Author Topic: Drill battery to power my sonar  (Read 414 times)

Offline walleyeboater

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Drill battery to power my sonar
« on: Feb 24, 2021, 09:04 PM »
I'm sure this has been brought up before, so sorry if it has.
I'd like to power my bird unit off my 18v drill battery, as I'm hearing some guys are doing.
And I would nt have to buy a new battery for my bird.

Cost effective ?
Doable?
How to?
Ridgid, btw.
Thx

Offline badger132

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Re: Drill battery to power my sonar
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25, 2021, 01:03 PM »
I use the Ridgid battery on Garmin, so you would need to verify that your unit can handle up to 21V by yourself. If not, you need to factor in the cost of a buck converter to lower the voltage, and procure that too. In general, all these units have a DC power supply that runs the internal electronics at 1-5V, and they have a buck converter or other means inside them to take a noisy, higher DC voltage and produce a clean constant voltage inside for the electronics. You just need to stay within the operating limits of the internal converter, which you need to verify with the manufacturer, or take the risk.
Since Garmin has been done multiple times on this and other sites, I just bought the Ridgid accessory for charging 5V devices. I got it at Direct Tools, and it was cheaper than the battery adapters you can get on EBAY. In this case, you need to take the thing apart, and remove the guts, and solder 2 wires to the voltage wires. I had some crimp on spade lugs the same size as those on the SLA battery that came in the Garmin ice kit, so I put one of those each on + and -, and plugged those into the same connectors that used to connect the Garmin to the SLA battery. If you get the EBAY battery adapter, you just crimp on the spade lugs and go.
I did find that there is some small drain, and fearing that might damage the cell by taking it down below the safe cutoff programmed into the tool battery, I leave the battery off when not fishing. I configured the Garmin to turn on automatically when the battery was connected, and also set a voltage alarm to alert me when the voltage gets down to 16V. As best I can tell, the battery should shut down at 15V, but 16V gives me margin, and should give the battery more life. A 2AH battery lasts me all day on a 73SV with the ice kit, and screen brightness is the biggest variable you can tweak to reduce the current draw and increase the life.
I built a little wooden holder out of scrap that sits in the battery tray of the ice kit and holds the battery mount, thinking that holding everything in place would make things more reliable.


Offline walleyeboater

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Re: Drill battery to power my sonar
« Reply #2 on: Feb 26, 2021, 08:04 AM »
Thank you!

Offline DANMAN

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Re: Drill battery to power my sonar
« Reply #3 on: Feb 26, 2021, 10:18 PM »
Just a datapoint for your decision making...

New 12volt 7amp hour SLA batteries are $16.99 shipped to your doorstep on the ebay.....

New 12volt 4 amp hour SLA batteries are smaller in physical size and sell for $14.99

Typical lifetime i find to be 4-5 years for the SLA types.

Cheers,

Offline badger132

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Re: Drill battery to power my sonar
« Reply #4 on: Feb 27, 2021, 11:02 AM »
It was not a cost thing for me- I had a perfectly good SLA, but it weighed a lot, and the charger I got from Garmin was only 1A, so it took forever to fill the thing back up.
I have a pile of Ridgid batteries and tools, 3 chargers, so I can dedicate a few to ice fishing in the winter. When I travel, I can take 1 charger, and recharge my flasher and auger battery in an hour.
The 2 AH 20V battery powers the flasher all day, and weighs 80% less than the SLA it replaced.
I only paid $10 for my adapter, but even so, SLAs are pretty cheap on Amazon. Even 12V LiON batteries are cheaper than tool batteries if you look around, but you would need a dedicated charger for them as well.

Offline Kevin23

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Re: Drill battery to power my sonar
« Reply #5 on: Feb 28, 2021, 04:52 PM »
Theres plenty of info on it in the electronics section. Here is post I made on how I run my bird on a ryobi battery. I've not had it below 2 out of 4 bars yet this season, and one trip was from 10am until 7pm. I ran it for 14 hours in the garage and still had plenty of battery left. The weight savings are why I did it, you wont believe the difference if you are a hole hopper.. especially if you are like me and have tendonitis in your elbow.

https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=379821.0

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