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  • Charge those Lithiums!

    Last Spring I bought the Ryobi drill/tool light combo wih two lithium batteries. I'm retired and did use the drill into the Summer for some small jobs. The batteries have sat in my heated crawlspace for at least seven months and when I checked their status the indicator showed midrange capacity. Today I decided to charge both batteries and there were problems. The first one started to charge fine and then registered defective on the charger indicator lights. The second battery lasted ten minutes and did the same thing. I ran the batteries down and tried again, this time they lasted the entire half hour and indicatd a successful charge. I believe it was wrong to let them sit for so long even though lithium ion batteries are supposed to have a long shelf life. I will charge these batteries at least once every two months wheter or not I use them just to be on the safe side.

  • #2
    Re: Charge those Lithiums!

    Just bought a Ridgid with Lithiums. Hope I don’t have the same problem. Storage is one of the things about Ni Cad I wanted to get away from.

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    • #3
      Re: Charge those Lithiums!

      Thanks to some good advice on this Forum I have,I have gotten into a routine of checking the voltage on my nicads every couple of months. When the voltage drops to a certain point, I put the battery in a tool, run it a bit to see how it performs and then charge it up. I usually don't let my 18volt nicads go below 16volts. Lithiums can undergo something called "deep discharge" which results in battery damage. Always something to learn!

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      • #4
        Re: Charge those Lithiums!

        I was told by the hardware man that a good NiCad charger will discharge a batt before recharging. They will always stay in better shape. Didn't know one would do that. The ones for my AAA batt will not. At least I don't think so.

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        • #5
          Re: Charge those Lithiums!

          Supposedly some very expensive chargers will do this. Supposedly it 'conditions' the batteries (whatever that is). I don't think it gains you anything. It will use up battery life. Life is partially based on the number of charges a battery has, and how old it is, and how abused it gets, and load when used ........ lots of different things. Battery life is usually quoted in number of charges by the manufacturers. When you fully discharge and recharge a battery you use up 1 charge. If you have only used part (say half) of a charge and recharge, you count that as half a charge.

          I don't know if any tool manufacturer's chargers discharge the batteries before recharging. Ridgid's don't.

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          • #6
            Re: Charge those Lithiums!

            Well there is alot to keeping battery packs in top shape. There are some chargers that can condition packs. Back in my R/C days I had a charger that would do so by pulsing the current instead of giving it a steady charge. The theory was that this would help break up any crystals that could be forming in the pack which would increase resistance therefor reducing its capacity. Can't say 100% that it worked, but my packs always held a good charge and kept low resistance.

            Can't comment on the Ridgid batt packs and I don't own any. I do own a Hitachi DV18DL hammerdrill/drill/driver that uses lithium packs and am 110% pleased with the performance, quick charging and longevity of the packs. I've owned it for over 1.5 years now and can charge both packs and store them for months, put them back on the charger and nothing happens...... because they're still fuly charged and need nothing.

            I do know lithium packs in general don't really benefit from being stored fully charged because they're not supposed to bleed off voltage when not in use. One old trick we did in R/C with the nicads and nickel metal hydride packs was to discharge the packs to a certain cutoff, let them cool, then recharge and it worked great for them. BUT lithium packs should never be deep discharged because it can lead to reverse polarity and irreversible damage rather quickly. When my DV18DL hits the 12v point it automatically cuts off the power from the batt pack and the drill simply stops so no discharging takes place. Later!

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            • #7
              Re: Charge those Lithiums!

              Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
              Last Spring I bought the Ryobi drill/tool light combo wih two lithium batteries. I'm retired and did use the drill into the Summer for some small jobs. The batteries have sat in my heated crawlspace for at least seven months and when I checked their status the indicator showed midrange capacity. Today I decided to charge both batteries and there were problems. The first one started to charge fine and then registered defective on the charger indicator lights. The second battery lasted ten minutes and did the same thing. I ran the batteries down and tried again, this time they lasted the entire half hour and indicatd a successful charge. I believe it was wrong to let them sit for so long even though lithium ion batteries are supposed to have a long shelf life. I will charge these batteries at least once every two months wheter or not I use them just to be on the safe side.
              The balancer chip inside draws 35-50 mA or so, that's why they die. I have 5x 18v and 9x 36v and rotate them and top them up from time to time. Learned my lesson when first Makitas came out.

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              • #8
                Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                Originally posted by DRC-Wartex View Post
                The balancer chip inside draws 35-50 mA or so, that's why they die. I have 5x 18v and 9x 36v and rotate them and top them up from time to time. Learned my lesson when first Makitas came out.
                Thanks for the explanation. My Ridgid 24V LI batts self discharge very quickly and the 18V LI batts also self discharge, although at a slower rate....Ray

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                • #9
                  Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                  I do not know about lithiums, but nicads can develop what is refered to as memory, if recharged often without a full discharge. The memory cause them to take only a certian amount of charge reguardless of charge time due to repeated short charges. I my RC days, all battery packes advised full discharging prior to charging to prevent memory, and may of the chargers automaticlly did so. I dont know if any of the power tools do or not, but I have never charged my 18 volt batteries until they were DEAD. and have never had a complaint about the life of there charge.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                    Originally posted by elkman12 View Post
                    Just bought a Ridgid with Lithiums. Hope I don’t have the same problem. Storage is one of the things about Ni Cad I wanted to get away from.
                    Sometimes....
                    I have a Makita 7.? volt that I have had the same battery for ~18 years, and it sat for 3 years.
                    About 2 years ago I brought it out of storage, used it for a flashlight, still works great (even in drill, although not used anymore) and even to this day, I still use the flashlight with that battery, only up till last year did it start acting funny, and now only lasts about 3 hours after a full charge.

                    Meh, still not sold on those lithiums...... (as has been shown in other posts)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                      Originally posted by whosit57 View Post
                      I do not know about lithiums, but nicads can develop what is refered to as memory, if recharged often without a full discharge. The memory cause them to take only a certian amount of charge reguardless of charge time due to repeated short charges. I my RC days, all battery packes advised full discharging prior to charging to prevent memory, and may of the chargers automaticlly did so. I dont know if any of the power tools do or not, but I have never charged my 18 volt batteries until they were DEAD. and have never had a complaint about the life of there charge.
                      NiCd memory in power tools and RC is a myth. It only happens if you charge and discharge battery to exact same level every time, and if you trickle charge it every time. So in cordless phone it will happen, but never in power tools or RC due to high discharge currents and irregular current draw patterns. The reason it was advised to fully discharge RC packs because old chargers didn't have balancers.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                        Dude, that simply isn't true... I was involved in R/C for a long time and know for a fact Nicad and nickel metal packs will develop memory issues. Most say it's because solids form in the internal part of each cell, which increases resistance and that leads to memory issues. Voltage output will be the same, but the cells slowly give less runtime.

                        And it's never a good idea to fully discharge any cell of any type. Don't know what you've been reading, but it's dead wrong. Now we did discharge the packs to a certain cutoff to simulate each run, but never fully discharged because it can and will lead to reverse polarity. Later!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                          I have some out side lights with NICad. After a year they will not take a charge. Put them on a charger and will say it is charged after about 30 sec. Put them in a flashlight and dead in 2 sec. Out side they don’t work more than an hr after dark. Changed to Ni-Metal and looks to be doing good. Did a lot of goggle reserch on batt and found out that Nicad do get a memory and Ni-metal some times LI batt never. That’s why I hope my LI batt drill will work better in the long run.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                            Originally posted by shadow745 View Post
                            . Don't know what you've been reading, but it's dead wrong. Now we did discharge the packs to a certain cutoff to simulate each run, but never fully discharged because it can and will lead to reverse polarity. Later!
                            can you please point out exactly where I recommended to fully discharge NiCd? I highly recommend you read entire thread. I was explaining the other poster why it was advised to drain the cells fully. I feel like I'm commenting on youtube.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Charge those Lithiums!

                              Memory is simply large crystals that form on the cell plates, over time you loose battery performance.

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