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Old 09-03-2008, 12:56 PM
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Cordless tool batteries

My Porter Cable 14.4v cordless drill batteries have again almost 'bit the dust'. Since the drill is getting a bit old, not sure that I really want to spend $120 for another pair of batteries. I took one of my existing battery packs apart - and it is nothing more then 12 little sub C size batteries in series. There are several places offering to refurbish the existing battery pack and my question is, has anyone ever used one of these outfits to rebuild their battery packs? Happy with the service? Of course the alternative is to just buy another cordless drill, but I like this one, it has been trouble free, except every 2-3 years, over $120 for batteries is getting too much for an old tool

Dave W

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Old 09-03-2008, 05:07 PM
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Have had plenty 'o' my DeWalt 18v go south too. I'm an R/C racer, so all my second string battery packs that aren't quite 'race-able' get re-configured into cordless packs. If you have a healthy iron and you're good at soldering, you could look up R/Cers that race electric and usually some are more than willing to sell off their B-stock cheap and you can re-furb for much less. Look for matching types (ni-mh or ni-cad) and MAH ratings. (2400, 3300, 4200 etc.)

Most R/C racing packs are graded and labeled so that each cell is doing equal work within the pack- called matched packs. As long as numbers are close they'll be just fine in a drill.

Some R/C racing cells are a few thousandths bigger per cell so it takes a little work to get them to fit in the existing case. 99% are Sub-C.

Make sure the cells are shrink wrapped and not bare. The entire case, even the top lip next to the '+' cap is negative '-'...

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Old 09-04-2008, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-10
Have had plenty 'o' my DeWalt 18v go south too. I'm an R/C racer, so all my second string battery packs that aren't quite 'race-able' get re-configured into cordless packs. If you have a healthy iron and you're good at soldering, you could look up R/Cers that race electric and usually some are more than willing to sell off their B-stock cheap and you can re-furb for much less. Look for matching types (ni-mh or ni-cad) and MAH ratings. (2400, 3300, 4200 etc.)

Most R/C racing packs are graded and labeled so that each cell is doing equal work within the pack- called matched packs. As long as numbers are close they'll be just fine in a drill.

Some R/C racing cells are a few thousandths bigger per cell so it takes a little work to get them to fit in the existing case. 99% are Sub-C.

Make sure the cells are shrink wrapped and not bare. The entire case, even the top lip next to the '+' cap is negative '-'...

Thanks for the good tip - I'll take a look around the internet to see what I can find. I'll have to make up the interconnecting straps as the Porter-Cable pieces appear to be welded rather then soldered, but that's not a promlem nor is soldering.

Dave W
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
...There are several places offering to refurbish the existing battery pack and my question is, has anyone ever used one of these outfits to rebuild their battery packs? Happy with the service? ...
I haven't used any of them myself, but a number of my buddies on various woodworking forums have had good results with rebuilt battery packs. The general consensus is that the rebuilt packs are as good (or often better) than the factory ones.

One place i know of that's gotten good reviews is mtobattery.com. (No affiliation...just repeating what I've read.)
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:23 AM
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FYI spotwelding the connecting straps is the preferred method of connection for multiple Ni-Cad packs, soldering the straps can damage the battery. Generally most local companies don't have the proper spotwelding equipment to do this job.

I know most people don't do it this way and have good results, but if not done carefully you can seriously damage a Ni-Cad battery with a soldering iron.
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:05 PM
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You can buy individual cells with or without solder lugs from Batteries America . I have rebuilt several cordless power accessories with batteries from them. I also use them for my R/C hobby

Vince
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:48 PM
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Lots of good suggestions - thanks

Vince - the link you gave me - to rebuild both battery packs would be just a bit more then buying one unless their shipping charges are outrageous.

Dave W
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Lots of good suggestions - thanks

Vince - the link you gave me - to rebuild both battery packs would be just a bit more then buying one unless their shipping charges are outrageous.

Dave W
The cells you get from them are of much higher quality though.

Vince
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
The cells you get from them are of much higher quality though.

Vince
Vince,
I have a feeling you misunderstood me.
The batteries are expensive, but I can do my two old packs for a few bucks more then I can spend for one new replacement module.

Dave W
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:40 AM
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Heres an example of the used R/C batteries that could be had. Obviously you'd have a little 'legwork' in scrounging up batteries but, hey...

http://cgi.ebay.com/GP-3300-matched-...QQcmdZViewItem

If you could happen upon a buyout of somebodies collection, that would work too.

Look up R/C tracks in your area. But be warned, the fast expensive kind of R/C cars are addicting. I've been into it for 20 years and racing them 15.
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-10
Heres an example of the used R/C batteries that could be had. Obviously you'd have a little 'legwork' in scrounging up batteries but, hey...

http://cgi.ebay.com/GP-3300-matched-...QQcmdZViewItem

If you could happen upon a buyout of somebodies collection, that would work too.

Look up R/C tracks in your area. But be warned, the fast expensive kind of R/C cars are addicting. I've been into it for 20 years and racing them 15.
The Right Coast Nationals has a group every year as part of their entertainment - and I make sure to go. This year I saw only tractor/car pulls with gas engines - but agree, it could be addictive. And I already have a couple of expensive hobbies - my car and dSLR photography

One thing about the high capacity R/C batteries - I'm not sure that my charger has the capability of doing much more then 2000mAH batteries but am going to look into all suggestions - just as soon as I get the fenders on my car and off to the upholsterer in a week or so - an I'm off to do the fronts NOW

Dave W
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:34 AM
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Related (sort of) question........I know nothing about electronics

I have a cordless 18 volt drill....The charger burnt out, fried a few resisters etc in it too.........I havve a bunch of old adapters laying around, which I wired directly to the charger base without going through these resisters etc......Same output voltage and mlilamps as the old charger.....I figure, I just wont leave it on too long.....

Anyways, it just burns out the adapter.....Why?

I figure this little circuitboard missing is the reason, but why?
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:43 AM
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If you're trying to charge a pack with a dead cell, this could be why. Is polarity ok?

It only takes ONE dead cell in a pack to render it un-usable
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:47 AM
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I think the batterys are OK.....it does charge it, as long as the adapter lasts.....about an hour.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Related (sort of) question........I know nothing about electronics

I have a cordless 18 volt drill....The charger burnt out, fried a few resisters etc in it too.........I havve a bunch of old adapters laying around, which I wired directly to the charger base without going through these resisters etc......Same output voltage and mlilamps as the old charger.....I figure, I just wont leave it on too long.....

Anyways, it just burns out the adapter.....Why?

I figure this little circuitboard missing is the reason, but why?
The resistors restrict the amp output of the charger, without them it draws to much current and burns the transformer out.
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