Charging Drill Motor Batteries

Please excuse this post for being on-topic.
I'm of the opinion that it is bad for NiCad batteries to be "ON CHARGE"
continually (except for special chargers which monitor battery voltage and only initiate charge when the voltage falls below some level).
On the other hand, I'm damned tired of grabbing one of my drill motors for a project and finding the battery has run down enough that I can't use it. I'm tempted to just leave them plugged in all the time so they always are fully charged.
What does the group think about leaving them on charge full time?
What do you DO with your rechargeable NiCad drill motors?
Rich
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See: http://www.voltmanbatteries.com/faq.htm They have rebuild my many batteries over the years that we use in production. I'm happy with them. Take a look at the FAQ and see that you shouldn't leave them on charge nor charge a hot battery.
Unless your post is about speed/feed, HSS vs. carbide or good drills vs. cheap drills...your post is OT!!! Please put $10 in the jar.
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Only if you don't mind replacing them annually.

One thing that I have done in the past is stick the charger on a cheap timer set so it comes on for one hour a day. That will keep the battery fresh without baking the life out of it.
Vaughn

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Vaughn Simon wrote:

This guy http://www.rcbatteryclinic.com/ worked for years at GE and Gates making NiCd batteries; he participated in writing a book on their care and feeding for engineers designing them into systems.
He basically recommends the same thing -- trickle charge for one hour a day. This keeps 'em fresh without shorting them out (the mechanism isn't drying, although that can cause problems).
So if you need an expert opinion to make you feel comfortable...
--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Most cordless drill chargers do NOT charge continuously. They peak-charge, based upon the temp of the battery (there's a bimetal thermostat in each battery pack), then shut off. They will not begin a new charge until the battery is removed and replaced, or power is interrupted.

That will pretty much guarantee ruining a battery on the newer fast chargers. Since they always charge until the battery becomes hot, and do so in less than an hour, you're assuring that it gets good'n'hot every day.

Yep. GE says "dendrites" are the problem in NiCds. Of course, 'experts' come in all flavors. The folks at Gates Energy STILL insist that NiCd cells have no "memory"; then they sell lithium ion cells that specifically tout "no memory like NiCd cells". Duh.
LLoyd
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When they go bad I rebuild them with NiMH batteries - not as much self discharge and more forgiving over-all - and higher power density to boot. I've built several packs using 2300mah double A cells and can fir 3 where one C used to reside (900mah capacity). SIGNIFICANT improvement all 'round.
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Rich wrote:

I have about 5 DeWalt 18V tools. I keep a charger always plugged in and in a place where I can just drop in a battery (i.e. not move a bunch of junk to clear some room, go find the charger, find an extension cord, none of that baloney) and charge it up. I also have 2 drills. I find that between my 2 drills and the flex-arm flashlight one of them usually has some juice to get me going, and they don't take that long to charge. So my answer is "charge 'em when I need to".
GWE
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