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.
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.
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.
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!
Presumably your method for getting into sonic welded cases differs from mine - which does not result in a case that goes back together.
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.
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.
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.
(Hand raised in air)
Originally Posted by ic-racer
I'm one of those...
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?
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.