Ryobi battery packs?


My Ryobi 14.4 v cordless drill has four or five years on it now. The battery packs will just barely hold a charge. Before I spring for a couple of new battery packs, is it possible that it is the charger that is not up to the job? Any experience along these lines?
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Bubba wrote:

If the charger charges the battery at all, it's not the problem. Chargers are pretty much a go/no go item. Most likely, given the age of your packs, the NiCad's are crapping out. They have a finite number of charges in them and their longevity is severely affected by use, non-use, and charging or topping them off when they have not yet been fully (or nearly so) discharged. It's called Memory Effect and ruins more NiCads than anything else other than loss off the truck<g>
Buy a new cell and see for yourself. DON'T keep topping it off, let it run down in the tool and THEN recharge. It will keep them in shape.
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My 12V Ryobi's packs crapped out recently. If the charger lights, it probably works. After pricing new packs or rebuilts, I bought a 12V Panasonic at Amazon for $79 (now back to $89). Definitely happy with the purchase and the drill!

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5 years is reasonable life. I had a thread about a week ago where people were talking about combining cells from 2 packs to get one good one. All the cells don't go bad; one is enough to ruin a pack. It is a lot of work for the results, but might be fun to do.
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While it's true that all of the cells in a pack haven't all gone bad *yet* if you go to the trouble of opening the pack you might as well replace them all while you are there. You'll be back in soon enough to do the rest.
I just did this to one of my Makita "pod" style NiCd packs. I replaced them with MiMh versions with higher capacity. 12 sub-c cells per pack at $3.00 each (from nicdlady.com). I have yet to seal up the case but it took a charge and seems to work. Be sure to order the cells with the tabs already welded onto the terminals for easier soldering. Here is a link to a guy who also opened his battery packs up http://chuck.kichline.com/fixit/makita/Default.htm
My packs are 10 years old and have seen mainly light use so I got my money's worth from them. I don't know if it's really cost effective to re-build them or not. I did it because I wanted to. Since the original Makita charger also had died a few months back I had been using a jury rigged charger which may have helped the weak pack to an early grave. I bought a new general purpose charger (MAHA MH-C777 Plus II) since it will charge pretty much any pack up to 14.4V (NiCd, NiMh or LiIon). Full retail on a 3Ah pack from Makita is around $100 and I would have needed a charger as well so for me it worked out. YMMV.
Bill
reply to double u schoenbeck at cox dot net as the header address is no good.
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On Wed, 22 Jun 2005 02:22:04 GMT, the opaque "toller"

I did that and it was as frustrating as it was fun. In the end, it was a futile effort and I won't ever do it again.
-------------------------------------------- -- I'm in touch with my Inner Curmudgeon. -- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development ===========================================================
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Time for new batteries. You can't expect more that four or five years from any of the battery packs. A few of the cells are dead and the others just can't keep up and lose charge rapidly. They are now $25 at Home Depot or you can have them rebuilt with better cells at www.primecell.com IIRC, it will be $38
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Time for new batteries! Five years is good usage from batteries. Over time the internal resistance of the batteries increases therefore charge does not last as long.
Bubba wrote:

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On Wed, 22 Jun 2005 01:43:37 GMT, the opaque "Bubba"

My charger is hanging in there just fine after 3 years. I got the Ryobi kit with the drill motor, circular saw, charger, case, and 2 batt packs for $99 from the Borg.
My two packs died at the 2.5 year point and I just replaced one after attempting to hack together one good one from the two old packs. You can get a working (but severely limited life/strength) pack from the old cells, but the new cells are the only way to go.
I got a replacement off Ebay for under $35, delivered.
An alternative is to have the packs rebuilt if you have a local rebuilder, though it may be the same or higher price than Ebay.
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