You can turn any cordless drill into a makeshift battery charger in just a few minutes. It is capable of charging both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, and this is one resource that everyone should have at their disposal if the SHTF. You can use this trick on any kind of battery with the exception of lithium ion packs, and smaller batteries only take a few minutes to fully charge.
Putting the Charger Together
You will need four alligator clips and corresponding wires, a pliers, some electrical tape and a battery terminal. The first step is to attach the alligator clips to the wires. You will need one clip for each end of a red and black wire that are at least six inches long. You may be able to purchase wires with dual clips already attached, however, making the connections yourself is very easy. Simply pull the insulation from the ends of the wires, place into the alligator slip sheath and then crimp. Seal the connections with electrical tape. You can also use a soldering iron as well, but it is not completely necessary.
The next step is to clip one end of the wires to the corresponding wires extending from the battery terminals. Remove a bit of the insulation from the ends of the wires if not already exposed before attaching the clips. Secure the connection with electrical tape as well. Finally, attach the other clips to the corresponding terminals inside the drill. In most cases, all that you need to do is remove the cover and battery from the drill and affix the clips to the upper end of the housing.
You will also need to fashion a crank that you can feed into the drill and turn with your hand efficiently. The friction that is generated through the cranking motion will create an electrical charge that will pass through the drill’s power system and then into the battery terminal. Finally, you want to clamp down the drill to a workbench or table to secure it in place. However, you can also use your free hand to hold the drill as you crank with the other.
Depending on the quality of the drill, small batteries can be charged in just a few cranks. However, it may take a few minutes to a couple of hours to charge up larger C or D batteries. You can charge almost any other kind of battery as long as you can continually crank the drill. Fortunately, the resistance from the drill crank is not difficult to overcome, and it doesn’t take a lot of strength to use this method.
But, you may want to work with someone else to take over when your arms get tired. Remember that applying consistent cranking will speed up the process. This may not be the most effective way to charge a battery, but in an emergency situation this is one of those things you will be glad to have at your disposal if no other options are available.