Hunting and Outdoors Electronic Equipment Battery Replacement

You can save big bucks by battery replacement in your hard wired equipment.

For instance:

 The first thing I decided to fix by battery replacement instead of buying new was a Remington Razor. A new razor was $80 so I opened it up to see if I could fix it. What I found after removing a couple of screws was what looked like a couple of AA sized batteries. I already knew they were Ni-Cads from the recycle warning on a label on the razor.

 After close examination I could tell the batteries were connected to the razor electronics by a small flat piece or silver plated metal which was spot welded to the battery electrode surfaces. I made a sketch of how the battery terminals were positioned. I then took a small needle nose pliers and pealed them off the battery (+) and (-) terminals. To be ultra safe you might also mark the wires (+) or (-) with a piece of tape before battery replacement.

 After going to Radio Shack and buying a pair of new AA size Ni-Cad batteries and small roll of fine diameter rosin core solder I soldered the leads back into place at proper polarities. Bundled the razor back up and plugged in the charging cord. A few hours later the razor was running as fast as new, all at a cost of less than $6.

 If I had not had a small soldering iron I would have had to buy one of them also at an additional cost of $6-9 depending on how hard I shopped. Still even with that for less than $20 I had my $80 razor back good as new. Even if buying a soldering iron it was a savings to peform the battery replacement.

 The next repair job was an electric screw driver. It was an old model and I could not find a replacement battery anywhere in town so I decided to try to fix it instead of buying a whole new screwdriver. The nice thing about it was that the battery came out for charging and all I had to do expose the batteries by pealing back the battery case.

There were five batteries spot welded end to end with the same flat conductors as above. The process was the same as above not which end was (+) and which was (-). I knew from looking at the charger that the charge voltage was 6volts. The batteries did not have any marking but I figured that 6volts divided by 4 batteries meant that each battery was probably 1.2 or 1.5 volts. Comparing them to size ‘C’ cells they were a little shorter.

 I called Allied Electronics – got a number off the internet – and gave them the dimensions. They said the batteries were a ‘P’ type high rate discharge and fast charge and they were $4.59 each. I ordered five of them and got them a few days later. Instead of reusing the old flat wire conductors I got some de-soldering braid from Radio Shack and put them back in the case. I cracked the case getting them out but a layer of clear Mylar packaging tape fixed that. Once again for less than $25 I saved having to buy a new electric screwdriver.

 The most savings can be realized in replacing the battery cells in your power tools.

My DeWalt 18v tool battery deteriorated to the point that it was spending as much time in the charger as in use on the drill or saw. A new battery was $99 at the local discount hardware-building material stores. I decided to try to replace the individual cells.

To open the battery case requires a star screw driver. These are available in inexpensive tool packages anywhere. I ran the old batteries down as far as I could in order to avoid any spark in case I grounded the wrong things with my screwdriver.

Once again they were a little smaller than a standard "C" size cell so I measured them and called Newark Electronics and had them get me a price. Putting all 17 batteries back together the same as the old was not so easy but a lot cheaper.

 Wire Size

If you have to replace or add wires in your battery replacement efforts it is important to consider wire size. This is especially important when working with high current tools. You don’t want to get out to your favorite hunting site and have a wire get so hot that you melt the solder or burn it in to. This is why I try to reuse the old wiring.

If you do have to replace or add wiring use a stranded type of wire for the reason pointed out in soldering battery replacement s on the soldering tips page.

When performing battery replacement, the maximum current flow for various sizes of wire is:

#10 AWG – 30 Amps

#12 AWG - 20 Amps

#14 AWG - 15 Amps

#16 AWG – 10 Amps

#18 AWG – 8 Amps

These values are for single conductor in free air. Many times the batteries and wires will be in a tightly confined space where heat will be dissipated slowly. I try to use wire with the finest strands as possible and try to keep Tool wires no smaller than #14 and #18 for battery replacement in electronic devices.