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So with too much down-time during the long, miserable winter we've had, I've spent too much time on You-Tube absorbing way too much experimental ideas. Anyways, I digress...

I've watched dozens of videos on various techniques, ideas, recommendations on why cordless tool batteries quick taking a charge or charge but die quickly.

 

Most of those same videos give that persons take (probably based on their own viewing of somebody else's video) on how to revive mostly NiCd but also a few on Li-Ion batteries so, now that we've had a few days in the upper 40's to low 50's, I had to give it a go.

 

Disclaimer: I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box but I knew far better that to use an arc welder (AC output unless you have a fancy welder). Some seemed surprised when smoke rolled out of their batteries. Go figure.:ChinScratch: There likely is some risk doing this regardless, but one I was willing to take. I take NO responsibility for anyone performing this operation in their own environment.

 

Approach:  I have several old transformer power pack units, but found most had stepped down AC voltage versus DC. Not sure where they all came from??? Yard sale & flea market treasure boxes likely?  The few that had DC output were 6v-9v DC. Not enough to "jump-start" a 12v, 18v, or 19.2v battery.

 

A couple of weeks back, I stopped at the Salvation Army Resale Store (like a Goodwill), went to their Electronics Department and rummaged through lots of boxes. I finally found a laptop charger with power cord, 24v DC output for $2. With the Senior Citizen's discount, I paid $1.35 with tax. Cut the laptop plug off, pulled the wires back, verified + & - and the voltage, installed two alligator clips; Ready to go.

 

I had several batteries sitting around that came with different tools I'd purchased at flea markets or yard sales. The tools worked with what I already had: Craftsman 12v & 19.2v & Ryobi 18v.

 

(2) 18v +1 Ryobi's, NiCd...no idea how old to begin with...I've probably had for 3 or 4 years or more???;  both read minimal voltage <2v; neither would take or hold a charge. I did the strike 8x thing but finally just held the leads on for several minutes. So far  1/2  has fully charged and is holding the charge; powers tools just fine.

 

Next was a 19.2v Craftsman...again, no idea how old...it too had minimal voltage <1v...did the 8x thingy, then clipped the leads on for 15 minutes or so...placed in the multi-voltage quick charger for 1 hour...came up to slightly above 20v and it still holding; operates drill & work light fine.

 

A couple of H-F 18v, Chicago Electric I bought with a drill & charger for <$20, 8 years ago this month. I used it maybe two times; batteries would not hold a charge; stuck it in a box...lesson almost learned no more H-F cordless...besides 3 months later they changed their tool & battery style when I had already purchased an 18v Impact Driver & R/A 3/8" drill. Those batteries are next, although 2/4 still work fine.

 

Did the 8x thingy...clipped the leads on for maybe a half hour...put that battery in the charger...did the other one plus went through my Craftsman 12v collection...so far the H-F batteries are holding...true test will be when I can charge them fully. Too cold at night still to leave them on the charger...charger is not a fast charger.

 

I'm thinking I've just made a hundred bucks or so thus far. If I only get a few weeks or months out them, I'm ahead. Still working on the Ryobi Li-Ion...different approach...the battery I have must be one of their very first Li-Ion...much different internally than the newer ones. Several Craftsman 12v to go when warmer...I'll do an update specific to those then.

 

So what's been your experience if any trying this? If you've used a welder, probably should keep that to yourself.;)

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My take on it is WOW, I have never tried any of that stuff, mine all went to the recycler.. But that sounds like you are on to something. I have a couple of old laptop chargers. My question is what is the 8X thingy?

Thanks for posting this,

Herb

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I did that a few years back and it seemed to work but it didn't.  I used a 12V 3AMP battery charger.  The charge was there but didn't hold up under use.  The batteries quickly went back to their original state and had to be zapped again.  I ended up buying some cheap batteries at HF and swapped the cells into my battery packs.  Had to refigure them fit but that worked the best.  I think at the time the 18V HF batteries were about 8 bucks.

 

That was my experience but hope your experience is better.  Let us know how they hold up.

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7 hours ago, Dadio said:

My question is what is the 8X thingy?

Thanks for posting this,

Herb

Ditto on the thingy. By the way for less time and not much more money you can rebuild a battery.

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6 hours ago, Dadio said:

My question is what is the 8X thingy?

 

54 minutes ago, schnewj said:

Is "thingy" a technical term?:ph34r:

It's a "Hoosier" term, probably more rural slang in nature, might even be considered backwoods to many.:rolleyes:

 

So, several guys discuss/show holding the ground (negative) lead to the negative battery terminal, then quickly tapping/striking the positive lead to the positive battery terminal 8x. Supposedly this rapid connect/disconnect disperses the microscopic build-up of "fingers" as they call them inside the individual battery cells.

 

Apparently that is what they believe prevents the "Smart Charger" technology from recognizing a low charge level in the batteries to begin the re-charge. In some instances, that's all they did, stuck the battery pack in the charger and it immediately began recharging. Others, like I did after the 8x thingy:P, connected the remote power supply for a few minutes, then began the recharge cycle.

 

The danger with just leaving a remote power supply connected is the lack of thermal protection most battery packs and smart chargers utilize. Using a higher voltage power pack than the batteries are rated could cause an overcharge left unattended. However that's why I decided on a 24v power supply since I had both 18v & 19.2v batteries. I'll have to look but I think the amperage output rating is only 3.5a???

 

I'll try to get a few pictures posted of my set-up. I'd rather not point to any one specific You-tube video.

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1 hour ago, HandyDan said:

I did that a few years back and it seemed to work but it didn't.  I used a 12V 3AMP battery charger.  The charge was there but didn't hold up under use.  The batteries quickly went back to their original state and had to be zapped again. 

There were a few guys that used a small battery charger and it did seem to work. A couple of guys just used jumpers off of their car battery which in theory should work also. A couple had chargers which had dual voltage 12v or 24v. They used the 24v setting at low amperage.

 

I don't recall any coming back days or weeks later to give an update on their success. Like you, I'm wondering how long this "fix" might work too. I haven't put any under a heavy load yet (too blame cold), Until then, I have guarded optimism.

Edited by Grandpadave52
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17 minutes ago, Gerald said:

By the way for less time and not much more money you can rebuild a battery.

Not less time really, because no disassembly is required unless a Li-Ion which is iffy at best anyway.

 

Watching all of these videos has led me to other videos that include rebuilding the power packs using H-F batteries like Dan did. The individual cells in all H-F battery packs shown were the same Panasonics as in most all OEM battery packs so a reliable, cost effective replacement source.

 

However, I also found other videos showing testing and reviews of numerous "knock-off" batteries for Ryobi, Craftsman, Makita, Dewalt and others. All were very favorable. eBay searches yielded these knock-offs were over 1/2 to 2/3+ less than OEM's...cheaper to go this route than even rebuild in most cases.

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6 minutes ago, Grandpadave52 said:

All were very favorable. eBay searches yielded these knock-offs were over 1/2 to 2/3+ less than OEM's...cheaper to go this route than even rebuild in most cases.

I have 3 Milwaukee 12 volts I bought that are knock off's.  Have worked well for couple of years so far.  Others I have managed to find OEM on ebay and such for very cheap AT TIMES!!  

 

 

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I was able to zap some NiCad batteries back to life.  They worked but didn't hold the charge for very long.  I used an AC/DC power converter.  I wound up buying some rebuild battery packs for about half the price of an entire new battery. 

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I spent a lot of time reading up on NiCad batteries.  A lot of the info was conflicting.....how often to recharge, dendrite formation/zapping.  Kind of like whether it is necessary to sand between coats of polyurethane, how much wood glue to apply, and whether to apply wood glue to one or both surfaces.  Note: polyurethane and wood glue comments are separate subjects. 

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2 hours ago, JIMMIEM said:

A lot of the info was conflicting.....how often to recharge, dendrite formation/zapping.

Agreed. Even the so-called experts can't seem to come to any consensus on the subject.

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Probably one of the issues with some of my batteries; I don't use them often enough. Almost never during the winter months and the last couple of summers have been very sporadic. I do use the 19.2v Craftsman's fairly often spring to fall with the reciprocating saw. Works pretty good for pruning and small brush clearing.

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Update: I've been checking the 19.2v Craftsman, 18v Ryobi & (2) 18v Harbor Freight batteries almost everyday. The Craftsman is still holding it's original charge; the Ryobi dropped off about a volt. Yesterday I cycled it a few times, then placed in the one hour charger. Checked it at 30 minutes, showed fully charged; I checked the voltage tonight and it's holding at ~19.0v.

 

The two H-F 18v's I've run in the drill a few cycles, then recharged a couple of times. That charger shoes an output of 24v D.C. but does not have a thermal limiter. In fairness, I haven't charged or used those batteries for at least 3 years and probably longer. Currently they are holding at 19.8v.

 

Two other Ryobi 18v, (1) Li-Ion, (1) NiCd that came with flea market tools can't be saved. The Li-Ion battery has to be one series of the first Ryobi Li-Ion, 18V. Completely different than any of my current ones. Best I can tell, it has two cells which will not accept charge. The NiCd, I can charge with my jump pack to 18V+, but as soon as I plug it in to the Ryobi Quick Charger, it immediately shows faulty. After charging with my jump pack, it will drop ~1/10v about every 3 minutes until it drops to ~4.5v.

 

No big deal...I gave $10 for the 1/2" hammer drill with that battery and $5.50 for the 5-1/2" circular saw with the Li-Ion. I gave $1 for the 18v Work Light which came with the other NiCd I saved, so I can't complain.

 

I have one of my Craftsman 12v in process now. I'll do a separate, similar thread on those.

Edited by Grandpadave52
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