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Li-Ion replacement packs for Ni-Cad hand tools


Jakes Louw
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Dunno if this has been discussed before, but I have a decent 12v impact drill that is lying in the workshop, unused as the NiCad packs are FUBAR.

Now a shop like S&P can repack them at R260 each ex-VAT. But then I still have NiCad with dodgy performance, slow recharge and low Ah ratings.

These guys sell pre-made Li-Ion battery packs:

https://www.electromannsa.com/products/12-6v-5-1ah-rechargeable-li-ion-battery-pack-with-bms?_pos=70&_sid=4122d02d5&_ss=r

Yes, I could invest in expensive soldering irons, good reading glasses (short range eyesight is becoming an issue), and buy stuff like Li-Ion batteries and BMS units off the Interwebs, but I flunked basic electrical circuits in Matric. And looking at those prices, could I really do better considering P&P, excise, courier costs etc? 

What does the forum say:

- Repack the NiCads? R520 for 2 ex VAT

- Try the Li-Ion packs? R958 for 2 ex VAT

- Spend the money on a new Ryobi 18v drill and donate the old piece of crap to somebody else? But only have 1 battery? 

 

 

 

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3S Lithium Ion is going to be too low in voltage for your 12V (not that I have tried it to see what actually happens)

Buy a new drill and convert the old one to work from your car battery or a power supply or alarm battery.

Or get LiFePo 4S batteries.

Edited by Pietpower
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Hi Jakes, why do you not buy just one lithium-ion battery pack? The capacity will be vastly more than the Ni-Cads, you will rarely have to recharge.

I have successfully repacked three of my old Ni-Cad drills with recycled 18650 Li-ion cells. What a pleasure to have 5 battery drills on a job, each with a different bit. The torque is also impressive. One should ideally use high-drain cells, but I use high-capacity cells and double up more in parrallel (sp?) I do not fit BMS, just made sure cells are identical in specs, capacity and close in internal resistance. I suffer from familiar tremor, so soldering is not neat. A customer has offered to build me a spot welder, should take him up on it.

I see you are at De Wildt, not far from me. Bring your old batteries and I will try a re-pack.

 

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19 hours ago, Abe53 said:

Hi Jakes, why do you not buy just one lithium-ion battery pack? The capacity will be vastly more than the Ni-Cads, you will rarely have to recharge.

I have successfully repacked three of my old Ni-Cad drills with recycled 18650 Li-ion cells. What a pleasure to have 5 battery drills on a job, each with a different bit. The torque is also impressive. One should ideally use high-drain cells, but I use high-capacity cells and double up more in parrallel (sp?) I do not fit BMS, just made sure cells are identical in specs, capacity and close in internal resistance. I suffer from familiar tremor, so soldering is not neat. A customer has offered to build me a spot welder, should take him up on it.

I see you are at De Wildt, not far from me. Bring your old batteries and I will try a re-pack.

 

I'd be happy to bring them through to you. The tool is useless to me: the NiCads are so shot that I can barely run a 10mm bit through a 50mm treated pole and they are flat. 

As you might know, I have a 20Ha smallholding: I often struggle without cordless tools, and this means loading a gennie onto the bakkie and driving to the work site. And a 650W impact drills needs a 1.3kW gennie. 

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10 hours ago, Vassen said:

depending where you are based, there’s people that will do the conversion for you including providing the cells and bms. 

I wish. S&P Power Units don't want to try the Li-Ion conversion. Driving to the east rand or far west rand or southern JHB adds R250 to the cost.

At that cost plus the cost of re-pack, I may as well buy an 18V Li-Ion Ryobi for R900 with a battery and charger. An extra battery would be nice but not critical considering 90% of my jobs are short and small: one or 2 bolt or screw holes, maybe a driving in a few self-tappers. 

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Well, just went and got the drill out of the storage shed.

It's a Powerplus X011 14.4v not 12v. 23 torque settings, single speed, plus a hammer option. Built in level bubbles, and a laser sight option. Rear back-lit LCD for battery status. 

Battery code is POW X011B. Connected the charger and the smoke came out of the 230v transformer. 

Oops. How does one get the smoke back in? I used to have replacement Land Rover smoke, will that work? 

Abe, I assume we need a Li-Ion charger? Will send you a PM. 

 

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I agree with Jakes. I have used Ryobi power tools for years and have had no issues. Currently using a Ryobi 18v cordless impact driver to re-do my roof joists. What a pleasure. Different matter if you are a contractor. Go for a more professional tool and take the (cost) pain. Another bonus for me is if it gets banged up or dropped I don't have to go into a corner and weep - unlike what happened to my expensive Bosch. The current Ryobi HandyLine range of power tools are another matter altogether.  

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