Make a Power Tool Battery Multipurpose

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Introduction: Make a Power Tool Battery Multipurpose

My goal was to add an external power connector that would allow me to plug my battery up to whatever I wanted to while still being able to use it in my tools and the standard charger without any extra effort. This has been achieved.

Step 1: Gather Your Battery and Take It Apart.

For my project I used a Ryobi P108 battery. I was able to get several of them for a cheap price and I know these batteries are built using high quality Samsung INR18650-20Q cells. Also I have a large collection of Ryobi One+ tools so it was a win win.

So first, gather your battery. Figure out how it needs to come apart. My Ryobi is pretty simple. Has 4 Torx 10 security screws. One has a plastic cover that you have to remove by prying it out with a small screw driver or knife.

Step 2: Figure Out the Best Place to Add Your New Wires.

For the Ryobi and probably all batteries, I think the best place to add your new wires is to the battery contacts where the current wires are soldered on.

Step 3: Solder on Your New Wires.

The Ryobi battery has 18awg wires coming from the circuit board to the contacts. I added 16awg wire for my modification. I figure that if 18awg is safe for the stock length, using 16awg for my short extension should be adequate. I also added a piece of electrical tape to help protect the wires from the connections stick out of the board. I also added a ziptie to each wire remove strain from the soldered connections.

Step 4: Modify the Case So the Wires Can Get Out, Cut Wires to Length, Add Your Favorite Connectors, and Put Back Together.

At first I was going to make one large hole for both wires to share, but then I realized the wires would fit better if they each had thier own hole. So I driled two matching small holes for the wires.

Once that was done I put the battery back together with the wires coming through their holes.

Next was to cut the wires to length, do them one at a time so you don't short the battery.

Then add your favorite connectors, again doing the wires one at a time. My favorite is Anderson Powerpoles.

Step 5: Testing and Proof of Concept.

In the first photo I have the battery connected to my power meter then that is connected to my hobby battery charger. The Ryobi battery is powering everything.

You can see that the power meter shows 20.63v which is around what a fully charged 5S lithium battery pack should be. Not the 18v it is advertised to be. (18v comes from the NiCD battery days and Ryobi has not changed that nomenclature).

You can also see the battery installed in my Ryobi vacuum. You can see that the extra connector does not cause any obstructions. The battery will still fit into any Ryobi One+ tool as well as all their chargers.

Step 6: Multiple Uses - Only Limited to Your Imagination.

This can pretty much power anything. I have a ton of projects that I've done in the past years that this can be used with.

  • RC Wheelchair
  • RC lawn mower
  • Power Wheel battey (other mods may be needed to handle the extra voltage)
  • Wire 2 or more in series for even more voltage (A 40V Ryobi battery is not very different from 2 of these in series)
  • Portable FPV ground station (most need 12v so add a DC to DC converter)
  • Mobile device charger
  • Emergency power supply

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    31 Discussions

    0
    PrestonC16
    PrestonC16

    Question 6 months ago

    Curious...I have cheap porter cable lithium bars from amazon. They're 20v, 6 amp so 120watts each. If I throw 10 together, that's a 1200 watt lithium battery bank. 2 bats on amazon cost $60.

    Wouldn't this be an insane deal to just make your own bank from these batteries instead of spending tons of cash on large lithium battery banks? Besides maybe the circuit protection being an issue and bad cells over time... with the latter being a bigger issue

    0
    AndrewD23
    AndrewD23

    Tip 6 months ago

    As far as 18v and nomenclature:

    3.6v per cell is the nominal voltage of most Li-Ion cells (and is the nominal voltage for variations that have a 4.1v/cell charge termination voltage). Li-ions are rarely referred to by their maximum voltage (although some of the power tool manufacturers just love to now use that for marketing with stuff like "20v MAX" - which is still just 5S Li-Ion)

    3.6*5 = exactly 18v.

    0
    Platoon26
    Platoon26

    8 months ago

    I am looking to do something similar to this. I want to use one of my Ryobi batteries to power my son's hot wheels track. It has a booster that uses four D cell batteries and loses power quickly. How would I hook this up to work?

    0
    JayRay07
    JayRay07

    Question 8 months ago on Step 1

    I am trying to find out what triggers the battery to output to those connectors we solder on for operating my black & decker mower on lithium instead of lead acid. Mower has about 20 uses on run time and was left for a couple years and someone tried charging it, cells were dry. Besides a 40 Volt 5ah lithium battery is super lite and far more efficient. Testing the 2 dc output poles shows no voltage on those connections and there must be another demand somewhere? Any help is appreciated.

    0
    Lucasv70
    Lucasv70

    3 years ago

    I've been trying to work out how to turn the Ryobi 40v battery into 12v using the original charger base as the 'box'. Any suggestions or ideas? If you steal this idea and make one I will not mind at all.

    0
    ErlichDan
    ErlichDan

    Reply 1 year ago

    I got DC to DC converters on Ali express - dirt cheap... In my case I wanted to run a 9 volt CO and smoke detector from a 12 volt source on our boat... very straight forward device... but you need more than simple voltage controls you must be cautious of how much current you intend on drawing as well...

    1
    PocketBrain
    PocketBrain

    Reply 3 years ago

    You could use a DC-DC converter for that. Search for B01ARRA56Y on Amazon for an example capable of 40V input and up to 10A at 12V. There are also adjustable converters available.

    1
    mrdindon
    mrdindon

    1 year ago

    Just have a quick question for you: Isn't the circuit in the battery pack prevent that ? I tried to attach things like a led or a small 18-20v circuit that usually drains around 100 to 400mA to a ryobi P194 lithium battery and it powers on only for few seconds and then goes off. Checking the voltage with a multimeter shows voltage out of the battery circuit going from 20v to 0v in 1-2sec... Is there any threshold or something I should add to my circuit to make it work ? I the same way, I know my old ryobi ZRP700 flash light never worked with the 18v lithium battery pack... Thanks for your help !

    0
    RichardL35
    RichardL35

    2 years ago

    I am glad I found this. I will buy Porter Cable flashlight to modify. I want to power some dc outside lights.Thanks!

    0
    driscolldb
    driscolldb

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I'm totally modding a few of mine today. Another option would be to buy the $13 Ryobi flashlight that takes the same battery and drill that, if you didn't want to break open the more expensive battery. It would allow you swap out batteries when one was low.

    0
    bremus
    bremus

    Reply 4 years ago

    That's another good option if you can fit the flashlight where you plan on using the battery or don't mind chopping the flashlight up just to use the base. I use this battery in my daughter's power wheel. It was originally meant for a 6v battery under the seat so space is tight. The ryobi battery fits perfect though.

    0
    SudoHacks
    SudoHacks

    4 years ago

    Cool stuff, I knew I could find link minded tinkerers here. I'm in an off-grid situation and it occurred to me that I could use the leftovers on my 18v tool batteries to power my led light strips. I recently was given a couple of 40v snowblower batteries that I'm dying to repurpose to run lights or even some usb charging. I also have 2 40watt solar panels that could maybe charge them. Anyhow, I'm wondering about the process of going from 18v or 40v down to 12v applications without frying your device? Is that something the power meter handles?

    0
    bremus
    bremus

    Reply 4 years ago

    You just need to know the amp requirement of your device. There are dc to dc adjustable voltage converters on ebay for very cheap. Most can handle about 3 amps.

    0
    madchenporter
    madchenporter

    4 years ago

    i wonder if i can do this with dewalt?

    0
    MrBeta
    MrBeta

    5 years ago

    I thought about taking one of the Ryobi battery testers(I believe they call it the Fuel Gauge) and adding some Anderson power pole connectors like you did. That way I don't have to tear each battery open and I can swap with any good battery.

    15, 6:29 PM.jpg
    0
    carlos66ba
    carlos66ba

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Actually what I was looking for was a 3D printed connector that could be placed on top of the ryobi one battery. There are a few projects on thingiverse that may work.

    0
    bremus
    bremus

    Reply 5 years ago

    I actually bought one for the same purpose. Got it home and didn't like how loose it felt on the battery so I took it back.

    0
    damianzuch
    damianzuch

    5 years ago

    i really enjoyed this instructable- thanks!
    you may know the answer to this - is it possible to use the housing of a cordless tool battery and convert it to 110v (so you can plug your tools directly into the wall outlet instead of using batteries)? or are the tools not strong enough to handle that power input?

    thanks!

    0
    franco40
    franco40

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Damianzuch,

    If you're interested in running your cordless tools off of 110 or 240 ac, check out my Instructable from 2013. At the time, this was a cheaper alternative for me rather than buying new batteries. Regardless, the setup will run you about $50.

    Hope this helps.

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Cordless-Power-Too...