Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

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Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Lawrence Rhodes
Some might think this is OT but I disagree.  It has an electric motor and
totally powered by battery power.  It even has a charger.  Anyway since we have
a lot of smart people here I'm almost sure someone has rebuilt their NiCad
Battery pack using NiMH sub c cell units.  Sub C is the standard for
rechargeable drills but the NiMH battery is better than NiCad.  I've heard of
some people having good luck using NiMH(I've had great luck using them for bike
lights) and the charger has a close enough charging algorithm that it doesn't
destroy the batteries.  What I'm trying to find out is if the different AH
capacity of the NiMH battery up to 9.5 ah is for real or can you use only up to
about 3.3ah successfully?  Any info on how to do this would help me out as I'm
building up another project and need the cordless drill to work again.  Lawrence
Rhodes.....

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Cor van de Water
I tested one of the cells that claim 10Ah in I believe C size.
After about 2Ah it started to taper off...
So, I got original spec 2Ah sub-C cells instead of
trying the Lithium-density claiming Nickel technology cells...


Cor van de Water
Chief Scientist
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
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-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
Behalf Of Lawrence Rhodes
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 3:32 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: [EVDL] Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Some might think this is OT but I disagree.  It has an electric motor
and totally powered by battery power.  It even has a charger.  Anyway
since we have a lot of smart people here I'm almost sure someone has
rebuilt their NiCad Battery pack using NiMH sub c cell units.  Sub C is
the standard for rechargeable drills but the NiMH battery is better than
NiCad.  I've heard of some people having good luck using NiMH(I've had
great luck using them for bike
lights) and the charger has a close enough charging algorithm that it
doesn't destroy the batteries.  What I'm trying to find out is if the
different AH capacity of the NiMH battery up to 9.5 ah is for real or
can you use only up to about 3.3ah successfully?  Any info on how to do
this would help me out as I'm building up another project and need the
cordless drill to work again.  Lawrence Rhodes.....

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

EVDL Administrator
In reply to this post by Lawrence Rhodes
On 30 Apr 2012 at 15:31, Lawrence Rhodes wrote:

> Some might think this is OT but I disagree.  

Well, actually, it is OT - unless you build an EV powered by cordless
drills, which HAS been done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnL-N3bT9i4

> It has an electric motor and totally powered by battery power.  It even
> has a charger.  

OK, it's electric - but it's not a vehicle.  ;-)

> Sub C is the standard for rechargeable drills but the NiMH battery is
> better than NiCad.

Really?  That depends on how you define "better."

If you mean "higher capacity," that's probably true.  But if you mean
"longer lived and more durable," I'm not so sure.

I have several 18 year old NiCd AA size cells that still work (though I
admit I haven't tested their capacity lately).  These are Eveready brand
cells I bought in 1994 for 90% off original price from a drugstore that was
going out of business.  Early in their lives I charged them with the most
brain-dead, blunderbuss charger possible (no smarts whatsoever).  

However, I have a bunch of 8-10 year NiMH AAA cells, and they're almost all
junk.  That's true even though I treated them much better, charging them
with a smart charger their entire lives.  

Even as we speak I'm trying to use a reconditioning charger to resuscitate a
few old Energizer NiMH cells (1500 mah, IIRC) from about that era.  If it
succeeds, these will be the first old NiMH cells that I've been able to put
back to work.

To be fair, I also have some NiCd cells from the above ancient batch that
have sat for years in a box on a shelf, and have seeped electrolyte.  I
assume they're probably worthless.  (I don't discard them since at the
moment I don't have an environmentally responsible way to dispose of NiCd
cells.)  Still, I'd say that between one-third and one-half of my geriatric
NiCd cells are usable.

I also have a few early 1970s vintage NIFE brand flooded NiCd cells that I'm
going to try to get working one of these days, just for kicks.

David Roden
EVDL Administrator
http://www.evdl.org/


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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Lee Hart
Lawrence Rhodes wrote:
>> Sub C is the standard for rechargeable drills but the NiMH battery is
>> better than NiCad.
>
EVDL Administrator wrote:
> That depends on how you define "better". If you mean "higher capacity,"
> that's probably true.  But if you mean "longer lived and more durable,"
> I'm not so sure.

My experience has been similar to David's. Quality nicads can last a
very long time. I have some that are at least 20 years old and still
have most of their capacity. But I've also had off-brand consumer grade
nicads that failed after just a few years.

Early Saft, Varta, GE, and Eveready nicads were good. Later Sanyo and
Panasonic were also OK. Eveready switched to undersized cells in
cardboard sleeves; these cells were really terrible. It was also a scam,
as you were getting an AA cell in a C package, or a C cell in a D
package, etc.

The record for nimh has not been as good. I still have 2 good ones out
of the original 4 AA cells bought from Harding Think Tank in 1987. I
also have a fair number of A (not AA) cells from early laptop computer
packs; about half of them are still good at 10+years old. But most of
the other small nimh cells (Gold Peak, Radio Shack, and various off
brands) failed within a few years. The nimh cells also tend to have
higher internal resistance, and aren't very good for high drain
applications like electric drills.

I have a pack of GM Ovonic batteries made in 1996. They are about 75%
good, though there are considerable variations in performance between cells.

--
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls
and looks like work. -- Thomas A. Edison
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Jeffrey Jenkins
In reply to this post by EVDL Administrator
EVDL Administrator wrote
To be fair, I also have some NiCd cells from the above ancient batch that
have sat for years in a box on a shelf, and have seeped electrolyte.  I
assume they're probably worthless.  (I don't discard them since at the
moment I don't have an environmentally responsible way to dispose of NiCd
cells.)  Still, I'd say that between one-third and one-half of my geriatric
NiCd cells are usable.
Every Home Depot and Lowes in my area has a "battery recycling bin" which is usually located near the returns desk. I don't think they accept large batteries and/or flooded cell types but everything else is fair game.
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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

EVDL Administrator
On 1 May 2012 at 4:32, Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:

> Every Home Depot and Lowes in my area has a "battery recycling bin" which is
> usually located near the returns desk.

Thanks, but I quit trusting stores to recycle anything the day I saw the
closing-cleanup guys empty my grocery store's plastic bag recycling bin into
the trash can.

My county used to have a bustling household hazardous waste collection
point.  When it first opened, it accepted nearly anything.  I took some
ancient golf car batteries there - no sweat.  I handed them a big box full
of dead compact fluorescents - no problem.  They even recycled a dead 1980s
vintage monochrome computer monitor for me, and a pile of old ISA computer
cards.  

Over the years their county funding was cut repeatedly.  With each cut, they
reduced their hours of operation and the list of items they'd accept.  The
last year they were open, IIRC they operated 10am to 5pm two days a week.  
This year they probably won't open at all.

We still have a recycling center.  Technically, it's for the next county
over, but they don't check ID.  They accept lead batteries, but no other
types.  I've seen a few small NiCds left there from time to time, but I
wouldn't do that, for fear they'd throw them in the trash - tor the guys who
work there, it's just a job, not a mission.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Jay Summet
In reply to this post by Jeffrey Jenkins
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> Every Home Depot and Lowes in my area has a "battery recycling
> bin" which is usually located near the returns desk. I don't think
> they accept large batteries and/or flooded cell types but
> everything else is fair game.
>

Unfortunately, at least Lowes does not accept alkaline
(non-rechargeable) batteries, but they do accept NiCad, NiMH, and
LiIon rechargeable batteries.

If you have an Ikea they accept non-rechargeable batteries for recycling.

Jay
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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Lee Hart
In reply to this post by Jeffrey Jenkins
On 5/1/2012 6:32 AM, Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:
> Every Home Depot and Lowes in my area has a "battery recycling bin" which is
> usually located near the returns desk. I don't think they accept large
> batteries and/or flooded cell types but everything else is fair game.

Radio Shack has them in my area as well.

However, I was serious bummed out when I talked to a former employee. I
asked him where they sent these batteries to be recycled? He said, "we
waited until the customer left, and dumped them in the trash. It was
just a gimmick to get you in the store to buy more stuff."

--
First they ignore you; then they mock you; then they fight you; then you
win.
        -- Mahatma Gandhi
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Jeffrey Jenkins
In reply to this post by EVDL Administrator
EVDL Administrator wrote
On 1 May 2012 at 4:32, Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:

> Every Home Depot and Lowes in my area has a "battery recycling bin" which is
> usually located near the returns desk.

Thanks, but I quit trusting stores to recycle anything the day I saw the
closing-cleanup guys empty my grocery store's plastic bag recycling bin into
the trash can.

....
David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
Not exactly a syllogism because tossing batteries in the trash is illegal while throwing away plastic containers is not.

That said, how about Tri-County Computer & E-Waste Recycling?

http://tricountyrecycling.webs.com/ourservicearea.htm

Radio Shack also recycles batteries (and, IIRC, cellphones).

Or if you think paying to recycle batteries will get you better results (it would at least make economic sense from a business standpoint) then how about Battery Solution's mail-in battery recycling kit:

http://www.batteryrecycling.com/new+iRecycle+kits

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Lee Hart
On 5/1/2012 3:26 PM, Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:
> Not exactly a syllogism because tossing batteries in the trash is illegal
> while throwing away plastic containers is not.

Lead acid batteries are the only ones that you can't legally throw in
the dump here. Every other type can (and do) get thrown out with
everything else and buried in a landfill.

> That said, how about Tri-County Computer&  E-Waste Recycling?
> http://tricountyrecycling.webs.com/ourservicearea.htm
> Radio Shack also recycles batteries (and, IIRC, cellphones).

I don't trust them to actually do it.

> Or if you think paying to recycle batteries will get you better results (it
> would at least make economic sense from a business standpoint) then how
> about Battery Solution's mail-in battery recycling kit:
>
> http://www.batteryrecycling.com/new+iRecycle+kits

That's the sort of thing I'm after. I want to know they really are
recycling them, and not just pitching them in the dump.

--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
        -- Leonard Cohen, from "Anthem"
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Jeffrey Jenkins
Lee Hart wrote
Lead acid batteries are the only ones that you can't legally throw in
the dump here. Every other type can (and do) get thrown out with
everything else and buried in a landfill.
That may be true in Minnesota, but here in Florida it is certainly illegal to dispose of lead, nickel cadmium and mercuric oxide batteries in the "regular" trash. I'd guess that MN is the exception here, not the rule, but I'm not a lawyer nor do I even play one on TV... Unless I am mistaken, you aren't either.

Lee Hart wrote
> That said, how about Tri-County Computer&  E-Waste Recycling?
> http://tricountyrecycling.webs.com/ourservicearea.htm
> Radio Shack also recycles batteries (and, IIRC, cellphones).

I don't trust them to actually do it.
...
Well, that was a refreshing burst of pessimism. And I thought I was the resident Black Cloud of Doom...

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Lee Hart
On 5/1/2012 9:02 PM, Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:
Lee Hart wrote
>> Lead acid batteries are the only ones that you can't legally throw in
>> the dump here. Every other type can (and do) get thrown out with
>> everything else and buried in a landfill.
>
> That may be true in Minnesota, but here in Florida it is certainly illegal
> to dispose of lead, nickel cadmium and mercuric oxide batteries in the
> "regular" trash.

That's interesting. How do they enforce it? It's mighty hard to tell if
someone just throws their old batteries out with the garbage, isn't it?

What alternatives do they provide for normal people to dispose of their
old batteries? Lead-acids are easy, since pretty much anyone that sells
them also takes the old ones.  Plus, the lead in them is fairly valuable
-- most places *pay* for the old ones due to the high scrap value of lead.

But what about all the other types? Theoretically, the nickel in nimh
and nicad batteries is a lot more valuable than lead, so you'd think
they would be worth a lot as scrap. In practice, no one wants to touch
them. They are treated as deadly toxic waste, and you have to *pay*
someone to take them.

Even that would be OK, if they actually *did* recycle them properly. But
I've seen too many expose's where it was found that they weren't recycle
at all, but just dumped somewhere when no one was looking. Or, "recycle"
means thrown in containers and shipped to China or some 3rd world
country with the lowest possible environmental standards.

Please, convince me that there are honest recyclers that really *do*
recycle them in an environmentally friendly manner.

>> I don't trust them to actually do it.

> Well, that was a refreshing burst of pessimism. And I thought I was the
> resident Black Cloud of Doom...

I don't *want* to be pessimistic. But I need facts and objective data to
be convinced; not baseless "feel good" advertising. It's all too easy
for a Radio Shack or Home Depot etc. to claim they recycle: But whenever
I check, it appears that they do not.

Do *you* trust them without evidence? What do you *think* they'll do if
the cheapest thing is to just throw it all in the trash dumpster?

For instance, Waste Management (my trash hauler) has a horrible
environmental record. There have been dozens of criminal, antitrust, and
environmental lawsuits, resulting in over $100 million dollars in fines.
The evidence has shown that while they claim to be a "green" firm that
recycles, they have about the worst record in the industry and in fact
take anything and landfill just almost all of it.

Battery recycling is a necessary part of any major shifts to electric
vehicles. But right now, what happens to batteries other than lead-acid
is largely a dirty little secret in the USA.

--
Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever
has!    -- Margaret Mead
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

EVDL Administrator
On 1 May 2012 at 22:39, Lee Hart wrote:

> It's mighty hard to tell if someone just throws their old batteries out
> with the garbage, isn't it?

Yes, it is.  Some of the non-recycling is no doubt deliberate, but I've long
suspected that much of it is simple carelessness (as in "lacking care").  
Thousand or even millions of failed small rechargeable appliances, from hand
vacuums to toothbrushes, get chucked in the trash every year.  I'd bet that
close to 100% still have their (often NiCd) batteries inside.  

All such appliances are packaged with a warning on the carton, and in the
instruction manual, but how many people remember that 5 or 10 years later
when the gadget is worn out?

There is some good news, though.  The battery in an EV is so big that when
it's spent, it's worth decent money as scrap.  When something is worth a lot
as scrap, it's pretty reliably recycled.  Sometimes it's even recycled
before it's ready to be - just ask anyone who owns a house that used to have
copper gutters.

David Roden
EVDL Administrator
http://www.evdl.org/


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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Jeffrey Jenkins
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Lee Hart wrote
On 5/1/2012 9:02 PM, Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:
> That may be true in Minnesota, but here in Florida it is certainly illegal
> to dispose of lead, nickel cadmium and mercuric oxide batteries in the
> "regular" trash.

That's interesting. How do they enforce it? It's mighty hard to tell if
someone just throws their old batteries out with the garbage, isn't it?
Whether enforcement is practical or not is irrelevant, a red herring: either you dispose of batteries properly in the state of Florida or you break the law. That there are no practical consequences to breaking this law does not change the fact that it is still and always up to you to decide whether to break it or not.

That said, the best way to ensure compliance with a law is to make it economically attractive to comply. A great example of this is the removal of waste grease and oil from restaurants - it used to cost them money to have it hauled off, now they get *paid* for their waste grease as it is turned into biodiesel.

In a similar fashion, the aforementioned Battery Solutions has come up with clever ways to shred various types of batteries to recover the constituent elements.  

These are difficult problems complicated by huge logistical hurdles, but they are solvable. Not by carping or kvetching about the sorry state of affairs in the world, however.

Lee Hart wrote
--
Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever
has!    -- Margaret Mead
--
Oh, the irony!


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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Cal Frye
>> On 5/1/2012 9:02 PM, Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:
>>> That may be true in Minnesota, but here in Florida it is certainly
>>> illegal
>>> to dispose of lead, nickel cadmium and mercuric oxide batteries in the
>>> "regular" trash.

Are you sure there isn't a "homeowner's exemption" as exists in many
other states? Such exemption permits the average homeowner to dispose of
batteries, spent insecticide cans, spray paint, and many other hazardous
materials in the regular waste stream. The intent was to regulate
commercial disposal of such materials without applying the same
requirements on the average voter.

Lack of such an exemption sounds more typical of northern tree-hugging
states than Florida, I think.

--
Regards,
-- Cal Frye, www.calfrye.com

"The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the
gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal
allowance of time." Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Lee Hart
In reply to this post by Jeffrey Jenkins
Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:
> Whether enforcement is practical or not is irrelevant, a red herring: either
> you dispose of batteries properly in the state of Florida or you break the
> law. That there are no practical consequences to breaking this law does not
> change the fact that it is still and always up to you to decide whether to
> break it or not.

For all practical purposes, a law with no enforcement or consequences is
the same as no law at all. Virtually no one will obey it.

> That said, the best way to ensure compliance with a law is to make it
> economically attractive to comply.

I agree with that. Or, make the consequences for breaking the law worse
than for complying with it. Like a parking meter, where not putting a
quarter in the meter risks a $20 parking ticket. Most people will comply
because the consequences of not complying are worse.

> In a similar fashion, the aforementioned Battery Solutions has come up with
> clever ways to shred various types of batteries to recover the constituent
> elements.

That is fine. But isn't it reasonable to ask if they really *do* recycle
them, and that it isn't all just marketing doubletalk?

> These are difficult problems complicated by huge logistical hurdles, but
> they are solvable. Not by carping or kvetching about the sorry state of
> affairs in the world, however.

I think you misunderstand me.

I *do* recycle all my batteries, even though there is no law here that
says I have to. I take the lead-acid ones to Midwest Metals, which
breaks them up, separates the lead plates, acid, and plastics, and sends
each through its own reclamation process.

I used to take my other batteries to Radio Shack, until I found out that
they just throw them in the trash. I took one batch to Best Buy, but
then found that they did the same thing. At this point, I'm stuck. I
have about a cubic foot of bad batteries, and no idea what to do with
them. I can't even mail them to any proper recycler, because the Post
Office no longer allows them to be mailed (they're classified and
"hazardous waste"). I also have half a ton of nicad and nimh batteries
that aren't bad... but I have no idea what to do with them when they are!

If EVs are to succeed, we have to face the problem of recycling
batteries. Depending on unenforced laws, companies that claim to recycle
but don't, and people's good intentions won't work.

--
Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.
        -- R. Buckminster Fuller
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Cor van de Water
In reply to this post by Jeffrey Jenkins
 
Jeffrey Jenkins wrote:
>Whether enforcement is practical or not is irrelevant,
>a red herring: either you dispose of batteries properly
>in the state of Florida or you break the law.
>That there are no practical consequences to breaking this
>law does not change the fact that it is still and always
>up to you to decide whether to break it or not.

In theory that is true and in theory there is no difference
between theory and practice, but in practice there is...

If you want to see the practical consequences of no
enforcement I suggest you pay a visit to India or one of
the other countries where the police force is so overwhelmed
that their main task appears to be to help "push as much
traffic through the infrastructure bottlenecks as safely
as possible."

Which means that even if half the traffic runs red lights,
they won't lift a finger as long as you do it safely, which
means that you don't cause an accident or block the intersection.

In theory such behavior would not be possible without serious
consequences according to the law, but in practice...

Regards,

Cor van de Water
Chief Scientist
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: [hidden email]    Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water     XoIP: +31877841130
Tel: +1 408 383 7626        Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Morgan LaMoore
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Lee,

Hennepin County accepts most types of household hazardous waste from
residents, and they also have information about other recycling
options that may accept hazardous waste from non-residents.

Searching for "Cadmium" on their "A-Z How To Get Rid Of It Guide" lead me here:

http://www.hennepinatoz.org/azguide/item/30

That site also had a link to "Call2Recycle" which looks like it
recycles batteries across the country. I haven't done any research,
but it's worth looking at whether they are environmentally
responsible.

http://www.call2recycle.org/

-Morgan LaMoore

On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM, Lee Hart <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ...
> I *do* recycle all my batteries, even though there is no law here that
> says I have to. I take the lead-acid ones to Midwest Metals, which
> breaks them up, separates the lead plates, acid, and plastics, and sends
> each through its own reclamation process.
>
> I used to take my other batteries to Radio Shack, until I found out that
> they just throw them in the trash. I took one batch to Best Buy, but
> then found that they did the same thing. At this point, I'm stuck. I
> have about a cubic foot of bad batteries, and no idea what to do with
> them. I can't even mail them to any proper recycler, because the Post
> Office no longer allows them to be mailed (they're classified and
> "hazardous waste"). I also have half a ton of nicad and nimh batteries
> that aren't bad... but I have no idea what to do with them when they are!
> ...

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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

mark at evie-systems
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Lee, I sent you an private email, not sure if you sawre it.

~mark

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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
mark@evie-systems.com
"Delay is preferable to error", Thomas Jefferson.
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Re: Rebuilding a Ryobi cordless drill battery pack.

Lee Hart
On 5/4/2012 2:24 PM, mark wrote:
> Lee, I sent you an private email, not sure if you sawre it.

Hi Mark,

Yes, I certainly did get it. I've just been too busy to follow the link
and read it. But thanks for the thought! I should get a bit of time this
weekend to check it out.

--
Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever
has!    -- Margaret Mead
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net

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