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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:37 am 
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big hucker
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DX Charger Modification & Battery Pack Builds

I have two older LED lights I'm going to upgrade and I needed to build the battery packs and modify a charger to fill 'em up.

One pack is a 1S2P and the other is a 1S4P. I purchased a Dealextreme (DX) Digital Li-Ion 18650 Battery Charger and a couple of 2.1mm jacks.

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It appeared to have just enough room near the top of the charger.

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Step drilled a couple of 1/2" holes.

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Ohmed-out and soldered up the leads.

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Installed the jacks.

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Finished soldering the jumpers.

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Put it back together.

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Hmmmm.... It isn't working...

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Why not?

Well, I took it back apart and realized (in my excitement) I soldered to the wrong connections on the jack.

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Fixed that and started putting everything back together again.

Then the dreaded happened. As I was pushing the board back into place (not as gently as I should have) the negative tabs on the charger pushed up and ripped free from the traces.

I'll be darned if I'm gonna order another one of these and wait four weeks for it.

I followed the trace back to the lead from the transformer an soldered in a jumper.

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This time I put it back together more carefully and everything was working as I had expected.

Since I scavenged laptop batteries for my project (I wanted to keep the initial cost down if possible) I purchased battery holders that had a protection PCB added to them. One 1S2P and one 1S4P. They looked similar to this (except mine had a foam cover on top):

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I removed the factory leads and soldered on a heavier lead with a 2.1mm plug on the end.

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I covered the exposed area with liquid electrical tape. It's really a great multi-use product if you have some around.

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Rather than zip ties, I used wax lace to secure the lead. I have a ton of it from a previous job (where I dressed cabling) and I can pull it much more securely than zip ties.

I left the batteries exposed until I'm confident the cells are good. After I use them for awhile, I'll lace in the batteries and probably wrap the pack.

Finished packs:

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I built a couple of 2.1mm jack/plug extensions.

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Next, I ran the packs down a bit on my XML test rig (I setup for the first light upgrade) so they would take a charge. I previously charged each battery individually on the DX charger before modifying it.

Plugged in the charger...

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Plugged in the battery packs... Charging!

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Put them in a safe place while they're charging.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:42 pm 
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stealth kitty
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Haha... they should have used those LI-PO charging bags on the Boeing 787. LOL

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:17 am 
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pussy
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Shibiwan wrote:
Haha... they should have used those LI-PO charging bags on the Boeing 787. LOL

-S

True dat! What a master clusterfvck...
Good job Marpilli btw.!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:14 am 
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bad kitty!
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Great article Marp.

That safety bag, is very important.
I've seen LiPo cells go up in flames. It is not as harmless as it may sound.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:11 pm 
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big hucker
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I agree. Someone (on another forum) mentioned I shouldn't need to worry about the bag since the charging current is fairly low (~500ma). I don't doubt he was right. But, I've actually had a NiMh battery start smoking while in a charger. And, if you do a google image search on "18650 battery explosion" you'll have no doubt some sort of safe charging enclosure is worth the trouble. ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:30 pm 
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bad kitty!
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BTW. wrapping the cells in Nomex film is also a good idea, if not using a battery holder like you did, but simply soldering the cells and wrapping them in heat shrink.

This prevents a lot of carnage if one cell gets real hot. Without the Nomex wrap, the film that isolates the cells melts, and you get a short circuit. Shortly after that, you get smoke and flames :D
I've seen that happen to a RC 1/10th scale race car.
The value of the car was somewhat low after that incident.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:30 am 
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big hucker
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Interesting. Do you have any sources where I could purchase a small quantity of Nomex film? I removed the tabs from these batteries so I kind of forced myself to use a holder (I don't have the equipment to solder new tabs onto the cells). I may buy some tabbed cells in the future to build a square heat shrink wrapped pack.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:47 am 
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bad kitty!
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The cheapest source for a bit of Nomex, would be sending me a PM.
I solder non-tabbed cells on regular basis, no big deal, just a bit of ice in the stomach, so to speak ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:54 am 
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Dang... wife's Macbook Pro (13") battery is kaput. It's bloated and now pushing the aluminum unibody apart from the bottom ... %%@%#%$# Li-Po batteries...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:53 pm 
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bad kitty!
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Shibiwan wrote:
Dang... wife's Macbook Pro (13") battery is kaput. It's bloated and now pushing the aluminum unibody apart from the bottom ... %%@%#%$# Li-Po batteries...


Cheap to replace though, if you build a pack yourself.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:53 pm 
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bad kitty!
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Magura wrote:
The cheapest source for a bit of Nomex, would be sending me a PM.

Magura :)


Did you miss this offer Marp?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:09 pm 
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Magura wrote:
Shibiwan wrote:
Dang... wife's Macbook Pro (13") battery is kaput. It's bloated and now pushing the aluminum unibody apart from the bottom ... %%@%#%$# Li-Po batteries...


Cheap to replace though, if you build a pack yourself.


Magura :)


When I've salvaged laptop batteries in the past I basically had to destroy the enclosure. :)

Magura wrote:
Magura wrote:
The cheapest source for a bit of Nomex, would be sending me a PM.

Magura :)


Did you miss this offer Marp?


Magura :)


Ah, no I didn't miss it. I just have too much stuff cluttering my garage and workbench right now. Since I have no immediate plans on building another battery pack I figured I'd wait to request the Nomex. ;)

I have a couple of forks to rebuild and I'm thinking about getting a new frame for my geared bike. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:17 pm 
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bad kitty!
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marpilli wrote:
Magura wrote:
Shibiwan wrote:
Dang... wife's Macbook Pro (13") battery is kaput. It's bloated and now pushing the aluminum unibody apart from the bottom ... %%@%#%$# Li-Po batteries...


Cheap to replace though, if you build a pack yourself.


Magura :)


When I've salvaged laptop batteries in the past I basically had to destroy the enclosure. :)

Magura wrote:
Magura wrote:
The cheapest source for a bit of Nomex, would be sending me a PM.

Magura :)


Did you miss this offer Marp?


Magura :)


Ah, no I didn't miss it. I just have too much stuff cluttering my garage and workbench right now. Since I have no immediate plans on building another battery pack I figured I'd wait to request the Nomex. ;)

I have a couple of forks to rebuild and I'm thinking about getting a new frame for my geared bike. :D


Destroying the battery enclosure on a Macbook Pro, is no problem, as it's not external.

Keep the offer in mind if you should change your mind.


Magura :)

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 Post subject: kaboom!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:23 pm 
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stealth kitty
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the battery pack from my wife's mac....
Attachment:
battery-2.jpg
battery-2.jpg [ 144.76 KiB | Viewed 9632 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:03 pm 
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bad kitty!
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Run Forrest, run :D


Magura :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:48 pm 
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big hucker
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tick, tick, tick, tick, BOOM!

I agree with Magura...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:58 pm 
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Looks flexy. :/


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