DO NOT use normal NiCd or Nickle Metal Hydride Battery chargers

Some exotic cells in sizes of 14500 (AA), D and specialized 3.7 to 12v LiPO packs are cheap and easy to obtain but the battery CHARGERS are often difficult to find or VERY expensive. These types of packs and bundled cells are also VERY sensitive to charging rates, temp and current! OR they Explode.

PCB's and special chargers can be had or built from scratch. However free or cheap voltage converters available off the shelf, workbench power supplies are DANGEROUS!

This instruction will show rechargeable battery types, several sizes with codes and nomenclature along with their compatibility with conventional sizes.

Use these in Lights, small toys & Appliances and RC planes and Cars.


Step 1: Exotics - Recharging

Recharging is dangerous take proper precautions:


-never recharge unattended batteries

-charge outside or on fireproof surface (marble/tile/cement)

-Use approve charges that monitor
*current draw

-never use unrated or unknown batteries

-never use more or less cells than charger was designed for!

1) Test cells with Multimeter or rated battery tester, in a pinch use a small LED or lightbulb like a flashlight.

2) Dead cells with ZERO voltage are usually b ad and are to be discarded.

3) THREE or FOUR major battery types are in use
Alakline - these are 'Disposable' like Eveready voltage 1.5v
NiCD/NiMH - 'Re-chargables' reusables usually 1.2v
Zinc Air - One time use when exposed to air, 1.5 to 3v+
Lithium - Polymer packs as below or for 'high drain' devices

4) Specialized rechargers are required for Rechargeable Lithium Polymer packs, these monitor voltages, temp or charge rates. Do not use NiCD or NiMH chargers with lithium packs!

5) Specialized LiPO cells are available in 18650 and 14500 sizes. These can be used in some AA or C cell and larger devices with adaptors.

See my other instructables....

Final notes:

Test positive and negitive poles/tabs with a multimeter. Some "protected" cells have small PCB to control charge/discharge rates and have no "button" tops.

That's a nice set of pictures but where are the instructions?<br/><br/>Anyone who came here looking for information about hand-charging lithium-ion batteries should check out <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.powerstream.com/li.htm">powerstream's lithium page</a> for the story. They explain the reason why NiCd and NiMH chargers (which terminate on voltage, and trickle charge afterward) will damage Lithium cells (where a trickle charge will plate out metallic lithium and make the cell explode).<br/><br/>To do it by hand, you need two meters and an adjustable power supply. Maybe I'll write up an instructable about that.<br/>
Did ya see step 1? with instructions 1-5?<br/><br/>The HUGE liPo charger and text w/pic on Step 2 pic 3?<br/><br/>Jeez...<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FO7/38GO/F3NIHJ87/FO738GOF3NIHJ87.MEDIUM.jpg">LiPo Charger</a><br/>
instructions here: + to + - to - red to red or red to + black to black or black to - there...
Okay, but you missed the bit about &quot;Connect a series ammeter and parallel voltmeter between your lithium cell and adjustable power supply. Adjust the initial voltage so the charging current is about 0.5C, then as current falls off, keep increasing the voltage to maintain current right around there. When the voltage reaches 4.2 volts per cell, don't go any farther, and just watch the current. When the current falls to 0.05C, you're done, disconnect everything and don't charge any more, as trickle-charging a lithium cell will destroy it&quot;.<br/><br/>If that was in the steps somewhere, I must've missed it.<br/><br/>What's in your steps is roughly &quot;buy a charger and follow its instructions&quot;, which doesn't strike me as a terribly useful instructable. That's like posting &quot;how to bake cookies&quot; where the steps are &quot;buy a cookbook&quot; and &quot;follow the recipe&quot;. I thought the point if an instructable was to <em>be</em> the recipe, which is why I linked to the Powerstream page when I saw that the details of lithium charging had not been covered.<br/>
I&nbsp;looked as his other instructables - same style - just showing and advocating products that one could buy on the internet.&nbsp; I believe he is using instructables as a venue to advertise products - or he/she is just a very enthusiastic proponent of such devices/<br />
Whoa...bad idea. YES the point here is BUY a Charger for ALL LiPo's or use a LiPo APPROVED PCB Controller. (see pics)....NEVER EVER charge without Current feedback, temp control etc etc... Cells vary by manufacture and come in Button top, Flat Packs and Coil configs...so one charge technique does NOT fit all. Danger Will Robinson. YOU go can post that technique and the legal repercussions from the fires...seen the laptop and battery pack fires? These with OEM chargers? Jeez ! LiPo Chargers should never be "simulated" ...you must NOT be a IEEE Member... Only use a rated and approved PCB or Charger for Lithiums. NiMh or NiCd's are simple. There you can monitor voltage and current...no so LiPo's. All add some STEPS for ya... E
They aren't LiPo batteries. They are Li Ion. However, smaller capacities that are 99% safe is called LiFePO4.
I meant the AA and AAA sized batteries. They are 14500=AA, 10440=AAA, 18650 lion is for torches, 16340 is CR123 rcr, etc<br/>
Where did you get those LiPo batteries?
hi ercgillis, want to ask something, I bought a battery pack for my psp and i wanted to add one or two more battery in parallel with the battery inside the battery pack to increase the mAh of the battery pack. is it safe?? or do i need to modify also the circuit? the battery is LiPo.. thanks!!!
u sure mine are lith ion, also check out some the AA charger packs for the psp, i think they would serve better
My neighbor heard I was building my own battery pack for my bicycle's lighting system and needed a charger. He gave me the old charger to his kid's power wheel. It's 12 volt, but will it recharge a NIMH based pack? I think those power wheels use a lead cell or something like that. Here's a picture of the charger.
only use it IF it is specifically rated for NmHy and at the voltage & current max for your pack. The charger fine print will show ... From pic I can see 12v is your bike lite 12
Yes. As a matter of fact, I'm rebuilding the pack using 10 NiMh sice C in series. I built it originally with an old rechargable drill pack I had laying around, but now is the time to upgrade I believe. I just need to make sure I have a charger ready for when I do.
Hey i got that solar pack :D its good if u got the sun for it :3
nice collection of batteries there!!
happy new year!!!!!! (7 min into new year!)
Ugh ...more taxes and we start up Social Security deductions again till $69k
im only 15 ;-)
Old enough to Bag Groceries or Mow lawns, Clean Pools, Babysit.... Get a job! lol
lol. im gona in summer, try to get a job at my local golf driving range.
Target Cart!
EXACTLY! :-D. i love hitting the cart things xD, lol just got to get there asap when they open for summer.
Uh one thing, where are the instructions? Also LiPo's are dangerous, you can get proper chargers for about 20 dollars and a good charger is definitely worth the money, the one I have only cost 45 and it works beautifully.
Make you OWN - <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/NiCd---NiMH-PC-Based-Smart-Charger---Discharger/">http://www.instructables.com/id/NiCd---NiMH-PC-Based-Smart-Charger---Discharger/</a><br/><br/>E<br/>
Add some clear steps...
"Oooooohhh! a RED NiHM! *buy*" ...but seriously, what are all those batteries for? what do they fit into?
The LiPO 14500 is AA sized. I use the 18650 3.7v with an adaptor in a 2x 'C' Cell light. Instead of two 1.5v Alakalines I use a single 3.7v LiPo and a Xenon Bulb. E
Where did you get the AAx3 to D-cell adapters? I've never seen them before.
I made that one ....<wink>...12v in 3 D cell size!
That's first Instructable of the new year for you guys, but at California, (where INSTRUCTABLES is located), we celebrate in 2 hours and 12 minutes. :-)
first instructable of the new year!!!
well, maybe not, lol, it's new year in my time zone right now!

About This Instructable


65 favorites


Bio: So what ideas would you like to try?
More by erckgillis: Hacking School or Library & Public Computers to SURF to ANY Website NES GBA and PSX games on your iPhone or iTouch Apple iTouch/iPhone Hacks and firmware rollback
Add instructable to: