Look what I found in the recycle bin

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derfyled
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Hmm… seems like a good start ! Thanks Thumbs Up ! Now if I could find one with a double or even more USB output…

raynman
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…don’t know why you couldn’t wire multiples in parallel off the battery pack – muck up some kind of housing for it…

derfyled
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dchomak
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derfyled wrote:
Back on the subject of the 40V Ryobi. Anyone knows a way to convert it as a USB power bank? That would become my dream camping power pack…. I know USBEAST sell some module to convert smaller batteries into a power bank but I have never came across such a device to use a 40V battery pack.

Great idea! I would like to see this done. The result would be a huge 26,000 mAh power bank.

Ridgid tools already makes one for their 18V tool battery packs. I found this in Home Depot on the clearance rack. It currently is priced at $18.00 and connects to an 18V pack. One of these and a 4Ah pack would be equal to a 20,000 mAh power bank.

I am waiting for a lower price.
The DEWALT-DCB090 is also available and costs around $30. Battery or charger not included

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Speed4goal wrote:
Found a Toshiba laptop pack in Lowe's yesterday. Cells were just slightly below 2 volt. Sanyo ur18650fj 2200mah But didnt warm up at all charging and slightly warm on discharge. By the time 20mah was put in they were at 3.5 it looks like a pack someone never used. It was rated at 4300mah and all cells tested 2170 or better 4 of 6 over 2200. Will keep a eye on them for awhile. Cv stage wrnt quickly like new cells do. Input was roughly discharge capacity Found another no name brand pack at best buy. Only once cell had 1400mah but I use all the dead cells as a reason to go back to the best buy bin when I'm that way. I actually found last month 2 lg hg2 in the bin. On the case it had bad recycle on the case. One cell had a torn wrapper. Once cell tested 2800 the other 3000. There was 4 vtc5 in there with them. But they are pretty worn. Testing between 1600-1700. I use them while low wattage vaping around the house and my good batteries at work to last all day. Save some wear and tear on my expensive cells. Best find those was two perfectly like new hg2. Looks like they were recycled because of a torn wrapper. The free wraps from imr orders fixed that quickly. I see some people ask about what to say. When approached. Best buy has never approached me I usually have a battery wrapped up to drop in either alkaline or a bad 18650. I break up my bad ones for multi trips (reasons to dig in) If it isn't piled up near the top I shone my phone light down in there to get a peak if I see something I just snatch it and walk out and don't look back. I bring a bag with batteries there. So if they see me standing there a minute it looks like I'm dropping stuff off. I do the same at Lowes or home depot sometimes. But usually just walk in and start digging. If anyone says can I help you etc. I say my brother dropped off a couple of my packs for recycling but he brought the wrong ones he brought my good batteries not the dead ones. Usually not a problem. If I don't see something I'll still take a couple identical ones to use as another reason to stand around the bin at best buy or another store. Edit I will say its very addicting I've only been doing this for a few months compared to most of you. About 50/50 good cells to trash cells so far. But for free can't complain. If I get to use them for 6 months then recycle that's fine. Only get to go by best buy once a month and home depot. Lowes is in town and the only place around here I know of that does battery recycling. Maybe some other smaller stores do I'll have to see at some point

It is addictive.  I agree.  Tool packs are where it really is at as you will learn if you keep it up.  Nice suggestions on how to deal with snoopy employees.  Smile

derfyled
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That seems like a very nice device. Since Ridgid and Ryobi are related, I hope Ryobi will soon make some for their batteries. I own the same lime green 40v powerpack you’ve found. I got it for 20$ with the charger, almost new, in a garage sale. I don’t own any tool for it but the USB monster power bank immediately crossed my mind.

dchomak
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What I found in the recycle bin today made me aware of something I never really thought about.
Whenever I go into a Home Depot I make it a point to try and look into the battery recycle bins by the returns desk. Today was no exception.
This time I actually had some loose 18650’s that I wanted to dispose of. When I came up to the bin I didn’t see the roll of plastic bags they keep there so that loose cells can be wrapped. I could see from looking inside the bin that there were some in there so I reached in and pulled one out. Thing was though it already contained some packaged cells!

Looking a little closer, I noticed this sticker on the outside of the bag.

After reading THAT, I knew just what I was going to find. New cells that had “gone to a penny” and where thrown away by Home Depot and placed into the recycle bin.

For those that don’t know, when Home Depot puts items on clearance they generally are reduced over a period of time to 75% off. If after a set amount of time, if those items still do not sell, they pull them from the shelves, mark them for a penny in their system, and throw them away
Lamp shades, plumbing parts, light bulbs etc get thrown into the dumpster and crushed. Batteries however have to be disposed of in the proper way.
They are thrown in the same battery recycle bin that is place by the returns desk for the general public.
I netted 7 packs of 4 cells each of these Energizer Advanced Lithium AAA cells. And they are not “damaged”, they are brand new.

Actually I have found quite a number of these cells in both AA and AAA at a penny, Here is a link to the “Home Depot Deal Alerts & Discussion Thread”
where I posted about my score.
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/954776#comment-954776
and again here http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/993261#comment-993261

dchomak
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Found these 3 NiCd battery packs yesterday. they look like they were installed in a piece of equipment, and as such they are probably spent.

They are made up of 10 “D” cells each, rated at 5000mAh.

I tested one for voltage as it came out of the bin, 10.56V

As I said, they will probably be worn out. I am charging one now at 700mA. It will take hours before I know for sure their condition. At the very least, I scored 3 inline fuse holders Smile

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those are stairlift packs.
one of my clients gets new ones every 6 months.
i get the old ones to “recycle” and get paid for the service call.
they are always still over 5ah.
some have flattops some button tops.
free nicad d cells!
some packs i leave as is and power stuff with them.

dchomak
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That was good news to hear.
The first pack I took apart, the pack I suspected would be weak, yielded cells that tested at only around 2000 mAh.
The second pack, which included a physically damaged cell, did better, around 4800 mAh Smile
Very pleased with that kind of number. Those cells are much better than the old NiCad and NiMH “D” cells that I had been using.

Does anybody know where to get “D” cell shrink wrappers?

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Haven’t used this guy but there are tons of sellers that sell heat shrink in sizes that should work for a D cell.
This example was for wrapping 4 18650’s together so I think it should work.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-66MM-42MM-PVC-Heat-Shrink-Tubing-Wrap-For-18...

I just happened to see this while looking for some specific colors to deal with overly glued cells from a laptop pull this weekend.

SMM

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jf_smm wrote:
Haven’t used this guy but there are tons of sellers that sell heat shrink in sizes that should work for a D cell.

And if not, look for shrinkwrap for a 32600 or 32650.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

dchomak
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Thanks guys for pointing me in the right direction. Somehow I calculated that I would need 50mm pre-shrink tubing and did an internet search. I found a site that offered just that and placed an order.
It wasn’t until I was checking out that I realized I had stumbled upon none other than FastTech. Facepalm

BTW, the popular use for 50mm shrink tubing is for 2 – 18650’s side by side.

Jtm94
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This tube inspired me to take a stop by our local Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowes in search of cells. So… Best Buy had not a thing that we cared about(I went with a friend I got into flashlights). It was filled to the brim with AAs and a little rummaging revealed a shoddy flat power bank so it was a bust…. Next was Home Depot, and after asking several employees we almost thought they didn’t even have a battery bin. It is marked online that they have a bin, but it isn’t a traditional one, but just a series of cardboard boxes filled with various drill battery packs.. I had a friend that worked there ask someone if we could just take them all and he said sure so we walked away with 2 boxes of assorted batteries. Lowes had the most conventional battery bin, probably because they had just built it. This time we hit the employees with an educational shtick that we were looking for cells in order to help with our educational robotics program and they said sure take whatever we have, SCORE. Sadly all they had were these Motorola NIMH packs, but as I suspected they each contain 6 NIMH AA sized cells.

Onto the haul:

Unfortunately only one of the drill packs was Li Ion and had 10 of these 18650s

They all registered at around .5 volts so pretty dead. From battlebots in high school we used A123 and other Lithium cells we would often have cells drop below the “safe” voltage and just force charge them until they hit the required voltage. I have managed to get 1 of the 18650s up to 4.2v, but they all seem to have this problem where they are constantly discharging so I expect either a protection has blown internally or maybe they have external circuitry to blame? The one cell I charged was the one that discharged the slowest, the rest would discharge at a rate near 0.01volt per second so I didn’t even fiddle with them. I’ll see if the one that I charged holds a usable charge over the course of a few days, otherwise it’s not really worth keeping around. I did not take any pictures of the NIMH AA cells, but they all seem usable I’ll try to charge a few and test if they hold onto it or can power stuff. I’m not well versed in NIMH do they have a voltage they shouldn’t drop under?

All in all, it was a great first time haul. Anyone have ideas for all the nicad cells I got? A lot of the 14v packs measured in at around 13.3volts and seemed healthy. I just didn’t tear into them because I was only really interested in the 18650s, which incidentally we got the least of.

edit: also got what looks like a brand new never used electric scooter lead-acid battery along with a very-used lead acid battery. We have plenty of fodder to give us an excuse to start frequenting the bins…

dchomak
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Jtm94 wrote:

Unfortunately only one of the drill packs was Li Ion and had 10 of these 18650s

They all registered at around .5 volts so pretty dead. From battlebots in high school we used A123 and other Lithium cells we would often have cells drop below the “safe” voltage and just force charge them until they hit the required voltage. I have managed to get 1 of the 18650s up to 4.2v, but they all seem to have this problem where they are constantly discharging …

With all the packs I have opened, I have NEVER come across one A123 cell that was any good. Their cells are not as good as the modern ones from Samsung, LG, or Sony.

Maybe you got away with charging up dead Li-ion cells in high school, but that is something you definitely should not do. There is too great a chance of a catastrophic failure. Look for batteries that are in the bin for reasons other than that they are worn out, or have been discharged to unsafe levels.

For instance, of the 3 NiCad packs I described above, one pack was discarded because it was simply worn out. The individual cells have lost over half of their storage capacity.
BUT, the second pack I described above was in the bin, I think, because just one of it’s cells failed early on, rendering the whole pack useless. After disassembling that pack and separating the cells, I have netted 9 good cells out of 10. Those 9 cells still function at near full capacity.

Bottom line is be fussy with what you pull out of the bin, most of it will be trash.
But there are some good finds, if you are willing to be patient. Wink

Jtm94
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Aw, that’s a shame. I’m not really worried about catastrophic failure, I took necessary precautions. I will put my safety above all else, I don’t take these things as lightly as I used to. The best part was that in high school we would solder tabs onto each of the cells, then over discharge them, force charge them as nicad, have them near punctured in battle, and continue using them. In all my years never have I seen a cell do anything dangerous. There was one time a 21volt lipo that was huge got short circuited and it didn’t have a protection board so it fused the wires together and started a fire. The cell got puffy after, but never vented. Just a few horror stories from high school and most were due to our instructor neglecting safety, I don’t take after those bad practices.

Home Depot was all or nothing, they made us take everything. A lot of the drill packs were just returns, but they don’t restock the packs if they’ve been used. I’m certain I have a lot of usable nicad cells, some of the packs have leaky cells and read flat so there’s no use fiddling. I’ll just return those to the bins. I get my chances are slim, but it’s all about the gamble right?

dchomak
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Jtm94 wrote:
Aw, that’s a shame. I’m not really worried about catastrophic failure, I took necessary precautions. I will put my safety above all else, I don’t take these things as lightly as I used to. The best part was that in high school we would solder tabs onto each of the cells, then over discharge them, force charge them as nicad, have them near punctured in battle, and continue using them. In all my years never have I seen a cell do anything dangerous. There was one time a 21volt lipo that was huge got short circuited and it didn’t have a protection board so it fused the wires together and started a fire. The cell got puffy after, but never vented. Just a few horror stories from high school and most were due to our instructor neglecting safety, I don’t take after those bad practices.

Home Depot was all or nothing, they made us take everything. A lot of the drill packs were just returns, but they don’t restock the packs if they’ve been used. I’m certain I have a lot of usable nicad cells, some of the packs have leaky cells and read flat so there’s no use fiddling. I’ll just return those to the bins. I get my chances are slim, but it’s all about the gamble right?

Let me make just one last point.
Say the probability of a new, perfectly good cell of venting and catching fire is 1 in 10 million, let’s just suppose that.
And let’s just suppose that discharging it all the way to 0 volts and then charging it back up increases the probability of a problem occuring by 10,000 times. There would still be a 1 in a 1000 chances of something going wrong. Just because nothing ever happened doesn’t mean the danger hasn’t increased.
Because of this, I strongly believe that it is very easy to become complacent and careless. For that reason, we must draw a line and say do not use after a certain discharge voltage is reached. I would recommend the numbers generally discussed in all the literature on this subject.
What you do is your own responsibility.
BTW, I store all of my scavenged battery packs outside in the shed, away from the house.
I am nervous about the new ones I buy as it is.

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