100% Recycled Li-ion and Li-po Battery Charger


Introduction: 100% Recycled Li-ion and Li-po Battery Charger

I'm gonna show you how, with a solder iron and some electrical tape and two hours, I turned two defunct electronic toys into full function, high end lithium ion battery chargers!

Try not to notice too much of the blur :-(
Both my real cameras are out on loan, so this was done with harsh technique.
a palm treo650, and a hand held magnifying glass.

When I get more "scrap" bluetooths and cameras, and have my multi-mega-pixel back... I'll add some clearer pictures. I promise. If you remind me :-)

Step 1: Bluetooth Headset to Li-ion Charger

How you disassemble your bluetooth headset will depend on your model.
I used a Jabra that would drop phone connections at random intervals(VERY annoying).
My Jabra 150 is almost identical to the Jabra 350.

Step 2:

Since Haraisuru did such a good job here I'll let that work stand.
But, to be fair, I'll include a few of my own images

Step 3:

Let the modding begin!
I'll begin with the main body.
The goal is to move the battery external, and still be able to
hook it up for charging.

Step 4:

And now for the Battery itself.

Step 5:

Camera Battery charger.
This one was fun, as the $1 throwaway camera had an even better battery than the bluetooth.
Li-po battery to boot.
Turns out that after the thing is apart, it's even easier to mod.

Step 6:

Camera to charger in a few easy steps.

Step 7: The Step Where YOU Get to Help ME ;-)

Besides making my stash of white and Blue LEDs light up in remote locations, what else to do with these med-low capacity batteries?

oh ;-) I see a new pocket-sized instuctable contest is running.
Self-serving interest demands that, If you like my work,
then I have to ask you to consider voting for me.
I could use a new leatherman.
the one featured in my pictures has a snapped blade tip.
Speaks to the character of those tools, that it's STILL my favorite
utility blade, even with the tip missing.



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    14 Discussions

    Hi, I too have older devices such as past Bluetooth kit, I've plundered 12 lithium ion cells 3.7v 2400/2600mah and was looking at using this method to create a massive power bank. I know using this method would slowly charge it, but it's a less risky route and robes the firework element of charging

    1 reply

    To save time, I think what you want is https://m.instructables.com/id/14-amp-hour-140-watt-hour-lithium-ion-battery/?ALLSTEPS. Costs a bit more than free, but not much, and will likely do what you want.

    The problem is... these circuits are set up for single li-po cells.
    You didn't specify whether your plundered cells were 18650 li-ion, or true li-po. If they are li-ion.... about the only way you could use these circuits is to have 12 of them, and charge each cell outside your battery pack. A proper li-ion charger would not only chrge faster, but SAFER also! There is no thermal sensor doing it my way. Safety come from personal attention, and painfully slow chrge rates.

    If the cells ARE laptop li-po...then you can either reuse the charge/balance/protection board from the laptop battery... or get/make a multi cell li-po hobby charger.

    I'm planning to either use the Bluetooth circuitry or my other option is a solio "original" circuit board this allows a DC charge port and a solar input. It currently charges a single 3.7v cell, but my new pack of either 6-12 cells is a big bucket version, but lacks the multicell control.
    How did you solve this??

    i do have a battery from a murdered ipod... ( i didn't kill it some truck drivers did, i guess they didn't see it dropped on the floor of the shop) the battery is still okay though

    1 reply

    As far as I know, the ipods use a LiPo battery almost identical in construction to the average bluetooth(only bigger). Cellphone batteries are slightly better because of the built-in low/high voltage cutoff circuitry, but you SHOULD be ok wit the bare LiPo cell. Obviously of note, it's going to take a lot longer to recharge. My bluetooth LiPo cell is 90mAh, your iPod battery is probably at least 500mAh, so charge times may pass from the hours, into the days range. An advantage with the lower current charging though... you don't have to worry about your battery getting hot :-)

    throwing this one out there, ive used some old cell phone batteries to power my xbox 360 controller.  i was sick of the AA batteries dying what seemed like every week.  so far one charge lasts a VERY long time.

    1 reply


    The OEM battery I saw when searching is 3600mAh @2.4v

    Li-ion sits at 3.7(4.2v) and shouldn't be discharged below 3Volt(for safety)

    It'll probably be just fine, but the controller WILL operate well below the safety voltage for the cell battery. Just remember to recharge it every once in a while, to prevent over-discharge(aka undervoltage).

    I lucked out with my latest project...Cordless mouse/keyboard.
    they both run on 3 AA batteries... and stop working at 3.1 volt... Perfect for swapping in Li-ion cells. The low-voltage cutout tells me that the circuitry was probably designed for Li-ion. UNfortunately, they're "generic" and the chips inside were no help identifying the manufacturer. Guess I get what I paid for(free from the electronics recycler drop-off).

    try using a mobile phone battery, just now i am trying it. my bluetooth has already a built-in LED flash light. now i am charging it and monitoring the voltage and temp. i think 4.2vdc when the battery is full. hope the LED turns to green or else BBOOOOMMMM.. hehehe..

    3 replies

    hehe, I'd do the charging outside, on a flame-proof surface... if that's your gig. It may be a "FUN" charge. Based on the info I have, you should be safe, as long as the cell phone battery capacity exceeds the bluetooth battery capacity. All the charging circuits I've tried have automatic cut-offs for overvoltage... and since they supply the exact same charging current. But as always, plan for and expect the BOOM, and be pleasantly suprised when it doesn't.

    good news.. the battery is working good! better than the original battery. though the charging time takes about 4-5hrs. next project will be my psp! using BP-4L 1500mAh x 2..

    oh, and yes, 4.2 should be "FULL". To be safe, I'd charge only to 4.1 volt. The disadvantage is you only get 90% charge, however, it prolongs battery service life. It's also safer, incase your readings aren't within the +/- .05V cutoff called for.

    I actually have three total. One was a "prize", one was from a "dollar store", not sure if it was dollar gen, or which. The third was from wal-mart(shudder). that someone had bought, and when it turned out to take completely unacceptable images... got donated to me.