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Recharge your NiCad batteries for FREE

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by El Caballo, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,842

    El Caballo


    I ran accross this on another website and some guys I know say it indeed works. We all have a cordless "something" and if you screw up a "dead" battery you haven't lost anything, worth a try anyway.

    Welcome to the ******** Battery Surge instruction manual. I have researched Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries and developed this method for Re-Conditioning old NiCad Batteries to charge like new!


    Please note, this procedure is for NiCd batteries only and does not work on NiMh batteries which look similar. Be sure to check on the battery that it says NiCd


    NiCad batteries are found in most cordless power tool brands like Skil, Makita, Ryobi, Ridgid, Hitachi, Craftsman, Milwaukee, Bosch, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Black and Decker etc. and are used in cordless drills, saws, hammer drills, jig saws, flashlights, sawzalls and demolition hammers.

    NiCd batteries fail naturally if they do not undergo periodic maintenance. Battery manufactures don't tell you how to properly maintain them because they would rather you purchase a new one every few years.
    The Nicd cell is very reliable, and has proven to be effective for many years. That's why they are used by so many tool manufactures! When these Batteries are properly maintained they can last up to 20 years! This manual will show you how to repair, and also show you a proper maintenance technique, so you can prevent this problem in the future.

    Re-Conditioning a NiCad battery is a simple process and has a 98% success rate with thousands sold! It's very easy when you follow my instructions. You'll wish you tried it sooner.

    Nickel Cadium (NiCd, NiCad) batteries have a tendency to grow internal “whiskers” called “crystal dendrite” growth. Those whiskers eventually discharge the battery completely. This often happens due to overcharging. Be sure to remove your batteries and not leave them in the charger. This growth can be blasted away with a quick jolt from car batteries, DC power supplies, or even a welder will do the trick. The process revives the cells or batteries by the injection of a short-duration high-magnitude current pulse through them.


    The procedure for most tool batteries is basically to quickly arc it across two 12 volt car batteries (or four 6 volt dry cell batteries, 24 volts total). One caution: do all this rapidly. Follow the guidelines below depending on your particular battery voltage. Safety first, folks. Use goggles and gloves.

    For under 9.6 volts, one car battery or a 12 volt equivalent is sufficient. A car battery charger will do as well.

    For 9.6 to 24 volt batteries, you’ll need two car batteries to generate enough
    of a jolt. Some car battery chargers have a boost or “start” mode that will work all alone. A welder will work also, though probably not too many of you have a welder at your disposal. How long you hold the surge depends on the voltage of the rechargeable. A chart is shown below for surge times, but the proper wiring of the batteries is dealt with first.

    FIRST: Wire your two car batteries in series (see figure below).

    This can be done, if you prefer, without removing the batteries from the cars (be sure to remove positive leads to the car). You can use common jumper cables if desired, or use lamp chord and a couple of alligator clips. Series wiring is where two or more batteries are hooked together in series (i.e. positive terminal of the first battery is hooked to the negative terminal of the second battery). The resulting voltage is the sum of the individual battery voltages - if two 12V batteries are hooked together, the resulting voltage will be 24V. Use lamp cord thickness wire or larger and always use safety goggles!

    Next hold the stripped ends of your wires to the rechargeable in the following pattern. It is best if the negative side can be fixed to the rechargeable using an alligator clip or in a comparable way. Tap the positive lead to the positive side of the rechargeable for about 10 seconds at a rate of 2 or 3 times per second. Follow the chart below for approximate surge (tapping) time so as not to burn the battery cells.

    SURGE TIMES USING (2) 12 VOLT CAR BATTERIES in series (or a 24 volt equivalent):

    9.6 volt 5 seconds (about 12 taps)
    12 volt 7 seconds (16 taps)
    14.4 volt 9 seconds (20 taps)
    18 volt 10 seconds (25 taps)
    24 volt 12 seconds (30 taps)

    Then charge the battery as usual. If the voltage is not as strong as desired, repeat the process. This can be repeated up to 25 times.


    Crystals primarily grow larger from over charging. Over charging is the enemy of a NiCd Cells so remember to leave your batteries on the charger for no more than the required charging time! This is usually an hour or less for rapid chargers or 2 to 4 hrs for standard chargers. It is also best to only charge your batteries immediately before you use them.

    Storing your batteries with a full charge encourages crystal growth. Storing your batteries on a low charge, but not dead, is best. To keep crystal growth under control, you must also perform the surge process above once every 3 months to keep you NiCd battery at its peak. Follow these maintenance techniques to insure years of dependable use.


    Below is a link to a video of the zap process using a welder for the power source. It’s a bit more dangerous, but interesting. Copy this link into your address bar:
  2. Degreaser
    Joined: Nov 9, 2006
    Posts: 936


    Sweet. If this works I wont have to replace the expensive ass battery for my impact.
  3. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,432

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    huh..never knew this.
    learned something new..bummer I already threw my dewalt 18 volt drill motor away.
    also for you cold climate builders....dont leave these batteries out in your frozen shop.
    they will not last too long(the batteries) if left out there too many times. who knows this may have revived mine?...guess I will never know
  4. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,411

    from covina CA

    I used to do this with radio controlled car batteies as a kid... It works like magic, I have 10-15 year old packs that still work like new.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. I tried this using two good cordless batteries to zap one bad one.
  6. BinderRod
    Joined: Jul 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,739


    This will save me a load of cash if it works.
  7. vexner
    Joined: Dec 11, 2006
    Posts: 127


    Thanks for the info got a couple old ones I'll try the ZAP on!
  8. FEDER
    Joined: Jan 5, 2003
    Posts: 1,270


    I just had a ryoby 18 volt battery go bad on Me. For fun I took it apart to look inside. They were a bunch of small like C batteries linked together and wrapped in paper.
    Between two of them was what looked like a damp black shit. I took a small screwdriver scraped out the black shit and taped it so they werent shorting eachother???
    Anyway now it works again. So jolting it as above cleans this crap out or dries it out so it cant carry current I guess. I have left My batteries in the charger for days now I know not to do that. Thanks E/P good advise. FEDER
  9. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,842

    El Caballo

    If you try the MIG thing, be sure the polarity is right.
  10. BinderRod
    Joined: Jul 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,739


    I have a comercial charger with a boost setting. Looks like I have a project for tonight.
  11. M_S
    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
    Posts: 543

    from SoCal

    The R/C industry has been selling specialized zappers for years. Google will bring up plans for DIY zappers made from caps.
  12. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,628


    We went through this several months ago. I got a professional variable (0 to 60) volt AC power supply and added a rectifier (8 Amps @ 25 Volts max or 4 amps @ 50 volts if you have 19.2's and 24.0's to do) from Radio Shack to change it to DC. I put my multimeter on the output and adjust it to double the voltage of the battery to be zapped. I then it hit if for 5 to 10 seconds. I have found that about 1/3 of the batteries come all of the way back, 1/3 come back enough to be usable, while 1/3 don't comeback at all.:) I have taken a couple of the ones that wouldn't come back at all apart, and in most cases, you can see physical damage to the individual cells.:( Even then, you're not dead in the water if you have more than one bad one. If you have the patience and are adept at soldering, you can take the batteries apart, discard the obviously bad cells and make one good battery out of multiple bad ones.:rolleyes:

    As I understand it, when the cells are not fully discarged between use cycles, cadmium "tracks" develop through the insulators in the battery, causing internal shorts. When you "zap" 'em, it burns the cadmium tracks out and restores the batteries function.:cool:

    Again, this is a useful tecnique that works most of the time to a certain extent, but is not the miracle some will claim.
  13. You know, the Radio Shack techs used to tell me they could do this with my portable scanner battery and I always thought it was a bunch of crap - I guess I learned something, too. Who knew I could do that myself, I must have sent the battery in 10 times when I was using it all the time. Now I couldn't even tell you where it is -
  14. You simply removed an insulator between the cells and likely knocked away any corrosion that was between the contacts of the cells. The crystalline growth mentioned in the article forms inside the battery cells.

    Lots of battery packs use multiple smaller, standard sized batteries in such an arrangement. Take apart a R/C car battery or a lantern battery and you'll find a similar construction.

    To be honest, I wouldn't try such "zapping" of the battery by hand. Use a charger/discharger that's designed for such rehabilitation of NiCd batteries. I'd certainly not try using a MIG welder. One exploded battery and you'll be wishing you'd never even read this write-up.

    Additionally, be aware that not all rechargable batteries are NiCd. Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) are also popular types, and require different handling.
  15. BinderRod
    Joined: Jul 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,739


    Can you do this with a cell phone battery? I priced a new one today for 60 bucks
  16. skunx1964
    Joined: Aug 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,456


    this is funny. a friend was just tellin me how to do this to my dewalt this weekend. my 18 volt lasts about 15 mins now....
  17. 327-365hp
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 5,318

    from Mass

    That is very cool. The damn batteries cost more than the screwgun. If I can recharge it that would save me $90 bucks a piece. After reading that at least I know why they go bad, operator error, overcharging and leaving them in the cold. I guess they don't like that.
  18. Bump for a good cause.
  19. Time for another bump. Good tech
  20. you can also take harbor freight battery packs that are way cheaper and of the same voltage apart and put the guts into your battery pack. you can also buy the cells and make up your own replacement pack. i have been doing portable phone batteries for years. all you need is soldering iron and hot glue gun.
  21. greasemonkey060
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 213


    Wow! Awesome tech. Not sure if I'll jump into saving all my old batteries, but next time one takes a shit, I'll definitely remember this!
  22. wayfarer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,776


    I know it's an old post, but I saved it and I just used it yesterday on my 24 volt B&D cordless tools. This worked perfectly and both batteries charged right up as if they were new. Since the cheapest I could find a new one was $55, you saved me $110. Thanks!!

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