12 Volt Drill Modification

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:21
ThreadID: 104635 Views:3764 Replies:11 FollowUps:8
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I just thought I would share this idea I had with all those like minded people out there.

I have had my 12 volt Makita battery drill for 15 years or more and have gone through several batteries over the years but the drill is still as good as ever.

The idea came to me that if I modified one of the old battery packs and fitted it with an Anderson plug I could use it when out there while we are traveling around in the van, if needed.

So I it cracked open the battery case and removed the old batteries, used an old hacksaw blade heated it up as a hot poker and cut a hole to take the Anderson plug at the bottom of the battery pack. Wired the 2 contacts that connect with the drill and fitted every thing back together with screws but used pop rivets to hold the Anderson plug in place inside at the bottom of the battery pack so that the drill would still stand upright on the battery pack as it does normally. Make sure you mount the Anderson plug recessed side up as shown or it will be difficult to connect the Anderson plug on the Anderson extension lead.

The only problem I found was that the contact carrier slid down when pressure was applied when loading the new modified battery pack. To over come this I placed a small screw in where the battery temp contact sat at the upper most rear of the battery pack. (See screw at top of picture.) This worked nicely and the setup tested perfectly.

As I have Anderson plugs fitted around the van and a long lead with Anderson plugs fitted to either end I now have a drill and lead which will work anywhere the sun shines.

With an Anderson plug fitted to a couple of battery alligator clips via a short lead I can also use it where ever there is a 12 volt battery.

It took about a couple of hours all up to complete.





Cheers, Bruce.
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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:46

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:46
Nice job Bruce. I did something similar with an old 12v drill that had dead battery packs but I just connected two wires directly to the drill with alligator clips on the other ends.
Very handy when 240v power isn't available and you need to drill something.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:05

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:05
Thanks for the compliment there Pop.

If anybody asks me I'll tell them I stole the idea from you OK. LOL
I'm always stealing ideas so there is nothing new there.

Cheers mate, Bruce.
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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 16:56

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 16:56
Hi Bruce,

I suspect some smart Alec, Fred, George or whoever looked at his old 12v drill and a car battery and a little globe (12v of course) lit up above his head..lol long before either of us had a brain wave. The surf doesn't get very high on my beach these days (:-((.

As far as the drill's power goes, it doesn't seem to be much different to when the original batteries were new. It wasn't any fire ball then but did the job. My newer Panasonic 18v would run rings around it but bloody hard to find an 18v car battery...LOL

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 02:35

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 02:35
Hello

Yes you have re-invented the wheel :)

One previous 12 Volt/battery drill thread..

and another...

crikey another one...

Good reminder though.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 12:11

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 12:11
Bruce, I reckon you're probably too damned clever for your own good. [;-)

Are there any heat-buildup points in the setup, when you really start laying into some heavy-duty drilling?

I'm thinking that a couple of battery cables and a 50 amp Anderson plug could provide a whole lot more amperage than the original battery. I learnt long ago that high amperage means lots of heat buildup!

Nice neat modification, by the way.

Cheers - Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:02

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:02
Hi Ron,
You sound like the chief navigator now. LOL She reckons I am too smart for my own good also. LOL.

I have not tried to do any big jobs so I cannot say re heat build up.
It is just a 12 volt battery drill and as such is not suited to heavy drilling jobs I guess.

I would think common sense would dictate that if it is a big job then a 240 drill would be the go. I would imagine if someone decided to persevere with a battery drill in those circumstances they would pay the price and be up for a new drill, and rightly so. There is always a price to pay for stupidity.

But for general light duty jobs, or a big job in an extreme emergency, this will probably fill the bill.

Thanks for the positives there Ron, Greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Herbal - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 12:27

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 12:27
Nice !

I guess you could use one of those small 7.5 ah AGM batteries (the ones that are about $15). Then the amps would not be a problem and you would be almost cordless.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:10

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:10
You could even strap the 7Ah battery to your belt and use a short lead Herbal.

There you go, one person has an idea then several others add to it and improve it, that's how we move forward isn't it.

Cheers, bruce
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:08

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:08
Gday Bruce,
Any drop off in performance?
I also modified a cheap 12V drill in the past - but it never performed as well as it used to. The rechargable batteries will deliver a lot of current when the drill is working hard and I got the impression that a long 12Ga lead wasn't as good. I threw the drill away last year and have since taken the 18V Makita and charger away with me. It may have just been the drill, so I'm tossing up buying another 12V and converting it again.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:18

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:18
Hi Phil,
No drop off in performance that I can ascertain. In fact I cannot stop the drill by grabbing the chuck so in that regard it is better.

I have only just completed the modification and have not had a real chance to give it a good road test as yet but if I find any negatives I will post them up for those that may be thinking of doing it as well.

So far so good, looks very promising to me.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Reply By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:09

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:09
Top idea, and I was just about to throw out my old ryobi
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Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 16:32

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 16:32
That's something I would never have thought of hooking it to a car batt seems ok if you're just working on the car. I expect you done that because new batteries are expensive I was going to rid of my Bosch a few yrs ago $115 for a new battery then I found this company type in - upstart batteries then click on the certified batteries site I bought 2 batteries delivered for $80 I only got the 1.3ah which is a bit small but I didn't want to spend to much if they were no good but they're still working fine a couple of yrs later.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:21

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:21
Hi Batt's,
I have a couple of new 3Ah batteries for the drill so there was no thought of disposing of the drill but I always take it away with me when I am on the road, you never know when you want to drill something. I tinker to pass the time when on the road, as most blokes do.

I have been playing with 12 volt solar and solar hot water at home here for a while now, mainly experimental, and I got to thinking that we should be thinking everything 12 volts, not 240 volts. There are more and more things coming onto the market all the time which only require 12 volts.

I have 12 volt LED lights in the house for basic lighting but I am not getting serious with that yet. All my phone and battery chargers are 12 volt and I have 12 volt chargers for the video camera and the still camera so that I can never be without them when traveling as happened on a trip out about 2 years ago. I almost forgot my 12 volt electric shaver.

I have also used 3/4 black poly pipe at home as a solar water heater for years and a 240V pump circulating the cold water from the bottom of the heater tank to push the hot water into the top of the heater tank, which works very well for about 8 months of the year.. I am about to set it up again after some renovations a couple of years ago but this time using a 12 volt circulator pump driven from a solar setup. To this end I have also bought some 12 volt timers from ebay which have a large number of programmable functions which will enable me to run the pump for a predetermined duration every hour during the day to cycle the circulator pump.

I might say that I made up a programmable timer from a Jaycar (Electronics Australia) kit a long while back. The kit and additional boards ended up costing around $70 whereas the timers from ebay cost around the $8 mark and leave the one I made up for dead with its features.

All this got me thinking and my thoughts eventually turned to the battery drill.

I utilised an old battery pack so that I can revert to the good batteries anytime I like, or the reverse.

As you can see, I am always thinking.
Cheers, Bruce
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:45

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:45
Batt's - If you have a drill or tool that uses Ni-Cad batteries, and the battery case screws together, you can usually rebuild your batteries.

I've got an old 12V Chinese Ryobi I bought from Bunnings about 15 yrs ago.
It still works a treat, believe it or not - but I can't buy batteries for it, because it's an oddball battery, and Ryobi refuses to recognise the drill exists.

I bought some Sub-C cells from a crowd in the U.S. and rebuilt my battery with them and it's still going great.
The Sub-C cells only cost me about $2 each (the battery holds 10 for 12V) and I actually bought 30 of them in the one hit, so I could reduce the postage cost and give me enough batteries for a couple more rebuilds.
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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:03

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:03
Good idea Bruce,

It may not have the drilling speed and power of some of the newer beasts, but it would be the best drill around when your stuck out in the bush with nothing else.

I bet Len Beadell would have loved this little beast when he spent days with a hand drill drilling out a broken pin and collar.

Hey you could even set yourself up to carry out emergency dental repairs - lol - out bush of course.

all the best

There is a lot of difference between
‘Human Being’ and ‘Being Human’.





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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:38

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:38
Bruce,

Coincidently, there's an article in this month's Silicon Chip magazine, about converting a buggered drill battery to lithium. When I first opened your thread, I thought you may have read the same article :-)

I've got an old GMC 24v drill, and the batteries are now pretty sad, so might look at repacking them, as Ron mentioned.

Your idea is the ducks guts for any 12v drill, needing a new lease of life,

Bob.

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Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: John R23 - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 00:00
Awesome Drilling machines they are really effective for work!
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Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 12:25

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 12:25
Hi Bruce, Did similar with my old Ryobi. The batteries were long lost so clipped & soldered wires to the relevant terminals in the handle. The other end has both merit & usual 12v plug. This way can be used in just about any 12v outlet. To connect to a battery I've added a cord with a 12v socket one end & alligator clips the other. With a small set of drills all fits into the original carry case. Coupled with a 12v battery pack it is a fairly good travelling setup.

To revive my 18v cordless I found an Aust. supplier of just the internal batteries. Changed the wires for the terminals to the new batteries, reassembled & as good as new. Couple of hours of time & $58 have a reconditioned drill that will probably see me out. Bill
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Reply By: Gnomey - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 13:22

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 13:22
G'day Folks
I like the idea of converting a 12v cordless drill/driver to operate off a vehicle battery as a stand alone idea not really in competition with repacking or replacing batteries. FWIW here's why.

Like many people I've owned cordless drills for at least 15 years. Most of the problems I've heard about (including tradie mates) and all the problems I've had with them myself relate to battery failure. ie not mechanical failure. My NiCad batteries have lasted for an above average time because I have always run them right down before recharging. Other battery types have their own strengths and weaknesses.

NiCads self discharge if left on the shelf and since I am just a home handyman, that's where they sit for a lot of the time. I don't leave batteries in the charger. Many, oh so many times, I've gone to use a drill and found both batteries underdone. Out comes the corded drill!

Recently I saved a good Ryobi 18v by buying another NiCad battery from Bunnings. Cost? $40. Compare that with repacking and aftermarket batteries that cost a lot more and it still seems like a good deal - no hassle sourcing cells and repacking.

Why am I saying all this? Because I'm thinking the 12v you put in a 4wd would have a life of little use for long periods. The beauty of the using the vehicle battery instead of trying to keep cordless batteries charged then becomes a bit clearer.

Just checked ebay. Not hard to find used 12v drills from good brands which will have battery problems and that's probably why they are on the market. Don't carry a drill for my typical trips but if I did I know what I'd do....

Cheers
Mark

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