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How To Make Cordless Drill To Crank Charger

How To Make Cordless Drill To Crank Charger

See how you can use a cordless drill as a crank charger to recharge batteries, even alkalines!

Step 1: A Clever Idea

It's the holiday season and everybody knows what that means: lots of dead batteries. But, don't throw them out, recharge them. Here's how. A cordless drill can also be used as a generator.
Connecting the battery leads inside to a volt meter, and simply turning it, will show this.

Step 2: Obtain The Parts

All we need now is a voltage regulator. You'll find the perfect part inside a cheap, outdoor solar-powered garden lamp.
The battery holder inside has a circuit board attached, which charges the battery from the solar panel. This is exactly what we need.
The rest of the parts cost about $3.00 total, and include a C and D cell holder, some alligator clips, and a length of wire.

Step 3: Attach The Wire To The Circuit Board

Although I prefer to sauter them, you can attach the alligator clips by stripping about a quarter-inch of wire, and using a pair of pliers to firmly clamp them into place. Now, attach or sauter the other end of the wires to the red and black leads on the circuit board.

Step 4: Make The Hand Crank

I made a hand crank from bending a metal bar that attaches to the drill just like a regular bit. Now, the cordless drill will work just like a hand crank generator. Attach the alligator clips to the battery post and we're ready for testing.

Step 5: Test The Machine

Let's start with a completely dead NiCad battery. With only 30 seconds of cranking, it's already holding a charge.
But, what about non-rechargeable batteries? Here's a dead AA Alkaline battery. It only takes 10 cranks to bring this back to life.
For the final test, I took two D cell batteries and charged them for about 30 seconds each, then put them inside my two-cell MagLite flashlight. They lasted well over half an hour before needing another charge, which is a lot better than just throwing them out and buying new ones.
Have fun and thanks for watching!