Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Replacing batteries in a Philips Norelco T980 Turbo Vacuum Trimmer Low Tech Hacks

Posted by Admin • Wednesday, July 27. 2016 • Category: Low Tech Hacks

I bought this trimmer in 2008 and the NiCd batteries finally died in 2016 - not bad. Still, no reason to trash a working trimmer and contribute to the landfill problem. As it turns out, it's fairly easy to disassemble, and even easier to reassemble. So here are the steps, which probably apply to many similar models.

Parts and order of steps

These steps are numbered according to the numbers in the image.

  1. Remove everything you normally would for cleaning.
  2. Unscrew the 4 little screws you can now see and pull out the black plastic bracket. It won't want to come out, you may need to use some force. Now pry off the height adjuster ring (push on some clips to release it). Be careful at this step, as soon as the adjuster's slider comes out, two little spring-loaded sticks will fly out. You'll need these. There is also a third spring-loaded piece behind the motor which will stay put unless you really disturb it.
  3. Now pry off the thin metal ring. This allows the sides to be removed
  4. Remove the sides.
  5. Pry off the front. The top clips you can release from the top, the rest just need to be forced by sticking a blade in the crack

You should now have direct access to the battery tray. Solder in the new NiCd (or NiMh if yours came with NiMh) batteries and you should be good to go - reverse the steps to assemble, and give it a full charge.

Update 2020: forget batteries

In about a year, the trimmer killed the new set of batteries. It's clear that the charge circuit is not very nice to them. The cells are now essentially dead weight, but the trimmer still works in corded mode ... sometimes. The batteries now need to "charge", whatever minuscule capacity remains, before the trimmer will turn on. This can take seconds or minutes, and it's getting worse.

So I threw out the thoroughly corroded rechargeable cells and replaced them with... a capacitor. I found a 2200uF cap that fit into the battery tray. The capacitor stabilizes power delivery and the trimmer works great on both speeds.

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  1. Hello, your tutorial helped me a lot, The original batteries of my T980 are NiMh, so i replace with the same, I had very difficulties to understand where to place the 2 little springs. They just jumped out and i didn't understand where i had to put them back. So if anyone struggles with that too, their place is at the back of the main body chassis where we put the trim adjuster, you will see 2 little holes where they fit correctly. Thanky you very much for this!

  2. André, I'm having trouble getting behind the hair collection chamber to get to the 2 visible screws... ANY help on this would be greatly appreciated!

  3. There are three springs and three metal pins, two are alike. They are part of the trim height slider. The two similar ones go in the double holes, the springs actually just rest on the motor and the pins over the springs. The third goes in the lone top hole above. You will see the silver top pin when you begin disassembly. The paired pins are hidden behind the slider. Use a very fine screwdriver to guide all these parts in place.

  4. Hi Richard! Thank you for your response. I am a bit confused by the disassembly instructions.
    1. Remove everything you would normally remove for cleaning. (I've done this). 2. Unscrew the four little screws you can now see and pull out the black plastic bracket. (I can only see two screws and they are located just behind the hair collection chamber; only visible with the door open, each screw is located on either side of the center screen. Am I to pry this piece out prior to the height slide? Where is the best placement of thin screwdriver to work this collection chamber off? Note: I just removed the height adjustment slide; all 3 pins + springs still in place.

  5. Anyone, I am having trouble understanding how to " remove the sides ". Steps 1, 2 and 3 went just as described and now I am stuck because I can't figure out Step 4.

  6. Brute Force (TM), if I recall.

  7. Hello. I have a problem finding the type of battery. Are these 1600mAh 1.2V? Please help.

  8. Pawel, don't worry about the capacity (higher=better). If your unit used NiCd cells, then get the best NiCd AA cells you can find. If it used NiMh, get NiMh. Charging logic differs for the two types of chemistry, so that's really the only thing that matters. Nominal voltage is always 1.2v on both.

  9. Thank's a lot

  10. Thank you for the tutorial, helped me a lot.

    A couple of comments, maybe you could update the main message. 1. In general, no need to unscrew 4 screws. Just move height adjust ring aside. 2. it is easier to assemble height adjust ring and slider at position 1

  11. Re: 1. Remove everything you normally would for cleaning.

    Do I need to remove the hair collection chamber? If so, how? I am afraid I will break something if I use brute force.

    Thanks, appreciate any advice Rudy

  12. Are you trying to tell us that you've never emptied the hair collection chamber? This raises enough questions to deserve its own post!

  13. I wonder if there were multiple variations on the translucent dark grey hair collection chamber? I can see all four screws, but I can't figure out how to remove the chamber without risking damage to something. To clean it I've only needed to open the hinged door on the top and shake or brush the hair out. The rear mesh appears to be a separate piece, which I think I could push out the way to reach the rear two screws, but the front two require the chamber to be removed.

    I tested the power adapter DC output, and it's measuring 9V instead of 2.4V, so I'm concerned some internal circuitry has blown in mine. It hasn't run while plugged in for a while, and now nothing happens when I plug it in.

  14. Thank you for this post. I have an old T980 that I loved and the rechargeable battery died. This is the only forum that address this model specifically. I was stuck for a long time b/c I did not see the screws behind the collection chamber. Long story short I was able to replace the rechargeable battery and it is working like brand new. The difficulty I had in reassembling was finding the hole for the pins.

    Thank you again.

  15. Hello Folks, I replaced my batteries with higher spec replacements and managed to burn out the two larger resistors on the circuit board :-( Does anyone have a photo or information on what values they are? It is a better unit than the newer versions on the market and I would much prefer to get this working than bin it, so any help is more than welcome. Many thanks, David.

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