Introduction: SAFE Recharging of Exotic Batteries, NiMH, LiPO and Complex Battery Packs or Multiple Cells.

Picture of SAFE Recharging of Exotic Batteries, NiMH, LiPO and  Complex Battery Packs or Multiple Cells.
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

Picture of 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.

Step 2: Charging!

Picture of Charging!

Some Examples of cells:

Be sure to match charger with cells, current and heat/monitoring PCB's

Reminder: some LiPo cells have 'built-in' charge monitoring PCB's and temp/current cutouts!

The Lt Blue cell below is a AA sized (14500) 3.7v protected Lithium Polymer cell. Great for regulated lights and high power LED or HID bulbs! The Red is a LONG size AA for specialized packs.

Rechargable cells in NiMH for 1/2D size 1.2v can be combined for higher voltages in smaller spaces.

See my flashligh post on instructables.


Step 3: TIPS

Picture of TIPS
Use magnets for connections to button cells.

Charge multiple cells only in rated chargers and in series if charger is rated for multiple voltages.

Lithium cells are EXPLOSIVE if charged in a NiCd or NiMH charger!


Step 4: Custom Work

Picture of Custom Work

Some "custom" battery packs...



lilpepsikraker (author)2009-08-09

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

Plasmana (author)2008-12-07

Where did you get those LiPo batteries?

matse9999 (author)2008-11-29

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!!!

Coffee bean (author)matse99992008-12-03

u sure mine are lith ion, also check out some the AA charger packs for the psp, i think they would serve better

dlfynrdr (author)2008-05-17

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.

erckgillis (author)dlfynrdr2008-05-17

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

dlfynrdr (author)erckgillis2008-05-18

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.

Bongmaster (author)2008-04-02

Hey i got that solar pack :D its good if u got the sun for it :3

hmms (author)2008-01-09

nice collection of batteries there!!

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-12-31

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.

Ohm (author)2008-01-01

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.

erckgillis (author)Ohm2008-01-02

Add some clear steps...

erckgillis (author)2008-01-02

Took me a whole Year to post this one!

theRIAA (author)2007-12-31

"Oooooohhh! a RED NiHM! *buy*" ...but seriously, what are all those batteries for? what do they fit into?

erckgillis (author)theRIAA2008-01-02

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

dacker (author)2008-01-01

Where did you get the AAx3 to D-cell adapters? I've never seen them before.

erckgillis (author)dacker2008-01-02

I made that one .......12v in 3 D cell size!

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-31

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. :-)

guyfrom7up (author)2007-12-31

first instructable of the new year!!!

guyfrom7up (author)guyfrom7up2007-12-31

well, maybe not, lol, it's new year in my time zone right now!

About This Instructable




Bio: So what ideas would you like to try?
More by erckgillis:NES GBA and PSX games on your iPhone or iTouchApple iTouch/iPhone Hacks and firmware rollback SAFE Recharging of Exotic Batteries, NiMH, LiPO and  complex battery packs or multiple cells.
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