Fixing Stuff

rebelrider.mike

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
382
Before I throw broken stuff away, I like to try and fix it first. Sometimes I save money. Sometimes I don't. I usually end up with a new tool and sometimes I even learn something.

So here's my latest fix it project. A while back I bought a Black and Decker electric screwdriver. Comes in really handy when I don't want to go find my full sized hand drill. Or it did until it stopped charging.

Well, the thing is powered by 3 AA NiCd 800mAh batteries in series. One cell was completely dead. The other two were pretty far gone, and I decided to replace all three.

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I've been using Tenergy NiMH cells for a while and I like them. So I decided to try out their NiCds as replacements.

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The new battery is kind of ugly, but it works.

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Got it crammed into the allotted space.

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And it works!

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At this point I decided to address the charging system. I was a bit confused to learn that the power brick sends out AC current. I guess there's a diode in the wiring somewhere inside the tool.

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Yep there's a diode in there under the shrink wrap.

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The new charger will be DC current, so the diode is no longer needed.

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Also, the barrel connector for the charger is an odd proprietary size. I'm swapping it out with a more standard 5.5x2.5mm one.

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Finally, the cable connector is just a bit shorter than the original, which prevents a good connection.

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I removed around 1/8" of the finger-holdy bit (that's a technical term) and now it snaps right into place.

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Seems quite happy on the iMax charger. And the old charger can be saved for some future thing I don't know about yet.

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rebelrider.mike

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
382
This next one might be improving more than fixing. But I'll share anyway.

My first GPS was a Garmin Nuvi, and I really like it until it refused to turn on one day. I bought a replacement battery, but the unit remained dead. Then it got put on the shelf, and I bought a newer model Nuvi, the 40L, and began enjoying all the improvements that the new model had to offer. Unfortunately, the battery in this unit, which has never lasted more than 2 hours or so, began to have less and less capacity per charge, and also started discharging while the unit was off.

I almost bought a new battery, but remembered I had two good ones sitting in a closet somewhere. So I dug those out and made some comparisons.

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The battery for the old unit was physically larger, and had more capacity than the newer one! Shame on you Garmin!
Same Volts, same connector. I decided to use the old battery, since it was basically NOS, and higher capacity. Only problem was that it didn't quite fit in the case. But after removing a few of the structural tabs, or whatever they are, the bigger battery fits perfect.

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It worked, and had 3/4 of a charge after sitting for several years. Probably wasn't fully charged to begin with. Also, the tools they sent with the old replacement battery worked on the newer Nuvi, so that was a bonus. Now I have probably the only Garmin Nuvi 40L that will run on battery for 4 hours. (And in fact, it does!)

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rebelrider.mike

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Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
382
This one's a little different. The transmission on my old lawn mower broke a couple days ago, and I decided to try to repair it.
I know very little about transmissions, and in fact, I find them a bit intimidating. But this one is very small and simple, from a walk-behind mower, so I thought I'd give it a try. Getting it off the mower was easy enough:

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So the short shaft (drive shaft?) is driven by a belt and pulley on the outside of the gearbox. The gears (I think they might be called pinions?) are fixed to the shaft and can only rotate with the shaft. I found right away that the one with 25 teeth only had 23. Obviously a hokey player.

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The other shaft I think is called the counter shaft. The gears on it move freely until one is selected by the shifter keys. One of which is broken.

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That little bit on the end is important, because without it, the key will be pushed all the way in via the shift ring but it can't be retracted again. Also, those notches on the end hold a spring clip which squeezes them into notches causing them to engage with the desired gear once the key is in the proper position. So with no tension on the spring, there is no engagement and thus no wedding. I mean movement of the wheels.

The whole thing is lubricated with black (moly?)grease, which I had to go through to find the missing bits so they don't jam into anything later. What a mess!
But I got it all apart and more or less cleaned up.

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So the really great and wonderful thing is that even though this mower is a 91, I was able to find parts for it! They're in the mail and should show up this week.
I'm very excited to fix my very first transmission! And as I'm doing this, I'm even learning about how it actually works, which is so worth it. :)
 

Scepterr

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Feb 19, 2017
Messages
234
I would take the opportunity to convert it to an 18650 emower :)
 

2146

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Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
40
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[ATTACH said:
18434[/ATTACH]

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Scepterr pid='9945' dateline='1500950744']I would take the opportunity to convert it to an 18650 emower :)

Blew up my twin cyl engine a while back and decided to make it electric. We use it to pull a 62 inch mower deck. Still got a lot of work to do to it. but she runs, and its very quiet :).

It is not powered by 18650s yet but maybe some day.

Sorry bout the duplicates in pictures. Didn't see it adding them to the post.


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rebelrider.mike

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May 25, 2017
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382
Parts came in, and now the transmission works!
I took video of the assembly, but its pretty long. Even after editing. Feel free to skip around or use it as a cure for insomnia:
 

rebelrider.mike

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May 25, 2017
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382
My desk fan quit spinning, and I'm too cheap to buy a new one! :(

I've had it apart a couple times to clean out the motor and re-lube the bearings, but this time I decided to take it a step further.
This time I polished up the drive shaft and the bearings with some 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper and a little oil.


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You can't tell from the picture, but here's the fanworking! :) Spins really nice now.

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I used to have to start it on High and give it a little nudge to get it going. Now I can start it on Low and it spins up by itself. I'm interested to see how long this fix will last compared to just putting new oil on the bearings.
 

WallBender

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Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
41
For the transmission terms, the differential part is where the ring and pinion are. The ring gear connects to the output shaft and is the largest gear of what I can see in the photos (90 degree stryle gear) and the pinion is the smaller gear that drives it. I'm not sure what the transmission gears are called, probably just based on what gear set they are from if it's a multi speed transmission.

I do similar as you, if something doesn't work I'll be pulling it apart and seeing what's useful or fixable. Both my car and my truck were "dead" when I got them. The pickup had a bad ecu from a rust hole in the front fender well and salt water shorted it out. Didn't have the right part and a similar (not correct) one ran $250+ on ebay. I had another ECU from the same truck but automatic trans instead of manual. $15 for the wire harness diagram and some time to match the pinouts up, it runs better than any other pickup I've had with the same engine/trans setup. The car just needed normal repairs like struts, tires, alignment, and tune up from being neglected. Happily have gotten 78k miles out of the car so far and is sitting at 303k miles. I'm sure the engine/trans won't be the first thing to fail since I live up north in Michigan, we have major rust issues and this car is showing signs of it.
 

rebelrider.mike

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May 25, 2017
Messages
382
My first attempt at really restoring something, as opposed to just fixing it up:


Also my first try at making a silent video and adding music to the background. So the music didn't go so well. I found a few songs I wanted in You Tube's list, but I couldn't figure out how to add more than one to the video. So it just ends a couple minutes in, and y'all have to watch the rest in actual silence.

Also, as it's silent, may as well speed it up so folks don't get (as) bored watching it.

The subject itself though, is an old Black & Decker 1/2" drill I found at my local Habitat store. It worked ok, but it was all rusty and covered with paint and crud. Also, the stickers were all chewed up. Definitely a well used and slightly neglected tool.

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It worked fine once I got it home, but I figured I'd take it apart and clean it up.

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The hardest part for me, is getting the wires all back where they go. I sort of know how the motor works, but not well enough to have an intuitive sense for what each wire does. Fortunately, there are digital cameras.

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Finally got it all apart. I had to watch a few videos on how to get the chuck off. The hex wrench and hammer method wasn't working, so I used an electric impact driver. Love that tool!
Also had to watch a few videos to figure out how to get the chuck apart. Lots of people clean them up as a single part, or replace them, but I wanted to be thorough.
The stator was riveted in, so I had to drill those out and find bolts that were long and skinny enough to replace them. Everything else was pretty straight-forward.

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I ended up sanding and polishing all the paint and crud off the plastic parts. The steel parts cleaned up great, and I plated and polished them. The aluminum housing, I wanted to paint. The primer went on great, but the paint I used didn't seem to want to cure, even after a few days. By the time I got everything back together, It was smudged, scratched, and had finger prints pressed into it. I ended up stripping it and polishing it.

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Not pictured is my attempt at putting white paint back into the lettering that's sunk into the back of the handle. What's that called anyway? Sunken lettering. Embossed is raised lettering, right? Inlayed? Anyway, sunken lettering. It went ok. I used some enamel paint and sandpaper. I found out later that most people use nail polish and acetone-free nail polish remover. I'll try that next time.

I also made up my own way of making new stickers. I'm sure there's a better way, but I designed new ones as close to the old ones as I could in PowerPoint, and made a few prints until I got the best results I could with my printer. Used double stick tape to stick them to the drill, and put packing tape over them to protect the paper.

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I had to get a new chuck key. Also, this was a Christmas gift to my son who is just about half way through college. So he'll be needing stuff like this when he's out on his own. To get him started, I threw in some cheap drill and screw driver bits.

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Also, there was a socket for a side handle, but no handle, so i made one out of a bolt, wood, an old handlebar grip, and some JB Weld.

I'd like to make a better repair on the power cord someday. The outer jacket came apart right at the end by the handle. But the wires and their jackets were fine. Each end was too bulky to fit shrink wrap over it. I did a lot of searching, but only found various products that are basically electrical tape. So I wrapped it in electrical tape, and tied that off with some stainless wire to keep it from unwrapping. Hopefully, I'll come up with a better solution in the future.

Other than the power cord, I think the restoration is pretty good. Considering I don't really know what I'm doing. :)
 

rebelrider.mike

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May 25, 2017
Messages
382
Revisiting that electric screwdriver. This time, it's getting 18650ed. The problem is the NiCd cells keep self-discharging over times of disuse. As NiCds normally do. But it takes hours to charge them back up, and I want to be able to pick the darn thing up and just use it real quick.

So the obvious answer is Li-Ion! Just so happens that 3 NiCd cells in series is almost exactly the same Voltage range as a single Li-Ion. Or a single series of them. Anyway, I bought 6 brand new 20A cells a while back, and used 5 of them on a cordless drill I got at Good Will. But that's for an other post. The extra cell is for this guy.


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The motor in this screwdriver has always been satisfactory for me, but the cells just don't last. A 20A 18650 should be more than adequate to provide whatever the motor wants. And I think it has more than twice the capacity of the original AA cells, which are long gone now.


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I've also replaced the charging socket with one that is a match to my iMax charging cable. In the future, I could also make an adapter for a TP4056 board. Not sure what I want to do yet.

But a lot of internal structure had to be removed to make room for the new cell. It's a tight fit, but it works. :)


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The original charging brick, also long gone, was just a 120VAC to 4.5VAC transformer. A single diode rectified the current to the old cells. Shame on you Black & Decker for such a cheap system. I bet they could've fit a full wave rectifier and a capacitor in there for about the same price, and cut the charging time in half.

Anyway, no fancy electronics to adapt. And it works perfect. Even at only 3.2V. Gotta go put it on the charger though. :)


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Now I can get back to the other drill. The one from Good Will with the bad battery and no charger.


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rebelrider.mike

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This one doesn't have a happy ending, so I understand if y'all don't want to watch it:

However, since the stator is dead, I wonder if I could remove it and do something else with the aluminum housing. For example, replace the stator with magnets and make a motor or generator? Maybe you all have other ideas?
 

Wayne's World

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Jan 28, 2020
Messages
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Nice work Mike. I'm also regularly in the workshop fixing, modifying and improving stuff! I never thought to document and post anywhere. Its nice though, to share and have others comment, and learn from your work.

I have a Abbott and Ashby bench grinder with a wire wheel. My neighbour has commented that it is the most used tool on my bench - and i think he's right lol. All of the guards have somehow gone missing!

I recently upgraded from my grandfathers tiny bench vice to a new Supercheap angled vice and replaced the jaws with aluminium stock. They get damaged easy but grip really well and cheap enough to replace when needed. Being a cheapo, the thread binds a little, so I'll have to address that one day.

Hmm. Maybe i should start my own thread?!? Keep up the good work bro!
 

stevelectric

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Nov 2, 2018
Messages
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I recently fixed our cordless vacuum cleaner with a couple of brand new 18650 cells. The old ones had lost about two thirds of their original capacity (thus going to the recycler and not into my powerwall). Now it is strong enough to do the whole apartment on full throttle :D
 

Wayne's World

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stevelectric said:
I recently fixed our cordless vacuum cleaner with a couple of brand new 18650 cells. The old ones had lost about two thirds of their original capacity (thus going to the recycler and not into my powerwall). Now it is strong enough to do the whole apartment on full throttle :D
I'm eyeing off everything in the house to see what I can supercharge or rather... What can I 18650?

Bosch drills - Already 18650. DOH.
Dremel - 240v. DOH.
UPS - WINNER!

I made my own 3S pack with 21700s for my Gel Blaster.
 

Korishan

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The UPS will probably run just fine with 4s. The charge voltage of the UPS would be about 3.8V/cell. If you use go with 3s, the max you could have at full charge would be 12.6V, which the UPS may think is half full and may keep triggering shutdown.
 

Wayne's World

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Korishan said:
The UPS will probably run just fine with 4s. The charge voltage of the UPS would be about 3.8V/cell. If you use go with 3s, the max you could have at full charge would be 12.6V, which the UPS may think is half full and may keep triggering shutdown.
Except that its a 36v UPS, so 10S. I've done the charge and discharge tests using standard SLA to work out voltages. See my projects thread. I'm still in the process cycling cells and waiting for parts to be delivered to get the build under way. I'm thinking I'll use my lower capacity cells 1.3~2.0AH and keep my 2.5~3AH cells for larger projects like the end game power wall.
 

Crimp Daddy

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Feb 21, 2018
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Wayne's World, you may already know this, and if you do it would be for the benefit of others.

Its a nice assortment of chargers, but please keep in mind when it comes to bulk cell processing... it would be best to use the same charger to process all that cells for that specific project.

Consistency matters, not the accuracy. Various brands have a tendency to meter differently, which means the values you write on the cells are not as relevant as ones that would be processed all using the same.

As for your wish list, the 4010 is awesome, but I would pass on the iMax B6. From what I have seen there are other inexpensive chargers that would be a better buy. I say this from the standpoint that I see a others having problems and its also a product that counterfeited often.

You should meet your wish list in the middle with a $100 4 button iCharger like the 106B or 206B, or the newer X6. While I own the 4010, it's a luxury item, not a necessity considering their other single channel models can pretty much do the same thing. Having one of good quality is a valuable tool.
 

Wayne's World

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Yeah mate, we've had this discussion elsewhere. I've had the D4 for a couple years and use it just to precharge as I only have the one 500 atm. I ordered the B6AC Monday and it arrived today. I did my homework, and it is a genuine. I would have been happy with the DC version, but no stock. This one was a reasonable price locally. Its use will be mainly for small packs such as tool batteries. As I've mentioned I've got 5x500 on the way and I wanted the 500s purely for 0v recover - just to see if I can. Stock of the 4010 is a couple weeks away. Yes, a luxury, but will do everything I will want in the foreseeable future.
 

kc8adu

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May 22, 2019
Messages
104
i have rebuilt most of my power tools and flashlights with li-ion.
esp the black & decker versapak system.
most of my packs now have either tesla model 3 salvage cells or for higher demand stuff molicel p42a.
a tesla 2170 also works well in an isotip iron.
of course you need a charger but its cheap and easy with tp4056 boards.
i just gut the base and add 2 tp4056 and a red/green led per channel.
the isotip gets one in the tail replacing the charging pins.
converted a 70's phillips iron that takes isotip tips the same way.
it can still charge in its holster.
it has a usb rather than a wallwart now.

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