How to Make Battery Charger at Home

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About: Hello Guys, I am techgenie, an Electronics hobbyists, tech tinker and developer. I dedicate my free time in designing and making various creative and innovative projects, RC toys, Incredible Gadgets, Awesome...

Li-Ion batteries (18650 cells) are very widely used in all the electronics gadgets that we use today like mobile phones, laptop, powerbanks, etc. These batteries provide good backup and are a reliable source of power, therefore are also very convenient to use in DIY projects. However, charging these batteries is still hassle as the commercial chargers are quite expensive. Also, a good quality charger is essential for Li-Ion batteries, otherwise the battery life will get degraded soon. A balanced charger does the job well but it is available in higher price range.

So, in this instructable i decided to make a Li-Ion battery charger that can simultaneously charge four 18650 cells together. This charger is very simple to make and performs the work of a balanced charger by stopping the power to the individual cells after the battery gets charged completely.

Step 1: Watch the Video

A video is a wonderful tool that provides deep insight to the procedure and makes it easy to follow. However, also visit next steps for additional info and images.

Step 2: Order Parts

Step 3: Let's Begin

  1. Take the general purpose PCB board and place the batteries over the board.
  2. Mark the distance between edges of the batteries and their width on the PCB board. (If the PCB board is big, you can easily cut in size accordingly).
  3. Unfold 8 office paper clips and using pliers cut the clips from the edges as can be seen in the image above.
  4. A total of 8 U-clips (depending on the number of batteries to be charged) are to be made.
  5. Insert the U-clips on the PCB board such that the batteries can be inserted between the clips.
  6. The clips will act as the battery holders.
  7. Also, use the remaining portion from the clips to make the side railings.
  8. Solder the clips on the PCB board really well, as shown in the image. Note: Make sure that the clips don't get connected to eachother while soldering.

Step 4: Add the Components

  1. Place a TP4056 charging module on the PCB board as shown in the image above.
  2. Using a marker, mark the holes of the module on the PCB board.
  3. Solder a header pin in each of the marked holes.
  4. Insert the module over the header pins and solder the module carefully.
  5. Use the number of modules equal to the number of batteries to be charged i.e one module per battery.
  6. Solder all the modules on the PCB board as shown in the image.
  7. Take PCB switches and solder a switch between every module on the PCB board.
Note: Make sure to refer to the images in order to avoid any errors.

Step 5: Connect the Components

  1. Refer to the connection layout above and solder all the components together.
  2. Make sure to mark the polarity on the battery holder made of U-clips.
  3. Connect the battery holder terminals to the input terminals of the TP4056 charging module according to the polarity.
  4. Connect the modules together such that they can input power from a single wall charger.
  5. Also, make connections between the switches such that they can be used to independently control the power to the modules.

Step 6: Test the Battery Charger

  1. Insert the batteries in the battery holder over the PCB board.
  2. Connect a mobile phone charger to one of the module and switch ON the supply.
  3. An indicator will glow on the module to indicate charging.
  4. Use the switches to control the power supplied to the batteries.
  5. Turn all the switches OFF if you want to charge only a single battery.
  6. Turn ON the switches with respect to the number of batteries charging at a certain time.
  7. Since each battery has a separate charger, so they will never face the problem of overcharging and under charging (most common problem that damages Li-ion cells)
Note: A TP4056 charging module is capable to provide 1A at 5v. Since, i have made a 4 battery charger, so it is essential to use a 2A mobile charger, such that atleast 500mA are provide to each cell.

So Friends, this here concludes the tutorial, make one yourself at home and use any number of lithium ion cells without worrying about charging them. Stay tuned and SUBSCRIBE to receive regular updates. Also, Don't forget to leave your feedback and suggestions in the comment section below.

Thanks For your support..!!

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    33 Discussions

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    imalan54

    9 days ago

    I built one of these nice little chargers and it works great. Thanks so much for sharing. I included a picture of mine working. Sorry for the low grade picture, it's from a crappy phone camera.

    1104181605.jpg
    1 reply
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    Techgenieimalan54

    Reply 1 day ago

    Thanks...I am glad you like it...your project looks amazing.

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    АлександрЗ8Techgenie

    Reply 6 months ago

    TP4056 can't charge LiFePo batteries.
    Maybe you will recommend the cheap way to charge LiFePo.

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    Techgeniejg472018

    Answer 6 months ago

    Making a spy camera from a phone camera is quite complex process.

    First you need to disassemble the phone and extract the camera module.

    Carefully open the camera module to remove the IR filter from the camera.

    Fit the camera module and assemble the phone.

    Use a circular IR LED panel available on ebay or amazon and paste it around the camera lens.

    Power the IR LED using the phones charger port or an external battery.

    Now, turn ON the IR LEDs & switch to camera app in the phone. You will be able to clearly see through the camera even in pitch black.

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    eggbound

    Question 7 months ago on Introduction

    I want to make a battery pack to start my car when the battery goes flat, I want to use 3 X 18650 in series to get 12 volts then add about 5 more rows of 3 in series in parallel to get the current, but how to charge them is the problem ? Anybody got an idea please? I have a bench PSU with variable output to use to charge when the pack is discharged

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    BigAndRed

    7 months ago

    you have a neat layout on the PCB. I have been using battery holders to do that job just for convenience and ease of use. They are available in different sizes and are cheap. Your PCB could be stuck on the back with the regulator chip to make the whole unit smaller. I have used them to replace cells in cordless tools and convert old dead Ni-cad tools to 18650 Li-ion cells.

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/High-Quality-Plastic-B...

    1234x 18650 holder.jpg4x 18650 holder.jpg
    2 replies
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    RazanurBigAndRed

    Reply 7 months ago

    These holder are also often not very convenient: there are different lengths of 18650's (e.g. with and without protection circuit) and the cabling is too thin most of the time to allow for fast charging.

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    TechgenieBigAndRed

    Reply 7 months ago

    #BigAndRed, yes a 18650 holder works well but i used a PCB because it helped save some cost and also a satisfaction to try something new that actually works well.

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    Razanur

    7 months ago

    The base module you are using is unfortunately not very reliable nor clever at all. So this is an ok cheap solution, but in no way compareable to a proper 50+$ lipo charger.

    4 replies
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    ChrisG156Razanur

    Reply 7 months ago

    I was looking for a better solution based on your comment. What about MP1405 modules? They seem to be a TP4056 with better battery protection. Is there another module that is better for this type of application?

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    RazanurChrisG156

    Reply 7 months ago

    They are pretty much the same. One thing you should keep in mind, is that a proper 50$ charge controller will actually measure the resistance of your battery and some other metrics to determine a nice and healthy charge profile. These controller will just limit the current to some default and switch off, once a predefined voltage is reached.
    So I would actually recommend to design your own circuit with your exact design requirements in mind (these cheap china circuits are often really badly designed and you can't find their actual specs - plus they can vary a lot in between batches). So look up the datasheet of your batteries and check the maximum charge current. Then decide if you want this circuit to charge your battery as fast as possible to the highest possible voltage (which will decrease it's life-time), or if you want this to top up the charge of your batteries once a month for storage (in which case you would chose a much lower current and switch-off-voltage). Maybe even provide two different charge modes!
    These are two nice primers for your own charge circuit design:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-LiPo-ChargePr...

    https://www.instructables.com/id/LiPo-Battery-Brea...

    This website provides insights on good practices how to charge and store batteries properly:

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_...

    Also never forget that all the Lithium based batteries are bombs in disguise and you should be super careful when handling them!

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    TechgenieRazanur

    Reply 7 months ago

    Yes, it can't be compared to the commercial products but it does my work to charge the old 18650 cells for my projects and can only be made in around $9.

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    RazanurTechgenie

    Reply 7 months ago

    Yes. And it's probably better than leaving them empty in the shelf to slowly die a death of undercharging.

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    rch

    7 months ago

    Brilliant!

    I really like your method of "PCB" construction. I'm going to have to build one of these too.

    1 reply
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    Pentagrid

    Question 7 months ago

    I see the charger is rated for 5 volts - would it it try to charge these batteries to same?