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Timer for Battery Chargers

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Project by woodbutcherbynight posted 08-09-2016 02:02 AM 974 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For years I have used a timer box that my charger plugged into and that turned the whole works off and no more short charges. This has worked well but I only had one and I have more than one tool. Sure I have just switched the plugs and moved on but I wanted to not have to bother with it. So I bought a 10-60 minute charger online and some 120vt switches and made an all in one unit. One timer, three switches to turn on three plugs. Timer goes off, system is shut down no matter how many chargers are in use.

Why bother at all? One of the biggest complaints you get about cordless tools is the battery life. Batteries are affected by temperature, humidity, overheating from heavy use,and of course how many times they have been charged. A friend of mine works for Streamlight and he informed me they expect a battery to have about 1000 charges before the enviable spiral to death. Oddly to satisfy customer demand for fully charged batteries all the time the manufactures have made the chargers to maintain a battery if left plugged into the charger and it is plugged in to house power. I did a small test and found my flashlight charger came on and off 3 times in one day. That adds up over the course of one year.

Maybe useful for you, maybe not. Either way this is my solution. Overall cost was about $20 and a few hours one night to make two boxes. Basic electrical skills and even more basic carpentry skills as I only had to make a baseplate to mount it all to.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.





10 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#1 posted 08-09-2016 03:45 AM

Simple and efficient!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JPJ's profile

JPJ

814 posts in 2079 days


#2 posted 08-09-2016 04:13 AM

Great idea!

View muesli's profile

muesli

231 posts in 968 days


#3 posted 08-09-2016 07:17 AM

To me it seems to be a very good idea too!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1936 posts in 1448 days


#4 posted 08-09-2016 10:57 AM

Good idea….Will have to copy it.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

815 posts in 682 days


#5 posted 08-09-2016 02:25 PM

I did some testing and found that aside from Wood Butchers ideas, you can actually save some $$ on electricity with a device like this.

Most chargers only need an hour or less to charge a battery and then they run a maintenance charge to keep it topped off. Some metering showed me that the chargers have a small, but real power consumption even when only keeping the batteries topped. Having a charger that is powered up for one hour a day via a timer can save enough money over the course of a year to more than pay for the timers cost. The battery never goes more than a day without being topped off.

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5042 posts in 2607 days


#6 posted 08-10-2016 12:26 AM

This is a great idea!

I’ve thought about how to set up a system like this, but have never found a good electrical countdown timer. Your bathroom fan timer looks like the solution I hadn’t thought of.

However, in my case, some of my drill batteries need 3 hours of charging, and my cordless leaf blower battery needs 5 hours. I know that these are old batteries by today’s standards, but they still work fine for me. I’ll keep looking for a 3 and 5 hour timer!

-- Dean

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2414 posts in 1869 days


#7 posted 08-10-2016 02:55 AM

Same company makes timers with longer duration


This is a great idea!

I ve thought about how to set up a system like this, but have never found a good electrical countdown timer. Your bathroom fan timer looks like the solution I hadn t thought of.

However, in my case, some of my drill batteries need 3 hours of charging, and my cordless leaf blower battery needs 5 hours. I know that these are old batteries by today s standards, but they still work fine for me. I ll keep looking for a 3 and 5 hour timer!

- Mean_Dean

Same company makes timers with longer duration

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View hoss12992's profile

hoss12992

3831 posts in 1353 days


#8 posted 08-10-2016 05:30 PM

That’s a great ideal. Love it

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

View Bill1974's profile

Bill1974

110 posts in 2445 days


#9 posted 08-12-2016 08:10 PM

I do similar. But I took a Wi-Fi smart plug and a power strip to turn all the chargers on and off.

I used this http://www.homedepot.com/p/TP-LINK-Wi-Fi-Smart-Plug-HS100/206683916

I can manually turn it on and then have it shut off at a set time. So most of the time it is off. This model also has power monitoring. If you have intelligent changes that reduce their power draw once the batter is changed you can see the difference and turn them off sooner if you monitor it. I am guessing you could use IFTTT to turn off when the power consumption drops to below a set value or drops a percentage. I have to many projects to add that one on.

I can also schedule it turn on once a week or month or when ever to top things off. I rarely do this as I have enough batteries that is one dies I have a back up. Rarely do I kill a battery faster than I can charge one. Rodgod cordless ROS is the only one that I can do this on. But is vibrates so much and usually I use a ROS with a shop vac attached so a cord is not usually the issue

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2414 posts in 1869 days


#10 posted 09-09-2016 02:03 AM

I did consider that smartplug option just never got one and experimented with it.

Since making this and having people come over and see it, ask about it, I have more than paid for my investment in the 12 that I have been asked, and paid to make. Largest one had 12 switches. Looked like something that belonged in an airplane. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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