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Old 25-02-2013, 13:44   #1
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Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

When not in a slip how are you all charging your cordless drills (or other proprietary batteries)? It seems kinda silly to invert power from DC to 110v ac then plug in a battery charger which is DC solely to charge a battery. Has anyone found a way to charge proprietary batteries for drills with the DC directly from a solar panel or DC from the boat without inverting it for the 110vac charger?

Does Lithium Ion or Nickel Cadmium have any advantages over the other when trying to charge off solar panels/batteries/auxiliary alternator...etc?

Also, my craftsman 19.2 volt drill died. It took a beating for 10 years. I am replacing it with
Porter Cable 18v system
or
Craftsman 19.2 system
I think both companies have gone down hill in the last 20 years. I think the craftsman has more battery options and they are cheaper. Regarding the above question is one of these systems (or an other) superior when charging off solar panels/batteries/auxiliary alternator? or when Traveling abroad?

Thanks in advance for the help and ideas.
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Old 25-02-2013, 13:52   #2
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

There are dc chargers available for all these drills as an extra cost option. I use the AC charger powered through an inverter as the solar panels provide all the DC power I can use.
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Old 25-02-2013, 13:54   #3
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

I use Dewalt primarily because of its vacuum cleaner which is easily the most used "cordless tool" on my boat.

Amazon.com: DEWALT DC515K 1/2 Gallon 18-Volt NiCd Cordless Wet/Dry Vac: Home Improvement

If you look at the amp draw when it's 110v charger is plugged in, it charges in waves (or at least draws in waves), so it's more than just a dumb ac-dc transformer in there. It's a relatively tiny power demand, considering all the other things going on.

My battery rechargeable stuff is:

- handheld vhf
- bluetooth portable speaker
- laptop / tablet / netbook
- cell phones
- bluetooth headset
- sat phone
- dewalt 18v battery packs

I charge them all as needed, in the middle of the day, once the panels have gotten the batteries to > 14v. Or, whenever the engine will be on for a few hours, which is frequent enough on short jaunts here and there.

The tiny gain in electrical efficiency just isn't worth it to me. Bigger fish to fry, bigger amperage dragons to slay. Swap out one lightbulb to a sensi and you'll make more of an impact.

My $0.02
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Old 25-02-2013, 16:22   #4
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

Being different, I dumped my few cordless tools in favor of corded tools. The cordless tools were never charged when I needed them. So I just use a corded drill and jigsaw on inverter, which works fine. If I need more power I'll run the little generator, but that's a rare thing. So much easier that way,leastwise for me.
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Old 25-02-2013, 16:33   #5
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

You can run 12 v cordless directly from your boat. Most have something like spade terminals on the bottom. So some jumpers etc..
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Old 25-02-2013, 16:47   #6
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

I switched to the Ryobi 18v one plus tool from home depot because i got tired of all the other brands i had been using coming out with new tools and making the old ones obsolete. The Ryobi have cheaper batteries that have outlasted all my previous brands ,im still using the originals from 2005 along with the newer lithium ion ones that still fit the old tools, i like that. Another thing i like is that they have a 12v dc to 18v dc charger available for cheap that i can use on the boat, also a great wet and dry vac and a good hand held spotlight, lots of good tools that can be bought bare as well as some silly ones.

Steve.
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Old 25-02-2013, 20:37   #7
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
I switched to the Ryobi 18v one plus tool from home depot because i got tired of all the other brands i had been using coming out with new tools and making the old ones obsolete. The Ryobi have cheaper batteries that have outlasted all my previous brands ,im still using the originals from 2005 along with the newer lithium ion ones that still fit the old tools, i like that. Another thing i like is that they have a 12v dc to 18v dc charger available for cheap that i can use on the boat, also a great wet and dry vac and a good hand held spotlight, lots of good tools that can be bought bare as well as some silly ones.

Steve.
+1!!!!
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Old 25-02-2013, 21:31   #8
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
There are dc chargers available for all these drills as an extra cost option.... .
Thanks roverhi.
I am unable to find any. Where have you seen them?
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Old 25-02-2013, 21:36   #9
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
If you look at the amp draw when it's 110v charger is plugged in, it charges in waves (or at least draws in waves), so it's more than just a dumb ac-dc transformer in there. It's a relatively tiny power demand, considering all the other things going on.
How do you know this? I trust you, just wondering how you determined this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I charge them all as needed, in the middle of the day, once the panels have gotten the batteries to > 14v. Or, whenever the engine will be on for a few hours, which is frequent enough on short jaunts here and there.

The tiny gain in electrical efficiency just isn't worth it to me. Bigger fish to fry, bigger amperage dragons to slay. Swap out one lightbulb to a sensi and you'll make more of an impact.

My $0.02
OK. It is nice to not have to the inverting back and forth. I assumed it was a great deal of energy loss.

Thanks for the advice.

And yeah i noticed the dewalt and craftsman vacumes. They look handy. I assume porter has one as well.
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Old 25-02-2013, 21:40   #10
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
I switched to the Ryobi 18v ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
+1!!!!
OK. Thanks i will look into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
....Another thing i like is that they have a 12v dc to 18v dc charger available for cheap ....
can you link to this?
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Old 25-02-2013, 21:49   #11
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadmus View Post
OK. Thanks i will look into it.


can you link to this?
Ryobi charger, 12V car lighter plug to charge the Ryobi 18V power tool batteries.

18-Volt One+ In-Vehicle Charger-P131 at The Home Depot

Or pick one up at your local Home Depot.

I have to add another vote for the Ryobis. I have seen some "pros" put them down but I built a whole damn pole barn with a set, several remodeling jobs and a three year boat refit, all with the same kit. So maybe they wouldn't stand up to all day, every day use but do just fine for serious DIY'ers.

ALSO, found the lithium batteries on eBay for $20 less than they sell them at Home Depot. Ordered several and had them about a year so far. Come in factory packaging and appear to be the exact same battery you get at the store.
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Old 25-02-2013, 21:51   #12
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

sailorchic34, i guess i'm different too.

i use power tools so little the batteries are invariably run down when i need them. i find that cheap 110v power tools last long enough for me, don't draw that much power from the inverter (who runs a drill for one hour straight?) and, when the extension cord isn't long enough, i can run it off my honda 1000.

the only exception is my battery operated dremel tool.....
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Old 25-02-2013, 21:59   #13
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
sailorchic34, i guess i'm different too.

i use power tools so little the batteries are invariably run down when i need them. i find that cheap 110v power tools last long enough for me, don't draw that much power from the inverter (who runs a drill for one hour straight?) and, when the extension cord isn't long enough, i can run it off my honda 1000.

the only exception is my battery operated dremel tool.....
Guess I'm just bass ackwards cause the only tool I use frequently that isn't battery is my Dremel.

Don't disagree about the issues with keeping the batteries charged and such but I have just gotten really used to not dragging a power cord around. Being able to move around the cabin with a tool and not getting the cord wrapped around everything in sight, including my two left feet is just too handy.
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Old 25-02-2013, 22:04   #14
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

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Originally Posted by cadmus View Post
How do you know this? I trust you, just wondering how you determined this.

OK. It is nice to not have to the inverting back and forth. I assumed it was a great deal of energy loss.

Thanks for the advice.

And yeah i noticed the dewalt and craftsman vacumes. They look handy. I assume porter has one as well.
Regarding the variable amperage draw, I have a little ampmeter on all the time and when the 18v batteries go into charge you can see the needle bopping back and forth. Maybe 4 amps for a second, then not for half a second, then repeating, over and over again. Could just be a capacitor charging up maybe, but it's something in there.
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Old 25-02-2013, 22:05   #15
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Re: Charging Chordless Drills & Power Tools

One more vote for the Ryobi 18V One - mine have held up to hard use perfectly. I charge mine through an inverter, but as mentioned a 12v charger is available. Rumor has it that modified sine wave (=cheap) inverters kill the battery or charger or something.
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