rebuilt battery packs?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Brad Bireley, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Brad Bireley

    Brad Bireley Subscriber

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    Is there a need for rebuilt battery packs for cameras & camera equipment?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, for professional flash units like Norman (particularly for the older battery systems), battery powered movie cameras like Beaulieu (I've got one, and you can find them all the time on eBay), and for sealed Ni-Cd packs for motor drives, like some of the ones made by Canon (eventually, I just sold mine so someone else could rebuild it and bought one that takes regular AAs). I think the Hasselblad EL/M also has a sealed battery pack for which one sometimes sees rebuilds.
     
  3. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Yes there is a need for them, esp the older equipment.

    When rebuilding a battery-pack I would replace the old NiCad's with NiMh however, because they have no memory effect and therefore last longer.
    I will be rebuilding a battery pack for one of my cordless drils when I am back in Holland again.

    Peter
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I had a battery rebuilt for my Panasonic Ironman drill, it works like a charm now. It's less than a new battery but not dirt cheap either. I have two more to go. Cells are available on the net but getting the correct ones can be a challenge so I had mine done outside.
     
  5. Brad Bireley

    Brad Bireley Subscriber

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    The reason I ask is I do subcontracting work for a battery pack/ charger company. I have all of the equipment to rebuild packs & have been thinking of offering rebuilding battery packs for photo equipment if there is a demand for it.
     
  6. wclavey

    wclavey Member

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    Would you do photo battery packs only? I have several tools/devices that use battery packs that have gone dead, and could use a serivce where I send in the dead pack and get back a rebuilt one some time later. But it is not photo equipment - - most of my cameras do not even use batteries. Thanks.
     
  7. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    I agree with wclavey, battery-packs die, so there is a market for rebuild packs, whether that is for drills, little vacumcleaners or what ever....

    Peter
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I agree with others who have said there is a need. It's a niche market, but so is virtually any camera repair currently. You see somewhat narrowly focused (I don't mean that in a negative way) specialists with a national, if not international, market.

    One caveat however. Unless you are rebuilding with exactly the same cells, there might be characteristics beyond volts and mah (that's the extent of my knowledge) that need to be considered. I suspect it's not an issue with electromechanical items like a drill, but could be an issue with electronics. So some testing on your own equipment might be necessary.

    For example, I know someone (OK - it was me) who fried an electronic flash by using AA nicads instead of AA Alkalines.
     
  9. Brad Bireley

    Brad Bireley Subscriber

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    I think I'll have to start offering to rebuild photo related battery packs plus other packs.
     
  10. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Tell your local hardware stores that you are offering this service, hang notes in local supermarkets, maybe an add in a local paper and see what's comes out..........

    Peter
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's definitely a needed service. I've occasionally done it myself, once to rescue a laptop for which I could no longer get an affordable battery, but for some things it isn't worth the trouble of tracking down the batteries and figuring out how to disassemble the equipment, which is often sealed, so in the case of a cordless screwdriver I just tossed it, but if there had been someone who could recell it for, say, half the cost of a new screwdriver, I would have had it recelled.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Your prices would need to be fair as it's quite an easy DIY job if you know where to get the batteries. (As it happens that's very easy now when I'm in the UK, as there's a new specialist electronics store in the town).

    But it would be a useful service.

    Ian
     
  13. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have done work arounds as well. Small mod to the battery case on Metz 60 series flash generator, to allow me to use a gel cell meant for a UPS etc instead of the OEM dryfit. $20 vs $65.

    Braun flash from the 60's - there is no longer a vendor who make 4V wet cells. I needed 8V; I did find 2V spiral wound gel cells, and so now 4 of them live in a sub case that fits into the bottom of an 'overcase' that the original flash generator sits in.

    Take care with the NiMH is you are not replacing the charger, and it was NiCad. The Nicads had a need for slow charge rates. If you exhaust the NiMH, it could be days before theya are fully charged on a NiCad charger.
     
  14. Brad Bireley

    Brad Bireley Subscriber

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    I know how to get into the cases that are not closed with screws but sonic welded together. I also have access to all of the various protection devices. I also have a resistance hand welder to weld the connecting straps. My shop is all setup right now because I do assemble new battery packs now. Looks like I'm going to start something new!
     
  15. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Presumably your method for getting into sonic welded cases differs from mine - which does not result in a case that goes back together.

    FYI: http://www.batteryrebuild.com/index.phtml

    I was looking to get my Compaq M300 battery replaced and found them. But not many other places doing this. Doing some research, I found a lot of complaints about them - generally about turnaround time. I tried calling them a couple of times but at the time just got a message. Bottom line - I think there is a market for this.

    Is there a university near you? If so, lots of laptops. Put an ad in the school newspaper, online, whatever.

    As to photo gear, I'd say you're best market is equipment where new packs are no longer available. I.E. if I don't get the battery pack rebuilt, the equipment is worthless.

    As to drills, it might be hard to justify 2 way shipping cost for a battery. Batteries Plus rebuilds packs (or at least used to); you might want to look into their pricing for guidance.

    Google will get you to a vendor for almost any battery. But it won't weld the tabs and won't open and reseal sonic welded cases.
     
  16. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Aren't you all simplifying things? Battery packs need chargers. Current sophisticated chargers may serve different kinds of batteries.
    But this is not neccessarily the case for those chargers once going together with the original batteries. So, when upgrading (and this seems to be the meaning of rebuilding in this thread) a battery an upgraded charger would have to be come along with the pack.
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I rebuild my own packs, but there are many, many Rollei 6000 series users that need rebuilds. Rollei has been using the same battery design since the SLX came out in the late 70s.
     
  18. eddym

    eddym Member

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    (Hand raised in air)
    I'm one of those...
     
  19. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    I have an old Sunpack 611 that needs new batteries. I one used defiberaltor batteries and it worked fine for a few more years. Can you put NiMh batteries in it instead of NiCads? How much can you do it for and where do I send it if you can do it?
     
  20. Lightproof

    Lightproof Member

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    I know someone who makes his living with rebuilding battery packs. A standart job is affordable.
    When I also give him the charger with the dead battery pack, he is able to make the optimum selection for the "new" set of batteries.

    In most cases the new pack will outperform the previous one by hours.

    I would say yes, there is a strong demand. Speaking of consumer goods, the market of devices with non-replaceable batteries is growing. "They" don't want you to prolong the life circle of their by definition bad designs. You will be confronted with warranty issues ect.
    But more and more people are not willing to throw something away because of dead cell packs.
     
  21. wclavey

    wclavey Member

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    I absolutely agree. I refuse to let my personal economics be driven by the replacement cycle imposed by a manufacturer who changes the format by just enough every 2 years that the new replacements won't fit the old devices. I do not have the personal income to support that luxury.

    I do rebuild some battery packs and I have a fair number of them that are hot glued back together. But I am willing to pay for a fair market valued repair service - - I no longer have the time to indulge in all the stuf I once did.

    Please let us know how you proceed. Thanks.
     
  22. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I had an internet-based battery re-build outfit make a battery pack for a Rollei once and the cells they used were no-brand junk. I have never done that again. Now when I do it myself I select the proper Sanyo cells that work with the Rollei rapid charger.
     
  23. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    I appreciate NiMH for their economy and being less toxic, but of the packs I've made up replacing NiCDs, I have to admit that NiCD had better shelf charge life. Any new-style low self-discharge NiMH yet in the oddball sizes sometimes encountered (e.g. can you readily get NiMH in 1/3A and 4/3A)? Too, if a device originally came with a constant trickle charger for NiCads, this won't be very healthful for cycling NiMH. Any thoughts about charging solutions, splicing proprietary plugs into an adapter for Universal Smart chargers?