Wiki: Power Tools: Battery Conversion

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Milwaukee M18 Power Tools Battery Interface

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Milwaukee M18 RedLithium Battery Pin-Out

The photo below shows the pin-out on the battery:

As you can see from the photo, the battery has five receptors. Only the positive and negative terminals are labeled. The middle three receptors are unknown.

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Milwaukee M18 Power Tool Pin-Out

The photo below shows the pins on the power tool:

Similar to the battery, none of the pins are labeled on the tool. But notice that the tool uses only four pins. The middle pin is not present.

In order to figure out how the tool operates with the battery, we ripped up a piece of paper to cover the two middle pins. We tried it on the Milwaukee M18 Oscillating Multi-Tool. We determined that the Milwaukee M18 power tools will not operate without either or both of the middle pin.

So if you want to interface to the Milwaukee M18 power tool with other battery source, you'll have to fake out the two middle pins. The question is how to fake it out?

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Inside of a Battery Adapter

To answer this question, we purchased the Makita 18V LXT Battery Pack to Milwaukee M18 RedLithium Power Tool Adapter on Amazon. Then we took it apart to see what's inside.

Inside the adapter, there is a very simple circuit board (see photo below). It consists of two resistors that ties the power and ground to the two inner pins. Both resister are the same resistance from the color bands.

Using the Resistor Color Code Calculator, we determine that the resistors are 1 kilo-ohms each. We verified the same result using a digital multimeter.

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