Introduction: TicTac PowerPack: an Ecologically Friendly USB Powerbank From Free From Old Laptop Batteries
Want an essentially free high capacity battery bank thats easy to make and get? No this isnt a scam.
Hundreds of laptop batteries get thrown away each day. Many still have good cells but cannot be used as the laptop is outdated. So rather than letting these batteries get sent off to a third world country to rot in a pond we can reuse them.
These batteries can be found in almost any computer repair shop. Ask for defective or usless laptop battery packs and they will be happy to give you them for absolutely free.
Or if you have one at home you can save yourself a trip.
Step 1: Sourcing Your Materials
I used a cherry cola tic tac box to fit my 18650 Cells although a cheap case like shown can be purchased on ebay with the boost circuitry.
and i used an old power bank circuit from a cheap power bank. This power bank was purchased from the dollar store for $3 CAD. Even though it would work by itself it didnt work well due to the Battery used in the power bank being crap. As you can see from the Photos the battery leaked electrolyte and rusted this caused the battery to only have half its supposed capacity.
Better cells can be extracted from laptop batteries.
Step 2: Extracting the Cells
DO NOT USE POWER TOOLS
Use a screwdriver to pry the 2 pieces of plastic open. Once the plastic halves are separated these batteries can be taken out. For mine there were 6 18650 cells. Many times the cells will be overly discharged. As long as it is roughly over 0.5V it should be fine to charge. Be sure to monitor the batteries while charging. There is no point in recovering batteries under 0.5v as generally they have internal discharge and wont hold as much capacity.
Step 3: Preparing the Tic Tac Container
Remove the label on the TicTac container and mark out where the charge circuitry goes. Cut out the holes for the Micro USB and the USB.
Trim off part of the bottom of the lid to allow the 18650s to fit and cut out 2 slots on the sides to allow the charge circuitry to fit.
Then do a test fit
Step 4: Painting
I painted my Tic Tac box with Bedliner and then with Matte Black paint. The Truck Bedliner allows for a better texture and look.
Step 5: Batteries
Separate the batteries into 2 18650 cells in parallel.
Solder a wire to the positive end and to the negative end. (I know I know my wires are the wrong way round)
Solder the wires to the charge circuitry and test to see if it works.
Once its done place the batteries into the Tic Tac container and fill in the gap with tissue paper.
Take a USB cable and place it in through the cap and onto the charge circuitry. Then hot glue it in place.
Step 6: Finishing
Close the power bank and it is done.
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