Author Topic: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac  (Read 5707 times)

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Offline Norm

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Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« on: August 07, 2012, 06:53:14 AM »
I would like to start replacing the cells in cordless drill pacs
I've already fixed one of mine (Craftsman 14.4v) and one of Tom's
both which seem to be sucessful will be undergoing test today to
be sure....like how many 1/2 inch holes I can drill thru the thickness
of a 2x4  before the voltage drops to a certain level (like 12 or 11 volts)
Stay tuned for results of this test....if you like the results and interested
in letting me fix one of your cordless drill paks contact me for details
by E-Mail.

Your only expense may only be shipping and handling.......
......so if interested .....just E-mail me?
Norm.


Offline Norm

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Re: testing Replaced NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 09:40:26 PM »
Okay guys here are the results of that test....
I replaced the cells in my one of my 14.4 Craftsman cordless drill pac and charged it
as to normal max. about 16.2 and tried it out 17 3/4 inch holes in a hunk of 2x4
which seemed about like the performance I had when they were new.

Then next I tried Tom's Milwaukee drill pack also 14.4v but used my modified
drill with 4ft special cord and plug that hooks up to his drill pack....line voltage
drop ....well ...Yes! I could only drill 16 3/4 inch holes.



Notice the white cord going to the red pack and to the drill?
Norm.
Oh by the way when those batteries get down to 14.4 they are done
and ready for a recharge!

Online tomw

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 08:57:41 AM »
Norm;

How do you think that new pack will react to the factory charger?

I guess the best thing to do is try it.

Can't wait to try it out and if it works I haver 2 or 3 more that are either flat out dead or so weak they are useless. Maybe I can find a way to allow more cells once I see how you did them. I have some PVC, Kydex and HDPE plastic I could maybe make an extender from that will stand up to the task.

Should work for my cordless drilling needs. I have a half inch corded drill for real jobs. Only got it about 18 months ago because the Milwaikees kept up with what I used a drill for other than the drill press until the batteries started dying. I also have one cable so I can hotwire them to a vehicle battery and then they are very powerful.

Weird reason I have 3 sets of that same drill. Bought one off FeeBay and when it showed up it was a lot of 3 sets. Seller did not want to pay return shipping so I kept them. And all the drills are still running fine 10 years later but only 2 of 6 batteries are still useable. The battery packs are not common and they want about $50 per so I haven't bought new ones. Rather invest in a more modern 18 volt setup with high tech batteries that are light and last long.

Thanks for the heads up.

Tom
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Offline Norm

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 09:07:27 AM »

Here is how I adapted to charge your batt.
but sensor on your battery isn't what my smart charger wants
so it just slow charges and takes several hours to charge.
Can charge these at about 5 amps on regular 12 volt battery charger
but not safe have to watch very carefully .....guess maybe Ghurd's dump
controller would work with a battery charger.
My PedGen works but cuts in too late resulting in like pedaling downhill
would have to change to a higher ratio....
Well I've tried to make a sucess of this one so I'll charge it up real
good and hoping it works I'm always fearful I will goof up but I was more
meticulous than the last one ....I mean I really tried my best this time

and it seems to have paid off ....
Norm
will be sending it off in a couple of days....
charging it up and letting it set for a day...
Yours reads 15.3 mine reads 15.75 putting yours
on charge right now.....keep you posted.....today.
....Later  :)

Offline Norm

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 06:51:05 AM »
Here is how to replace the cells in a cordless battery pack.

First I check the voltage I usually charge about 10 in a series
string until each stack of 5 reaches 6.5

This is how they look prior to cutting them up as individual
cells.

Pulling apart to expose the connecting tab, the tab is cut in
half with scissors they are the then temporarily glued together
and then a small bridging tab is soldered across the gap.

Like this.
7 pairs required for an 18 volt pack.
This way leaves 1/2 tabs that you can solder connecting short
bridging tabs to later.
From here you can google plenty of links and u-tube videos on
how to replace cells.
I will continue with pics as I make up another replament cell pack.
Norm. 

 

Offline MadScientist267

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 01:27:39 PM »
Norm -

How cost effective is this to do? I'm assuming new cells, didn't see it mentioned specifically (or I missed it). Couldn't see doing this with used cells, a lot of work wasted if one of the cells decides it was only "faking" in the individual testing phase, particularly with high discharge rates.

I realize that replacement packs are retarded expensive when they are genuine, but I can't help but wonder if the savings on replacing the cells yields "profit" when you factor in your time.

And yes, one of the most predictable aspects of NiCd is the rapid fall off right at the nominal voltage. Another reason not to utilize used cells - a slight imbalance will amplify quickly and lead to cell reversal, which of course pretty much drives the final nail in the coffin for the pack.

Just an observation... ;)

Steve
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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 01:31:52 PM »
Steve;

I think he is still using "recycled" packs from Bruce S that are cycled out of service on medical equipment.

All perfectly good but they swap them at a specific time regardless of the condition.

I got some from Bruce long ago and they all tested and at or better than factory spec.

Just sayin...

Tom
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Offline Norm

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 01:41:47 PM »
(continuing)
ila_rendered
taking the cells and bundling them together
I used a rubber band to make this one.......
Marking around the cells on a piece of cardboard,
then using a utility knife I cut out a template so I
could fit the pairs in ....some go in right side up
and the next pair in line goes upside down.
ila_rendered
Now the next thing is to solder the other half of the
tabs that I have already soldered the first half.
I have previously checked each cell, but you should
triple check before soldering them together....
This is just a hobby and I am out to help as others
have helped me....the money for these kits is to handle
shipping cost only.and materials not including batteries

....the batteries for the time being are free until I run out
of spare batteries.
wishing all of you my best.....
much fun here in NE Ohio !
Norm.

Offline Norm

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 01:45:13 PM »
almost forgot....the red marks indicate the tabs connecting
the cells underneath....just in case you were wondering.....
Norm.

Offline MadScientist267

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 03:25:27 PM »
Ahh, ok. Now that you mention it, I do remember stories of a rash of NiCds that were floating around with Bruce's name associated with them.

Can't beat free, so yup, you got me there. ;)

They are tough little critters, but in lengthy strings weird problems crop up in my experience. Of course, medical grade stuff is long known for its thorough and stringent testing. I remember a store that sold old surplus military and medical equipment. My strongest recollection was the fact that even if something was used for 5 years, sat in storage for another 5, and then made its way to this place and sat on the shelf for another 10, operation of gutted parts was invariably superior, and complete units were gold mines for way cheaper than you could ever expect to buy them elsewhere. This was pre-internet... Too bad they shut down, I loved that place.

Steve

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Offline Rover

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 03:41:40 PM »
Wouldn't have been Grand Junction in Virginia Beach would it ?

I use to love that place.

Rover
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Offline MadScientist267

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 04:22:10 AM »
LOL  ;D

I intentionally left the name out to see if you were a fellow "victim" of the place. Awesome, wasn't it? :)

My first visit to the place was a 4 hour adventure, as were the next 3 or 4. Even had a part time job there briefly, and still not sure I saw everything! LOL

My absolute favorite item of all time was the liposuction machine that sat toward the back on the right hand side for what seemed like eons. I know you had to have seen it, along with the sign hanging on it that said "For those do it yourselfers" LMFAO

I didn't have the pleasure of actually working with the proprietor (can't recall his name off hand), but regularly had conversations with him. After his health began to go downhill, his son took over. He didn't quite have the humor nor management skills his father did, and the place went under. Such a shame. I worked there as a "gadget kit builder", looking around the store to find things to put together. Didn't really work out really well, but I had fun with it. ;)

Anyway, my apologies Norm, didn't mean to jack your thread... The place was just so unique.

Steve
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Offline Norm

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 08:38:57 AM »
That's okay Steve....brought back memories ....back in '51....(maybe back too far?)
Well anyhow was in the Navy and spent a lot of liberties in Norfolk area Virginia beach,
Oceanview......the Amusement park.
Years later I watched a movie where they demolished the park but worked it
into the plot as if it was a big accident....maybe you remember the movie?
I forgot the title.

Ever travel thru a town and wonder about the stories and people in it.....well you gave me one of them....Thanks !
Norm.

Offline MadScientist267

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 06:23:38 PM »
Well that's cool...

Actually, I've never seen the movie, but I moved out here in '88, and that's one of the things I first remember seeing was the wooden coaster at the park as well as the ferris wheel. Not too long afterward (I want to say around '92 maybe?), they tore it down. Never actually had the chance to go and check it out before its demo, but would have loved to. Wooden coasters are getting more and more rare, and they have a certain majestic quality about them that the steel ones just can't touch, particularly as they get older.

Maybe its the fact that they add to the adrenaline factor by making you wonder if "this is the one that makes it all come down". Hahaha

Steve
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Offline Norm

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Re: Replacing NiCad cells in cordless drill pac
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 06:55:33 PM »
Yeah wooden roller coasters there's something kinda hairy about
timbers creaking and popping as you climb to the top eh?
Norm.
Probably aabout '90 I was still working when the movie came out
I retired in '91