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Old 05-18-2010, 12:22 AM   #21
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Some of my NiCd C3 batteries have died this year, but I've had them for well over 10 years and haven't taken good care of them (e.g. I left them discharged for long periods, which normally leads to reverse charging of some of the cells, which is not good). My newer ones are doing fine.
I'd be very happy to get the full number of advertised cycles out of any rechargeable, but in the real world I think other factors normally conspire to kill these batteries long before they attain the advertised number of cycles.
10 years for C3? I thought "C3" described Sears 19.2 volt battery system. They've only been out a few years, right?

About the NiCad cell reversal - If you can take a battery pack apart and identify a reversed cell, you can probably fix it. Learned this trick in the 1970's. Put a voltage source with some current capability across the cell, in the polarity it is supposed to be. Just a quick tap. Then check with voltmeter to see if it has changed to proper polarity. If not, hit it again. If so, then go ahead and charge the battery pack. Another complete discharge may or may not reverse it again, but if you avoid total discharge, it should stay right-side-up.

For a voltage source, a current-limited power supply is real nice, but a 6v or 12 volt battery and wire will do.

I had an old Craftsman Industrial 12 volt drill I had for a long long time. One battery pack declined to little run time. Took it apart hoping to find a reversed cell. But instead, all of the cells in the string had proper polarity, but different voltages. I think their internal resistance had just gone up... old age.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:14 AM   #22
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I solved the problem! I tossed the thing in the dumpster and bought a Stihl 2-cycle trimmer! This is the 5th growing season, and it starts and runs just as fine as the day I bought it! Cost of the Stihl was about $170.
I had the same experience and solved it the same way but with an Echo (Ford vs. Chevy...) about 15 years ago. The thing still starts on the first or second pull of the rope. I use Stabil in the fuel and drain the tank and run it dry at the end of the season. It shows signs of outlasting me.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #23
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10 years for C3? I thought "C3" described Sears 19.2 volt battery system. They've only been out a few years, right?
I don't know how long the "C3" nomenclature has been in use, but the Craftsman 19.2V tools have been on the market for at least 10 years. Most of the 19.2V tools are actually manufactured by TTI, the same company that makes Ryobi cordless tools. I've read that the Sears Craftsman tools use the same bearings, switches, motors, etc as the Ryobi 18V tools, but I've not confirmed this.

I've never taken one of the Sears batteries apart, but I've thought about it. It would seem likely they just use some type of standard NiCd 1.2V cells (AA?) and that I could solder up a new battery of these cells and be back in business for far less than the cost of a new battery. I wouldn't even bother to test the old cells--after many years of not-so-good care, they are probably all near death.

I own a couple of the Sears chargers, and I believe they all overcharge the batteries if they are left in the charger for prolonged periods (the batteries are warm to the touch no matter how long they are left in position). I've thought about putting them on a regular outlet timer so they only get AC current for 15 minutes per day, which would keep the NiCds at full charge without "baking" them. For the Li-ion: Just keep it in the tool, then charge it for 30-45 minutes or so when it gets low.

For tinkerers: the cadmium in Ni-Cd cells is very bad for people and the environment. Wear gloves when handling compromised cells, and a respirator if there is Cd dust. Never throw dead cells in the trash, take them to be recycled (most big-box hardware stores have a recycling drop-off point for NiCd batteries).
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:34 PM   #24
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I don't know how long the "C3" nomenclature has been in use, but the Craftsman 19.2V tools have been on the market for at least 10 years. Most of the 19.2V tools are actually manufactured by TTI, the same company that makes Ryobi cordless tools. I've read that the Sears Craftsman tools use the same bearings, switches, motors, etc as the Ryobi 18V tools, but I've not confirmed this.

I've never taken one of the Sears batteries apart, but I've thought about it. It would seem likely they just use some type of standard NiCd 1.2V cells (AA?) and that I could solder up a new battery of these cells and be back in business for far less than the cost of a new battery. I wouldn't even bother to test the old cells--after many years of not-so-good care, they are probably all near death.

I own a couple of the Sears chargers, and I believe they all overcharge the batteries if they are left in the charger for prolonged periods (the batteries are warm to the touch no matter how long they are left in position). I've thought about putting them on a regular outlet timer so they only get AC current for 15 minutes per day, which would keep the NiCds at full charge without "baking" them. For the Li-ion: Just keep it in the tool, then charge it for 30-45 minutes or so when it gets low.

For tinkerers: the cadmium in Ni-Cd cells is very bad for people and the environment. Wear gloves when handling compromised cells, and a respirator if there is Cd dust. Never throw dead cells in the trash, take them to be recycled (most big-box hardware stores have a recycling drop-off point for NiCd batteries).
I believe the new 4 port multi charger is supposed to have a sleep cycle to not overcharge.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...5&blockType=G5


I don't own this as I have the older chargers (a nicad with my hammer drill and a li-ion charger that charges one battery at a time)
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:13 PM   #25
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I use Stabil in the fuel and drain the tank and run it dry at the end of the season.
What do you do with the leftover gas? This is the problem that I have. You can't put it in your car, and even with the Stabil, you probably don't want to use it after six months or so. I buy a gallon at a time, but still have some left over, which the local gas station lets me dump in one of there waste barrels.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:16 PM   #26
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Drop in a couple of Beano - it gets rid of gas.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:09 PM   #27
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What do you do with the leftover gas?
That is one of the small advantages of the 4-stroke engines--you can put the fuel into your car or somewhere else at the end of the season. Plus, the 4-strokes are less noisy and smokey (but pricier and less power/pound).

It's not especially environmentally responsible, but if you can't find someone to take the leftover fuel/oil mix, maybe the safest thing to do is probably to leave it outside in a pan with a screen over it so it can evaporate. I'd think whatever oil remains could go to the auto parts store for "recycling" with other motor oil. (PS--it doesn't get recycled, just burned to make heat).
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:45 PM   #28
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I have the Craftsman 19.2v C3 line also. The vacuum cleaners do not work very well - they cant suck up anything bigger than dust. So I am wary about battery powered trimmers having enough oomph to go through thick grass. I have a 2 cycle Stihl with string and brush blade attachments
You cannot beat a Stihl.
The first weedeater lasted 15 years.
I still have the 15 year old chain saw.
Bought a new Stihl that can handle numerous attachments.
The cultivator is a work horse and the hedge trimmer attachment saves a lot of time when used to cut weeds.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:45 PM   #29
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....I use Stabil in the fuel and drain the tank and run it dry at the end of the season. It shows signs of outlasting me.
Yep, same here! I keep a few 5-gallon gas cans around year-round for all of the various pieces of equipment I have....lawn mowers, trimmer, chipper/shreader, generator, snow-blower, etc. The first thing I do when I arrive home with a freshly filled gas can, is to add Stabil to it. I'm currently using up the last can of gasoline from last Spring (didn't use too much this past winter for the snow-blower).

At the end of the season I add just a smidge more Stabil to the fuel tank on the equipment that is being decommissioned for a few months, and then run 'em dry! Then at the beginning of it's new season, I refill the tank and everything starts right up.....1st or 2nd pull of the cord....every time.

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What do you do with the leftover gas? This is the problem that I have. You can't put it in your car, and even with the Stabil, you probably don't want to use it after six months or so. I buy a gallon at a time, but still have some left over, which the local gas station lets me dump in one of there waste barrels.
For the gas mix used in my 2-strokers, I just drain it and use it in the next season's 2-strokers. In other words, I drain the weed trimmer, and use that fuel in my snow-blower. At the end of the next season, I reverse it....fuel from snow-blower goes into the Stihl tiller or weed trimmer. (I only mix the 2-stroke fuel one gallon at a time, since I don't use a lot of it.)
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:47 AM   #30
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What do you do with the leftover gas? This is the problem that I have. You can't put it in your car, and even with the Stabil, you probably don't want to use it after six months or so. I buy a gallon at a time, but still have some left over, which the local gas station lets me dump in one of there waste barrels.
I just keep it in the can and use it the next year. Toward the end of the season I start double-dosing the Stabil, they claim the fuel will last two years that way and it seems to be true. No problems yet.
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:50 AM   #31
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Stabil is an amazing product. I add it to the gas in all my yard equipment, always use it as an additive in the atv and pontoon boat, and keep it in the corvette through the winter. I had some carb issues in the atv a few years ago and the dealer said to run stabil with the gas at all times. It runs a lot better now.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:42 PM   #32
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Thanks for all the great feedback. The area I'd be using the cordless trimmer on is rather small (only about fifty by three feet). Here's a youtube video of the future C3 trimmer and a link to the Ryobi model. I've heard Sears should have the trimmer maybe by memorial day -- but we'll see.




Ryobi 18 Volt Lithium String Trimmer - P2002 at The Home Depot

Just a followup. Well, I ended up going with the Ryobi (The Sears/Craftsman one has trouble keeping them stocked in stores). Just bought it a couple of days ago. After a first run, there is plenty of juice and power for my needs. The trigger/handle takes a little getting used to. Other than that, works great for me -- don't need to fool around with a cord and I can think about other compatible tools that match the battery.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:44 AM   #33
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easysurfer,
Out of curiosity, will the Sears 19.2V batteries fit into the Ryobi 18V tool? The connection looks similar, but I haven't yet taken a Sears battery to Home Depot to try it out on a Ryobi tool.
The same company makes many of the Sears 19.2V tools and the Ryobi tools.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:03 AM   #34
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Concerning the leftover gas thing. On Saturday I got a five-gallon "safety" gas can at a garage sale. Now, I can stockpile any leftover gas, and save trips to the gas station dump site.

Thanks for the double-dose tip -- I'll try that. But I'm very protective of my Stihl saw, and don't want to take any chances.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:27 AM   #35
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easysurfer,
Out of curiosity, will the Sears 19.2V batteries fit into the Ryobi 18V tool? The connection looks similar, but I haven't yet taken a Sears battery to Home Depot to try it out on a Ryobi tool.
The same company makes many of the Sears 19.2V tools and the Ryobi tools.

The Sears batteries defiintely do not fit into the Ryobi. On the stem of the battery that plugs into the tools on the Ryobi there are contact points on the side whereas on the Sears the contacts are on the top of the stem. Just for kicks, I put the Ryobi battery in a Sears tool and they don't even align right.

I'm sure it's a proprietary thing. Seems the money making part of the tool lines are the batteries and chargers and they must think incompatibilty means more profit.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:33 AM   #36
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The Sears batteries defiintely do not fit into the Ryobi. On the stem of the battery that plugs into the tools on the Ryobi there are contact points on the side whereas on the Sears the contacts are on the top of the stem. Just for kicks, I put the Ryobi battery in a Sears tool and they don't even align right.

I'm sure it's a proprietary thing. Seems the money making part of the tool lines are the batteries and chargers and they must think incompatibilty means more profit.
Dang. Thanks for trying.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:39 AM   #37
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Samclem,

Yeah. It would be great if they fit. I wrestled with the decision whether to stay with one battery line or have two. I decided the flexibility of two outweighed the simplicity of one. Though essentially, Craftsman and Ryobi tools are made by the same manufacturer, each brand carries some tools that the other doesn't have. Plus, the battery that came with the Ryobi trimmer I bought is Lithium whereas the Craftsman was only Ni-cad.
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