Tag Archives: BATTERY


#110 Reviving an old 100A 12v lead acid battery

After the first zap the battery was around 4V…

Why do some South Africans have to scrape the bottom of the barrel reconditioning old batteries?

Opening themselves up to potential health concerns and pollution of the environment?

Maybe I can explain.

We’ve had load shedding for years now and with the recent shenanigans for almost half a decade it’s got exponentially worse with even the ultra wealthy feeling it a bit.

You’d think these clever a wealthy men would have come up with a solution by now… but it’s seems as if they have either found a way to get comfortable or they just don’t care… As long as they are making money from their diabolical cadres and corrupt hand shakers why should they care? After all they can run their water, washing machine, stove and medical equipment because they either don’t get loadshedding in their public servant mansions or they have installed million rand solar systems using taxpayers monies it’s a win-win “we fail upwards in life”.

All this while endorsing terrorist activities blatantly with no recourse or accountability using South Africa’s past to manipulate the current population into submission for the “election year” the audacity is unbelievable.. but yeah with the 30% pass rate these guys have dumbed us down and are extremely comfortable in the current climate they have designed. They really set an honourable bar to pass. I could go on but this is article is about a battery.

Seems bleak and it’s hard to ignore or be patriotic and loving towards your county and fellow citizens when there’s so much negative energy being pumped in by the guys we are supposed to trust in looking after us.. giving our data to, trusting their banks… No wonder there’s so much crime and hate.. these guys flourish in it like bacteria fueled by glucose eating a tooth. Even when the tooth is rotten the bacteria continuous to eat and will.. if not treated get into the bloodstream infecting the entire body. The bacteria doesn’t take into consideration that in future it will die along with the tooth it just consumes indiscriminately.

With that being said lets get into battery reconditioning.

Recently I got hold of an old 12v lead acid 100A battery. This battery was bought 20 years ago and stored in a corner for a rainy day.

The battery was never charged and never used.

Upon inspection the battery was at around a measly 1.95V.. this did not look good but luckily I have a DC MIG/MMA welder and decided to use the good old crude welding trick on this big boy.

I removed the MIG setup and installed the stick clamp to the + terminal and the ground to the – terminal. see the photo.

Welder settings:

I set the welder volts to about 21V and the amps to around 25A. Make sure you are using a DC welder AC will NOT work.

Make sure you do this outside or in a well ventilated room. It’s VERY important.. battery acid is no joke to organic materials.

First I did 21v at 25A for 5 minutes then let the battery rest for a whole day to observe it.

Once I concluded it seemed like it was fine my formula was 21v at 25A for 5 minutes then a 10 minute cooldown in between.

I did this 6 times and measured the battery in between times.


cycle: 19.17 V
cycle: 29.50 V
cycle: 310.97 V
cycle: 411.41 V
cycle: 511.75 V
cycle: 611.77 V

Once this was done I let the battery rest for a day.

Battery at 9V

Now comes the patience part… The battery could hold a charge but ever so slightly would drain and it was supper thirsty.

So I setup a dumb charger at 5A and let the battery charge up for a few days checking intermittently.

Next I setup my recondition charger and let it do it’s thing for a week and what do you know the recondition charger reported great values.

However the battery was still thirsty so I switched back to the 5A dumb charger and let it run for another week..

Fast forward about 3 weeks of low current and recondition charging and the battery seems to be doing fine

Holding a rock solid 12.6V and running my LED lights.

So my conclusion is that it is possible to desulfate and recondition a 100A lead acid battery that has never been used. The initial welder zapping was only the start I needed at least 3 weeks after that to “recondition” the battery to a useable state and I still don’t know the long term potential issues.

It really was just a patience game and also don’t do anything like messing around with the acid weights.

I would still like to figure out how to balance acid and water plus all the battery chemistry stuff but for now this welder trick is good enough.


About a week later the battery began acting up again seems the internal resistance is high and there is a constant draw bringing the battery voltage down.

Overall I can say that this was a temporary solution and at the moment I don’t have all the fancy battery tools or chemistry knowledge to experiment further.

Also though the battery has issues it can still be somewhat used for low voltage applications now. So I guess I’ll view this as a feature instead of a bug 🙂 cheers


#108 Low current standby fix for IP5306 MH-CD42

BC547B NPN Transistor
IP5306 Module

Over the past few years I have been using the IP5306 chip and specifically the module shown in the image above.

The module is a great all in one solution for LiPo battery powered projects: charge, discharge, protection, 5v step up etc.

That being said there is 1 massively annoying caveat:

If the load current drops below 45mA during 32 seconds, the IP5306 will go into standby mode…

For low power battery operations this is simply unacceptable.. and I will not simply increase the current draw to keep it on.

There is an I2C version which allows us to change a few settings like standby mode in the IP5306 but for this fix I will focus on the “dumb version”.


An easy solution is to create a simple heartbeat circuit.

Since there is a button which will prevent the IC from going into standby mode, if pressed it will reset the *32 seconds 45mA* timer.

The module I have also has a solder pad where I can easily solder a wire to control this button via an MCU.

Using a *BC457 NPN* transistor we can create a simple switch to “press the button” at least once within the 32 seconds within a loop.

In this way we can constantly keep the module powered.


– NPN transistor (I used the BC547B)

– resistor (1k is fine)

– hookup wires


The Base connects to the resistor and then your MCU pin of choice.

Emitter gets connected to GND.

Collector gets solddered to the button pad.


Once everything is soldered and double checked you can then add the code for the heartbeat.

In this case I use the millis() function and a simple repeating timer all written in a sketch .ino


#93 why we need an emergency LED tube

While load shedding continues to plague the average south African citizen I noticed that some of the well off citizens were not that phased out with the power going off and water running dry. Upon further investigation I found out that “big surprise” they had proper solar infrastructure and water tanks coupled with the right political connections they don’t need to suffer for decisions made by people who bear no consequence if that decision flops.

There’s nothing new about the facts I mentioned above however it got me thinking about looking for cheaper efficient and longer lasting solutions using technology even if they are not ideal its better to have something rather than nothing… what a shameful thing I had to say taking into consideration its the 21st century and governments are still using their governmental privilege to mess things up without facing a tar a feather spectacle such a shame..

Well unfortunately I can’t control things on a national scale but I can make a review of some affordable LED lights and hopefully that can help someone make a well educated effective decision to mitigate some of the frustrations and pain.

While browsing Takealot I noticed some prices fluctuate quite often but if you keep a price you are willing to pay in mind you can create a sort of mental filter that helps. So for this article I decided to search for LED lights containing these parameters:

  • Affordable
  • Rechargeable
  • Li-po or li-ion
  • LED light
  • 5v to charge
  • Have an enclosure
  • Easy access and battery replacement
  • Decent circuit with charge protection
  • LED’s must not get too hot

I managed to find a product that came as a value pack (the so called emergency LED tube) and passed all my requirements. The product came as a value 3 pack of generic LED lights each light is about 32cm long and very light with magnetic discs.

I got mine at R210.00 for 3 emergency LED tubes that’s R70.00 for 1 so definitely affordable since I can’t get any 18650 battery for under R100.00 anywhere I have searched online in South Africa. I might just purchase these lights and harvest the battery in future just because it’s cheaper than purchasing the li-ion battery by itself.


The lights come with 1x unmarked 18650 battery and a charge controller chip with 1 button and a female micro USB port to allow charging via 5v

The button allows the light to function in 3 modes: bright, dim and strobe.

Even though the listing claims these lights are 18w when I tested them at a theoretical max of 4.2v (li-ion battery max) I only got around 10w and the LED strip got hot.

4.2v running at 10.4W though box claims 18w (LEDs super hot burns skin)
Mystery chip

A few cons I noticed are:

  • Solder wires soldered directly on to the 18650 battery
  • Cheap solder
  • Some joints were not soldered sturdily
  • Blue end caps can come off easily sometimes

All in all the lights did work out of the box however I touched up a few joints and glued one end of the blue cap just so it doesn’t come out when hanging the light via the plastic loop.

Once fully charged the light has lasted through 2-4 hours of loadshedding with a few hours of charge time.

Overall the light does its job and is affordable and the battery can be swapped or cascaded for longer lifetimes.

The only major concern I have it the lifespan of the LED chips and the mystery chip but only time will tell.

Blue wire was soldered to B+

Link to listing here.


#87 A DIY simple 18650 backup ups board

After setting up a CCTV system consisting of multiple WiFi cameras placed over my property I noticed that certain cameras were located in areas far away from AC outlets covered by my backup electrical system.

In this project I used some an old 18650 (LG makes the LGABD11865 ) from a laptop power supply. Also I upgraded my 5v charger to a 1.5A to provide enough charging and running current for the camera. The camera I am using is the EZVIZ C3W 1080p WiFi camera

Since Load-shedding has been increasing dramatically I had the need to find cheap simple and reliable power sources for there cameras (12v DC). One important requirement is that the backup system needs to fit into a small area E.G an electrical box on a pole where the camera is located.

While researching I came across the so called mini dc ups device mainly used for backing up WiFi routers at either 9v, 12v, 15v, 24v. however these devices seemed a bit overkill electronically wise and also price wise.

So I decided to opt-in on a cheaper smaller sized DIY version the components consisting of:

  • LiPo charger +DC-DC step-up module here
  • suitable PCB board here
  • 18650 li-ion battery holder here
  • 18650 battery 3500mah here
  • 5v cellphone charger micro-usb here

The components are all soldered onto a 50mm x 70mm 1 sided PCB board.

I noticed that the 4056 IC gets quite warm but doesn’t burn my fingers. The same goes for the coil. The specification is max 1A and the load I was applying was around 0.33mA – 0.670mA

After testing this particular LiPo charger PCB I noticed a few major problems the first being that the 8-pin 4056 LiPo chip is a copy of a copy… the next critical problem is that there is no protection circuitry besides the overcharge/discharge function in the 4056 chip.

This is a big problem since the chip does not switch off completely when low voltage occurs and as a result the load will periodically switch on and off unreliably before finally switching off completely. This oscillation can damage the load.

A solution will be to use a separate LiPo PCB with protection mosfets and a separate booster board.

A better solution
4056H PCB + protection mosfets and DW01-A
B6289Y (MT3608 booster)


#66 XH-M603 Battery Charge Module + Display

Charge controller board

The XH-M603 module is perfect for building a battery charging station, offering a range of protection features and easy to set min/max charging voltages. As soon as the desired battery float voltage is reached, the charging circuit is disconnected.

  • Input Voltage: DC 10-30V
  • Display Precision: 0.1V
  • Control Precision: 0.1V
  • Output Type: directly output
  • Voltage Tolerance: ±0.1V
  • Board Size: 82 x 58 x 18mm

Example of usage:

Plug into battery in order to power the pcb board.

Don’t connect the charge input yet…

Start charge setting (left button)

Press and hold the left button until the LCD starts flashing.

Now press to choose the desired voltage.

Leave the button until flashing stops and the chosen voltage will be set.

Stop charge setting (right button)

Press and hold the right button until the LCD starts flashing.

Now press to choose the desired voltage.

Leave the button until flashing stops and the chosen voltage will be set.

video example of usage