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Old 02-08-2015, 04:58 PM   #1
rslaback
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Default Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

So I've wanted for a while now to dabble into the Ryobi line of 18v tools. They seem to have a homeowner tool for just about everything and since I am no longer in construction to put food on the table, that should suit me just fine.

Most of my power tools are Ridgid with the exception of a Dewalt jacket (conversion coming soon) and my Paslode impulse. Ridgid isn't what I would consider a professional brand but I am no longer a professional carpenter either. The problem with getting a few of the Ryobi tools is that I hate the idea of having multiple battery types to track and charge. For that reason, I begged a few dead Ryobi battery packs and made myself an adapter to use a Ridgid pack in a Ryobi tool.



Some caveats before we get started:

1. If you are fine with having multiple types of batteries and chargers, this project is not for you. Just buy the Ryobi batteries which are cheap enough and decent quality.

2. If you are interested in doing something like this and plan to use lithium packs make sure you are aware of the discharge protection circuitry. Lithium batteries must be protected from fully discharging. Some manufacturers have chosen to put the protection in the batteries like Ridgid and Ryobi while others have chosen to put it in the tool like Dewalt. Do not make an adapter to run a nonprotected battery (Dewalt for example) in a nonprotected tool like a Ryobi. The tool will work but it will completely discharge your battery and likely prevent it from ever recharging. You can probably put the protection circuitry from a donor tool or battery in your adapter but I haven't actually tried this as I have no need to.

3. This adapter should never be used for charging. Lithium cells are pretty specific to charge rates and voltages. Your charger should always be matched to your battery.

4. I did not want to modify the actual tool, nor the actual battery. I don't like the hacked together look it provides.

5. Yes I wish the adapter was more sleek. The reason it isn't is that Ryobi uses side spring latches to hold the pack in. The springs for these lock pieces go all the way to the bottom of the pack. I would've needed to completely re-engineer the springs in order to make the adapter shorter. At this point I didn't want to do that. I've seen guys that have forgone the latches and just used velcro to hold the adapter and pack on the base of the other tool. That looked more half-assed to me than the longer adapter.



The first thing that I did was to order part 270015155 from a Ridgid parts dealer. This part is the battery connector and switch for the 18V flashlight.



I didn't need the switch for obvious reasons and I wanted heavier gauge wire so I snipped off the leads to the connector.



Next it was time to rough out the piece to hold the Ridgid connector. This piece needed to be about the same thickness as the housing on the Ridgid tool. A piece of .100 lexan worked perfectly. I highly recommend Lexan instead of acrylic plexiglass if you do this. Lexan is much more resistant to shattering when cutting, drilling and flexing. Ridgid uses the battery connector as well as some slides on the side of the pack to hold the battery up. The battery is then held in position by two wedges built into the battery top. I needed a shape into which I could slide the connector, that would fit the top of the Ridgid battery and would have a catch for the retaining wedges. Something like this:



Next it was time to check if the connector fit.





And then mock it all up on the battery.



Now it was time to move on to the Ryobi pack. I used a Nicad pack so it was pretty simple inside. The final cell in the stalk of the pack held the 3 connectors: negative, positive and thermal switch.



The thermal switch is used to stop the charging of a Nicad pack. It isn't needed here so that lead is just clipped. Instead of trying to figure out a way to hold the plastic piece inside the stalk, I opted to leave it secured to that last cell and glue the cell in place inside the stalk. It worked well.

Manipulating the bottom of the Ryobi battery case came next. I needed the shape to fit the top of the Ridgid connector (the trapezoid) have the cut out for the retaining wedges and have that all located in roughly the correct spot.



It was a close fit with the screw placement in the housing but it did all fit.

Before going any further I double checked the fit.



Like I mentioned before I wanted some heavier gauge wire than the light application used. That meant I needed to cut some hunks of 10 AWG stranded wire,



desolder the factory wires from the Ridgid terminals



solder the larger capacity wires on the Ridgid terminals



and then solder the other ends onto the corresponding terminals on the top of the Ryobi cell.



It should be noted that even though the cell remains in place, it isn't doing anything. Both leads bypass the cell.

I fished the leads through the Lexan plate and then installed the connector. There weren't going to be a lot of durable methods of attaching the connector and the Lexan. I could've used an epoxy but I opted for rivets with backing washers instead.





After shoving the cell and Ryobi terminals up into the adapter stalk I squirted some super glue up to hold the cell in place.

Finally it was time to put it all together. I screwed the adapter pack halves together and then used pop rivets to hold the Lexan plate in place.









It works perfectly.



You may notice that the only thing holding the pack on vertically is the battery connector. I'm pretty confident that will be just fine, but if it does end up problematic then I'll have to figure out something to mate with the lateral slides in the battery.
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~Why is it that everyone can be an expert in education because they were a student but no one acts like an expert in automotive design because they are a driver?
~Interested in obtaining Ridgid cordless tools that are broken and/or orphaned.
~Wanted: Dead compact Ryobi 18V battery. Housing only needed.
~Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter build thread
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:09 PM   #2
deaddawg58
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Hey that turned out pretty good, glad the battery packs I sent worked for you.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:58 PM   #3
rslaback
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by deaddawg58 View Post
Hey that turned out pretty good, glad the battery packs I sent worked for you.
They worked great. Thanks again.
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~Why is it that everyone can be an expert in education because they were a student but no one acts like an expert in automotive design because they are a driver?
~Interested in obtaining Ridgid cordless tools that are broken and/or orphaned.
~Wanted: Dead compact Ryobi 18V battery. Housing only needed.
~Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter build thread
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Great job, subscribed and thanks for informing everyone that any DIY adapter projects need to be aware of the discharge protection circuitry that differs between brands.

I have a question about the cell that holds the thermal switch that was bypassed in your project. Could they have been separated? I would prefer no cell because I'm leery of leaks or soldering around lithium cells.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:40 PM   #5
toplessHO
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Ive got a pile of parts here Ive been trying to put together for about a year.
Rigid to Dewalt Ni cad. If anyone has an broken or worn out Rigid drill I could use the handle
to make my adapter.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:44 PM   #6
rslaback
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvm View Post
Great job, subscribed and thanks for informing everyone that any DIY adapter projects need to be aware of the discharge protection circuitry that differs between brands.

I have a question about the cell that holds the thermal switch that was bypassed in your project. Could they have been separated? I would prefer no cell because I'm leery of leaks or soldering around lithium cells.
The thermal switch isn't in any of the pictures. It is tossed in my electronics components drawer. If you mean can that cell be taken off, absolutely. The terminal is spot welded in 4 places to the cell. You either need to drill out those welds or try to break them with a screwdriver. If you are planning to make one of these with a lithium, there isn't actually a cell in the stalk. They are all plastic. There are 5 (or 10) cells that lay flat in the base but the stalk is all plastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toplessHO View Post
Ive got a pile of parts here Ive been trying to put together for about a year.
Rigid to Dewalt Ni cad. If anyone has an broken or worn out Rigid drill I could use the handle
to make my adapter.
You are probably better off just buying the part like I did. I actually bought 5 of them in case I wanted to make more. They are $10 shipped on eBay but if you want one I could sell one for cheaper.
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~Why is it that everyone can be an expert in education because they were a student but no one acts like an expert in automotive design because they are a driver?
~Interested in obtaining Ridgid cordless tools that are broken and/or orphaned.
~Wanted: Dead compact Ryobi 18V battery. Housing only needed.
~Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter build thread
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslaback View Post
The thermal switch isn't in any of the pictures. It is tossed in my electronics components drawer. If you mean can that cell be taken off, absolutely. The terminal is spot welded in 4 places to the cell. You either need to drill out those welds or try to break them with a screwdriver. If you are planning to make one of these with a lithium, there isn't actually a cell in the stalk. They are all plastic. There are 5 (or 10) cells that lay flat in the base but the stalk is all plastic
Thanks for the clarity! Awesome job and the cleanest modification I have seen. When I have time I'm going to "borrow" your adapter to make use of some seldom used Ridgid batteries.

Perhaps some simple plastic C-channel guides could be screwed/glued onto the Ryobi base to provide more battery support for the Ridgid battery
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

This is a great mod and tutorial you did here! Very nice and useful! - Paul
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:42 PM   #9
rslaback
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauls_workshop View Post
This is a great mod and tutorial you did here! Very nice and useful! - Paul
Thanks. I'm considering posting it as in Instructable somewhere since this post will no doubt fall into obscurity eventually.
__________________
~Why is it that everyone can be an expert in education because they were a student but no one acts like an expert in automotive design because they are a driver?
~Interested in obtaining Ridgid cordless tools that are broken and/or orphaned.
~Wanted: Dead compact Ryobi 18V battery. Housing only needed.
~Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter build thread
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:28 AM   #10
rslaback
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

I'm just going to leave this template here for safe keeping in case anyone else wants to make one.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AdapterPlateModel.pdf (138.2 KB, 113 views)
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~Why is it that everyone can be an expert in education because they were a student but no one acts like an expert in automotive design because they are a driver?
~Interested in obtaining Ridgid cordless tools that are broken and/or orphaned.
~Wanted: Dead compact Ryobi 18V battery. Housing only needed.
~Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter build thread
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:32 PM   #11
adam9c1
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Would you want to build a Craftsman 19.2 C3 battery to a Ryobi 18v One+ tool?
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:10 AM   #12
rslaback
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam9c1 View Post
Would you want to build a Craftsman 19.2 C3 battery to a Ryobi 18v One+ tool?
I'm not sure how easily that could be done. The C3 is a stem type pack which could make the adapter significantly larger than would be ideal. It could be done but you'd need a bad Ryobi battery and the battery end of a Craftsman tool. Paying someone to make it for you would throw in enough expense that you would probably be better off just buying some Ryobi batteries.
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~Why is it that everyone can be an expert in education because they were a student but no one acts like an expert in automotive design because they are a driver?
~Interested in obtaining Ridgid cordless tools that are broken and/or orphaned.
~Wanted: Dead compact Ryobi 18V battery. Housing only needed.
~Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter build thread
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:11 PM   #13
peteco
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

I finally got around to making a couple of Ryobi/Ridgid adapters. I made a few mods to the original poster's setup. This is my first time posting pictures so I do not know how they will import.

The Ryobi bottom piece had the screw lugs and a small piece of the retainer frame cut using an oscillating multitool. The retainers were cut to fit under the plexiglass clear piece. The retainer pieces were drilled and tapped and a threaded screw installed so the retainers could be jacked outward to hold the adapter in place in the tool. The center post battery was removed and replaced with a dowel. The plexiglass piece was drilled and countersunk to accommodate a countersunk screw. The Ryobi piece was drilled so the countersunk screw would not break the post.

The adapter works great. Now I can use my Ridgid batteries with my garden tools: blower, hedge clippers, string trimmer. I plan to buy other Ryobi tools now. The low profile of this setup works very well and the tools are not out of balance. With a 4Ah Ridgid battery in the blower I can do the garage, driveway and back deck on one charge. The 2 Ryobi batteries that came with the set could not do all this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20160430_191522_resized.jpg (64.1 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg 20160430_191549_resized.jpg (72.9 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg 20160430_191722_resized.jpg (89.7 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg 20160430_191735_resized.jpg (73.5 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg 20160430_192348_resized.jpg (70.9 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg 20160501_155718_resized.jpg (71.8 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg 20160501_155916_resized.jpg (57.5 KB, 66 views)
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Old 05-01-2016, 09:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

This is great! Are you guys having any issues with the Rigid battery staying on the adapter? I have a bunch of Ridgid tools and am thinking about getting a Ryobi hedge trimmer. The Ryobi line has SO many more options.

I built a Dewalt to Ridgid adapter but my method required sacrificing a Dewalt battery and a Ridgid tool (or light).
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:16 AM   #15
peteco
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

So far no problems, but I have not used any of the tools aggressively.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:51 AM   #16
peteco
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Took me a few hours to make 2 of these adapters. I had bought 4 of the Ridgid connectors for about $20. I already have 2 Ridgid 4Ah batteries that are warrantied for life, plus several other lower Ah Ridgid batteries. Cost wise I benefited $10-20 an hour to make these, which isn't too big of a deal. But when that Ryobi battery fails in 3 or 4 years and I have to pay for another then the cost benefit will come to play. Part of it was the challenge too.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
I think I'm missing the point of this.
Ryobi 4ah lithiums are often on sale for 25 bucks each after Christmas and are fifty bucks each a few times a year.
Why did you do this?
Please take the negativity elsewhere. OP mentioned warranty, cost savings, and challenge, but there is also the space savings and simplicity of having one type of battery. With one brand/size, I end up with multiple chargers and more batteries.

I am going to build one of these also.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

I am trying to find someone who can take my old v28 battery and make a converter to power it off of AC. Since I have a bad battery, I don't think it will be hard, but I need to find something to go from 110 to 28v dc.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:36 PM   #19
peteco
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
It was a question of practicality due to the ease of finding ryobi batteries cheap.
I think there's been lots of questions on GJ about the validity of your brands battery warranty.
You are right that some people have reported having warranty problems. I have never had a problem. Replaced 3 batteries so far and had the trigger on my 5 year old impact replaced with no problems.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Build thread: Ridgid to Ryobi battery adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by 48548 View Post
I am trying to find someone who can take my old v28 battery and make a converter to power it off of AC. Since I have a bad battery, I don't think it will be hard, but I need to find something to go from 110 to 28v dc.
All you need is a transformer with a sufficient amp rating and you are good to go. Perhaps one like this?

http://www.mpja.com/24V-10A-Center-T...info/27846+TR/

I modded a Makita 9.6v drill to an old car battery charger. It had a selenium diode so the voltage drop was greater than newer chargers - output voltage is about 11.1 volts. Plus that old dude had a 15amp rating, plenty for the Makita with the pesky adjustable clutch. On high speed the clutch slips at around 14amps.
Used it to finish installing my house gutters. Did fine on 1/4" sheet metal screws.
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