreasing. When it
charging when the batteries are fully Resistor R4 (10-ohm, 0.5W) is con- falls below 650 mV, transistor T3 cuts
charged. It can be used to charge par- nected between the emitter and base off to drive transistor T2 and, in turn,
tially discharged cells as well. of transistor T3. cuts off transistor T3. As a result, re-
The circuit is simple and can be When a current of over 65 mA lay RL1 de-energises to cut off the
divided into AC-to-DC converter, relay flows through the 12V line, it causes a charger and red LED1 turns off.

driver and charging sections. voltage drop of about 650 mV across You may determine the charging
In the AC-to-DC converter section, resistor R4 to drive transistor T3 and voltage depending on the NiCd cell
transformer X1 steps down mains 230V cut off transistor T2. This, in turn, turns specifications by the manufacturer.
AC to 9V AC at 750 mA, which is rec- transistor T1 ‘on’ to energise relay RL1. Here, we’ve set the charging voltage
tified by a full-wave rectifier compris- Now even if the pushbutton is re- at 7.35V for four 1.5V cells. Nowadays,
ing diodes D1 through D4 and filtered leased, mains is still available to the 700mAH cells are available in the mar-
by capacitor C1. Regulator IC LM317 primary of the transformer through its ket, which can be charged at 70 mA
(IC1) provides the required 12V DC normally open (N/O) contacts. for 10 hours. The open-circuit voltage
charging voltage. When you press In the charging section, regulator is about 1.3V.
switch S1 momentarily, the charger IC1 is biased to give about 7.35V. Pre- The shut-off voltage point is deter-
starts operating and the power-on set VR1 is used for adjusting the bias mined by charging the four cells fully
LED1 glows to indicate that the voltage. Diode D6 connected between (at 70 mA for 14 hours). After measur-
charger is ‘on.’ the output of IC1 and battery limits ing the output voltage, add the diode
The relay driver section uses pnp the output voltage to about 6.7V, drop (about 0.65V) and bias LM317 ac-
transistors T1, T2 and T3 (each BC558) which is used for charging the battery. cordingly. z