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Old 01-02-15, 03:09 AM   #1
Lurking Renovator
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New Zealand
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Default Project FrankenWalt: Refitting with LiFePO4 Batteries

Hi All,

I saw a couple of posts asking about lithium batteries for cordless tools so I thought telling a bit of a story was in order...

I have owned the same DeWalt 18v cordless set since I was 16... I am now 29. The first lot of batteries that came with the set lasted me more than 10 years despite being thrashed to death (try renovating an entire 150 square metre home)
Second pair of batteries I bought as replacements died much more quickly, much to my annoyance.

So to cut a long story short I decided to have a go at converting my tools to run lithium ion phosphate batteries from Hobbyking.
First try with one of these: batteries which I had previously used to power a dress for my sister.

First try was very hacky using duct tape etc. I was installing a three phase power socket in a friend's workshop which required drilling a 32mm hole through an out of reach floor joist. FrankenWalt turned out to have enough torque to chew the ends off of the setscrews in my drill extension
The drill will drill holes in concrete as if it's butter now... Just have to watch out for how hot the motor gets.

From an ecological point of view:
Lithium means not buying any more yucky nickel cadmium batteries.
The drill has so much power now that I am unlikely to need to use a generator plus power tools in the field.
From an economic and user point of view:
The lithium battery weighs about the same as a NiCad with nearly double the capacity.
And finally the lithium is about half the price of a replacement DeWalt battery.

That's all for now, I'll post an update when I've done some CAD and 3d printed the new battery case.

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Last edited by Daox; 01-02-15 at 08:10 AM..
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