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I have an Ryobi cordless drill. The batteries did not seem to last very long. I don't mean the individual charge, I mean from the time I bought the drill until the time the batteries would not hold a charge very long was rather short. How do you recommend caring for batteries. Do I keep it charging all the time, do I always fully discharge, either, neither both to maximize the battery life?

Thank you

Robert
 
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Robert, I have a Ryobi set (few years old) I have yet to experience the same problem...I usually charge mine when they need it...I don't purposely kill them all the way down to charge, but if they get slow or weak, I toss them in the charger...not sure if that helps any....
cale
 

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More modern (than NiCad) batteries last longer, that's more cycles, if you don't take them down all the way. They also don't have memory trouble, which is why we used to discharge our NiCad's all the way. I've been thinking about a cutoff circuit to keep mine from going completely dead whilst I'm not watching. Maybe have it switch over to a small battery so's I can limp the loco to a reachable place to change the battery;)
 

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My Ryobi drill battery seemed to last as long as I expected it to... (about 3 or 4 years of very light usage). I bought a replacement battery but it didn't seem to last very long at all (a few months). The charger trips its internal breaker a few seconds after starting the charge cycle on either battery. I wondered if maybe the charger was bad.

I then found a similar Ryobi drill/driver at a used tool sale in a parking lot and it came with two "good"(?) batteries and a charger. The different charger made no difference. But I kept all the batteries, "just in case".

About a year later the two batteries from the used drill began to show the same symptoms. I don't use either drill much so I didn't go buy new batteries right away.

Then I needed to go help my son with a project and it was a "need help NOW!" type of thing late one evening so I didn't have time to go buy a new battery. I put my DC/AC inverter in my car and plugged both chargers into it and put batteries in each. All the way driving to my son's house if I heard the breaker trip on the charger I would press the "Reset" and "Charge" buttons again. By the time I got to my son's house they had quit tripping the breaker and both had a full charge and lasted through the "emergency".

When I got home I did the same thing to the other two batteries. All 4 batteries would then take a charge (without tripping the breaker) for about a year. Then they starting have a problem again.

I put two round head bolts in an aluminium bar at the distance of the two buttons on the charger and now if a battery keeps tripping the breaker, I clamp the bar to the charger to just hold the two buttons down. The charger will click as it trips after a few seconds of charging, then the "Reset" will click, then the "Start" will click and each time it will take longer before the breaker trip occurs. After about 1 to 10 minutes of this it stops clicking and I take the clamp and bar off and the battery will charge in an hour or so.

I keep the charger on a metal shelf, on a power cord with a GFCI and 15-Amp fuse and I don't leave it unattended while it is in this configuration. The charger does not seem to get any hotter than normal, but I fear that what I am doing is dangerous.

This has "cured" the batteries a couple of times. But two of the batteries have finally gotten to the point where they won't take a charge at all and I have them set aside to take to the recycler (but I will probably try them again "one more time" before I actually dispose of them... maybe a long rest is what they need.)

I have lost track of which batteries came from which acquisition so I can't say if it is age or use that finally killed them.
 

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Most of my battery tools are DeWalt and they hold up wonderfully. I bought one Ryobi drill because I needed a light weight one that was easier to handle for very small drill bits. If left sitting for just 2 or 3 days it will lose its charge. I keep this drill and its battery plugged into the charger 24/7 and it is always available for use. I can work with it for a couple of hours. My limited experience with Ryobi battery tools is that they are definately second rate although some can be quite useful for limited use.

The best Japanese battery tools I've found for my use is Makita although I prefer DeWalt even above Porter-Cable and Milwaukee but these are excellent too. I always have one DeWalt 18 volt battery on charge at all times. The others are kept on the tool and last for a very long time.
 

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Posted By Torby on 08/13/2008 11:29 AM
... I've been thinking about a cutoff circuit to keep mine from going completely dead whilst I'm not watching. Maybe have it switch over to a small battery so's I can limp the loco to a reachable place to change the battery;)" border=0>




That's a good idea Torby .... except if it switches over automatically, you will only notice it when the limp home battery is dead too. You will need some sort of warning circuit.

A convenient method of switching over to another set of batteries via a switch or plug-in jack would also work (if you can get to the loco). Tony sells a little board to do this (I also have one available now), but the circuit is simple enough to hard wire. Personally, my batteries always outlast my operating sessions.
 

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You don't say what size the batteries are. I used to have a Ryobi 14.2 drill and the batteries barely lasted a year. I now own a Ryobi 18 volt and have had it for 2 years and all six batteries are runing just fine. In fact, based on a post about two years ago by Jerry McColgan, I use them in my trailing box car as well as my tools (drill, circ saw, light).

Mark
 

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Posted By markperr on 08/13/2008 8:55 PM
You don't say what size the batteries are. I used to have a Ryobi 14.2 drill and the batteries barely lasted a year. I now own a Ryobi 18 volt and have had it for 2 years and all six batteries are runing just fine. In fact, based on a post about two years ago by Jerry McColgan, I use them in my trailing box car as well as my tools (drill, circ saw, light).

Mark




In all fairness to Ryobi I haven't used their 18 volt batteries.
 

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My answer to Cordless drill batteries is. All my drills have cords. I have 6 100 ft extention cords...10 guage wire. I have one 8 gauge 100 ft with multipul outlets on the end Al this keeps voltage drop to a minamum

Now I use cordless drill batteries to run my trains. I have 8 Chicago Electric Cordless drill batteries.

Some have lasted 4 years. Some less. I have gone through 3 chargers

I have no Maintance plan. I do number the batteries in order to keep track of who has gone south.
 

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I know I will get hate mail for this but I take old drill batteries from folks, remove the ni-cads and install ni-mh batteries in it. Costs about $3.10 per cel (1.2V) I use the same charger and I have not have any problems. I have done this to approx. 40 batteries for myself and the mechanics I work with. The oldest one I built is 2 years old with no problems yet.This also makes the battery output to go from 1500 ma to 3500 ma which on my railroad really helps because of all the turns and grades it has. Several folks here have had good luck with batteries from Harbor Freight which cost allot less than any thing you can build and still have ni-cd batteries.
oops, sorry I had to correct the MA amount
 

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Posted By lurch on 08/17/2008 3:56 PM
I know I will get hate mail for this but I take old drill batteries from folks, remove the ni-cads and install ni-mh batteries in it. Costs about $3.10 per cel (1.2V) I use the same charger and I have not have any problems. I have done this to approx. 40 batteries for myself and the mechanics I work with. The oldest one I built is 2 years old with no problems yet.This also makes the battery output to go from 1.5 ma to 3.5 ma which on my railroad really helps because of all the turns and grades it has. Several folks here have had good luck with batteries from Harbor Freight which cost allot less than any thing you can build and still have ni-cd batteries.



3.5 ma won't even light an LED. I believe you meant 3.5 amp hours. :)
 

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Here's a hedzup (heads up) to all interested in avoiding bad news:

I had a NiCad 9V lying around that was low. I got out my old Eico transistorized power supply and cueball-clipped the leads properly, adjusted the output to 10V and decided to work on something else and see what happened. I was expecting the metered voltage to drop as (or if) the battery would take a charge.

I forgot about it and went to bed. The next morning I remembered, thought "Oh Sh--er, gracious!" and hurried down to my workbench. The NiCad had developed serious deformities, like it'd been well overheated. No leakage, however. During the battery's swelling and writhing about, a cueball clip had become disconnected. Thank heavens.

If I ever charge another NiCad, I'll get the Nicad battery charger out and use it. Still don't know what happened, save that I got lucky and didn't end up with a mess on my workbench. Since the Eico was fused to prevent more than 500ma output, I figured I was safe enough. Not even, apparently. Must be more ripple on that old P/S than I thought.

Les W.
 

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I'd need my changeover circuit to shout, "Hey dummy! The battery's run down!"
 
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