A while back I talked about how frustrating it is to exchange the nicad batteries in the original White's rechargeable battery pack. The batteries are soldered back to back and it really became a headache fast. I would never go this route again, but since then have come up with a much easier solution. White's XLT also ships with an 8 cell penlight holder for regular batteries. A spare can also be purchased through Kellyco (part number 960-BH8027150) for $9.95 plus shipping.
I like to use rechargeable batteries in the penlight holder. The only drawback to this is that the batteries have to be removed every time for recharging. Not a big deal, but it would sure be easier if they stayed in the holder. This is when I got the idea to "transfer" the charging port from the now dead rechargeable pack to the penlight holder. Attached to the charging port is one wire off of the negative terminal and one diode off of the positive terminal.
1. On the back of the pack, terminal end, it is imprinted "LIFT TAB AND PULL". This will bring the cover back to the end of the batteries, but with a forceful pull, the cover will slide completely off. The charging port is secured with a nut and washer and easily removed with a 3/8" wrench. Next, I de-soldered the wire and diode from the battery contact terminals. I also made note of what everything was connected to.
2. This next step is very important. The band on the diode must be pointing toward the battery contacts. A diode (or rectifier) allows electrical current to flow through in only one direction. The other end of the diode is soldered onto the charging ports positive terminal. (diode part number as supplied by White's is TCI 1N4001)The new battery contacts in the holder are chrome plated brass. I used a file and removed the plating on the underside in order to get a good solder connection.
3. I soldered the battery contacts outside of the holder to make things easier. However, when soldering as pictured, it is backwards when compared to fitting it inside the holder. The battery contact with the diode attached actually slides down into the holder on the left side (batteries down). After placing the charging port and battery contacts in their respective places, it is then secured with the washer and nut and tightened with the 3/8" wrench as pictured below.
4. I used Energizer Rechargeable 2500mAh NIMH (nickel-metal hydride) 1.2 volt batteries in one holder and 1850mAh in the backup holder. Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries have a considerably longer run time than conventional Nickel Cadmium batteries (NiCad). NiMH batteries stay powered up longer, have no memory to drain and are environmentally friendly: mercury-free! Both work fine with the supplied charger that comes standard with the White's XLT. I used the detector from around 8:00 am until 5:00 pm and placed the battery pack on overnight charge and they would last all day.
Click here for a battery pack alternative for the V3i, DFX, XLT and other White's detectors.
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