Findmall.com
 
 






Spectra V3 / V3i / VX3 Forum


Welcome! Log In Register
DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: June 13, 2016 09:48PM
Hi all, I'm new to detecting but not to DIY. I realize this subject has been hashed to death and RnB sells a killer long-lasting battery, but being stubborn and a DIY guy I was thinking of putting together my own Li Ion pack for the V3i, which I recently purchased used.

I can't for the life of me figure out why this wouldn't work: get 3 Panasonic Orbtronic batteries from amazon, 3400 mah - they are about $15 each. See product here: Orbtronic AAA Lithium Ion Battery. They have built-in over/undercharging protection, as well as low discharge protection (the most important aspects of these kinds of batteries). Get 3 of those, AAA 3-pack holder, and appropriate charger (between $15-$30). Just a little soldering of the AAA 3-pack holder to the White's penlight batt pack, and voila?

Wouldn't this be a nice alternative for super long detecting?

I haven't bought the parts yet but I'm not sure why this wouldn't work. Maybe the connector will be tricky but...I guess I'll wait to hear your thoughts. If I go ahead with this and build it I'll let you know the results.

Thanks,

Newbie Mike



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2016 09:49PM by Thundercat.

avatar
Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: amberjack
Date: June 20, 2016 06:45AM
have a look here http://www.findmall.com/read.php?28,2301088

have fun !!

AJ

Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: June 27, 2016 10:25PM
Thanks AJ that was very helpful!

I thought more about it and came up with something incredibly simple. I'll post back once implemented.

Thanks!

Mike

Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:29PM
OK I finished my DIY job; it works! Fairly simple to implement too, and cheaper than the more expensive RnB battery solution.

I tried embedding my images here sharing with Google Drive, but all the links were broken. So alas I'll break up this post into multiple posts so you can see what I'm doing.

My design goals were simple. It must be drop-dead easy to do. It must be elegant. It must be simple. It must work. It must take only a little time to do, and be easy to maintain. It must be relatively inexpensive.

I started by getting another White's V3i battery holder from amazon, but you can get it from White's or Kelly's I'm sure. Amazon link: White's V3i Battery Holder on Amazon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2016 11:32PM by Thundercat.




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:35PM
Then I removed the middle plastic battery guides using pliers and then a dremel:

I left the bottom and top battery guides to act as guides for the new battery holder.




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:36PM
I bought three Orbitronic 18650 Protected 3500mAh batteries for the project from here: Orbitronic 3500 mAh protected batteries

I also bought a Uxcell 18650 battery holder from Amazon, link here: 18650 Battery Holder




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:38PM
I cut the White's battery door to just fit to the top of the holder.

The Uxcell holder just fit exactly into the holder, the bottom braced against the White's battery guides I had left intact.




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:40PM
I soldered in the two leads from the battery holder onto the White's V3i battery holder (cover is completely removed here to expose the top area).

Good housekeeping, I twisted the wires up into a small little unused area at the top of the White's battery holder:




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:41PM
I attached the White's battery cover door on the top. If I'd been especially clever I would have also added a strip of the original door across the bottom, for looks/dust.

I charged up the batteries.

Battery Charger available here: Xtar Smart Battery Charger



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2016 11:51PM by Thundercat.




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:43PM
You'll also need a USB wall charger, available here: Xtar USB Battery charger




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:45PM
I installed the batteries. It was a pretty tight fit, but just made it. I'm sure it'll loosen up over time.

Then I fired up the detector.

:jump:



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2016 11:52PM by Thundercat.




Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 01, 2016 11:45PM
Total DIY time was about 1 hour, give/take. Most of that was fiddling around trying to figure it out. In practice it took about 10 minutes to remove the battery guides from the White's holder, 5 minutes to cut the door, 5 minutes to solder it up. I added a ring of tape around the tops of each battery to make it easy to remove from the holder for recharging purposes; that took about 5 minutes. Honestly you could do the whole thing in 20-30 minutes if you knew what you were doing.

So how much did it cost?

Uxcell Holder: $5.21 (this was for 2; can order only one for less)
White's Battery Holder: $15.90 (I hear you can get it for 10 bucks at Kelly's)
Orbtronic Batteries: 3 x $13.99 plus shipping = $44.96
Xtar Smart Battery Recharger: $26.19
Xtar USB wall charger: $5.19

I do have amazon prime so you'll see a conspicuous absence of shipping costs, and taxes weren't taken I suppose because items out of state. So it might add up to a bit more.

Total was $97.45, so for around $100 bucks you can make yourself a superior DIY battery pack that should last a long long time (weeks? Some say).

I will say I do think the RnB battery solution is probably great if you don't want to mess with stuff, and you can get that here: RNB Battery Solution

The RnB battery solution is a 3100 mAh battery; the one I built is a 3500 mAh battery. Should last longer.

I have no affiliation with these guys and get no kickbacks - really! I actually bought more parts than you see listed originally, because I was figuring it out, and probably spent close to $120 or maybe more, but I just didn't want to get the RNB battery because I'm stubborn and I like to DIY and my battery pack is even longer lasting than the RNB solution. But I like to be fair and show all the possibilities in case you want something a bit simpler.

Hope this helps the DIY guys and gals out there to get more detecting time from their machines, save money on batteries, and reduce hassle. I've benefitted enormously from all of you, and from others on forums like this, so I hope this is a welcome give-back for all you've given me.

Best,

Mike



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2016 12:02AM by Thundercat.

Re: DIY Li Ion Batt Idea
Posted by: Thundercat
Date: July 04, 2016 12:14AM
Oh one last thing: I HIGHLY recommend if you do this mod you get the "protected" batteries - they have circuitry inside that prevents them from shorting, overcharging, or undercharging. They cost more,and are slightly longer in size, but the extra safety factor is worth it! You can do this project cheaper than I did but be careful you use high quality batteries with the protection circuits built-in. That's why I recommended these specific Orbtronics because they have that circuitry; other brands do too. Careful - the same manufacturer can make the "same" battery, but one with protection and the other without! Just watch it. Even Orbtronic makes versions of this battery without the protection circuit.

Happy hunting!

Mike



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2016 12:15AM by Thundercat.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login