How to use a camera battery charger to charger other cells

I have seen a few posts about how to charge lithium cells, so I thought I'd put this post together. I didn't check to see if this has been discussed before, so sorry if I rehash something old.

My Olympus camera takes a lithium cell of 1300mAh - very similar to the run of the mill 18650 cells I have in abundance. So rather than build an entire charger from scratch (though the idea intrigues me), just build an adapter. Not perfect but quick, dirt cheap and safe.

These are general instructions which must be modified for your setup. Some chargers (like this one) have three terminals, others have only two and are therefore a bit simpler.

Above is a dead cell and good charger. Open the case and remove the dead cell. Keep the protection circuit intact if the charger uses three contacts.

Above: Solder red and black wires to where the Cell+ and Cell- were attached. Connect the wires to a battery holder, a slightly stretched D-cell holder in this case.

Above: If needed, add a spacer of wood, plastic, cardboard, chewing gum etc. between the two and glue/screw them together.

I've been using this for years now and it works very well. The only down sides are only one cell at a time, and you're at the mercy of whatever charge rate the charger puts out. When charging a high capacity cell the charger may "time-out" before the cell is charged. Just remove and reinsert the adapter to resume charging.

When using this type charger (with three contacts) remember to put the cell in the adapter before putting the adapter in the charger. The charger senses a fault if you connect the adapter without a cell.

I don't know it this is worthwhile to anyone, but it is some thing to keep in mind if you're ever caught in a pinch without a "real" charger.

I've been using same charger for months to charge unprotected cell. Charge at different current depends on batts capacity but terminate at little less than 4.2 volt (maybe for safety reason).