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Build Your Own Stick Battery Holder

Recently, I purchased a LiFe battery stick for my airsoft electronic gun (AEG). There were four LiFe battery packs on the AirSplat web site:

I didn't pay attention to their physical sizes and bought the one with the largest capacity. Unfortunately, the largest capacity also had the biggest physical size. The stick battery pack was too long for any of my guns. But all is not lost, because I can still build an external battery holder for the battery pack. In addition, I can use it with my power tools once I have an external battery holder. Like LiPO batteries, the LiFe battery pack has a high discharge current rate that is great for driving power tools. In addition, a stick battery holder hardly costs anything to build. You might already have all the parts at home.

Cross-Reference
Our "Accessorize Your Power Tools" article explains more about mounting a battery holder to a power tool. In addition, this "Convert Your 7.2v Power Tools to Use RC Batteries" thread explains how to convert your power tools to use universal hobby batteries.

I experimented with the PVC pipes that I have at home. I found that the 3/4" PVC pipe used for home sprinkler system was just the right size to hold a stick battery pack. They were left overs when I fixed my sprinklers. And if you didn't have any handy, they are only a few bucks at Home Depot or Lowes. The photo below showed a standard 3/4" PVC tube.

Photo below shows that the LiFe stick battery pack is a perfect fit. You may want to leave the battery connectors out of the battery holder, depending on your application.

A 1" Picatinny weaver scope ring is perfect fit around the 3/4" PVC pipe (see photo below). That is probably because the internal tube size is 3/4", but the external tube size is 1". The scope ring is about $5 for two; see "Related Links" section below. We will use the scope ring to mount the PVC pipe to an airsoft gun or to our power tools. This scope ring has a quick detach thumbscrew. It makes moving the battery holder from one application to another really easy.

PVC pipe is made out of plastic. They are really easy to cut. All you need is a simple hack saw or a pipe cutter. If you have PVC pipes at home, you probably already have these tools to work with them. The photo below shows the PVC pipe that is cut to length to match the battery pack. Once the PVC pipe has been cut, you can paint it to match your equipment. I'm just going to use it with my power tools, so the color doesn't battery. But I would probably paint it black to match airsoft guns if that is the application.

They sell various PVC pipe end caps at the local hardware store you can use. But I just wrap some white sport table at the end to prevent the battery from coming out. The photo below shows white sport tape sealing one end of the tube.

At the other end of the tube, I only sealed the end 1/3" way with the sport tape. With only 1/3" amount of tape, it's no trouble to insert and remove the stick battery, but the battery won't fall out by itself. It's really a simple and cheap solution. You can, of course, get real fancy with end caps. You'll just have to route the wires.

The photo below shows you the battery holder mounted to a cordless drill with scope ring. The cordless drill has been modified with a Tamiya connector. A mini-Tamiya to Tamiya adapter is used to connect the LiFe battery pack to the cordless drill. The quick detach screw on the Picatinny weaver scope ring allows me to move the battery holder from one power tool to another without much fuss.

As you can see, building a stick battery holder is really inexpensive and easy. It's cheaper than buying a PEQ battery box for airsoft guns. So before you shell out your money for a new battery and a new PEQ battery holder, consider getting a stick battery and building the battery box yourself.

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