Fixing my Racal Airlite Powered Respirator Batter Pack

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Forum topic by rizay posted 02-28-2011 01:33 PM 4862 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 3113 days

02-28-2011 01:33 PM

I have an old Racal Airlite powered respirator face shield. The batter pack wouldn’t hold a charge for very long. I searched online for a new pack with no luck. They stopped making these a long time ago. But since it still is a good shape and I don’t want to spend the $$ for a new model, I decided to rebuild the battery.

On this unit, the battery pack slides inside the top of the face shield. I removed the pack from the helmet. I carefuly removed the plastic cover off the top of the pack to reveal the cells. There where 3 cells inside. They are the same diameter as a standard AA battery but slightly longer. I got my multi meter out and tested the voltage. It read 2.4 volts. I searched online for 3 replacement cells. However, not knowing what they are called and the fact that the cells didn’t have any writing on them, I decided to use 2 AA type batteries.

Since I need to charge the new batteries in a standard 1 hour charger, I didn’t want to put them into the Racal battery pack. Then I would have to remove them from the pack when I need a charge. So I decided to make my own. I rummaged through my junk for about an hour. I looked through my son’s old toys for something that used 2 AA batteries. Finally I found an old plastic flashlight that used 2 AA’s.

I took the flashlight apart. I removed the lens and bulb. I ran two wires through the bulb hole in the reflector. I soldered on wire on the two contact points on the back of the reflector, added batteries, and replaced the top of the flashlight. I drilled a hole along the edge of the lens for the wires to stick out. I replaced the lens allowing the wires to pass through using the hole.

I then went back to my junk pile and found a headphone jack and plug (at least that is what I think they are). I soldered the jack to my leads on my flashlight battery pack. The plug I soldered to a 3’ length of wire. Then I soldered the other end of this wire to the two connection points on the blower fan on the Racal. I flipped the switch on the flashlight and it fired right up.

I then took an old hacksaw blade and ground the shape teeth off. I bent it in half and made a belt clip similar to one on a tape measure. I put it on the flashlight and made a few more bends so it fit the curve of the light nicely. I added some CA glue and I was off to the shop.

I used it for about 6 hours yesterday and it was still running strong. I’ll keep using the batteries until they are completely dead just to get an idea how long they last. I found that the clip works well but I have just been placing the batter pack in the back pocket of my turning smock.


-- Come visit me at WoodChux and see my work, get free woodworking plans, and find the lowest priced bottle stopper kits around.

2 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3739 days

#1 posted 03-14-2011 01:13 AM

An interesting solution. How do the batteries hold up?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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73 posts in 3113 days

#2 posted 03-14-2011 11:55 AM

Surprisingly well. I have 8 hours on them right now and they are still going strong. I thought that they would be drained by the cold, but not so far.

-- Come visit me at WoodChux and see my work, get free woodworking plans, and find the lowest priced bottle stopper kits around.

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