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Battery Adapter for 18 volt DeWalt power tools

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  • #16
    Don't buy into the fearmongering. Lipos do not explode unless they are physically punctured, though they can catch fire. It's mostly a non-event, I've had a few fires in my RC stuff. And they are not flaming infernos, they are a little hiss and spitting like a firework (when we talk about the small batteries in tools). Nicads and NiMH were the ones that could explode spontaneously. I have yet to see a tool battery that doesn't have its protection circuit built into the battery. They could exist, but that would be dumb, and just not normal at all. Out of the 100+ Lipos in my house right now, the only ones with no protection on the battery are the ones for hobby RC stuff, because they are not consumer items, and users need to know how to care for them. Consumer Lipos have protection from consumer abuse.

    I whacked a small Lipo with a hammer and chisel, which did explode, since it's releasing all the energy almost at once (wearing my welding gear and more). I've shorted and otherwise abused Lipos to see what happens, and it's no big deal.

    Here's a Lipo fire in my kid's plane, and that was a pretty powerful battery that was heavily abused by crashes with him trying to learn to fly...

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    • Slik Geek
      Slik Geek commented
      Editing a comment
      Agree that it would be foolish for a reputable tool manufacturer to not build in protection to the battery pack for Lithium-type batteries - protection in the tool does little good to protect a battery that is shorted, for example. Agree that RC batteries often (always?) lack built-in protection.
      I do disagree on the LiPo statement "And they are not flaming infernos". The one condition that you didn't cover is improper charging. Drive even a moderate charging current into a LiPo pack that doesn't have built-in protection (like a consumer R/C pack) beyond the proper charge termination point and you will get an impressive flaming inferno that won't stop until the pack is utterly consumed. I saw it with my own eyes (and smelled it too). I'll never forget my coworker's scream at the sight of the fire burning more intensely as each adjacent cell caught fire. The entire office had to go home for the day due to toxic fumes.

  • #17
    Originally posted by woodturner View Post

    Functioning is not the same as safe. The risk with Li-Ion batteries they can catch fire or explode if they get too hot or discharge too fast. Personally I would not chance it unless I was certain the protection was in the battery pack rather than in the tool. If the protection is in the battery pack, it should be OK to use it in a tool designed for NiCads.
    WT, I'm not going legalistic but Ryobi long ago said/wrote/announced that their lithium 18V would work in the original blue tools that were nicad powered. Look it up.
    Last edited by leehljp; 11-15-2018, 07:56 PM.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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    • #18
      One thing I think s being overlooked is that battery powered tools are simply DC motors that donít care whether they are being powered by a 1 1/2 volt battery or a 40 volt cell. The iissue is whether the motor is designed to work with the voltage being applied. Will a battery powered screwdriver that is powered by a couple of AA batteries work if connected to a 6 volt battery? Sure it will. Maybe not long, but it might actually work indefinitely, it depends on how robust the motor was built. Iíve used a 12v electric knife that was intended to be operated of a 12v car battery for filleting fish on a 6v tractor battery, 12v automobile batteries 14.4 dewalt nicad batteries, 18v ryobi batteries and 20v dewalt batteries. This electric knife has worked for years without any obvious damage, and appears able to fillet a lot more fish than I can catch. My point is, unless the battery tool/manufacturer has built in some kind of circuitry that knows what tool the battery is plugged in and turns itself off if it isnít in the ĒcorrectĒ tool, the battery could power anything within reason. I do not know why we havenít seen hand tool batteries used in kids battery powered scooters and RC off-road type vehicles. Battery powered tool manufacturing companies are very slowly expanding their market as now we see chainsaws, lawnmower, flashlights, radios.......
      capncarl

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      • #19
        Charging improperly is not related to the context of using the batteries in a different tools. I've driven a Lipo to 5v/cell and it was an impressive light show. We're talking about issues with improper discharging, and it's so hard to make a battery catch fire in that scenario, other than with physical damage. Also, consumer RC batteries do seem to have protection, it's hobby RCs that don't. So the little $40 helicopter that will be abused by kids does appear to have a protected battery (it's in a case, with a light). Hobby batteries are uncased and you can see they lack protection.

        Modern power tools are NOT just DC motors. Even the older ones have various circuits in them to regulate power. How do you think you can control speed with the trigger? The latest aren't DC motors at all, they are brushless PWM computer-controlled motors just like high end RC stuff.

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        • #20
          Another great auxiliary use for tool batteries is camping or other outdoor charging of electronics. I have one of these which is useful:

          https://www.dewalt.com/products/acce...-source/dcb090

          I picked it up on eBay for $20. I can carry a battery or two, and cover a long weekend of charging the phone, table, and laptop.


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          • #21
            Carlos, a motor that runs on DC current is a DC motor regardless to how many computer controls it has....... unless it is a Dyson digital motor in one of their vacuum cleaners.

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            • #22
              Originally posted by leehljp View Post

              WT, I'm not going legalistic but Ryobi long ago said/wrote/announced that their lithium 18V would work in the original blue tools that were nicad powered. Look it up.
              That should be fine then, the risk is when the system is not designed for it. Li-Ion batteries can explode when overheated or charged improperly, and the explosion is pretty spectacular. When we work on Li-Ion battery products in development, we put them in a containment vessel to protect personnel, if they explode the force can be enough to kill a person.
              --------------------------------------------------
              Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night

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              • #23
                Originally posted by capncarl View Post
                One thing I think s being overlooked is that battery powered tools are simply DC motors that donít care whether they are being powered by a 1 1/2 volt battery or a 40 volt cell.
                It's not that simple, different types of DC motors operate in different ways, there are at least three types of DC motors commonly used in power tools. The tool does "know" and "care" what type of battery, the discharge curve is different with different battery chemistry and the motor design is different.

                --------------------------------------------------
                Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night

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                • #24
                  The motor might be a DC motor (though I assume that you wouldn't call brushless tools "just a DC motor"). The tool, and whole package in context, is NOT "just a DC motor." The motor is being run and protected by a control circuit. The motor can't just draw anything it wants. The days of a direct power connection from the supply to a rheostat and direct to a motor are long gone. That's why you can vary the input voltage by a pretty wide margin and still get the same results. The motor controllers I use in my RC stuff can usually handle a huge range such as 4v to 20-something without an issue.

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                  • #25
                    Iíve been keeping my eyes open for any cheap junker 18v Ridgid hand tools at yard sales, flea markets, and car show/swap meets. I guess the warranty is better that I though it was because I havenít run into any that didnít work and were cheap. My plan is to slice off the Ridgid slide on battery shoe and adapr it to the top cap of one of my old dead 14.4v and 18v Dewalt batteries. I hate to retire good tools just because the battery is dead.

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