The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Recovering batteries with Da Pimp

Da Pimp charging a drill battery

Volt meterBefore we hauled the golf cart back to our core homestead, we were hoping the only problem with it was bad batteries.  As I wrote this winter, we originally bought the golf cart used, and the batteries have had some hard days' work since then, so it's not surprising they weren't holding much of a charge.  Rather than splurging hundreds of dollars on replacement batteries right off the bat, we decided to see if we could recondition the ones we have.

Da Pimp is a battery-saver dreamed up by half of the Holy Scrap Hot Springs duo (who, in the interest of full disclosure, I consider e-friends).  I have a hard time wrapping my head around electricity, so you'll have to go to their site to read how the unit works, but suffice it to say that Da Pimp will extend the life of problematic rechargeable drill batteries, golf cart batteries, and more.

We gave the unit a try on a drill battery that Bradley had pronounced dead --- it wasn't holding a charge like he wanted.  However, it turns out the battery wasn't really dead.  It started out at 16.6 volts, and I charged it to 120% of its rated voltage (per instructions) with Desulfated batteryDa Pimp.  The next day, the battery had only dropped to 19.5 (above its rated voltage of 18), so it seemed to be holding a charge pretty well.  I gave it another charge with Da Pimp just to be on the safe side, and two weeks later, the battery is holding steady at 19.4 volts.

Mark plans to give Da Pimp a real test and workout with our problematic golf cart batteries soon, but I'm already happy with the unit.  It's an elegant little device, easy to use even for electrophobes like me, and I figure if it simply extends the life of our drill batteries, it will pay for itself in a few years.  Plus, I love microbusiness products, especially those produced by homesteaders.  So I have no hesitation giving Da Pimp two thumbs up.

Our own microbusiness product is a POOP-free chicken waterer that has been enjoyed by flocks around the world.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Thank you for the write up on Da Pimp.

Nice work bringing back the drill battery. You can do multiple at a time if you want to chain them in series. I often charge 4 18v packs at a time for my partners electric weed wacker.

Please watch the lead-acid video I put out last month before starting the golf cart. When working on a golf cart I like to find the weakest battery first. There are two ways to do it.

1) Put Da Pimp on each battery one at a time (they can still all be connected together). Note the voltage before charging begins and after. The voltage jump is indicative to how beat down the battery is. A small jump is a good a big jump is bad. Charging will reduce the jump.

2) Open the caps on the most suspect batteries and dip the volt meter probes in each cell. You want to see if each cell is roughly 2v - 2.5v each. You'll want to see the video to understand this better, but it's possible you have a single dead cell in there and you want to get that battery out and trade it with a local auto shop for another (maybe from their dead pile of "cores").

Comment by Mikey Sat Mar 16 10:34:13 2013
Mikey --- Sorry it took me so long to write about it! Mark and I weren't sure who should write about it, with the result that neither did for a while. :-) I appreciate the tips for the big project ahead!
Comment by anna Sat Mar 16 17:29:23 2013

Measuring all the cells and charging the batteries one-by-one is a good idea, since every battery is different. You need to make sure that none of the batteries is defective. Have you checked that the batteries haven't been frozen over the winter?

You can find guidelines and background info about charging lead-acid batteries here.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Mar 16 21:08:26 2013
I might gave to grab one after I move. I have a 5 minute drill that I would love to use again.
Comment by Ashaldaron Sun Mar 17 10:17:44 2013
Have you tested it on the golf cart batteries yet? I would like to hear how well it works.
Comment by Dave Fri Apr 19 00:51:10 2013
Dave --- I suspected someone would ask that. Mark accidentally broke Da Pimp when he used it improperly, but Mikey has kindly agreed to fix it for us, so we're sending it off and will be able to test it the golf cart batteries soon, we hope.
Comment by anna Fri Apr 19 09:14:08 2013
Follow thread
Comment by Terry Wed Aug 20 09:31:49 2014
So did you ever get to test it? Did it work? I know they are your friends but id like to see an honest answer.
Comment by Matt Thu May 11 18:54:41 2017
iwant to buy one
Comment by art holguin Tue Mar 6 13:28:01 2018

profile counter myspace

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