As it turned out, the new belt clips for the latest version of the C18 and the T18 are not compatible with the "older" models. So I thought, fine, I'll do it myself.
After working on a scaffolding and long ladders for four days we had two T18 drops each between us with the existing battery belt clips so I was really fed up with it! Good thing we had plywood on the office floor!
I stripped down a Bigg Lugg to make use of the belt clip. When I had drilled out the connecting rivet I realized I could make use of the other part as well, the hook would do great on the BHC 18:
With a cone shaped plastic spacer and a Black Torx 20 screw with the same-ish coarse thread it was just a matter of adding a small washer and replacing the existing screw:
The hook sviwels in two directions so it is never in the way and whichever way it is rotated it does not loosen up or affect the connecting screw which does not turn. I stress tested it by sviweling for five minutes and all angles and it stays solid.
The bigger hook is welcome as it allows the BHC18 to be hung on a ladder, scaffolding or whatever is around, something the regular clip does not allow.
After that initial success I decided to make use of the remaining parts for the T18+3:
Belt Clip, Torx head black screw with coarse thread, proper length to clear the battery side, one brass spacer, black coat, one hard plastic spacer, black washer. Another plastic spacer, to shim it out if necessary.
I decided on the plastic spacer as it fit the existing screw hole:
After bending the plate to clear the battery without having to add more shims it was done:
The clip rotates 360 degrees and with plastic meeting the metal clip and a metal washer supporting the plastic hole the connecting screw does not budge and keeps the Lug properly fixed in place while still allowing it to turn.
I stress tested it by tightening it to a snug fit and then rotated it many turns clock wise and anti clock wise to no effect. It actually works really well. EDIT: I have now rotated it well over a hundred turns and it still stays snug. I declare it a solid success.
I am very pleased with the hack with two caveats: firstly the clip is only possible to mount on the side where the existing connecting screws are so I need to rotate the drill in my palm before hooking it to my person. Secondly the clip needs to be rotated if I want to place the drill on a surface.
Big deal? Not really, it swivels nicely out of the way and after a minute of testing it was already second nature. Also, I usually always lay the drill down on the side as I don't want it to tip over and put a dent in a delicate surface so the clip is usually not in the way regardless of position.
My hand fits on the inside of the clip, but barely so, so I will have the clip at an angle or straight down I guess. It doesn't take much of an angle to clear the hand when grabbing the drill.
I am happy that the clip is deep, I can fit it over belt, in pocket, etc. Even while climbing over railing sides the lift is not enough to dislodge the clip and squatting down does not cause the clip to pop out. The existing battery clip is easily dislodged just scaling a ladder. Climbing over something or squatting deep is virtually impossible without loosing the drill in the process!
On the plus side I think that the hack might enable the new belt clips to actually fit the old drill. I can't see why not, as they would be on almost the same spot, only (roughly) two cm higher up. I might order the new clip when the EKAT number comes through but for now I am pleased as it is. If I get the Festool clips I will transfer the Bigg Lugg metal clip to the DRC with the same operation.
I did find some cool looking stainless clips and ordered up a few (no affilitation with the shop, just showing what the clip looks like): http://www.thegoodstuffshop.dk/picview.asp?pid=47004
I am thinking these would fit reasonably well and I look forward to trying it out.
Hope this helps out anyone looking to do the same and someone might come up with an even better solution.
For me, my solution does the trick but out of curiosity I will try to make a more elegant solution.