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Fresh hacks every day

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    You can make your own lithium-ion batteries if you have a source for individual cells and a control board to match your desired voltage levels. [Bill Porter] put together a quick tutorial where he makes a 14.4V 2.2 AH battery for about $10. He picked up a set of cable-modem backup batteries (used to make sure your bundled phone service doesn’t quit working when the power goes out) and tore out the cells. After reconfiguring the connections and swapping out the controller board the original 8V battery is now 14V. This doesn’t take into account any problems with battery life … Read the rest


    Mike Szczysmaking-lithium-ion-batteries.jpgMike Szczysmaking-lithium-ion-batteries.jpg

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    lithium_batteries

    So, you’ve got your awesome project built and are ready to take it on the go, but how are you going to power it? You could use a couple alkaline cells or perhaps swipe a Litihium battery pack from some infrequently used portable device – however before you do that, why not check out what [Lady Ada] has to say on the subject?

    The detailed tutorial on her site discusses the different types of Lithium-based batteries and their form factors, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each type. Voltage ratings are covered, as well as why it … Read the rest


    mikenathanathackadaylithium_batteriesmikenathanathackadaylithium_batteries

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    buck-regulator

    [Dr. Iguana's] experience moving from projects powered by disposable Alkaline cells and linear regulators to recycled Lithium Ion cells using the buck regulators seen above might serve as an inspiration to make the transition in your own projects.

    The recycled cells he’s talking about are pulled out of larger battery packs. As we’ve seen in the past, dead battery packs for rechargeable tools, laptops, etc., are often plagued by a few bad apples. A small number of dead cells can bork the entire battery even though many perfectly usable cells remain. Once he decided to make the switch it … Read the rest


    Mike Szczysbuck-regulatorMike Szczysbuck-regulator

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    maxim-reusing-old-lithium-ion-batteries

    Now we don’t sit around reading application notes for fun. But if hard pressed we would have to admit that we do read quite a few of them even if the concepts aren’t currently on our project list. That’s because they’re a great way to learn stuff and for the most part the information within is trustworthy.

    The latest one that we looked at is this Maxim app note 5681 on recycling Lithium-ion batteries. It’s more a reuse than a recycle but you get the point. If you have some Lithium-Ion cells left over from older equipment this resource … Read the rest


    Mike Szczysmaxim-reusing-old-lithium-ion-batteriesMike Szczysmaxim-reusing-old-lithium-ion-batteries

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    lioncap Lithium ion supercapacitors. No, not lithium ion batteries, and yes, they’re a real thing. While they’re astonishingly expensive per Farad, they are extremely small and used as the first line of defense in some seriously expensive heavy-duty UPS installations. Here’s a Kickstarter using these supercaps to replace the common AA, C, and D cell batteries. Even better, they can be recharged in seconds.

    For each size battery, the caps used actually have a slightly higher energy density than a similarly sized dollar store battery. By adding a little bit of circuitry to drop the 3.8 Volts out of the cap … Read the rest


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    Arduino with lithium ion battery

    Lithium ion batteries are becoming more and more common these days, but some of the larger capacity batteries can still carry a pretty hefty price tag. After finding Acer’s motherboard schematics online and doing a little reverse-engineering, [Tiziano] has found a way to reuse batteries from his dead laptop, not only saving the batteries from the landfill but also cutting costs on future projects.

    These types of batteries have been used for many things in the past, but what makes this project different is that [Tiziano] is able to monitor the status of the batteries and charge them … Read the rest


    bryancockfieldArduino with lithium ion batterybryancockfieldArduino with lithium ion battery

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    Lots of battery reviews and more!

    There are a number of resources scattered across the Internet that provide detailed breakdowns of common products, such as batteries, but we haven’t seen anything quite as impressive as this site. It’s an overwhelming presentation of data that addresses batteries of all types, including 18650’s (and others close in size)26650’s, and more chargers than you can shake a LiPo at. It’s an amazing site with pictures of the product both assembled and disassembled, graphs for charge and discharge rates, comparisons for different chemistries, and even some thermal images to illustrate how the chargers deal with … Read the rest


    lolelectronicsLots of battery reviews and more!lolelectronicsLots of battery reviews and more!

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    tesla-batt

    Tesla Motors club user [wk057], a Tesla model S owner himself, wants to build an awesome solar storage system. He’s purchased a battery pack from a salvaged Tesla Model S, and is tearing it down. Thankfully he’s posting pictures for everyone to follow along at home. The closest thing we’ve seen to this was [Charles] tearing into a Ford Fusion battery. While the Ford battery is NiMH, the Tesla is a completely different animal. Comprised of over 7000 individual lithium-ion cells in 16 modules, the Tesla battery pack packs a punch. It’s rated capacity is 85kWh at 400VDC.… Read the rest


    adamfabiotesla-battadamfabiotesla-batt

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    Li-ion Battery Charging

    Although [pinomelean's] Lithium-ion battery guide sounds like the topic is a bit specific, you’ll find a number of rechargeable battery basics discussed at length. Don’t know what a C-rate is? Pfffft. Roll up those sleeves and let’s dive into some theory.

    As if you needed a reminder, many lithium battery types are prone to outbursts if mishandled: a proper charging technique is essential. [pinomelean] provides a detailed breakdown of the typical stages involved in a charge cycle and offers some tips on the advantages to lower voltage thresholds before turning his attention to the practical side: designing your own … Read the rest


    lolelectronicsLi-ion Battery CharginglolelectronicsLi-ion Battery Charging

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    [Alan] procured a few Game Boys from a Yahoo auction with the intent of using them for some other projects, but one of the Game Boys was shipped with a very corroded battery which had eaten up one of the terminals. When [Alan] had repaired it, he was left with a Game Boy with no battery terminal at all, so he decided to splice in some lithium-ion batteries.

    Not only does the Game Boy now have a new battery pack, but [Alan] was able to source a USB charger to handle the batteries’ charging needs. However, he realized that his …read more


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    The self-proclaimed and actual “smartest idiot on YouTube” is back with another entry from the “don’t try this at home” file. [AvE] recently did a teardown of a new DeWalt cordless drill-driver, and after managing to get everything back together, he was challenged by a viewer to repurpose the 20V battery packs into an impromptu stick welder.

    [AvE] delivered – sort of. His first attempt was with the two battery packs in parallel for higher current, but he had trouble striking an arc with the 1/8″ rod he was using. A freeze-frame revealed an incredible 160A of short-circuit current and …read more


    AvE_overdpsm64AvE_shortAvE_overdpsm64AvE_short

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    It’s been a few weeks since the incident where Ahmed Mohamed, a student, had one of his inventions mistaken for a bomb by his school and the police, despite the device clearly being a clock. We asked for submissions of all of your clock builds to show our support for Ahmed, and the latest one is the tiniest yet but still has all of the features of a full-sized clock (none of which is explosions).

    [Markus]’s tiny clock uses a PIC24 which is a small yet powerful chip. The timekeeping is done on an RTCC peripheral, and the clock’s seven …read more


    IMG_4912_1600x1200_85bryancockfieldIMG_4912_1600x1200_85bryancockfield

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    French researchers have announced a prototype of an 18650 sodium-ion battery. If you’ve bought a powerful LED flashlight, a rechargeable battery pack, or a–ahem–stronger than usual LASER pointer, you’ve probably run into 18650 batteries. You often find these inside laptop batteries and –famously– the Tesla electric vehicle runs on a few thousand of these cells. The number might seem like a strange choice, but it maps to the cell size (18 mm in diameter and 65 mm long).

    The batteries usually use lithium-ion technology. However, lithium isn’t the only possible choice for rechargeable cells. Lithium has a lot of advantages. …read more


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    Lithium-ion batteries typically contain two electrodes and an electrolyte. Shorting or overcharging the battery makes it generate heat. If the temperature reaches about 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius), the electrolyte can catch fire and explode.

    There have been several attempts to make safer lithium-ion cells, but often these safety measures render them unusable after overheating. Stanford University researchers have a new method to protect from overheating cells that uses–what else–nanotechnology graphene. The trick is a thin film of polyethylene that contains tiny nickel spikes coated with graphene (see electron micrograph to the right).

    The film conducts electricity from one …read more


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    [Glen], at Maker Space Newcastle Upon Tyne, is refreshingly honest. As he puts it, he’s too cheap to buy a proper battery.

    He needed a 1AH battery pack to power his quadcopter controller and FPV headset, and since inadequate discharge warnings had led him to damage lithium polymer cells with these devices, he wanted his pack to use lithium-ion cells. His requirements were that the cells be as cheap, lightweight, and small as possible, so to satisfy them he turned to a stack of mobile phone cells. Nokia BL-4U cells could be had for under a pound ($1.46) including delivery, …read more


    li-ion-pack-wbjennylistli-ion-pack-wbjennylist

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    Lithium-ion batteries make possible smaller and lighter electronics. Unfortunately, they are also costly to produce. In a conventional lithium-ion battery, many thin layers create the finished product much like filo dough in baklava. A startup company called 24M thinks they have the answer to making less expensive lithium-ion batteries: a semisolid electrode made by mixing powders and liquid to form an electrolyte goo.

    Not only will the batteries be cheaper and faster to create, but the cost of the factory will be less. Currently, 24M has a pilot manufacturing line, but by 2020 they expect to scale to produce batteries …read more


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    If you’ve ever wanted a battery-operated soldering iron and you just can’t stand the thought of buying one, you might check out the video below from [Just5mins]. In it, he takes a candy tube, some scrap materials, a lithium ion battery, a nichrome wire, a USB charger, and a switch and turns it into an apparently practical soldering iron.

    Paradoxically, [Just5mins] used a soldering iron to build this one, so it probably can’t be your only soldering iron, although we suppose you could figure something out in a pinch. Maybe in rep-rap style, make a poor quality one with no …read more


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    Lithium-Ion batteries are finicky little beasts. They can’t be overcharged, overdischarged, overheated, or even looked at funny without bursting into flames. Inside any laptop battery pack, a battery charge controller keeps watch over all the little cells, and prevents them from getting damaged.

    Of course, any “smart” device will sometimes make the wrong choices, and then it’s up to us to dig inside its brains and fix it. When [Viktor] got a perfectly good battery pack with a controller that refused to charge the batteries, he started off on what would become an epic journey into battery controllers, and the …read more


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    For the most part I believe things are as they seem. But every once in a while I begin to look at notable technology happenings from a different angle. What if things are not like they seem? This is conspiracy theory territory, and I want to be very clear about this: what follows is completely fictitious and not based on fact. At least, I haven’t tried to base it on facts surrounding the current events. But perhaps you can. What if there’s more to the battery fires in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phones?

    I have a plausible theory, won’t you …read more


    tinfoilMike SzczysBill Hammack's explanation of uranium enrichment centrifugesConnector has 3 conductors. One is for data.Nexus 5 Batterysamsung-galaxy-note-7-battery-return-box-instructionstinfoilMike SzczysBill Hammack's explanation of uranium enrichment centrifugesConnector has 3 conductors. One is for data.Nexus 5 Batterysamsung-galaxy-note-7-battery-return-box-instructions

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    How do you manage to get an electric off-road longboard past TSA and onto an international flight? Simple — make it a collapsible longboard that fits into a carry-on bag.

    The mechanical and electrical feats accomplished by [transistor-man] may not be the most impressive parts of this hack. We’re pretty impressed by the build, starting as it did with the big knobby tires and front truck from an unused mountain board and the hub motor from a hoverboard, turning this into a trike. The incredible shrinking chassis comes courtesy of a couple of stout drawer slides and cam locks to …read more


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