12 Volt Emergency Roadside Worklight and Drill

About: Master 12 Volt Electronics Technician...or "Car audio installer" by trade. I love to build, make, create, design. My job provides a great avenue to do all those things while getting paid. Electronics and aud...

This was my first cordless drill and light. Purchased for work as a mobile electronics installer. Overall it did a pretty good job for probably 2 years. The battery technology just wasn't there back then, so both packs eventually failed. Craftsman had stopped producing this model and I believe that was when the current 12V line up started. Either way the drill was shelved when I got a Snap-on replacement.

The fact that the optimal voltage from an automotive alternator while charging is 14.4 volts and this set is rated for just that, made this a perfect match to be run of any 12 volt source. More specifically any car battery or accessory outlet. I keep it in my daily driver just in case I have to change a tire and need light or whatever else may come up.

I also do work in the field frequently, and the drill has saved me a couple times when my newer 19.2V Craftsman has ran out of juice.

Step 1: 1.0

-When I originally tried this out, I just grabbed some 14 gauge power and ground wire and used male spade connectors. I butt connected a 12 volt accessory plug on the other end, which allows me to plug it into my jump box or any car's 12volt socket.

-The charger had positive and negative labeled so I just plugged them in accordingly inside the handle of the drill and light.

-I then drilled 2 holes so I could ziptie the wires to ensure I didn't yank out the connectors.

-These tools without the batteries are extremely light. They also no longer have a flat base on which to stand.

-I liked that they functioned but there was a better way...

Step 2: Gut Battery Packs

-Popped 5 torx out and pulled the top off the packs.

-You can see on the top of the battery packs, the terminals are just male spade connectors.

-The battery pack then just lifts right out, I put them in plastic bag and took them to the recycling center.

Step 3: Wire It Up

-Used a unibit(step bit) to put 2 holes the size of my male spade connectors.

-Did a test fit to make sure it lined up.(It worked but the spades were a pain to get out, that was dumb)

-Crimped 6" or so of wire to the male spades and ran them through the holes.

-I then crimp connected it to a 2 conductor wire I stole from some other dvd player(see next step). The other end was crimp connected to the 12 volt accessory plug.

Step 4: Notch, Glue and Reassemble.

The reason I used the DVD player power cable, was the stopper on the cable sheath. I used a utility knife to notche the back of the battery pack so the stopped dropped right in. No worries about tugging on the wiring.

I used hot glue to hold the male spades in place.

Reassembly is just reinstalling the 5 Torx screws.

Step 5: Final Fit

Much better. I may add weights in the battery packs so they stand even better. Also a LED bulb for the light will be drastically better.

Thanks for checking it out!



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Live drills with dead batteries are a thrift store resource, easy to convert, and usually under $5 for a high quality tool.