Convert Cordless Drills to Lithium-Ion Power

So…lets say you happen to get you hands on a beautiful old-school BOSCH cordless drill.

But it came with a couple of drawbacks:
A) The Ni-Cd battery pack is useless (makes sense after all those years).
B)  It didn’t come with a charger.

So you come to the logical conclusion. The cost of a new battery pack is more that you ar willing to pay, and its impractical to rebuild the pack with new No-Cd cells as you don’t have a charger to begin with!

So what do you do???

Convert to Lithium Power of course! 

All you’ll need is the following:

1) 2 x 18650 li-ion UNPROTECTED batteries (branded and new is better) (UPGRADED, see last step)
2) One holder for 2 18650 batteries (cheep on eBay or locally) —SEE LAST STEP FOR AN UPGRADE—
3) A small rotary tool (I used a Dremel with metal cutting discs)
4) Soldering iron (25W should be enough)
5) Hot glue gun (super glue, optional)
6) Tool to open up the old battery pack (I ended up using the Dremel)

First thing first…

You need to determine the voltage of the pack you have on your drill.
This should be  printed on the pack itself.
My pack was a 7.2Volt one (using six Ni-Cd sub-C cells).
So it makes sense to use two 18650 lithium batteries (at 3.7V nominal voltage each)

So we need to replace the old dead Ni-Cd cells with the new lithium batteries for cordless drill.

First of all we take the old battery pack and pry it open.
Some are easier than others. Some even have screws but others (like mine will require a Dremel)
Try not to do much damage as we will need to put the bottom half back on.

The only thing we will need from in there is the battery pack contacts and a small plastic piece that holds them.
Discard the old cells properly (and be careful of any toxic acid residue on them)

So, you are now ready to put the lithium battery holder inside the pack.

Using the Dremel we cut a hole on the bottom of the pack housing and place the holder inside.
Securing the holder with hot-glue and super-glue is essential.

After that is done we solder the wires to the end contact tabs (OBSERVE THE POLARITY!!!),
and secure the assembly inside the other half with some more hot-glue and super-glue combo.

A this point one should check that the drill works(before putting the two halfs together).
It should work, provided the Metabo cordless drill batteries are chareged and the polarity is correct

All that’s left now is to put back together the two halfs of the battery pack.
We do that with some more hot-glue / super-glue combo, and test everything once more.

THAT’S IT… you now have a lithium powered cordless drill !!!

I suggest you get two sets of 18650 batteries, so you can have one set in the drill and one in the charger at all times.

Leave your comments and suggestions at will !

So after some more use and testing of the drill I found that the current the 18650 batteries can deliver

was enough to drill plastics and soft metals (like brass and aluminum) but the drill struggled with anything more

demanding (even dry-screwing large wood-screws in MDF)…

It was time for a power-source upgrade!

So a 2S 3000mAh Li-Po battery with a 40C discharge rating from my quadcopter project was used instead.

The case was cut to accommodate the larger size of the pack, and the added weight gave the drill a nice balance.

A voltage monitor (again from the R/C world) was added in the back to keep an eye out for over-discharging

(even though the drill is pretty much useless before the voltage drops to any dangerous level).

The difference?

NIGHT AND DAY!

Lots of torque and excellent battery life.

I would suggest to anyone that wants to try a li-po conversion on a drill to go for this type of Black & Decker battery pack.

Though a mod that uses one or two paralleled 18650 cells will be good enough for a screwdriver or a low-power drill.

NOTE: it goes without saying that the Li-Po pack should be charged with an appropriate charger,

and the voltage level monitored regularly to avoid over-discharge.

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Jump Starting Car With Cordless Drill Battery

3 years ago, I published an Instructables where I demonstrated a way to jump start a car using a drill battery from a drill.

Some people were not sure if it will work on bigger cars as the car I used at the time was Kia Picanto.

In this improved Instructable, we’ll jump start 2009 Opel Zafira, 2L Diesel and discuss the best practices.

You’ll need a fully charged Bosch power tool battery from a drill or other power tool.

It’s important that the battery is indeed fully charged. A half charged battery might not give you enough power.

I used 14.4v battery.

Batteries between 12v – 18v should work just fine. Some people even reported using 20v batteries with great success, but I wold not go that high.

Depending on the battery you use, you’ll need to get creative.

I connected small alligator clips to extend battery terminals. I put a sponge between the clips to avoid accidental s/c.

First you’ll want to connect the positive clip to the dead battery, then the other end to the drill’s battery.

Then I connected the negative clip to the drill’s battery and the other end of the cable to unpainted metal part of the car. In my case it was a bolt.

Wait between 5 – 10 minutes before trying to start the car.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to drive away.

Some thoughts:

I did a few experiments and found out that the battery could only start the car once. If I stopped the engine and tried to jump start the car again, It was not possible – you would need to charge Ryobi drill batteries again.

That’s why it’s a good idea to let battery charge for a few minutes before trying to start the car.

Is it safe?

Nothing is 100% safe.

I would only use this method to start the car if there is no other way to do it.

It’s unlikely that you’ll damage your car or the car’s battery by doing this.

Cars are made to be abused. They have a voltage regulator that prevents overcharging and protects electrical system from the damage.

If something would fail, most likely it would be Hitachi cordless drill battery….but it’s unlikely…unless you use it for jump starting cars all the time.

Use this information at your own risk. As I said before, this method of starting a car should not be a danger to your car or to yourself, but different batteries act differently. There is always an element of danger present.

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How to Charge a Cordless Drill Battery Without a Charger

Your drill runs out of juice, it is annoying, but not the end of the world. You whip out your charger; stick the power tool battery in and the charging begins. Except it does not charge. You play around with the charger for a little bit and try to get it to work. It has saved you countless times over the years but those days are gone. Your charger has finally died. Now you have another problem.

Buying a new charger costs a lot of money.  Money which you do not have to spend. Perhaps your drill was old and you cannot even buy a new charger for it. Your problem now is that you have a dead battery and no way to charge it. Or do you?

A Battery Needs a Battery

There is another way!  But before we begin let’s start by saying that power has to come from somewhere. To charge a battery you need a power source. For us this means using a battery to charge a Bosch power tool battery. This may sound like a weird thing to do; redundant almost but there are ways around the redundancy. You can hook your battery up to main power; but there are so many dangers which come along with that, and it is simply not worth it. Take it from us use a battery and not main power.

So what happens when your second batteries die? Should you go out and buy a lifetime supply? Well your drill battery was rechargeable, so why shouldn’t the batteries which are now going to power that one? It may seem like you are taking a long way around, but if you want to keep using your drill, then it is a great way to do so.

Charging From a Battery

The first thing to do is to check your battery. You need to make sure that you have connectors which your new battery is going to be connected to. The next thing to do is to make sure that you have your batteries from which you are going to draw your charge and make sure that they are charged.

Then, check the voltage of your drill battery. You need to ensure that you have enough batteries to charge your drill battery to the correct voltage (erring on the side of caution and going below is recommended). Once you know the voltage, you need to assemble enough batteries to give you that voltage. For example, if your drill battery is 12V, then you will need 8 x AA batteries (1.5V) connected in series. This will give you 8 x 1.5V = 12V. You also need two pieces of wire to connect the new batteries to your drill battery.

Assembling the Batteries

The batteries need to be connected in series. In the above example, we are using 8 AA batteries to charge one 12V battery. Have your 8 batteries ready, along with the two wires and some electronic tape. There is one thing you need to keep in mind when you are connecting the AA batteries – they should be connected positive to negative, but when connecting to the drill battery, they should be connected positive to positive and negative to negative.

Take the first two batteries and place the positive end to the negative end of the other battery. Use the tape to connect the two Metabo power tool batteries together by holding them so that they connect and then wrapping the tape around the two batteries to hold them in place. If there is a gap between these two batteries (or any of the others), then the system will not work. Continue to add batteries to the first two, wrapping them with tape each time, until you have a length of 8 batteries.

Next, you need to attach the wires. Find wires with plastic covering and expose both ends on each wire. This will allow you to manipulate the wire without getting hurt (you are under no real threat, but the wires can get hot). Attach a wire to the positive side of your long battery (the end with the positive end of a battery exposed) and one to the negative side (the end with the negative side exposed).

Bringing it all Together

Once you have all of your batteries connected and the wires in place, you can attach the long battery to your drill battery. This is where you need to make sure that you are connecting the positive side to the positive connections and the negative to the negative. Be sure to check for both of these terminals on your drill battery before you connect the wires.

You can hold the wires onto the connectors of your drill battery, or you can tape them there, but you should always be there in case something goes wrong. If you detect any weird smells, then take the battery outside and disconnect it. If anything seems out of the ordinary, then disconnect the battery. The charging will take some time, but if the long battery has the same or less voltage than the drill battery, then you will never overcharge the drill battery.

When you are done, disconnect the batteries and recharge them, ready for next time.

Conclusion

If you are a bit of a handyman and like to fix things around the home, then you know how important it is to have a drill which works. Having a cordless drill is a lot more convenient than one with a cord, but there is the problem of having to recharge the power tool battery for AEG, and after some time, the charger will give up the ghost and cease to work.

When this happens, it can be hard or expensive to find a replacement charger. The great news is that there is another way. As you have seen in our step-by-step guide, you can charge your battery without a charger. Take precautions and follow the guide exactly. Your safety should be your No. 1 priority.

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Hot Rodding a Power Drill Battery

So, your Bosch power drill battery dies. What now? Fork over 85 bucks for a new one? I don’t think so. After searching high and low on the internet for a good price for a replacment battery I found the retail for my Black & Decker 14.4V to range from 35-85 dollars. Riiiight. Time to make your own!

At this point it would be good to mention you should really discharge the pack before you continue. Don’t play with electricity unless you know what you are doing!

Step 1: Let’s Find Out What Is Inside!

I had a little brainstorm and decided to open this thing up and see what makes it tick. It’s funny, I always thought there would be some mystical magical component of power tool batteries that justified the outrageous prices…you know, custom made or ethereal glowing lights or little elves or something. Turns out they are just a rip off.

Fortunately for me the internals were looking familiar, a simple set of “Sub C” rechargable NiCd cells from my RC car racing days. I used to build my own racing battery packs so I couldn’t help applying that here.

I had visions of using batteries that power world championship RC cars and transform my moderately powered B&D into a drill that would make screws and yet-to-be-drilled holes tremble with unspeakable fear.

When you open the battery you’ll need to save some plastic bits detailed below. Don’t break them.

Step 2: Replacement Sub C Cells

At this point I came back to reality. The racing Hilti cordless drill batteries alone would cost a hundred bucks. So, I settled on a brand name NiCd cell from GP. The main difference from the stock batteries is that these are 2000 mAh cells and the stock ones are only 1700 mAh…so I should get more run time…basically a bigger gas tank.

These fellas cost me $1.79 each for a grand total of $21.48 from Budget Batteries. So far so good.

In case you aren’t good at math, a 14.4 battery takes 12 1.2V cells to make up a pack.

Step 3: Battery Bars

Next up on the bill of materials are some RC parts. These 24k gold plated battery bars are from Novak racing. I couldn’t skimp everywhere.

I only needed 10 to assemble one pack, but I have another drill battery waiting do die. So, that’s five bucks for the bars and up to $26.48 total. Still ten bucks shy of the best retail price I could find Incidentally that price was direct from Black & Decker.

Step 4: A Bit of Wire

Finally we have some 14AWG high flexibility silicone wire from another RC company.

Just had this lying around and I only needed about 3 inches so let’s call it free.

I would recommend using good quality wire here. Your battery will only be as good as the weakest link. I prefer not to have any weak links. This will also be a likely spot for a meltdown if your wire is not up to the task.

Step 5: On to the Assembly

I paried the cells and bound them with electrical tape just to make them easier to solder together. These buggers are a little hard to hold on to.

Don’t forget to tin both ends of the battery before you try and attach the bars. A drop of flux and a drop of solder, not too much though.

I should mention that you will need a pretty serious soldering iron to get this job done. Don’t overheat the battery…kind of a catch 22 here.

Step 6: Now the Tricky Part

After getting the battery assembled I removed the electical tape. The bars are very rigid and have no problem holding the pack together. Soldering the bars on and getting everything to line up is the hard part. Be patient.

The real tricky part is the cell that sits on top of the pack.(red wire attached) This top-most battery sticks up into the shank of the battery case. The little black plastic bit houses the stock connectors that mate with the actual drill and charger…so save that and be careful not to brake it.

The top battery needs to be attached to the battery direcly below it and sit slightly offset. B&D accomplishes this with another plastic part that I tossed. I used one of the stock battery bars that I pulled off the stock battery pack since they were thin and flexible. Both batteries were soldered to the sock bar while they were sitting next to each other. Then, to move the one onto the top, I just folded the battery bar in half…clear as mud…I guess I should have taken a picutre. Finally I wrapped the bottom of the top battery with electrical tape to prevent any shorting.

Well, that’s it. Took about two hours from start to finish and it went back into the case quite nicely. The Worx power tool battery bars came with stickers. I love that, so I put a Novak sticker on this one so I would know which pack was my uber pack. Charged it, put it into the drill and it runs like a champ.

You can hear the difference compared to the stock battery. This puppy is just begging for some heavy drilling. Time to pull some screws out of a big crate.

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Convert Old Cordless Tools to Lithium Power

I have several old cordless power tools and they’re all in good working condition. The trouble is the batteries all need to be replaced and the batteries are obscenely expensive. I have a really hard time paying for Ryobi power tool batteries that cost almost as much as the tool and I didn’t want to discard perfectly good tools.

One other issue I had with my old batteries as that every time I went to use them the batteries were dead as the NiMH batteries would self discharge rather quickly, especially in cold weather.

Most modern cordless tools use Lithium batteries and I happen to use LiPo battery packs all the time for other projects so I figured I’d convert my old cordless tools to Lithium power using inexpensive LiPo battery packs.

This is a really simple conversion and the cost is a fraction of what power tool manufacturer replacement batteries cost.

Be sure to check out the FAQ section at the end as Lithium batteries do have to be treated in a particular manner!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

There are only a few tools needed:

Wire stripping tool- I really like this inexpensive wire stripper

Wire cutters

Soldering iron- You could use pretty much any inexpensive soldering iron as this is a very easy job. Mine is an analog Pace ST30 which I purchased used for $100 The digital version is the ST50 model.

Dremel tool with cutoff wheel (a narrow bladed saw will also work and cuts cleaner)

Battery charger- I really like the Hitec X1 Multi-Charger as it’s a smart charger can handle most any battery chemistry but any charger capable of charging multi cell Lithium batteries will do

For materials you’ll need the following:

Heat shrink tubing

Wire (14ga is best)

XT60 connectors (these come with heatshrink)

Battery monitor- I really like the inexpensive Hobby King low voltage battery alarm

3s (11.1V) or 4s (14.8V) LiPo R/C battery pack- Hobby King sells lots of different LiPo packs so pick the one that best matches your tool’s voltage and available cordless drill battery for Blac & Decker space

Step 2: Open the Battery Case

Cut apart the old battery case.

A few cordless tools have battery packs that are bolted together but no such luck with my Makita tools- the battery packs are seam welded shut so they had to be cut open.

To cut open the battery pack I carefully cut around the top edge of the casing with a Dremel tool cut off wheel. Once you get the top of the casing off remove the battery cells (properly recycle them) and keep the empty battery casing.

Measure the inside of the casing to determine how large a LiPo battery pack you can fit inside that closely matches the power tool voltage rating. For my Makita 14.4V drill I used a Turnigy 1300mAh 4S (14.8V) LiPo pack that measures 74mmx 34mm x 33mm and it fit the empty battery casing perfectly. You don’t want the battery to use all of the available space as you’ll need a bit of room for the wiring and low voltage alarm,

Step 3: Solder the Battery Connector

Now it’s time to do some wiring!

Take your power tool casing apart. For my drill I only had to remove a few screws to lift off one side of the drill housing. Once this was done I could insert the top of the old battery casing in order to correctly determine the battery polarity for the wiring.

Take a length of 14ga wire, strip the ends of the wire and solder to the battery contacts inside the power tool. Slide heat shrink tubing over the opposite ends of the wire and solder the wire ends to a XT60 battery connector (most 3S and 4S LiPo battery packs ship with XT60 connectors) and then slide the heat shrink tubing down to protect the wire ends at the connector.

Step 4: Reassembly

Now reassemble your power tool.

Once the tool is reassembled connect the LiPo battery pack. Now plug in the low voltage alarm- there are notations on the alarm as to how to connect it to the battery pack balancing connector. The alarm will beep rather loudly at first and then either three of four green LEDs will light up, showing that each cell in the battery pack is above the cutoff voltage.

As the battery is drained, the LEDs will turn red and an alarm will sound, indicating it is time to charge the battery. Most LiPo cells have a cutoff voltage between 2.8 and 3.0V and the cells can be damaged if they are drained below that level. The alarm is there to notify you when the cells have reached this level. The low voltage alarm will work with 2S to 4S batteries.

Once everything is working properly you can clip the bottom of the AEG power tool battery casing back into the power tool and you’re good to go!

Now experience the joy of Lithium power!

I have several drills that I’ve converted using this technique and they all work better than they did when they had NiMH batteries.

I really like the old robust Makita stick style drills- they can be found dirt cheap (or even free) and they hold a decent size battery as well. The beauty of these old style drills is you don’t even need to take apart the old battery case as the battery just slides right in the grip. The mini Makita stick drill is one my son found for $3 at a recycling center. When he found it it didn’t have a battery but I knew we could fix it up as soon as we got home so he bought it and he’s been using it ever since for his own projects.

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How to Take Good Care of Your Cordless Power Tools

Proper maintenance of your power tools is essential. Doing so not only helps extend their effective service life but increases your chances of finishing that project with all of your digits. Norm “Ten Fingers” Abram from This Old House magazine has some suggestions.

I Remember When…
Old circular saws used to have grease cups and a lubrication schedule you really had to follow if you wanted your saw to last. Power tools these days don’t take nearly that much care, but you still need to treat them decently-keep them clean; don’t drop them. Here are some other common-sense things I do regularly with my tools so that they’ll continue to give me their best Makita  power tool battery.

Clean Contacts for Motors
Most small power tools have two “brushes,” solid blocks of carbon graphite that conduct electricity to the motor’s spinning armature. Friction gradually wears these brushes away, and if they’re not replaced, the motor loses power and eventually quits. You can tell it’s time for new brushes when you see lots of arcing-small, harmless sparks inside the motor housing as the tool is running.

Replacing worn-out brushes is easy if your tool has brush covers-the two black caps on opposite sides of the motor housing. Always replace both brushes at the same time. I buy my replacements from the manufacturer; it’s the best way to ensure they’re exactly the right fit. If your tool doesn’t have brush covers, you’ll have to let a repair shop do the work.

Brush away any dust and debris from the brush cover, then unscrew it with a flat-blade screwdriver or coin. As the cap loosens, rest a finger on it; the spring-loaded brush can pop loose suddenly.

Pull out the brush and its attached spring. Vacuum the cap area to remove any sawdust that may have come out with the old brush, then slip the new one in. Tighten the cap against the spring and test the Dewalt power tool batteries.

TOH Tip: Tempting as it is to blow away dust with a blast of compressed air, I don’t because it can drive particles into the switch or other sensitive areas.”

Power-Tool Care Checklist

Every time you use a tool…
– Brush, vacuum, or wipe off dust; the same goes for battery chargers.
– Inspect power cords for nicks; replace cords with frayed jackets or exposed wires.
– Check that all moving parts work smoothly.
– Tighten any loose screws or bolts; put a drop of Loctite on the threads to keep them in place.
– Test a circular saw’s blade brake; it should stop the blade when you release the trigger.

At the end of the year…
– Look for cracks in motor housing; don’t use a tool with cracks larger than a hairline.
– Lubricate parts where metal rubs on metal.
– File any nicks in the shoe plates of jigsaws and circular saws.
– Flatten bent shoes with Vise-Grips; use a combination square to check that the shoe is perpendicular to the blade.
– Follow the instruction sin each tool battery for Bosch drill manual for specific maintenance procedures.

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Reconditioning Drill Battery To Remove Crystallisation

NiMh power tool batteries are less prone to the memory effect. In fact many tool manufactures will tell you that their cordless drill is completely free from this effect. This is somewhat true. Memory effect is more common in low drain devices like cordless phones. A cordless drill draws a lot of power, and in bursts.

Modern batteries suffer a lot less from memory effect. Nevertheless batteries in cordless drills still lose their ability to power the tool. It might not be the memory effect but due to the chemical reaction taking place inside the battery every time you charge and discharge it.

Newer Nickel based batteries might be less prone to memory effect but they do suffer from “crystalline formation.”

Crystalline formation refers to the condition when crystals form on the anode and cathode inside the Dewalt power tool battery, reducing the surface that comes in contact with the electrolyte. This can severely reduce the current flowing between the terminals of the battery and hence its effective power.

Crystalline formation occurs over the normal life of the battery but happens a lot faster when the battery is overcharged or charged repeatedly without allowing it to discharge completely.

Severe crystalline formation can result in the larger and sharper edges of the crystals causing permanent damage to the cell inside, facilitating rapid discharges and irreversible malfunction of the battery.

“A battery that hasn’t been reconditioned in over one month may begin to show effects of crystalline formation. After five months there will be a noticeable degradation in battery performance. After six months there might be permanent and irreversible damage inside your cordless drill battery.”

So its good to recondition your Nickel drill battery once in 30-45 days. Reconditioning requires the battery to be completely discharged to a voltage of 1V per cell. This kind of discharge is the most easily performed by following the deep discharge method described above for removing memory effect.
Battery reconditioning devices are available in the market for reasonable prices. If you can find one, a reconditioning charger is a good investment if you use cordless drills and other battery powered tools.
Check your user manual. The charger that came with your drill may already have the reconditioning function in it. Many modern tools come with the guideline that “its okay to leave the battery in the charger when not using it.” This is because the charger takes the battery through the proper reconditioning and maintenance cycle when required.
If none of these methods are possible perform the “deep discharge” like we mentioned under reconditioning of memory effect.
Caution: Do not perform manual deep discharges too often. It also causes stress to a healthy power tool battery for Panasonic.

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How to Save Battery on iPhone 8/8 Plus

Although Apple has updated its devices time after time, power consumption is still one of the hurdles. The upcoming iPhone 8 is said to bring new breakthrough on battery with 2-cell design and OLED screen, but users shouldn’t expect anything crazy. If you love playing games or watching movies on iPhone, you will still encounter battery draining quickly problem. Luckily, we’ve gathered 10 tips to help you improve iPhone 8 battery lifespan by a large margin.

Quit Running Apps
If you are running too many applications at the same time, battery will drain fast on your iPhone 8. So the first thing you need to do is quitting some background running apps. Press the Home button two times quickly to access the app switcher, swipe up on the app’s preview to close it.

Turn Down Screen Brightness
Some people used to have a bright screen on their iPhone, it will do harm to the eyesight and also drain phone battery( Dewalt power tool battery ). To stop iPhone 8/8 Plus battery running out quickly, it is recommend to turn down the screen brightness. Just Go to Settings -> Display & Brightness, slide the brightness slider to left.

Check Battery Usage
As there are so many applications on your device, you don’t know which the top power-draining program is. Go to Settings -> General -> Battery, scroll down the screen and you’ll see which the biggest battery drainer is. You can turn off the app and disable notifications to extend battery life on your iPhone 8.

Turn Down Volume
If you are a movie lover or music guy, your iPhone 8 battery goes fast when you keep the volume in a high level. Thus, turn down the volume will also be a way to prolong your iPhone 8 battery life. You can tune down the volume using the volume buttons.

Turn on Low Power Mode
For most iPhone users, low power mode is not strange. When the power is less than 20%, your device will automatically push a warning and inform you to turn on low battery mode. If you want to save power, you can enable Low Power Mode without waiting for your iPhone to reach 20%. Go to Settings > Battery and turn on Low Power Mode. Bosch cordless drill battery

Disable Bluetooth and AirDrop
Sometime people forget to close the Bluetooth or AirDrop after using them, which remains them keeping search for other device to match. So disable the Bluetooth and AirDrop when not using is another simple iPhone 8 lifesaving tip. Swipe up on Control Centre and disable them. cordless drill battery for Makita

Cleanup Junk Files on iPhone 8

If you’ve download many apps, there could be cache files accumulated. Every time you run the app, those cache files will be loaded too. The more junk files in an app, the more power will be consumed. Free to try an easy tool called Free iCareFone Cleaner, professional iOS cleaning software to clear all the junk files out of your iPhone 8 with simple clicks.

Download and install the program on your computer, connect iPhone to PC and then choose Speedup & Clean once the device is detected, follow the instructions in the user interface to finish the cleaning process easily.

Turn off iCloud
iCloud also uses a bit of data and power, to increase battery life on your iPhone 8, you can turn off every unused features. Tap Settings > iCloud and turn off everything you don’t use.

Disable Location Services

Location Services is used in many apps, such as App Sore, Calendar, Camera and Maps. Sometime when people stop using the apps, but forgot to turn off Location Services. To save battery life on iPhone 8, turn off Location Services after using it.

Turn off Background App Refresh

iOS 7 allowed background apps to periodically refresh their data, and so does iOS 8, iOS 9, iOS 10 and iOS 11. This is a useful features but most of the time, it just waste the power. So to get the most out of your battery, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh to turn off this feature.

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How to Tell if Your Drill Battery Is Bad

Having battery troubles? Yeah, we hear you. Almost everyday, we receive calls and comments about Makita cordless drill batteries that “won’t hold a charge” any more. Maybe you’ve been in that boat before. To clear up a misconception: a battery isn’t like a water bottle. You can’t use up half now, and then wait and use half later. It’s not a tank of electricity. Also, batteries don’t “leak” power like water can. What we’re dealing with here with a lead acid battery is a plastic box that encases a delicate balance of chemicals which are ready to interact with each other to produce electricity when the load is applied.

If your battery is having trouble producing electricity, chances are, it’s a chemical issue.

Here are some ways to test your battery at home, and determine if it’s bad

1) Inspect the Battery

Sometimes you can tell if your battery is bad by simply taking a good look. There are a few things to inspect:

Broken terminal
Bulge or bump in the case
Crack or rupture of the plastic
Excessive leaking
Discoloration

Broken or loose terminals are dangerous, and can cause a short circuit. If a short did occur, there would be some indication of burning or melting. When a battery short circuits, all of the power is unloaded in an instant. That produces a lot of heat, and sometimes even causes the battery to explode.

If the battery is still intact, but there is a bulge in the case, this is usually a result of being overcharged. Others signs such as physical openings in the case are often caused by mishandling. Cracks, splits, and holes will not cause a battery to stop working, but for safety reasons the battery should be labeled unsafe to use.

With wet-cell (flooded) batteries, water levels have to be maintained. If they are low, usually refilling them with distilled water will help. But if the battery has been dry for a long time, it can cause a problem. When the plates in the cells are exposed to oxygen, it rapidly causes sulfation to build up. Sulfation is the number 1 cause of early battery failure. Plus, charging a dry battery will burn it up. If your battery has plenty of fluid in the cells, but the color is dark, or brownish, this is also an indication of a bad battery. Even if one cell is brown, it is rendered useless and therefore the entire battery is, too. Time to replace your Dewalt power tool battery!

2) Take a Voltage Reading

The voltage of a battery is a good way to determine the state of charge. Here’s a handy table with the breakdown:

State of Charge              Voltage
100%                               12.7 – 13.2

75%                                 12.4
50%                                 12.2
25%                                 12.0
Discharged                    0 – 11.9

If your battery is:

Reading 0 volts, chances are the battery experienced a short circuit
Cannot reach higher than 10.5 volts when being charged, then the battery has a dead cell
Fully charged (according to the battery charger) but the voltage is 12.4 or less, the battery is sulfated

Sulfation is the natural byproduct when the battery discharges. Naturally, re-charging the battery will reverse the sulfation crystals and turn it back into electrolyte, ready to produce power again. But if a battery sat, uncharged, severely discharged, and/or drained for extended periods of time, the sulfation will increase in size and harden onto the plates. This covers the surface area of the plates, removing the chemicals needed to produce power.

Sulfation decreases the potential to reach a full charge, and it self-discharges the battery quicker than normal. Charging a sulfated battery is like trying to wash your hands while wearing gloves. At this point, charging alone will not restore the battery to a healthy condition. The majority of replacement battery purchases occur when the original battery has reached this point.

3) Load Test the Battery

Your local automotive shop is more than able to load test your battery for you. But it’s quite easy to do at home. All you need is a digital voltmeter. For any load test to be accurate, the battery must be fully charged. Let’s use a motorcycle battery for an example:

Remove the seat and expose the battery in your bike so that you have access to the terminals. Do not disconnect the battery because you will attempt to start the bike.
Hold the prongs of you voltmeter to the correct terminals on the battery.
Now push the start button and watch what the voltage drops to. It doesn’t matter if the bike starts or not, what you’re looking for is a voltage reading.

A healthy 12 volt motorcycle battery should maintain a range from 9.5 – 10.5 volts under the load for a good 30 seconds straight. If the battery begins to hold and then steadily drops in voltage, there is a problem. If the voltage instantly drops to 0 volts, that is also a problem. We call this the open cell. On a new battery, this can be a result of manufacturing flaws, but it also may be caused by sulfate crystal buildup.

Under the intense heat of the load, one or more of the weld pieces connecting the cells is coming loose and separating. This will cut the current, and voltage will drop. When the battery cools off, the pieces will touch, barely giving a complete connection. This gives you a false voltage reading. Batteries with open cells may read fully charged in idle, but they fail under a load test every time. Once a battery reaches this point, there is no going back. The best thing to do is recycle the thing.

These 3 steps will help you determine if your battery is truly bad or getting there. Sometimes it’s obvious if there is a failure, but other times it’s not. Flooded batteries make it possible to simply look inside the cells and determine if the Bosch cordless drill battery has a physical defect. But for sealed AGM and Gel batteries, it requires testing. The only tools you really need are a battery charger and a digital voltmeter. If your battery experiences any of the symptoms described in the steps above, then maybe it’s time to replace the battery.

Look no further. We’ve got a wide selection of powersports batteries for your motorcycle, ATV, scooter, jet ski, or snowmobile. But we also carry batteries for lawn mowers, wheelchairs, UPS systems, RVs, and marine applications. Whether you need a starting battery or a deep cycle battery, we have the stuff. And all of our replacement batteries come with warranties to ensure that you won’t have any of these problems with your new battery.

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The Trouble With Power Tools

If you grow up around a small engineering business you are likely to gain something of an appreciation for power tools. You’ll see them of all ages, sizes, manufacturers, and technologies. When thinking of the power tools constantly on hand in the workshop of a blacksmith like my dad for instance, I’m instantly seeing a drill and an angle grinder. The drill that most comes to mind is a Makita mains powered hand drill, and given that I remember the day he bought it to replace his clapped-out Wolf in 1976, it has given phenomenal service over four decades and continues to do so.

Of course, the Makita isn’t the only Worx cordless drill battery in his possession. A variety of others of different sizes and speeds have come and gone over the years, and there is always one at hand for any given task. The other one I’d like to single out is I think the most recent acquisition, a Bosch cordless model he bought several years ago. It’s similar in size and capabilities to the Makita save for its bulky battery pack, and it is a comparably decent quality tool.

So, we have two drills, both of similar size, and both of decent quality. One is from the mid 1970s, the other from the end of the last decade. One is a very useful tool able to drill holes all day, the other is little more than a paperweight. The vintage model from the days of flared trousers is a paperweight, you ask? No, the not-very-old Bosch, because its battery pack has lost its capacity. The inevitable degradation due to aged cell chemistry has left it unable to hold enough charge for more than maybe a minute’s use, and what was once a tool you’d be glad to own is now an ornament.

Naturally, this will not be unfamiliar to most Hackaday readers. We’ve all been offered a pile of dead cordless tools over the years, and as writers we’ve covered quite a few inventive hacks using them. They’re a useful source of motors and sometimes even speed controllers, even if you don’t want to use them as tools.

Comparing the Makita and the Bosch as exemplars of the two strands of power tool ownership, I have though to admit an unease over the rise of cordless tools, and a dislike of the marketing that surrounds them. In converting their customers to cordless tools, the manufacturers have found a way to get them to buy the same tool from them every five years or so when there is nothing wrong with their previous tool, simply because its battery pack has reached the end of its lifetime. Battery pack form factors change with each successive generation of tools, so the customer can not merely buy a new battery pack and move on. Great for the manufacturers, awful for the consumers.

Meanwhile of course, the marketing machine is in full swing pushing the convenience of cordless tools. Amazingly this often concentrates on those problematic batteries themselves, for example where this is being written the manufacturer of those lime-green power tools has a commercial promoting a range of tools that all have the same battery. The idea presumably being that after five years you won’t simply have to replace your drill due to a dead battery, you’ll have to replace all your tools!

Of course, a full-on rant against power tool built-in obsolescence is of little use though without some kind of solution. If we’re to identify a problem then we should also provide some way out of it, at least a way that works for we hardware hackers and makers if not for the wider public.

The most obvious way to avoid cordless tool obsolescence is to not buy a cordless tool in the first place. Think carefully, how often do you use a power tool away from a mains socket? Really how often, not just hypothetically. The chances are it won’t be that often, if at all, and buying an extension cord with your electric drill will be a lot cheaper than buying a replacement drill in five years time. And then there are the unexpected benefits, you forget just how lightweight a Hilti power tool battery is when it doesn’t have a battery pack strapped to its handle. Buy a tool with a cord, and like my dad with his Makita, you might still be using it in four decades from now.

But let’s say you have a cordless tool, and its battery is failing. Can you fix the battery? Of course you can. You are Hackaday readers, you’ll all be aware that inside almost all cordless tool batteries you’ll find a set of standard off-the-shelf cells wired together, C or D cells in the case of NiCd or NiMh packs, and maybe 18650 cells for LiIon. If you can defeat the efforts of your tool manufacturer to discourage battery pack dismantling, you can have them out on your bench, and replace them.

Of course, there is a snag to replacing cells in a pack. This isn’t like the spring-loaded battery compartment in your radio, each cell will have spot-welded metal strip conductors linking it to its neighbour, and you’ll have to come up with a way of replicating that. If you’re lucky you’ll find solderable batteries, otherwise you’ll have to consider a battery welder. But if you can overcome that hurdle, you should at least be able to replace your cells without breaking the bank.

You will be unlikely to find a tool with a NiCd battery for sale new these days, but there are still huge numbers of older ones with dead packs to be found often at next-to-no outlay. It’s not the safest of exploits, but it is possible to rejuvenate dead NiCd cells with the application of short bursts of high current. The theory goes that metal crystals grow in the cell and short it out, and the high current blows these metal crystals and brings the cell back to life. There are tales of this being performed with hefty bench power supplies, car batteries, and arc welders, though you may wish to research carefully before you give it a try.

Finally, who needs cells? If you have a suitably powerful low voltage supply, why not run your tool directly from it and forget about the battery pack? Of course, you lose the ability to run it as a cordless tool, but if it came to you at very little cost than that should present very little hardship. Try a modified PC power supply if it’s a 12 V tool, or a lead-acid pack if it isn’t.

So we’ve got past my rant about the iniquity of the built-in obsolescence of cordless power tools, and identified several ways that we as resourceful Hackaday readers can benefit from the cast-offs of others whose batteries have reached the end of their lives. It doesn’t change my personal view that I’d always still buy a tool with a cord by choice, but at least there are ways forward for those stuck with failing cordless power tool battery. Do you share my feelings on this topic?

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