With Great NEXTEC Power Comes Dustbuster Responsibility

A project log for Dustbuster Upgrade

An old Dustbuster gets a new lease on life when its worn 9.6V NiCad battery is replaced with a 11.1V Lithium Ion battery.

rogerRoger 12/25/2017 at 03:510 Comments

An old and tired Dustbuster BHD9600CHV is now upgraded with the power module of a NEXTEC LED work light. The eight-cell nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery pack built into the Dustbuster is gone since it could no longer deliver anywhere near its 9.6 nominal voltage rating. Now cordless power comes courtesy of the NEXTEC three-cell lithium-ion battery sending nominal 11.1 volts to the motor.

And what an upgrade it is! It now generates enough vacuum to pick up anything we can expect a small handheld vacuum to handle. It is now genuinely useful again and the handle blended well enough that ergonomics didn’t take a hit as I had feared. But all is not well; this upgraded super powerful Dustbuster now hints that there may be such a thing as too muchpower.

Intake Exhaust

The massively increased airflow is great for picking up messes, but all that air pulled into the vacuum has to exit through the exhaust. This massively increased exhaust has become a new problem that didn’t exist before. Vacuuming small objects off a surface now requires a bit of planning in terms of approach angle and the distance at which we turn on the power to the motor. Approach too shallow or turn the motor on too early, and the exhaust airflow will reach the object before the vacuum side can pick it up.

When this happens to small objects, say picking up a few peanuts on the ground, it means the peanuts run away and we have to chase it down. But when it happens to a loose clump of light objects, say an area filled with dust bunnies, it means the exhaust blows everything up into the air and we end up with an even bigger mess on our hands.

So yes, this is now a massively more powerful handheld vacuum, but that new power has consequences.

(Cross-posted to